Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I did OK with eating yesterday -- I was sore from Monday's workout so I rested. Ate more of my pre-cooked meals and fruits and carrot sticks with peanut butter, had a starbucks drink that I shouldn't have, but got it made with unsweetened soy milk with no whip, so it wasn't tooo many calories.
Today I am going swimming for my workout~ then back to studying. I'm making some tuna cakes for dinner, and leftover veggie soup.
Japanese is going well.. I am studying consistently for 4-5 hours total every day (a combination of review of past materials--30%, mastery of current materials--50%, and preview of future materials--20%). For kanji reading/writing practice, I allow myself to watch/listen to movies and music while studying, which works well for me because I think I have ADD or something (lol). For spoken language practice (which requires much more focus), I break my study time into 15-30 minute sessions with breaks in-between to cook or do chores, or just to browse the internet. It's sort of a strange system, but it works for me, and I don't ever feel like I HAVE to sit down and study for a giant 4 or 5-hour chunk, so I'm not tempted to procrastinate; by reviewing and shifting my focus back to what I want to learn, but still allowing my brain time to rest between study sessions, material seems to seep into my long-term memory better than if I had just crammed for 4 hours straight. Again, I think I may have undiagnosed ADD, but at least I have found a system that works for my brain :)
My daily grades are rising, and my performance is near the top of the class now :) class is conducted entirely in Japanese, and I feel like I'm able to say more complicated sentences than I could before, with culturally relevant reactions and correct conjugations/honorifics/polite
ness/humble speech patterns etc. I'm feeling really accomplished, and it's helping to motivate my weight loss (seeing daily hard work paying off is a great motivator!).
I read an article the other day about the importance of visualizing yourself achieving your goals, or put another way -- thinking of yourself as a person who is capable of the things you want to achieve. So for this week, I've been telling myself: "I am the type of person who will pass up on unhealthy convenience foods in favor of cooking a healthy meal," or, "I am a health-conscious, gluten-and-dairy-free, ethical eater," and "I am not the type of person who will give up what she wants most for what she craves now." I think this sort of self-affirmation is really helping me -- I'm trying to really visualize myself at my goal weight, and how my eating and exercise habits would be, and I'm trying to act accordingly.
Also, I'm taking this one week at a time -- I keep asking myself what can I do TODAY that will take me closer to my weekly goals. My journey is the sum of a bunch of small goals, but I tend to get lost in the big picture of how much further I have to go, unless I focus on the immediate future. So I'm trying to keep my focus on weekly goals and daily decisions.
Finally, when I catch myself thinking something negative about myself, I correct myself out loud... and, if I insult myself or think that I can't or won't be able to do something, I force myself to actually say "Wrong. You can do this. Just imagine yourself doing it, then do it." It sounds silly, but I think it's helping me. Not going to lie -- I have a LOT of negative thoughts about myself (about my appearance, my capabilities, my worthiness), but I'm beginning to realize that my goal should not be to never have these sort of thoughts, but rather to challenge and squelch them when they occur, and to realize their purpose (It's just my brain attempting--albeit, poorly--to cope with stress). Seeing it for what it is makes it easier to deal with; I can't control the fact that these thoughts occur, but I can control how I deal with them and whether or not they impact my life and my mood.
So... how do you stay focused and motivated? Do you have a mantra? do you ever do self-affirmations?