Saturday, August 30, 2014

Personal Victory

A little over a year ago my dad had had it.  His knee hurt too much and it was time to actually get better.  He had a date set in June to have the surgery, but by the end of April, he knew something else was wrong.  Through May he was in and out of doctor's offices and hospitals until he finally had surgery.

Turns out my dad had experienced multiple small heart attacks.  He ended up with three stents, instructions to follow a new heart-healthy diet and requirements for daily exercise.  Meanwhile, Dad's orthopedic surgeon took knee replacement surgery off the table for a year.  (I guess surgeon's don't like operating on people with heart problems. Something about risk-of-death and all that.)

But with my dad's knee still really needing an overhaul, how could he meet the exercise requirements? Turns out cardiologists are really creative and also know all kinds of ways to get a rigorous cardio workout regardless of what body parts aren't working.

And it made me realize something.  That not working out is an excuse and when it's a big enough priority, you fit it in.

It would be awesome to say that this stopped me in my tracks and I immediate changed and started exercising.  But that would be a complete lie.  Still, it's been percolating in the back of my mind ever since.

This year Dad got his knee replacement.  His recovery was impressively fast.  All because of a year of consistent exercise.

So when I set some goals recently, one of the goals I set was to exercise daily.  I didn't set a specific amount of time or speed or distance, just to be at the gym 6 times a week.

Week one is in the books and I did it!  Today, for some reason was so hard to talk myself into going.  I did it anyway.  I'm not sure how long it's been or if I've ever been to the gym six times in a week.  But I know this, I have two more weeks to make this a habit.

As Clayton Christensen put it, "100 percent of the time is easier than 98 percent of the time."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Good Time for Goals

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As fall rolls around and the school year starts again, it seems like a great time for setting goals.  For me, realistically, my life revolves on a August to August basis much more than it does January to January.

I listened to an amazing podcast today on goal setting and with all of the planning and working I've been doing to structure my days with the kids all in school all day, it seemed like a really good time to look at the goals I set in January and see what needs to be fixed, updated or improved.  So, I looked back and discovered...that I didn't set any goals for the year.

I did set a few goals to accomplish by the end of February and I accomplished three of the four.

This is kind of a shock.

Still, it seems like now is as good a time as any to set some goals--not just for 2014, per se, but for the 2014-2015 school year.  Then we'll have a few summer goals and it will begin again.

I just have to stop right here and say how freeing it is to not feel a need to set goals in January!  I feel liberated!  (You can be, too!)

As I'm thinking about goals, I have to share some of the amazing tips from today's podcast, though you really ought to listen to the whole thing.

1. Don't set a ba-zillion goals.

I'm getting better at this as time goes on, but author, Kat Lee, insists that you cap your goals at 4.  And don't be ashamed if you just do one goal at a time.  She made an awesome point that once you've accomplished that goal, you can totally set another.

2. Be prayerful. 

She suggests reading, journalling, praying, assessing the past year for a week to solidify goals.  And even then, as directed by the Spirit, you can totally change, remove or improve your goal.

3. Set up SMART goals.  

I can't say that I was familiar with the acronym, but I was with the concepts.  Goals should be...

(You can see these and get a cool free printable for Goal Setting here.)

4. Write your goal as an affirmation. 

I have long know that goals need to be positive and written in the present tense. But writing your goals as an affirmation?  This was a paradigm shift for me and perhaps the most exciting thing about goal setting that I learned in Kat's podcast.

5. Write the your goal-affirmation regularly.

I think Kat said that she rewrites her goals once a week. You could totally do it daily. The cool thing is, not only will writing the goal keep it at the forefront of your mind, but it also allows you to evaluate the goal and change it as needed.  This way, the goal serves you instead of you feeling beaten by the goal.

(I think this tip came from Kat's podcast on goals Part 2. Don't yell at me if it's not in Part 1.)

I'm ready now!  Off to write two goals.  I think that's a good place to start.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's hard being new

We have had a lot of children move into our ward in the recent past.  It is truly an answer to prayers.  As we watched our ward age and our youth dwindle, we prayed for more youth and primary children to move in.  And they have!  But it's not easy being new.

Today in Primary the pain of no friends, not knowing anyone's name, and wishing you could just go back home was too much for one girl and the tears spilled over.

I took her to the hall and hugged her and let her tell me how hard it is.  And I just agreed.  It's hard.  Even though we have lived in our ward and our house for 12 years, I remember like it was yesterday how hard it was to be new.

The first couple of weeks in Relief Society were OK.  But I needed and wanted friends who were also young moms.  I spotted where they sat--together on the right side of the room.  So the next week, I sat on the right.  All the young moms came in and sat on the left.  In fact, no one else even sat on my row.

The next week I sat on the left and all the young moms sat together on the right.

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I gave up hoping anyone my age/situation would sit with me and sat in the middle of the middle section in the Relief Society room.  Thankfully, some people sat on my row, but the closest they got was three seats away.  I felt like I had leprosy.  "Why," I wondered, "would no one sit by me?"

The next week I tried not to get to Relief Society so early.  I went to the bathroom after Sunday School and hoped that I could sit by someone even if no one would sit by me.

When I came in the Relief Society room, I smiled.  I said hello.  I sat down on the back row, since the back row was always, always full. The women I had greeted moved away.   And I wasn't sitting within 5 seats of anyone else.  Just like our Primary child, I looked in my lap and started to tear up.  I planned an escape to the bathroom, where I didn't know how long I would stay there or what I would do next.

Just then, a woman sat down right next to me.  The seat exactly to my left.  She said hi and asked me how I was doing.  We chatted a little and I managed to keep the tears from spilling over, at least mostly.

I was flooded with such relief that I didn't have to be alone anymore.  Her name is Karen Martinez and shortly after, she was assigned as my visiting teacher.  I cannot express the encouragement and hope I received from this new friend.

Even as I write, the tears spill over remembering the pain of newness and the gratitude when I'd finally found a friend.

Tonight I'll be praying for one Primary child in particular and hoping that the girls around her will be her friend.