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It’s Monday again!  “yeah,” you say, with as little enthusiasm as you can muster. But hey, it doesn’t have to be that kind of Monday. It can be a joyful Monday…a productive Monday…A Monday to end all Mondays!

Let’s make today a Super Monday, beginning with a FIVE MINUTE exercise.

ACTION PLAN

Today, let’s spend FIVE MINUTES on us, creating an Action Plan that we can refer to for the rest of the week.

What would you like to accomplish this week, beyond what NEEDS to get done?

What would make you feel fulfilled, purposeful, or accomplished, if at the end of the week you had done that thing?!

What have you been putting off?

What have you dreamed about beginning?

What new habit could you begin to practice this week?

Let’s make a plan to get ‘er done, an Action Plan.

For the next FIVE MINUTES rest from your other work and let you mind run free.  What needs to be a part of your life this week in order for you to feel that special feeling you’ve been missing for a while now?  Enter that on your Action Plan paper or screen.

It’s only FIVE MINUTES.  FIVE simple, meaningful, purposeful minutes.

What will you do with your FIVE today?

 

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TGT-Sept 15

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As part of today’s blog post, I’m going to begin a new format with my Thursday goal and habit formation posts: TGT, or Three Goals Thursday.  This new format will include four sections.  Each section will have a header, and those headers will read:

LAST WEEK’S GOALS-where I will remind you of what my goals were this past week.

HOW I DID!-Where I report my progress, both successes and failures.

OBSERVATIONS-Offers more details and insight into my struggles and achievements.

THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS-New goal list for the new week.

……………………………….

LAST WEEK’S GOALS

As you know, I had three very small goals last week. They were:

1 Pursue a path of recovery with the new chiropractor, doing all he asks me to do in order to help myself in the most effective and efficient way.

2  Continue to learn new methods for paring down, in order to minimize my propensity for indecision.

3  Eat as cleanly as I can, incorporating as many veggies as I can and as much water as I can into my Action Plan for the week.

HOW I DID!

We’ve had another great week over here in NEPA!

Goal No. 1  EXCELLENT!  I can confidently report this week that I have followed the path of recovery laid out for me by professionals, and I have done all my chiropractor asked me to do.

Goal No. 2  EXCELLENT!  I have started to feel very comfortable with picking a different simple living project to focus on each weekend, while through the week I continue to read and study about minimalism and share what I’m learning with others.  I’m so thrilled with this new phase in life that I’m sure everyone is thinking, “Will you just shut up about all your cleaning. It’s just cleaning, for crying out loud!”  Little do they know how much deeper this thing has gone with me than mere cleaning.  I’m developing a whole new perspective on life because of this new understanding I’m gaining of what it means to be materialistic and how the the trappings of life can cut off the flow of joy.

Goal No. 3 STELLAR!  I didn’t give myself an excellent rating on this goal because I don’t have an Action Plan that is formally styled, typed, and hung on my wall.  Those things matter to me for some reason.  I have made concerted efforts to eat the rainbow this week though, and water consumption is up!  I do have an Action Plan.

OBSERVATIONS

FaceBook is a pain in my backside some days, and yet so addicting.  I have one person who asked me to add her to my friends list a while back, but never ever indicates that she has read my posts, or gives any encouragement about anything I share there.  I’m not sure why people ask to be included in my life when they don’t want to partake of it.  Thinking about what I should do about this, if anything at all.

My chiropractic treatments have not been achieving success quickly enough for me.  On Thursday of last week, I had this extended gripe session with myself.  I’m impatient for this therapy to work so I can get back to some form of exercise on a regular basis. I complained that I don’t see any appreciable difference in my condition/pain levels past those first two days of treatment, when I slept so well.  I’d been at this for all of three weeks and figured I should be feeling better. Of course I logically know this is not the case, but in my emotional brain felt like this was taking too long, and asked myself, “Why am I wasting my time and money on this, and why am I giving myself false hope?”  Yeah, it was bad.

Don’t you know, on the following Saturday I had no pain all day!  No numbness, no hot spots, no tingling and with no pain meds, all day and through the night! Bamm!!!  Take that, Lori!!  The bad news is that the pain returned on Sunday and it was there Monday, Tuesday….you get it, but, I am in less pain.  I am sleeping better.  My mood is improved.  I guess I best focus on being all I have to be thankful for, hunh?!!!!

As my pain has been decreasing, my spiritual sense of well being has been increasing!  A decision I’ve made to not buy anything I don’t need has been an unexpected source of joy.  Silly, I know, but I feel joyful about not spending money.  Weird.  Temptations to buy have come and gone, but I have not bought things I didn’t need. This is HUGE and I’m guessing can only impact life in a positive way for me and hubs.  We want to travel to GA this coming February, to stay with friends over a long weekend. The money we save now can be used then to enjoy that time and make memories.  Yeah, that brings joy!

As for the glimmers of inspiration, this:  I have written a well-received Friday Fiction short story, I have produced some penetrating and fearless journal entries that have addressed personal issues with me in a satisfying way, and I have experienced a rare piece of intuition that although it was not spot-on, led to the fixing of a hidden problem with our car that could have been a serious issue. Serious enough that I would have had to purchase a new car.  These are true encouragements to my soul and are helping to bolster my faith in the process.

THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS

Keeping goals the same for one more week.  These are too good to mess with right now!!!

What are you doing to improve your odds this week?  What is one goal you’re willing to work on as a project of self-care?

Transformer Tuesday

Transformation can be tough. Ask anyone whose ever tried to be someone else, or change vocations, or continue to keep their marriage strong, or break a nasty habit.

My goal this year:   To quit copying the behaviors and customs of this world, while cooperating in a process that will change not only the way I act, but the way I think.  There are three important components to this transforming process, for me:  spiritual, emotional, and relational.   My faith that transformation will occur is based on my strong desire to further develop  as a person, my rock hard belief in the power of habit formation, and my confidence that as I become a more willing participant in God’s plan for my life good things will come of it.

Partnerships are always good business!

Today, I want to write about THREE current projects underway in my life. The first addresses my ongoing attempts at living a simpler life, ie: minimalism. The second includes my efforts to step back from previous commitments, to pursue a more balanced life. The third is about The Healing Journey, a 7 month commitment I made that I am hoping will equip me to lead others to greater victory in their lives. I want to help them get un-stuck. First, though, I have to figure out how to do that for me.

SIMPLER LIVING 101

This past weekend’s de-cluttering, donating, and doing-it-up-right project included tackling the long ignored and dreaded pile of paperwork that has been haunting  our home.

First, the TJ Maxx bag of doom…

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That bag, no kidding, weighs about 20 lbs, or so it seems.  It is HUGE and it was overflowing.  Note: Hope Word-WAS!  The bag wasn’t all there was to tackle. Oh, no!  There was also this…

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That’s about six months of neglected mail shoved in there.  Oh, and that stack below the mail holder–that’s overflow and “stuff” the mister has collected, but neglected to put away.  We apparently decided to weigh it down (read: hold it in place so it doesn’t go all over the floor), with his Bible.  :/

But wait, we still aren’t done.  There was also this!  A basket full of books, cords, cleaner attachments and maps and tourist pamphlets from a vacation we took three years ago.  Yep, we kept it all. Why? Who knows!

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This is what we had to deal with once all the hidey-holes were cleared and the phone directory drawer was emptied.  This table is approximately six feet long, and the stack was four inches high!

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Here’s a close up view of my mess.

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And this…this is the ONE container that was left after I had sorted through that mess piece by piece and separated the “important” papers that remained from the sentiments (card, notes, and pictures the kids have drawn).

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All those papers on the right are owner manuals we might need to reference and important retirement paperwork relative to mister’s now-lifelong vacation.

This is the ever-growing stack of books I have decided need to find a new home.  If you see anything you’d like, let me know. We can work out a way to get them to you.  All I ask if that you pay the postage.  Those that remain after gifting some to friends will be donated to area churches, libraries and finally, Good Will.

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TIME AND TIME AGAIN

While de-cluttering my home has been a practice in pleasure for me, trimming personal time commitments has brought the most peace.  I recently stepped down from teaching, something I have enjoyed for decades.  Doing research, building a lesson plan, and delivering my findings to grateful “students” has been a passion of mine for longer than I can remember, but this past year it has been plain hard.  Inspiration had waned, and I have become increasingly convinced that I was headed in the wrong direction.  The research no longer held my attention. The class time experience equally fell short. Pretty soon I was resenting the study I needed to put in to feel properly prepared to teach.  Eventually, I realized that it was time to quit.  It was hard to walk away from something that others say I do well, but I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. The lessons didn’t matter as much to me. The flame had nearly been extinguished.

What I have discovered as a result of giving up something that had grown increasingly trying was that I gained extra hours in my week that could be used to bake bread, read, enjoy luxuriously long conversations with family and friends, and escape the criticisms of people who don’t do what I do, but think it comes easily.  Everyone’s a critic, but criticism is not why I stopped teaching. It was just time.

As a result of trimming back on activities that were not all that joyful anymore, I have begun to dream again and my intuition seems to have gotten a kick-start.  I’m writing fiction again, experiencing the wildest and wackiest dreams during my sleep hours, and feeling more relaxed than I have in a long, long time.

THE HEALING JOURNEY

Last night we began this intensive study (no, I’m not leading it).  I think THJ is going to challenge me emotionally, spiritually, and relationally!  Woohoo!  It involves group study, individual study and practice, and group discussion–all things I love!  It promises to push me in areas where I’d rather not be pushed, but also claims to bring a new peace  and sense of authenticity to my life.  Most thrilling of all is the sense I have that through this study I will be introduced once again to the Lori that transforms her world, instead of being conformed to the dictates of others.  I can’t wait to see her rise from the ashes.  She’s been gone too long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is your wildest hope for yourself in one year, five years, or ten years from now?  When you are emotionally, spiritually, or relationally challenged, where do you turn for help? 

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to Weight Loss and 1 Magic Elevator

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When I first began to lose weight and get healthy, people noticed. Some were happy for me.  Others were not.  Some supported me, while others thought my methods were insane.  Some tried to sabotage my efforts.  Others watched silently, probably thinking, “give her enough time and she will gain it all back.”

To be sure, I had lost and gained back weight a hundred times before. 

To their credit, these others had no idea that my thinking was different this time. I wanted more than to lose weight.

I wanted to walk up a few stairs without stopping.

I wanted to play in the yard with my kids.

I wanted to exercise without becoming instantly discouraged.

I wanted to escape problems with GERD and reflux disease.

I wanted to stop being tired all the time.

I wanted to reclaim my life.

Before, I kept waiting for the time to be “right” to lose weight.  Now, I was done with waiting.

Before, I imagined in my head that the motivation to lose weight would come to me like a magic elevator that comes to your floor in a make-believe hotel.  I would wait and wait, and wait, and one day the elevator would stop on my floor and I would get on.  When it did, losing weight would be a breeze–as easy as riding down a few floors on that magic elevator.  As the floors rushed by, the pounds would miraculously melt off.

That was before I lost 100 lbs!

What I know now is that weight loss doesn’t come to you by magic means.

You go to it!

You make it happen! 

You help you to grow and learn, and do.

Using that dream I had about the magic elevator to make my point, imagine that a weight loss elevator has become your mode of transportation from where you are now and where you want to be.  Even if you had a magic elevator, there are still a few things you would have to do to make that elevator work for you.

5 Necessary Steps to Weight Loss Success with a Magic Elevator  

  1. Decide you want to leave your floor.
  2. Know where the elevator can be found.
  3. Push the button to call the elevator to your floor.
  4. Get on the elevator.
  5. Stay on the elevator until you reach the lobby.

Before, I thought weight loss was 99% motivation, so I waited patiently for motivation to find me.  Now I see that getting healthy, becoming strong, and growing up to be someone who is determined means setting a course for myself that brings long-lasting results and does not depend on passive waiting.

Action turns motivation into results! 

What will you choose, plan, or do today to make sure you realize your goal of getting healthy and staying that way?  In what areas do you need to grow your confidence to make your dreams a reality?

Three Goals Thursday Update

Over the weekend I made egg muffins without any grain in them.  This was one of my goals for this week, and I have done it.  I ate one of these mini omelets with a green salad for lunch today.  Breakfast was baked oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries, with a splash of milk on the side. One goal down!

I also worked on food planning and prep on Friday of last week and again on Sunday.  I have spent 35 minutes planning my food for this week so far.  I have another 25 to log. It wasn’t so awful hard, I just make it that way in my mind.

My third goal for this week is to walk with a friend tomorrow, after work, and to do one other exercise that makes me sweat.  I have been riding the bike, but I don’t sweat all that much when I do that. Maybe dancing would do it.  I’m also excited about the chance to borrow a bike and ride at a nearby park.  My SIL says the park loans bikes to visitors to the park. We’ll see how that turns out.  I don’t have a helmet, but she says they are provided too, along with wet wipes to rub them down before using them. I’m not sure I can do that–germ freak here–but I’ll let ya know how it goes.

I still have to make a morning shake one day this week, so best get to that.

The morning egg muffin was good, even though I ate it at lunch. I felt full and satisfied. Oh, and I had 4 cherries for part of my lunch plan.  All very good for me.

Tonight’s dinner is salmon with a spicy rub and green salad.  I’m not a fish girl. We do beef in NEPA, but I’m feeling adventurous these days and the salmon was on sale. I’ll let ya know how it goes…