Fave Reads Friday #11 – Better Than Before

This is by no means my last post on the subject of habits. I have found this topic of Gretchen Rubin’s much easier to embrace than the idea of a Happiness Project…..it probably has to do a lot with my personality.

She ends this book with a story of how her youngest daughter wrote a sequel to a novel that Rubin enjoys. She titled it Every Day Life in Utopia (also the last chapter title in Rubin’s book). This is my ideal as well. I want to live the life I want to live and to be happier and more efficient in it.

The last section of Better Than Before talks about Clarity, Identity, and Other People and brought up a lot of great questions for me. Like, Is a habit important because everyone else thinks it is or because I think it is? This was a hard one for me because, as a Fitness Professional, there’s a lot of things that I promote for others to do. Where does this information come from? The heads of my industry. But, I also tell people all of the time that they need to find what works for them….find clarity.

Also on the topic of clarity, can I choose to do something that’s right for me, but also meets the needs of others? Super hard for me to do because I’m an Obliger and this means that I always want to do what’s best for others before I worry about doing what’s best for me. It ties into identity in that I identify as a giver, a mother, a planner, an organizer, etc, etc, etc.

Rubin writes about finding clarity on both the habit (good or bad) and the problem with committing to it. What value does it serve? Values are a big part of identity as well. Three quotes from this section that solidify that sentiment:

Our habits reflect our identity. p. 242

We can build our habits only on the foundation of our own nature. p.257

No simple, universal solutions exist. p. 258

Values are a big thing for me…..I feel like fundamental values of who you are don’t change much over time, but the way that you express them may. For instance, I’ve always been a feminist….my whole life! I remember hating the word “chicks” because women are not little, yellow, fluffy birds. It rubbed me the wrong way for so long when I was a teenager. I wore a Rosie the Riveter t-shirt with pride. I thought that those were the definitions of being a feminist.

Today I take a different approach. I still feel that women are equal to men, but my view on how to create equality is different. From a yoga perspective I try to find inclusivity for all instead of “fighting” for women. I work hard at what I do, support efforts of change, and teach my children that no one group is inferior because they are that group. My value hasn’t changed, my habits have.

Phrasing is also a topic on clarity that Rubin writes about. Fit is a Feminist Issue wrote recently about the phrase “Let me see what you can do”. I have been looking for an opportunity to use that in my classes, but haven’t incorporated it yet. In defining the problem with commitment to a habit, the value of the habit, and the habit itself she considers the words chosen. In personal training we tell people to consider not just what is being said, but also how it is being said (body language, tone, and the care put into the words chosen). In trying to adopt or adapt a habit phrasing can make or break you just as not being specific can sink a SMART goal.

This all leads to more questions of identity….

…..make sure that my life reflects my values. p. 256

My eternal question (and one I will continue to revisit as a part of my yoga practice of Svadhyaya) is WHO AM I? How are others affecting me and my habits? How am I and my habits affecting others? This is a big one when it comes to my children. They are developing their identity based on the world around them just as I did mine. I remember my one uncle always referring to my family as “The Loud Family” and that has definitely carried over into my life today. But, how else do I define myself and how do those definitions affect my habits?

Going forward (and trying to keep with some of the habits I’m working on) I plan to blog on Thursdays about habits and how they’re working for me or working against me. I would greatly encourage you to pick up this book from the library or bookstore and give it a read. I would love (as an Obliger) for you to comment here or on any of the other HABITS posts and join me in this discussion of habit formation.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on Monday for Meditation Monday!

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Collecting Words

I will have a proper post for you tomorrow about the strategies I’m working on in my new “Habit Project”. Today, though, I am putting out a call for words. Part of my new project is writing an inspiring word on my calendar for each day. Today’s word is

Because I need to be reminded that now is the time to do anything I want. I have words written on every day for October, but this is something that I want to keep going through the end of 2017. So,

What’s your word?

WOW is Coming Back

It’s Wednesday of this week already and the rain is keeping me down. We’re watching our friend’s dog, hosting a meal train for a friend who had a baby, and preschool starts this week. On top of all of that I traveled last weekend to Asheville for a NETA Yoga Foundations workshop with a wonderful group of women and I’m all out of whack on my training. Oh, and did I mention that my dryer is currently out of commission?

One thing that has also been lacking on the blog lately (and I know I skipped Meditation Monday this week) is WORKOUT WEDNESDAY! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a video or information on a yoga pose (since April!) and part of the reason has been SUMMER and job transition and life.

This week in particular is bad because of everything I listed above, plus my training partner is out of town and it’s hard for me to stay motivated to workout in the rain when I don’t have anyone to run with…..I’m an Obliger. But, the drive is still there, deep inside of me, wanting to come out. And because I’m switching jobs and won’t be teaching yoga on the regular, Workout Wednesday posts are going to help me maintain my rhythm in that practice. Starting next week I will be posting a small series of poses each week and eventually building up to a longer class. It’s going to be sort of the same way that I was teaching Yoga I and Yoga II at CFCC.

Next Wednesday we’ll be starting at the beginning….Awakening Poses. If you’ve done them before, it’ll be review and a great way to wake up for the day. If you’ve never done them before, come check them out! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Other things to look for from the blog include the return of Guest Yoga Stories on Thursdays (starting tomorrow), continued Meditation Monday (back on Monday), more Fave Reads Friday (working on my Gretchen), and the random thoughts I have popping in from time to time. So, take a deep breath, keep calm, and OM!

50 Years Stronger

50 years ago in the Boston Marathon a woman attempted to compete. She was attacked partway into the race when it was discovered that she was a woman. Yesterday she completed the same event while running one of her fastest marathons ever. This is the kind of strong that I aspire to….not just for MY BEST BODY challenge, but in life. I aspire to be stronger each day. I aspire to stand up for what I believe in. I aspire to get better with age. Kathy Switzer’s race number (261) was officially retired yesterday after she crossed the line.

What will you be doing 50 years from now?

How strong can you get?

Read the whole story here…

Q1 Performance Report 2017

The other day in my inbox I received this from MapMyRun

It was both saddening and motivating. See, it’s not totally reflective of all the “activity” I’ve done so far this year. I no longer track my yoga teaching or practice, my HIIT workouts, my Pilates, nor anything I do outside of walking and running here. However, it was motivating because it meant that I hadn’t totally quit walking and running this year.

In the past few years I have struggled to hit the mythical 500 miles/year mark. This year may be no exception, but I’m still trying. I use MapMyRun because it’s free and I can mark my own routes pretty easily. There’s an app for the phone, but I don’t use it because I don’t have a lot of data. I am not a brand ambassador nor paid for my reviews of the site and the one thing I wish they’d eliminate is the calorie counter. But, I am a loyal user and I love being able to track my mileage, write how I felt about each session, see my pacing change on routes over time, and also to track the mileage on my shoes.

This year I am running with a friend 2x/week. We are planning on doing an 8k in September as my birthday present to myself this year. I am guaranteed to run at least twice a week with someone and lately it’s been about 4 miles of jog/walk as she builds up her endurance and speed. I enjoy this because it also means that I will be doing the mileage. Today is my lone run day and I am gearing up for a nice, stretch my legs run, at my own pace. I’m curious to see how my 2nd quarter performance will be now that we’ve started running together.

Do you like to run together or alone?

How do you track?

What do you track?

Would 54 miles in the first three months be a disappointment or motivating for you?

Fave Reads Friday #8 – Spending Out

Found this sticky in the back of my library copy.

So, I’ve finally finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at what else I read, in terms of blogs, but hers has made it on to my WP Reader. I’m sold! I want more happiness in my life and I’ve started on my own HAPPINESS PROJECT: MY BEST BODY. More and more about that to come in the next few weeks. However, today, I want to talk about 3 things that are sticking with me (not totally unrelated to my own happiness project, but not directly either).

I have to be honest here…..I read the first half of the book feeling so inspired and aligned with the author. I mean, she’s a work from home mother of two who writes. However, I felt like a lot of the things she tackled in the first half of the book are things that I deal with already….tasks to make myself happier that I’ve already undertaken. So, I set the book down….unintentionally…..and when I came back I was ready to address the real work that would lead me to my own happiness project. Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #8 – Spending Out”

Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project

I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book this year. I haven’t quite finished it yet and that’s why you haven’t been privileged to a Fave Reads Friday post on the book yet. But, I thought that it was time for me to define my own Happiness Project. The book has been very inspiring in many ways and made me consider many aspects of my life and ways that I have chosen to live in regards to a yoga lifestyle. Yoga has helped me in my relationships, my professional career, my parenting, and with my mental and physical health. It’s help me define who I am and what I stand for. Now, after a weekend of teaching yoga, I have the ultimate goal of my own Happiness Project….MY BODY!

Continue reading “Meditation Monday #30 – My Best Body: A Happiness Project”

Fave Reads Friday #7 – Reading List 2017

Happy Friday Everyone! I haven’t done a Fave Reads Friday post in quite some time, but it’s something I want to do more regularly in 2017. Last year I did a great job of reading a lot of books, but that left a lot of unread magazines. This year I already know I will be doing some reading for work, so I’ve planned to scale back on the book reading some and spend more time clearing out magazines and emails and sharing with you what I learn. So, here’s my Reading List for 2017: Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #7 – Reading List 2017”

One Day to Go – Looking Forward to 2017

The past two days I’ve been on a posting frenzy! Well, 2/2 that is. So, I thought I’d make a run for it with 3/3 today. I’m already aware of the fact that I WON’T be posting on Sunday. It’s New Year’s Day in this country and I’m having a party. You’re welcome to join us, but not really because I can only cook so much in my slow cooker. But come in spirit….take the day off from the online world and revel in your IRL friends (if people even still use that sort of speak).

So, I only have a brief post for you today about looking forward to 2017. Continue reading “One Day to Go – Looking Forward to 2017”

Currently December 2016

I’m back! Well, sort of. I’ve been away from my blog for a full month now. Why? By choice mostly….I’ve chosen to prioritize other things that I had going on. Also, because I’m pretty sure that I’m suffering from a little holiday depression. It’s almost the end of the year and a lot of people are looking back at their 2016 and reveling in the things they’ve accomplished. Others are looking forward to what will happen in 2017. I am in a third group…..somewhat less optimistic and trying to wrap my head around what comes next.

See, I didn’t accomplish everything I hoped to do as far as my 30 Days goals went. I even tried scaling back on numerous occasions. I tried to maintain a fitness streak through the holidays and had to abandon that due to my unwillingness to run in this cold this year. Yet, I don’t quite feel like a failure. I determined awhile back that this would be the year of self study….Svadhyaya. And I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, so check that off the list!

And the summary of it all is this….I am one girl, aged 36, on a mission to live the best life I can and to instill in my children the best confidence and values that I can while I am here. I am not perfect, nor do I aspire to be. I am a fitness professional who sometimes struggles to make exercise a priority. I am a yoga teacher who sometimes yells and loses it. I am me….I am still here….taking it one breath at a time; and I will be for some time more.

So, 2016, Thank you for your service. And as for 2017 I’ve decided this:

Each day I will arise and say not “what needs to be done today?”, but rather, “what can I do?” and then I will do what I can and be happy with the results. I will strive for a more minimalist approach to expectations, work, and things that don’t give me joy. I will stop looking around at all of the unfinished and feeling guilty, but instead look at what has been done and feel successful.

How will you live your 2017? Which are you: The kind that looks back, forward, or stuck in between?

Thank you to Amanda for allowing me a place to dump my thoughts!