A New Year, A New Me

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lol – wouldn’t it be great if you could go to sleep and wake up a new person?  And by that I don’t mean wake up a newborn – I mean wake up and suddenly be that perfect person you are always striving to be?
That’s not how it works and you know it but I applaud you, me and everyone for taking the opportunity of a year change to hit a reset button and vow to try harder.  Goals are good.  They’re really good when you write them down and make a plan to achieve them.  I think that’s where most of us fall short.

Here is a quick guide to a few things you can do to take steps toward that new you you are forever trying to create.

1).  Choosing your Word  – Setting a word for the year is a really streamlined way to focus your energies on what’s important.  I had a really good word for last year; I just don’t remember what it was ,so write yours down or join a group where you note your word. INC magazine has some helpful material on coming up with a word. Use the word – check in with yourself from time to time and see if you are living your word.

2).  Try a journal method.  I tried the Bullet Journal last year and failed pretty miserably even though it’s a great system. But, like all systems, you have to stick with it and, more to the point, the system itself won’t change who you are or how you deal with things unless you actually use it.  I started strong but devolved into my normal, take messy notes self.  I still survived the year and I have some notes on some things I did so not a total loss.

There is a whole culture around Bullet Journals and some people do some very  fancy stuff.  It’s really  fun, but it’s not me.  Check out this blog for some fancy bullet journal tips.

3).  Try a time management system.  There are several but one common one is the ABC method (not an official name)   Every day you list your tasks and assign them a priority (a,b,c or 1,2,3). Start with the A/1s and work your way down.  As things come up during the day, add them to the list and give them a priority.  Several times a day, reassess the list and re-prioritize the tasks, if needed.   It’s pretty effective but you have to not be the kind of person who gets too caught up in the moment that you forget to do the assessment.  This site talks about it an refers to several resources to help with this strategy.  You also might want to look into the Eisenhower Matrix which is a way to put tasks in a quadrant that defines them by urgency and action.

4).  Find a good online organizing tool.  There are many. OneNote comes with MS Office now and has a lot of features for organizing your day. as well as being portable across platforms an accessible via the web.  Another one I really like is Toodledo which has a serviceable free version and then some premium features you can pay for.  Also accessible both by browser and mobile app so it goes everywhere with you.

5).  Forget about multitasking.  Multitasking as a way to get more done per unit time is  a myth.  What you end up doing is losing focus on all your tasks and not doing them nearly as well as you would have if you had just paid attention.  When you are on a conference call, don’t be reading and writing emails unless your participation is optional.  You’ll get caught, anyhow.  How often do you hear (or do you say), “excuse me, could you repeat that?” because you realize you weren’t paying any attention at all and someone has asked you a question. Don’t be that guy – pay attention!

That covers your daily tasks and work life. What about all those fitness goals, eh?  That’s a story for another day but for now don’t forget to note your planned workouts  and your new, healthier eating plan in your journal/task list/Eisenhower Matrix/online organizing tool.    Happy organizing and 3 cheers for the new you!

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Day 1 – Success

It was 25 degrees today but I did it – I went for a run/walk.  When I started out I thought I might die of the cold but I kept going.  My hands were so frozen they hurt so much I wanted to cut them off.  My toes were frozen.  I persevered – for 1.6 miles. That was it – that was all I had but I celebrate because I didn’t just turn around and head back to the car – I made a circle!

Apparently I benefited in ways I never considered

 

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Toeing the Line on Renewal and Growth

You know that line – it sits on the calendar right at January 1 and it marks the day when you will stop eating crap, start working out, remember to be grateful for what you have and quit wanting what you don’t have, find a new job, be nicer to people, be less nice to people, practice self care, lose weight, do a better job managing your money, plan an adventure.  We all know that day and, with few exceptions, we fall right in to its little trap.

We tell ourselves, it doesn’t matter what day it is –  I can do this every day!  And yet we find ourselves inescapably drawn to the magical  powers  of renewal and growth brought to us by January 1.  We think,  “I’m going to practice Dryanuary!  I’m giving up sugar – let’s see how far I can make it!  I know the gym will be crowded but I will be there, too!”

So guess what? Me too!   Because, why not?  Why not draw a line and then get it together? There’s so much getting it together energy in the world on January 1 and it lasts at least until January 20th so I’m ALL IN!  It’s like surfing at Mavericks for those first few weeks and then you just have to remember how much you love surfing and hang in there with the regular surf.

This is my year to race again.   I’m already signed up for a 5K on March 3

I joined a triathlon group in May and have yet to meet anyone. They don’t even answer my emails any more.  I never met these people and they have given up on me – ouch!  But  I have not given up on me and the joke’s on them – I paid my dues and I’m supposed to get a t-shirt and I WILL HAVE MY T-SHIRT! (yes, I’m talking to you MidCarolinaMultisport.com).  And I will meet them and I will train and race with them.

I’m going to start swimming with Durham Area Masters on Wednesday.

I’m starting a running program with Kenzai.com on the 15th.

i joined Coeur Sports Collective Beat program.

It’s happening!   I am going to regain my fitness and my self esteem and serenity right along with it; Right after I eat a quesadilla for dinner and work on that pint of Ben and Jerry’s I bought for my birthday yesterday.   I mean –  right after I celebrate New Year’s Eve with a group of young people and their pre-schoolers tomorrow night.  Right after that – right on January 1, 2018

2018

 

 

 

 

 

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And then I forgot

I forgot all about this. I finally got to the East Coast and then I was here and so happy to be playing with my grandbaby and hanging out with my baby (the pregnant one) that I forgot all about writing about how grateful I am for love and health and family.

I’m glad I engaged in this exercise. Many things were bumming me out and taking a toll on my outlook on life but thinking about the good things, the upside, the great, good fortune I’ve had in life, made it so much better. I can say with 100% assurance, that although I don’t have everything I want, I have more than enough and that’s something to be grateful for

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Days 23 and 24 – 30 Days of Gratitude

I’ve fallen behind again. I had a brilliant inspiration for something to write and then it left me.

These last couple of days have been frustrating but I really am glad I am home and not stuck in an airport or some crappy hotel somewhere, eating vending machine food. I should get out tomorrow.

Right now I’m grateful for babies who blow their due dates by a big margin. Much needed right now.

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Day 22 – 30 Days of Gratitude

I’m still trying to get to the East Coast.  Today was my day!  Only then they cancelled my flight from Chicago to RDU 😦  They aren’t cancelling all flights – just a few.  Mine was one of them.

So – here are the silver linings:

  • I’m at home, not stuck at an airport
  • I don’t have to get in a cab after midnight and hope the driver can handle icy roads really well
  • Daughter is still pregnant
  • I didn’t end up stuck in Chicago or any other city
  • I have a flight tomorrow on Delta – an airline that isn’t afraid of a little weather.
  • The roads will be nice and dry by tomorrow night
  • I can watch Downton Abby tonight

Yay!

stranded

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Day 22 – 30 Days of Gratitude

All parents know the feeling of utter failure – the certainty that someone should come take your parenting license away IMMEDIATELY, because you suck and you have no business raising children.  You yelled at your kid or you can’t stop the bullies or you forgot to send a check to school for the field trip or you made the wrong kind of cookies or you couldn’t get it together to make the weekend super fun or you couldn’t keep your child from getting sick or you let your kid slide on manners or…or…or… so many things. So many ways to fail.  But then something happens and you get a hug and kiss and an “I love you, Mama” or, better yet, someone tells you about a wonderful, compassionate thing your child did and you are reminded that maybe you don’t suck so bad after all.

And then the teen years arrive and you are, unequivocally, the biggest idiot on the face of the earth. Your teen makes sure you know that on a daily basis and you suck it up, and keep smiling and wait for the day when the kid gets past that stage. And it happens.  And there you are, with an adult relationship and it is different but it is good and entirely lacking in the messy kiss, sweetness of the relationship you had when your child was very young.

Last night my very adult, very pregnant daughter had a minor panic attack.  She lives on the Eastern Seaboard and the snow was falling, the rain was freezing and the plows were nowhere in sight.  She was really terrified that she might go in to labor and not be able to get out – and she called her Mama.  Her husband was right there, assuring her that everything would be okay but she still needed to call her Mama and cry and get get some motherly love and reassurance that the world wouldn’t let her down.  I felt sad for her in her panic (and maybe a wee worried, myself) but I have to admit that still being needed as a Mama is a beautiful thing and I love it.  Doesn’t happen a lot once the kids grow up so when it does I am reminded that I did a good job raising my kids and that I was and continue to be a source of love and strength for them.  And for that, I am most grateful.

She’s still pregnant and the plows still haven’t come but they will, and I will get there and every little thing is gonna be all right.

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