31 December 2011

New Year's Eve


Here it is. The end of 2011. I have to say 2011 was not the greatest year ever. It was tough in many, many ways. I'm not unhappy to see it end. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be pretty awesome. I was looking back on last year's posts and I don't remember posting them at all. Interesting because I usually remember at least part of what I write. I think I was writing in automatic mode. I so look forward to new years that I was trying to force it. I didn't even come close to following through on my goals because I didn't remember making them. Interesting. By December of last year things were getting pretty tough for us. I was worried about money and wasn't quite sure how we were going to pull this off. Things have changed a lot this year.

For the coming year my really big goal is to get my thesis done. That will be the main focus of the first few months of the year. Towards that end, I have to say I haven't accomplished a lot on this break. But I still have another week so we will see.

Secondly I really want to get back into the workout habit. My underlying theme this year is to be happy. Working out makes me happy. It makes me feel good and so it is worth the time and effort. I have removed running from my life this year because I just don't see it happening. If it manages to work itself in later on that's awesome, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it like I have been doing.

I'd really like to lose some weight too. But again, I don't want to beat myself up over it anymore. I'm going to focus on eating right, smaller portions, and let it take care of itself. I will go to WW once a week to check in but no more insanity over it. I have tons of breakfasts and lunches that are healthy, delicious, low points and I love to eat. I will eat them and not sweat the small stuff.

Organization is another major factor in my life this year. I have been working on that for a couple of days now and I think I'm on the right track. My major hurdle in that department is to not let things slide. I need to do things immediately; mail, email, banking, etc. That ties in with my thesis though because in order to get that done in a timely manner I need to be highly organized. I need to be organized in all areas of my life to allow time to work on the thesis. So these things all go together.

On Facebook this morning someone was saying they were doing a Last Chance Workout - the last one of 2011. I think I'm going to do that.

30 December 2011

Organizational Frenzy


I'm in one. I have never been the most organized person. Left to my own devices my areas; desk, room, house, etc; would look like a cyclone came through. You've seen those comedies where someone comes into a home and says to the resident "OMG you've been robbed" because it looks like someone ransacked the place? Okay, that would be me if I didn't keep a tight rein on things. And I have kept it fairly under control. The problem is that I do let some things pile up, like the mail, until I need something. Then I spend 20 minutes searching for it and swear to get things organized. I will then make a good effort, usually spending a day or so getting things set up, only to not follow through and let it happen again. This year I am determined to change things. It's not so hard to keep things organized, I just need to find a system that works for me.

Yesterday I went to Office Max and got some new hanging folders and file folders all color coordinated. My initial idea was that every section of my life would be color coded. Finances, medical, house, etc. What I quickly discovered is that so many of those areas overlap. I had a section for insurance, a section for the house, and a section for the cars. Well, guess what? The house and the cars all have insurance! Do I file the car insurance with the insurance stuff or with the car stuff? So you can see my problem. I decided to scrap the color coded sections and just use the colors to make it look pretty. That worked better. I got one file draw all cleaned out and organized into the new files. Now I have to go through my file cabinet. That has stuff that goes back 25 years. What I want to do is make the new files for the current stuff and then have an archive where I can file things I need to keep forever, like taxes, but they won't be taking up space in the current stuff.

I also have to come up with a way to handle the mail. My current system is that I get it from the mailbox and throw it on the first flat surface I come to, where it stays until I need to find something. Yeah, not a great system. I am working on throwing away the junk before it even comes in the house. When I get the mail, I go through it in the driveway right near the trashcan. That way if there is junk I just dump it in the trash and not even bring it into the house. That is working, I just have to keep it up. But for the mail I need to deal with I need a good system. I need to get it onto my desk, which is in a bedroom so not near the door, and I need to deal with it and not let it pile up on my desk - which I have been known to do.

I just came up with an idea. I had wanted to get a small hanging file holder to put on top of my desk. That way, instead of just throwing things onto my desk, I could put them in folders like, mail, file, taxes, etc. That way, while I may not go through it right away, it would be organized if I needed to find something. Also, then when I had time I could deal with things and they would be all sorted out already - something else that claims an inordinate amount of my time. But I'm thinking of just getting a stand up accordion folder for my desk. On second thought, I don't like that. Too easy to fall over and just get in the way. I need something that will be staring me in the face constantly and will not be ignored.

Clearly I still need to work this all out. But that's where my head is right now. I'm determined to make this year the year I get organized and stay organized. Wish me luck.

28 December 2011

New Year


As I've said in a previous post, I love new beginnings. New Years the kind of the mother of all new starts. People make a lot of grand resolutions and promises for New Years. Lots of them fall by the wayside.

I think New Years is a good time for trying to improve your health and general well-being. Lots of people vow to lose weight, get more active, eat healthier, etc. I think a lot of people vow to quit smoking too, and I think it's a fabulous time to do that. As I've said, a new year is like a book that has nothing written in it. You can orchestrate the year anyway you want it to be. It's like a house that hasn't been decorated. Fix it up. Add things you like. Make it your own. That's what a new year is like.

So about 18 years ago I quit smoking, and though I've wanted a cigarette a time or two, it was the best move I ever made. Not only did I save a lot of money, but I know my health is so much better for it. About 15 years ago Hubby quit smoking too. But in the last year and a half he's picked it up again. It started with just having a cigar now and again - which I didn't mind too much. Then he started taking puffs off of friends cigarettes. Then he moved to buying his own. I have been giving him a bad time about it since I found out. He got sick about a month ago and said he was quitting because he couldn't smoke for a week. But then last night I caught him with a cigarette. I think I need to talk to him about quitting cigarettes. Again.

The way I look at things is that you may not die from smoking, but the older you get the more susceptible you are to all those nasty diseases associated with smoking. And we all know we are going to die anyway, but why rush things. So I think it's time for him to look at some serious smoking cessation programs. New years is a great time to quit....

Improving


Today I did Bob's Ultimate Cardio Challenge and I rocked it. I can definitely feel myself getting stronger. Usually about 1/4 of the way through the workout I have a couple of moments where I am beat and not sure I can go the whole way. Today I didn't have that. Today I even wanted to use heavier weights but the ones I had were awkward and wouldn't work right for the pass-thrus, kind of like this:


Except for that arm in the air thing. Anyway, the heavier weights I kept smacking myself in the leg so I decided that wasn't the best idea and switched to the lighter weights. On Friday though, I will be ready with heavy weights that will work. So I am pleased and I am starting to feel different.

In any workout video or class I've ever done, the instructor or trainer always says tighten your abs. When I first start working out after some time off, I can never do this. I can try but it doesn't feel right. Today I could do it again. When I tightened my abs I could feel the muscles around my stomach and across my low back. Yeah!! Starting to get some muscle tone again.

Today I will be working more on my thesis and waiting for the Dish Network guy to get here. We are switching from cable to Dish because it will save us about $75 a month. That will add up over a year.

So workout is done, breakfast is eaten, no reason not to start work. {{sigh}}

27 December 2011

What do I want.....


There are lots of things I'm thinking about for the new year. I want to lose this weight. I want to get back into running and doing races. I want to finish my thesis and start on my PhD. And I want to be a better teacher. It's a matter now of prioritizing and deciding how much effort I need (or want) to put into each.

Finishing my thesis is going to take a lot of work and that is non-negotiable. I have to finish that by May. So there's that. Starting my PhD is something that can wait for awhile. If I do it this year it won't be until September so that's further down on the list. Losing weight is definitely high priority, but something else that will take time and committed focus. But that also has no deadline so that's good. Running and doing races...That one is a bigger problem then it appears. I have zero running base right now. I am basically starting from the beginning and that sucks. Also, since I'll be giving up my car next week, running races is out for awhile as I'll have no way to get there. Unless they are in Kailua. Finally, being a better teacher. That will take time and effort. That's about all. I just need to figure out exactly what I want to do and do it. Then spend the time planning so that I stick with it.

So the top three are (in no particular order):

  1. Finish thesis
  2. Lose weight
  3. Be a better teacher

Now it all boils down to time management because these are not the only things occurring in my life. These are on top of my house, animals, husband, etc. So time management is the key. I really work better when I have a schedule. Sidenote: I always say that, I work better with a schedule. But I think the truth is I work better under pressure and a schedule provides some pressure.

Anyway, I need to figure out how to accomplish these things and remain sane and get enough sleep and all that good stuff. Right now though, I need to work out because that's on my list today :)

During my workout just now, I decided to completely put running on the back burner. I'm going to focus on losing weight before I even consider running. That takes a whole lot of pressure off me. Now I just need to work out and not try to factor running into the equation. It feels like a weight has been lifted and I feel good about this decision. I will focus on losing weight and once I lose a few pounds I will rethink the whole running thing. Yes, I like it.

26 December 2011

New Year coming


I've said this repeatedly but I'll say it again, I love new beginnings. New years. New months. New weeks. New days. Every new start is a chance for something. It could be anything but it's a new chance. I particularly like new years because I like lines of demarcation. This is where something ends and this is where something else starts.


Since I'm not perfect in anything I do, I like places where things end. If I've been eating out of control I will pick a day or an hour where it ends. That provides a clear and definite end to something I want to stop. On the other hand, if I have to do something I'm not looking forward to, having a set beginning helps me prepare. So yes, I'm all about beginnings and endings.

I should state too that for me beginnings and/or endings can happen anytime. It can be a minute where I just stop and say enough. It can be a day, this happens in school a lot. I will not like how something is going so I will change everything the next day. So for me a new beginning can occur at the spur of the moment. So while I love them I don't need to wait for them to come, I make them.

But there are some that just naturally scream for a new start. New Years is one. I love the start of a new year. It's like having a book that has nothing written in it. It's blank and anything at all can be written, done, created. I love it.

So in less than a week a new year will be here. Time to make some plans and figure out what I want next year to be.

Energy Levels

Prior to AltShift, I had fallen into a trap of not doing things. I always wanted to be at home and when I was at home I wanted to be '...