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That Time of Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I have a friend in West Virginia who is a gardener extraordinaire. People comment all the time how talented he must be. It seems he can get anything to grow well. Each year he produces a bumper crop of vegetables. I can tell you from firsthand experience, they are delicious. I have heard people lament how they wish they had his talent. I won’t deny that he has a real gift. I think most of it is born in his interest and excitement for the gardening he does. (I refuse to use the word passion any longer. It’s the most misused and misunderstood word in the English language.) I think it goes much deeper.

This time of year he has his nose buried in seed catalogues. He is planning what next year’s crops will look like. He has a list and a time table. He is aware of pitfalls and roadblocks and his years of experience tell him to expect the best but prepare for the worst. As the wind and snow swirl around him it’s awfully hard to imagine a warm June day with your hands in the rich soil.

I bring this up because we are at THAT time of year again. It’s time for our annual foray into goals and resolutions territory. So……… How did you do this year? I give you permission to declare victory if you reached more than fifty percent of a goal you set. It means you are fifty percent closer to victory. If you decided you were going to be debt free by the end of 2009 and you fell a bit short, rejoice that the amount of debt you removed is gone. You are that much closer!!! So here are a few quick but effective tips to help you in 2010.

“By an Inch It’s a Cinch. By a Mile It’s a Trial”
A boss of mine used to have that saying on his desk. It means that the smaller we package things the easier they are to handle. If I set an activity goal for the year I might run out of gas sometime in February because running five miles becomes too overwhelming for someone who runs out of breath walking two miles.

What if I break it down? What if I pick a time or a distance that’s reasonable for me to accomplish by the end of January? I am more likely to stick with that goal because I will see real and tangible progress. Come February 1 I can assess whether I am ahead of my goal at that point or behind. In other words I can make necessary adjustments.
Take your resolutions and break them into “bitable” pieces.

Remind and Reward
My office is full of sticky notes to remind me what my goal(s) is. My lap top has its screen saver set to remind me what I am going to focus on the next month. That’s important to me because I need to be reminded when I see myself veering off track.

Today’s world stresses immediate gratification. Like The Queen songs says “I want it all and I want it now!!!” We forget the long term satisfaction we receive. So remind yourself. I have even started sending myself emails to remind myself to focus. Corny? Yeah I guess so. But it works for me. Don’t misunderstand I am not obsessed. I have little reminders posted in strategic spots. They help keep me on track. I also share my goals and ask people to ask me how things are going. The same boss had this saying on the wall behind his desk; “What Gets Checked On Gets Done!”

When we break our goals down into manageable increments we have a tendency to show a bit more interest in reaching them. This leads us to rewards. Rewards along the way are the very best thing about achieving our goals.

I love to read, I love all kinds of music and I enjoy a good bottle of wine. Come February 1, when I reach my goal for the month I am going to reward myself with a good book I might not otherwise purchase. I may dally around I Tunes a bit longer and download some music I always wanted. It may mean an extended trip to a couple of stores I know that stock good wine. It’s a reward for doing what I said I’d do and it will rev up my engines for the time until my next reward.

Just two small things that might make a big difference.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPE208 1/12/2010 6:09PM

    That is an awesome outlook. Thanks for sharing.

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1WALKINGMAN 12/30/2009 5:37PM

    Thanks for sharing this good advice. We should reward ourselves when we accomplish our goals emoticon

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Holiday Hangover Part One

Monday, December 28, 2009

I survived. Actually I prospered!!! I ran the Christmas gauntlet and lost exactly four pounds over the past week. I could write ten thousand words on how I navigated holiday treats and the like, but I wont bore you. I got on the scale, did a mild to moderate happy dance and walked downstairs to face a new day.

Then it dawned on me: The evil, ugly Christmas eating deluge was over. I survived but from whence comes my motivation now? It suddenly seemed as desolate and cold as my back yard. Yikes.

Two weeks ago I would have panicked. I would have sought out the nearest donut shop and poured my heart out to a baker while I inhaled three or four donuts. ( I once drove three hours one way to get some primo donuts!!!) I'll admit I was a bit edgy. Then I logged in. I read some blogs, got some motivation and realized that I was suffering from a bit of a holiday hangover. I had invested so much energy in "being good" over Christmas that I didn't see the larger picture. Thanks good spark friends!!!

I realize its only half over that we still have another week to go, but at least my focus is back. Thanks again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1WALKINGMAN 12/28/2009 1:31PM

    emoticonon you loss. We all need to work on the larger picture. Food needs to become only as small part of that picture. I wish you continued success. emoticon

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I Am Wondering If I Have Holes In My Feet

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I weighed in this morning for the first time. I was sorta/kinda worried. What if I put weight on and the whole freakin' world gets to wag a finger under my nose. So there I stood in my under garments perched to get on the scale. Result: 9.4 pound loss!! So I got off the scale and got back on again. Same reading.

About this time I am starting to understand how Moses felt when he needed water and God told him to hit the rock one time. Not quite sure what to belive he slapped that rock three times.

I got on the scale once more. Same result.

Now I am muttering "Holy cow (Or something like it lol) this stuff really works.

Yeah, I am happy but I am also motivated to continue. I know every week wont be like this but trust me this is the best early Christmas present I could have.

I followed my plan, exercised, ate lottsa fresh fruit and veggies and stayed away from diet soda. I only had three all week. Mostly water and iced tea, unsweetened.

I will admit that Tuesday I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thank you guys for your support. It was a key ingredient.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSYCLAU 12/20/2009 8:45AM

    Congratulations! Keep it up!

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GIRLTRUCKIN 12/20/2009 8:07AM

    woo hoo...that is awesome...keep up the great rock :)

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Chewing Nails

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Somewhere around 5 pm yesterday I hit a nasty wall. It was the one labeled "cookies, ckaes and pies." I had the ultimate sugar crave. It reminded me of when I quit smoking five years ago. I weathered the storm, got a bit petulant and unresonable with everyone around me and finally downed a handful of grapes.

The good part came when I realized like the cessation of smoking, my journy towards health, happiness and success is largley measured one day at a time.

I know I have only been at this two days but I alreadt feel better and when my head hit the pillow last night there was a degree of satisfaction inside of me. So this morning I celebrate my "yesterday" and look forward to what today holds in store for me and for you.

It's the journey that makes it exciting.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASC 12/16/2009 9:33AM

    O Sugar, Sugar. Wherefore art thou Sugar?

I have been getting the fierce sugar cravings too! Keep those grapes on hand at all times... and emoticon for not giving in to the cookies, cakes, and pies! Thanks for the comment on my blog... and your 40 mins of cardio most def IS a real workout!! I started the P90 program a few months ago... I lasted about two weeks before I quit. I started back at day 1 of the program yesterday. You rotate from P90 Sculpt (30 min strength training) one day and then P90 Sweat Cardio (40 mins of yoga & cardio) the next day. It's a pretty good program!

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STOPTHECRAVING 12/16/2009 8:02AM

    You are sooooo on the right path!!! Congratulations to you! Celebrate the journey!

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Becoming Better

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When I began my buisness ten years ago I searched for a motto or tag line that would describe what I did. I came up with "Helping Good People Become Better." It dawned on me this morning as I filled in my data here at Sparkpeople that I had been really succesful at doing that for everyone but myself.

While I took the time to encourage, nurture and develop other people I let myself and my goals fall by the wayside. Something or someone else was always more important. I helped a lot of good people become better at my own expense.

It's hard to be appropriatley selfish, to take the time for you. I'm going to start. Starting today, I am going to look at myself through the same prism I look at other people through. I'm a good person on the road to becoming better.

Join me?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/4/2013 3:05PM

    Don't why...but I was moved to go and look back at your first post here at Spark People....

I like the phrase "appropriatley selfish"

And of course I will join you!

¸¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
`*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!

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NASFKAB 12/19/2011 8:25AM


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JPRICE217 5/25/2010 8:36PM

    you did it again. Really good blog it hit home with me. I have been there done that.

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VIRGOKAT1 12/15/2009 8:15AM

    Good for you, I can totally relate to the difficulties of putting yourself first, it always seems that there is something or someone more important. I too am working hard everyday to take time for me and do what's best for me for a change and even say no once in a while to others who need me. With time it does get easier. Good luck to you, and know that you aren't alone. HUGS, Kat

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SIERRA924 12/15/2009 8:13AM

    Welcome to SP!!! Good For you!!! Good Luck!!!

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