Monday, October 7, 2013

October Goals

It may be the first week into the month, but its not too late to list some goals for the rest of October. From my list in yesterdays post, I have chosen for things

  • Money
  • Organisation
  • Food
  • Exercise
In the Artists Way program I am doing, they talk about money, or lack of it, as an excuse not to get on with fulfilling your creative dreams. The tasks is to write down exactly how much we spend on everything for a week. This is a big one for me, not that I use it as an excuse not to do what I want, but because I am sure I spend more money than I have. I used to have a well-paying job, but now I work less and earn less. I find money very stressful, and as a result I dread opening the mail because I know its going to be another bill, and I wonder how I am going to afford it. I have no savings, just a large mortgage that I draw on too often to pay bills and other expenses as needed. 

This month I am writing down what I spend and will work out a budget from there. 

Hmm, not my area of expertise! I'm a pile person, I hate to say! 

I feel like I am always behind in my cleaning and its a mad rush if someone is coming over to get the place in any sort of order. Its a stress I don't need. I also hate people coming over to my place as a result. Its embarrassing. I feel ashamed of my mess. I also end up having to replace things because I don't look after them or simply cant find them ie chargers, tools, clothes. Its a waste of money! (see above). I already follow a blog about organisation so I may head over there to get some help. 

  • By the end of the month I would like a cleaning schedule that works, and to get rid of my piles. I also need to do a declutter and maybe even find storage for things I cant store properly at home.

Food and Exercise
Over the last few years I have gained about 10kg. I am struggling to lose the weight, and recently went to  he doctor to see if there was any reason for it. There wasn't. So I guess I just eat more than I need to and exercise less than I should. This does not surprise me. I am so much less active than I used to be, mainly because I am not running around at work the way I used to (I am a nurse), and because my depression has sent me back to bed most days when I can't be bothered to be awake. Its a recipe for disaster. I have tried numerous times to do Michelle Bridges 12wbt, but have given up when I don't see any results. Its very disheartening. I am a personal trainer and I know what I should be doing exercise wise, so I think I just have to get off my arse and do it. 

Food-wise, my biggest problems were grazing. I am a picker. Its a tough habit to change. 

I'm not ready to make any huge commitments as I am scared I will not keep my promise. So I am going to be a bit more general with my goals for this month. They will be:
  • Eat 3 meals, 2 snacks
  • Exercise 6 days a week
  • Don't sleep during the day
  • Move more
  • Focus on good fresh food rather than calories
  • Expand my healthy recipe collection

So that's it for the month of October, lets get started!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Yearly Goals

Following on from my last post, I am attempting to sort my life out over the next year. Usually something you only consider around New Years Eve, I'm starting now, this October.

This month is about getting the foundation right for my year ahead, setting up some habits that will help me remain healthy and hopefully give me some structure to avoid chaos and crisis.

My process for this was to write out all the areas of my life I wanted to work on. Not surprisingly, this list encompassed most things, eel, actually, everything. While an outsider may think my life is relatively normal, I do not feel like anything is really working well. I want more. I want better.

This is my list of areas to work on:

  1. Food
  2. Exercise
  3. Physical Health
  4. Mental Health
  5. Career
  6. Money
  7. Relationships
  8. Creativity
  9. Organisation
I also has a list of premises that underpin everything
  1. Mental and Physical health should always be a priority.
  2. Work on your weaknesses, exploit your strengths.
  3. Go with the flow- Life is not linear and multiple issues will need to be worked on at one time.
  4. Seek professional help if you need to.
  5. Good things don't always feel good at the time.
  6. Staying within comfort zones does not get you very far. To grow you have to push your boundaries.
  7. Organisation provides structure that creativity and spontaneity can grow from.
  8. Continue projects you are currently working on. This is not a new start, it is a new process.
I even did a mind map which looks something like this (just a lot messier).

A sample mind map- Wikipedia

I then created a list of what I would like to achieve by October 2014. This is not comprehensive, rather more an outline, something to guide my monthly goals. I think in my head I need a destination to strive to so that I can start out heading in the right direction.

Yearly Goals
Health- wellness, free of expression, free of addiction (food, exercise, chaos)
Food/Exercise- balanced diet, healthy weight, body worthy of a personal trainer, worthy of an after photo.
Career- have a growing business combining all my qualifications (Nursing, health, PT). Continue working on The Artist's Way and the possibility of using my talents as an income stream. 
Money- have savings, afford a holiday, be in control of my finances. Work within a budget.
Creativity- painting, quilting, sewing, writing,, whatever I choose. My goal is to financially benefit from my pastimes. 
Relaxations- be free to travel, for work or play. Take a holiday in December 2014 with the children.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I will list my goals for this month.

Health and Happiness


Friday, October 4, 2013

Sorting myself out

At the beginning of this year I started a journey of improving aspects of my life that I felt were not working for me. Unfortunately, in March, I got shingles in my face and eye and was pretty much incapacitated for a month. It took three months for life to get back to normal physically speaking, but mentally I had taken a battering. My mood dropped, my sleeping increased, I felt bloody dreadful. This has pretty much continued since then, with cycles of feeling okay, then feeling dreadful, up and down. Its now October, and for my own sake, I really need to get a grip on my life again. I feel like a boat without a rudder, knowing where I want to go, but unable to steer myself where I want to go. I feel at the mercy of the wind. Its not how I want to finish of the year, and its not how I want to live.

A month ago I started a program called The Artists Way that takes you through a series of tasks aimed at unblocking your creativity and allowing you to get past the issues that may be preventing you from fulfilling your artistic pursuits. As a painter, I had not painted since the beginning of the year and I really needed to start again. I always feel better when I paint, and I needed anything I could find to pull me out of my depressed slump. The changes were amazing, my motivation to paint, quilt or sew where re-ignited, and I started to feel better about my day. This has led me in the last week to thinking that I also need to focus on the other ares of my life that are in limbo. My career, health and fitness, organisation, money management etc. have all taken a hit and I really need to sort these out.

Earlier in the year I read Gretchen Reuben's The Happiness Project and was inspired by her journey of examining her life and spending a month on different aspects to find what really makes us (or her) happy in life. I've also been interested in reading peoples accounts of having a year off something- sugar, alcohol, whatever takes their fancy. In a way it would be good to focus on one thing,  and it appeals to the obsessive part of my personality, but that does not really suit me at this stage.  I also wonder f doing something for an entire year would be setting myself up for failure. I struggle with consistency (probably another area to work on!) For me, I have a few areas I need to work on, and rather than examining in detail everything, I just want to see how much I can change my life to get it more balanced and in a position where I can achieve what I want to achieve in life.

My plan for October is to get back to basics. In the next day or so I will be listing some goals for the month, including my alcohol-free period, as well as health, fitness and sleep to get my mood back up to build a foundation for the months ahead. Goals are a good way to move forward, to keep on track, to remain motivated. I'll also keep checklists of my progress to see how I'm travelling.

I'm quite excited about this year ahead. But I wont deny I am apprehensive, knowing that I will have to face some changes and new ways of doing things. Hopefully others will check out my progress as the months go on and be a little inspired to change some things themselves.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Goodbye my friend

I am saying goodbye to my friend, wine.

She is going away for a little while as we have been spending way too much time together. Despite me loving every minute that we share, sometimes she gets a little bit too much and like all best friends we fight. Like yesterday. We had a doozy of an argument and I felt so bad I ended up in tears, wondering what the hell had happened.

Not that we usually fight. Sometimes we just spend a few hours together in the evening and get along just fine. Her being there often allows me to do things that I otherwise put off doing, her company helps me get my act together. Other times, she ends up taking my focus away from the things I need to do, and I don't get anything done. I've noticed this a bit lately.

After last night I had to make a serious decision. I think its time for us to part ways for a while, just to see how we fare without each other. I think we need to disentangle ourselves and see how we manage alone. I'll certainly miss her, but sometimes you just need a little break to appreciate each other for what they are. Its hard to say goodbye, but its the right thing to do at this time. I need to look after me for a while, and sometimes soon I'll re-evaluate the situation again.

So for now, its goodbye. I may see you later, I may not. I'll see what the future brings.