Friday, September 20, 2013
Well, the next round of the BLC start next week, and we were asked to give some thought as to our goals for the round.
I know that this is going to be another really stressful round for me--I turned in my bibs (yay!) but now I have revisions to make on my dissertation and a lot of studying to do. I need to take my comps in November and turn in my final (or mostly final, anyway) draft in to my committee by the beginning of December. I also have a lot of bureaucratic stuff to deal with--getting paperwork filed, dates for exams and defense approved, etc. And apparently I should be job hunting at the same time. All this in the same 12 weeks of the round, so I'm seeing a lot of really long days of school related work during this round.
I think, because of that, I'm going to keep my goals very simple and pretty basic--really focusing on the fundamentals that will help me stay both sane and healthy (and hopefully not losing any ground as far as my healthy lifestyle goes) between now and December.
1) Weight loss: my weight loss goals are, as always, very modest. I want to lose 6 pounds in 12 weeks. I lose weight painfully slowly--last round was the first round EVER where I actually met my goal--but I know now at least it *can* be done, right?
2) I have been working on eating breakfast every day, and I want to keep that up. I have a hard time with breakfast. I really, really don't want food until I've been awake a few hours, and by that point it's lunch time. Food first thing in the morning is about as appealing to me as, oh, slugs. But I keep reading about how important breakfast is in jump starting the metabolism--and I *did* actually lose weight the one round so far where I regularly ate breakfast--as well as providing much needed energy to help you get up and go in the morning. So breakfast it is. I plan to have breakfast every day, even if it's something as small as an ounce of cheese or a slice of toast.
3) Another thing I have been working on is cutting back on the soft drinks, especially since I *hate* artificial sweeteners so when I drink pop, it's full-sugar. So my goal is to keep drinking tea every morning instead of my "normal" morning soft drink. I've been doing this for almost a year now (mostly--I've had some exceptions when I drank pop instead, but those days have been few and far between). It is, however, still *very* tempting to drink pop, especially when I'm not getting enough sleep and super stressed--that artificial energy from the combination of sugar and caffeine is like a siren in the morning. But I'm going to do my best to stick to tea in the morning. (I'm still allowing myself the occasional pop later in the day, because I don't do well with deprivation--it makes me want to rebel--and the occasional pop has remained very occasional and so I have cut WAY back on my soft drink consumption. Baby steps, my friends; baby steps.)
4) I intend to exercise a minimum of 20 minutes 5 days a week, Wed.-Wed, though I have the time and the ability, I can always do more than that. This serves a couple of purposes. First, this allows me to be a streaker for the round, and I've been a streaker every round since they went from 6 days a week to 5. Second, I can handle 20 minutes of exercise most days, even when I'm *really* busy. It's going to be a HUGE challenge the weeks I'm taking my comps, but I'm hoping I can pull it off. Third, it gives me 2 days of rest, which my hip REALLY needs. Every time I bump my exercise level to more than 5 days, I start to have problems with my bad hip. So I need those 2 days. Exercise also serves the purpose of being a very important stress reliever for me, especially fencing. So this way I have prioritized finding time to do it.
5) I am going to EITHER read 15 minutes/1 chapter (whichever comes first) from one of my religious texts (currently reading The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus by the Dalai Lama) OR 5 minutes in meditation. This serves a couple of purposes--it gives me time for spiritual contemplation, which does me good, but it also gives me space/time to meditate, which is a good way to help me deal with stress. And meditation and religious contemplation go hand in hand very well (think rosaries, if you're Catholic) so I think this will work in giving me the opportunity to read and study but also flexibility, which I think will be particularly important this semester.
6) And last but not least, I want to get at least 15 minutes of "Me" time every day. This could mean reading a book, playing a video game, watching a movie, spending some time on crafts... just 15 minutes to just relax. This is going to be *really* hard as I get close to deadlines and my exams, but I think that just makes it all the more important.
I also intend to be as good an Azurita as I can be, given school--to post regularly, to be as cheerful and supportive as I can, to let my teammates support and encourage me when I need support and encouragement, to do the best as I can with traveling, and to participate as well as I can with the challenges. I am concerned, I admit, that I won't carry my weight well this round, but hopefully I'll be able to carry enough of it.