Goals update

Hi All!

I have 283 days to do. So where am I on my goals?

TO DO GOALS

  • I totally forgot to sign up for the MEC Race Series so I think I’ll ditch it and find other events
  • Sign up for Army 1/2 marathon or 10km (Sunday, September 17)
  • Sign up for Fall Colours 10km (Sunday, October 8)
  • Audition for at least two more things. With all the extra appointments, I need to cut back on my expectations. If I can audition for one more thing, I’ll be happy.
  • Get new passports for husband and myself (spring 2017)
  • Find 10 things to do that bring more fun/joy to my life.
  • Start writing my second book.

NEW GOALS

  • I just got a therapist to help work out issues that have developed in the last two years.
  • Decided to stop taking Paxil (for anxiety) so have a doctor to wean me from it
  • Just signed up for an 8-week pilot project at work that’s called Meditation for Leaders. Goals for the program are:
    • 1. Commit to 8 weeks
      2. 5-minute meditation every day
      3. write down 5 things I’m grateful for daily

ON TARGET GOALS

  • Training for Race Weekend (group did 16 km on Sunday).
  • Limit alcohol (which I do anyway) but maintain.
  • Go back to mainly protein & vegetables.
  • Supplements.
  • Neurofeedback once/week.
  • Balance my gut this year (getting full blood workup, endoscopy).
  • Singing (fun goal) Go to all lessons and jams. (not perfect, but doing better).
  • Go to four additional jams around the city (other than The Music Factory). I’ll be at Irene’s Pub at the end of the month.
  • Sing at the jams like I don’t care if I crack or forget lyrics (Sheer joy!).
  • Save 15-20,000 for a big trip in 2-3 years (taking adventures!).
  • Finish my office with beach theme (doing a bit every week).
  • Take a beach vacation in 2018 with my husband.
  • Take two local vacations in the next 3 years with my husband.
  • Write a Do-Over Project blog post (once per week, but often twice a week).

INCONSISTENT GOALS

  • Eating few or no sweets.
  • Regular workout routine established: still struggling to do what I’ve always loved.
  • Rock climbing: trying to find a place for it in my schedule.
  • NEW 100 queries by the end of the year.
  • By the end of this year, I want an agent.

TOTAL F*ING FAILURES!!!

  • Weight loss (I’ve been really struggling with this because I’m tired all the time. I’m guessing that when I get my gut issue sorted out weight loss and exercise will be more consistent)

DAILY GOALS

I keep track of the following in a journal every day:

  • INCONSISTENT Fitness
  • MOSTLY CONSISTENT Healthy eating
  • ON TARGET Positive Facebook post: AT LEAST once a day
  • INCONSISTENT I am great at:
  • MOSTLY CONSISTENT Do something differently
  • MOSTLY CONSISTENT find something that brings me joy
  • INCONSISTENT Do a drawing prompt
  • CONSISTENT reading a daily positive message

DONE GOALS

I’ve achieved the following:

  • Get knee fixed
  • Sign up for Ottawa Race Weekend 10 km (Changed to walking the 1/2 marathon
  • Set up RRSP
  • Start a travel fund
  • Go to bank for a travel rewards card
  • DON’T cancel my cardiologist specialist (heart issue ruled out).

Planting seeds

Hi All!
As I was out raking the front lawn in the glorious sunshine today, I started thinking about my plants. You see, they’re looking pretty retched right now. My perennials don’t look perennial, they look dead!!! They’re dried out lumps of grey/ brown.

I said to my husband, “I’m amazed each year because my plants don’t look like they’ve survived the harsh Ottawa winter–but then low-and-behold, at some point, I start seeing buds or new green stuff shooting up from the ground!” We agreed that nature is pretty cool.

Excited by the thought of what lurked beneath the winter decay, I began cleaning out my flower bed and, sure enough, there was some (barely visible) green stuff! I was tickled.

When I apply the lesson learned from my perennials to the Do-Over project, it’s like the Robert Louis Stevenson quote about planting seeds.

Sometimes we’ve planted seeds (or bulbs or whole plants) and we’re not sure if they’re going to grow (or even live through the season, if you lack gardening skills like I do!). It requires faith. Faith that we’ve done enough of the right things (like watering, fertilizing and removing debris) to give the plant a fighting chance!

Sometimes, I forget to have faith. I’m planting seeds, maybe not daily but enough that, even if half of them grow to their full potential, I will have a wonderful garden. I have to have faith that, next year on my birthday, I will have done enough good stuff for myself that I will, at the very least, be on the way to turning things around.

Already I’ve accomplished some of my goals (stay tuned this weekend for an update) AND I’m less anxious about whether every day is a “success” or “failure”. To me, that’s huge success–and we’re only in April!

Happy Good Friday!

Big picture Stevenson for blog

Why are bad habits so easy?

Why are bad habits so easy to acquire and good habits so hard to acquire? That’s what’s been on my mind the last few days.

I work at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). We have a commitment to work on sustainable development projects and one task we’ve been working on is decreasing our internal paper consumption.

I’m a writer, so almost by necessity (and certainly by proclivity) I am a “Paper Beast”. I always have pads of paper (large and small), daytimers, journals and stickies (where would we be without them???), well, everywhere. At home, at work, in drawers, in bags, in purses, on desks–everywhere.

Since Earth Day is coming up on April 22 and we’re promoting it, I challenged myself to go without paper FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK!!

That week has just come to an end and I can tell you IT WAS HARD. Every five minutes I was turning around to grab a piece of paper and a pen to jot a note down before I forgot it. And how did I go to meetings without anything to take notes?!

I managed. Somehow. I truly didn’t think it would be that hard, but, honestly, it was torture! But I learned a few things:

  1. I CAN go without paper.
  2. I don’t LIKE to go without paper.
  3. Not relying on paper made me rely on my memory more. Argh.
  4. Not relying on paper made me get creative. Like putting the timer on in Outlook to remind myself to do something, instead of writing it on a stickie. Or sending myself home an email to remember to bring something to work. Or using OneNote to make daily task lists.
  5. When I don’t use paper, and thus don’t have piles of paper around, my desk is neater.

The biggest lesson learned, however, was to simply be more aware. I love writing in special journals with pretty pens, so I’m not going to give that up. It makes me happy. But this week’s exercise made me aware of every piece of paper I could have potentially used. It showed me that I can, if I want, choose differently.

Ah, there’s that word again “differently”. Doing things differently is on my radar this year to make changes and it’s part of the reason I took this challenge on. Not because I knew I was going to suddenly change my ways and never use paper again, but that, when I do use paper, I will be more aware of it and SOMETIMES choose a different option.

The end of my successful paperless week over, I’m left with that question still churning in my mind: “Why are bad habits so easy to acquire and good habits so hard to acquire?” Working at the CRA is a perfect example of each.

Good habit hard to acquire: If I were going to go permanently paperless, I know it would be a long hard climb for me.

Bad habit easy to acquire: I’ve only worked for the CRA for two months and already I’m in the stubborn bad habit of jones-ing for one of those gluten free peanut butter Rice Krispie bars with dark chocolate they sell in the cafeteria around 3:00pm each day.

If you’ve ever wondered why latching onto bad habits is so easy (and letting go of them so hard), you’ll be happy to learn that it’s not your fault. Researchers say that bad habits give you instant rewards (e.g. chocolate!), while good habits provide you with, well, not much! A sense of accomplishment when you finally maintain it (e.g. quitting smoking. You know it’s good for your body, but the reward comes from not dying of lung cancer eventually).

The end result is awesome, but human beings have a hard time with the-thing-that-takes-a-long-time-with-no-immediate-gratification. The positive habits have the greatest rewards long term, but suck at the short-term fix. That’s where bad habits excel! And that’s why changing your life is so darn hard!

Experts say that the first step to changing a bad habit is acknowledging it exists in the first place. It’s being aware, just like I experienced every time I picked up a pen this week.

To eradicate it, so say the experts, you then need to draw your attention to it. That was easy to do for me as I tried to go paperless. It was very obvious every time I physically turned to grab a pen.

The next step to change a habit is to interrupt the bad habit with a positive behavior. In my case, choosing ANY other option but paper.

Other examples might be to go for a walk every time you crave that cigarette or making tea every time you think of making yourself a cup of coffee.

To sum it up, awareness is the the first giant leap to change. The rest is just:

  1. Keep at it.
  2. Know it’s going to be painful, but the long-term gain will be worth it.
  3. Repeat.

Here’s an infograph to illustrate the process of change:

bad habits.png

The good news is, it WILL eventually stick because all this time you’ve been rewiring your brain. I expect by this time next year, my brain will be fully rewired!

Cheers,

Tracy

If you’re interested in more information on change, check out Brian Tracy, who’s done work on the subject for years:

Goals can change just like you!

When I started the Do-Over Project, I set several health and wellness goals, one of which I’ve changed COMPLETELY. The results have been interesting so I thought I’d share them with you.

I signed up for the 10km run at the Ottawa Race Weekend (ORW) in May. My training was going well and then I got Bronchitis. “No problem, I’m ahead of schedule so I can catch up”, which I did.

In the meantime, a friend of mine asked me if I’d like to join her group of women who are training to walk the ORW’s half-marathon. I am not a walker. Oh, it’s fine for getting from point A to point B, but it doesn’t really feel like exercise because I can’t get my heart rate up high enough. I like the huffing and puffing of running, so I get frustrated with the whole walking thing.

In addition, I realized long ago that I’m not a run group kinda girl! It took me a while to figure out why, because I’m an extrovert, so I thought I should LOVE them. In the last couple of years, however, I’ve become aware that I have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The result is that, as much as I love being around people, they distract me. When I’m running, this is a problem because I can’t focus on my breathing properly.

BUT, I’m trying to do things differently, so I told my friend, I’d join the group. The first week I felt the usual frustrations arise. “We’re going too slow!” and “I could have been done ages ago if I’d been running!” were my internal mantras for all 10.8 km.

During the week, I was feeling grumpy and annoyed that I’d committed myself to such torture–I had even transferred my bib from the 10km run to the 1/2 marathon walk.

Then I thought, “you need to do this differently, because you’re trying to change. So change your attitude!” After all, why was I in such a rush to finish our walk? I mean, what else do I have to do that’s so pressing at 8:30 am on Sunday morning?

This morning I was determined to have a different attitude. Every time the inner monologue started about how slow we were going, I stopped it. Instead I thought, “what a great way to start the day. I don’t have anything else that I ‘have to’ do right now, so just relax.”

As I forced my body to relax, I realized walking was just a completely different activity than running–and that was OK. No, I wasn’t in the meditative, focussed internal place that I’m in when I run, but I was in a good external place, where I was enjoying getting to know these lovely women with whom I was walking. I was enjoying our stream-of-consciousness conversation as we bounced from one topic to another over the two hours. Afterwards we even went for coffee to continue our conversation.

Overall, I can say that I was pleased with how I chose to view the experience, as well as the experience itself. Both are worthy goals.

Now, I’m not giving up running for walking! I’m still running on the side. I need the huffing and puffing, the rush of endorphines and being inside myself, but I can say that this experience is bringing something different to my life that I like.

And, the experience has also reminded me that goals are guidelines, not words written on tablets like commandments! Just like us, as human beings, we’re not designed to stay static, we’re designed for change. So, too, should our goals be dynamic. Life is not about having static rules but being able to adapt to change.

To me, as long as I continue my commitment to change and I learn something from the experience, it’s all good. And who knows, maybe I’ve made some new lifelong friends!

Cheers,
Tracy
MCL_102167800_women_walking_Ardito_300

Walking UP the Down Hill

As you get older, as your shape changes a little, a few pounds creep on, your joints groan more than they used to and you can’t remember where you left your car, it’s easy to believe IT’S ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE!!

If you’ve bought into your negative self-talk (and Hollywood-speak), you best be gettin’ over that! It’s simply not true.

As someone who has studied various aspects of health and, particularly as an ex fitness instructor, I can tell you that about 70% of the decline we see in ourselves is due to lifestyle choices. We eat and drink to excess, we don’t exercise, we live stressed-out lives.

These are the main contributors of those shape-weight-joints-memory issues–NOT your age. The proof is evident when you choose to make major life changes. Even more evident, when you’re given a do-or-die scenario, like when the doctor tells you you’re going to die if you don’t lose 50 lbs–and somehow you find the motivation to push away from the table sooner! You CAN change–if you’re properly motivated!

In fact, the latest brain research indicates that we can pretty much change every cell in our bodies. Read Dr. Norman Doidge’s books (The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing), and you’ll be astonished to learned just how changeable we humans truly are.

I was reminded of this recently by a change that happened to me that I just didn’t think was possible “at my age”.

I’ve sung all my life. I had lessons as a kid and have managed to keep singing in one form or another in the decades since.

I noticed, however, that the older I got, the shorter my vocal range became and the more cracks I heard in my voice. I decided to take lessons again.

About three years ago, I began taking instruction from a brilliant 20-something woman named Elyssa Mahoney. Although Elyssa now sings blues, jazz and rock, she was classically trained at a very young age. She has been passing on her wealth of knowledge to me.

One of the areas I’ve struggled with during our time together is working through my Passaggio–that’s the fancy term that describes the transition area among voices (you have a chest voice, a middle voice, and a head voice). To sing well, it’s important to be able move through these transition areas smoothly.

I have worked and worked on this, in the back of my mind wondering if it was even possible “at my age”. Expanding my range, well, that was expecting too much. Still, I kept training. What was the worst that could happen (besides the occasional Tracy melt down in frustration!)?

Even though I NEVER had proper training to work on my Passaggio, I have FINALLY made progress! I felt some minor changes a few months back, but I’ve seen BIG change in the last couple of weeks AND my range is expanding ever-so-slowly!

At the age of 53, I find it not only rewarding, but exciting that I can make change–even in areas that are brand new to me and traditionally thought of as “well, once it’s gone, it’s gone”!!

It reminds me, and I am reminding you now, that it doesn’t matter when you decide to change, it only matters that you decide. Then give it your best effort!

Please don’t use the old age excuse–or any other. You are NOT too old/young, fat/skinny, male/female, gay/straight, whatever/whatever!

You just have to decide.

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Go ahead, change!

Hi All!
I thought I’d share my motivation for starting the Do-Over Project with you. It’s not an easy story, but I’ll tell you the essentials so you know that, regardless of the road you are currently on, you CAN change direction at any time.

I didn’t have the best childhood. It took me about 20 years to work through my many challenges. I worked very hard, using every therapeutic intervention I could gain access to in order to heal my wounds.

I’ve had some pretty good years. And then…

Just under two years ago, my eldest sister, Christine, died by suicide. She was bipolar and had struggled with it for years. She was in so much pain and I really had to hand it to her for sticking it out for 56 years. She was very, very tired of trying. I don’t advocate suicide, but I understand the pain and frustration that led her to this life-altering decision.

I mean “life-altering” for all of those she left behind. For me, it was the sadness of not getting to know my sister. You see, I hadn’t seen her for many year–she was six years older and she was more like a babysitter than a sister when we were younger (that happens in big families sometimes). And, she was not terribly nice to me.

But I grew up and finally understood what it was like to be her. I reached out and soon we were contacting each other and, eventually, seeing each other. I was enjoying getting to know Christine as a person. Now that can’t continue. I feel cheated.

As for the rest of my family, their stories are not for me to tell, but essentially my family imploded. It was been sheer hell for everyone over these last two years.

I came to a realization–or rather a re-realization. Years ago, when I was going through all that therapy, I realized that there was absolutely nothing I could do about many of the situations in my life. They happened and there was nothing I could do to change any of it–except to change myself. I could change how I reacted to situations. I could change how I saw myself and others. I could change the language I use to describe it all. Basically, I needed to change my attitude.

That’s a lot of change–a lifetime’s worth! I have enough to change, without trying to control whether other people change or not. Why would I want the extra work? Unless, of course, it’s to change my depressed sister’s suicidal thoughts.

That’s the hard re-realization I had to come to. It’s one thing to let people live their own lives. Change. Don’t change. It’s up to you. It’s entirely something else when someone you love doesn’t want to live.

Part of me wanted to control how she thought. I didn’t want my sister to feel so depressed she wanted to kill herself. I wanted her to want to live. But that wasn’t my call. It was her life. Her choice to make. If she wanted to change her thoughts on suicide, she was ultimately the only one who could do it.

There was nothing, in the end, that I could have done. Christine had her suicide planned out very carefully–for a year!! She was determined to die.

It still comes down to: all I can change is me. My thoughts on how I think of my sister and what she did. I don’t agree with her drastic action, but she took the only control she felt she had. She was going to decide how and when she would die. I have to respect that.

All I can change is me. My thoughts on how I let Christine’s life impact me. Firstly, I can be an advocate for mental health. Secondly, I can continue to improve my own mental health.

That’s why in January I decided to give myself the best birthday present possible: A Do-Over. A chance to find my spark, my joy again this year.

We’ve all been through periods of our lives that were challenging. Do we want that difficult time to swallow up the rest of our lives or do we want to draw a line in the sand and say, “This far and no farther”.

It’s my choice to live–well. Thus, The Do-Over Project.

What’s your choice?

Tracy
cant change situation is when you change you.jpg

Positivity Overload!

This is incredible to me! I have posted 44 positives videos on Facebook since January 25th. Some are motivational, some are silly, some are musical, some will help you relax! I hope at least one of them helps you in some small way!! Enjoy!

WARNING: Don’t watch too many or you may just get happy!

January 25 Everybody Dies, but Not Everybody Lives

January 28 High school student with size 13 feet was wearing size 10 shoes. Classmates surprise him with  early Christmas present.

January 30 Undercover police operation didn’t work, because Canadians were being too nice.

February 1 All That We Share We put people in boxes but maybe we have more in common than we think.

February 2 A Worldwide Dance Video for Love If we can dance together, we can live together.

February 3 Kid Snippets: “Math Class” (Imagined by Kids) Videos of adult ideas as kids see them!

February 4 When the elderly lady dances, you’ll smile!

February 5 A beautiful song about Change by Tracy Chapman

February 6 Thoughts on Living by Hicham Bennir

February 8 Heal the World: Child Prodigies

February 10 Man wants to make sure no negative experiences for children in foster care.

February 12 A whole trainload of passengers sing Over the Rainbow!!

February 13 Betty White on Staying Positive

February 14 I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder

February 15 Happiness is All in Your Mind

February 16 Guided Meditation For Anxiety & Stress

February 17 Breath: Five Minutes Can Change Your Life

February 18 Life is Easy. Why Do We Make It So Hard?

February 19    I Grew Up in Survival Mode by Wentworth Miller (of Prison Break)

Impressionist Brian Hull sings Adele’s Hello with Disney voices

February 20 No More Heart Attacks is possible!

February 21 What Makes A Good Life?

February 22 What does the Quran really say about a Muslim woman’s hijab?

February 23 Kermit & Miss Piggy bike riding!

February 23 10 Reasons to Add Turmeric to Your Diet

February 24 Awesome Classic Dance Mashup to Uptown Funk

February 25 Ernestine Sheppard Bodybuilding At 80!

February 26 Steven Spielberg – Listen To The Whisper

March 1          Martin Luther King Jr. – Keep Moving

UPS Workers All Pitched In To Help Buy A Young Worker A Car!

Puppy’s Reaction to Lemon

March 2 Resilience with Every Body Thrive

March 3 Grandma Saves a Police Officer’s Life

March 4 The Whole World Is In love With This Video!

March 6 Happy (Official Music Video) by Pharrell Williams

March 8          The beauty of Cosmic Jellyfish

The People’s Fridge community fridges save lives

The Value of Time

March 13 Little Girl And Boy Couple Are The Cutest

March 15                    Greta Pontarelli 66-year-old World Pole Champion

Embrace Who You Are Ed Sheeran

March 16 The Incredible Dancing Irish Parrot

March 19 Happiness is All in Your Mind (A happy repeat!!)

February 20 Aura Cleansing Sleep Meditation

Doin’ it!

I am 46 days into my 365-day Do-Over Challenge. That means I have 319 days left to complete my project. In some ways it seems like lots of time and it some ways it seems like 319 days is simply not enough time.But as I went over my goal list today, I think it’s doable. In fact, I was surprised to find that I’ve already accomplished more than I thought I had.

Exercise

  • DONE Get knee fixed. I iced the crap out of my knee and took NEM (Natural Eggshell Membrane), which helped but I was still having a hard time getting into the crouching position. I was still running on it because I thought it was helping. THEN I got sick and couldn’t run. I am now fully healed! Lesson: REST!
  • DONE Sign up for Ottawa Race Weekend 10 km (Saturday, May 27, 2017)
  • DONE Start training first week of February. I am now, unfortunately, behind 2 weeks because of the cold/flu I had, which has now turned into Bronchitis!! I’ll have to back off a bit, which means I don’t have a predicted time yet for my race outcome.
  • Complete Ottawa Race 10km in____:____
  • Sign up for MEC Race Series (haven’t done it yet, but I have until April 16 (the next race) to do it.
  • Sign up for Army 1/2 marathon or 10km (Sunday, September 17).
  • Sign up for Fall Colours 10km (Sunday, October 8).
  • DONE Workout: GOAL (need one). I have a month-long arm challenge I’m going to start in April (still sick so I can’t do it yet).
  • Rock climbing:I was supposed to start again in February, but couldn’t with the knee injury and then the sickness. Haven’t assigned a new date yet.

Weight

  • DONE 5 lbs off by February 10. It took me another month than expected to lose the first 5 lbs, but it’s finally off.
  • Another 5 lbs off by February 28. NEW DATE: April 15
  • Weigh 135 lbs by Ottawa Race Weekend (Saturday, May 27)

Food

  • DONE I’m a pretty healthy eater, but I got off track this past Christmas. Thus, my goal was to return to my normal eating habits (ie, little or no bread-my tummy doesn’t do well); few or no sweets; limit alcohol; mainly protein and vegetables.
  • Continue my food, exercise, joy, etc. journal. I fell off the wagon. Need to get back on!

Supplements

  • DONE Vitamin C
  • DONE Omega 3-6-9
  • DONE add: Magnesium (500 mg?)
  • DONE Start pro/prebiotics (10 million). With more research, I realized 30 billion of various probiotics would be better, so that’s what I started.

Other Health

  • DOING Continue Neurofeedback once/week, but begin training other areas of the brain. Just started again, so need more time before training other brain areas.
  • DONE DON’T cancel my cardiologist specialist. I really wanted to! My lifestyle is very healthy, no predisposition for heart problems, so I felt silly going. But I had A LOT of stress last year, so I swallowed my pride and went. All is well. Glad I went.
  • DOING I am determined to balance my gut this year! The probiotics are helping, but I want to pursue this with my doctor when I see her next month (April).

FUN/JOY!

  • Singing.
    • Go to all lessons and jams, PERIOD. No skipping (unless it’s life or death!)
      • Lessons: 4/8 (January/February). Need to do better, however, I need to give myself a break because I’ve been sick for more than 2 weeks.
      • Jams: 1/2 (January/February)
    • DOING Go to all lessons/jams with the intent of having fun and finding joy. Of the lessons and jams I’ve been to (as well as in my practice) I have done this.
    • Audition for at least two more things (musical, revue, band, something!)
    • Go to four additional jams around the city (other than The Music Factory)
  • Joy Journal. Continue daily joy journal. I’ve been finding joyful things every day, but I haven’t been writing them down consistently.
  • DOING Drawing Prompts. Continue daily prompts from  500 Drawing Prompts. I haven’t done it EVERY day, but most days.
  • My Book.
    • By the end of this year, I want an agent. The person who was looking at my manuscript rejected it, so…
    • NEW GOAL: write 100 query letters to agents this year. Better get started.
    • Start writing my second book.
  • DOING Blog. My goal with this blog was to write a daily post or as often as I can–as long as I keep it up over the next year. Daily posts were too ambitious, but I’m keeping it up.
  • Adventure. I want more adventures in my life, so:
    • DONE Go to my financial planner.
    • DONE Set up RRSP for stability but also a travel account to start March 15. Will start instead on March 22.
    • Save $15-20,000 for a big trip in 2-3 years.
    • CANCELLED. I have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to Bali at a reduced rate. On top of the above, tighten my belt so I can save $2000. Decided not to pursue this and just save my money.
    • Take a beach vacation in 2018 with my husband.
    • Take two local vacations in the next 3 years with my husband.
    • Get new passports for husband and myself (spring 2017).
    • Go to bank for a travel rewards card.
    • Find 10 things to DO that bring more fun/joy to my life.
  •  DOING Posting a positive video on Facebook.  This has been really interesting. Not only have I been posting positive videos most days, I’ve actually started NOT posting anything negative. I suppose it grew organically because I’m thinking more positively again. Very cool!
  • Doing something differently. I had begun to create this habit, but I fell off the wagon when I got sick. Going back  to my exercise/food/joy/etc journal will get me back on track.
  • DOING Continuing to read a daily positive affirmation.
  • Thinking of something great about me. Fell off the wagon. Going back to writing in my exercise/food/joy/etc journal, will get me back on track.
  • Finish my office. I have a beach theme in my office and I want to finish it this year because it brings me great joy to sit and look at my special shells!

I’m beginning to feel more like myself again. I think part of the change is simply deciding that it’s not OK to continue feeling stressed and down. It’s a spiral I have turned around before, so I was sure I could do it again. I’m getting there–despite the fact that my anxiety meds have been decreasing since December. It’s too early to tell whether I’ll be able to go off meds entirely (meaning I won’t be on a single med of any sort, which has always been my ultimate goal), but so far it’s looking good.

I think writing down goals and trying to achieve them gives me control. I chose to do something positive and concrete, instead of batting at the nebulous, negativity that’s been around me in the recent past. And, writing goals makes me more mindful, makes me accountable for my thoughts and actions. Finally, simply putting it out there that I’m open to change, lets the universe know I want to change–even if I’m not always sure how to go about it.

I am accomplishing something here–even if I’m still not sure what it is!

Cheers,

Tracy