Living Out of the Blue

The year ends soon.

The advent of January brings out the focus on New Year’s resolutions.

You can click on my goal-setting Category to read blog entries about the Changeology book 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.

I’ve used this 90-day action plan to set and carry out numerous goals in the last 3 years.

I would like to talk about goals and resolutions in this blog again.

How sometimes you reach a point where you shout: “Enough!” or basta as Italians would say.

What I know with confidence:

A change that happens out of the blue is not always sudden or quick. Your discontent with an aspect of your life was most likely percolating in your mind.

This subconscious brewing leads to the day when the water in the coffeepot whistles because it’s reached boiling.

This is how you’ve come to do something different after months–or even years– stuck in an old familiar behavior.

The day comes where you shout: “Enough!”

The point is that any serendipitous change should not be discounted or questioned. In fact I’m not so quick to abandon one change I’ve decided to make.

Waking up one day and deciding: “Today is the day” is the beauty of self-change. It can happen at any time in a person’s life.

Having lived through the pandemic for 9 months it’s possible that you and I are giving birth now to an idea a plan a Self that has been growing inside of us.

Should you find yourself suddenly faced with the desire to make a change or two I say: go with this and go for it.

The time is now. And for goal-setting I will once again recommend Changeology: 5 Steps for Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.

2021 can only be better. I firmly believe this. Cheers.

Taking Control in a Crisis

I think taking control in a crisis goes back to what I wrote in here recently about prioritizing your essential activities and letting fall away everything that doesn’t reinforce your immediate goals.

While indoors you can as I’ve written plan out the goals you want to achieve once back outside like usual.

The financial toll can be hard to weather right now. I’m not a CFP so can’t give specific advice about finances.

What I can say is that while living indoors it might conversely be easier to achieve some goals that you had put off.

Maybe you wanted to live more frugally before the pandemic. This is a great opportunity to edit your spending and change your habits.

A friend told me that it could be common that people living through this crisis feel like we have no control over what’s happening.

I’ll end here by saying that each of us can only manage what’s within our control.

What’s outside of our control we need to let it be. To focus on what we can control.

To this end I’ve started up a new 90-day action plan using the Changeology 5-step method for achieving goals.

My long-term goal is to live in a 2-bedroom apartment. To use the second room as an art studio.

To do this I’m using the Danica Patrick tactic listed in her book Pretty Intense: I’m doing one healthy thing. Then I’ll do the next healthy thing.

Feeling like you have control can be as simple as yes compartmentalizing your weekly habits.

Focusing on the here-and-now reality can help you weather this crisis.

While keeping in the back of your mind your long-term goal.

Again I will refer readers to the other useful book: Atomic Habits.

Making small incremental consistent changes to our behavior can pay off.

I will report back in 3 months the outcome of my latest Changeology action plan.

Status of 3-Month Challenge – Update

Hmm _ forgot I scheduled this blog entry and wrote 2 entries with the same title ūüôā

On January 14, 2020 in this blog I wrote about the 3-Month Challenge I wanted to achieve.

My goal was to cook my own dinner 4x per week and do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City were forced to shut down along with the retail stores.

As far as my goal of cooking dinners 4x per week this has been achieved.

In the time of the pandemic and living indoors it has been easier to cook dinner nearly every night.

My concern is how the changed nature of living life during the pandemic had disrupted anyone who was using the Changeology 5-Step 90-Day Action Plan to realize our goals and resolutions.

In this extraordinary time each of us needs to act kinder and gentler towards ourselves and others.

I live with the belief that everyone living on earth is doing the best we can with what we were given in life.

No judgments–that is the way to move forward–to live with no judgments.

Before the pandemic hit I had started to use the treadmill. I continued to lift weights.

Now that everything has changed I understand what it feels like to have your life upended by a circumstance outside your control.

I will talk about this more in the next blog entry.

Status of 3-Month Challenge

In January I wrote here my 3-month challenge:

To cook my own dinners 4x per week. To do a walk-run on the treadmill 1x per week.

On March 17, 2020 the gyms in New York City shut down because of the coronavirus.

My goal of using the treadmill was put on hold. I had been using the treadmill before that.

Since January I have been cooking my own dinners. Since March 15 I have cooked my own dinners at least 5x per week.

Forced to stay indoors it has been the perfect time to cook my own dinners.

It’s healthier to cook your own dinners. That is it’s healthier to cook nutritious food.

Red meat and other meat should be avoided.

I have chicken once a week. A salmon filet twice a week. Scallops once a week when I’m able to get them. Tofu-and-broccoli once a week. Some kind of squash once a week. That gives me one free night. With this main dish I have some kinds of vegetable.

I don’t ordinarily eat a lot of whole grains. I have a container of full-fat Fage plain Greek yogurt with organic blueberries and some honey after I do a workout routine.

In the morning I scramble organic eggs and veggies for breakfast. For lunch I have a salad–I try to have a salad at least 4x per week–or 5x per week when I’m able.

For a snack every day I have organic fruit–berries or a banana or a Fuji apple or a pear when in season.

In the coming blog entries I will talk about the current research that proves what I’ve been writing¬† in here all along: the food you eat can improve your mood.

For more on this you can buy the TIME special edition magazine The Science of Nutrition.

Bruni’s Atomic Habits

About seven months ago I read the book Atomic Habits. I recommend that readers buy a copy. The author lists simple small effective ways to create new positive habits in your life.

Come to think of it this might have been round about when I changed one thing:

In April 2019 I ditched having Purely Elizabeth’s ancient grains mush for breakfast.

Pour granola in bowl; add milk; eat in three minutes. Repeat. Every morning.

That had been my strategy for breakfast for too long.

In April I paid $395 for the services of a Health Coach. She zoomed in on this breakfast choice as one possible root for my lack of energy.

It’s January 2020. And 9 months later I’m happy to report that things turned around.

That April I changed one tiny thing: buying organic ingredients for my morning meal.

Scrambling two Handsome Brook Farms organic eggs with organic diced yellow red and orange peppers, tiny organic broccoli florets, and sliced organic mushrooms.

One month after this eggs-cellent food makeover I changed something else out of the blue.

One morning in May I decided to exercise at 7:00 a.m. Since then I exercise at home in the morning and early afternoon 2x/per week.

On Labor Day I bought the self-cleaning oven. Since this splurge I’ve been cooking my own dinners on most nights.

In November I started using the treadmill 1x/per week–another goal.

This is proof that slow-and-steady wins the race. Because our lives aren’t a race to the finish line–you know where that leads.

I’m not a fan of trying to execute numerous goals all at once.

This is contrary to the fact that a magazine recently touted that new research claims making four or five changes all at once is possible and effective.

I’ll stick to the Atomic Habits guidelines and to the Changeology action plan.

You simply don’t know what’s possible until you try.

My metal Michael Jordan quote paperweight is inscribed thus:

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.

Changing one or two things at a time has worked for me.

The funny thing is, after executing these new habits, I can say that I have more energy and confidence, and my body is fitter and stronger too. Plus I lost 12 pounds without trying to : )

Not too shabby for a person who will turn 55 in the spring.

I’ll end here by telling readers not to write the ending of your story before you’ve started the first page.

Expecting the worst–that you “can’t” do something or “won’t” be able to do something is a mistake.

I had no idea the direction my life would turn when out of nowhere out of the blue on a Friday morning in May I decided I had to exercise at 7:00 a.m.

This is the reason that planning things down to every minute detail can backfire. This is why telling yourself you need to see results quickly will derail your success.

In coming blog entries I’ll give recipes for healthful snacks. I’ll talk a little about my own “food plan” which has also become a habit recently.

 

Making Fitness My Priority

I’ve come to make fitness a priority.

Health equals wealth. The true definition of wealth is abundance.

With health you have what you need to achieve your life goals.

Being ill makes it that much harder to succeed.

Over the years through a series of events I’ve come to prize having a fit mind and a strong body.

The mind and body work together to give us optimal health.

I’m 54. Two years ago when I was 52 and started menopause my energy tanked. Would I have to accept that my old energy was gone for good?

My body is getting older. My mind is still youthful.

Could bridging this divide help me get back my energy?

At about the time I turned 52 and started going through “the change” of life as a woman other things happened.

I stopped taking any kind of vitamin or supplement. I had wanted to believe I could satisfy my nutritional needs solely through food choices alone.

This is also when I stopped cooking my own meals for dinner. I relied on boxed frozen food packages that were supposed to be healthier choices.

Folks, I ate a lot of this prepared junk for too long. To compensate, I started ordering food to be delivered to my apartment for dinner.

The restaurant food was healthful yet way more expensive every week.

The remedy came on in April of this year 2019 when on a whim I hired the health coach.

After scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast for the last six months my mood improved.

By exercising in the morning in my living room 2x per week my body got fitter too.

Last week I wondered if perhaps I could use other help. I ordered Vitamin D tablets from the FullScript link my health coach had sent me online.

I’ve started to take one Vitamin D pill in the morning with breakfast.

Would I see a return to my old energy level or at least an improved energy level?

I was motivated to resume taking a Vitamin D pill after reading the Eating Well special edition magazine Eating for Energy.

This book is a common-sense guide to doing what it says: eating for energy.

I also changed one other thing for the better. I’ll talk about what I did in the next blog entry.

My intent is to give readers hope that making positive changes is possible at any time in your life and your recovery.

You might not be in such great health. As always I recommend the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.

I’ve achieved numerous goals in the last year by using the 90-day action plan detailed in this lifesaver of a book.

In coming blog entries I’ll continue to report on the results I’m achieving by making these small, consistent, incremental changes.

Making positive changes isn’t easy. It’s natural to resist doing what’s in your best interest when it’s easier to adhere to the status quo.

Only I tell you readers: the status quo wasn’t working in my life.

It was time to do things differently. I’ll tell you how things turned out: better than I expected.

Read on for the results.

Changeology Step 3 Perspire Update

It’s been 8 weeks since I hired the health coach.

In the 8 weeks or 56 days I’ve scrambled eggs and veggies for breakfast.

For only 4 days I had to buy an egg wrap at a coffee shop.

So I’ve completed Step 3 Perspire of the Changeology 5-Step method for realizing goals and resolutions.

Step 4 is Persevere and Step 5 is Persist.

I’ve recommended the Changeology book often because it’s a scientifically proven method for achieving goals and resolutions.

Step 3 Perspire takes 30 to 60 days to execute. The 5-Step method is a 90-day action plan.

So I have completed the action plan.

My story is living proof that the Changeology book is effective.

Greenmarket season has arrived in New York City.

In coming Fitness Friday blog entries I will be giving recipes.

Plus talking about healthful snacks you can take on the go.

There are better options than the standard high sugar natural flavor-laden protein bars.

I’ll talk about these portable options next.

Choosing a Job for Love or Money

Choosing a Job for Love or Money shouldn’t be a toss-up.

Ideally, the job you love will pay a livable salary. When it doesn’t you can drum up a “side hustle.”

The book The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer talks about how to create a second income stream or else create your own full-time business.

Again, using the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions can also help.

The Small Business Administration website can give you information too.

Going into business for yourself or working at an established company is possible.

Clearing hurdles will make it possible to do this.

One hurdle is overcoming resistance to getting any kind of job:

Either countering your own internal roadblocks or that of naysayers who claim it’s not in the cards for you to do what you want.

In the next blog entry I’m going to document a better way.

If any social workers are reading this I would like you to take note.

Changeology: Perspire Step: Update

My New Year’s resolution I’ve recorded in here a few blog entries ago.

I’m using the 5-step Changeology method for achieving goals and resolutions.

So far I’ve advanced to Step 3: Perspsire.

This is where you’re engaged in the new healthy behavior that replaces the old habit.

How have I fared in executing the sub-goals?

For 3 out of the 4 weeks I lifted weights at the gym 2x/per week. One week I exercised at the gym only once that week.

The goal I had of bringing salad food and fruit to my job to eat healthier has been achieved every week so far.

I’ve eaten salads 3x/per week like I had expected to. My goal is to have fruit for a snack in the afternoon going forward to complement the goal of eating salads.

I can make no excuse for not having gone to the gym 2x/every single week.

I offer only this explanation: my mother is old and needs my help at times. Faced with this reality I will have to help her out when I’m able to.

Months ago in this blog I gave Tips for Caregivers.

Then I talked about how no one at any mental health organization is addressing the reality that adult children are becoming caregivers for our parents.

You’re supposed to deal with managing your own life at the same time you’re caring for an elderly parent who might be in ill health.

Nobody cares about this because they’re advocating for young adults and parroting baseless anti-stigma rhetoric.

Instead of actually taking action on equally pressing concerns: the needs of older Americans living in recovery who are becoming caregivers.

There. That’s it straight up. I’ve spoken this truth. When there’s no one else to act as a caregiver it falls on you to do double duty.

Alas my goal of using the treadmill 1x/per week hasn’t happened either.

I would like to start executing this sub-goal next week.

In the coming blog entries I’ll talk more about the Changeology method.

The point is that by executing the 5 steps in the order you’re supposed to do them you have a better chance of achieving your goals and resolutions.

Step 3 of Perspire lasts 30 to 60 days.

Like I said slow and steady wins the race.

In the next blog entry I’ll detail 3 Tactics for Achieving Resolutions that I think can make the difference between success and failure.

 

 

 

Inspiration and Perspiration

Thomas Edison is quoted along the lines that achieving a goal is “One percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

The Changeology Step 3 of Perspire lasts at least 30 days. It’s followed by the Persevere and Persist steps which round out and end the 90-day action plan.

Two prior goals I’ve already achieved using the Changeology method.

One was to wear makeup every day to my job. The other was to wear jeans to my job only 2 days a week. In fact I rarely wear jeans at all to my job anymore. And I do apply makeup in the morning before I go there.

Controlling the environment as regards these two goals was simple:

Placing my makeup in a cosmetics case and keeping the case on the bathroom sink ledge for easy and quick access.

Storing the jeans in an out-of-the way rack. Placing the pants front-and-center hanging in my everyday closet.

While I buckle down in the Perspire step I’m going to write in here about other fitness and nutrition topics.

I want to write about these things to give readers hope.

There’s a lot of confusing, conflicting, and downright contentious information about health that is passed off as the only right approach to living your life.

Remember: my claim to fame is that I wrote a book titled Left of the Dial. I see things differently and think differently from most people.

What I know to be true is that a dose of common sense is required when tackling problems that seem insurmountable.

Isn’t a 90-day action plan a short time frame in which to accomplish a goal that has the potential to become permanent for the rest of your life?

In a coming blog entry I’m going to focus on how I lost 20 pounds as a young woman and kept most of that weight off.

In fact I weigh the same at 53 as I did at 40. This indicates I know something about which I speak.

You could get toned lifting all the dozens of diet books that are published each year.

My goal is this: to empower readers not only to dare to dream but to actually do what you dream of.

More on how I lost weight and kept it off in the coming blog entries.