Motivations for January

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If you are looking to perfectly achieve your goals, you will never achieve them.  Change is a process.  One day you may leap out of bed, jump into your work-out, feel just great, and attack the rest of the day with positivity and motivation as your by-word.  Lucky you!  Make the most of those days.

The next day may be the exact opposite as you drag yourself out of bed, force your way through a leaden work-out, and trudge through the rest of the day.  These are the days that either make or break your transformation.  Do you have the fortitude to keep on going?

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If we can accept that change is often going to feel terrible, but in the end it will be worth it, we can (hopefully) keep on and achieve our goals.   Don’t let those less-than perfect days derail you.  Keep focused on your goals.  Remind yourself that it’s a process, you are on the path.  Sometimes the path is level and straight, other times it’s windy and steep.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You can do it!

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Stepping Toward Goals

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Here is an update on my accomplishments over the summer. I had a long list of things that I wanted to get done.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty low because I haven’t done them all, but here’s the list of what I have done:  doctor visit; license plates turned in and truck off the insurance policy; computer room cleared out and “stuff” taken to the swap-shop at the town dump; living room cleaned out and some books given to the library; mortgage refinancing done; budget planning in process of updating; chapter book written (working on revising and pictures).

My unfinished list is longer, but I’m plugging away.  Some things that I’m actively working on: de-cluttering house; coaching accreditation (this is almost) accomplished; cleaning out second shower (I’ve been storing bottles of water in there for when we lose our electricity); keeping house picked-up; and setting up a new schedule.

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Wow, on paper it looks like I’ve been busy.  As they say, looks can be deceiving.  While I feel that there are a lot of things that could be better, I am glad that I wrote down what I have done, and what it is that I’m currently working on.  It does make me feel that I have accomplished something so far.

How are you doing at getting your goals accomplished?  Let me know in the comments, and we can encourage each other.

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Create Your Life

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Sometimes we are so busy reacting to the things that life throws at us, that we look around and realize that we haven’t so much as “made” our own lives, instead we’ve had them thrown at us.  Instead of setting goals, and taking the appropriate steps to reach those goals, we’ve simply been reacting to whatever has come our way.  While this is a fairly normal thing, it’s not the best thing.  Simply reacting doesn’t promote a happy, healthy lifestyle.

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So, here is the thing.  Take some time out of your busy life, and ask yourself if you are happy.  Do you feel fulfilled in your job and in your life?  Is there something else that you’d rather have?  If you find that at your core you are not happy, then carve out some time for you to be quiet with your own thoughts.  What can you do right away to change something that you don’t like?  If you’re in a situation not of your making, but you need to stay there for some reason or another – money, marriage, bad job market; how can you change what you are doing to make it more pleasant for you.  If you hate your job but can’t leave due to financial issues, is there something you can do to make it more interesting/pleasant.  Maybe you are not actually bored with your job, maybe it’s something about your life.  Whatever it is, can you change yourself to improve the situation?  Sometimes frustration with ourselves is at the core of our larger unhappiness.

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Whatever it is that you’ve found out, now is the time to decide to take action to change your life.  Make a goal and plan action steps to get there.  Once you begin working toward a goal, you’ll be amazed at how much happier you are.

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Food and Exercise

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I’ve been on the Engine 2 Rescue Diet now for almost three weeks.  This diet is a no oil, no preservatives plant -based one.  How is it going?  Well, at times all I really want to do is to eat all the chips in the bag!  However, I haven’t done that, and it’s going pretty good.  I haven’t fallen “off the wagon” at all, and when I do get chip cravings, I tend to eat either some grapes – which are totally delicious, by the way, or an orange.

Learning how to make stir-fry without oil was a little hard to get used to, but I’ve got that down, now.  Tonight, is Chinese night, so I’m really looking forward to the steamed veggies with white rice.  A meal that I don’t have to cook is always a source of excitement.

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I’ve been having Quaker Quick Oats for breakfast with some maple syrup, cinnamon, banana and blueberries.  At first I thought yuck! I hate oatmeal, but when I have it like this, it’s really good!  If I get hungry later in the morning (sometimes I’ve already eaten by 6:30, I’ll have an orange.

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Here’s a lunch that I love.  I just cut-up some onion, mushroom, squash and peppers, then I stir-fried them in a little water.  I put them on a Sandwich Thin (again, no oil), added a little no-oil homemade hummus and dug in.  I also ate the leftovers.  Good lunch!  Next week I’ll give you some dinner recipes.  I have to take pictures, since I haven’t gotten around to that, yet.

I’ll also eat a salad with extra veggies and chickpeas. If I still feel hungry I’ll throw a small red potato in the microwave and cook it up.  I’ll then eat it with some garlic powder.  No vegan butter for me.  This was actually a little strange at first, but I’ve gotten used to it, and now like the potato with only some herbs on it.

I’ve added some more exercise to my routine also.  I now work-out in the morning, then go for a walk with my dog around eleven, then come home and work-out some more.  In the afternoon, I’ll do so again.  So, this is what I do:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’ll do my Soloflex machine (yes, I’ve had one for more years than I want to admit), then a Denise Austin DVD with weights in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a Denise Austin Pilates DVD.  I hate Pilates!  Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll do a Fitness Blender video in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a bunch of Sun Salutations very slowly.  On the weekend, I usually mix it up with some Denise Austin workouts and different Fitness Blender videos.

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The whole process has been a major time-commitment, what with the meal planning, making things that I usually don’t from scratch and working out.  However, I’ve finally seen a positive change in my body.  Have you changed anything about your diet or exercise routine?  Let me know how that’s going for you.

 

It’s a Lifestyle not a Diet

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When I decided to change my life, I started with what I thought would be a small change.  I went from eating a Vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based one.  I already “knew” the cruelty involved in eating dairy and meat, but the longer I’ve been Vegan (someone who tries to live as cruelty-free as is possible), I’ve found out more and more about the animal industry that I truly wish I didn’t know.  However, learning new recipes has actually taught me to be a better cook.  When you can’t just throw cheese on something to improve the taste, you’ve really got to know what you’re doing.  I use many more spices than I ever did before, and also spices from different parts of the world.  My cooking has most definitely improved, but most of my meals take longer to prepare.  So, there is the good along with the “bad”.

That being said, I’ve been on a journey that has stopped at more than a few rest areas along the way.  And, being stuck in too many rest areas, I’ve come to the realization that there is really only one way to look at the rather large goals that I have.  I’ve been changing my thoughts on these goals, and thinking of them as a lifestyle, not a diet, and not “just” goals and steps, but as a deliberate way to live my life.  So, every time the alarm goes off and I know that I’ve got to get up and work out, I tell myself it’s a lifestyle.  So far, this has worked, and I’ve gotten up and done what I’ve planned on.

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Part of what has helped me, and might help you too, is that I’ve been making goals for each week and working daily to achieve them.  Some of these goals deal with house-work, and some deal with my goal of finishing the book I’m working on.  I find that if I break them down into smaller steps, I’ve been hitting more goals than not.  This is helping with my confidence, since I’ve been tracking everything and seeing more successes than failures.

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So, how have you been doing with your goals for the year, and what has been helping you achieve them?  Let me know.  You may have great ideas for the rest of us.