Results May Vary

Sometimes great things come to me during my morning meditation. Here’s an excerpt of the email that is going out to my subscribers Friday morning, sparked by a meditation session:

You see that disclaimer with just about anything that is trying to sell a dream, weight loss programs especially and get rich schemes; anything that tries to circumnavigate actual effort; anything that wants us to ignore what we already know – that anything we want takes effort and work.

You know that saying we all heard as kids? Money doesn’t grow on trees (well, yes, actually it does, but I’m not trying to be a smartass here). Sometimes it was said in exasperation when we were careless with our things. Most often though, it occurred to me in this meaning: there are no handouts in life. You have to earn it.

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The Change Up

Yes, that’s a type of pitch in baseball, but it is spring and Opening Day was just a few weeks ago.

It’s also what’s coming for this little blog here.

Over the past year or so, I’ve tried this and that, trying to figure out how I want to run things between the blog and my newsletter. I’ll probably continue to do so until I find something that fits just right, but this is what I’m going to try next and I think it’ll be a good thing:

I won’t be posting here any longer.

Yes, I know I haven’t been terribly consistent and that’s one of the reasons I don’t think blogging is the best use of my time and attention.

I am also acutely aware that if someone adds their email address to a subscription/newsletter list they expect more than just a copy of what’s being posted on some blog. I’d like to focus more of my time, attention, and creativity on creating content for my newsletter subscribers, including but not limited to in-depth book reviews and pieces discussing various topics such as false beliefs and how they affect our ability to adapt, individualized nutrition and how to make any way of eating work for you, and how a daily movement practice can preserve our independence as we get older.

If any of those ideas/concepts interest you (and there will be much more), you can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cDPhuf

You can also follow my more frequent adventures on Instagram or Facebook (I cross-post from Instagram to Facebook, so please don’t feel as though you need to follow me in both places – you don’t) here or here.

As always, I value your feedback. Have thoughts or suggestions? Drop me a comment below or feel free to email me directly.

Where Did Spring Go (and other bits and bobs)

Thursday it was in the 60s on Cape Cod. Friday we had a Nor’Easter. And we have another one forecasted for Tuesday of this week. Welcome to spring in New England 😂

Things that are going really remarkably well right now: my experiment with decisiveness and Jen Sinkler’s #30daysofKBs. Me being decisive has tapped into my natural resiliency and shown me that I’m more flexible than I give myself credit for. This reminds me of this meme:

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Kettlebells have been my favorite training tool since I was introduced to them 5+ years ago so when Jen Sinkler announced her latest challenge, I instantly committed. Even the muscles between my ribs are sore. If kettlebells are also your favorite, head over to her site and sign up for her emails.

Since this week holds Saint Patrick’s day, I’m making corned beef from scratch using this recipe. I’m starting the brine tonight. And because I also have boneless short ribs to use, I’m making this Curried Beef Stew as well, which I’m very much looking forward to. The short ribs and the brisket came in my Butcher Box subscription, which I’m finding to be very much worth the investment.

That’s about all I have for you today. I hope you enjoy your Sunday and have a great week!!

All About That App

This week I’m sharing apps that I use that have been beneficial in habit formation and my overall wellbeing. Most of them are free with upgrade potential and all are available via iTunes. I don’t know about Android compatibility, unfortunately.

  1. Momentum: this is a habit tracker. Well, you can track anything in it, but I use it for three specific habits: meditation, writing, and movement. It’s free for up to 3 habits, upgrading gives you an unlimited amount of items to track. What I particularly love about this app is the reminders. I have it set to remind me at 8 PM if I haven’t done my three habits. It actually saved me last night as I’d forgotten to get my movement quota in.
  2. Calm: this is my meditation app. I only use it as a timer which is free. The guided meditations are a paid upgrade. What I like about it is that you can set a theme which has background noise (I like rain). This is beneficial for those of us auditorially hyperactive as it masks life noises such as dryer buzzers, cars driving past with loud music, or the neighbor’s dog barking incessantly.
  3. MyFlo: a friend of mine just introduced me to this app, which is menstrual cycle tracker. This was $1.99 and it’s been totally worth the cost. It was designed by a fellow health coach and the insights have been really interesting, even for someone who studies hormone balance. One of the neat functions is that you can add your partner to it so that he is alerted to how you’re doing. If you have a super supportive partner, this could be really nice. Did you know that ALL women once they hit 35 are considered to be perimenopausal? I didn’t.
  4. Fitocracy: this one is a free fitness app with an accompanying website. I use both. It’s just a great way to track what, specifically, you are doing for exercise and it assigns points, kind of like a video game, which is nice if you’re a gold star collector. I’m still tickled when I level up and it’s neat that it notifies you when you’ve hit a PR. It’s also social so you can do challenges with your friends if you’re into that sort of thing.
  5. Spotify: Okay, this really isn’t habit related, but I REQUIRE music for many things. You can use it for free (with ads) but I highly recommend upgrading.
  6. Mint: Cleaning up my financial house has been something I’ve been working on diligently since last August and I could NOT do that without a budget and financial tracker. I check in every single morning which helps me stay in integrity with my spending and keeps me from burying my head in the sand when it gets tight.
  7. Thyme: this is a free timer, designed for cooking. It has 5 timers you can run simultaneously which is nice when batch cooking.
  8. Ibotta/Ebates: cash back on stuff you’re going to buy anyway? Yes, please.
  9. OurGroceries: I’ve been using this one for years, including when I had an Android phone so I know it’s available on that platform. It’s a grocery list that can be synced to the website AND it can be shared with family members, which is nice. Two things I’ve learned not to do is shop hungry or shop without a list.
  10. Evernote: I use this for many things including writing, to do lists, and saving articles/recipes. It’s a very useful tool. They’ve changed the pay structure for this recently so now you can use it on two devices for free. I’ve yet to max out the allowable storage per month – you’re allowed to store a certain amount each month new, not in total – which is better than some other cloud storage services.

That’s all for now. Have a great week, everyone!

On Deciding

I Am Decisive

Last week I posted about appreciation and I intend, going forward, to do a weekly appreciation post. But for this week, I want to talk about my Achille’s Heel: deciding.

I’ve talked about the fact that I’m a Questioner with Rebel tendencies in various places over the past year or so. (If you want to find out where you fall in the 4 Tendencies, something I highly recommend as knowing this is extremely helpful when it comes to habits, change, and just knowing how you handle internal and external expectations, go here. It’s a free quiz and very insightful.) How that appears is like this: I have a VERY hard time deciding on things that matter (trivial things like what to wear I don’t struggle with) and I do NOT like being told what or how to do things unless I ask for that guidance. There is, however, no guarantee that I’ll take your advice, though, because I’m a Questioner and I have to weigh that against all of the other info.

In other words, it is often a mess and I struggle. HARD. I’m told it’s very tedious to watch as well. Fortunately, the people closest to me have already figured out that me struggling is part of the process and that the best thing they can do is just be present for me. And I LOVE them for it.

This past fall I started using the mantra “I am decisive” while meditating. I am one of those people who find it easiest to focus my brain on specific words while meditating because otherwise I’m just quietly daydreaming. I struggled with meditation for a few years before I realized that mantras work best for the way my mind works so I embraced it. As soon as I started using this particular mantra, something clicked. For a short time, I stopped dragging my feet and ruminating and just started making decisions, understanding that just because I decided something didn’t mean I couldn’t change my mind.

Wait, I can change my mind?! I’m allowed to do that?!

This past week I got sick of the struggle. On Wednesday, I decided to start deciding again. I started with deciding that meditation is in my best interest. So Thursday morning, I meditated while the coffee was brewing. Thursday I decided that writing daily is in my best interest. So Friday morning, I meditated while my coffee was brewing, then made my first cup of coffee and did a single page AKA Morning Pages in my journal. Friday night I decided that daily movement (in some form) is in my best interest, so I got up early to meditate, write, and get a workout in before my day started yesterday.

What I’ve come to realize and accept is that for me, deciding is a muscle. For best results, I have to exercise it daily. And for a Questioner, deciding is THE biggest hurdle to clear when it comes to success. Because once we’ve decided something is in our best interest, there isn’t much that can stop us. While consistency gets all the attention, and it is VERY important, deciding daily is what KEEPS me consistent.

Have you taken Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies Quiz? If you’re struggling with consistency, I invite you to do so and post in the comments where you fall and what you’re struggling with. I’ll respond with my best suggestions.

Happy Sunday!