I don't know why it's so hard for me to get mentally engaged with this kind of thing. I know people who set goals or make plans and then they just...do them. They...do the work. My brain doesn't work like that. I so dearly wish it did. It's funny, because I totally did that with school: "I'm going to take this class and get this grade and learn this thing to get into this class to get into a good college and yada yada yada." And I did and it was simple. Note I did not use the word "easy." But apparently, without the structure of school with measurable goals and quantifiable achievements, I just kind of flail around hopelessly.
Which is all very silly, because some of my goals are VERY quantifiable and measurable. I want to lose 100 pounds in the next 12-18 months. Quantifiable. Measurable. But not simple and definitely not easy. To do that, I have to get so many other things in place and in motion. But I've made some simple and some not-so-simple changes that I hope will help create the kind of environment where I can achieve some of my goals. It's all very new (less than one week, you'll remember) and fragile, but it's working so far and it all feels very adultish.
Elise's "Get Off Your Butt and DO Things" Lifestyle Change of Goals and Chicken (a lot of chicken)
- Bedtime is 9:30 pm
- I've done this in the past and never stuck to it longer than a night or two, but getting up early to exercise has me tired enough to stick to it. So far, going strong.
- I'm a chronic snoozer. It's gotten pretty bad recently, bot the other day, I realized that I wasn't feeling any more rested with 40 or so more minutes of very interrupted sleep. So I'm only allowing myself one snooze. Then I'm up no matter what.
- I need to be to work at 8:00 am. The drive is about 10 minutes. This alarm gives me time for a 30-ish minute walk, a shower, breakfast, lunch and/or dinner prep, quiet time, and getting ready for work. When I type it all out like that, it looks exhausting and busy, but it's pretty relaxed. I've never thought of myself as a morning person (I don't hate morning, but I'm really more of a night owl), but this helps me get my mind and heart ready for what is likely to be a ridiculous/annoying/frustrating day at work.
- I use an app called MapMyWalk. I've designed several routes around my neighborhood (varying-length loops). In the morning, I pick one and go. I'm challenging myself to go farther and faster every day, but I'm limited to 30-40 minutes. I start out in mostly dark, but it's almost always light by the time I get home. I had a plan for 20 miles in April, but then I sat on my butt for two weeks. I'm at 11.8, so it's unlikely.
- My church is collectively reading through the New Testament, 12 verses at a time. There's an email with the scripture and a short devotional. I write some thoughts in a journal and pray a little. Honestly, this is something I have struggled to do my entire life. I just don't make time to read scripture like I should and I have about a MILLION journals that are blank after the first few pages. I do this first thing after my shower while eating breakfast. So far, this is working for me. I think this is making the most difference in how I deal with work shenanigans.
- For me, this is the lynch pin. I had no idea how much time I was spending watching Internet TV. I realized it was a huge problem when I would turn on an episode of something while getting ready and would stay to finish it even if it made me a few minutes late for work. Now that I've banished TV to evenings and weekends, I have a lot more time. And I'm spending less of that time on my couch. Also, I've made sure my last episode ends before 9:00 pm. I use any time left over for reading, which was severely lacking in my life--I had no idea how much I missed.
- This one is two-fold: Budgetary and dietary. I eat the same breakfast every day; I have for over six months.So all of my bad food choices were coming at lunchtime. Always having a plan for lunch is the first step in making WW work for me. I've also been pretty ravenous lately (even before adding activity to my life), so I decided sandwiches and salads are not enough. Now I have a dinner plan every night that serves two--one for dinner and one for lunch the next day. I made the plan on Saturday and shopped for only what I would need for this week. My bill was much smaller than usual. Hopefully, I'll throw away a whole lot less food with this strategy. This also involves a lot of boneless, skinless chicken breast because it is cheap and low calorie. I am a not-so-inventive Disguiser of Chicken.
Honestly, so much of this looks like...responsible adulthood. Maybe these things have never been an issue for you, and it looks a little silly that I had to make these rules and list them out like this. For me, these changes are huge! Deep in my core, I am a very lazy, apathetic, gluttonous person. That sounds so ugly and down-on-myself, but hear me as I intend: without thoughtful intervention or dire, immediate consequences, I will almost always chose the thing that is worst for me, take too much of it, and let life just happen to me. That is my natural bent, but it's not who God created me to be and it is not who I want to be. So here's how I'm thoughtfully intervening.