7 Things

Another Thursday; Another Habits Post…..

A lot of my habits revolve around scheduling. This is something that I need a lot of work on. I have the bad habit of putting too much on my plate. I want the good habit of managing my time wisely. I didn’t think this through before buying my new planner, but I think it will help me take a baby step in the right direction.

I wrote before about how it only has 7 lines for each day. I’m going to try to keep with only doing 7 things each day. This means that certain things have to give. For instance…..today I put only 7 things on my schedule:

  1. Teach
  2. Sun Salutations
  3. Swim
  4. Do lunch orders for school
  5. Write a habits post
  6. Attend Fall Festival
  7. T-ball game

I am currently on #5, but had to skip #3 because I didn’t put in there – make time to catch up with students that need questions answered. I have only 50 minutes between when one class ends and when I absolutely need to leave the gym to be on time to pick my youngest up from preschool. That meant that talking to students took up 15 minutes and sun salutations almost 20 minutes and then no time to change, swim, shower, get dressed, and out the door in 15 minutes. So, it got sacrificed.

Also getting sacrificed on this Thursday….grocery shopping, balancing check books, laundry, reading, and answering emails. Tomorrow I have 13 things on my list….not including things that didn’t get finished earlier this week. Saturday and Sunday each only have 2 things and hopefully that means I can “catch up” over the weekend. But I’ve already scheduled far more than 7 things for the days ahead.

I know that my time is finite. I can’t make more appear, but I can be more efficient at what I do. I am still using the Pomodoro Technique when I do a lot of things, in order to speed me up, but I think that I really should have invested in a calendar that had time blocks so that I could map out how long things would take and be more realistic with my scheduling. Hopefully 7 things in 2018 will get me closer to my goals, but only time will tell….

What is your best trick for managing your schedule?

What are the “have to’s” of your daily life?

What do you sacrifice in a time crunch?

ps – My Word of the Day….HUMBLE (so true!)

The Home Stretch

Wait a minute…..MapMyRun, Where is my Q3 Performance Report?!

Just this last week I realized that I had never done a post at the end of September about where I’m at and what I’ve achieved so far. I mean I did the Q1 for 2017 and the Mid Year Performance Report, but I have checked all of my emails and there’s no Q3….

So, with just over 2 months to go in 2017 I thought I would give a quick update and set out the plan for the home stretch of this year.

Mileage totals as of October 25, 2017 – 333.7 (prior to today’s run) Mileage consists of runs, walks, jogs, bikes, and swims

Sun Salutation Progress – Today is the “half-way” point to 108, although I do have to modify some of the poses from time to time to accommodate sore shoulders

Lifting – I have successfully completed 3/4 lifting weeks since starting the habits project. It’s all light weight (and I will be doing a video for it in an upcoming WOW post), but it’s something that I am able to keep relatively consistent at the moment.

Swimming – I have only missed one day of swimming since I started (due to shoulder pain) and am working hard on learning to breathe to both sides.

Going forward:

  1. November will bring back 3 days/week running along with Wednesdays being specialized for speed
  2. Mileage goal by the end of the year is 500 (my most mileage ever!)
  3. Weights will remain a Tuesday thing
  4. Swimming a Thursday thing
  5. Still on track to hit 108 Sun Salutations on Thanksgiving Day

Still need to register for my spring race….although it’s been decided. Come back next week for more WOW Yoga videos. Until then:

Where are you at on your 2017 Fitness Endeavors?

Fave Reads Friday #12 – Health, Happiness, and Habits

It’s FRIDAY! Although my Friday is not going as originally planned, I’m just sticking with it and seeing what happens. I keep ticking off things on my list and that’s what’s going to get me through the day. That’s part of my work on my HABITS.

One of the things on my list today was to read through an IDEA Fitness Journal because I’ve started to accumulate a pile of them again. I grabbed the top one which happened to be October 2017 and started to flip through. Things I highlighted for today:

And, more pointedly, should we think of exercise as a weight loss drug?

The answer to the last question, according to Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is no. “Exercise is not a weight loss drug, and so long as we continue to push exercise primarily (and sadly sometimes exclusively) in the name of preventing or treating adult or childhood obesity, we’ll also continue to shortchange the public about the genuinely incredible health benefits of exercise, and simultaneously, misinform them about the realities of long-term weight management.”

~ Beyond weight loss: The many benefits of exercise by Tom Richards

SO TRUE! I am tired of hearing about exercise for weight-loss. I only want to teach people about all of the other great reasons to get up and move!

What does a 19-year-old have in common with a 60-year-old? Both achieve about the same amount of weekly activity, according to new research.

~ Lifetime Physical Activity Trends; Making News by Ryan Halvorson

I stress this so often to my students right now….we’re not thinking long term. Why are we not moving now and later? I keep kicking my kids out of the house to get more movement. I encourage my college-aged students to move around more. I am moving as much as I ever have….why? Because I don’t want to lose the ability to do that and to be independent when I’m older! It’s not just a now or then thing….it’s an always.

Perishable edibles such as dairy, vegetables and fruits are tossed at particularly high rates, leading to significant losses of underconsumed nutrients.

~Time to Eat Your Compost; Food for Thought

This is not the case at our house currently. Although we get the occasional bag of whole carrots that will go bad before we can get to them….I’ve noticed that our compost bin is containing less and less wasted foods now that we’re eating less processed foods, less animal products, and (because I have less time to make them) less baked goods.

And finally, there was an article on Why Modern Diets are Lacking (a fitness handout provided by IDEA) that noted

First of all, remember there are no superfoods, but there are staple foods high in nutrients…

Focus on getting a variety of foods…..

I’m not all about diets and weight-loss…I’m all about moving and feeling great; fueling my body; and living the best life I can. With all of that in mind, my habits are keeping me on track for this. And if you need some ideas for easy ways to make yourself happier, check out my favorite read from Amanda’s TOLT link-up this week:

How to (Quickly) Become Happier in 10 Aspects of Life

 

What’s the best thing you read this week?

The Importance of Habits for Obligers

I hope that this Thursday HABITS UPDATE will become a regular thing in my life and for the blog. It’s necessary for me to have a regular posting schedule for my writing and for myself. And currently I’m undertaking the project of improving my habits.

Today I’m also linking up with Amanda at Running With Spoons as I have been doing on and off for the last couple of years. She does this great Think Out Loud Thursday round-up that always gives me new things to read. I’ve found a lot of great new blogs to follow through there and I’ve enjoyed having some of her readers stop by and comment from time to time. It gives me fresh eyes as to what people will click on and read.

But HABITS UPDATES are going to be strictly for me. A post that I need to write each week to keep myself accountable to the changes I am trying to make….serious changes in my fitness and scheduling. Habits are important for Obligers because we have this sense of duty in life….to serve. In yoga we talk about our duty in life as our Dharma and as a yogi, a mother, a wife, a teacher, etc….I serve a lot of other people.

Rubin wrote in Better Than Before (and recently on her blog) about Obliger Rebellion…..when those of us who live to serve reach our limit. This HABITS UPDATE will also make me accountable to myself and giving myself time to do what I want to do so that I don’t reach the point of Obliger Rebellion.

So, how am I doing so far?

Well, this week I’ve been pretty good about checking off things on my to-do list. I am using my planner on the regular and committing to doing the things that I put on there. I am committed to putting things on the list that I want to do as well as things I need to do and not prioritizing needs over wants all of the time. Some of my wants are also needs.

I want to run twice a week with T; but I also need to run to keep my body in good health, clear my mind, and socialize with another adult. I want to read and write on the blog. I want to have a clean house. I want to see my kids have fun at  t-ball. These wants all make me happy and happiness is something I really need in my life.

I also thrive on schedules. I am a planner and a finisher. I love to see things ticked off my list. I’m sure my students appreciate this too because it means that I’m taking care of things they need from me and planning classes that have a purpose. I’m sure that my kids appreciate that I don’t miss their events and that I make time for play dates. I’m sure that my husband appreciates that I have scheduled a time to shop and pay bills so that our house is mostly in order and we’re not always ordering out.

Scheduling is a big thing for me to be successful in my habits….it’s the reason that I’ve already ordered my new planner and have birthdates, anniversaries, and school schedules (through spring) in their….waiting to be used. But my new planner presents a few new challenges to me.

First is that there are only 7 spaces (if I squeeze) on each day. Currently I have 10 spaces for each day and often write double items on lines. This is a habit I want to break and hope that my new planner helps me to finally start saying NO to overbooking and over obligating myself.

The second “problem” is that I have to decide if I’m continuing my Word of the Day as a “daily” thing in this planner. There’s a perfect spot for me to write a word for the week, but not enough space for daily inclusion….it would take up one of my 7 lines. So, I have to decide about this habit. I haven’t been doing it for long enough for it to be noticed as absent in the near future, but by the time I hit January I would have had quite the streak of WOD that it might feel empty without it. One way I can trade off on this is to start doing a weekly word in November….things that I will consider as it comes closer (marathoner).

The thing I’m happiest about at this point with the habits is that I haven’t chosen drastic changes that set myself up for failure. I feel confident in keeping this going and I am looking forward to updating you again next week!

How does scheduling affect your ability to keep a habit?

Feeling Like Charlotte’s Web

One of the newest posts I plan to do on the blog each week is to share my Words of the Day and what they’re meaning to me. I randomly selected them and put them on days with no real plan in mind. Yesterday’s word was FOCUS and it helped me to get a lot of work done. Mondays are the day I can do that….no running dates and only one kid at home.

Charlotte’s Web was one of my favorite books growing up and my 6yo and I have already shared the joy of reading it together once. The idea of a rat finding inspiring words in the dump has always been my favorite part. Finding inspiration where others do not. I’m a quotes collector (as you may have guessed from posts on the blog) and they help me to put into simpler words the beauty that is around me in every day life. I love to write and hope that some day I have a great quote to share and pass on to my family.

Today’s word is STRENGTHEN. I love that that word fell on one of the days in which I am doing weight training. I have 40 Sun Salutations to do today, I am teaching Pilates to one of my classes, and I will film my WOW video on non-standing strength poses for tomorrow today. But to me STRENGTHEN is about more than my physical body. It’s about the practice of keeping my habits and my connections to others. Think “strengthening the bonds“.

How do you STRENGTHEN?

I’m still collecting words for the future dates….I’d love for you to share your favorite with me in the comments below!

Meditation Monday #46 – Trying

In the Day 78 reading Gates writes about being emboldened to try new things, but knowing that someone is there if we fail….someone to lean on and support us….like our yoga teachers.

I wonder, with all of the new things I’m trying to accomplish in my life with habits, can I be there for myself if I fail? In what ways can I pick myself up again? Do I embrace myself with an unconditional heart?

This is a topic I’ve written about before.

Saturday I didn’t do my Sun Salutations. I just kept putting them off all day until the day was over. I thought about getting out of bed and doing them, but I let myself not. Sunday I picked up where I left off and now I have 1 day to “make-up”. So far, my attempt to create habits and discipline….Tapas….in my life also means that I need to discipline myself to love myself despite my stumbles.

Can you?

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!

Workout Wednesday #13 – Yoga Angles

Welcome back….it’s been awhile! Part of my new habits formation is to get into the habit of filming the WOW videos on Tuesday (in the studio….and hopefully with better sound in the future) so that I will have time on Wednesdays to post them.

This week we’re back to YOGA! And I present to you a short video on Triangle and Side Angle poses and some variations and uses of the block with the pose. Next week’s video will focus on Non-Standing Strength poses….mostly back bends to alleviate the stresses of sitting all day.

My word of the day for today is BELIEVE! I believe that you can all find at least one version of these poses that serves your purpose in practice. There are also variations of the pose seated in a chair. Enjoy your day and come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Better Than Before!

While I am a fitness professional with multiple degrees and certifications, this workout is unsolicited, un-sponsored, and not intended as advice for you to use to diagnose your own injuries, treat them, nor rehab anything; nor is it an exercise prescription that will meet your personal needs, likes, and abilities. Please check in with your healthcare professional if you’re having health problems and before starting any new exercise routine.

Distractions

Do you use distractions properly? In her book, Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin suggests that distractions are a great strategy for staying on track with habit formation and maintenance. Wow! Was I educated in this section….

Things that distract me from finishing a task:

  • Kids
  • Friends
  • News
  • Internet
  • TV
  • Books
  • Other unfinished tasks
  • Work
  • Boredom
  • Family
  • Kids
  • Kids
  • Kids

But these are distractions and not a distraction strategy. A distraction strategy is meant to keep you from doing bad habits. Rubin gives herself a 15 minute rule….do something else for 15 minutes and usually that’s enough to forget what it was that was going to reinforce a bad habit.

Another distraction technique that she applies is to chew on stirring sticks instead of putting other things in her mouth (food, gum, coffee). I am not sure if I use distraction techniques at all. I’m definitely a fan of the Pomodoro Technique and I use it as often as I can, but I’m pretty sure that if something is a distraction….it’s a distraction from my good habits.

What are your distractions? Do they help or harm?

Word of the Day for Friday: LOVE!

And because it’s being posted on Saturday (see here) – Word of the Day for Saturday: KISS!