January 16, 2013

Setbacks & Screw-Ups: Resolution Giveaway Week 3



Got a healthy goal or resolution?  Good for you!

But if it hasn't happened already, it will:

You will mess up. You will have a bad day or a bad week or even a bad month.  You will Suck whereas once you Rocked.

So what do you do next? Give up?

Awfully tempting! Because the easiest way to avoid the miserable feeling of disappointment we get from not living up to our aspirations is to stop having any.

It's too hard! I quit! F--ck it!

Or... you could take a deep breath, and figure out how to go forward.

I've got some thoughts, but I'll be really curious what others might have to say about coping with getting back on track after you take your eye off the ball.





(And for those of you just joining us, you can still be part of the Resolution Giveaway and Support Group!  It really is turning out to be awesomely motivating (at least for me) and could also win you a free 4 session package of Life Coaching, or at a minimum a big whopping discount. But if you're suspicious that Life Coaching is some evil enterprise Satan dreamed up or you are otherwise uninterested, then no worries! Comment freely and support your fellow blogreaders, and there's no need to feel awkward about declining a package should you, to your horror, be chosen).

(To catch up, go to the the original Resolution Support Giveaway post, then the second  Find the Fun in Your Resolution post, and adjust the instructions accordingly so that you are making a 3 part comment and contributing 3 supportive replies). 

(Those of you here from the beginning, you know the drill!)

A Few Ideas on Dealing With Messing Up and Backsliding:

1. Normalize Failure

Gosh, are you not perfect? Did you fail to live up to your highest standard?  Join the freakin' club!



I won't belabor this one, but be assured you are not alone in slipping up on your way towards your goal.  EVERYBODY does, sooner or later.

I vaguely recall that some life coaching textbook said that starting in about week three of a lifestyle change, there is often a huge dip in progress and a feeling of hopelessness for many people.  Sucking it up now and hanging in for the next week or two may be tough, but it will pay off bigtime in terms of habit formation for the long run.

(Btw, this 3 week thing was used as a rationale for selling coaching sessions only in packages rather than letting them be available as individual sessions. The theory is if that if a client commits up front to at least 4 sessions, long term change is much more likely! Does anyone else but me think it may also be in part because most life coaches really dig getting the cash in advance?).

2. Analyze and Trouble-Shoot

This step may not be necessary if the slip was some weird anomaly that you know won't happen again.

Let's say you were walking the last block to the gym when a van destined for the local zoo got rear-ended by a careless FedEx driver, liberating a hungry occupant that you'd need to navigate around.



No worries: you are officially excused! Go to the gym tomorrow.

But let say there were no traffic accidents involving Jaguars, automotive or otherwise, blocking your way to the gym. The reason you bailed is that you just didn't freakin' feel like being there.

You could chalk it up to so a failure of willpower, and beat yourself up for being such a wuss so early in the process.  You can subconsciously label yourself weak-willed and get that doomed feeling that you are just not the sort of person who ever follows through.  This does wonders for motivation going forward.

Because often failures aren't about willpower alone.  There are triggers!

Perhaps a bunch of little things conspired to make gym-going less likely.  You were hungry, or tired, or you caught a glimpse of a jiggly bodypart in the restroom mirror and felt shy, or your chatty coworker kept going on and on about everyone going out for pizza and beer after work and he wouldn't shut up until you agreed.

You may want to try to notice troublesome triggers and plan sneaky ways of avoiding them or outsmarting them.  How might you eliminate some of the things that are sapping your motivation? Engineer your environment to make it easy, rather than a struggle, to kick resolution ass.


Your Coworkers Will Thank You Too

And try to notice what you say to yourself. Tuning in to your "self-talk" may sound doofy, but changing it really does make a huge difference in your ability to defeat self-sabotage that can derail progress. Some day no doubt I'll be prattling about it in a Cranky Fitness ebook, but in the meantime there are TONS of resources out there for how to do this.

3. Tweak a Bit, Abandon Ship, or Re-Commit

Maybe the problem isn't with your motivation or willpower or logistics... maybe it's the goal itself.



Are you someone who normally Gets It Done but are struggling?  How about modifying your goal so that it is more approachable but retains some of the flavor of the original goal?

One tweak that often helps is to turn a goal that is about Results into one that is about Process.  If you want to lose 20 pounds and it's taking longer than you thought and you're getting discouraged?  Make your goal more about activity or dietary habit changes that you will institute (perhaps gradually), and every day you do what you said you would is a Win, and go ahead and feel good about your efforts even if the results take their sweet f--cking time. Because continued efforts are what build new habits for the long run.

Or turn a Virtuous Goal into one that's more fun.  Go from walking to competing in a 10K race...  of your own devising! Run it with a couple of good pals and set the finish line at your favorite pub for post-race beer and burgers and loser buys the first round.


Maybe you've chosen a goal that you're not passionate about but return to every year because you're supposed to.  If there's no way to inject passion into it this round, what if you shifted your energy to something entirely different you really feel motivated to tackle?  (And yeah, I am a great believer that sometimes it's better to be a happy quitter and focus on your true priorities, whatever they may be).

And then, once you've swapped out your goal for something you feel is better suited: CLEAN SLATE!  Get fired up again and kick some ass and don't look back.

So how you guys doing this week?  Any impressive FAILS or y'all pretty much on track and feelin' pleased?

Photos: Failing Street: CJ Daniel
Jaguar: Tambako the Jaguar
Buckingham Fail: Dadavidov
Volleyball Fail: Dadavidov 
Swingset: funnyasduck.net
Duct tape: jk5854

106 comments:

  1. So my own FAIL was not on the particular resolution I've been checking in on here, and I won't go in to details, but it really helped to put one bad day in perspective and to remember that perfection is kinda unlikely and not to beat myself up or get discouraged.

    However, I'm still rockin' it on listening to hypnosis audios, and have been doing one every day so far even though by goal was 3 times a week. I think it has to do with the fact that that was the resolution I picked to get support here, so thank you all for helping me stay accountable.

    So far, the insomnia is definitely better! The allergies I'm not so sure of, but they may be slightly better. Have had a couple nights of being awake for maybe half an hour but it's a vast improvement over the struggles I've been having. Could be coincidence but I'm gonna try to keep thinking positively!

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    1. I like your perspective on "failing" - especially the idea of tweaking a goal/resolution!!!
      And, you know you are right - one bad day - no biggie!!! Perfection isn't that really that much fun!

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    2. Beating self up was what came to mind while reading through the post and the word fail...Do we really fail? or is it we put such high expectations on ourselves?

      Good job on the hypnosis audios...

      Recently saw a tv blurb about allergies and farm living...something about growing up around pigs and cows and chickens helps build better antibodies against colds and allergies...Maybe you need a farm pet LOL but allergies can be geographical do you have them on the other coast?

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    3. Oooh Jules, great idea! A cow might be a bit cramped in our condo, but maybe a cute little piggie?

      I get a stuffed up or drippy nose on both coasts. Fortunately, cats don't seem to be a problem, but I suspect some combo of dust/pollen/grass. Too lazy to have ever been tested!

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    4. Congratulations on still rockin' the hypnosis audios and yay to not beating yourself up!!! Kimberley

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  2. GREAT post! Was sitting on the couch and not wanting to go workout... now I feel bad... thanks for the kick in the pants!

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    1. Great! Now go get those abs, sounds like you know how...

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    2. Hope it was a great workout!!! Kimberley

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  3. So far, for my goal over here (truly living in the moment) I feel like I'm making progress (baby steps!!).
    Even this past week with a sick kid I didn't get all bummed out and start wishing it were another month (a warm one) and that I were on the beach (well, maybe a time or two I wished that).
    I'm trying to remain present and happy in my present!!!

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    1. Wow, staying present with a sick kid takes some real mindfulness!

      And I appreciate the reminder... here I was looking forward to my next cup of coffee and thinking about what I might do at the gym and nagging myself to get going on my ebook and failing to appreciate the RIGHT NOW. Which is actually quite serene and pleasant if I want to let it be that way!

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    2. I am right with you on appreciating the RIGHT NOW - it seems like no matter what I'm doing, I'm thinking about what's next...need to work on staying in the moment better.

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    3. I'm with Shelley on thinking too far ahead - always looking forward, not in the moment. I commend you on staying in the moment with a sick kid and still being present and happy. I could use some of that!
      Spaz

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    4. It's so easy with kids to "wish away" the time! With a 3 year old in the midst of a tantrum it's hard to remember how sweetly she insisted on a second hug & kiss and telling me a secret ("I love you forever and ever"). Instead I can't wait for bed time...or when she turns 6. Thanks for the reminder to stay right here and enjoy the good stuff and not dwell in the tough!

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  4. I really like your statement about turning a goal that is about Results into one that is about Process. I think it is so easy to lose sight of the big picture, especially when we hit bumps in the road, or things aren't happening as quickly as we'd like. It's good to remember that baby steps that lead to building up the habits we want will get us to our goal eventually.

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    1. I so agree JavaChick, it's BABYSTEPS that make all the difference! Moving forward is the important thing, however slowly, 'cause it all adds up. Plus babysteps makes me think of cute fat little legs and itsy bitsy toes and giggles so it's a personal favorite mantra. :)

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    2. YES! YES! YES! I have a note at my desk that says "Progress Not Perfection". :)

      Crabby - I often say "baby steps" but have never stopped and put a visual to the phrase. "cute fat little legs and itsy bitsy toes and giggles" makes the phrase that much more enjoyable and adorable. I love it!

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  5. Still on the lookout for something to do so I won't regret it later. It will come, I am sure.
    Meanwhile, go you! Hypnosis every day is great. I have done something similar and was pleased with the results.

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    1. Do you play any musical instruments, Leah? Any interest in learning one? You may never regret NOT learning to play, but I promise you won't regret it if you do.

      Just a thought... #8-)

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    2. Knitting is always good...;)

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  6. Another perfectly timed post, as the "cutting down on internet time" goal has taken a couple of hits in the last few days... One of which was directly YOUR fault, Ms McSlacker, for tweeting a link to a post on the Great Fitness Experiment blog which led to me reading umpteen other posts and then signing up for the RSS feed! Since it's interesting stuff it doesn't really fall into my definition of "wasted" time (zombie surfing which is neither productive nor enjoyable), but it's still extra time in front of a screen.

    The other setback is that I'm full of man-flu this week, so I'm not really capable of doing much except faffing on the internet. Hey ho, hopefully normal service will be resumed next week.

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    1. Shadowduck, internet time can eat your whole day, i get that.

      Have you tried a timer? Setting a certain amount to do before you take your 10 or 15 minutes of internet time? There are lots of ways to combat it, you just have to find what works for you.

      As soon as you are well, of course, which i hope will be soon.

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    2. Glad you reminded me about that, messsymimi! I was using a "mindfulness timer" on my phone (basically it goes "bonnnnnnng!" at configurably random intervals) to shake me out of auto-surf mode, but I found that after a few days it started to irritate me if I was "conscious" and I just ignored it if I wasn't.

      Any other suggestions will be welcome!

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    3. Sorry Shadowduck, Charlotte is my favorite fitness blogger and role model, and were I not so lazy I would try harder to emulate her! Understandable that you'd want to spend some time catching up.

      And Manflu is indeed an impressive excuse. But Shadowduck, with your clever mind, I bet you can find other creative uses for your time whilst under the weather that don't overly strain you that don't also feed the surfing habit.

      Let's say some slightly sleazy but scarily accurate fortune teller were to assure you that during your illness you got away from the internet for a bit and were transformed! You made the amazing and exciting... cough, cough... discovery that ... achooo achoo! Whoops, the fortune teller has the flu too. Wonder what the heck she was gonna say?

      :)

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    4. In the "other suggestions" category -- if you use Firefox to browse, have you tried LeechBlock? (Me, I've downloaded, but, ummm, haven't used it.)

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/leechblock/

      Description:

      LeechBlock is a simple productivity tool designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day. (You know: the ones that rhyme with "Blue Cube", "Space Hook", "Sticky Media", "Quitter", and the like.) All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.

      You can specify up to six sets of sites to block, with different times and days for each set. You can block sites within fixed time periods (e.g., between 9am and 5pm), after a time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour), or with a combination of time periods and time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour between 9am and 5pm). You can also set a password for access to the extension options, just to slow you down in moments of weakness!

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    5. Sadly, Crabby, most of my "other activities" are either active and / or outdoorsy (cycling, ju jitsu, walking, running) or things that require a degree of concentration I really can't muster at the moment (reading, guitar, language study)... There are so MANY other things I'd like to try, but even when not ill (and even if I manage to minimise the internet timesuck) I really don't have time to add another interest to my life. I'm actually reluctant to try some things I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy (tai chi, yoga, fencing, golf, world of warcraft, etc) just because to take one of those things up would mean giving up something I already do. Never did have much faith in fortune tellers - after all, it's unlucky to be superstitious! #8-P

      Thanks, Rachel! I was looking for something exactly like leechblock but it didn't come up on my searches! I've installed it and set it to limit Spacehook and Quitter to ten minutes in the hour while I see exactly what it does (Ten minutes total? Ten minutes each? Does it work on the mobile version?), but if it does what it says I think that list will be getting added to!

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    6. Well, it's good news that you have so many great healthy challenging activities for when you're feeling better! And heck, maybe your brain needs rest. Who knows, maybe and this downtime with 'nothing but net' to entertain you will leave you feeling overfed on the web diet and really ready to break out some new more refreshing diversions when you're feeling better and need a break from work.

      Speaking of which, is any part of the problem work avoidance/procrastination itself and not just the form the breaks are taking? Then troubleshooting how to make work or other tasks more engaging and less tempting to avoid might help.

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    7. Hadn't thought about it much, but procrastination and work avoidance are probably big factors - although not when I'm AT work, strangely! My real, paid work doesn't involve much PC time so the only workplace surfing I do is when I haven't got anything else to do anyway.

      At home, which is four days out of eight (I work twelve hour shifts), I have a vast, amorphous amount of DIY and chores waiting for me at all times; so what tends to happen is that I stagger downstairs in the morning, fire up the laptop while drinking coffee and then find it very difficult to get myself started on anything else. I'd feel guilty doing something more obviously recreational, such as playing the guitar, when there's a bedroom waiting to be decorated ... so inertia takes over and I solidify in front of the PC, not wanting to be there but also not wanting to move. I think it's the endless nature of domestic work that I find discouraging, however much you do there's still an infinite amount waiting to be done!

      Looking after the duckling is, of course, exempt from all the above comments - that's not work. #;-)

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    8. Yeah, it's tough living in a world that offers so many incredibly cool choices. There are never enough hours or days for all of them. I have a couple of ways of fooling myself into a pattern I like. One, to help avoid becoming a dilettante rather than a Renaissance (wo)man, I try to give my enthusiasms turns. Maybe train for a specific ride or run, maybe choose a specific piece of music to work on - then get back to a less specific pattern. The other, if I just have to get some unappealing task done, I make myself do it first, but to keep it in its proper priority, I give it a time limit. Then I go do something just for fun. Always a relief to have put the task behind me, and it's rarely as hard as it looked.
      -Death Ride Grandma who has managed to get at least this one more comment written!

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    9. So many fascinating dilemmas and ideas you guys!

      The "dilettante vs Renaissance woman" (and thanks for spelling both Death Ride Grandma 'cause I'd have had to google)really resonates as I struggle with this a lot. Taking turns (without accompanying self-flagellation) sounds like an excellent idea!

      And Shadowduck I sure hear you on the temptation to hide at the PC when there are tasks out there that can never be completed. One thing thats helped me a little when I remember to do it: figuring out how much would be "enough" for a day, and adjusting that amount ever downward until it bears some resemblance to reality, not fantasy. And then feeling ok at clearing that bar, however absurdly low I set it, and allowing truly "free" time after its done.

      And I bet you have some ideas yourself on how to make the actual chores less dreary and possibly more silly once you have carved out a reasonable chunk and know you are DONE for the day when finished. Just a thought!

      And how cool that the duckling is such a joy to tend to! Not a universal experience from what I understand about parenting. But however joyful, that still "counts" as work because it is!



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  7. Your images in this post are cracking me up!

    I've been focusing on tracking my food, and this weekend was definitely not my best work - I had some unique things going on that took me out of my routines, and I ended up eating way too much. HOWEVER, I am now back on my streak, and when I really look at it, there were only two meals (albeit big ones!) that I didn't track. Everything else I've written down. So in the scheme of things, I'm still having good success at committing to tracking.

    That kind of speaks to your process point - if I get to a point where tracking becomes routine, even when what I have to track is a little embarrassing, I think the outcome will still be a positive one. Just the act of knowing I will be writing things down helps me rein it in a little bit. Process definitely equals results...eventually!

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    1. I was going to mention the pictures too - I think Crabby had fun with the image seraches for this post!

      I figure that if you can manage 90% of what you're supposed to do, 90% of the time, you'll come out ahead of the game. Sounds to me like you're way over 90%!

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    2. You're right Sherri, Tracking When Embarrassing is one of the best kept secrets of successful behavior change. It sounds like you are right back on it and didn't let a couple bad days derail you. Hope you feel pleased!

      And I like Shadowduck's 90/90 rule. If we all lived by that all the time we could kick serious ass and achieve world domination, yay!

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    3. Nice work on the tracking! Nine times out of ten, I bet you'll find that the things you think are "a little embarrassing," aren't really the end of the world. :)

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  8. I'm on track, although the wicked cold (please read in Boston accent)(no idea why, as I'm in Texas) weather that arrived yesterday threw off my running; as much as I bitch about running in the heat, it's hard to force myself to get out there in the freezing cold. My WIN was that while I didn't run, I did get on the exercise bike. Former me would have just thrown in the towel on exercise for the day if I couldn't do what I originally set out to do.

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    1. Great work, Shelley! Every time the plan gets foiled, go to plan B, or even plan C. It helps, especially if you have those in place.

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    2. Ah, "Wicked Cold" in a Boston accent, damn it Shelley you're making me crave a Dunkin' Donut!

      That's awesome that you got on the exercise bike, especially since that's something you wouldn't have done before. Go You! I'd be feeling might darn smug if it were me.

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    3. As a Texan (I just don't currently get to live there!) I know how the weather can really mess with training!!! Glad you are still enjoying your bike!!

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  9. Haven't had time to start the ukelele yet, but I'm really getting focused on my health and well being. I'm looking at balance...in work and in life. It's tricky, and I'm learning after so much previous imbalance. Haven't got it yet, but every day is a fresh start, so I'm keeping at it :)
    I hear you about the self talk. When I realized years ago just how negative and insulting to myself I was instead of just trying to be encouraging to myself I made an effort to change. It made so much difference in how I looked at things and how much further I felt I could go before I give up. :)

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    1. Health and wellbeing and balance, that's great! And I suspect the ukelele is coming soon geosomin. Love the "every day is a fresh start."

      And I agree the self talk monitoring really helps, it's amazing the crap you can hear yourself saying if you don't get conscious of it. Now I'm a one-woman cheering section and am so sappy I'd be TOTALLY embarrassed if there were any mind readers around.

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    2. Great attitude, Geosomin!!! Every day is a fresh start - a little gift!!! Good luck on the ukelele - you will have to make a youtube video when you start!!!

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  10. As far as my goals...2nd week of Sunday marathon cooking and kitchen organizing...Through out ALL the extra lids that no longer had containers..

    As far as the fail-backsliding, I am having to be kinder with myself. My expectations are a little lofty for some particular stress triggers going on right now. My important thing is to make my time with myself (not working consistently right now) to include quality ME time within the quantity of it all. So, I am scheduling an artist date with myself to go wander around a local art gallery and then to a quiet coffee cafe with my new journal.

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    1. That's awesome on the Sunday cooking! And maybe your discarded lids could meet my topless tupperware containers. How the heck do they get separated anyway? :)

      Love the ME time artist date, that sounds like heaven!

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    2. I think ME time is essential!!! I might even go overboard on ME time on occasion but it keeps me sane!!!

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  11. Still doing the breathing exercises/meditating, although a couple of days it's been after i remembered late in the afternoon.

    Read a poster on the wall at the vet's office that was about life lessons from your cat. One was, "Don't give up, lose interest." Well, every time i think of giving up, and using the excuse i lost interest, i realize it's not true, so i don't give up. Weird, i know, but it works.

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    1. Yay on the breathing exercises MessyMimi!

      And wow, the "Don't give up, lose interest" trick is really intriguing. (And I can almost picture the cat's expression). To flip it around like that is brilliant! And if you ask the question and you HAVE lost interest, it's a great way to free up energy that could go to something else. So easy to keep cruising on autopilot without updating true priorities!

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    2. I love "don't give up, lose interest" - it's a great way to look at things that you THOUGHT you might want to do, tried, and yes, lost interest. Not everything you try has to stick.

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    3. Oh, I love "Don't give up, lose interest" too!

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  12. I am more of a have a plan and a goal for the day kind of person. At the end of the day I evaluate. I just can't wrap my head around long term goals.
    Today`s plan was to go to the gym even if I had too much homework to do to go. I went but left early and spent an extra hour at work getting the homework done. Now I only have to keep my hand out of the cookie jar for the rest of the day and not drink coffee after noon and I get a virtual silver medal for today. If I get a walk in I get a gold and if I write something worth publishing on my blog … well let`s not get carried away here.

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    1. Love the One Day at a Time notion. So cool you got to the gym AND did the homework as well. Now good luck on coffee and cookies and blogging!

      And hey, not having anything "worth publishing" never stopped me from posting before! :)

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  13. I'm ditching the whole resolution thing this year, and trying out Monthly Missions. They are cooler because they are capitalized. This month I'm focusing on nutrition & trying to make sure my meals center around a lean protein and complex carb. It’s going pretty well, I think. I have been super busy between work and teaching Zumba, so I pack a lunch that lasts all day until a late supper. That pretty much takes care of the protein/carb issue, since I end up eating everything by the end of the day  Best part about this month’s mission? I’m not even worried about “snacking” yet (what, when, how much). That’s a problem for future me.

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    1. Monthly Missions indeed sounds cool! Nice balance between short term and long term focus and a good amount of time to train disgustingly healthy habits that will stick. Plus, it has much more of a ring to it than Daily Drudgery.

      Sounds like you're kicking ass so far! Great job on the healthy lunch-packing, I know that takes planning to pull off. Hope it's a Fun super-busy and not a stressful superbusy!

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    2. Runwithblisters, you crack me up. You are absolutely right that your Monthly Missions earn extra cred from the capitals. I like the specificity of your Mission for January - much better than "eat a healthy meal" or whatnot.

      You talked about future you. I do that, too. I'm good at being nice to others, but I have to trick myself into being nice to myself. Sometimes, I get my clothes ready for my work and gym the next day by being nice to Morning Dani. Morning Dani always thanks Evening Dani for her kindness. She doesn't have to thank her often, unfortunately.

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  14. I have meditated every day of 2013. I totally loved typing that! Kimberley

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    1. Kimberly, that's awesome, what incentive not to break your streak!! And you're inspiring me to stay on track with my self-hypnosis brainwashing streak. I like the sound of it too!

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    2. I loved reading it! So encouraging for the rest of us.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. thats a great goal. might include this in my weekly experiments!
      puja

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  15. When I read tonight's posting I thought Crabby had come to my blog and was reading my conversation there. You see I have these voices in my head. They have names. Negative Nelly was having this talk with me when Positive Polly interfered and slapped Nelly upside the head for trying to dissuade me from getting back on track! Not only did Polly win the argument but someone commented on that posting and as I wrote back I suddenly felt all the more empowered!

    Yup, we all slip. Yup, it can happen for an hour, a day, a week, a month, or shoot, even several weeks or months! Just don't stop and give up all together. Three simple words...just don't stop. Eventually you, me, we, can all get back on track and carry on! :D

    I am too gabby. I think Silly Sally and I are going go for a walk in the morning.

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    1. You are not too gabby Sherri! I LOVE to hear those in-the-trenches success stories where you know it totally could have gone the other way but you caught the negative nelly voice and told her to stfu. Way to go! The process of catching and externalizing old negative thoughts and creatively rewiring the brain to be more helpful and supportive really works!

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    2. Sherri great post - Love the just don't stop idea. Plus i got a giggle from Positive Polly smacking Negative Nelly, I think I need more of that going on in my head. Or negative Nelly needs a makeover to Neutral Nelly!
      Spaz

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    3. Thanks Anonymous! Oh and don't worry about changing Nelly. She is too stubborn. HOWEVER, Silly Sally promised to gang up on Nelly with Polly to quiet Nelly's doubting ways. :D (I swear, I have a full blown soap opera going on in my head!)

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  16. Great Post. It is very easy to just give in when we don't reach our goals quickly or slip up. Sometimes we just need to take a step back regroup and carry on. The main thing is to never give up. Persistence pays off.

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    1. Wise words Mark! It is all about the persistence, not the momentary ups and downs. But so many people let the "downs" get to them and lose faith!

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  17. lately Ive been focusing on the IF YOU LEARNED SOMETHING, ANYTHING IT WAS NOT A MISTAKE!

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    1. Agreed Miz! And I sure have had my share of "learning experiences" :)

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    2. Amen. I've been trying to go with that too. Progress not perfection. How awesome are we? Lifelong learners! (Perspective is everything.) :)
      Gaye

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    3. thats sooo true! great reminder for me today!

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  18. The strength training program I started a while ago is going great! It took two things for this to happen:

    1)I had someone with more knowledge than me formulate a reasonable plan.
    2) I executed it with consistency.

    How to get others to do it?

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    1. There is someone more knowledgeable than you Dr. J? :)

      That's great that it's going so well!

      And cracks me up that you ask that last question; I often do too and it's the sure sign of a blogger! I think normal people are less likely to want to evangelize when they find some new awesome thing that boosts health.

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    2. Just stop after "some new awesome thing" and you can include the normal people, too. Everybody's idea of awesome is different, and where the overlap falls is endlessly interesting.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    3. So true Mary Anne! And it's funny, I enjoy hearing about the "awesome" stuff that sounds Truly Hideous to me almost as much as the stuff that totally resonates. People are fascinating!

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    4. i love this thing about consistency! ita about time i showed my love by actually being consistant!
      puja

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  19. I am always late! In my defense, this hits my email like a day after it posts! :) I am still late.

    Honest - got to me right at the right time cause I was saying - F IT! Not going to elaborate but I was there... pulling back from that! :)

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    1. You are NOT LATE Jody! I'm too lazy to post very often, so I actually appreciate people keeping the discussion going all week.

      So glad it hit you at a good time! You so don't strike me as a person who says "F-- It" very often when it's something important; glad you turned it around!

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    2. And hey, I'm later than you are!

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  20. I've been going slower with the books than last week (only one and a half boxes), but I started putting together my back-of-the-door pantry shelves. I can only work on them during daylight, because it's hard enough to see where all the little pieces fit with sunshine, so I haven't gotten far, but I overcame the apparent need for three hands to hold the nut, the bolt, and the parts that fit together by using duct tape, so the first section is complete. Tomorrow morning I should be able to work on it some more, since I don't go to work until ten. A place to store things that doesn't require bending over and leaning into cabinets sideways will be nice.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. (I wanted to say something about number 3, tweaking or abandoning, but it's too vague to pin down.)
      Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    2. Wow, so not only have you made progress on the boxes but you're also getting shelves up and solving engineering puzzles in the process? That seems quite flexible and sensible given the daylight issue and the need to Put Stuff Somewhere!

      It's so cool to see you keeping at it and getting your new place together even with your busy schedule. And thanks so much for all you add to the discussions too!

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  21. My sore throat and earache are finally intermittent rather than continuous after more than two weeks. I started my half marathon training and rocked this week as far as doing my planned workouts. Where the issue comes in is that, after a full day of work and a workout, I am not meeting my household organization goals. I have to figure out what appropriate expectations are for weekdays and weekends that will keep me organized but not exhausted.

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    1. That's great about rocking your planned workouts, even with intermittent health stuff. Hope that clears up and you're back to 100% soon!!

      And sheesh is that frustrating about the household stuff, there's only so much time in the day! But sounds like you're approaching it very logically and realistically, trying to figure out the best tradeoffs between competing goals. Something's gotta give when time and energy are limited, and it can take a little creativity and trial and error to figure out what can slide for a bit or how to do more in less time. Sure sounds like you're motivated and self-disciplined though!

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    2. oh, how much i hate doing household chores! in better days i had a very friendly cleaning-guy... now i face the dust alone. having a very hairy cat doesnt help! i decided to leave a lot of householdstuff for the weekend and cant be bothered to not do the more fun things!
      puja

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  22. I am succeeding it what I literally said I was going to do. Unfortunately getting back on Spark and tracking what I eat has not correlated with eating less/better! Whoops. Guess that's my goal for tomorrow... : )

    I'll chime in with the others. Love the photos in this post!

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    1. Good for you for getting back on Spark and doing the tracking, that's awesome! And baselines are really helpful, both for info and motivation. Much more satisfying to see changes over time rather than leap in with unnaturally virtuous behavior at the beginning that's totally unsustainable.

      It may take babysteps, but moving forward is the thing and you're doing it. (Plus, it's not like you are starting from a horrible unhealthy place to begin with!)

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  23. Great photos on this post Crabby! It is wonderful to read all about the setbacks and achievements of everyone here.

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    1. Thanks Reb! And I know you get a bit discouraged at times by health issues but I admire your fighting spirit and notice all the positive things you do for yourself and for others. Hope 2013 is a healthy happy year!

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  24. What a fabulous post and replies!! The push up goal I was attempting got sidelined for a few days, BUT - in the meantime - I did manage to rock doing planks :) at a PT appointment! That's sort of in the same family, right? I mean, I kind of view it as half of a push up. Plus, I was able to McGiver circumstances at the time to still do some other stuff not on my usual list of routines. Given my OCD leanings, the part about not doing what is usually on my "list" was challenging - but I was able to let go for a couple of days. So - my 'failure' week, not so much a failure - just maybe unexpected successes in other ways? And it was all the other replies and posts here that got me thinking in that direction - so, thanks everyone! :)

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    1. cool goal! i also want to learn a proper pushup. am practising at the side of the bathtub while the water is running.....smile.....

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    2. just my opinion but I'd say planks and pushups are indeed relatives, anon, and every excruciating second you spend in an extended plank will help you towards your pushup goal.

      And bonus points for the McGivering of additional exercises, plus the reframing of the unnecessary and innacurate initial "failure" assessment.

      Good luck in getting closer to those "real" pushups!

      And I like Puja's bathtub suggestion! It's a modification that does not involve the knees-down "girls" version but makes for a helpful middle step.

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    3. You're brave, furchtloserbach! I know if I tried doing a pushup on the side of the bathtub, I'd faceplant into the porcelain! (Coinkidentally, I did a set of pushups using the back of my couch instead today.)

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  25. i do weekly challenges ( experiments) that are fun to accomplish. this week i wanted to try to get up really early. then i was going to do another week trying to move a bit before work. to be honest: it almost killed me! it resulted in me eating not as clean as before. and i gained. so i really loved reading this post.... im smiling again!
    my trigger for silly behavior is my new dayjob that makes me want to shoot myself in the head or put freshly practised kickbox-punches into someones mouth!!!!
    i might check out a goal reated to aggression for next week.....
    puja
    hoping for

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    1. uups ...sorry for the mistakes! im almost asleep...

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    2. ive gone back to the other posts and it it big fun to read all the comments. only thing: my pc is slow and your site builds up for ages....! so no limited internettime or awareness-bells for me when it comes to visiting here....

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    3. Sorry for the slow loading site!

      That's great Puja that you tried something new, but it also sounds like you were smart to realize it was messing up your healthy eating. Unless you can figure out a way to build healthy eating into a new earlier schedule--I'm guessing there are some logistical challenges with that?

      Love the way you are flexible and approach each week with a goal that makes the most sense!

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  26. Great post! I had what I thought was a fail that turned out better than i thought. It involved a job interview at my current employer that I thought I hadn't done well in and berated myself over for a full day. I found out the next day I didn't get the job I applied for, but the hiring team was so impressed with my interview that they are going to create a position for me to use my talents! Definite win but making peace with myself took I hit and I guess I have to work on doubting myself.
    Spaz

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    1. That is wonderful! Congratulations! Kimberley

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    2. Wow, Spaz, what an awesome way to get some Real Life validation that you are indeed too hard on yourself, with an amazing happy ending!

      So what a nice learning experience the Universe gave you. All that unwarranted self-flagellation will make a great reference point for you to use going forward. Of course, even if you'd been a total screw-up in the interview, beating yourself up wouldn't be profitable, but it's especially helpful to have this to draw on to question your own self-assessments next time you are tempted to evaluate yourself so negatively like that.

      Something that helps me a when I'm tempted to beat myself up over a real or imagined FAIL is to simply take a few moments and ask myself: Ideally, what would be the most helpful way to be thinking and feeling right now? What would a totally self-confident successful person be saying to themselves right now?

      Weirdly enough, framing out what I'd LIKE to be thinking and feeling and imagining it and practicing it, however mechanically and awkwardly at first, goes a long way towards rewiring my circuits to go to a more encouraging place which pretty soon even feels sincere.

      And you probably know all this stuff already! But I can't help yammering on in case future self-flagellators ever pop by.

      And hey, congrats on the new position!!!!

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    3. Thanks Crabby. I love the advise and since I Do beat myself up all the time, a reminder to re-frame my thoughts is always welcome!
      Spaz

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  27. I, too, had a slip-up (read: an unfortunate--okay, a very fortunate--encounter with my mom's homemade soda bread) this week. Rather than go down the guilt road, I decided to chalk it up to a slight overindulgence on something I only see once every few years.

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    1. Delicious baked goods homemade by a loved one? Sheesh, that would take superhuman resolve to pass that up completely. Especially if it's not something you're going to encounter every day. I'd say that falls into the Escaped Jaguars on the Way to the Gym exception.

      So smart of you to not waste time on guilt and continue on with your progress! The only purpose guilt serves is as an incentive to troubleshoot for future encounters. And if there aren't going to be any for years, you're golden!

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  28. Well, nice to know that I'm timely with third-week slipup!

    Pretty much a full week, starting with last Monday. Nothing like whipping out the iPhone on a second date: "Hey, I know this is really rude, but I'm never going to remember this if I don't enter this as we go." (In my defense -- SALAD BAR! Like I'm supposed to remember each little drib I got from a salad bar?) "Oh, hey, I know you're talking, but real quick -- is this veal marsala? What IS veal marsala? Can I CALL this veal marsala?"

    Then the next night, I decided to go out to a restaurant on my own. Bone marrow! Cocktails!

    I would say this past week, more days than not, I ate in a less than ideal way. Just about any individual day, eh, it happens. But the confluence, not so good.

    I did try to log everything, which was the resolution aspect. To be strictly honest, I'm pretty sure that some shading went on. Of course, restaurants are always iffy (except for chains where they tell you what the calorie count is).

    And actually, aside from the confluence issue, the only thing I would have trouble "justifying" would be some bread pudding I had yesterday. I love bread pudding, but I'd had this type before and was pretty sure it wasn't that amazing. Which it wasn't. But instead of stopping once I had ascertained that, I ate the whole serving.

    But tomorrow is another day, or even another week. So ... yay!

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  29. Awesome, Rachel! And you totally cracked me up with that Second Date scenario.

    It's my personal opinion that screwing up and going forward anyway is WAY more conducive to longterm success than not screwing up at all until way late in the game. Dealing with the ups and downs is part of the process!

    And I so recognize the bread pudding phenomenon, it's like once you're flipped the "on" switch, it's really hard to flip it back off, despite realizing it's a mistake. Still working on that one myself! But every now and then I can take a step back after a wrongheaded bite and back away from the plate and I am SO psyched at my awesomeness. Thanks for reminding me about that and I bet you do that as well sometimes.

    Clean slate, go forth and kick ass!

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  30. Well I have lost some weight (my goal) but it really wasn't something I can take credit for. I started a new blood pressure med which made me nauseous and dizzy. Not good for any exercise or eating much, thus the weight loss. i guess whatever works, huh? Got back into it this morning but definitely not on the same med. hope to do better this week.

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    1. Oh shoot MK, that new medication sounds like a tough adjustment. How can you exercise when you're dizzy and nauseous? I sure couldn't. And I gotta say I'd be taking full credit for that weight loss, as someone who can easliy drink a days worth of calories in ginger ale when I'm feeling crappy.

      Hope you feel better this week, and if it takes a little longer, that you feel no need to beat yourself up for taking care of your body by resting if that what it needs! Sounds like you're eager to get back to your healthy routine, and that's what counts for the long haul.

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  31. I am just starting to peek at the idea that sometimes a big fat FAIL is a sign to go in another direction. Failing is information, nothing more. Right?

    I notice that sometimes I'm so afraid to fail...or look stupid...or not do something EXACTLY right that I don't even start. These thoughts have held me back over the years and I am working to shift that mentality. I am trying to not worry about the results as much and to just get moving in the direction I want to go.

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  32. Hey Theresa, this is huge. (Speaking as one with exactly that same tendency). So cool that you are no longer settling for holding yourself back in an attempt to reach some unattainable instant perfection!

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