Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Goal #1: Improve Overall Health

Sitting here with Jack this morning, drinking my coffee and writing this blog, I am really thinking about what this goal entails: physical, mental, financial, and creative health, in fact. Again, I am not using the word "resolution"; instead, I like goal or, yes, intention. Something to suggest the 12-month process ahead of me.

Physical: I have put on too much weight in the last five years, after several life upheavals. Sooooo, okay, time to dump it, which will definitely improve my mental and emotional health! And eventually my financial health, when I don't get the viruses and diseases flowing regularly through my department or worse things brought about by unaddressed stress and poor habits. I'd like to start by losing about twenty pounds, which would take me down to well below the weight gain.

This means more mindful eating--as a life choice, not a diet!--and being aware of my own metabolism which is SSLLLOOOOOOOWWW! It means being mindful of preparing ahead of time: breakfast, lunches, snacks--not just dinners. And being more mindful when I eat out: I love eating out, I love eating delicious, well-prepared food, and I sometimes simply love someone else cooking, cleaning, and thinking about meals. Eating out is so connected with friends, while my current apartment is not designed for entertaining friends, even one at a time (see goal #2).

And we all know food alone won't do it, not at my age, so movement of some kind every day is necessary. Necessary. Necessary. Which is normal for sensible people. And, joy of joys, that will require biking and walking to work... on errands... and signing up for a yoga class weekly (which I JUST did!). And it is possible that the yoga class will require biking to and from...

Mental health will definitely be improved by the increased physical movement, and by the subsequent weight loss. I am also going to change my own internal scripting: being more aware of how I talk to myself. For example, Friday I had scheduled a phone meeting, but left my phone in my car... and missed the meeting. I spent about ten minutes buffeting myself for messing up--and I realized that I do that all the time, when I am not "perfect." So rewriting those internal mental scripts is necessary. I called back and rescheduled the meeting--no sweat. I listened to what I was saying to myself (and how I was subsequently feeling) about making a small mistake... so I stopped.

That kind of self-talk is not only paralyzing, but ridiculous because it always make the incident seem larger than it is.

Creative health, of course, means continuing what I've been working on: writing everyday, and developing a process to make that as painless as possible. And I mean enabling myself to start everyday. As well as developing my interest in drawing with pastels and photography. Maybe even taking a class in one or the other. The writing has been delightful this past semester: productive and, again, emotionally stimulating. I've built early morning time into six days weekly for writing, including two days outside the house.

Goal/specific: lose 20 pounds or two dress sizes.
Goal/general: improve physical stamina/endurance by adding daily movement.
Goal/general: change lifestyle and eating habits, including making it a habit to be prepared for weekly menus.
Goal/specific: change mental self-talk script to be kinder, gentler with myself.
Goal/general: set and accomplish creative goals weekly.

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