07 August 2009

more resolute pt. 2

2. read at least one book every month

so how have i done on this one? well, like most, i started off pretty well and began reading immediately. however, i started reading several books at one time. that didn't work out so well. i didn't feel like i was getting anywhere with them and had a hard time really digging into each one. i had no focus and was not gaining anything from them. so i ended up taking a break, not on purpose but a break nonetheless. i started up reading again a month or two ago. i'm almost finished with my second book. i've learned that keeping a book with me at all times and making specific times to read has really helped. in my current position, i have some "dead" time between clients where i may just be sitting in the car waiting. having a book to read makes me feel like i am using my time productively. i feel like it also helps me focus on my next task by keeping my mind going and alert, even if the book has nothing to do with the job.

i also make time to read something more spiritually fulfilling before bed as part of my quiet time. even if i am tired, i read a few pages at least. it helps me to sleep better by clearing my head of work and worries (as does prayer before bed). so right now i am reading one book at night and something more recreational during the day. i am feeling pretty good about this goal even though i didn't not get off to such a good start. i was able to come up with a better plan and it is becoming habit. yay! it is encouraging to be able to follow through with developing a new habit even if it is only reading books. and really, it is something i am enjoying more and more as i continue. i find myself watching less tv and spending more time exercising my brain because i am hooked on a story or wanting to learn more. it is a good feeling.

so what am i reading now? check out my books to see. i just finished The Giver by Lois Lowry and it was an intriguing read, forcing me to continue thinking about the book long after i was finished reading it.

06 May 2009

more resolute

so it is the beginning of august. the year is officially half over. it has been 7 months since most of us have pledged to reach some sort of goal by the end of the year. i was just thinking that this would be a good time to check in and see how everyone is doing with those. with roughly 5 months left in the year, there is still time to catch up if you have been slacking lately so now is the time to evaluate. have you been working on reaching your goals? if not, why not? did you have a plan? is it working? maybe it is time to change it up a little. is anyone holding you accountable? that is a very important part of meeting goals and if you don't have that, consider this your wake up call and a friend saying, it's time to get back on track.

i set some goals, or "new year's resolutions," for myself at the beginning of the year. some of them were quite ordinary while others were more for fun and possibly enrichment.
  1. lose 15 lbs by eating healthier and working out 3-4x/week
  2. read at least 1 book every month
  3. get out of credit card debt
  4. find a new and satisfying job
  5. become ambidextrous
i'm doing well with some of these and not as well with others and if i'm going to talk about being accountable, i need to share my struggles. so for today, well tackle number 1.

1. i have currently lost almost nothing. that is pretty pathetic after 7 months. i have been at a point where i was close to my goal weight but then it shot up again and i am back to where i started. but it is to be expected since i am not working out. i started off the year being consistent as most people do and then i just let it go. i have been eating healthier but on a very inconsistent basis. i go through phases where i only buy healthy foods and stick to a good plan of moderation. but then, for reasons that range from stress to needing to be cheap, my healthy regimen goes down the drain. i really have given in too much and not been hard enough on myself. or maybe it isn't about being tough on myself but more about being good to myself. when we become unhealthy, we are only hurting ourselves in so many ways. those snacks that we give in to aren't really being easy on ourselves or making us happier than the healthy foods. they make us sluggish and overall, more miserable with ourselves, making it more difficult to get where we want to be. they may be what we are craving in that minute, but later, we feel gross and look in the mirror and don't like what we see. that can either get us motivated to get back on track or hopelessness settles in and we decide we can never make a change. ugh.

so how can we beat the cravings? some say you should let yourself have some of the things you want but in small amounts. i find that if i give in at all i have no control to stop where i should. it needs to not be in the house period. control for me needs to start at the grocery store. we shouldn't buy it for ourselves, for anyone else in the house, or let them buy it for us. accountability with the people we live with is a very important part.

but there is still another part, and that is the work out part. i have not consistently worked out since i was in college. i did then because the gym was free and right out my back door. i also had friends that went with me to keep me motivated. things are a little different now. if you want to go to the gym you have to pay, get in the car and drive over there and back when you are finished. i suppose i was just spoiled. i need to look at it as a matter of life and death. paying money for my health and taking extra time to work on it should be worth it. it should be a priority. and if i want to get really serious about it, it is part of being a good steward and taking care of what God has given me.

so how can i make this goal more attainable? how can i break it down so the plan works? setting more specific objectives for myself would keep me focused. so, my first objective for being a good steward of my health/body is to stick to the list at the grocery store. the second will be to put on my walking/running shoes everyday when i get home from work and get outside. (i'll explore the gym option later.) hopefully this specific plan will yield some results.

but i also can't help but think that all of this is something that truly starts with a change of mindset, a change of heart. it should be something i believe is important. so i think about the things that are important to me...my relationship with God, my family/friends, living a life of love and passion for others... maybe i should start seeing my health in relation to these things. i think we all agree that being healthy is part of being a good steward but what does that really mean? our bodies don't work well when we don't eat well and get exercise. i could go into how nutrition and exercise affect our brain and overall function of the body but to keep it simple, when we don't eat right and do not exercise we become tired, irritable, and even depressed. how can i live my life in a way that is pleasing to Him when i don't even feel like getting out of bed? no matter what is going on in my life, i would be able to see God in the moment if i was healthy and focused rather than clouded with depression. i would be more effective in my job even if i was frustrated with it. i would be more passionate about life and sharing more love with my friends/family.

so, for me, i know being healthy is something that i need to pray about and see it as a direct connection to how i live my life for the Lord. i need to have a desire to be healthy in mind, spirit, AND body. they are all connected to each other. i think that seeing it in this way will help me to be more motivated to reach my goals of attaining a more healthy weight and an overall standard of healthy habits in my life. so my last objective is to pray about my health and continue to be resolute in making connections with my quality of life and relationships and my physical health.

(more thoughts on my resolutions to come...)

02 April 2009

so much more

so i haven't written yet this year. it has been over 3 months since my last post. i was trying to figure out why and decided it was time, as i turn 28 today, to write it out and post it up.

i have been sort of busy over the last several months. not always busy like i was before with work and everything, but busy with life. i have spent a lot of time in front of my computer but no time writing, no time expressing myself or really sharing what i have been experiencing, the good or the bad. i mean, things have been down right awful at times; i've had a relationship end, gone/am going through financial hardship (as many are), been unemployed, totaled my vw (my baby), and my parents are moving to texas. with all of that, there is no reason why i should not have been sharing about God's love, mercy, grace, protection, and provision in my life. i have so much to say. why wasn't i writing about it? it was not like writer's block. i knew what i wanted to say, i just didn't. it was as if i was afraid of something.

so what am i afraid of, what am i not sure of? i think it goes back to what i was writing about in my very first post, about being a bit of a perfectionist. but it is more than that right now. i've had this idea that until i have all my problems figured out, i can't share them with you. why? well, because then i can't be used to help you fix yours. i've felt that i need to have it all together in order for God to be able to use that situation or even me. and that's not true. He uses the messed up, the broken down, the beaten up, the weak and the weary. there is a difference between having it all together and trusting God to keep it together, being a wreck but giving it to Him and moving on.

i think what i've always known and need to remind myself constantly about Him and all of this is that it's not about being perfect or having it together in order to be used. if we waited for that to happen, we would never have a chance to do anything for God. it's about giving it over to Him, giving Him control of the situation and all of your worry, so that you can be open to being used and share your peace with others. when victory comes, we can share that too, but life isn't just about troubles and victories, there is so much more. the difficult part is how you handle the battle and that is what i have neglected to share in some of my most struggling times. i don't need to wait until i have the answer, i can write about my questions, difficulties, and how He is sustaining me, God will use all of that too.

so i have many things to write about looking at the next year of my life; things that God has blessed me with and things that i am still struggling with. i want to write about all of what i am learning and questioning, from relationships to finances, race, spirituality, anything. there is more to all of it than what i know, what i have been dealing with, and what i am searching for. so hopefully, in writing, i will get some feedback as well, knowing that i don't have it all figured out.

"great minds discuss ideas. average minds discuss events. small minds discuss people."
- eleanor roosevelt