June 2015 Resolution Check-In

The first half of the year is in the books! I do feel like time is flying, but thinking back to when I started this blog in January… that was kind of forever ago. Each month, when I do these reviews, I tend to get down on myself, and focus on all the things I haven’t accomplished. I want to change the tone this month, and for the rest of the year, and focus more on what I have done, like my friend allroundbetterme.

I’ve done some “big stuff” this year. I ran a half-marathon (finally!). We listed our house (and are currently under contract – fingers crossed!). I start a new job on Monday. I’ve been writing here regularly. I turned 40 (!!!). We’ve been much more mindful about our travel, taking more meaningful and less frequent trips. I even went horseback riding on the beach, which has been a dream of mine for pretty much forever.

I had a lot more motivation in June than I did in May. I ran or worked out at least five days a week, even on vacation. My mood has been pretty good, but that probably has a lot to do with giving my notice at work and spending a week at the beach 🙂 I did a decent job with eating well, but I drank more that I should have, what with pool days, my birthday, goodbye parties, vacation. We’ve also continued to spend more money than we should, but are getting more committed to pulling back there.

What I’m learning about myself is when there is a clear goal, such as “complete a race” or “find a new job,” I seem to do pretty well. It also helps that these goals are finite. What is tougher is less exact goals, like “be less anal” or “start a meditation practice.” These are things that I can’t just accomplish and check off the list. They are life changes, or even personality changes.

For the second half of the year, I do still want to:

  • Learn to do a handstand.
  • Continue to pay down debt.
  • Continue running and possibly do another half-marathon.
  • Sell our house and figure out what’s next (condo, cabin, lake house, who knows…)
  • Drink less.
  • Go to counseling with my husband.
  • Continue to write here.
  • Eat better. (Lose 10 pounds.)
  • Volunteer more.

As far as being less anal and more empathetic goes, this just hasn’t been bothering me the same way it did at the beginning of the year. Part of this is because of the changes at work. I was able to loosen up a bit, hand off some of my projects, hire some really good people, and accept that not everyone has the same standards as I do – and that’s not a bad thing at all. I’ve also been more conscious of how I deal with my husband. He and I are such different people. We have a lot to work on, but we’re so committed to each other and our marriage that I know we’ll continue to try hard.

My goals for the summer:

  • Lose 10 pounds. For real. Doesn’t matter how I do it, just matters that I do. This will be done by September.
  • Do a volunteer project. Just one. It will get the ball rolling. This will be done by September.
  • Continue my Motivation Monday posts.
  • Pay off one of our two remaining credit cards. This will be done by September.
  • Run at least three days a week. Lift weights at least two days. Continue the handstand efforts.
  • Move. If everything goes according to plan (big if, I know), we’ll have to move out of our current home in mid-August.
  • Enjoy the summer! Be outside as much as possible. Float down the river. Go hiking in the mountains. Cookout often.

Happy Independence Day weekend to all my American friends!

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May 2015 Resolution Check-in

May has been a strange month. I feel like I blinked and now it’s almost June. It hasn’t been a good month for motivation. I’ve been trying to figure out why. Looking back on the month, really nothing has been in control. Since my half-marathon last month, I haven’t been into running. Part burn out, part fatigue, part not having a goal. I haven’t been good about spending money. I’ve barely written here. And I certainly haven’t had much discipline with eating and drinking.

The month started with me getting back from Portland. Then we started condo hunting in earnest. We had our anniversary trip in the middle of the month. Then my mother got sick and I spent a lot of time caring for her and not being home. Then it was Memorial Day weekend. And then we spent the better part of a week getting our house ready to list it for sale.

I think pretty much every Monday I was like, OK, this is it, time to clean up your act, Ginny! No meat/sugar/carbs/booze/shopping/being-a-lazy-bum! It didn’t work very well. I’ve been so out of my routine and I’ve had zero willpower. And now I feel like crap, shockingly. I just want to spend the day in bed with a box of donuts and a pitcher of mimosas and be cranky.

Don’t worry, I’m not that pathetic. I do generally lean towards giving myself a break, but I’ve let my discipline get away from me and I’ve reverted back to my lazy ass ways. It’s absolutely imperative that I GET BACK ON TRACK. Like, today.

But how? How to motivate?

Resolution Progress

  • Handstand: MIXED. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve made at least a slight effort to do planks with my feet up on the sofa, so I’m putting a lot more stress on my wrists and shoulders to strengthen them.
  • Debt: MIXED. I paid off another credit card and made a big dent in another, which should be paid off in June. That will leave just one more credit card, and then we can take the personal loan. We spent a lot on our trip to Asheville, but we had that already set aside. We spent too much on going out to eat though. The good news is that we’re being more conscious about it now and haven’t been out in over a week.
  • Being anal: I’ve been thinking about this. I think I’ve been doing a better job, but it might be coming more from an I-don’t-care place than any kind of self-improvement place.
  • Half-marathon: Since this was done last month, I can check it off the list!
  • Downsize: SUCCESS. We made an offer on a couple of condos but they weren’t accepted. We’ve decided to go ahead and put our house on the market, which should be done today (!!!), and rent an apartment for awhile while the market chills out. We are going to start looking at mountain cabins too 🙂
  • Meditate: FAIL.
  • Booze: FAIL.
  • Counseling: Not currently a priority.
  • Writing: FAIL. I haven’t been writing much at all. I haven’t had much inspiration. I keep trying to find a focus for this blog but I can’t commit to just writing about one topic. I’m thinking of taking a blogging class.
  • Eating: FAIL FAIL FAIL. I have been hopeless here. I have eaten so much junk. I started the month committing to not eating meat, but that didn’t last, because then I started to do low carb, but then that didn’t last, so then I tried to make a bunch of in-between rules, but that totally didn’t work. The travel, the holiday, the being at my parents’ – none of these things were the reason, but they all contributed to me just being off my game.
  • Minimalism: See #5.
  • Empathy: SUCCESS, overall. I was a pretty good caretaker for my mother, which is not my natural way. I also sucked it up at work and did a decent job at least acting like I cared and trying really hard to understand other people’s perspectives.
  • Volunteering: FAIL. I wanted to do something this weekend, but the husband pointed out that we need to be at home in case someone wants to see the house (we have to pack up the dogs and get out of here). I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with this one, honestly. I’ve gotten so selfish with my time, I suppose 😦
  • Travel: SUCCESS. We had a fun and busy time in Asheville, and I feel like we really got our $$$ worth.
  • Job: SUCCESS. I had several (ugh) interviews for a new job. This process has been going on since the end of March. The latest is that the hiring manager wants me, but I’m “too expensive.” She’s interviewing other people so she can say she did her due diligence. I have mixed feelings. I’m still not sure it’s a job I really want, but it would really get me out of my comfort zone.

Well, if you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening to my whiny ass! Time to put on my running shoes and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

What are your motivation tricks? Are you motivated by Big Scary Goals? And have you ever taken a blogging course and can recommend a good one?

Addressing Burnout

I wanted to be sure I wrote about this today. I am officially burned out. This was a tough week mentally, as I had committed to being on a panel, discussing 2015 predictions for our industry. The fact that it was for my peers made it even more challenging, since we were speaking to people who are very knowledgeable about the topic. I am not comfortable being the center of attention, and I have little confidence in my speaking skills. My brain has a horrible tendency to completely go blank. Fun times! So I think that, coupled with the challenges I’ve given myself so far this month, is causing me to feel a little bit over all the restriction. Also, my boss gave us free tickets to a basketball game (in a “party suite,” no less) on Friday night, and it just felt really good to let loose for awhile – drinks, bad food, late night out with my husband. And we didn’t have to feel guilty about spending money because it was free!

The good news is, I hated how I felt yesterday, after drinking too much and eating so many salty things and not going to bed on time. We were supposed to run six miles yesterday, but we rescheduled that for today. So I pretty much felt crappy all day, and I know I’ll continue to feel crappy if I don’t get right back on track.

We’ll be heading out for our run shortly, and I’m going to eat well today and limit the booze to a glass of wine or two. I guess I’m just wondering how to maintain balance. If I say no to everything, I’ll become resentful and I’ll be more likely to cheat/fail/get off track/whatever I should call that. I want to be gentle with myself, to nourish myself, and to take pleasure in that. I want to think of exercising, eating well, and getting lots of sleep in the same way I think of shopping sprees, mimosas, and pizza delivery. I suppose a lot of this is just the ongoing process of growing up, maturing, living and learning. A lot of it is retraining my brain and remembering what I want the most. Delayed gratification. But then I know it’s important to also give myself a break now and then. The trick is maybe not too much of a break? Or find a non-self-destructive break?

I don’t have the answer right now, but I’m glad I’m aware of this and can start working towards a solution. I hope that owning my burnout is the right first step. Looking back, I definitely hit a wall when making changes, and I’m pretty sure this isn’t unique to me. Something to think about during my long run today 🙂

Getting Into the Details: Resolution #1

1. Do a handstand.

I have always wanted to do a cartwheel, a backbend, a handstand. My little sister was a gymnast, so these things were effortless to her. I, on the other hand, was remarkably unathletic, so after a couple of attempts as a child, I never tried again. Since I turned 30, I’ve had an on-and-off relationship with running and working out. The last year is probably the most serious I’ve taken my fitness. I trained for a half-marathon, but ended up running a 15k race instead because those last few training miles were beyond miserable. I’ve done a lot of hiking and trail running, and a  little bit of rock climbing. I’ve tried hot yoga and HIIT, but have found that I kind of enjoy using weights at the gym more than anything. Most importantly, I’ve come to realize I can actually set fitness goals for myself and achieve them.

So when enviously looking at all the yoga practioners in my Instagram feed, it came to me: I can do a handstand too! I just need to work at it. I found a straightforward guide from Chris Salvato that tackles all my fears (I’m too weak! I’ll fall over!) and offers a 28-day training program. I’ve started by adding one-minute planks to my ab days. No, I won’t have this accomplished in 28 days, because I have a lot of shoulder and wrist strength to build first. But I’m actually taking steps to do it! This is a Big Deal for me. It’s honestly barely even occurred to me, throughout my life, to set goals and then work towards reaching those goals. I know for most people it’s a No Duh kind of thing; I have no idea what took me so long. The important thing is that I’m doing it now, right?