Showing posts with label Happiness Project. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Happiness Project. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

A Year of Self-Care: The List

 We spent Monday night with a family activity geared toward goals, which gave me the perfect opportunity to organize my list and I'm so excited about my upcoming Year of Self-Care! Without further ado here are the twelve ways I'm going to nourish myself in 2021!

January: Sleep

February: Movement

March: Fruits and Veggies

April: Simple Pleasures

May: Feeling Full

June: Novelty

July: Flavor

August: Order

September: Quiet

October: Spirit

November: Emotions

December: Connection

In Happiness Project style, I will be tracking and writing about how I'm doing on my self-care odyssey.  The goal is to build month upon month. So I'm starting with sleep and the goal is that in October, November, December, sleep is still a priority. I'm hoping to make some of these thing habitual so that each month I can put the former month on autopilot and put my focus on the new way to take care of myself. 

What do you think about self-care? What would be on your list if you spent a year caring for yourself? 

Sunday, January 03, 2021

A Year of Self-Care


I've been a fan of Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project from the moment the book made its way into my hands.  (Although, for my first read through, I was slightly less enthusiastic than I would later be largely because I was not having a very good year. Sorry, Gretchen.) 

Still, I've long been mesmerized by year-long projects and figured this would be the year to tackle one.  

My original ideas were based on satisfying cravings, but not the I've-got-to-get-a-milkshake-kind. The *real* kind.  Where your body or your spirit literally craves something it needs, but you're not giving it.  For me, the number one on my list: Sleep.

So I jotted down sleep and I also jotted other things that I crave, but often don't give myself (think adequate fruits and veggies, as much movement as makes me happy, etc.). Then I started to think about things that are emotional or spiritual in nature that I also crave and don't do as good a job at satisfying as I wish I did. I pulled Wendell into the decisioning making process volleying ideas back and forth and jotting down anything that rang true.  

In the end, I solidified a list of 12 "cravings".  But I hated the name cravings. Even though I CRAVE these things, it seems like a word that could be easily misunderstood. What else could describe satisfying all these itches, aches--these deep longings for what's really best for me? It hit me. Self-care.  This is self-care.  To take care of your deepest needs, the ones most likely to be over-looked: that's self-care. 

Thus a Year of Self-care was born. I haven't as yet organized which month will follow what, except for one thing. I'm starting with sleep. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The New Way to Set Goals Part 4 | Closing Loopholes

When I began goal tracking, I gave myself permission to change my goals if they weren't fitting my needs.  While a lot of goal setting data says you can change or update your goals weekly, with my monthly tracking sheet, I figured once a month would do.

Having achieved 100% success on my goal of kneeling to pray, I took it off the list.  It was time to focus on things that I was struggling with.

After reading some of Gretchen Rubin's work on loopholes (you know the moments when you say, "This doesn't count."), I began setting some rules around my goals.  So instead of the goal of "going to bed by 11:30."  I changed it to "be in the bedroom by 11:30."  If I need to grab something, take pills, etc. I'm allowed to leave the bedroom after bedtime as long as I don't sit down.  I can go and do, but I have to come right back.

Realistically, 11:30 isn't early enough, but just changing the goal has made it much easier to accomplish. While I "went to bed by 11:30" only 4 times in January, I've accomplished the goal of "be in the bedroom by 11:30" nine times so far in February by the evening of the 21st (yesterday)!

Setting rules around my goals has helped me reach my exercise goals as well.  Last fall when I met with my gynecologist, the issue of my weight came up.  "Look," she said, "if you really want to do this, you've got to commit to working out 5 hours a week. I don't care how you get that in, but 5 hours is the goal."

At the time I was, realistically, working out twice a week for 30 min.  A whopping one hour. I began by jumping in for 45 minutes 4 times a week.  It wasn't 5 hours yet, but it was a huge improvement.  Then my hip flared up (I do have rheumatoid arthritis, after all), after that I struggled with back problems, a new medication made me nauseated and gave me heartburn.  And unless I could work out for 45 minutes, I wouldn't even try to do it.  I'm betting you can see how quickly my exercise was back to zero.

I was talking with my sister (in hopes that she could me meet me at the gym and that obligation would get my rear in gear) when she mentioned something her husband recommended.

"Sometimes I really don't have time to work out, but Michael suggested that, on those days, maybe I could just walk around the block.  Sure, it's not much, but it's better than nothing."

While our schedules didn't really work for exercising together, I loved this rule.  When I don't have time for exercise, I can at least walk for 15 minutes.  Turns out in my very strange shaped neighborhood, it takes me about 15 minutes to walk around the "big block." When my day is crazy and I know I'm not making it to the gym, a 15 minute walk allows me to check the exercise box and feel a lot better about myself.  

As I looked at my goals, I've realized I have to embrace my personal commandment of "Be Jenna."  One of these realization is that I'm not a morning person.  I want to be a morning person.  I want to so badly! But I'm not.  In fact, I think better, write better, and even love to talk more at night.  My whole family had a few week obsession with the game Trivia Crack.  I found I could win games in a single sitting at 11:00 at night.  I think both clearly and quickly then.  In the morning, I'm groggy, fuzzy and sometimes silly.  Not only can I not play Trivia Crack in the morning, I can't remember what I need to get done. My morning planning in January, while well intentioned, was abysmal because I don't think well in the morning.  Period.  (I checked that box a whopping three times in January's 31 days.)

Now I've tried to change. Really, I have. I read an ebook all about switching from a night owl to an early bird. I listened to a podcast about the importance of mothers doing a lot in the morning. (You must get up before your kids!)  I even joined a challenge called, "Hello Mornings." The sum total of all that effort mostly made me feel like a failure.  I can want it, but I can't seem to make the shift.  I am not a morning person.  I need a little time to wake up slowly.  And if I want to write a successful plan for my day, it had better be at night.

So I completely gave up on "morning planning" and instead do "evening planning."  And you know what?  It fits so much better with my life! Not only have I done this one (also an important component of accountability partnering) nine times, but I sleep better when I do it.

I can't tell you how much I used to struggle falling asleep.  I would often lie down only to have everything that l needed to do the next day running on an endless loop in my head, ruining my rest.  Once I managed put it out of my mind and actually get to sleep, I would often awake around 3:00 in the morning with at start, almost like a panic attack, with my adrenaline pumping, worried if I could get it all done.  When that happened, it would take me up to two hours to get back to sleep again.  And, oh, waking up in the morning was so painful because of my pitiful night's sleep.

Now that my next day's plan is all worked out in my bedroom as part of my getting-ready-for-bed routine, that worry doesn't seem to creep in.  I set up my to-do lists in two columns, the left is what can reasonably get done in a day and the right holds other stuff I need to do, which I will do if I have time, but can postpone if I don't. It removes the stress.  I only put on the left what I can, actually do.  The rest isn't mandatory.  And if I remember something after-the-fact, while I'm falling asleep, I just turn on my lamp, jot it down on my list and I'm back to bed with nary a worry.  Seriously.  This has been a game changer.

In the vein of embracing, "Be Jenna," I also pushed back my get-up-in-the-morning time to 7:15.  And I'm still really struggling with this one.  I'm going to have to give my morning goal a lot of thought and figure out why it's not working, what my goal should be, or if I should even should even have one.

In January, with my goal of becoming a morning person (and my Hello Mornings challenge), my mornings were structured around movement (exercise), the word of God (scriptures) and morning planning.  But if I didn't get my scriptures read FIRST THING in the morning, I wouldn't even try to do it later.  So I did my own personal scripture study only 30% of the time, because it was contingent on doing it in the morning.  In the reworking of my goals for February, I gave myself the leeway to accomplish it any time.  I now had some 16 waking hours in which to read one chapter of scripture, or less if I felt very pressed.  Suddenly my success ratio on reading scriptures is dramatically higher.  It took me until Feb 9 to rework my goals and start tracking again, but since then, I've only missed personal scriptures twice and that's a streak I'm really proud of!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Every Single Day

Recently, I read a fantastic post about doing things everyday.  Lately, I've struggled with feeling productive.  As I look over my day, it's easy to notice all the things I didn't get done, even when there's a lot I did get done.

Photo credit:
To be sure, I waste time.  Some of it is good waste, like that impromptu visit with a friend I didn't know would stop by.  Even though "visit for an hour with a friend" wasn't on my to do list--oddly, it rarely is--I felt happy, understood and comforted when she left and, even though my living room is STILL a mess, I feel like it was time well spent.

There's other time wasters that are really that.  Facebook is an incredible time suck.  With my new job, I spend a ton more time on FB as well as time researching best practices, third party software and info for blog posts.  I want to do a good job, but I can spend all day doing it, which isn't really the goal and my paycheck won't reflect it.

Then there are those things I *should* be doing everyday that fall by the wayside.  When I opened my journal last, it had been three weeks.  It had probably been a week or more since I'd spent time on my own scripture study.

Whenever I open my scriptures or my journal, it seems the devil is there saying, "What about dishes?  Or the laundry?  It will only take a second to throw in a load.  Do that first.  Wait.  Isn't there an email you've been waiting for?  Why don't you check?"

So I find myself doing one thing after another and never getting to the scriptures.  Meanwhile, when I'm on the computer, I swear the devil is saying, "This will only take a minute.  Ooooh.  Let's go here and read this."

I digress.  The point is, that I like Gretchen Rubin's idea of doing certain things every single day no matter what.  Then you can't say, is this the day or can it wait for tomorrow? and so on with all of the different possible procrastination tactics.

Therefore, I have put scripture study, where it belongs, on the everyday list.

In more food for thought, and we'll just have to see how I do, Gretchen Rubin (you know Happiness Project fame) says that she blogs 6 days a week.  After getting a great start on my work blog, I found it a struggle to get posts up and I've lagged blogging here notably.  So, I was thinking of copying Gretchen and trying to blog daily.  I need to blog biweekly for Honda of Orem, but I could blog here the rest of the time!

So, I'm wondering, what does everybody else have on their must-do-everyday list?