Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Do. Do Not. Stop Trying So Hard.

Howdy, Druids. I'm a Ranger who has to refocus a bit on the center, so I'm teaming up with you guys for inspiration and hand-holding. It's wicked-difficult for me not to do everything-all-the-time, and over the last year I have driven myself into the ground, so this challenge is about focusing on what I need to do and what I need not to do in order to get and stay grounded. This is all about outlook and keeping the negativity away while I nurture my center.

I can't do anything if I don't take care of myself, and that lesson came to roost this year in a big way. I know now what I need to do (and not do) in order to stop destroying myself with stress and anxiety. Having no job does indeed suck, but wearing myself out about it will only make me incapable of working. So here's to a meditative, balanced challenge.

Do Baby Steps: I always feel as though if I haven't gone to the gym and biked five miles or lifted hundreds of pounds or done hundreds of crunches that I'm somehow Not Doing Anything. This is malarkey. I am in fairly constant motion, and that counts in its own right. So I got a fitbit zip to measure the number of steps I take. My goal is to walk ten percent more than my baseline every day, without really going ballistic about it. (Something tells me I do this just trying to figure out where I left my coffee, my pen, my book, my purse. . . ). So at the end of the day, if I notice I'm a few thousand steps behind my goal, I can walk around the block or do a load of laundry or whatever to get those extra steps in without feeling like a complete failure. And frankly, if I walk four miles and not five, it helps me know that I'm still making progress. (Note: if you want my fitbit account information to help cheer me on and keep me accountable, send me a message -- I love encouragement and support!) I'll set my baseline in the pre-challenge week, then update the number of steps to be baseline plus ten percent.
NNNN steps a day. 36-42: A 29-35: B 21-28: C 14-20: D STA +3 Final Grade: A- Stamina +2.75

Week 0 was an average of 3200 steps a day, with a couple days at very little above 2000.
Week 1 goal is average of 3550 steps, with no day below 2500.
Week Two goal: 5k/day,with no day less than 3500.
Week 3 goal: daily average of 7,500, with no day below 5,000.

Do Not Stress: Finding time for being alone and focusing on myself is difficult with two teenagers, a toddler, a live-in brother, and classes. But I'm going more-than-slightly mad without time to myself, and this makes me fragile and anxious and inflexible. This goal is about carving out time for myself and making self-nurture a priority no less than food or water or anything else. I matter, and I need and deserve tending.
Meditation 5 minutes a day. 36-42: A 29-35: B 21-28: C 14-20: D CON+3 Final Grade: A Constitution +3

Do Healing: Taking care of my health is mandatory, and part of that is acknowledging the damage that has been done and addressing it. My body has lots of trauma spots, and only a long-term program of healing is going to fix it -- no one shot is going to address the underlying problems. This is expensive, but perspective is everything: surgery, lost work, migraine medication are all expensive too, and they don't really heal the system.
Massage or acupuncture every week. 6: A, 4-5:B, 2-3: C, 1: D CON+3 Final Grade: C Constitution +1

Do Learning: I'm in limbo as I switch career tracks from IT Project Management to paralegal, and it's an anxious time for me. As a breadwinner, it's difficult to be without work and not to have multiple offers on the table, but I simply can't continue in the high-pressure zone that I have been living and working in. I'm a big fan of immediate results, and working slowly toward my certification, applying for a job here and there and letting the application go free without expecting any return is beyond difficult. But this is the path I'm on, scheduled to receive my American Bar Association paralegal certification in September, and my Master Black Belt Six Sigma Certification in April. It will take steady, persistent work, and no flash of brilliance will be able to take the place of dedication and consistent effort of at least an hour a day.
Classes and Classwork each week. 36-42: A 29-35: B 21-28: C 14-20: D WIS +3 Final Grade: B Wisdom +2

Do Not Break: Pilates / Yoga every week. 6: A, 4-5:B, 2-3: C, 1: D DEX +3 Final Grade: C Dexterity +1