Wishes for 2013

As 2012 rounds out and 2013 is soon to be ushered in we hope any reflections you have on the past year are good ones. Even the challenges we have had to face often make us stronger. And really without the challenges, would the victories be as sweet?

We want to wish you all health and happiness in the coming year. A year filled with friends, family, love, memories and strength. May 2013 bring you all more than you could dream possible.

Enjoy your evening, and don’t forget if your drinking alcohol, drink your water!! It will make tomorrow morning much more pleasant!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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A life lesson in writing it down!

I learned a hard lesson today. Well, re-learned in truth. I really do need to put my cell phone on a higher shelf!

One of my favourite apps is Endomondo. I used it exclusively when I was training for my half-marathon. I love it and I haven’t upgraded it because I don’t like the newer format and I haven’t had any problems with the old one. In fact, I have even delayed upgrading the software for my phone because I was worried it wouldn’t be compatible with the old app. Well, today I picked up my phone, and it was sticky. Which meant someone had gotten a hold of it while it was charging. Not unusual, I really should put it on a higher shelf. That being said, when I went to check my texts I realized, nay, swayed in horror at the realization that someone had managed to erase all of my app’s…including…Endomondo. Now, I never logged on with an email or other social media, I always choose “remind me later” and I never copied my details into a notebook, which is funny because I have far too many notebooks and datebooks with a variety of information about my fitness training lying around.  I could care less about the other app’s that were on my phone, but Endomondo was like a friend. It had been there to track each stage of my half-marathon training, which had been a huge personal accomplishment for me. It had tracked each new milestone and prior to beginning my training the furthest I had run was 8 kms, so there were a lot of milestones in there!! But, I’m trying to embrace a zen like being and realize, just because the history is gone, doesn’t change the training and effort that I put into it. It doesn’t change what I accomplished.

That being said, sometimes, old-school pen and paper is the way to go. I guess the fact that I have created a journal this year specifically for recording my fitness achievements is a good thing and guess where my running will be sure to be entered?! Ah well, it’s a fresh start, it’s a New Year (almost), and I can start with a fresh slate. Maybe it’s good not to have the history staring me down. But argghhh here’s hoping the newest upgrade isn’t as bad as I’ve feared!!

Are there apps that you count on as part of your training? Do you track your accomplishments in a journal or are you able to monitor your changes and accomplishments without any tracking at all? How do you best “enjoy the process”?

A Few Lessons Learned in Adulthood

Yesterday I finished the post with a few of Gretchen Rubin’s “Secrets of Adulthood”. Which made me think, what are some of the lessons I’ve learned in adulthood? What kind of things could I share with my kids? What “truths” have I learned over the years that I should hold on to, which ones can I let go of? So here is a short list, would any of them make yours?

  1. Wear sunscreen
  2. Get 8 hours of sleep, even if you think you don’t need it
  3. Laugh more and laugh out loud
  4. Ask “why?”
  5. Write a letter, or send a card – just because
  6. Floss your teeth
  7. Drink more water
  8. Read the fine print
  9. Sing out loud
  10. Smile at a stranger

Funny, once I started this list I could have kept going. Maybe we’ll add another in the future. What are some lessons or secrets you would include if compiling a list?

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

~ Napolean Hill

 

Working on a little happiness

I’m taking a break from re-reading “The Happiness Project” for the third time, to read Gretchen Rubin’s most recent book “Happier at Home“. I read The Happiness Project for the first time near the end of 2010 and it was part of the catalyst that started me focusing on the changes I wanted to make in my life. I love her approach and her writing style. While in 2011 & 2012 I didn’t adopt her process from start to finish (she is the first one to say everyone will approach it differently) this year I have started to line things up so starting in January I will have my to-do list each day of things I want to complete that I think will contribute to increasing the happiness factor in my life, and hopefully if I’m conciously cultivating happiness, it will bring more happiness into our family.

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My dog-earred, well loved copy on the right!

Here are a few examples of things that I plan on implementing in January:

  • Have peaceful mornings and evenings. I work rotating shifts, my husband’s work hours can change and we have 4 children. I hate the busyness of mornings, that often culminate in “brush your hair already”, “please, for the tenth time, put socks on”, “what do you mean you need a family picture TODAY!?” and then there are the evenings “brush your teeth”, “really, it’s time for bed”, “NOW!!”. I have no illusions that every morning and every night will be peaceful and relaxing. But if I can make a conscious effort to put things in place to have a peaceful morning, then what a great start to the day it will be for all of us. For example, I have one daughter who needs time to wake up. I can’t wake her at 8:00 if she needs to be up at 8:00. I need to go in at 7:50 and rub her back and say “honey, you have ten more minutes to sleep”. This was a recommendation from a friend and has made all the difference. I just have to be organized to do this every morning I am home.
  • Do what needs to be done. I am taking this one straight from the book! If it takes less than 5 mins, do it!! File those bills, put the dishes in the dishwasher, change over the laundry. Simple, obvious, makes sense…but sometimes, it’s just easier to pile the bills after being paid, walk by the laundry (if it gets dried, then I’ll have to fold it!) and well, dishes…enough said!
  • Commit to an exercise routine and track it in a journal. While I have an exercise routine, at this point I need to pick up the pace. I will be doing my minimum of 1 km per day, and boot camp. So I need to look at my schedule and see what else I can add to it and write it down.

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My scrapbooked calendar I created for tracking my fitness goals.

The beauty behind The Happiness Project is that (if you choose) you pick a focus for each month and build on it. So the choices I make in January, I will implement in January, then I will add new things in February while continuing to do what I was doing in January. In March I build on the plan, continuing January and February’s actions. Make sense?

How can this be applicable to Fitness, Nutrition and Wellness? Easily! I’m sure you can come up with 12 things that you would like to add to, change about, or omit from, your life. Write them down and commit to one for each month. For example:

  • January: Run 1 km every day
  • February: Omit sugar from my diet
  • March: Eat 6-8 servings of Veggies every day
  • April: Write a meal plan and stick to it each week
  • May: Stop drinking alcohol (ok, summers coming…maybe this won’t be continued in June, but let’s see if that belly bloat is too much beer!) After a month of excluding something from the diet, you can easily tell when you re-introduce it if you have a sensitivity. We’ll talk more about this in the New Year!
  • June: Wear a pedometer and track how many steps I take daily
  • July: Up my water to 10-12 glasses, minimum (I’m working out, and it’s the summer!! Better not get dehydrated)
  • August: Read 2 books
  • September: Try a new activity (sport, hobby, class – go out and meet new people!)
  • October: Scrapbook 2 pages a week (it’s a hobby I love, and don’t do enough, but it makes me FEEL GOOD when I do – Wellness!!)
  • November: Try a new recipe every week
  • December: Take 5 mins every day to breathe

I haven’t spent much time on Gretchen Rubin’s website (in part becuase I think I would never leave!) but I think that will be added to my list. She currently has a 21 day Happier at Home Relationship Challenge posted which looks very intriguing. I just may have to look into that. Can anyone argue that increasing your happiness isn’t a great goal for the New Year? Sometimes, you have to act how you want to feel, even if you’re just not feeling it 🙂 If you would like more information you can check out her website here or at http://www.happiness-project.com/

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life”

~ William Morris, “The Aims of Art”

“If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough” “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.” “What you do every day matters more than what you do once and awhile“.”

~ Gretchen Rubin, taken from her Secret’s of Adulthood in The Happiness Project

Hunting the seemingly ever elusive, successful New Year’s Resolution

With Christmas just wrapping up, and some of us still celebrating with extended family this post be a little pre-mature, but the fact is, time flies and in 6 short days the calendar will not only be marking a new month, but a new year as well. 2013 is just days away and if you’re like much of the world, even if you don’t believe in them, odds are the thought of a New Year’s Resolution has crossed your mind. Studies show that most resolutions are given up by mid-February. I wonder why this is? Are the resolutions we choose too lofty? Do people choose resolutions with their own success in mind or with other people’s impressions of success as the focus? Should a resolution even be a succeed or fail item?

I found this Top Ten List of  commonly broken New Year’s resolutions at Time Magazine’s website:

  • Lose weight and get fit
  • Quit smoking
  • Learn something new
  • Eat healthier and diet
  • Get out of debt and save money
  • Spend more time with family
  • Travel to new places
  • Be less stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink less

I would say many of these are very lofty, and ill-defined. When you sit down to make a resolution do you ever think about the “how’s” of it? How is it going to be accomplished? What steps are needed? Will you need external support? Is this resolution for you or someone else? If you are choosing to quit smoking (a challenging and admirable resolution) if you’re not quitting for you, and plans aren’t in place for when you face temptations you may be setting yourself up for failure, and how will you feel after that?

I love looking up definitions in the dictionary, and I really appreciated so many of the definitions I found for “resolution”. Here are a few:

  1. the act or process of  analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones
  2. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc
  3. finding a solution to a problem
  4. and perhaps the simplest and clearest: A resolution is a plan for something to be done.

Some of the synonyms were wonderful as well: decision, commitment, resolve, intention, promise, aim, purpose, pledge, determination, energy, courage, doggedness, relentlessness, resoluteness, staunchness, fortitude, boldness, perseverance, steadfastness, earnestness, boldness, sincerity, tenacity

So what is the under-lying theme here? I think resolutions can be a good place from which to springboard into change. Take the time to plan what you would like to do. Think about your “whys” and the “hows”. I prefer to think in terms of goals when it comes to making a New Years Resolution. In the post “How do you run 365 kilometers?” I mentioned that this is a goal of mine for the New Year. I also have several other things that I am working towards. I have learned from the past that if I don’t plan, I won’t get very far in reaching my goals. Another post to check out is on SMART goal setting. Perhaps one of the biggest changes we can make is in our own mindsets. So often resolutions are about depriving ourselves of a behaviour that may have made us happy, even if it wasn’t healthy. How would you feel if you were adding something to your life, instead of taking away from it? Would it be easier, more fulfilling? Maybe we also need to look at a resolution as a journey, after all, if it is a plan, it can not be a single action that makes up the resolution, but a series of steps that get us to our goals.

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
~Mario Andretti~

Christmas Wishes

We want to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your families a healthy, peaceful, memorable, loving Christmas. May 2013 bring you a year filled with positive change, positive choices, a wealth of happiness and more love than you can imagine.

A very, very Merry Christmas to you all,

xoxo Anita and Suzanne xoxo