Tuesday, January 1, 2008


What do I hope to accomplish? Given that this is the beginning of the new year it is a natural time to reevaluate what hasn't been working over the past year and set some new goals for the new year. Although my weight is the first thing that I would like to change about myself this has not made it directly into my goals. What I hope to do is change other aspects of my life which will indirectly but cumulatively help me burn more calories, free up time and money, get out more, and get unhealthy concerns off my mind so that next year I will be ready to tackle my weight more directly.

A few months ago when I took a look at my work performance, behavior and appearance I realized that I had to get rid of my old ratty day planner binder and go for something a little less poor college undergrad and a little more multi-tasking professional. It just so happened that I would be running out of weekly planner pages at the end of the year and they were running a sale to give you $-off of a binder/planner/book combo. So with my new black leather binder I purchased a years worth of daily planner pages and an organization self-help CD designed by Julie Morgenstern. Over the last month I have used her CD to help me refine my goals and learn to focus on what had to be done.

My biggest problem with organization stems from K. I want to be responsive and attentive to her but as a single mom there is only one of me and some things have to get done in what little time I have at home and sometimes that outranks time with K. Not that I'm ignoring her but my attention has to be on something else even when I'm with her. So by setting long term goals, short term goals, defining activity areas where I need to focus, and listing tasks to complete those activities I hope to determine what is really important and what is just busy work that I do because I feel I have to do something when I have some time but that doesn't really accomplish anything.

I have initially divided up my goals into categories like Work, Family, Home, Knowledge, Self, and Financial. My Work actives are almost on autopilot since all I have to do is keep up on the daily tasks and remember to update my resume. My Family and Home activities are going to take much more conscious action. It involves setting and maintaining behaviors that will make our interactions much more meaningful, and also bring some order and sanity to our household schedule (or lack there of). I subdivided Knowledge into 3 sub-sections: Work-related, Formal Education, and Personal Interests. I have no problem exploring my personal interests but they often are more fun than the formal educational activities that I have to do to complete my degree. My main activities there centers on setting myself up for success my making the Formal Education a priority when I am home. This includes putting off my personal reading until after homework is done and reducing my Internet activity to school related until I feel ahead of the class. Obviously my family goals are necessary to support this effort.

I resisted setting any concrete activities for my Self, partly because I didn't want to start of the year failing at my most important goal and partly because of what I described at the start of this post. To start with I need to find a primary physician, want to keep my room and bathroom orderly and clean and make some (read at least 1) scheduled time for exercise. Finally, I put down that I want to spend time stretching with K.

I have done yoga on an off since I graduated from High School but I have never been extremely consistent in my practice. I decided that I want to teach K how to do some of the calming moves to help her deal with her frustration and that I probably need them as much as she does. Besides, stretching is a good first step to prep me for more activity and eventually more targeted exercise. So I told K that I was going to do some yoga and got her to help me to clear her toys off the floor. Then I showed her cat/cow--my back was aching so this was the only stretch I could think of that had a name she could remember, a pose that she could try and something that would work on my back. A few days later I added downward dog to the short routine. She can do the cat part and then giggles as I try to get her into down dog and she gets ticklish and collapses in a somersault. Since then she has repeatedly asked me to do "cat-dog" with her and is getting better at cow. She even sat through a video podcast of YOGAmazing so I could look for another pose to teach them and commented on the poses she knew. So far so good. I hope to keep this up this month.

Now that I have just finished writing that I didn't set any typical fitness or eating resolutions here is my two exceptions: make a weekly meal plan and go for 10 minute walks during lunch, regardless of weather or location.

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