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Emancipation Declaration. I want to be free of bad excuses and weak effort.


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I'm so tired of making it a week or two into a new challenge or project or habit or whatever and something comes up and derails it.  It might be a legitimate problem that I can't adapt my new routine to, but usually it's more of an incredibly tiny puncture in my puffed up sense of commitment and dedication that instead of easily patching I start playing with until it rips wide open and everything falls apart. (As I write I've been picturing a deflating bouncy castle for some reason).

 

So here we go: for the thousandth time, I am setting goals and am full of motivation and passion to see them through.  This will only last a few days, though, so anyone who wants to exchange messages or be friends on here to  help each other stay motivated, I would welcome hearing from you.  I live overseas and have not found anyone who I can talk to about this stuff because the only expats I know are my colleagues and I am just not going there.

 

BTW: Here's an AWESOME SITE for building a habit through daily check-ins, a running tally/tracker, reminders, and encouragement from strangers/friends: https://lift.do/.  I love it.

 

Okay, enough.  Here's the good stuff:

 

My main goal: Develop greater peace of mind
Why: Because getting thinner won't make me enjoy the vast majority of what I do in a day any more than I do now.

 

My 3 sub-goals/steps to get me there:

1. Read and put into practice 2 books on meditation and mindfulness (one for each 3 weeks).  On weekends, review notes from previous study and spend time thinking about how the ideas compare with each other.

2. Make an action plan for transitioning from teaching to photography that includes weekly, achievable tasks to accomplish it

3. Discuss and set firm boundaries with the whole department to determine what is and isn't my role/responsibility for next term.  STICK TO THOSE BOUNDARIES (and get them in writing) AND "LET THINGS GO"

 

Life Quest:

Pay off the small debts that I have to people like my mom and CITI. Totally doable if I'm not stupid.

 

Okay, I'm gonna be bad and sneak this in here.  I'm not even sorry.  (Wow, that sounds dirty.)

Fitness Quest: Get down to under 130 pounds and drop 4% body fat

I've got a couple of guidelines for diet and exercise, but I don't want to push my luck and get blocked from this challenge for over-stepping my boundaries. :P

 

Tracking Results:

1. Starting measurements and photo will come in a couple of days when I've finished an overseas flight I have tomorrow.

2. I have a list of debts in priority of when to repay them.
3. Lift and a printed calendar that I can X off or check off days on will help me see how I'm doing on daily/weekly tasks like whether I've read my books, done my studying, or worked on photography.

 

Where I'm Stuck:

I don't know how to "track" whether I'm making progress on the habits of mind I want to develop, things like calmness, patience, general pleasantness, mindfulness, etc.  What is the starting measurement for stuff like that?  Count how many times I get frustrated or complain in a day?  Rank my day from 1-10 on a general "enjoyability" scale?  ANY IDEAS???

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"Miss Monty if you're nasty..."

Race: Half elf
Class: A Druid eyeballing the Ranger guild

Stats: Coming after first challenge

Daily Battle Log/Reaction to Turning 30 -- Emancipation Declaration (6 Week Challenge Goals)

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

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Hi, 

 

So first, I love your first two paragraphs and the mental image of deflating bouncy castle. I've lived overseas for brief periods of time and know it can be stressful. 

 

Second, for meditation and mindfulness I started working with the Headspace app (http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/) last January and I absolutely love it. It started out at ten minutes and progressed up to 20 and I really like it. I ended up buying the full year's worth and it was a great decision for me. 

 

I'll follow along and cheer for you. 

 

Good luck!

Current Challenge

Quest 1-Track my food each day (27 days)

40.7%
40.7%

 

Quest 2-Complete 3 NFA strength workouts each week (12 workouts)

41.7%
41.7%

 

Quest 3-Complete 1 cardio workout each week (4 workouts)

50%
50%

 

Life Quest-Complete my January 2016 Declutter Challenge (20 challenges)

20%
20%

 

Blogging about my weight loss and fitness and organization adventure in 2016 at The Sprinkle Ninja

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Thanks so much for saying hey!  It's nice to hear from someone that understands. :)  I'm so glad you gave me the link to that site--I am definitely going to be using that.  Have you been to calm.com?  I don't really mean to use it to fall asleep to, but that's usually what happens, anyway. :P

 

I hope we can keep in touch--accountability is really helpful and it would be great to discuss meditation.  I've got some book I'm going to be reading, we could discuss some of the ideas in them.

 

Later!

-Lauren

"Miss Monty if you're nasty..."

Race: Half elf
Class: A Druid eyeballing the Ranger guild

Stats: Coming after first challenge

Daily Battle Log/Reaction to Turning 30 -- Emancipation Declaration (6 Week Challenge Goals)

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

Link to post

Sure! Accountability is great! 

 

I saw on your profile that you're in Kazakhstan. How fun! My master's degree is in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and while I've never made it down to Kazakhstan I've lived/studied in Russia a couple of times and traveled there a bunch. 

 

What meditation book are you reading? 

 

-Laura

Current Challenge

Quest 1-Track my food each day (27 days)

40.7%
40.7%

 

Quest 2-Complete 3 NFA strength workouts each week (12 workouts)

41.7%
41.7%

 

Quest 3-Complete 1 cardio workout each week (4 workouts)

50%
50%

 

Life Quest-Complete my January 2016 Declutter Challenge (20 challenges)

20%
20%

 

Blogging about my weight loss and fitness and organization adventure in 2016 at The Sprinkle Ninja

Link to post

Sure! Accountability is great! 

 

I saw on your profile that you're in Kazakhstan. How fun! My master's degree is in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and while I've never made it down to Kazakhstan I've lived/studied in Russia a couple of times and traveled there a bunch. 

 

What meditation book are you reading? 

 

-Laura

 

Hey Laura!

Yep, Kstan is home for a while, at least until next fall.  It's not what I would call "fun", but I'm mostly here because it pays well and I need to take care of my financial system.  I can't wait until I have some more money to play with and can travel to places like Russia and Uzbekistan!  Actually, I guess I'd settle for just seeing more of Kstan.  :)  Where did you live in Russia?  I had a friend say that living in Moscow was miserable--it's a much better place to just visit.  :P

 

I'm reading the book "The Lost Art of Happiness", which I LOVE.  I'm also listening to a couple of podcasts, including one put out by the Australian Meditation Society or something like that.  Next on my "to read" list is Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.  That came highly recommended.  Do you have any books you think would be good to read as a beginner?

 

I'm sorry it's taken me a while to respond--I'll be much better at it now that I'm not sick, my internet is working, and I'm caught up with my work.  :)  (It's been a rough return to Kazakhstan)

 

Lauren

"Miss Monty if you're nasty..."

Race: Half elf
Class: A Druid eyeballing the Ranger guild

Stats: Coming after first challenge

Daily Battle Log/Reaction to Turning 30 -- Emancipation Declaration (6 Week Challenge Goals)

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

Link to post

Um, so life has been interesting since coming back to Kazakhstan after the holidays.  A little recap:

 

8 Jan: landed back in Astana, felt a little under the weather, chalked it up to 2 days of flying and went in to work. SO JETLAGGED!

9 Jan: woke up in the middle of the night VERY sick. Stomach flu? Food poisoning?  Who knows.

10 Jan: Sick. Totally out of commission.

11 Jan: On the mend, but still really weak from 2 days of not holding down food or liquids.  Basically sleeping with a little bit of consciousness to have crackers and water.

12 Jan: Attempted real food...or at least soup.  And it was amazing--finally eating real food for the first time in a few days is an incredibly rewarding feeling.  Still resting, no workouts, but feeling more energetic and managed to unpack and settle back in..in between naps. :P

13 Jan: UGH.  So it was my first real day back at work and I can sum it up in one word: CHAOS.  Having missed so much planning for the new term and being behind on meetings and other school matters that I had a mountain of work to take care of.  Took care of myself physically, but mentally I was a wreck and not so nice to my colleagues.  My internet stopped working at home, my shower broke (had to shower at the gym), my pay was a week overdue, my daily schedule kept changing, rooms were double booked with classes....I could go on.

14 Jan: Another very hectic day, but I've been working hard to keep to a slow-carb diet.  Exercising hasn't happened because of my schedule and wanting to make sure I'm back to normal strength.  Also still cranky and stressed.  :(  Little improvement over yesterday.

15 Jan: Oh, god.  VERY BAD--staff holiday party that I was going to be good at and put sweets in ziplocs and tupperware to save for my 'off' day on Saturday...did not go as planned.  I felt too self-conscious wrapping things up to take home, so I just pigged out.  Christmas pudding, fruitcake, mimosa, cookies, mince pies, stollen, mango and coconut candies, REPEAT.  So many good foods from around the world....I didn't even need dinner.  VERY BAD.  Kind of justified it by thinking of all the food I DIDN'T eat for several days, but deep down I knew better. :(

16 Jan: PRETTY BAD.  I had a full day of teaching plus a workshop to deliver plus a meeting.  Went home and had a junk dinner of all the 'bad' food left in my house because I was exhausted.  Told myself I had earned it.  BAD BAD BAD.  Internet at home got fixed so movie night was in order.

17 Jan: Re-focused.  Finished reading "Four Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss and wrote an action plan for how to get back into the shape I was in a year ago.  Fingers crossed I can make it work because I have a couple of injuries to plan around and they keep me from doing a fair bit.  FINALLY GOT PAID, BIOTCH.

18 Jan: Feeling back on track. Woke up, felt productive, got a lot done around the house, ate well, cooked a lot of healthy food to have on hand for the next several days, curled up with a book and a coffee, set up a meditation corner in my bedroom and had my first short session.  So nice.

 

That brings us to today.

 

I followed my slow-carb diet, went to yoga and did an easy workout at the gym, spent time meditating and listening to my podcasts, had a nice coffee with friends, cooked more yummy food for this week, Skyped with mom and dad, blogged....all these wonderful things to make me feel ready for the week ahead.  I wish I had gotten more blogging done (I'm quite behind on that thanks to the holidays and how last week went), so that needs to be my focus this week.

 

So to check in, here's how I'm doing with my challenge so far:

 

 

 

My 3 sub-goals/steps to get me there:

1. Read and put into practice 2 books on meditation and mindfulness (one for each 3 weeks).  On weekends, review notes from previous study and spend time thinking about how the ideas compare with each other.

Almost done reading the Lost Art of Happiness and am also listening to a great podcast series called Introduction to Meditation. I've created a little meditation corner in my bedroom and am hoping to start with 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes after work.

2. Make an action plan for transitioning from teaching to photography that includes weekly, achievable tasks to accomplish it

Haven't started.

3. Discuss and set firm boundaries with the whole department to determine what is and isn't my role/responsibility for next term.  STICK TO THOSE BOUNDARIES (and get them in writing) AND "LET THINGS GO"

Didn't do very well with this at the beginning of this week.  Schedules changed, 2 classes were put in one room, my pay was late, a lot of students were absent, my co-teachers weren't always prepared for lessons so I did more than I should have, etc. 

BUT we did create a system where the local teachers would plan the lessons and resources so we international teachers could focus on creating workshops, checking what they'd created, and meeting with them individually to talk about our classes.

This week I'm also going to insist that they do more of the grading and just see if I agree with their scores. This is a skill they need to start developing.

 

Life Quest:

Pay off the small debts that I have to people like my mom and CITI. Totally doable if I'm not stupid.

So far I've taken care of my mom, my grandparents, and student loan payments up til now. Next up at end of January: CITI card.

 

Okay, I'm gonna be bad and sneak this in here.  I'm not even sorry.  (Wow, that sounds dirty.)

Fitness Quest: Get down to under 130 pounds and drop 4% body fat

I've got a couple of guidelines for diet and exercise, but I don't want to push my luck and get blocked from this challenge for over-stepping my boundaries. :tongue:

 

Tracking Results:

1. Starting measurements and photo will come in a couple of days when I've finished an overseas flight I have tomorrow.

VERY far off of where I was before I got injured.  This was avoidable, though, and completely my own fault. In the last year I've gained 15 pounds and my body fat has increased 10%.  I'd like to be back to that by June.

Weight--136, Body fat--27.7%, Total inches--111.25

2. I have a list of debts in priority of when to repay them.

One left to go for this challenge!
3. Lift and a printed calendar that I can X off or check off days on will help me see how I'm doing on daily/weekly tasks like whether I've read my books, done my studying, or worked on photography.

Photo coming in next post! Modified it, though, to focus more on small daily habits rather than weekly projects because I struggle more with that.

 

Where I'm Stuck:

I don't know how to "track" whether I'm making progress on the habits of mind I want to develop, things like calmness, patience, general pleasantness, mindfulness, etc.  What is the starting measurement for stuff like that?  Count how many times I get frustrated or complain in a day?  Rank my day from 1-10 on a general "enjoyability" scale?  ANY IDEAS???

Still really not clear on how to track this, but at least over the last week I could feel that as the days went by I was less frustrated by the end of the day and didn't have as many moments of impatience and conflict with my colleagues.  I also didn't swear as much--maybe I can start tallying that. :P

"Miss Monty if you're nasty..."

Race: Half elf
Class: A Druid eyeballing the Ranger guild

Stats: Coming after first challenge

Daily Battle Log/Reaction to Turning 30 -- Emancipation Declaration (6 Week Challenge Goals)

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

Link to post

January Chain of Achievement


 

Please ignore the horrible wallpaper in my post-Soviet, school-provided apartment. I cropped out as much as I could. :P

"Miss Monty if you're nasty..."

Race: Half elf
Class: A Druid eyeballing the Ranger guild

Stats: Coming after first challenge

Daily Battle Log/Reaction to Turning 30 -- Emancipation Declaration (6 Week Challenge Goals)

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

Link to post

Meditating in my new little corner today was so rewarding.  I'll take a photo of it sometime, but I want to get a little plant to put on it first.  Anyway, it was really relaxing while I was actually meditating (once before work, once after), but the feeling didn't translate once I got to school.  Maybe I've just started to associate that environment with constant stress because every day there is something ridiculous to deal with, from 2 classes being put into one classroom, to not getting paid, to a last-second 70-minute staff meeting that starts at 5 (!!!), to lessons being canceled, etc.  I'm definitely don't come across as happy to be there, but it's hardly a work environment that would support that.

 

What I have done well with is my slow-carb diet, although I've found that I'm hungry every couple of hours.  :(  I try to overcome it through coffee, water, tea, gum, will power, but it's really tough.  I could eat, but nothing seems to keep me satisfied for more than an hour or two (seriously, I just had a full meal two hours ago and I'm incredibly hungry).  I guess that means from this point forward more beans and lentils in my meals (according to the program, anyway).

 

Anyway, after a very long day I'm hiding from the 50km per hour wind outside and -20 windchill trying so hard to work up the energy to go the gym which is--sadly--in the building next door. Feels like a losing battle, though, cuz I'm hungry and tired and I have a slight stress headache.  To be continued...

"Miss Monty if you're nasty..."

Race: Half elf
Class: A Druid eyeballing the Ranger guild

Stats: Coming after first challenge

Daily Battle Log/Reaction to Turning 30 -- Emancipation Declaration (6 Week Challenge Goals)

"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

Link to post

Your goals look good. Maybe instead of tracking calmness and those intangibles you could track the things you do that help you reach those goals, if that makes any sense. Ideally things should be a yes/no situation. Yes I did something or no I did not (and will do better next time!) 

 

Hope that helps! I'll be cheering for you!

 

 

 

 

 

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