It is warm out here…..I mean really warm for February! Yesterday, at the track, it was almost 70F! I think that a mild winter has helped me to be more on top of my training than I ever have before. However, I’ve also being trying to be mindful in my consistency and that means that I skipped a total of 8 days of exercise last month. I am now 5 days behind on my training plan that was revamped to include all of the workouts I had skipped last fall. REALLY, I’m still doing workouts from the beginning of January, so you choose…..5 days or 5 weeks behind, I’m still behind! Continue reading “Training Plan Tuesday #13 – February 2020”
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned giving up soda and how that’s not a choice made in regards to dieting or trying to restrict myself. Today I want to talk a little about weight and aging. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #14 – Weighing In”
Welcome to a new year! For a lot of people this means New Year’s Resolutions and I’ve written about them plenty of times. For me, this year, I am setting the goal of Consistency. It’s something I’ve been working on for awhile now and hope to really nail this 2020. Continue reading “Training Plan Tuesday #12 – Starting 2020”
I haven’t written on the blog since October 20, 2018, but that doesn’t mean that I have lost my love for writing or my intention to keep this going. With each new year I learn a little more about myself and I learned A LOT last year. This year will be different (as each one also is) and I decided to wait until today to write. I am not making resolutions this year or setting outright goals. I am trying to be as “yogic” as I can and kind of just let life be. If anything, I am hoping to be more well-rounded this year. I hope to find more time for everything that I want to do and to stop doing the things that I don’t. So, while I still had 19 minutes until my planned run for the day….I wrote to you.
And, in usual OGB fashion, I will leave you with a question:
What will 2019 be for you?
I received this in an email from MapMyRun the other day:
Apparently, in the last few years that I’ve been “tracking” my workouts (although not all of them) I’ve now achieved 1000 workouts. I think that I probably “workout” about 1000 times/year between teaching and other things. I don’t always count those things, but I’m trying to get better (this year) about actually marking down what I do and scheduling time to do it. I’ve even considered buying a fitness tracker, but mostly I still think that I get by just fine with my Timex.
This email came at an important time for me. I’m still trying to get back into a consistent routine of training again after the holidays. The semester has started back and the weather is getting better. I’m back doing sun salutations now that my leg is healed. And, just this last week, my oldest turned 7!
It all put me in the mood to make some resolutions…..but only some vaguely simple ones:
- Do the 10K in March that I’ve been planning to do for months…even though I’m not signed up and I haven’t done that many consistent runs in the last two months.
- Have a girls’ night out on every odd month this year to keep my sanity and attempt to get out of the house now and then.
- Keep up the pedicures.
- Do the 15K in September that I didn’t get to do a few years ago.
- Complete the 2018 MapMyRun Challenge for the first time EVER!
- Keep journaling.
- Don’t give up on myself.
This is close to the time of year when everyone gives up on their resolutions, so it’s only fitting, with as backward as I am sometimes, that I’m just now setting mine.
What about you?
Another New Start?
I’ve written almost every January 2 since I started this blog 4 years ago on this same day. Usually my first post of the year is all about resolutions and starting over etc. This year is different….it’s about continuing my progress of self-discovery and journey of wellness.
I’ve chosen, this year, to work with a tool that I use for my students called the Wellness Inventory. While I can’t say that this is the right tool for everyone, it’s the one at my disposal and I plan to use it to its fullest this year.
Last year, in prep for teaching with the WI, I took a Wellness Assessment. I didn’t think to keep those results and now can’t seem to find them. I barely used the WI and all of the resources available and just skimmed over everything. Because of this, I don’t think I got the best experience I possibly could have had in learning all that there is to know. I’m sure many of my students did the same thing…….
But, I decided that 2018 will be my Year of Wellness, so today (while my kids are at school) I sat down and re-evaluated where I am at. I have chosen a simple plan for this year…..work the program for all 12 months taking it a little at a time. This will benefit me as a person and as an instructor. I have the time and I want to learn. Plus, life is ticking by and there’s no better time than the present to make sure your wellness (basically your whole self) is aligned.
The Results Are In…..
So, I’m only going to give the highlights here as I’m sure I’ll spend much more time on the results in the future. Basically you answer several questions for each of the 12 dimensions of wellness and within those answers you choose how well the statement reflects who you are at this moment as well as your current motivation to change. At the end you are given a total wellness score (mine was 62.2%) as well as a ranking of your greatest to least areas of wellness:
- Greatest was a tie: Self Responsibility/Love, Moving, Intimacy, and Finding Meaning all hit 69%
- Lowest was also a tie: Feeling and Playing/Working at 47%
and finally a ranking of your motivation to change:
- My greatest was Playing/Working
- My least was Eating
The First Step
So, that brings me to the first steps…..I will be working this month on the Playing/Working dimension. It’s an element of life balance that I have always struggled with and a great place for me to start. As I go through the WI I’ll post about what I learn and my progress. I’m scheduling time to do WI work for myself each week (part of my habits in my new calendar) and I’ve chosen the word BALANCE as my first word of the year; to remind myself of the need for both in my life.
My hope is that by the end of 2018 I have a greater understanding of my own personal wellness. By the end of January I hope to find greater contentment in my Work/Play life. I look forward to sharing those results then and the journey along the way with you!
Will you join us?
Take the assessment and share your results. What’s your greatest dimension of wellness? Your greatest motivation to improve? Link to your posts on the topic in the comments section below.
Here’s to a Year of Wellness for us all!
This year, like many of them past, has been a challenge of self-study.
In yoga we call this Svadhyaya and I’ve written about it more times than I can count.
In the past I’ve focused on certain areas of study….yoga, fitness, eating, habits, happiness, etc. and it’s all brought me closer to enlightenment about myself.
It has been great doing this study of the self and it continues to help me grow as a yoga teacher, a college professor, a fitness professional, a mom, and as a human being.
In pursuing a deeper understanding of ourselves we become the best version of ourselves because we’re freed from thoughts of who we should be and, instead, find ourselves resting in who we are.
I like living in this place of who I am….of being me.
In 2018 the blog is going to change direction slightly, as it does from time to time.
I’ve chosen to make 2018 a Wellness Journey and I’m inviting you along.
My students do this wellness journey each semester and cover 12 dimensions of wellness. I’m expanding mine to journey over the course of 2018….one dimension a month.
Instead of committing to a schedule of posting, it will be more free form as it was in the beginning. That doesn’t mean that there won’t still be Meditation Monday posts that pop up from time to time, Fave Reads Fridays, and Workout Wednesday. It’ll all be here.
I write this blog so that people know two things:
- There is good and reliable information out there from reputable sources on fitness, wellness, eating, etc. I am one of those people. I am certified and have a Master’s degree. I am not here to lead you astray.
- It’s not easy for any of us. This is the area I wish to stress the most through my blog. I may have years and years and years of experience with fitness, sport, etc, but it’s never easy to stick with it. It’s not easy to eat well all of the time. It’s not easy to be yogi zen all of the time. Life is hard for us all, but in that sense I hope to build a community with you.
And that’s my last sentiment for you in 2017. This blog is a place of community for you to come, learn about yoga, learn about books and food and exercises, learn about yourself. But, it’s also a place for you to share with me, to share with us (your fellow readers) your experience.
In 2018 I hope that I receive more comments on the material I post. It’s here for you, it’s here for me, it’s here for us all. I want to write more about what you want to read about, but I need your input. I want you as part of my community and part of my wellness journey.
My journey officially kicks off January 2….enjoy your holidays and I’ll see you back here then.
Thanks to Amanda and her Spoons Community for sharing this TOLT space!
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!
Apparently I didn’t push “Publish” on this post yesterday, so here it is today. What I just sat down to write today will get schedule as a post for tomorrow. Back to regular “almost daily” posting on Monday.
In the latest section of Rubin’s Better Than Before book she talks about a strategy for improving good habits called “If; Then”. We use this same language in yoga, but in a much different way. In yoga we say that IF you feel a certain way in a pose; THEN adjust this way. Rubin’s suggestion is more along the lines of a planned strategy to avoid “failing” at your good habits. So, IF I can’t go outside to run today; THEN I will do a HITT workout instead.
Rubin also talks in this section about planned exceptions to the rule that don’t really break the rule. So, on Tuesday I did my first “weight training” day in a long time. And therefore, I chose (in advance) not to do sun salutations that day. Partly because I wasn’t sure how weight training was going to go and partly because I’m trying to stop putting things on my schedule when I fill each line. There’s no need for two things per line! (or so I’m currently telling myself….it’s not going so well) And partly because I’m not trying to streak with sun salutations, but rather slowly build the habit of doing them until I can complete my goal of 108 consecutive sun salutations. This didn’t make me feel guilty about skipping a day of sun salutations and then, yesterday I did them again right after my run.
Planned exceptions are not the same as spur of the moment exceptions. For example….yesterday I didn’t read in Rubin’s book nor post. This made me feel guilty and behind today. Today I have other things to do, like writing a different post on the material I was supposed to read on Wednesday. I really wish those two items were checked off in my calendar or that I had not put them on there anyway. But…..I started to rationalize this to myself using what Rubin calls a Loophole Excuse.
My word of the day for Wednesday was ENJOY! I spent the day trying to enjoy each thing I did…..including grocery shopping with a 4 year old! I tried to enjoy my run and our playdate at the park, bill paying, and eating. Then it was time to have an afternoon playdate and I enjoyed that too……so much so that I left myself without time to read and write. I was embracing my word of the day….that’s what I told myself…..but really I was making a spur of the moment loophole excuse to ditch something else that also gives me joy. Doing this also made me feel guilty the next day and not as “THANKFUL” (the WOD for Thursday) as I should have been.
Today I am thankful that I have another chance to check off my list. It’s not a fail nor a fall….just a stumble. IF I cannot complete my checklist one day; THEN I will try to pick up the slack the next day. IF I cannot “catch up” on my checklist; THEN I will make peace with what was left undone and move forward from there.One thing that was very painful to read was about Obligers and their ability to come up with loopholes….especially when the habit has no accountability to others. Yep, I’m an Obliger through and through! But, that doesn’t give me permission to use it as an excuse. Rubin comes up with 10 different loopholes that people create and a great deal of them are the excuses for why I haven’t yet applied for the full-time job posting that’s up right now……
How do you feel about unfinished work?
What excuses do you make?
How do those excuses make you feel?
Do you have “IF; THEN” strategies?
Thank you to Amanda for a place to share ideas!
It’s Monday! I say that with enthusiasm and vigor and overall happiness today. I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before and it’s making a huge impact on the way that I approach things. This is something she calls the Lightning Bolt effect….when something just happens out of the blue because of something you read/watched/heard/saw or even just because you make a decision that you don’t normally make. It’s kind of like when I watched What the Health?….it wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it prompted me to change….right then (more on that progress later.
In the section I read over the weekend Rubin describes strategies for when to begin a new habit….much like New Year’s Resolutions. The time to act is now. How often should you do it? Regularly enough for it to stick. And a third factor (for me especially) is to find someway to be accountable/track/monitor your progress.
Some people have the approach to new habits called the Clean Slate approach. They wait for a significant event/day to get started like the beginning of the month, their birthday, or the start of the new year. I have tried all of those approaches and fall into what she describes as a “tomorrow” effect. It’s easy to say I will start tomorrow and then…..I don’t. I put it off or I make excuses or I give myself free passes to change what I had committed to. For me, the time is now. I did this with buying my new planner (which I cannot wait to use….whole other post). Instead of my usual wavering and procrastinating, I did it when I found one I liked. I didn’t worry about finding a better one; I bought it and now I have it and I don’t regret my decision.
I needed to use the Do It Now approach this weekend also. In my NETA PT workshop at Wingate University I was talking to the students about the goal of doing 108 sun salutations. When I left the workshop that day and started reading Better Than Before I thought to myself:
When can I start doing them?
The answer was NOW. So I got up and I did 10 sun salutations. They were hard to do because I was wearing shoes, in my hotel room, very stiff from standing all day, and had no mat to grip my hands. But I did them. Then I wrote them on my calendar for next Saturday. After further consideration (on Sunday) I decided to take the step to make the habit more regular. What would happen if I wrote sun salutations on every day of my calendar? I ended up choosing almost every day (because there were days where there were no lines left to write anything) and it made me feel satisfied.
The danger to this approach is that it’s what Rubin refers to as a Blast Start. Blast starts are great for some people, but at the end of their self-imposed “streak” they sometimes are giving themselves permission to quit what they’ve decided to do. This leads to a lapse effect. It’s always harder to come back to something the second time around. Why? I don’t know the exact answer, but I think it has something to do with the novelty of the experience being worn off. I feel like this has happened to me a little with running at the moment. I put on my calendar for this next weekend to pick my new race. That always perks me back up!
And that’s the third and most important component for me…..accountability. I’m not great at being accountable to myself. I think that’s the habit I want to change the most. My follow through. So, here’s what I’m doing to be more accountable about things:
- Writing it down in the planner
- Checking it off and doing each thing NOW instead of looking for “The Best Time” to do it
- Tracking all of my exercise in MapMyRun (even Sun Salutations)
- Telling you and everyone I can about what I’m going to do (I find it hard to disappoint others even if they’re not invested)
- Being ME
The last one means that I’m only committing to do the things that I know will make me happy. My word for today is SMILE and each time I look in my planner and read it, it makes me smile. It’s a reinforcement of how I want to be and who I truly am.
How do you go about starting a new project or habit?
Which strategies are most successful for you?
What is your longest streak on something?