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Gearing up for 2013

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Goals for 2013:

- Learn to better control my fear and anxiety:

Too often I allow my fears to spiral out of control and take over. Upon occasion I allow those fears to transform into a full blown bought of anxiety. This fear of not knowing how, not being good enough, this chronic uncertainty hampers my ability to progress. I have made great strides in 2012 towards letting go of my fears. I have switched jobs. I have taken on new responsability. I have conquered milestones I thought beyond me. My fears are no match for ME. I will continue to grow and learn to acknowledge and respect my emotions while working to transform that fear and anxiety into power and confidence.

- Let go of perfection

Part of the fear is rooted in my need for perfection. I have travelled far down this road as well in 2012. I have learned to back off and allow myself - and others - to make mistakes. Flylady.net has helped me to see that most of the time "Good enough" is just that - "Good enough." A PhD thesis does not need to be perfect. It is the end result of a learning process. And mistakes are a valid part of this process. Acknowledge, take responsibility with out making excuses, contemplate, learn the lesson and move on.

- Commit to daily healthy habits and routines

So easy to make excuses, to hit the snooze button, to eat out just this once, to have a croissant and coffee for breakfast because I "deserve" it . . .
I also deserve to be healthy and take care of myself. I deserve to exercise every day, no matter the weather, no matter what else is going on. I deserve to fuel my body with healthy things and to look out for my health. My husband deserves to lead a healthy lifestyle so he can be an active dad when we finally do have kids.

- Embrace healthier and more productive leisure activities

I find myself turning to things that comfort me in my anxiety - comforting foods, comforting drinks, comforting activities. Observing my patterns over the past few months, I have seen that when faced with something that provokes a negative emotion, and the subsequent release of stress hormones, my reaction is to do something which will release a countering force of feel-good hormones. And sadly I have trained my brain to follow these routines. Stressed out? Watch that familiar American TV show, browse those ridiculous yahoo stories or read this trashy romance novel. However, all I am doing is creating a dopamine dependence, putting off things that need doing and practicing escapism. January is going to be turn off your tv month in my home.

- Work to nurture my relationships with family and friends

Between feeling anxious about what I fear and escaping to fantasy worlds thanks to tv, I have very little time left for those I love. It is all about me and my fears. I need to come up with creative and healthy ways to find time for those I love: my husband, my parents, my in-laws, my siblings, my friends.

- Seek motivation from within

It is essential to go back and remind myself of the root reason behind the things I do. I do not teach for the money. I do not do research for the prestige. I do not work out to please others. I teach because I love learning and helping others to delight in knowledge. I research because I need to know why and become a better educator. I take care of my body and soul because I truly love myself.

- Avoid falling into the guilt trip trap

Fear and anxiety cause me to put things off. Guilt about not doing said things prevents me from allowing myself to go out with friends, do exercise, have fun . . . and instead I turn to those mindless activities or mindless eating which provide an escape route, a shot of pleasure hormones straight to the brain. How to combat guilt? The 15 minute rule - When guilt arises, address it, acknowledge it - is the source still a viable concern? Then immediately work on the source for 15 minutes. If not? Forgive yourself and let it go.

- Finish PhD thesis and Anthro program

It is time. It is time to move past the fear, the anxiety, the perfectionism and the guilt and finalize this process. Just like the driver's exam, just like the oposiciĆ³n, just like "finally" losing weight, this is an emotional hurdle . . . I can and will finish. It can and will be great. It won't be perfect, but it's not meant to be.

- 5k pr of under 30 minutes
- Participate in two more 5k races
- Participate in my first ever 10k race
- Lose 12 kilos in the process

Losing the weight, as I said, is an emotional battle. I can and will do it. I can and will address my fears, my anxiety, my perfectionism and my guilt. I will move beyond simple fixes and recognize them for what they are. I can grow. I can be who I want to be. And to do so I will get in shape. The races are to help motivate me intrinsically. To help with these psychological strategies that I need to use to retrain myself and live each day to its fullest, in line with my ultimate goals, my core values and who I truly am.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I truly believe you can do this!!! Sometimes you just gotta believe in yourself. Think positive and toss negative thoughts out the window! I know sometimes it is just so easy to wallow in the self-pity mode but we just gotta snap ourselves out of that. When I make myself get up and move - just get out the door it does wonders. Good luck my friend!! emoticon emoticon Just follow your own advice here and you'll be fine!!
    2277 days ago
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