Happy New Year

veggies

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!

Ten Months

calendar

For two years in a row, I have managed to stay on top of my New Years Resolutions for Ten months. This is surprising to me because ten months is a long time. Ten months is the vast majority of the year!

But it’s still only ten months and not twelve, which I find super frustrating. WHY CAN’T I DO THINGS PERFECTLY?

And so now I have this on my list to ponder for next year. Why ten and not twelve? Is it that I get bored (high possibility)? Is it something about October? Is it both? What gives?

Update on my New Years’ Resolution to Read

So this morning it occurred to me, I don’t think I’ve read any books since the beginning of May. So I sat down to think about it. I was doing so well up until our regular routine was interrupted by leaving Montreal for the month of May. I managed to do tons of reading in April. Reading became easier and easier and as I picked books that interested me more and more, I was reading more and more. If you take a look at my Books in 2013 page, you’ll see that I went above and beyond my 2 books a month/a book every 2 weeks goal. I read 5 books in April!

Actually, now that I see the list again, I did read 2 books in May. It just didn’t feel like it because I read one book in one day and another book another day. They weren’t spread over a few weeks. Also they were both short novels, but that still counts as reading!

I need to get reading back on my list of things to do. I’ve been more into fiction lately which is a switch from almost everything I’ve read in the last year and a half.

I’m just a better person when I read. I’m nicer, happier, a better conversationalist. I’m all around better. Yet, sometimes, I still need to coach myself to make reading a priority, and this month that is what has to happen.

That familiar cycle

We’re back to that place I’m sure you recognize so well: Jess admits she still doesn’t have this all figured out and has to reboot her life a bit in order to get it all back in order. Some things are going well: I’m still reading regularly, and that’s developed into a lovely habit I’m enjoying. I really appreciate the freedom I have in the 1 book every 2 weeks system. I can easily complete a book in that time, but it gives me room for evenings off etc. Ok so really one thing is going well.

xmas

The fact that my Christmas decorations are still up is probably a sign that things are a little out of control. I’ve been thinking about the balance between doing what I want to do and reaching my goals and how I have the tendency to let other more important things be moved aside by my goals. Important daily life things like grocery shopping, laundry, and all the other things that are not exactly fun.

I just recently read The Organized Heart by Staci Eastin. I felt like I was reading a book I could have written it was so similar to where I’m at:

“So the real question is why don’t I organize my days to do what I believe is important and what I do, in fact, have the skills and training to do. The answer is that I have a motivation problem. I do what I do not want to do–and I do not what I want to do” (Chapter 1).

For me, it’s more like I’m doing what I really want to do that is important to me personally, but not what I have agreed with my husband that needs to get done and in the long-term and from day-to-day is actually more important. Groceries need to get done. Clothes need to be cleaned. The house needs to be cleaned/tidied or else we’ll both go nuts. But those things don’t feel immediately rewarding. 

Maybe that’s it: I need to devise a system where doing the basics is rewarding me by moving onto the other things I want to accomplish like my reading, my running etc.

(I’m just being an external processor right now.)

So yes, my Christmas decorations are still up and I kind of don’t care! I have laundry still sitting in the dryer and it’s been there for 2 days! These last two weeks have not been the highlight of accomplishment for my year. But I vow to have those decorations down by May… I should be able to manage that, right?

Are you in the same place or are you doing better than I am at keeping up with New Years Resolutions and Regular Life? Are you managing your real priorities well? Share here in the comments. 

Resolutions: One month check-up

I’m looking for submissions for my first Guest Post Series featuring how YOU and other regular people have gone about accomplishing difficult or seemingly wild things. Check out this post for more details.

Guys, I have good things to report! In case you forgot, here’s a quick recap on my New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Read a book every two weeks. 
  2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.
  3. Start Sewing/Cross-stitching.

That’s on top of other regular things that I’ve been trying to keep up with like having a morning routine. So how’s it going? Pretty good on the Resolutions front.

I’ve got reading down pat into a habitual thing (I think?). I read on the metro to and from work and for 30 minutes a day (which I track on my Lift app). That alone usually means I can get through a book in faster than 2 weeks, but I’m still not planning on changing my resolution. I’d like to give some margin for regular life to be able to happen.

I’ve been exercising 3x a week, and this week I’m going to start playing with adding swimming once a week as some of that exercise.

Sewing/Cross-stitching has totally not happened at all yet. I’m OK with that as I’m still figuring out the first two and getting back into the habit of my morning routine, which is going quite well! I’ve been getting up at 6:45 the last two weeks. It’s changing my body rhythms a bit again. I need coffee at 10AM instead of 1PM now, and I’m quite tired by 9PM. I’ve also been trying to write regularly on top of all that. This means I’m watching a lot less TV, but I still have time for a short episode of something.

The Downside

all the thingsThough my Resolutions are going well, there are other things in my life that have been pushed to the back-burner to make room for more reading and exercise. Things like grocery shopping, laundry and house cleaning. These things don’t really even take place at the same time of day but they are definitely suffering. I think February will need to be about doing ALL! the things well together.

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.

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