Monday, January 30, 2012

Clean up, clean up

"Clean up, clean up,
everybody everywhere.
Clean up, clean up,
everybody do your share"

This is the song I sing in my class sometimes during clean up time.  I need someone to sing it to me at home so that I actually have a clean up time.  I am not organized at home and make lots of piles and I hate to clean.  Woo, that feels good to get that out there.  My house is not hoarders style but it isn't pristine by any stretch.  There are piles of things around the house that haven't been looked at forever and they keep growing.  I don't love sweeping.  I don't love cleaning the bathroom.  I don't know many people who do love these things but I tend to avoid them.  So this week's goal is...

take 15 minutes everyday to do some cleaning and spend 1 hour going through a pile and throw things away.

The problem is that I tend to wait too long and get overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.  The most logical way to handle that is obviously to avoid it completely.  Perhaps taking 15 minutes everyday, a small amount of time, will be manageable and by the end of the week it will be clean(er)!!

It always feels good to have a clean house and to get rid of things that we don't need.  So that's the goal.

How do you guys do with cleaning?

I didn't get an overwhelming response (or really any response at all) to last week's goal but I really loved it.  I played my guitar, did some French, watched the State of the Union, read about Greece online, read every single day and loved learning some new things.  Did anyone else learn some new things?

Hope you guys are doing well out there!  I love hearing from you.

em a

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nerding out

Happy end of week 4, friends!!

So many great ideas for getting more fruits and vegetables into our diets this week.  I did some juicing, which was delicious (well, actually it was super bitter but still good) but only did it once because it is a real pain to clean up.  I did try to add a fruit to my breakfast, usually an apple or strawberries and that worked out really well.  I made a smoothie with some frozen berries a few mornings which were delicious.  I also made some quinoa with beans and veggies for lunch that lasted a few days.  I ate it with arugula and a little oil and vinegar.  Yum.  HL just suggested making large amounts of roasted veggies at the start of the week and eating them in various ways (sandwiches, snacks, etc) throughout the week.  I am going to try this for sure.  I love roasted veggies.  My beautiful Aunt P also suggested making a big ol salad without dressing at the beginning of the week and reaching for that.  Did any of you try some new ways to get more fruits and veggies in?  Do share!

Week 4 was a tough one at work but ended really well with my greatest friend, EP and her fiance (1 month engaged!!!) visiting here in SF.  The weather was in our favor with a break in the rain providing a beautiful sunny day to wander all around the city, eating good food, seeing beautiful things and just enjoying being together.  It was the best.  It's amazing how friends and family can totally lift you up and make things so happy. 

I am excited for week 5!  The goal is one that I have been thinking of for a while.  So without further ado, week 5...

Spend 20 minutes everyday learning something new.

Yes!  I am a total nerd about this one.  I can learn a new song on the piano or guitar, work in my French workbook, relearn (for the 100th time) how to cast on a new knitting project, take 20 minutes to learn about a new country or person or event - the options are limitless!  Nerd out friends.  I love learning new things.

I am thinking of changing the format a bit by writing down a bunch of goal ideas and picking them out of a hat so there is a little more of an element of surprise.  My friend, AJ, the inspiration for this whole thing, does it that way and she gets so excited before hand to find out what the goal will be.  We could all use a little excitement like that in our lives, yeah?  If you have any goal ideas - send them my way or put them in the comments.  I was even thinking of doing goals that aren't necessarily everyday things but more of something that could be done over a week like try a new recipe this week or take a new class at the gym.  I'll let you know what I come up with.

Hope you guys have a totally nerdy week 5!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finding it a challenge to keep up with challenges

I am going to try and write this from a forgiving and loving place...I am going to try and write this from a forgiving and loving place...I am going to try and write this from a forgiving and loving place....

This is one of those things that drives me absolutely CRAZY about myself and I want to change it but never have.  I don't keep up with things.  EVER!!  It really is so frustrating.  Here I am blogging about challenging myself every week and making weekly challenges so I will be able to keep up with it and I don't keep up with it.  Gar.  Come on, me!!  Pull it together!!  Two weeks in a row of not doing what I said I would do.  BUT on that same note, I did do some great things otherwise.  So there.  Some love.  Good job, me.

I did keep up with exercise and enjoyed playing more tennis, running, doing Comcast videos, going to the gym and doing Zumba.  So that is great.

We are having a lovely weekend - watching movies, visiting with some friends and just enjoying being together.  I really do love just hanging out with that guy, my husband.  He is so much fun.

I also wrote a few letters.  I wrote three thank you notes, a happy new home card and a happy engagement card.  I still need to write three more thank you notes and a new pan pal friend letter!  (thank for the letter, new pen pal friend, MS!!!)

So remember that at the beginning of this whole thing I told you about the inspiration coming from a friend who was picking a challenge each week?  Well the challenge she picked last week was to eat 8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day and drink 90 ounces of water.  She rocked it.  I am doing a modified version of that this week. 

Here it is, week 4's challenge:
eat a fruit and/or vegetable at every meal, including snacks

Now you wouldn't think this would be much of a challenge, right, but I have been finding that I don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as I should! We eat a ton of vegetables for dinner and lunch but I need to get in more fruit.  So I am looking forward to buying a bunch of produce at the grocery tomorrow and going for it.  Do any of you find this as a challenge too?  Any good ideas for me?  My friend HL is a rockstar at eating lots of veggies and fresh foods all the time, especially kale.  I should check out her blog for more ideas.

How is everyone out there doing?  How is your 2012 so far?


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oh goodness - Week 3 Day 3

How am I already delinquent on posting and it is only the third week!?!  Yikes.  Gotta get on it.

So I wanted to tell you guys about a sign on a downtown dentist office that had some lovely words of wisdom this week.  Normally this sign is full cheesedom with silly puns and things of the like, but this week it says "Live a life you don't regret".  I love it.  How great are those words?  How great is that advice?  I feel like if you were to use those words to make big decisions, it would be so easy!  Maybe not, but it could be.  This week there was also an article or blog post or something going around FB written by a woman who works with people as they are dying.  She said she always asks them about any regrets they have or things they would have changed.  Throughout her years of doing this she found some common themes and this is the top 5 list (a woman after my own heart, and Rob Gordon's).  Most of them had to do with not working so hard, being closer to friends and living their own life.  Boom.  That is the whole theme of this blog and what I am trying to accomplish right now in my life - some balance and health and no regrets.  Living in the now and trying to remember that this is the only life we get so we should make it count, right?  I love these words of wisdom - live a life you don't regret.  It is a big goal but not impossible.

On that note - week 3's goal has been to keep up with week 1 and 2.   So we made exercise goals again this week and so far so good with that.  I was a little more realistic with my goals this week which seems to be serving me well.  As far as writing the thank you notes, I wrote 3 over Monday and Tuesday and have plans to respond to a new, awesome pen pal tonight.  I had another goal to drink more water and I have been rocking that now for over a week.  Woo hoo!

What were some of your goals for week 3?  Hopefully you weren't waiting around for mine.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Week 2 wrap up

Oh friends.  Balance.  It is a tricky thing.  One that eluded me this week.  I really struggled this week, going back to work, exercising, eating well, seeing friends, cleaning my house etc.  I was so tired from returning to work and it was not an easy week.  All that being said, I didn't write a single letter.  Not a one.  How awful.  I keep trying to make it ok by telling myself that just the week before I had written all of my thank you notes to the children in my class and my family!  But, that was not the challenge.  The challenge was to write one every night THIS week and I didn't do it.  So no go on week 2.  Sorry!

In other news, Mike and I decided to set weekly exercise goals since it worked so well in week 1.  I was a bit over ambitious in my goals but proud of what I did accomplish.  I completed fully 2 of the four and half of one.  I went to the gym three times, played tennis once and ran once.  I did not run a second time and never did any comcast videos.

That's ok!!  Part of living a healthy life is recovering when you fall off the wagon, right?  Not letting it get you down and never get back up.  So, lessons learned.  Set realistic goals, and be easier on myself.

Balance - I will achieve you.  Oh yes.  I will. 

How was your week 2?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week 2 Challenge

My friend pulled the following goal out of the hat for this week's challenge:

Write a personal, handwritten thank you note everyday

Now, I, being a very lucky teacher, just wrote 30 thank you notes by hand and mailed them.  But I love this lost art - the handwritten letter.  So I am planning on writing a letter to someone everyday.  Or at least a card.

Hope you all join me!  I will be checking my mailbox with anticipation.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome, 2012!

Hello All!

Happy 2012!  I, for one, had a wonderful 2011.  It was full of love and happiness - lots of weddings and babies.  My wedding was a true highlight, it was such a wonderful day.  The rest of the year has included traveling, seeing so many friends (many I haven't seen in forever), celebrating lots of couples I love and meeting lots of new babies that I also love.  2011 has also seen a lot of tragedy throughout the world - many natural disasters and sadness.  I am excited to be ringing in the new year and hope that 2012 brings all of us more than we expect.

As we all know, this is the time of year when people make lots of resolutions, many of which are impossible to keep, setting themselves up for failure.  I have done it time and time again.  Every single year on this day I swear to myself that this will be the year I will get my eating under control.  This will be the year I lose lots of weight and finally wear tank tops and bathing suits all summer long!  It has never happened that way.  Not even once.  So why continue to do it?  Isn't that one of the definitions of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results?  I think I heard that on a diet infomercial once.  Well, insanity no more.

This new year I am not setting big ol' goals I can't meet.  I just want to be happy with myself, the decisions I make and the things I am able to do.  I read somewhere that instead of looking back at all of things I didn't accomplish in the past year, look at the things I did.  I married the best guy ever.  I had a lot of fun with friends and family.  I sang.  I ran a 5k!  I ran a 5k!!  I made healthy decisions.  I made unhealthy decisions but I didn't let them snowball.  I was happy a lot of the time.  I did good things in my job.  I had a good year.

This year I am planning on doing small things that won't completely disrupt my life and set me up to fail, but instead can fit in in ways that are positive and good.  If they stick, if big results come from them, excellent.  If not, that's ok.  There's always next week, and that is not a failure.

Week 1 was great.  It was not too hard since I was on break from school and had all day long to exercise or go to the gym.  Here's a recap:

Monday - I did 30 minutes of videos on Demand, some cardio dancing videos
Tuesday - I went to Zumba in the morning.  I LOVE Zumba.  It rocks my world.
Wednesday - I went for a 4 mile run (with some walking)
Thursday - I missed Zumba so instead Mike and I walked to the high school and "played" tennis for about 35-40 minutes.  Needless to say, it was a lot of running around, trying to catch the ball.
Friday - I went to Zumba.  It was awesome.
Saturday - I went for a 3 mile run.

Not bad.  I am excited to find those On Demand videos for days when I don't feel like going to the gym or for a run.  I can do some belly dancing in my living room.

How was your week 1?

Stay tuned tomorrow for Week 2's goal.

Happy 2012!  It's going to be awesome.  I can feel it.