Sunday, December 7, 2008

What’s “Consuming” You?

I laugh when I read my last post because so much has changed in the past few days. I am consumed, but, unfortunately, it’s not with Christmas, organization or decluttering. I am consumed with cars. Our car suddenly burned up on Tuesday, so we have been consumed all week with what happened, insurance, and car shopping. This is not how I wanted to be “consumed.” ( )

It’s less than 3 weeks before Christmas and we have not begun to feel any Christmas spirit or holiday mood. I feel stressed about all the things I have to do that are preventing me from facing Christmas with open arms, which is what I’d prefer to do! Fortunately, people are inviting me to holiday parties, cookie parties, etc. which I’m hoping will put me in the holiday spirit. What do you do to get into the holiday spirit?

I was hoping to be consumed by my Christmas Planning chart, which is based on the Holiday Control Journal of FlyLady ( ). FlyLady starts her Christmas preparations in Mid-October : “Imagine you are going on a 3 week cruise at the beginning of December, so you have to finish preparing for Christmas by Dec. 1.” Pre-Halloween is far too early for me to prepare for Christmas. I start a week before Thanksgiving, because it’s really helpful to have Wish Lists ready when we see family on Thanksgiving and they ask. When do you start to prepare for Christmas?

Yesterday, we bought a tree and are planning to decorate it today, although it’s getting towards time to go to our 3 appointments at car dealerships. Bah humbug, the car has returned to consume me again . . .

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December Goal: Ambition!

I was talking to my husband about ambition and whether it was innate or could be learned. It seems there are entire families of ambitious people. While I don’t think it’s genetic, I do think the example of ambition on the part of parents could lead their children to have that mindset. When I think back, there have been times in my life when I have had the drive to excel at certain things. Nick thinks that people can accomplish whatever they set their minds to. I agree. When it comes to any goal, if you focus on it, you can do it. I achieved my goal last month because I set my mind to it. So why did I fail so many other months with the same goal? Was my mind not focused enough on my goal? Were the steps to my goal inappropriate or not followed? What do you think?

In December, the goal I want to achieve is not related to health or exercise (except to do more cardio), which is the type of goal I try to set for this blog. My goal is to get organized, clear out clutter, and to prepare for Christmas in advance in order to enjoy the holiday spirit and not feel rush or stressed. What’s your goal for December?

Steps to achieving this goal:
1. Have the right mindset: Be ambitious & have the drive, determination and motivation to achieve it! Let it “consume” me.
2. Post my goal on my wall for easy viewing as a reminder. (done)
3. Keep my To Do List front & center and complete something every day. (done) (Ideally, I need a way to sync it with my Iphone, so that it’s always with me as I update it.)
4. What else do I need to do to achieve my goal?

Obstacles to achieving my goal:
1. Life & distractions of 2 toddlers.
2. Daily things to do, which prevent me from accomplishing anything more.
3. Lack of sleep, lately.

Ways of overcoming these Obstacles: See Step #1.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Big Weight Loss Goal --- End of the Month

The idea behind the “big weight loss goal” was to make major changes to my lifestyle, as if I wanted to lose 10-20 lb. Then, when I failed, I still would have lost some weight, rather than none. My actual goal was that I wanted my clothes to fit, and all the strategies I’d tried hadn’t worked.

So I figured out a combination of lower calorie consumption and additional calorie burning through exercise to meet my “big weight loss” goal. I thought the extra exercise would be easy because the cardio machines at the gym tell me how many calories I’m burning. But the reality was that I didn’t use those machines much this past month, so I don’t know how many calories I was burning through exercise. However, I did exercise 22 times last month! Consistency is the key!

The hard part was tracking calories. I started to make food choices based on which foods were easy to count the calories, which are not always the best food choices. For instance, packaged foods have the calories marked, but aren’t as healthy as fresh foods. So after a week or two of diligent calorie tracking, I didn’t write it down much, but I still knew in my head how many calories foods had and what size portions I should eat. I’m not online enough to take advantage of one of the online calorie trackers; some of them will tell you how many calories the amount of food you ate has and will add up your calories for the day. Smaller portions were the key here, and I became aware of which foods have a surprisingly large number of calories!

I’m happy to report that I achieved my goal of losing the extra 5 lb. I’ve been hanging onto for most of this year! Yea! My clothes fit better, and I feel stronger, both physically and mentally.