I’m not a New Year’s Resolution kind of person. My husband found this appalling last January when he sat down to write his out. He encouraged our ten year old daughter to sit down with him and do the same. It was nice to see them work together, setting goals for self improvement for the year to come and a great lesson for our daughter. That’s what I would call them, goals. Being the “type A” techie that he is, I’m sure he has a digital list of them somewhere to check back in on at the year’s end.
It’s not that I’m against goals. I’m constantly working on bettering myself. Some days I’m taking steps forward, and as life goes, some days I’m back-stepping. My hope, that they mathematically equal a positive when all is said and done, at least that my kids and husband think so. I’m all for setting goals and self improvement. I just think, why wait? Why wait for the arbitrary day of January 1 to make a step forward? Do it now. If it’s joining a gym, you don’t want to wait until it’s packed with new members going after their New Year’s resolutions at the same time. Get a leg up on them by joining now. You’ll be that much stronger when you see them flood the gym a few weeks down the road. Do you need to quit smoking? Why wait three weeks to do it? Save some much needed holiday cash, and quit today. What ever it is, don’t put it off.
If you start working towards your goals today, it’s almost certain you wont look back three weeks from now saying, “I should have waited until January.” Chances are you’ll be glad you have the hardest part behind you, or you’ve had a little extra time to fail and get back up on your feet. Make no mistake, failure is at least as important in positive progress as success is. After all, what exactly do we learn from success? It’s what we do after failure that really proves our worth. So set those goals now, and start stepping toward them today. Let’s face it, you already know what they are. You don’t have to write them down to begin making them happen.
So…against my typical death to lists attitude (Lists really stress me out. I feel like I have to finish everything on them all at once.), I’ve decided to write some of my current hopes for self improvement down to share with you. I’m pretty sure it will bring a smile to the face of my list-loving husband and co-blogger. In one last attempt at list defiance, I will not be putting check boxes by the items. That will show them!
My Un-listy List
“Today (and those to follow) I will do at least one thing to better my…”
I have learned to eat and exercise to feel good, not to look good. Of course, beauty comes from the inside out, so it can’t hurt. Gone are my days of forcing myself to go burn calories or stick to a “diet”. I have found activities that bring me physical and mental clarity, and I eat as much of the GOOD foods I want or my body needs. When I get off track with food or exercise, I don’t feel well and I’m out of balance.
- exercise – I am loving streaming my workouts with The Daily Burn right now. There are so many workouts to choose from at all levels, and I can do them in my own living room. You can sign up for a free month trial at the link above. It’s $12.95/mo after that – a very affordable gym. My favorite workout right now is “Black Fire” with Bob Harper. He makes me smile and laugh while working my tail off. “Inferno” is another favorite and now availble to stream live every morning at 9:00. You can find all ability levels and styles, from dance cardio or weights to Pilates and yoga. There are some nice recovery workouts for your stiff and sore days too. It’s great in the winter, when I just can’t toughen up enough to go for a run in the cold (though I’d probably really enjoy it). I also like it in warm weather when I am running, because it helps me be more well rounded. I need a way to build muscle, especially upper body, when long distance running tends to do the opposite.
- food – I don’t count calories. I read labels. I do avoid certain foods all together – sugar, wheat/gluten, dairy. It is no doubt better for me physically short-term ~ reduces my pain level tremendously, but also better for my long-term health ~ brain and body. I eat as much and as often as I like: fresh/frozen vegetables and preservative free meats/eggs. Luckily my eggs come from my back yard, as well as some of our chicken. We are also grateful for the grass-fed beef filling our freezer right now, thanks to my dad. (If you live near me and want to sample some, let me know. We’ll be selling shares of grass-fed, all natural [no hormones or antibiotics] beef next fall.) I eat limited portions of fruit most days (It’s still sugar, causing some inflammation in my body when I over do it.). If it’s not a fruit, vegetable, meat, or good fat, I avoid it entirely or use moderation. Don’t worry, I cheat sometimes, but I usually regret it when I do. Instead of looking at what I can’t eat, I look at all the things I can and focus on the fact that I can eat as much and as often as I like.
I have recently heard some good advice on the subject of learning, working, and what we choose to focus time and energy on. The gist is that if we’re working at more than three priorities or objectives at once, we’re doing none of them well. I need to take this to heart. Being a new-to-staying-at-home-mom has left me with many new and changing priorities, often doing a lot of things poorly. I need to focus on keeping that list smaller, so that I’m doing all I can well. That being said, here are some ways I choose to better my mind.
- reading – Right now: Rich Dad Poor Dad The next book on my list: The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity: A Simple Guide to Unlimited Abundance
- you tube – You can find Youtube channels about any topic. I like them because I can play them while I’m doing other things like cooking. My most recent views have been legal/tax advice for starting a business (you may laugh, but it was helpful and an easy way to multi-task) and aptly, cooking.
- pod casts – This one is thanks to my husband, but I like that I can learn or be inspired by something while I’m doing my hair or make-up, cleaning, cooking, and driving.
It’s nice that when feeding my body and mind, I’m also feeding my soul…or the other way around. Here is a list of a few extra things I do when I need a little time out for my soul.
- Make a pot of tea.
- Go for a walk.
- Read inspirational quotes by people I find like minded. Here’s an all-time favorite: “The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”
― John Muir
- Say a prayer.
- Find a peaceful diffuser blend, and fill the house with its scent.
- Spend some time outside in the sun.
- Play a game with my family.
What are some goals you’re working on or your favorite things to feed your body, mind, and soul. We’d love to hear about them below.