Goal Setting and Attaining the Life You Want

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Over the past few months I’ve gotten out of the habit of setting goals for the week on Sundays.  I’m not really sure why I stopped, but stop I did.  (That sounded a little like Yoda).  And, I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that I really haven’t been working on any of my long-term goals lately, either.

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So, I wrote my goals down yesterday along with the much needed steps to get there.  One of my main goals this week will be finishing the second chapter for my children’s book along with the illustrations to go with it.  I’ve been dragging my feet on the drawings, since I’m definitely not an artist.   What are your goals this week?  Have you been working on them consistently?  Let me know.

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Change is Hard

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I thought I’d just share a little about my progress and add some positive quotes to help anyone else who is on a transformation quest.  For a long time I’ve been an all or nothing type of person.  As an example, I’ve thought that if I don’t get up at 4:30 every morning and work out it means I’m a failure and I shouldn’t ever work out.  All or nothing.  Of course that kind of thinking just dooms you to failure, since I find it’s impossible to always get up that early.  Life happens: you may not be able to fall asleep until 2 in the morning; maybe you’ve got a cold…etc.  So, are you supposed to just stop?  Well, that’s what I did in the past – if I wasn’t perfect, I’d just stop.  So, what am I doing now?  I’m putting on my big girl panties and dealing with it.  So what if I missed a day or two, or even three?  No one is perfect, so why should I be expecting perfection of myself.  After all, I don’t do anything else perfectly, (as anyone who has eaten my dinners can attest), why should exercise be the only area of my life where perfection rules.

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 Change is a choice.  We all make choices every day.  I’ve finally realized that I cannot change the people who I live with.  I can’t change their choices, their attitudes or even their habits.  The only person I can change is myself.  So that’s what I’m doing.  I’m being the change that I want to see.  I’m a work in progress. Even though I try to respond with patience and love, I sometimes get upset.  But I’m learning.  I’m not responding with a raised voice.  When I’m trying to have a conversation and if the other person only wants to fight, I’ll walk away.  I won’t engage past the point of raised voices.  I am not responsible for what others say or do.  That’s their choice and not a reflection on me.  Others have choices too.

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Live your life.  Change yourself if you’re not happy.  If you feel stuck with a situation ask yourself what you can do about it.  I’ve found that my unhappiness comes from being disappointed with myself.  If the same is true with you, find out what you can change and act on it.  Life is too short to be unhappy.

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Early to Rise

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I’ve been getting up at 4:40 am every morning Monday through Friday for the last few weeks.  At first it was easy, since the sun was also a hint in the sky.  But, since our dreaded “spring ahead” last Sunday, getting up so early has been a difficulty.

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Now, I’m taking my dogs out in the dark, and it actually feels like it’s the middle of the night instead of early in the morning.  This feeling is going to last a few weeks before the sun finally catches up with the time change.  I can’t wait for that to happen since the dark sky makes me feel like climbing back into bed and pulling the covers over my head!  So, in an effort to help motivate myself, I thought that I’d share some motivations with you, too.

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Things I Loved About This Week

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I love these lists because it ends the week on such a positive note.  So, without any further ado, here’s my list of lovely things about this week.

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Mansfield Hollow State Park – On Sunday, my daughter and I went hiking.  We wanted to try somewhere new, and so we went to the park.  We had a great time.  There are various trails for either a novice or someone with more experience.  The best thing is that the trails are marked quite clearly, which is a plus for directional challenged me.  We will be going back this weekend and trying a few other trails.  Another good thing about this park is that dogs are welcome as long as they’re on leashes.  So my Border Collie got a nice work-out, too – which is a nice thing, since true to his breed he’s a complete lunatic!

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Spring-like Weather – It hit 70° this week!  And, to top it all off, the sun was shining while it did that!  Maybe some spring buds will bless us with their presence?

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Mandarin Oranges – To tell the truth, I’ve been buying these all winter.  I love them.  I eat them for a snack, but the best thing is that when you are “patiently” waiting for your bananas to be ripe, you can put two of these in your blender, add juice and have a great tasting smoothie.  Simple and delicious!  It’s like having sunshine in your glass.

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Spaghetti Squash – Every Fall I look forward to this vegetable and eat it all winter long.  I made it for dinner last night.  I had a pretty big one, so the cutting it open took a little muscle as well as patience.  I chopped it in half, scooped out the seeds, rubbed a little oil on it, added some pepper, salt and nutmeg, placed them upside down on a baking sheet and roasted the halves for about 45 minutes on 450°F.  While that was baking I whipped up a tomato sauce to which I added garlic, onion and broccoli as well as whatever spices I could get my hands on.  Delicious!

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Fitness Blender – I discovered Fitness Blender through my daughter who has been using their YouTube videos to work out.  I can’t say how much I’m really loving Kelli and Daniel.  If you’re looking for a no-nonsense approach to fitness, I recommend their site.  (And, no, I’m not getting paid for saying this – I’m sure that they don’t know I exist.)

All in all, it was a great week!  What are you loving about your week?  Let me know.

 

Finding Happiness in Everyday Life

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So much of our lives is spent on auto-pilot. Get up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, make dinner and go to bed. Weekends can be spent doing all the things that we didn’t get done during the week – errands, cleaning, etc.

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On Sunday, after a lousy night’s sleep, and a cranky morning, I went for a hike in a lovely park. What a difference it made. My perspective changed, and even though I had to go home to cooking and laundry I looked at those mundane activities with new eyes. Because I had done something that made me happy for a little while, I was ready to tackle those mundane tasks with a little grace.

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I hope that you had a weekend where you were lucky enough to do something that brought  some happiness into your life.

2015 Summarized

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I thought that I’d take a look back at 2015 so that I can see where I did well, and where I need to make improvements. Every year is such a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. I also need to take a good look at my failings so that I can avoid repeating them in the New Year. There is nothing worse than making mistakes and not learning from them!

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So, to start off on a positive note, my vegan lifestyle was pretty easy to continue. I had no desire to eat chocolate candies on Easter (which had been my downfall in 2014), and no animal products passed my lips. I also didn’t buy any clothing, etc. that contained animal products. Very good job, if I do say so myself.

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My writing didn’t do as well, unfortunately. I did indeed write all the blog posts that I wanted too; so that was a good thing. However, my novel needs work, and all the other plans I had fell to the wayside. This is definitely an area that needs much work.

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Organization of household chores and crap didn’t really lose much head-way, however, my schedule needs to change. I really need to work on including all aspects of my goals for the year into my daily schedule. This is an item on my to-do list for the New Year.

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Exercise and health are other areas that need much improvement. I’ve been staying up much too late and not getting up and working out. Boo me! Again, I must change my lifestyle to include this all-important part. I also need to make appointments for a physical at both the general practitioner and the “lady doctor”. This is going to be included in my goals list.

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Overall, I’m not really happy with what I achieved this year. However, I do know what I need to do to make more changes and meet my goals in 2016. On Friday I’ll let you know what those goals are. Let me know how your year stacked up. I hope that you had more on the positive side, and less on the negative.

 

Bing, Bang, BOOM! – It Doesn’t Work Like That

I’ve been having a slight belief issue lately. See, I’ve been Vegan since last April, and been working out fairly consistently for a while now…And, I really haven’t seen much of a transformation. Now, I know all the facts: muscle weighs more than fat; it takes time and consistency to lose fat; and most importantly, stress and not enough sleep are factors in weight loss.

If I look at all the healthy benefits I’ve gained simply by becoming Vegan, I have to admit that I have improved. My digestion is awesome, my elimination is fantastic, and my bouts of sinus problems are almost gone. Look at the great benefits I’ve gotten! I enjoy eating a plant-based diet, and I’ve found fabulous new foods to try. Very good! I’m extremely pleased.

However, my pant size hasn’t changed, and I’m dreaming of little summer dresses, and facing another horribly hot and humid summer in my capris again. Yes, there have been changes…I can feel pretty good muscle-tone on my legs (including upper thighs), but still I cry – look, I’m in my same size jeans! What is going on! There is definition on my arms, and I’m actually starting to get some guns on my upper arms. But, don’t they say you can lose 30 pounds in 30 days???

Oh Dear! Am I being suckered by even looking at those “promises”? Of course! It took time to get out of shape; it will take time to get back into shape. Plus, there is a list of things I’m doing wrong, and I know it: potato chips (need I say more?); Oreo cookies (and, you can never eat just one); sleeping in on some mornings and not working out; living with daily, long-term chronic stress (and not meditating); and last but not least not getting enough sleep.

See, all I had to do was to be truthful to myself, and I’d find out what the real issue was. It’s all in the above paragraph. That’s why I’m not losing weight. Why oh why does it have to take so long? When I tried to get pregnant 26 years ago, my doctor at first questioned if I was even having menstruation – the six-pack abs threw him off. He actually thought I was an athlete. Ha! While I never had the six-pack again, I know that had been attainable (granted, 26 years ago). Where oh where did I go? I know, I became a mother, and somehow I lost myself. I’m still looking for me, sometimes I can see myself waving from the mirror – there are glimpses now and then.

How come a lifestyle change doesn’t work Bing, Bang BOOM! Why the h*ll not? I know, because only something that takes work is worth-while (I’d like to meet the person who decided that little factoid). Well, I guess I’ll just keep on plodding on, after I eliminate the chips, Oreo’s, sleeping late and stress (ha ha) from my life. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I’m still dreaming of those little summer dresses.