Happy New Year


A few days ago my mother in law asked us all at the dinner table if we had any New Years Resolutions. I hadn’t really thought about it until then except that I was toying with the idea of letting this year be a “no resolution” year largely due to my (exceptionally cute) two-month-old. At this point, I have yet to figure out how to do groceries in a way that doesn’t involve ordering them online and having them delivered (FOR A DOLLAR!!).

But one thing remains a problem that, unless fixed, will surely lead to bad health and general discomfort: I don’t eat my vegetables and fruits.

I just can’t be bothered. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s that I don’t like them more than meat and potatoes. I don’t like them enough to have them be more than an afterthought at best. If I have the option of a salad bar, I will always get a salad, but with the option of a salad or fries it will almost always be fries.

On top of that, my high blood pressure is now on the radar. My OBGYN induced my labour due to high blood pressure (but not pre-eclampsia) and I had to stay longer in the hospital for the same reason. I’m not even 30 and I feel tightness in my chest frequently these days because of it. It seems all that McDonald’s is finally catching up with me.

So as I thought about what needed to change in my life it was pretty simple: I need to learn how to love vegetables and stop eating poorly. I thought being pregnant and breastfeeding would encourage me to eat well, but so far that hasn’t happened and I managed to bake a healthy, strong baby eating mostly potato chips.

There are a few other things related to health that I want to incorporate into my New Years resolution but I haven’t nailed all the details down yet. I think my goals will be in phases where by March (for example) I want to have x habit and by June y habit.

Maybe by the time Jack is eating real food I will be too!

Decision making in the groggy moments of morning

This week has been unseasonably warm. It’s basically April up here right now this strange week of January. So I’ve been motivated to run again because the sidewalks are free from ice and snow. Three out of the last four days I said to myself before going to bed “tomorrow, you’re going to get up and go for a run right away.”

Didn’t happen. Any of those days.

Both yesterday and today, about thirty minutes after I had gotten out of bed, I noticed I regretted the fact that it was too late for me to go for a run.

So what’s the deal?

I realized this morning that my decision-making skills were non-existent. My grogginess factor was so powerful that if that continues in the morning, I will never ever accomplish anything until I wake up. That’s when I realized I was having all this success last fall because I had never once tried to get up and go right out the door for a run. The plan was always wake up, do light therapy, journal, then go for the run. By the time I had spent that 30 or so minutes waking up, I was awake and enthusiastic enough to grab the shoes and go.

According to EasyWake.me‘s 12 most important facts about sleep inertia (the grogginess after being woken up), “within the first three minutes of waking, decision-making performance can be as low as 51 percent of the person’s best decision-making ability before sleep. Decision-making performance may still be 20 percent below optimum performance 30 minutes after waking. Sleep inertia may affect cognitive performance for up to two hours.”

This is a super helpful realization for me because it’s the difference between me tweaking my plans and feeling demotivated and wanting to quit. Realizing I need at least 15 minutes where I get vertical (out of that comfy bed) or do light therapy. Then I will maybe be rational enough to make the right choice to go run or another form of exercise.

Here’s to tomorrow morning and outrageously warm weather for January!

What about you? Do you now have a little bit more hope for your morning routine with this information? Share your thoughts in the comments here.

2012 Wins


A mentor of sorts once told me I don’t celebrate my successes enough. Here are 7 things I’m celebrating from last year:

  1. Quitting

    Killing my other blog. That was scary.

  2. Risking

    Starting this one instead. Also scary. Both were very rewarding.

  3. Waiting

    There were a few things in my life that required me to wait for and be patient with someone else for a much longer period than I felt comfortable with. It was a good thing.

  4. Loving

    Last year had some big wins and big challenges. All of which were very much intertwined in my marriage. We love each other more than we did the year previous. It was a very good first year of marriage.

  5. Trusting

    Connected with the big challenges of last year, there was a very important couple that we could confide in and trust us to love and accept us when we were well put together and when we weren’t.

  6. Persevering

    Remember when I didn’t run and then I did? Remember when I was getting up at 6:45AM and was having great days? Yeah, that was pretty awesome. I’m still celebrating that huge win.

  7. Advancing

    I’m celebrating 2013 and naming it as 12 more months of the great successes I had in my personal life since launching this blog.

What are you celebrating from last year? Comment here or post a response on your own blog and then post the link in the comments.

New Year’s Resolutions

I drafted this post back in December and had meant to post it then. Work projects built up and then Christmas came. So here we are four days into the New Year. I haven’t actually started working on these yet, but that hasn’t deterred me from working towards them. My goal is to be still doing this when the hoards of new people in the gym have long left.

I have three simple resolutions for myself: Read a book every two weeks; find other exercise to do 3x a week until I can run again; start a craft I can do while I watch TV.

1. Read a book every 2 weeks.

A few years ago I decided to try to read a book a week and that worked for about four weeks. Then I let life get out of hand. This year I know I actually have more time on my hands than I did that year, but I don’t want my life to revolve around reading only (because currently I consume way too much Netflix!), either. I’ve heard the phrase “Readers are leaders” often. I’m not sure how convened I am with being a leader — I just like life (and myself) more when l’m reading (non-fiction). I’m thinking through things more, I have more things to talk about in conversation with people, and life is just more interesting. I have a stack of free books I got on Kindle so I have no shortage of books to read. So this year I’m only going to have the goal of reading a book every two weeks.

2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.

Everyone knows that exercise is an important aspect of living a healthy life. For me, I’m a better employee and person when I’m exercising. Life is just better. I’ve never done a good job of maintaining any exercise through the winter so I imagine this will be the hardest one for me.

3.Start a craft (sewing or cross-stitching)

I’ve had a cross-stitch pattern in my mind for the last few months. I’ve figured out how to take it, put into Photoshop and turn it into a cross-stitch pattern. Now I just need to actually do it. My mom refreshed my memory on how to do it when I was visiting for Christmas so the next steps are to buy the right colour of embroidery thread and get going.

Have you thought about a New Year’s Resolution? Are you toying with an idea but aren’t yet ready to commit? Have you already started? Share in the comments here!

Success with New Year’s Resolutions

Ever the cynic, I rarely had New Year’s Resolutions growing up. I was the ‘realist’ who could see the future and how quickly I would abandon my project and so I decided not to start it so I couldn’t fail at it. Sounds like a happy kid, right? What I did like was new beginnings. So various times throughout the year I would feel inspired to start new things. I didn’t want to feel stuck to January. Only in the last few years have I attempted New Year’s Resolutions.

I was reflecting on this time last year, which I spent some time planning my New Year’s Resolution. I actually managed to successfully do 10/12 months of my New Years Resolution which is an overwhelming success in my books! I took some time to think about why it ended up being the only major success in a Resolution I’ve ever had. It ended up lining up pretty well with these suggestions that I found in A New York TImes article called Be It Resolved by John Tierney, so I thought I’d share his tips instead since he’s way more credible than I am.

  1. Set a single clear goal. Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “eat healthier,” set a specific goal — say, lose a pound a week. And limit yourself to one big resolution at a time.
  2. Pre-commit. Further bind yourself by e-mailing your goal to friends or posting it on Facebook.
  3. Outsource. You can outsource self-control by sharing your progress with friends through Twitter posts about your weight or your workouts, or by making a formal contract at Web sites like stickK.com, [I’m looking at trying out the Lift app]
  4. Keep track. Self-monitoring is vital to any kind of resolution, and new tools will do the grunt work for you.
  5. Don’t Overreact to a Lapse. One reason dieters fail is a phenomenon formally known as “counterregulatory eating” — and informally as the “what the hell effect.” Once they lapse, they figure the day’s diet is blown anyway, so they go on to finish the whole carton of ice cream, thereby doing far more damage than the original lapse.
  6. Tomorrow is another day. One of the cheeriest new findings from diet research comes from an experiment in which people had to resist a bowl of M&M’s. The ones who told themselves they could have the candy later had a much easier time than the ones who swore off M&M’s permanently.
  7. Reward often. If you use willpower only to deny yourself pleasures, it becomes a grim, thankless form of defense. But when you use it to gain something, you can wring pleasure out of the dreariest tasks.

Make sure you read the rest of the article. They give more than just one sentence explanation, which is helpful.

What about you? Have you ever had success in a New Year’s Resolution? Do you bother? Why? Why not? You can leave a comment by clicking here

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