January 23, 2013

Resolution Support Week 4: Do Less


Making lifestyle changes can be kinda exhausting, right?

Shifting priorities and putting more focus on new goals means you will be summoning up MORE willpower, MORE time, MORE resources, MORE planning, MORE mindf--cking, MORE successes to celebrate, and MORE horses to climb back up on after you fall, even if you're really sore and depressed and pissed off and you'd much rather sulk and swear.

Ouch.

So where does all that "MORE" come from?

Sometimes creative thinking can result in new efficiencies, or you can multitask, or drop some timesuck that you weren't that excited about anyway. When that happens easily, yippeee!

But often, the MORE required of a new healthy habit change results in a LESS somewhere else.

And unless you picked a stupid-ass goal on a whim that doesn't make sense for your life, you're going to have to come to terms with the costs of slacking off somewhere else.

One popular method of dealing with this dilemma:  beat yourself up all that time. Assume that this extra time and energy should magically appear from nowhere, and if things start to slide elsewhere, tell yourself it's because you are an inefficient timefrittering first class f--ckup.

This is a very popular approach and one you may already be employing.  Er, how's that working for you?

On the Lookout for Less

A sad and scary fact that many of us are in denial about: there will always be more stuff we "should" do and "want" to do than we have time or energy for.

There is no "getting it all done" until you're dead. If you're curious and open and paying attention, the world will keep serving up fun diversions, worthy causes, creative challenges, self-care needs, important personal relationships to nurture, and exciting long term dreams to chase until there is more on your plate than you can possibly devour. Being "behind" isn't a temporary problem: it's life.

Two bits of advice:

1. Be twice as vigilant about Declining or Getting Rid of Obligations and projects as you are about Accepting New Challenges. For many, saying no to others or to ourselves is hard and takes practice.

2. Find and cultivate a place in your brain that can be happy in the moment just Being, regardless of where you might be in the arena of Accomplishing. This is not easy! If it were, we wouldn't need all 9 million self-help books, several hundred thousand self improvement websites, or most major religions.

So notice how I'm taking my own advice here and Doing Less and making this a short post? Yay me!

Those of you who are doing the support group/giveaway know the drill, and I am love love loving all the great comments!!!  Please let us know how you're doing on your goal, or any thoughts you have on doing less, and leave at least one additional supportive comment replying to someone else.

Others of you who are curious can still play; start with the resolution support post and then the next find the joy in your resolution post and then last week's resolution FAIL post and check it all out.

Note: There are apparently some evil comment problems on the blog and some of you can't get in. Acck, sorry!  And I have no idea how to fix it.  But if you're on Facebook and want to comment over there, that's good too, especially since hardly anyone chats over there and it could be fun to perk that up a bit and it might even give me more incentive to put additional stuff up.  (FYI, due to FB being sinister, to get all the Cranky Fitness posts, you now need to hover your mouse over where it says "LIKED" and click on "Add to Interests Lists.")  But next time I do something like this again, I'll try to think ahead on the comment problem.  Again, sorry, that must be frustrating!

Next Wednesday the 30th will be the last resolution support group, unless there is some unanticipated and unlikely desire for an ongoing interactive goal-support post with no giveaway aspect. In which case, heck, I'm game if enough other people are.

And then in early Feb I'll choose the winner of the free 4 session life and wellness coaching package!  Plus, anyone who hung in there and participated all the way through or made a sincere effort to catch up is eligible for a 50% discount off of regular life coaching rates rather than just the 25% Cranky Fitness discount, should this be anything you are interested in. Life coaching may not be as exciting a prize as a shiny new water bottle or colorful gold-plated earbuds, but on the other hand, you can't forget your coaching on the treadmill at the gym and have someone else walk off with it, right?

So, How's It Going With Your Goals?  And/Or What Do You Think About Doing Less?

Catnap photo: Ludie Cochrane
Horse fall: People Falling Off Horses

105 comments:

  1. Doing less is brilliant advice, Crabby. It's all part of learning to say no, and that's something everyone should learn.

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    1. Agreed Leah! Easier said than done, alas... :)

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    2. I'm pretty good at saying no to others; not to myself. Why shouldn't I Do All the Things? Surely a mere 24 hours can't constrain me!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. Still trying to figure out the cloning thing. Although I'm pret sure my clone would also overcommit.

      essbee

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  2. Not my best week! It's cold and instead of even trying to enjoy that I'm dreaming of being on a beach!!! But, after reading your post today - I'm not going to beat myself up!!! I'll just keep on trying to enjoy all the moments (that aren't so cold!).

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    1. Excellent idea Kim!

      And ironically, the pressure to emotionally optimize and enjoy every moment can cause guilt on it's own! All ya can do is laugh and let it go I guess. Good for you for not wasting time beating yourself up!

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    2. oh ... i do that too. and then feel silly..! :)

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  3. I just want to say thank you for that kitten photo at the top of your post...it made my day! :)

    I tend to do that beating myself up thing, where I accuse myself of poor time management skills and being lazy, but I am trying to stop that. I do my best most of the time, and once in a while I deserve to goof off. Beating up on myself doesn't accomplish anything.

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    1. But javachick, you have the BEST cat photos over at your blog!

      "Doing your best" is all you can do, but damn if we don't seem to want to castigate ourselves anyway. Great that you're trying to retrain that immpusle.

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  4. Doing less - a very untypical thing for us to do! Everyone seems to be caught up in this cult of busy-ness, OH I AM SO BUSY! When really we sometimes focus our efforts on things that don't really need to be focused on.

    (I choose to believe those dust bunnies under the couch are one of those things HA HA HA.)

    I had some enforced "do nothing" time over the weekend, as I tried to nurse myself out of the cold I managed to catch. I didn't leave the house at all Saturday or Sunday, and quite frankly was hardly even vertical. But it really needed to be done, because I don't have time to be sick! It was kind of weird to look back on the weekend and realize how little I had accomplished.

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    1. I had exactly the same thing last week - it's impossible to just relax and enjoy doing nothing when it's forced upon you by illness isn't it? #8-(

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    2. Being sick, in my opinion, wipes nearly EVERYTHING off the "to do" list except get better. Knock wood--I'm lucky and haven't been sick in years except a 16 hour bout with food poisoning--but when I am, all bets are off. Kind of hard to enjoy barfing or a pounding headache or other physical ailments!

      Seriously, with this flu going around I AM gonna go off and knock on wood now...

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    3. sitting on my couch with the cold right now! and i love it! sure, im sick... but i get to stay home and pamper myself! thats something i really need right now.
      a friendly cough from berlin, puja

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    4. Y'know, you who take the time to rest when you are sick deserve special credit! Just think how much less we'd all get sick if we all kept our little germs at home for a few days. That may not show up on a whole lot of resolution lists, but it should. Way to go!

      Death Ride Grandma
      (whose resolution should maybe be to organize an id & drop the anonymous label. Some day.)

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    5. Death Ride Grandma, I've never set up an ID either, I just choose the Name/URL option. I suppose other people could post as me, but I don't think this is the kind of community where people do that sort of thing...

      Of course, now I've pointed out the possibility I could be proven wrong!

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    6. Who would ever be so sneaky as to post as someone else?

      Heh heh heh... :)

      (Sorry couldn't resist!)

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    7. Touche Shadowduck! (Which looks funny without the accent but I don't know how to make one).

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    8. "When really we sometimes focus our efforts on things that don't really need to be focused on"

      Amen to that. There are times that I think about all the things I need to do, and instead of choosing one and making progress in something, I settle down with a video slot machine or cruise the web and get nothing done. But hitting "click" feels like I'm doing something, so part of me is fooled.

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  5. I've never been one to "do less" of anything until now. This is the hardest lesson I've never learned. Ha! One thing is for sure, if you don't find a way to slow yourself down, your body will turn on you at some point. Take my word for it.

    By the way, I don't know if you do awards, but I love you so much <3, I've nominated you for the 2012 Blog Of The Year Award.

    http://thegirlinyogapants.com/2012-blog-of-the-year-award/

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH Girl in Yoga Pants, that's really kind of you!!!

      And that's awesome that you're figuring out the "do less" thing, and good point about the body rebelling. Because you're right, it will!

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    2. I spent most of my twenties learning that the body will rebel, especially if you have serious health issues.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  6. Generally speaking, my timesuck radar is fairly well tuned in and I'm not bad at avoiding things that look like they're going to tie me in to hours/days/weeks of commitment. However, it does fail me on occasion and I find that the thing I do less of to compensate is ... sleep. Early morning, while everyone else is still asleep, tends to be the most guilt-free "me time" I get, but it's something I can only manage for so long before there's either a reshuffling of activities or the "early morning" thing gets dropped from the routine entirely. I suppose it's not a bad way of trying something out in the short term.

    More or less back on track with the resolution this week... Still spending too much time at the PC, but the trend's in the right direction!

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    1. So great that the resolution is trending in the right direction Shadowduck, especially after being sick.

      And I love the early morning "Me" time too, as well as sleep. Lack of sleep for me sabotages nearly every other aspect of life so I tend to go to bed insanely early. I realize that's not necessarily a practical option for a busy parent!

      Hope you can figure out some way of getting a little of that precious morning time back in your life again. Perhaps cutting down on the web surfing the way you have will free some chore time up, which can then lead to feeling free to seize your mornings again? Good luck!

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  7. I have a friend that advertised on Craigslist for a teenager to act as husband/housekeeper. She has a young man that comes over on Sundays and does whatever chores she asks of him. He does minor repairs and laundry and cleaning and snow shoveling and helped with a party she was having. He is like a son to her without any complaining!

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    1. Wow, what a great solution Cindy! "Rent-a-dutiful-son" has real potential to free up time, especially for some of us who forgot to have kids. And to get one who isn't sulky or surly--bonus!!!

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    2. in the good days i used to have a charming cleaning-man. he also helped me decorate my new home. i just loved curtainshopping or looking for cushions with him! i intend to get my financial s**t together to be able to pay him again and save energy by delegating housework. its kinda embarrassing to admit this, but for me it works..

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    3. We indulge in a housekeeper a few times a year, and sometimes hiring out the chores feels like the best solution ever! I mean, if financially it's possible, it's a great way to get rid of the "shoulds" and just get things done.

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    4. I wish I would just hire a housecleaner once a year to do a deep clean and start off with EVERYTHING in order...it sounds so nice to have it all done at once!

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  8. OK, whoops, so I ran off to they gym without posting my own progress report!

    Thanks to this group--seriously because I almost NEVER keep resolutions this long--I have done a self-hypnosis session every day this year.

    The best part? I have been sleeping WAY better since I started targeting the insomnia. With hot flashes I still wake up many times a night, but I generally fall right back to sleep instead of staring at the ceiling for hours.

    On the allergies, it's still too early to tell; I THINK they're better but I never took a proper baseline and wasn't very observant about when/where/how bad. But my impression is I'm blowing my nose quite a bit less often, (TMI?) and not having nearly the problem with post-nasal drip choking me and waking up at night. (Which also helps with the sleeping!)

    Thanks you guys for dropping by these posts and giving me incentive to stay on track!!

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    1. Thank you for your experimental endeavor!
      On the allergy front, could you start counting used tissues and make a graph?

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    2. OK, Mary Anne wins with this comment, LOL!

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    3. Have you heard the thing about wearing amber sunglasses from 9 pm until you go to bed? I just read that. It's supposed to block out blue light and help you naturally produce more melatonin so your sleep comes more quickly and is more refreshing. I just read about that and keep meaning to try it. Once again, it's after 9:00 and I left my amber sunglasses (which I already had) in the car. I hope it works, because I love a solution that requires no chemicals or work of any kind on my part.

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    4. I work in a photolithography room under yellow / amber light for twelve hours at a time - maybe this explains why I fall asleep standing up sometimes? #8-D

      Seriously though, one weird effect is that I start sneezing as soon as I walk into the "yellow room". Every single time. I've heard of the photic sneeze reflex but that's supposed to be bright white light, not soft yellow!

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    5. OMG, a used kleenex graph, what an inspired idea! Perhaps I could weigh them too and collect data on... on never mind. Eww.

      I have indeed heard of the amber sunglasses, and should follow through and try some, as I already have convinced the poor lobster that I'm a total crackpot who will try anything! I am using "flux", a program that ambers-up my computer monitor after dark and sleep with a mask on, but sunglasses in the evening? Why not!

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    6. Nice! Congratulations on sticking to your goal. I love that you are sleeping better. Perimenopause is not my friend. I don't like the not sleeping thing, the sweating thing and the hot flashing thing. I will have to learn more about the self-hypnosis! Kimberley

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  9. after 3 weeks of doing small experiments (successful apart from the "waking up early" week) i want to take february to experiment with sticking to my totally doable eating and training routine. i realise that i need consistency to get the results i want. i will also stop weighing in every day. concentrate more on what to do on a daily basis.

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    1. Make sure, Furchtloserbach, that it is a totally doable eating and training routine. Sometimes i think something "should" be doable, but it isn't.

      Once you are sure, then go for it!

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    2. That's great that most of your january experiments went well Puja! And consistency in eating and training sounds like a great goal for February. It's hard at first to build those healthy habits but aiming for consistency and sticking with the "doable" rather than the "fantasy" goals is a great way to tackle it!

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  10. Well, i wish i could say i've done my deep breathing meditation every day, but it's been most days, so that has to be enough for now.

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    1. "Most" is a great step forward!

      Does that feel good enough as a goal? It's way more than most people do and is totally awesome. But if you deep down feel like you'd be happier with even more consistency, is there anything you can think of that might make a daily practice more likely? Sometimes it helps to look at what's getting in your way and see if there are sneaky ways around it.

      Good luck messymimi and congrats on progress so far!

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  11. I'm still basking in the glow of getting the pantry shelves hung, and rearranging kitchen storage somewhat, but I have emptied two more boxes of books and made a little more space in the office, and upstairs. There are still too many boxes upstairs to move things around and start putting up shelves there, but it's closer. Also, more daylight, which is none of my doing but makes many things easier.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Holy wow, Mary Anne! Sounds like good progress to me.

      I like the increased daylight, too...even if I can't give you (or myself) credit for it. :)

      essbee

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    2. Wait, you're not responsible for the increasing daylight Mary Anne? Dang, I thought it was you and I was gonna ask for more! :)

      I'm really impressed that you've been doing so great on getting your new place set up. Such a daunting task with your schedule, and yet you've been consistently making the time and getting it done bit by bit. So awesome!

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    3. If daylight were my responsibility we'd all have plenty, in just the right part of the spectrum, in both hemispheres at once!

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  12. I've been doing great. Except that I don't sleep a lot, and last night I was up at 3:30, playing WWF with a friend in Australia...that has come back to bite me all day today.

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    1. Too funny about the addictive nature of WWF! I've avoided it so far but the Lobster is totally obsessed.

      But so cool that you've been doing so well on your goals even without sleep!

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  13. I think, hope, my early interval training is starting to work. Should know more tomorrow. Meanwhile, I am telling myself how much I really, really want to get in a little run before dinner. Yeah, really?

    Death Ride Grandma

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    1. What happens tomorrow that will give you a good sense of whether the intervals have been helpful or not? I've just started (about two weeks ago) half marathon training using intervals, too. Good luck with your training or event tomorrow!

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    2. Hi Dani - well, they will feel more manageable, and maybe I will be able to hang on for an extra minute or two. They are moderate intensity & have been going from 5 minutes up to about 12 now. By Death Ride time they need to be closer to 30 at the same power.

      DRG

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    3. I really just love your "name" - Death Ride Grandma is giving me some really crazy images!!!
      Hope the interval training shows improvement!!!

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    4. Holy Crap, DRG! THIRTY MINUTE moderately-intense intervals? That is indeed an ambitious goal but sounds like you are steadily building up to it. Yikes, am in total admiration of your awesomeness.

      (And I love the name too! And as shadowduck says, you can try using Name/Url to comment rather than bother with a blogger id; you don't actually need to add an Url to use that option last time I checked).

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  14. Happy in the moment - I work on that each day! :) I am pretty good at the NO! ;)

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    1. Hi Jody - I would love to know your secrets to saying no. I can do it at home, but at work I just can't do it and then I end up overburdened. I guess I need to work on people pleasing!
      Spaz

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    2. Good for you Jody on the "no" thing!

      And yeah, Spaz, it can be a really tough one at work. Does anyone at your job ever manage to limit what gets dumped on them, and if so is there anything you could find useful from that?

      It can be hard to separate out what the "necessary to stay employed" aspect is versus the "people pleaser" part. But if you catch yourself doing too much of the pleasing, it can be helpful to experiment with small, lower stakes experiments at saying "sorry, I just can't!" and see what happens. Even mental experiments where you IMAGINE saying no and feeling ok with not pleasing someone for a moment or two can help take the horror out of the scenario.

      Lots more to say on this as it's a huge subject and I can prattle on forever, but it's cool that you've identified this as an issue that could possibly free up more time and space in your life, even if it's scary to contemplate. It's something a lot of conscientious folks struggle with!

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    3. Crabby, I appreciate everything you said. Whats funny is as I was reading it, I was creating excuses in my head on why I have to say yes! I think i am going to print out your words and stick them at my computer at work so I can try and do it at work. Thanks!
      Spaz

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    4. Awesome Spaz! Even tiny steps taken in your own head, with consistency, can start to rewire the old "must please OR ELSE!" circuits. I sense you're ready to start doing something different if you can find small approachable ways to ease in!

      Sort of trite, but if you don't take care of your own needs (and sanity) who else will? Aren't you as deserving of consideration as anyone else you're trying to please? But yeah, it's a process but often those who are most intimidated by it at the beginning end up feeling the most liberated (and become even more authentic and likeable. Because the instinct to be kind won't go away with the ability to know and honor your own limits).

      Good luck, hope you decide to tackle at least a "thought experiment" or two!

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  15. One of the things I'm doing to scale back is massive unsubscribing (not to you, Cranky). Most of the mailing lists I'm on go to my secondary email account, but I realized I'm still spending time weeding out the stuff that either doesn't interest me or unnecessarily tempts me. If I really need something, I know how to find it, so I probably don't need to look at an ad for things I didn’t know I needed.

    Otherwise, I am starting my sixth cold since October. I have never been this repeatedly sick. I am taking vitamins, washing hands and surfaces, changing my toothbrush frequently, and whatever else I can think of. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

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    1. Sorry, Crabby. I called you Cranky. Don't get Crabby. ;-)

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    2. I have a friend whose online persona is Cranky, so i didn't even notice your error until you pointed it out! Crabby/Cranky...these are my people.

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    3. I get called Cranky just as often as Crabby, no worries!

      And that sucks Dani about the colds! Sounds like you're being pretty careful about the exposure part, and that's not helping, so it might be worth figuring out how to build your immune system up more.

      Hard to do if you're already eating healthy and exercising (but not to extremes, 'cause that can dampen) and getting enough sleep. Those are first places to look. But I think there are particular foods that are good for the immune system, omega 3's and antioxidants in particular, and maybe probiotics as well, but google may be a help on this.

      Hope you're soon done being sick for the year!

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  16. So far, only one complete miss since 12/31 on my brush/floss/mouthwash evening routine. Two partial misses, too, but that's a really good record for me. Second best ever, I think.

    I need to start thinking about what I will commit to in February. It's a short month, so maybe I should do something hard. Conversely, it's only the second month and I'll be trying to maintain my January habit, so perhaps I should continue with something easy...

    Aside: Anybody else noticing bleed? Being "good" about my official goal seems to be making me better about my unofficial goals...but I'm giving myself permission to slack on the other things occasionally as long as I stick to the one. Unintended consequence.

    essbee

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    1. Yes! I feel like achieving one thing gets me in the positive mindset, and then other things are possible. There's definitely some sort of synergy going on there.

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    2. Wow essbee, great job on the January goals, and I'll be very curious what you pick for February!!

      And interesting about the "bleed!" Cause yeah, it does seem like all kinds of unofficial 2013 goals are doing well too! Alas for me, it's "new" stuff I'm doing well on, and the Do Less part is coming from older ongoing goals that are starting to fall a little to the wayside. But hell, I'll take my own advice and not give myself a hard time and figure when the focus really NEEDS to shift back to older goals, it will.

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    3. Great job! I just tried something new today with my teeth. Oil pulling with coconut oil. Ever heard of it? It was different! Kimberley

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    4. "Oil pulling with coconut oil" ?? Have NOT heard of it Kimberly! (Sounds vaguely dirty if undertaken by a guy).

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    5. i heard, the oil changes its color after beeing pulled.... gross!!!! i really am into healthy sh!t but this..... never! :)

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  17. I again love this post. I guess my one thing that i have tried to do is re-focus my exercise time. I am usually an early morning exerciser, but i don't always sleep well. i had been forcing myself to get up and work out in the morning anyway. i workout at home so its not like time of day is a factor. So I decided to give myself permission to sleep in on days I don't sleep well and then workout in the evening. It has worked out so far - i haven't felt like I'm dragging all day and I actually worked out in the evening. Now it if would get above 5 degree's I'd be happy!
    Spaz

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    1. Hey Spaz, that's so cool that you figured out what works best for your body and your schedule! I'm going to try to experiment with exercising later today instead of in the morning, but I fear I just won't be up for it. You're a great inspiration!

      And in case you might miss it, there's a response back upthread about the whole people pleasing thing. Sorry to be coming in late, it's one of those "do less" things! :)

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    2. Ooh, I would love to know your secret to actually doing evening workouts.

      Congrats on your exercise epiphany!

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    3. Death Ride GrandmaJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      One of the ways I get evening workouts done is to be sure they are done before I get home. Once I get home it is sooo easy to find stuff that just has to be done - then it's too late. A variation: if I need to get a workout done, I have to get dressed for it & start it. I give myself permission to stop after 10 minutes if it really doesn't feel good. I've been using that system for about 10 years now & have yet to quit at 10 minutes. I mean, once you're there, you might as well get it done, right?
      DRG

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    4. I'll have to start thinking about logistics for doing that once the weather warms up enough to train outside again. I prefer mornings, but there's just not enough daylight before I have to leave for work.

      I love the 10-minute rule! It always works like a charm. :)

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    5. DRG, ( love your name btw...!) i do it the same way and it works well for me. also its cool to just throw in a couple of movements while doing other stuff during the day.
      training in the morning still makes me ill, so i do it after work before sitting down on the sofa. sometimes motivation strikes even later and i start around 11 at night... still... its been done. :)

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  18. I pushed too hard this weekend and walked a (private) half marathon, just to see if I could. It was awesome (2;41;49) and I had a great sense of accomplishment, but my crap ankle has not been happy this week and has issued a forced slow down notice. Diet is going well except for one day when I was pissed off at aforementioned ankle and decided I would show it by eating copious amounts of cookies. (I will surely out grow this kind of behavior by my 6th decade, right?)

    Just want to say that I love this part of your article - "There is no "getting it all done" until you're dead. If you're curious and open and paying attention, the world will keep serving up fun diversions, worthy causes, creative challenges, self-care needs, important personal relationships to nurture, and exciting long term dreams to chase until there is more on your plate than you can possibly devour. Being "behind" isn't a temporary problem: it's life." I'm putting it up on fb for my friends today and crediting you, of course. Such wisdom! :) Thanks!
    Gaye

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    1. Hey thanks so much Gaye!!! And WOW on the half marathon and the speedy walking time, though I'm so sorry it cost you on the crap ankle. I hope it feels duly punished by the cookies! And if you figure out how to grow out of the occasional cookie splurge, let me know the trick. Hell, never mind, come to think of it I'm not even sure I want to know how to eliminate those entirely. Life without cookies? Sounds bleak. :)

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  19. I would like to congratulate Gaye on that fabulous half marathon. GREAT walking pace and way to go for it!!!! I'm a fast-ish walker, too and just have to say that I totally appreciate how much more demanding it can be to sustain such a pace when walking v. running. When I push hard, my body parts complain, too.
    Anyhow - push up wanna be here with a report: no huge progress. But - no huge lapses either (unless you count the whole big honking heart cookie at snarfed down the other day and a half - yeah... it was THAT big).
    But, stuff I won't go into here is definitely moving/happening for me in other ways.
    That's it from Push Up Plateau Ville for now.

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    1. Yeah anon, I'd say you have some experience with the fast walking thing!

      And so psyched about all the moving/happeningness. Perhaps push-ups are not as heartfelt a goal as some others?

      Or if they still are and you feel crappy: Go somewhere discrete if you need to, and do a plank during your lunch hour. Perhaps even lower yourself a bit. You'll feel better, and you can count yourself Back On Track! (Or after work is good too if there is no Discrete Place and you prefer Dignity over Upper Body Strength Whilst at your Place of Employment).

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  20. I'll let you know if I ever do less, lol!

    It's not in my nature to do less, but I have learned to spread the priorities around somewhat :-)

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  21. Brilliant post! I'm pretty okay with saying no and cutting corners (*cough*cleaningoutmycar*cough*) to make room for healthy endeavors, but I could definitely use some work on being happy in the moment. I'm pleased that I've managed to stay 90ish percent on track with my 90/10 goal and I feel better, but I'm still annoyed at the slow pace of the weight re-loss. (This is despite the fact that I know damn well that it didn't creep back instantly and I won't lose it instantly.)

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    1. Slow paced weight loss is so frustrating, especially with the whole Biggest Loser mentality that sneakily messes with our expectations.

      That being happy in the moment thing is tough! But I'm discovering that building a habit of no-pressure, noncritical checkins with myself helps. Am I happy right now? If not, could I be, if I focused more on the positives of the present and let the past and future go?

      Pain in the ass to have to keep coming back to it, but it does get a little better over time. Keep it up Jess, it all starts with awareness!

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    2. Death Ride GrandmaJanuary 25, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      Hey, Jess, maybe slow loss is a good thing. It worked for me. The weight crept up after I had kids. By the time they were in college - well, I was finally ready. Through adding exercise and not adding food (I simply cannot tell myself not to eat stuff - it suddenly becomes all I want) I lost 25 pounds over 2 years. That was ten years ago. Since then I have stayed within my chosen 5 pound range. I figure slow loss can reflect an actual change we can live with forever so it can be sustainable.

      So maybe you are doing exactly what you want to do! I really like the 90-10 idea, too.

      DRG

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    3. "Am I happy right now? If not, could I be, if I focused more on the positives of the present and let the past and future go?"

      That is BRILLIANT. Thanks for the insight!

      And DRG, you are fierce. I love it! *fist bump*

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    4. greetings from another superslow loser! we ll get there, i promise! -and without too much loose skin....

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  22. LOL! Thanks to a poster above, I realized I don't have to publish as anonymous. The things I learn on the internetz. Love it.

    Still going strong with the daily meditation. Yay me!!!

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    1. This was after posting twice above as anonymous...I could hardly fathom that I didn't have to be anonymous.

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    2. Double yay, Kimberly, both for the daily meditation and figuring out blogger's daunting comment process!!! You've almost made it a whole month!

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  23. I'm all for doing less. When you compare our busy lifestyles today with those of our grandparents, we probably have as many hours filled but the type of work has changed. Not as much physical activity in just "living" our lives now. So you need to find that time and saying "no" to something else is often the only way. Activity has to be a priority and that is a challenge for me but one I am working on.

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    1. Good point MK about the way things have gotten less busy physically, yet even more hectic. Personally, I hate physical chores and the thought of spending 16 hours in the fields or hauling well water to cook everything from scratch is NOT appealing so overall I'm grateful. But it does mean we have clear mental space for quiet time as well as make time for physical activity. I imagine milking cows all day one wouldn't need to work so hard to find time for "mindfulness" etc!

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  24. i am really lazy, but sometimes when im very stressed its kinda nice to do physical work. it helps me to stay sane. once i got the chance to work on a farm during a time i was feeling crap. it was amazingly helpful!

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    1. I have noticed that a good workout does wonders for my mood and mental state. I just need to remember that when I am stressed! It's so easy to forget.

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  25. Oy. Okay, Week 4 was not a good one. Work stress, crazy foods, minimal exercise (even my Fitbit steps were down). If any of my MyFitnessPal friends are reading my food diary, they are either laughing or crying.

    Sigh.

    So I will remind myself.

    1) "If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up."

    and

    2) I am in charge of deciding when I'm giving up. There's no cosmic rulebook out there that says "game over if you don't achieve a certain number of points." Game is over when I say so, and *that* is the point at which I'm giving up. (And that's not to say that giving up is always bad -- sometimes it's the right thing to do, but it should be a choice. And it usually feels better if it's phrased as "pursuing other options" or (TOPICALITY ALERT) "just saying no.")

    Forward.

    (But can I admit that I'm still sad that things fell apart after such a lovely beginning?)

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    1. Oh shoot, looks like I missed a couple comments!

      Me too, I hate that sad feeling when the initial rush of success with a goal inevitably comes to an end.

      But you are SO SMART to not think of it as any sort "game over"! You are in it for the long haul, right? Coping with the rollercoaster ups and downs of any self-improvement effort takes a lot more guts than being perfect all the time.

      Go Rachel!

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  26. Very sound advice regarding learning to get rid of some obligations. This is what I actually learned last year. When I committed to so much work, I tend to get stressed even before I even started working. And it is very unhealthy since I started getting tired even when I haven't even reached half of what I should be doing.

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    1. That's so cool Sarah that you figured out the "getting rid of obligations" part! Interesting that the mental fatigue was setting in even before the busting-your-butt part because the stress of being overcommitted was so exhausting.

      Hope it continues to go well!

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  27. I am working on this very issue. I love what you said about making room for new challenges. I've struggled in the past by taking on new goals but then resenting or feeling frusterated when I couldn't "do it all".

    One thing I keep saying to myself is "everything takes time" and then asking myself - "how do you want to spend that time?". If I choose to get on the treadmill in the morning before work, it means less time in my warm bed. If I stay in bed, my health and fitness goals will take longer. Choice. :) I'm learning to find balance.

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    1. Hi Theresa! Love that you've grasped that concept "everything takes time." I think we all struggle with that! Because while we may get it logically, subconsciously we still sort of expect that we will live forever and have limitless time to do everything we'd ever want to. Confronting tradeoffs and limits and finding appropriate balance is such a tough one, so cool that you're doing that!

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  28. Halle-freaking-luja. Rick sent me, I like Rick. And then I started reading and I got your book cause it sounds like fun (if I could go to the gym with a bottle of wine in one hand an a feta slathered cracker in the other I would) and read this post and I thought finally, someone who gets it.

    You know last year, I climbed Everest, well 3/4 of the way but that is enough no. I trained all year, laser focus. Lost so much weight, got so fit, even found muscles I thought were lost forever. So here I am, in January, trying to garner up the mental strength to goal orient and objectivise and visualise and I just could not do it. Somethings gotta give. But did I feel bad about it, I scoured the intraweb for guidance how to get over that. yeah, some beating myself up.

    Maybe it is about making room for a new challenge, and I just have to accept it is a cycle. My goal for January was to keep on going to the gym and keep on hiking and climbing small hills where I live, and yes, I started doing some SHIIT and I like that, it is actually fun. Ah there is the magic word.Fun.

    Resolution Fail - negatory. But it did not set my world on fire. I like Gaye's half marathon goal, but I am such a dreadful runner. So everything takes time, in the meantime, I will read Buddha's Brain again and take your advice in #2 - Just Being for a while.

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    1. Holy crap Bianca, you climbed 3/4 up Everest??!!

      So you are someone clearly not lacking in motivation, self-discipline and follow-through when you are passionate about something. Hmm. So what does it mean that you're stuck now?

      It does kinda sound like this may be one of those frustrating but growth-producing interim periods where your psyche is gearing up for something new and possibly amazing but it needs a little time to process and figure out what that is. I'm picturing the cliche'd caterpillar all wrapped up in a fuzzy cocoon stage. Which is probably a weird state to be in for a creature used to crawling around everywhere, but you gotta figure SOMETHING pretty incredible is going on.

      Will be so curious to see what stuff starts to come up for you as you're setting aside the pressure of "doing" a bit and settling in a little more to the "being."

      And I'm so psyched you found us here! Rick is awesome, isn't he? Hoping you'll find enough of interest to stick around and can't tell you how much I appreciate you buying my silly ebook. Oh and hey, and if you find that gym with the wine and cheese workouts, let me know 'cause I am THERE!

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    2. Yes he is awesome, and a nice guy. I love in Australia, not a big town, so when his book came out it was hard for me to find it. He sent it to me. So I pay it forward by sending my friends his way. It works. The brain changes, it gets easier once you stop getting into old grooves and new pathways appear.

      I think you are right, I have this what is next feeling and I am pretty self motivated when I want to do something. I got to basecamp, which was my goal and then back down through some of the high passes in the west of Nepal, tough stuff.

      The ebook is not silly, it is great as it appeals to my sense of humour. One of the things I have found really tough is how out of place I have felt in some fitness and health groups, trying to sell you some cookie made with juice from a fruit in the Amazon squeezed by virgins on a full moon. Dressed in white leotards weighing 100 pounds sopping wet and smiling like they are on drugs all the time.

      I read on another post - fake it until you make it, I think that hit the spot. I'll flatline keeping on keeping on until said psyche figures it out. I keep thinking of that half marathon.

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    3. You totally cracked me up with the white-leotard 100 lb virgins! So that's why my groceries from the natural food stores cost so much!

      Yeah, I'm a believer in fake it til you make it too.

      And interesting that the half marathon has caught your eye! Wonder where that might lead?

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