The Last 90 Days – Week 3, the Catch-up Edition

Good morning, friends!

How did the weekend already fly by so fast? And it’s already Tuesday? We had a flurry of a busy weekend over here, so it’s no wonder that I feel like I looked up and suddenly it’s Tuesday.

So let’s play catch-up a bit from what I had started writing as last Friday’s post, but then Little Miss decided to wake up early (again!!) so I had to put my laptop aside and put the Mom hat back on for the rest of the morning. Sometimes despite best efforts Life happens, and we just roll with it.

I had mentioned last week that I’ve been feeling a little “over it” with the Last 90 Days challenge. And with all of the blank check boxes from my progress tracker for the week, yeah. I suppose so.

90DaysWeek3

Wake up 1 Hour Early – I slept in Saturday morning after a late Friday night, but since I had a whole day to myself, it wasn’t like I was deprived of that hour of me-time. So I let myself sleep in a bit. Honestly, getting up early is the one thing that’s coming the easiest (and I love my sleep!) through the whole challenge. My body is getting more used to the 5:00 AM wake-up call and sometimes I even wake up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. I “reward” myself those mornings by reading my latest book for a bit before my alarm goes off and gets me out of bed.

Exercise – this one has not surprisingly been one of the more challenging habits to pick up, but I’ve done pretty well this week. Especially since all those workouts are running. Three more weeks and my half marathon will be over, and I can shake up the routine a bit!

Drink More Water – okay, so I say “drink more water” because the actual task is “Drink half of your body weight of water in ounces” and that is mouthful so I just abberviate to “drink more water.” And I’m not certain how much I weigh since I don’t weigh myself or even own a scale, so I’m guessing I’m around 150 lbs, and 75 oz of water daily seems like plenty! So that’s about four of my water bottles daily. I chug one first thing in the morning, and sip the rest throught the day. So far this strategy is working, and I only have a hard time if I’m on the road for work or running errands on the weekend and don’t plan my water breaks appropriately.

Eliminate 1 Food – after a lot of post-Whole30 delibration, I decided that my one food to eliminate for these 90 days should be alcohol. Out of all of the “not worth it for now” foods I reintroduced this once seems to be such a gateway food to making further poor choices (late-night snacking, sleeping in the next morning feeling terrible, skipping workouts because I feel terrible) so I’m going to back off for now. I do have my birthday party coming up and I may enjoy a cocktail or two at my party, but for the regular every day stuff I’ll pass on my nightly wine for now.

Gratitude List – this one has been the easiest to do, but hardest to remember! I finally started setting an alarm during my commute so I can use that time to jot my list down on my phone. It’s pretty powerful how quickly I can turn my mood around, from cramped and cranky in a crowded train car to looking around at all my beautiful commuters and marveling on all the blessings in life just from taking a pause to reflect on life’s good stuff. So cheesy, but it works!

For Next Week – And since I’m a few days behind posting, I can give you a bit of a spoiler and say my habits have definitley slid over the busy weekend. I’m using my time this morning to reflect and put together my plan on how to get back in the game and finish Week 4 out. The key to my plan: take a break from wine tasting! 🙂

I suppose I should stop buying wine if I’m trying to take a break from alcohol. Anyone want to come help me drink it? 🙂

Go make it a great day, kids!

Advertisements

It’s Getting Hard: A Pep Talk

What is going on, friends? I totally went MIA yesterday, which is bound to happen from time to time. normally I get out of bed an hour early to blog.

But yesterday I got out of bed, on Day 17 of the Last 90 Days, and … oh, this is embarrassing … I was over it. Not over blogging, but I felt tired and bored and not willing to get out of bed and start my day like I had intended last night. So I laid in bed and mindlessly read emails and scrolled social media and all of the sudden I had to get ready for work. So no post, no reading, no me-time. And it’s driving me nuts.

What happened? What’s missing? What was different about Day 1 that makes Day 17 so different? It’s the same day, same routine. Same “5 to Thrive” objectives. How did I bounce out of bed Day 3, tie on the shoes for a run, fill up the water bottle with pep, and today I just want to lay around and scroll Instagram?

So I did some pondering, and I started my homework for “Workshop Wednesday,” and I thought about all the times I started something and gave up on it – work project ideas, exercise programs, All the Whole30’s (oh, so many dropped Whole30’s!), home projects and crafts – and then I found the theme: I quit when I don’t realize progress, and lose my emotional attachment to my “Why.”

Progress is encouraging, but like a lot of things worth doing in life, like encouraging your body to get stronger and healthier, saving for a home, working toward a promotion, they all take a long time with no noticeable results until that one day when you PR a lift or receive recognition from a VP that noticed that great presentation. That’s when you have that “wow, it’s working!” celebratory moment.

However, what fuels your fire during those long stretches that it seems like the goal is so far away (or worse, not even close)? How do you keep turning down your favorite food because you KNOW it messes you up (looking at you, candy!) so you can realize your health goals? How do you put in that extra hour at work when you’re starting to feel that tug of guilt that you should be at home taking care of the things you’re putting off there so you can kill it on this assignment? How do you lace up for a run when race day is ages away, and you really don’t want to put your body through that right now?

For me, I need what I call a “Why”. I need an emotional reason to hang on to when things get annoying or hard. And when I started pondering my Last 90 Days progress, I found that my “Why” was a wishy-washy “oh, I like challenges! This might be fun to do.” I have no end game, no expectations. So it makes it really easy to brush off if I’m not feeling it, because it’s entirely based on a “I feel like doing this” emotion rather than something solid that doesn’t change based on my mood.

Also, I really have no end goal in mind for this challenge, other than “let’s see what changes.” I don’t know how my life is going to change for the better by drinking water and gratitude journaling. Maybe it won’t. And if I make my motivation based on results I see, I may be disappointed in the end.

So I have to cement in a stronger “Why,” one that is not dependent on outcome. That I trust the process and don’t pass judgment on things I may not understand. That I’m doing it purely because I like to do hard things and I want to be the kind of person that finishes what I start. My “Why”is because “I finish things and I finish strong.”

How about you, do you have a “Why?”

Go make it a great day!

The Last 90 Days: Week 2 Recap

Good morning, y’all! It’s another Friday! Here’s an awesome comic I found by War and Peas for your Friday amusement:

img_2008

Mood, magnificent spider. Mood.

I’m so happy to check out my Last 90 Days progress from this week! It was certainly a more focused week, with a couple days where I had successfully completed all of my “5 to Thrive” goals!

90DaysWeek2

As much as I would love to see check marks across the board, I know that Life happens, and I’m happy with simply striving each day to make the best choices for myself. Like on Sunday (10/7), we went on an amazing boat ride on the bay to watch the Blue Angels air show for Fleet Week.

img_1949

Due to the schedule, the long day, and the fact I had my two mini-me’s with me, I wasn’t able to squeeze in exercise that day. And I’m not certain how much water I drank (I was guzzling La Croix the whole ride, but I found out sparkling water doesn’t count – it has to be plain water!) so I’m guessing I didn’t hit my goal. But, dude, I was on a boat!

What’s up for next week? I have another week of half marathon training to tackle (including my longest run in recent history, I’m going to try and get in 8 miles this weekend!), and I’m thinking about trying to snag one of the Start Today Journals because I really like how they lay out the gratitude and intentions lists day by day. It might help me remember to do my daily gratitude checking!

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Survival Mode Thursdays

Good morning, friends! And it actually is morning over here, haha! I heard my alarm this morning (yay!), and not ten seconds after I sat down to write Buttercup zombied into the kitchen demanding to know why I wasn’t in bed – she had gotten up to come in my room and snuggle with me, and I had already retreated to the kitchen to do my hour of “me-time”. So now she’s snuggled in front of “umizoomi” and I’m snuggled with my coffee. Cheers!

The other day I talked about how I’m approaching the first “5 to Thrive” habit of waking up early and having an hour of time to myself every day (well, most days, haha!), so today we move on to the next habit, exercise at least 30 Minutes every day.

I know what you’re probably thinking. I sort of thought it too – “Uggh. Like, every day every day?”

I’m a pretty active person, but even I don’t think I’ve ever actually consistently exercised daily before. Life just happens. But progress over perfection, we’ll give this a go.

Since I have the Big Sur Half coming up, pretty much any spare time for exercising needs to be running or recovering from running. So I’m putting CrossFit on hold until after November 11th so I can maximize my mileage. I know that some strength training will improve my running, but we’re a bit too close to race day for any real gains so I’m just going to focus on mileage with the goal that I don’t die.

runselfie2018-10-10
(this is me not dying after a weekday run)

But running every day? That is a bit much for my legs to take right now. I just finally finished my Couch-to-5k in August after taking nearly a five-year hiatus from running and I know I don’t have the strength or stamina to take a road beating every day. Right now I’ve worked myself up to 1 long run and 2-3 short runs per week, and that’s after months of working out maybe 1-2 days a week, maybe.

The first few mornings I didn’t run, I ended up starting the Commit30 monthly challenge (yeah, I know, another challenge!) to do 30 air squats, 30 push-ups, and 30 sit-ups every morning for 30 days. I would do it in my living room, then do some stretching/core work/foam rolling. Just 30 minutes, and done!

But I didn’t keep it up every morning. For example, Thursdays are the worst for any activity that isn’t 100% vital. Those are the days I am crunched with both single-parenting and work, and I can barely get my kids and myself fed, schooled, homeworked, and to bed on time let alone squeeze in 30 minutes for myself. For a while that was the sticking point in my week – how do I get everything done on Thursdays? Then it hit me … I don’t! That’s my one day to not do all the things. So I make sure that I crush it the other 6 days a week, and keep Thursdays as strictly “survival mode.” If I can squeeze in a quick walk over my lunch break, then it is a more fabulous day than I had planned.

Progress over perfection, my friends. If I can go from working out for 1-2 days a week to a consistent 6 days a week over the last 90 days of the year, this is going to be such a huge win for me.

Any tips for squeezing in activity into a richly scheduled day? I’m always on the lookout for fun new organization techniques!

Go make it a great day!

 

 

Up With the Sun

Good morning! I don’t know about you, but Fall is favorite, and October is most favorite. In the Bay Area, this is the best month of the year, especially in San Francisco. The temps are warm and perfect, the sky is that characteristic “Fall blue,” and of course we’re on the countdown to my birthday. Yay, birthday!

But today I want to break down what I’m doing for the “5 to Thrive” goals for the Last 90 Days challenge. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can catch up on my post from last week about it. Simply put, the Last 90 Days is a challenge to live the last 90 days of the year to your absolute fullest potential, kinda like a reboot on your New Year’s resolutions. Part of the challenge is to commit to introducing prescribed five habits daily, the “5 to Thrive,” which are:

pc: Rachel Hollis @ thechicsite.com

At first glance I was like, “oh, I kinda already do this. Should be easy.” But “kinda” and “actually doing it” appear to be not the same thing. And for me, it’s mostly because I haven’t set up the right environment for building habits yet. But for whatever reason, out of all five of these habits, the first one “Get up an hour earlier than you normally do and use that time for YOURSELF” has been the easiest one to integrate so far.

Since last Monday, I have been setting my alarm clock between 4:30 and 5:00 AM (since I usually get up between 5:30 and 6:00 AM) which sounds absolutely crazy, I know. I can’t believe I’ve been so consistent with it! I think part of my success is coming off the September Whole30. My sleep has been fantastic lately, and I had already started waking naturally before my alarm clock, so my body and sleep schedule have not had too bad of a time adapting. And I have found that I really enjoy having that quiet spot in the morning!

At first I used that hour to just putter and ponder and drink my coffee while setting up my planner for the day, writing, or doing some aimless internet browsing. Then I realized, hey, I could be using this time for blogging! Duh. So now I’ve dedicated this space of time for my writing. I sit either at my desk or the kitchen table with my coffee and my WordPress page, and see what happens. It’s quickly becoming my most favorite part of the day. Especially when I get to use my new favorite seasonal mug. 

Of course it’s not perfect. On the mornings I have the kids, I can’t guarantee they’ll actually sleep the whole way through my “alone time” hour. Little Miss generally gets up around 5:30 AM anyway (ugh, I know, right?), and she is the lightest sleeper in the morning so the slightest sound will usually rouse her. And I still can get distracted by shiny things. Going down a social media rabbit hole or spending too much time trying to pick out the right meme can burn up my hour that seems almost too short on some days. But Life happens, and I’ve learned to not beat myself up or get too disappointed when it doesn’t work out the way I had intended. Tomorrow is another day!

I know it seems impossible to wake up so early. A couple years ago when the kids were younger, there was no way I could have done this! Having babies and dealing with the sleep deprivation during those young years really took its toll, and I needed every minute of sleep I could get for so long. But now that the kids are older(ish) and I have a lot more awareness over the control I have over my time management, I find that if waking up super stupid early is something I want to do, then I can do it! 

How about you, do you enjoy waking up early, or are you more of a night owl? If waking up early isn’t for you, you can always dedicate time before bed to observe “alone time” as an alternative!

Go make it a great day!

The Last 90 Days: Week 1 Recap

Howdy howdy! And happy belated Mean Girls Day, while I forgot to post about it I did make sure to wear pink on Wednesday.

So. The last 90 days of 2018. I signed up for Rachel Hollis’s challenge because I was just rolling off another Whole30 (yay!!) and was really feeling the buzz of keeping up with some intentional group personal improvement project. And from the outside it seemed simple enough to partake in. You pick up the passion and fire from those shiny new year, new you resolutions from January, incorporate Rachel’s “5 to Thrive” habits to incorporate daily, and commit to really visualizing and living your best life. She hosts a daily live stream on Facebook and Instagram (with her super adorable husband Dave) to give you the day’s challenge, answer questions, and do some kick booty tough love motivation to start the day. Simple enough, right?

Ha.

Here’s how I did for the “5 to Thrive” Daily tasks this week:

So … it leaves a little something to be desired.

But you know what? This is okay. I heard recently that “FAIL” means “First Attempt At Learning.” And trying to really dial in all 5 habits – while I normally can fit in 2-3 a day, I’ve rarely attempted all five! – is a logistical and motivational challenge!

So, what did I learn this week that I can do better next week?

New Habits are Hard

Let’s be honest, I watched the live cast, made some mental notes, then checked out and went on with the rest of the day. Habits are tough to break without support and reminders. I need a better system to remember to drink my water, complete my Gratitude List, and to keep my guard rails on post-Whole30. I’ll be perusing Gretchen Rubin’s work on some strategies to get these new habits incorporated into my daily routine!

Motivation

Especially with getting up early in the morning, motivation for me starts to wane after a few days. Day 1 is like, “Hell yeah!” Day 2 is like, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this.” But by Day 3, I’m like, “Hmm. Do I really have to do all of this? Can I fudge a little?” Um, no. I’m pretty sure Rachel will give me a thorough kick-booty talk if I try to convince myself that 70% is just as good as 100%. So that’s where this blog comes in! I have to show up and report to y’all that I am the kind of person who embraces a challenge and sees it through. So I should, you know, do that then. Also, I know with my recent Whole30 that a huge motivation for me was to remember my “why.” Why am I doing this? Why is this important to me? I want to see how much I can grow by the end of the year, to see what I can do. I’m not going to truly realize my potential by making excuses and cutting corners!

Those are my big takeaways from the week: develop some strategies to help me incorporate my new habits into my current routine, and be mindful of my “why” so I can stay motivated.

Now go make it a great weekend!

The Last 90 Days: A Challenge

How is it October already?? I have to admit, September was a complete blast for me. It’s quickly becoming my most favorite month of the year. The summer starts to drift to fall, the sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous, all of the new school activities are in full swing, and it’s what I now lovingly refer to as my “Em-dependence Day,” the day I became a fully-functioning adult!

Moving Day! Sept 23, 2017

I’ve recently been turned on to Rachel Hollis and her new book “Girl, Go Wash Your Face.” If you haven’t heard of it, I highly recommend you check it out! Rachel has a unique brand of tough love that can really get you fired up and ready to live your life! She is currently hosting a challenge called “The Last 90 Days,” where you put the same focus, passion, and fire into the last 90 days of the year as you had done right after the new year. Because the year isn’t over yet, y’all, and even if your January resolutions crashed and burned, who says you can’t dust them off in October and give it another go? So I signed up for the challenge. Because I love me a good challenge. 😉

It’ll be quite the trip, and you should come with me! You can sign up on Rachel’s website, thechicsite.com and get more info there. Or you can just follow me along on my journey, you Damian Lurker you.

Ready to start? Or at least got your popcorn ready to sit back and observe the floundering chaos that I’m about to perform for you? Great! I’ll see you tomorrow with my weekly update.

Go make it a great day!