Tag Archives: structure

Seeds Planted

25 Sep

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. The most exciting seed I planted this week?  My interview!  I had an interview on Thursday, and while I thought it was going well, it ended very quickly and almost abruptly.  It seriously lasted no more than ten minutes, so I did not walk away feeling optimistic.  However, they called me back the next morning and I have a working interview tomorrow morning!  I’m very excited.
  2. I mentioned that I’m starting a new relationship, but I felt frustrated with it this week.  Well, no, I felt frustrated with him.  I typically address problems immediately and directly, which can frequently be interpreted as overly confrontational.  This time I let him bring it up…and he did!  We actually had a great conversation that left me feeling very good about both where we are and where we’re headed.  This relationship is pushing me to grow and I love it.
  3. I managed to ask my dad for help.
  4. There are plums in there!At the farmer’s market I learned that plums are incredible.  I realize this particular seed sounds a bit silly, but I’m still excited about it.  I used to be a very picky eater, so I always enjoy learning to like a new food, especially in such an unexpected way.  I was buying apples and the farmer offered me a plum; I took the first bite to be polite, but then I devoured it and bought a half dozen.  I originally thought about making a plum tart, but I keep eating them.
  5. I started working on my new core story by trying a new morning routine.  Even in the short time I’ve been trying it, I’ve learned a few things: I’m tend to sabotage myself by trying to make things perfect instead of just going ahead and doing them.  The goal is to take a walk — duration and distance don’t matter, walking itself is the important thing — but I’m still telling myself that my plan isn’t good enough.  That needs to stop.  And really, the big goal is to move my body in the morning, so I could easily substitute a few yoga poses if I have time constraints or just want a change.  I can be flexible, but that can be so difficult for me to recognize.

The New Core Story: Step One

24 Sep

It’s one thing to recognize my original core story is holding me back and decide to move on, but where am I moving to?  If I’m going to successfully my core story, I need to have a new one in mind.  I need to take what’s obviously a huge project and turn it into something manageable, but I’m impatient.  I want my life to be awesome, NOW.  So what can I do to make some progress, so I can start to see improvements?

Being a cog in my own life doesn’t sound anywhere near as satisfying as running my life; I can begin by rewriting those daily, unexamined scripts that control my routine.  There are so many things that I want to accomplish, but so many of them don’t get done simply because doing them is not a part of my day.  I literally need to set aside part of each day and devote it to awesomeness.  I also need to automate the mundane so I don’t waste potentially awesome time thinking about it.

Tomorrow I’m going to start my new morning routine:

  1. Get up and dressed and ready to leave the house.
  2. Eat something.
  3. Go for a walk.

It really should be that simple, but I will happily procrastinate on each or all of those things on any given day.  My new core story says that I have healthy habits, so it’s time to automate my good intentions.

Wishcasting Wednesday: Choose

17 Aug
Photo credit: colon+right.bracket @ Flickr

photo credit: colon+right.bracket @ Flickr

What Do You Wish to Choose?

I wish to choose structure and routine for myself.  It’s so easy for me to lose focus if I don’t build my goals into my day-to-day, into my life.  I prefer the familiar and I quickly fall to my habits, so why not make good habits familiar?

Right now I’m trying to incorporate writing and learning new job skills into my routine.  It’s starting to take hold, but I’m still not satisfied with the way I structure a typical day.  I have ample time, but I feel like my accomplishments do not reflect that.

I think part of the problem is I haven’t clearly defined what I want to accomplish.  I actually woke up this morning and realized I didn’t know what to do first, because I didn’t know what I wanted to get done.  Such a silly reason to get off-track, but there it was.  So tomorrow’s list:

  • Spend one hour with Excel.
  • Apply to three jobs.
  • Attempt to speak with a guidance counselor and organize my financial aid.
  • Call WA.
  • Twenty minutes of yoga.
  • Monitor finances.  So easy I was able to do it was soon as I identified the need.
  • Finish first baby bootie.
  • Tidy house.
  • Set one appointment for new venture; if not possible, modify advertising.

While there are several individual tasks, none of them are onerous or unduly time-consuming.  I can accomplish all of those things and probably several more.  Routine, planning, and habit will make my life both easy and productive, provided I make the right choices.

Every Day Scattershot

29 Jul
Myrmicaria brunnea feeding on sugar crystals

Image via Wikipedia

So I want to write in this space every day.  Right now I’m breaking it down a bit until it becomes habitual: every day for a week and then we’ll see what’s next.

I’m also doing this with refined sugar.  I love both baking and eating, and I was taking a cake decorating class, so that meant I was consuming far more sugar than felt good.   Unlike blogging, I have no intention of making the lack of sugar a routine, but I do want see how it feels to have less of it for some time.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to even go a week, but this is day three, and while I do want it, I’m just fine without actually having it.

I’m in a finishing state of mind.  I’m completing knitting projects, focusing on getting school settled, and incorporating more structure into my day.  I’m also spending some time reading books I’ve yet to finish, and tidying my physical space.  I tend to do these things when I’m about to start something new or make a big change, so even my subconscious is ready for whatever comes next.

I am always ready to rush progress and I become restless when it doesn’t happen fast enough, but I need to remember that the day-to-day small actions are how I will arrive at my destination.  Every day, no exceptions.

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Structure and Balance

6 Jun

Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.

A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Do the Work

The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.

Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.

The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?


Image via Wikipedia

I’ve always wanted to be physically and mentally healthy; I’m close on both counts, but I’m just not there yet.  I think I’m holding back because I’m afraid that the changes will be too big, or that I’ll have to give up some well-loved part of myself along the way.  I can’t pinpoint what exactly I expect to happen, but I’m afraid I’ll be different in ways I’m not ready to for or in ways I don’t want.

I’m letting a fear of the undefined and intangible hold me back.  I don’t want to live like that.

Tomorrow my roommate and I are starting yoga and we’re committing to a six week class.  It’s a good first step, but one yoga class a week is not enough to push me into good health.  I also want to try a few other classes — belly dance, bikram yoga, and krav maga.  Theoretically I can fit all of those into my weekly schedule this summer, but I want to make sure I’m living and enjoying my life.

I think the big push is going to come from having a daily routine that includes exercise and knowing that it’s going to happen every day.  I want to structure my life so that I am consistently using healthy habits, but I want balance my life so that I am not overwhelmed by the things I “should” do.

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Actually, I will not be sticking to it.

31 Dec
Story Book Wall at Alamogordo (New Mexico) Pub...
Image via Wikipedia

Reverb10: Core Story.  What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world? (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.)  (Author: Molly O’Neill)

My core story tells me that I am resilient enough to get through anything.  While that is an important part of my story, it leaves out so much.  I need a story that will tell me I can build anything, that I am the one who will shape my life, that I will thrive instead of merely surviving.  A big part of 2011 will be restructuring my core story.

Meanwhile, some people have such an incredible core story that it inspires me to make mine equally marvelous:

Any others I should read?  Inspire me.

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28 Dec
Retro Video Game Cupcake Tower
Image by clevercupcakes via Flickr

Reverb10: Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.  (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

Building.  Empire.  Direction.  I think those are the three words I’m going to use as focal points in 2011.  As I’ve said before, 2011 is to be a building year, and I plan to build an empire.  But building an empire is a vague goal, so just what am I trying to achieve?

Direction.  I don’t want to aim my life at one specific goal and simply work toward it — what will happen when I achieve it?  Instead I want to point my energies in the direction of the life I want for myself and let everything flow the right way.  I think having a clear direction will make me feel purposeful and determined.

So, ten things I can do to achieve those feelings immediately?

  1. Clearly define my direction.
  2. Monitor my finances.
  3. Clean the house.
  4. Make January’s donation.
  5. Tidy the car.
  6. Take car in for maintenance.
  7. Identify this season’s skiing goals.
  8. Make a dentist appointment.
  9. Plan a meeting with my boss at the restaurant.
  10. Call Amy.

Let’s see what I can achieve.

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18 Dec

Reverb10: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

In 2011 I want to try having a disciplined, structured life.  My health is improving dramatically because I’m doing a better job scheduling my meals.  That success tells me that more structure is going to beneficial, if not essential to meeting my goals.

Essentially, I want taking excellent care of me to be automatic.  I want to have a system in place that makes self-care easier than neglect.  Once my body is well cared for I think I’ll have more room in my life for creative pursuits like knitting, writing, and baking.  Taking care of me will give me the resources to be a better friend and a better team-member.  I’d like to go back to school next fall, but there’s no way I can do that if I’m not taking excellent care of myself.

I have to come first in 2011.  I sometimes forget that my first responsibility is to myself and that I cannot give anything to anyone that I have not already given myself.  I need to acknowledge and pursue what I need.