Command Center

It’s been awhile since I last posted.  I’ve been busy with life and trying out some new ideas to help streamline everything.  My latest project was to created a Home Command Center.

I probably spent a week watching Youtube videos and checking out pics on Pinterest, in my attempt to determine just exactly what I wanted from my command center.

First I needed to determine the best spot for my command center.  For you it might be at the front or back doors, in a laundry room, or maybe it is the kitchen.  The idea is to place it in a high traffic area so that it’s easily seen and accessible by everyone in your home.  For us that meant using my kitchen wall.
IMG_1478This is what it looked like before I started.  As you can see I already had the beginnings of a command center, but I wasn’t really utilizing it in the best way.

There are 4 of us who live in our house and both of my kiddos are older. We both work and have lots of activities that sometimes keep us on the run. Now I knew we’d need some place to put our keys, so that was the first thing I added to my list. A calendar was a no brainer.

Now I was using the one provided by my daughter’s school, but it kept falling off the wall and didn’t necessarily cover everything. I had a dry erase calendar I’d purchased several years back, so I dug it out and cleaned it up. Of course we’d need someplace to but the dry erase markers, chalk and pens. The little blue caddy is magnetic and was left over from my days as a school bus driver.

Now because the dry erase board wasn’t magnetic and I wanted to keep things off the fridge, we added a strip of sheet metal to the bulletin board. So now I have dry erase, magnetic and cork board for holding things. The magnetic clips I also had from when I drove a bus and it made me happy to re purpose them.

Finally the chalk board. I found this at Target on a clearance shelf for 10.98 and decided it would be perfect for holding our keys and our weekly menu. I love this board because it has all but eliminated the phrase…what’s for dinner. It also makes it easy for someone else to start dinner if I’m going to be late. IMG_1492

The little blue thing was for holding important papers. I haven’t really used it yet, so it may go away and be relpaced with something else. That’s the beauty of this command center. Because it’s separate pieces, if something isn’t working for you, you can change it out for something else.

I’ll be honest, I’ve only been using this for about 2 weeks, but I really really loved it so far.

Of course what I’ve done might not work for you. Especially if you have small children, or maybe you home school or have elderly family members living with you. In order for you to make a command center successful, you first need to assess what you want from it.

Important dates?
Key storage?
Important papers?
Kids chores?
Message center?

Make a list of everything you’d like to accomplish with your command center, then starting with the most important item, build off of it.

Oh and don’t think command centers need to be expensive. Yes, you can buy premade command centers that are decorative and cost lots of money, but you can also go to the dollar store and walmart to get what you need. Honestly, some hooks from Home Depot or Lowes, some sheet protectors, tape, dry erase markers, a cup to hold them and some free printables from places like Scattered Squirrel.com or getsnazzy.com and you’re well on your way to getting your life organized and making things just a bit easier.

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When it comes to cleaning

dreamstime_xs_36585809Are we being honest with ourselves?

For most of us, when it comes to cleaning, we can all agree…it sucks.

Nobody likes to spend time cleaning their house.  Well, maybe there are some people who extrude a strange predilection for cleaning. Still, I think its probably safe to say most of us hate to clean.  It’s gross, it’s not all that fun and it’s time consuming…or is it?

Since you all know by now I’m on this path to betterment, then you also know my house is part of that path.  Not only am I trying to get better organized, but I’m trying to do a better job cleaning.  Since I’ve started making a conscious effort with cleaning on some sort of regular schedule, I’ve noticed something.

When broken down in bite size pieces, cleaning doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.  In other words, if you only pick one or two cleaning tasks a day, knowing you don’t have to clean the entire house does make doing these tasks easier.  Especially after coming home after a long hard day at work. The tasks themselves may not take as long to complete as our minds have tricked us into thinking they do.

What I mean by that is this…

When you’re cleaning an entire house in one day, something as simple as cleaning the bathroom can feel like an overwhelming task that’s going to take hours to complete.  When broken down by chore, that hour long task suddenly only takes 20 or 30 minutes.

Don’t believe me?  The next time you clean your bathroom, pay attention to how long each task takes.  Cleaning the sink?  For me (with emptying everything off the counter and putting it back) it took approximately 5 minutes.   Scrub the toilet?  Including scrubbing the inside and wiping down the outside, seat, lid and tank it took less than 5 minutes.  Sweep the floor?  If I was thorough it took me about 6 minutes.  If I was quick, about 3.  Wiping down the mirrors shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes.  The shower is where you’re doing to dump most of your time.  Depending on how deep you need to clean and what type of cleaner you use, it could take 5 minutes or 15.  Still, even if you max out your time on each item, it’s less than an hour.

That’s just one example of how our minds can exaggerate a situation to make it feel worse than what it is.  So when considering changing your cleaning routine to one or two daily chores instead of 1 day a week to clean everything, keep your perspective.  You might just find out that cleaning isn’t as bad as you originally thought.

 

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Positive Change is slow

Thinking-PositiveAnd somewhat difficult

But oh so wonderful when it works.

Hey, I know I’ve been absent for about a week.  Indoor Percussion season began last weekend for my youngest.  The first week or two of competition season is always a bit tough on everyone (especially me since I’m booster co-president).  There’s getting the floor mat painted to the current year’s theme.  Helping with uniforms, getting my child to and from practices and then helping to get all the kids and equipment to the shows and home again in one piece.  It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding.

That being said, I decided to not over burden myself by trying to keep up on the blog also.  So I took the week off.

However, I’ve learned something in the last week!

Some of the changes I’ve made have not only stuck, but resulted in making my life much easier.  This is just what I’d hoped would happen.  Take for instance laundry.

Before, my new organization system and procedure for doing laundry I would have spent all of today doing laundry and probably not have everything done by bed time.

Because of the new laundry organizer, I’m able to do one load a day.  I load it first thing in the morning before work and set it to wash.  When I get home I switch it to the dryer and then after dinner I hang or fold the clothes.  The next day I repeat the process.

In total, I’m spending about 1/2 hour a day doing laundry.  Over 7 days that’s about 3 1/2 hours a week vs the 8+ hours of disorganized chaos and frustration.  It also frees me up to to other things.

My cooking method has also made a big difference.  Now I’ll admit, at this point I do spend a lot of my Sunday cooking.  It’s really a crappy way to spend my day (especially since I don’t really like to cook).  However, it’s cheaper and healthier than eating out every day and it does save me quite a bit of time during the week when I’ve worked all day and don’t feel like cooking.

During my last cooking binge I also began assembling freezer meals while some of my other meals were cooking.  The freezer meals were for the crock pot.  So far with some supplemental groceries each week, I’m heading into week three without having to cook a dinner from scratch during the week.

Since we’re off next weekend, I’ll plan to do another large cooking spree and freezer/crock pot bags.  Honestly, if I can cut my cooking time from about 7 hours to about 4 I’ll be happy.  I’m still working on this, so I’ll have to let you know.

One last change I’ve made so far that seems to have made a big difference is cleaning every day.  Now when I say this I don’t mean the entire house.  I’m referring to two objectives here.

Objective 1

Learn to pick up after yourself.  By this I mean the following:

  • Take the extra minute to put your dirty clothes in the correct bin for laundry.
  • Put your shoes away when you take them off.
  • Don’t leave a room without taking something with you.
  • Make your bed when you get up in the morning.

Objective 2

Pick two tasks a day to complete.  By tasks I mean

  • Clean all the sinks in the house.
  • Clean all the toilets in the house
  • Run the vacuum in at least two rooms or if you don’t have carpets or rugs, sweep at least two floors.
  • Do 1 load of laundry a day.
  • Dust 1 room a day

You get the idea.  Just make a list of the tasks you need to do to keep your house clean and tidy, then break those tasks down into bite size pieces. I promise you’ll soon realize that life will become much, much easier.

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Detox your home

detoxAnd Feel Better.

I’m still on my goal of better sleep.  I’ve been using my Fitbit as a slight guide to tell me if the changes I’m making are working.

Honestly, it’s been a bit of a rough week.  I spent most of the week really tired and feeling worse than normal.  Which was really strange considering every change I implemented was recommended by several different sites as ways to improve your sleep.  Yet I felt tired and cranky, like I needed a nap in the middle of the day, which is not normal for me.

So, I scraped it all and am starting over.  I know my sleep could improve.  Besides not getting enough of it, the quality of my sleep could use some improvement.   I have a white noise app on my old kindle fire.  I tried using it.  I slept all night, but felt tired in the morning.  I tried lavender oil on my pillow.  I think that may have helped a little, except for the fact that my hair an face smell like lavender when I wake up.  I even tried a Himalayan Salt lamp.  After all they’re touted as being great for creating negative ions, which will help remove the positive ions (or bad energy) from a room.  Bad energy that comes from electronic devices, such as televisions, computers, tablets and cell phones.

Within two days of use I had that particular salt lamp packed back up and I returned it last night.  Besides the fact that it never warmed up (supposedly the salt crystals must be warm in order for the negative ions to be released), the multi-color changing pattern that was supposed to sooth made me feel like I was in a damn disco with strobe lights.  I actually slept worse the two nights I used the lamp.

Now that’s not to say I won’t try a different brand of salt lamp or maybe a different size or type, but they’re sort of expensive and now not a high priority on my list.  Instead, I’ve been investigating how to detoxifying your home may help with better sleep.

Now there are machines you can purchase (for lots of money) that supposedly will help with these negative ions.  However, again they’re a lot of money and if they don’t work…  From everything I’ve read about the cheaper versions available, it’s not good and seems like a huge waste of money.  So what to do?

Plants!

Certain types of indoor house plants can not only absorb poisonous vapors from the air.  Vapors produced from cheap furniture, carpets, and fresh paint.  Even new mattresses can produce Volatile Organic Compounds or VOC’s. All of this can have a negative effect on your health.  Indoor house plants will help to remove these toxins and in return produce oxygen for fresh air and negative ions to help counteract the positive ions I mentioned earlier.

Now if you’re like me and have a brown/black thumb, the idea of plants might be a bit unnerving.  However, I am told that there are a few rather hearty indoor plants for those of us who aren’t really plant people.  Best of all, these plants aren’t that expensive.

aloeAloe Vera is probably the most versatile plant to fall into this category.  While it might not be the most attractive plant, not only can it pull toxins from the air and produce oxygen, but this amazing plant can be used to treat minor burns and sun burns.  It can also be used in body scrubs and lotions.

 

peace lily

If you’re looking for something slightly more aesthetically appealing then the Peace Lily might be for you.  Again, this plant is not too expensive and is a wonderful detoxifying the home.  It can grow to be a rather large plant as you can see by the picture, so make sure you have room for it.

Snake-Plant If you’re looking to add a little variety or something slightly smaller than the Peace Lily, a Snake plant (aka The Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, might be the perfect choice. This plant does most of it’s best work at night, converting CO2 into oxygen, so it’s a great choice for keeping in bedrooms.  It’s relatively cheap and hearty choice as it doesn’t need a lot of light or water to survive and has actually been recommended by NASA for helping to improve your sleep hygiene.

There are probably a dozen more plants that are wonderful for helping to improve indoor air quality.  These are just the most hearty as the others require more of a green thumb to survive.

So I think my next step in my self-improvement process and improving my sleep-hygiene will be to make a trip to my local Home Depot or garden center and pick up a few plants for my house.  Once I do this, then I’ll spend a bit more time researching the benefits of indoor water fountains.

If you have in idea or suggestion for improving sleep, please feel free to share.

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Book Review: Furever After

Book Reivew: Furever After by Michelle Fox

Piper Oaks has lost everything important to her at the hands of her Alpha.  He wants her, won’t take no for an answer and is willing to go to unimaginable lengths to force her into submission.  Feeling she has no choice but to run, Piper leaves the only pack she’s ever know and sets out on her own.

The world is a dangerous place for a lone wolf.  Worse yet, Piper doesn’t realize that the farther she runs away from her pack, the sicker she will become. Feeling weak, sick and very alone, she takes shelter where she thinks she’ll be safe…a hospital. After all, in her mind all she needs is a little rest and hopefully, with all the people milling about, nobody will notice her.

Jaxon Comyn is a wolf working as a doctor in what his pack would deem a ‘human’ hospital. From an early age he knew he wanted to help people, both wolves and humans.  Much to Piper’s dismay, Jaxon does notice her.  He notices how frail and sickly she looks.  He also notices that she’s a wolf just like him. The wolf in him knows she needs help, even if she doesn’t think so.

Unlike what appears to be the rest of the planet, I’ve never been much into shifter books.  That’s not to say I’ve never read a shifter title.  I have, but only a few.  In my bid to become a better person, I’m working on expanding my horizons and since I’ve read other of Michelle Fox’s non-shifter titles and enjoyed them, I kinda figured what the hell…let’s give this book a whirl.

Just as I expected, she didn’t let me down.  Despite not being a fan of shifter titles, I really enjoyed Furever After and found it to be a pleasant read. I think my only complaint about this book, is a typical complaint when one enjoys a title.  It was too short.  Well, I take that back…I also did feel that story seemed rushed.  However, that may go hand in hand with the feeling that it was too short also.  Still, Furever After was an enjoyable read, full of adventure.

I love Piper’s desire to stay strong in the face of danger and Jaxon’s inherent need to heal.  One last thing…kudos to Ms. Fox for writing this story in a way that the sex (while very well written and hot) was not the main focus, but a nice accent to help bring everything together.  Any romance where you can remove the sex from the story and it still stands on its own is a good story.

Nice work!

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Money: Save the pennies

and the Dollars will follow…pennies

Now you’re probably asking just how saving a penny will make a difference.  Well I’m here to tell you it does.

I’ll be honest, you’re not going to make thousands of dollars right away (or even at all) just saving pennies, but the way I see it, every dollar helps.

I’ve been trying for years to figure out ways to make extra money.  That was part of the reason I’d started writing.  Of course with writing, beyond the required good story, an author needs to be a marketing guru and then have a certain amount of luck on his/her side.  I might have had the required good story, but I suck at marketing and luck…lol…yeah that kind of luck doesn’t exist in my house.

Anyway, after I realized I wasn’t going to making money hand over fist I started looking for ways to save/make extra money.

Today I’m going to give you some simple/logical tips on how doing little things can save money.  Many of these you’ve heard before.  Others might be new and all of it takes dedication, work and self-discipline.

Tip #1:  Make your coffee at home.

Yes, Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks or (if you’re on the East coast) Wawa is easy and tastes great.  However,  even when Wawa is running a $1.00 coffee sale you’re still spending a minimum of $5.00 a week.  Multiply that by 52 weeks and you’ve just spent a minimum of $260.00 for the year just on coffee.   Now that’s a minimum.  Buy Starbucks every day at $5.00 a day and you’ve just spent $1560.00 a year on coffee.

All of these companies sell ground coffee, either in k-cups or bags.  Spend $7.00 for a bag that will last you 2 weeks instead of $5.00 a day and you’ve just dropped your coffee bill from $1,560.00 to $182.00 a year for coffee.

Now if you’re not a coffee snob and are just looking for a caffeine fix, switch to a brand like Folgers or Chock-full-o-nuts, buy the containers when they’re on sale and then apply a coupon and yeah…you’ve just cut that bill even more.

I’m partial to the chock-full-o-nuts brand and buy my coffee when it’s on sale for $2.99 a can.  I’ll stock up until the next sale and I go through a can in a bout 2 weeks.  So my coffee bill (if I never bought coffee out and made it at home every day) is about $80.00 a year.  $80.00 is a lot more palatable to me than $1560.00.

Tip #2 – Invest in reward cards.

Okay, so I’ll be honest here.  I do on occasion buy my coffee out and sometimes even get a breakfast sandwich or donuts.  I mean really, if you can’t enjoy these wonderful items once in a while, what’s the point?   However, I’m also going to make sure I get something in return for buying their product (I mean more than just the coffee or sandwich).  Places like Dunkin Donuts and Wawa have what they call rewards cards.  It’s no cost to sign up, but you do have to put money on the card to us.  So they kinda work like a gift card.

In fact Wawa’s reward cards are gift cards that you register on Wawa’s website and then just reload as necessary.  Use your reward cards when making purchases and these places will give you points or credits against your account.  Earn so many points or credits and get a free coffee or some other item depending on the card and company.

Wawa’s rewards are a little steep. You have to buy $50.00 worth of stuff to get your free coffee.  However, you can also buy more than just coffee at Wawa.  Need a gallon of Milk but don’t want to go to the grocery store?  Hit Wawa.  Want newspaper?  A soda?  Need bread, something for lunch or a snack?  You can get all of these at Wawa and use your reward card.   I look at it like this.  I’m going to buy the items anyway, I might as well get something more for the effort right?

Check around your area and see who offers reward cards and what you get for signing up and using it.  Every little bit helps, right?

Tip #3 – Use rebate apps.

Now I’ve told you about how couponing can save you money, but in addition to coupons there are rebate apps out there that will give you money back on groceries.  Now I’m talking ten cents here and twenty five cents there, but if you’re consistent and loyal that change adds up pretty quickly to turn into dollars.

I use an app called Ibotta.  I find it works well for my needs, but there are dozens of rebate apps out there.

Receipt Hog

Check out 51

Shrink

Find & Save

These are just a few rebate apps in addition to Ibotta. How they work are pretty simple.  Before you go shopping (after you’ve made your list), go through the app and select everything you plan on purchasing.  Go grocery shopping.  When you get home and while you’re putting your groceries away, open the app, select the item you purchased and scan the bar code of the item.  Put your item away and move on.  When you’re done, you’ll need to take a picture of your receipt and submit it.  The app will validate your purchase and place the appropriate amount of money in your account.

When you reach a certain dollar amount, and depending on what app you’re using, you can ‘cash out’ this money, by having it transferred to your papal or bank account or exchange it for a gift card that will be send to you.

Yes, its a bit extra work, but not so much that it’s not worth doing.

Tip #4 – Keep a change jar (or 2 or 3) around the house. 

Rule of thumb in this house is if you forget to empty your pants pocket, whatever I find when I’m doing laundry then belongs to the house.  Change is a big one.  There seems to always be coins in pockets or worse, in the bottom of my washer.  I put a change jar in the laundry room and place the loose change found there in the jar.  It’s not much, but if left alone, it will accumulate.

Don’t forget when cleaning to check the couch cushions and toss that money into the jar.

Get into the habit of emptying your extra change out of your purse/pocket into a jar.

Make sure you periodically check your vehicle for loose change and add that to the jar.

Yes, it’s literally pennies you’re saving, but if you save enough you might have enough money to take the family out to dinner once in a while or to go buy ice cream or water ice during the summer.

Tip #5 – Save eating out for special occasions.

Again, this is something that is so simple and you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but it’s true.  The average meal from McDonalds (not buying off the dollar menu) for a family of four will run you between $25 and $30.

Go to a diner or someplace like Friendlies or TGI Fridays and that bill easily just jumped another $20.00 plus tip.

So let’s analyze this for just a moment.  Let’s say you eat out just once a week and you keep it to fast food.  McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King.

$25.00 x 52 = $1,300.00 per year in fast food.

Compared to eating out, cooking at home is pennies on the dollar and in the long run, quite a bit healthier because you control what ingredients you use.  Plus, with the amount of recipe apps available, it would be easy to make Mexican or Chinese at home that tastes just as good or better than what you could buy.  Plus, you can make extra, save and freeze for the next time you feel like eating out.

These are just a few tips, but there a ton more ways to save and make money and I’ll be back to share more ideas soon.

Michelle

 

 

 

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February Goals

goals

Yesterday I did a little recap of what I’d accomplished in January.  Now I hadn’t actually made specific goals for the month of January.  However, after reviewing the month I decided it might be worth setting some small goals for February.  So here we go:

Medical:

For the month of February my goal is to schedule eye doctor appointments for not only my husband and children but for myself.

Household:

I’m going to finish organizing my kitchen, get rid of what appliances I don’t need and make a list of what I do need to make cooking easier.

I am also going to research the best ways to streamline cooking while still keeping it healthy.

Speaking of Healthy:

I’m going to take the month and pay closer attention to how much water I drink.

I’m going to pay closer attention to how much sugar I take in.

I’m going to continue to decline food temptations that will derail my goals.

Anybody have goals you want to share?

 

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Month end recap

news-jan1

Today is the 31st, which means the month of January is coming to an end.  With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to recap my months accomplishments.

As you all know by now, the entire reason for this blog is to share my journey to become  a better person.  Physically, mentally and emotionally.  I’m not one who accepts change easily.  Since I decided to jump into this with both feet, that means January was an especially tough month for me.  Let’s break this down and see how I’ve done so far with my goals.

Physically:  I kept my appointment with a new GYN.  I’ve had my over due mammogram and pap test, both of which are good.  We discovered a questionable cyst on my ovary and will be following up in March with another ultrasound to see where we stand with it.

I’ve lost 5 lbs and for the first time ever chose me over sweets.  We are eating out less an making better food choices.  The food I’m cooking tastes amazing, so I don’t feel deprived at all.

Financially

I’ve analyzed my credit report, and have started making changes necessary make it better.  I enrolled in an on-line class on money management and have become a loyal fan of the Suze Orman show.  Since we’re eating out less, we’re spending less money.

Mentally/Emotionally

This one has been a bit harder because change is stressful anyway and I had a lot of balls in the air at once during the month of January.  I had some emotional ups and downs and some super depressive days.  I have yet to be able to look myself in the mirror and deem myself worthy of anything. This is probably the toughest aspect of change and the one that may take the longest to accomplish.

Organizational

With the help of my husband we’ve tamed our out of control laundry and freed up so much more time than I thought possible.  With some slight organization in the actual laundry room and new laundry sorters for each of the bedrooms, laundry has become a breeze instead of an all day event.

All in all, I think January has been pretty productive.

Now what is on my agenda for February?  I’ll be thinking about that today and will let you all know tomorrow.  Anybody else setting monthly goals?  Anybody else want to jump on my self-improvement band wagon?

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The first no is the hardest

No-NoWell Maybe not…

I experienced a tiny victory yesterday.  While it was tiny in scope for most, it was actually huge for me.

Willpower is something that generally isn’t part of my vocabulary.  If I want something I go buy it (and then figure out after the fact if I needed it and how I’ll pay the bills).  If I wanted something I’d eat it and it didn’t matter if the item was good for me or not.  Eating is emotional for me, so I’ve always tended to go toward the comfort food when I’m not feeling mentally healthy.

Anyway, a few months ago HR at work decided we’d institute a sunshine fund.  Everybody put in five dollars a month toward the fund.  This money would go toward celebrating birthdays and our summer Friday cook outs.  We’re lucky enough to have a deck and a grill.

Well, Thursday we celebrated one person’s birthday at work.  He doesn’t really care for cake, so HR bought him a cookie cake.  I of course had a piece, because who can pass on a cookie cake, right?

So no sooner had I finished my piece then I felt sick to my stomach and really horrible about myself.  Why did I eat that?  Now I feel like crap.  I really wasn’t worth the small moment of gratification.  I felt crappy for hours and regretted my decision even more.  Especially considering I’ve managed to lose 5 lbs over the last two weeks.

Friday comes and there’s another birthday.  We’re not a big company, this just happened to be a coincidence. Now there was red velvet cake.  I went into the kitchen gave my birthday wishes and returned to my desk.  A little while later they started yelling for me.  So I headed back to the kitchen to see what they wanted.

“I cut you a piece of cake.”

I looked at the cake, thought about how I’d felt the day before and the progress I’d made getting off that 5 lbs and politely turned it down.  They of course pushed back.  “One piece of cake won’t hurt.”

Oh but it will.  It will hurt more than just my weight.  It will make me feel bad both physically and mentally because I’ll physically feel sick and I’ll mentally feel sick for not having the will power to stick to my guns.  Instead of bowing to peer pressure I stuck to my guns and I explained my reasons why I didn’t want it then I politely said no again.

“But I already cut it for you,” HR replied.  (Did I mention she’s one of these people who is used to getting her way?)

Fine, since it’s my piece I get to choose what to do with it.  So I wrapped it up and brought it home to my daughter, who, after dinner, shared the piece of cake with her father.

I never ate even a bite.  This tiny victory is so huge for me.  It means I do have willpower.  It means I do have the ability to make the necessary changes.  The best part?  I felt so good about being able to stick to my guns I don’t regret or miss the fact that I didn’t have a piece of cake.  The short term gratification just simply wasn’t worth the long term consequences.

Will I be able to do this all the time?  Probably not, but if I’m able to say no and only eat sweets once a month or even once every couple of months, I know I’ll feel a lot better about myself.  Who is with me on this?  Who out there can see the long term goal and look over the short term gratification?

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Small changes

Even small changes can be big…

change_wordle

I’ve been talking a lot lately about changes.  Yesterday’s post was about not trying to take on too many changes at once and how much stress even the smallest change can cause.

Some changes cost money.  Others cost time and still others effort. Most changes are hard.  They require the mind and sometimes the body getting used to something new.  They require commitment and will-power, dedication and the desire to make the change.

I’m still struggling with some of these, such as will-power.  Like my conscious mind wants to start doing yoga.  It knows I’d be better for it.  However, my sub-conscious mind refuses to listen and my will-power follows.

When it comes to food, my mind seems to be a bit more malleable.  Eating out no longer holds the same excitement as it used to and cooking doesn’t seem to be quite the chore it once was.  I think that has to do with the fact that the more I cook and the better that cooking tastes the more I realize just how bad I do feel when I eat out.

Even yesterday, there was a small birthday celebration at work and we had a cookie cake.  I took a piece, at it and then immediately felt sick and wished I hadn’t.  Next time I’ll think twice about if eating that sweet is really worth the lousy feeling and extra weight it will cause.

The one thing I’m definitely learning is that change (any kind of change), no matter how large or small, requires time to take effect. It requires all the things I mentioned above.  I’ve also come to realize that trying to make too many changes at once, no matter how positive or well-intentioned they  are can set you up for failure.

As I once again climb back out of that black hole called depression, I will be a bit more careful and choosy about what changes I make and when.  The biggest thing to remember is that it took months, even years to get to where I am now.  It will take months, maybe even years, to get to a new and better place.

I’m determined and I will make it.  So stay tuned.

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