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Simple, but important steps


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Hello everyone,

 

I joined about 9 months ago, but hadn't settled into a clear idea of what I wanted to set for goals.  I've never been a goal setter, so this is a new experience for me.  The idea of setting a goal overwhelms me, because what if I pick the wrong goal!  What if I don't like it!  What if I'm wrong!  Not this time.  This time will be simpler and I will do baby steps.   

 

I'm a New Englander who isn't much into TV as I don't have the patience to find something interesting.  Tune into the Simpsons and crochet and call it good.  I unabashedly love Disney movies and all things Addams family.  I love reading, especially books that make me laugh, and card- or board games that allow for some banter without being too serious.   I enjoy new foods and cooking, especially when friends come by to share the fun, but have run into the usual issue of how to make friends as an introverted adult.  Where are the extroverts who will adopt me?  

 

Exercise has always been a part of my life as I love feeling like I've actually done something, and being hot and tired will satisfy that.  A few years ago I was diagnosed with depression and then shortly thereafter learned depression doesn't just run, but gallops through my family, taking down the unwary left and right.  It was during my worst low that I determined strength training helps me survive my brand of depression and I've mostly kept it at bay and worked my way off the meds for now.  And I recently discovered calisthenics.  I love the idea of being able to do tricks!

 

My diet has generally been decent for most of my life, if we ignore the stupid early 20's when no junk of alcohol seemed to stick.  About 2 years ago I buckled down to add more veggies by doing what I called "sneaky veggies."  Yep, I hid veggies from myself.  Like, "Oh! Who put kale in the burgers?  How crazy!"  It worked for me.   Now it's second nature and it is so much easier for me to have 2 servings at dinner if one is "hidden."  Never thought I'd admit to playing games on myself.  hehe

 

This brings me to my goals.  I want to feel more proud of myself, my home, my life.  I'm in my 40s, happily married, but feel kind of generic.  I don't want to stand out, but I want to feel calm, capable, and confident on a more regular basis.  In order to that I need to do a few things.  I think the best starting point for me to achieve this is to 1) heal the rotator cuff tendonitis I've developed from pushing my upper body work combined with being unaware at work (massage therapist) of my body mechanics.  2) work toward a clean house on a mostly-regular basis (put my crap away.)  3) Don't let new habits overwhelm me and derail the good habits I've already set in motion (flossing daily, breakfast and lunch weekly meal prep, language learning.)  Bonus level) Work on the social parts of life.  Go to a meet-up.  Anything with other humans for socializing. 

 

Goals:

 

-Set a recovery regimen for tendinitis.  Allow for fact that upper body strength work will need to be set back during this and this is ok.  To start with the plan is alternating walk/run day and lower body strength/ upper mobility/stretch/ massage/ add in rehab exercises as pain subsides and ROM increases.  

 

-Start with clutter control.  Don't worry about cleaning too much to start as once the crap is off the table I can wipe it down.  Ditto vacuum and making bed.  Basic combo of 10-20 min/day picking up and don't leave the room empty-handed.  Continue the accidental habit I started of doing dishes right after dinner, maybe add in wiping down all counters at the finish.  Maybe.  

 

-Maintain old good habits.  This should be pretty straightforward, but allow for hiccups without too much self-recrimination, as I know that sometimes adding in a new thing can be exhausting for me and I occasionally need to allow a slip for mental wellness.

 

-Bonus- maybe twice in this challenge get to a meet-up.  If all goes well, maybe more.

 

As a final thought to this, I may or may not post updates super regularly as the idea of "something I have to do" on top of other goals can derail me.  I'm certain I can do this,  just in my own time, and in my own way.  -this is to allow myself to be human and make mistakes, because if I don't I will trip up right at the start-

 

 

 

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So far, so good.

Tendinitis plan set and in motion.  Actually feeling a little better today, but no slacking allowed.

House slightly less of a wreck and more things put away.  Today will be a bathroom cleaning day.

Good habits a go.

Feeling good about this, though I haven't figured out what to do about today's fitness session.....  Rainy, cold and gross here so I may need to something indoors.  Not my favorite, but oh, well.  

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OMG your post spoke to me! I struggle with depression and anxiety and its been a bit of a battleground for me for the last few years. Some days are really good. Some are just a write-off. But there are more of the good days and starting off with some of the goals like you have set really help you "get out of the box of stuck mindset". I started running (not competitively) to help me ease off my SSRI's because they just weren't working for me. I sucked at it (and on some days now, I still do) but it felt good for my mind and I just started setting really teeniest goals from there on. I had two ankle rollovers and cuboiditis (I didn't even know it was a thing until it happened) and though it took me off my feet for almost 2 years, I recovered by walking, some acupuncture and lots of TLC. Maybe not so much at first. But I added more walking and eventually I started to sneak running for short spurts back into the walking routine. It was crap at first. I couldn't walk even for 15 minutes because I was just off my feet for a long time and I gained a lot of the pre-running weight back while I was in recovery. Its been almost 3 years (1 year post recovery) and I'm now running almost 30 minutes straight (ok, maybe 23-25 minutes if I don't count the walking warmup) without collapsing. Yeah, I know its a long stretch of time but I told myself that there's no one to compete with except your own mindset from the day before. Small steps always move you forward on your journey and your journey will always unfold before you - sometimes filled with amazing beautiful things that you may have forgotten do exist in the world. Sometimes I am surprised with glimpses of pretty things like trees or birds when I am outdoors on my walks or runs and the gray world of depression looks a lot more colourful. Those are the moments I live for. Keep at it!! I'm a newbie here too and so far, Ive had a lot of great support from the folks who contribute to this place. :D   

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Acupunk, you're speaking my language.  I'm not much of a runner, but I run, kinda.  Mostly I play outside :D and I can't "not be good enough" at being outside!  And since it is lovely sunny, if chilly, day, I'm off to see the colors.

 

Still rolling on pretty well with these goals.  Maybe not as "fully" as I initially intended every day, but touched on it every day and that's good enough.  Today's walking-run/running-walk will focus on form as I realized one hip does this weird rolling out around thing instead of extending back properly.  And then a little MST3K while I do my shoulder work.  

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Heya WildSonja! Haha, glad that someone gets the kookie speak I do sometimes :biggrin-new:!  I don't think anyone has to really "run" to run for running's sake....sometimes I run but I'll hop on park benches and act like a total doofus, then use the kid's playground area to run around stuff or jump over stuff, and then I run some more....I think its all about movement and celebrating the fact that you have a healthy body! I have had days when it was hard to move at all and now whenever I do even just a few 10-15 minute walks and jumping jacks or run up a flight of stairs, I feel lucky and grateful I have these better days. And yes! I agree it can't "not be good enough" to be outside. Today was one such day - alas! I had to work when the sunshine was at its best but we'll have more of those good days to come! Hey, touching on it everyday is awesome! Even if it is just focusing on form and getting it done right. ouch....I hear you when you talk about the hip. My right hip flexor sometimes gets "stuck" but I stretch like a madwoman and it tends to help ease the "stuckness". I'm finding that taking a recovery day tends to help a lot too - for me anyway. Keep up with it! You sound like you're off to an amazing start! After reading your post, I'm now also feeling inspired to tackle the spring cleaning projects that I have been meaning to do all year. Here's to movement and decluttering with gusto! :friendly_wink:

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Things continue  well.  A weekend away forced some interruptions, but that happens.  I didn't do as much physically as I would have liked normally, but I'm counting it as unplanned recovery time.  Further discoveries about my tendinitis have helped healing and hopefully relapse prevention when it is finally healed up.  The house is generally coming along.  The reduced clutter has allowed more focus and energy devoted to impromptu cleaning of usually overwhelming things, ie the stove top.  It's clean and it was no big deal since I didn't have to clean up around it first!  Onward!

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@WildSonja you're my de-cluttering hero atm! I still have three bags of old clothing that I have still not donated out yet and a ton of old cardboard boxes that need flattening waiting for me in the garage. Now that tax stuff is done and out of the way, I think I know where my quest needs to go - declutter and simplify! When I'm done with this 4 week challenge, my next to try and find ways to simplify and minimize any extra purchases of things I don't need. Sending you applause and a fist bump!! 

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@Acupunk  I found the downfall to decluttering and cleaning last night!  After I spent the time to clean the stove, we pan seared pork chops and now I can see the mess that would have gone unnoticed.  And with a stupid gas stove I need to wait for it to cool down to wipe up.   Is this what I'm dooming myself too?  Being able to see the mess?  hehe   And my next challenge my be inspired by yours-  get rid of clothes that I will never be able to wear again!  

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and a ton of old cardboard boxes that need flattening waiting for me in the garage.

I have a box that our home gym came in (that will get put into use one day) that is overflowing with flattened boxes. We had just moved (Nov 2015) when we bought it and were still unpacking. Wanting to be eco-friendly and all we decided we we're going to recycle the boxes instead of throwing them. Catch is the recycling truck that accepts cardboard is about an hour away and only certain mornings. Being nightstalkers we have problems with anything being done in the morning. So the box of boxes still sits in my designated exercise area. Makes a nice stand for the tablet when I exercise though.


 The reduced clutter has allowed more focus and energy devoted to impromptu cleaning of usually overwhelming things, ie the stove top.


Thank you so much for this! I thought I was the only one that had clutter on their stove!
I finally have mine 3/4.... well 2/3..... (looks over at stove...) ok, 1/2 clear. But you can see stove top through the stuff on the cluttered half so there's that.
Making the challenge to cook at least once a week has helped with keeping it clear the past few weeks though.
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@WildSonja:biggrin-new: omg yes, now that you have seen, you cannot UN-see the mess and clutter! Oh man...that's truly a problem I'd love to have!! I seem to have the supernatural ability to turn of my preternatural sights from seeing messes and I'm hoping to tackle that challenge now. I have moved to changing in the what I term "guest bedroom of despair" where all my bags of old clothes have gone so I am forced to see them leering at me when I get ready for work. I think it may be time for me to take action - granted my schedule allows this week. I've already set a deadline - by mid April which is (du-duh-duuhhhh...) next week. 

 

You know I am seeing one amazing upside to this getting rid of old clothes business. I found old jeans that I thought I'd never be able to wear again. Because I ballooned to 144lbs not too long ago (and probably was closer to 150lbs in Dec last year), I didn't have a hope in hell I'd be able to slide into them again. I can actually get myself into them now - BTW I hit 131lbs as of yesterday (like holy high hallelujah!) and I can now actually get them on and though I can't quite button them, I can zip them - something I couldn't do before! I may keep one pair as a sort of victory prize to remind me that I came this far man! Feels pretty damned good! :angel: 

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@Cynforgiven oh man you to eh? I had the same idea as you about wanting to keep my boxes from my last move in 2012 "in case of"...and the next move never quite happened because work has changed so many times and I've never had the need to relocate my living space. They sit in a small unused corner of the garage gathering cobwebs now and all I can do is look at them. I know how you feel about not being able to amass enough enthusiasm to do it in the morning. How about maybe setting your own time and taking them to a recycling depot? I was doing some research and found a place around 10 (maybe 8 minutes) away from where I live (shame...I never even knew this place existed until I googled) that takes not only old cardboard but lightbulbs, electronic gadgets and "hazardous" waste that I can move stuff to. I have a hatchback and that can take a ton of stuff. I'm thinking of starting with some of the boxes and then moving more stuff out later as the weather gets better. I found that if you do some homework, you'll be amazed at what you can find out there! I learned something new man....didn't think these places even existed! :star:

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acupunk - You’d think it would take less than 9years of being together to figure out that most things around the house aren’t going to get done until I do them. It’s also taken this long for me to consciously admit that Andy and I aren’t wired the same way when it comes to house keeping/maintaining/cleaning. I just haven’t figured out how to communicate what I see is something that needs to be done sooner rather than later. Maybe the boxes will turn into a future challenge mission. [emoji16]


~~~~~~~
Whether you decide you can or you decide you can’t, you’re right.

In a world of princesses, dare to be Batman.

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@Cynforgiven, oh man! I hear you.....I think some are hardwired to see all sorts of mess and other luckier ones are hardwired to be be able to NOT see them :biggrin-new:....I shouldn’t laugh. I have this ability to see insects everywhere where no one else sees them and for an insect-phobe you can imagine the terror of seeing a multi-legged creature in the oddest places where no one else seems to notice! 

 

I love that idea of turning this into a massive challenge though! Hey just a thought! If Andy is super competitive and you yourself - ever thought of turning this into a challenge between each of you to see who can be like “The Biggest Clearer of Old Trash?” Omg that’s something I’d respond to as I am starting to realize, I’m growing (if you may) a competitive wedge since starting this 4 week challenge. I’m trying to outdo myself each week haha :black_eyed:. I wonder if this would work if you challenged each other and saw who cleared more out each week with weekly trash weigh in?? 

 

Ugh I have too many hairbrained ideas!!! 

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36 minutes ago, Acupunk said:

I think some are hardwired to see all sorts of mess and other luckier ones are hardwired to be be able to NOT see them :biggrin-new:.

Definitely this!  My husband sees the stuff on the counter that isn't in the place he would like it and it drives him batty, but for the life of him can't see that the floor or counter itself is dirty.  I'm learning to laugh at it.  But I figure he has learned to accept that it is impossible for me to put my coffee cup in the washer, so I can accept that will move thing unexpectedly (that have been there for ages) and it is beyond his programming to close select cabinet doors.  :highly_amused:  Eh, could be worse

 

now I must clean up the potato water that boiled over on my nice clean stove-top.  It doesn't end when you start this, huh?  

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@WildSonja :biggrin-new: Hahahahahahaha!!! I had a good laugh at this! That sounds like a pretty awesome superpower! I wish I could see less dirt and fewer specks of dust on things. I might need to get a blindfold for that in my case (especially since I see insects - EVERYWHERE! and they always seem to know that I'm terrified of them!!). Hey laughter is the best medicine for so many things! I laugh at myself when I do crazy things and wonder "how the heck did I get here and do that??". Hey you're right...things could be worse. Potato water boiling over is certainly better than tomato sauce boiling over! Sending over good vibes for the weekend! :friendly_wink:

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Had a definitely sign of improvement on the shoulder.  I didn't have any discomfort throughout the day, unless I did the movement that I knew would hurt.  I hadn't realized that the ache and twinge had just been part of my day.  Now my arm feels so light!  This is not the time to quit, though.   I knew logically the process would ultimately take longer than the challenge, and that is holding true.  The interesting part is that I'm not frustrated by that this time.  I think having the specific time frame to compare to has been helpful, which is great as I originally thought it would impose more pressure.  Good little thing for me to learn about me.

 

And I think I have an official New Habit!  Glance around the room before I leave it for a thing that can travel with me!  With an added layer of Hey that is pretty clear/empty, I should wipe it down while it is easier (ie the refrigerator day prior to food shopping).  Things my not officially clean through and through, but things are better than they were when I started.  I'm perfectly happy with "better than they were" as a measurement.  

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@WildSonja, you have now become the official Ninja of Clean!! I like this attitude towards cleaning - I sometimes overshoot in my enthusiasm and end up falling short of epic clean only to be disappointed and I end up un-friending Mr Clean for yet another week. Its a great unit of measurement and you can do them incrementally! Nice :flustered:

 

Hope that shoulder comes along and you start working through the twinges and aches....sometimes it just takes a little body awareness and adjusting the day's activities before you find that balance of just enough movement to keep things limber and just enough rest time to allow for healing. Add a little TLC with Epsom salts, heat pads and arnica and you will have a fully functioning shoulder! 

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