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Posts tagged ‘monday’

Day 7: The choices we make

I chose to blow off my step goal last night. It wasn’t an easy choice, I thought about it a lot, but in the end it’s the choice I made.

I spent most of the day working at my computer. I used to stand while I worked, but lately I’ve been sitting at the kitchen table instead. By the time I decided to clock out for the day it was already late in the afternoon and I hadn’t even reached 5,000 steps.

I had plans to meet a friend later on so I assumed we’d do a lot of walking, but we didn’t. Despite my sedentary day, I was exhausted and ready for bed the minute I got home.

As I lay in bed last night, I remembered my step goal and checked my watch. I was barely at 5,000 steps. Hitting my goal at that time would have required 10,000 steps worth of living room laps. It was a bit past 9 pm by then, so I knew I had enough time to do it… but I didn’t want to. I was tired – so, so tired.

I thought about the precedent I would set for myself by not walking those laps. It motivated me enough to get up and walk a few, but I just didn’t have it in me to keep going. I just wanted to go to sleep.

Afterwards, it occurred to me that if I were further along in my streak, I may very well have pushed myself to walk those 10,000 steps – but, I was only two days in. In the grand scheme of things, that didn’t seem like all that much.

I don’t regret the decision I made, but I don’t want to have to make that decision again in the future. I want to successfully complete this challenge without dragging it out another two or three years.

Thankfully I’m a lot closer to my goal this evening. I had to volunteer to walk the dog to get there, but I did it. I’ll still need to walk a bunch of laps before bed, but it feels doable. I intend to start this week on the right foot.

Happy Monday!

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Day 11: Hello Monday!

It’s Monday.

I used to hate Mondays. I mean, I’ve always liked the idea of a new week and a fresh start, but since they’ve usually coincided with the first day of my work week, I’ve kinda sorta dreaded them. Now that I work from home, I actually really enjoy Mondays. I don’t schedule any work – instead I take the day to get organized for the work week, run errands, and do things around the house, like clean and meal plan.

Unfortunately, Mondays have been a tad off since we returned from vacation. The big kid is on summer break, and I’ve cut back on my workload to spend more time with her and the little kid. I’ve been trying to continue to make the most of my Mondays, but it’s been hard. I’ve been struggling a lot to get back into my routine, and without my routine, I just feel… chaotic? All over the place?

The reminders I set yesterday seemed to help a bit with ensuring I stayed on top of my step count. Although I missed a couple when they went off, I did see a few of them – and something is better than nothing. Although I didn’t hit my step goal until later in the evening, I was close to 15,000 steps several hours earlier than usual. I’m pretty sure I have the reminders to thank for that, especially considering the eventful day we had yesterday. Little kid developed a fever and the big kid got tossed off her pony during her riding lesson. She’s fine – she brushed herself off and fortunately walked away from it with nothing more than a small bruise, but it was scary, to say the least.

I understand I’ll be limited in what I can do today with a sick kid at home, but there’s still a lot I can do. For example, I can set some goals for the week. I haven’t been very consistent with logging my meals, and I doubt my eating habits have changed at all, but my weight’s dipped again a couple of pounds since Friday. I’m sure it’s just water weight, but I’m going to try to do better at logging all of my meals this week, just to see how much I’m eating on average each day.

I also really need to work on getting my sleep schedule back on track. My ADHD makes it difficult for me to fall asleep. If I don’t manage it, I can be up all night just staring at the ceiling and setting myself up for failure the next day. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t get up on time in the morning, which throws off my morning routine and entire day. Also, if I manage to get up on time and try to function on little sleep, my medication becomes basically ineffective, and I spend the day walking around in a fog, eating everything in sight, and getting little to nothing done.

I didn’t get nearly enough sleep last night and skipped my morning routine, but I’m going to do my best to fight the fog and turn my day around. Hopefully, little kid will feel better soon and I’ll be able to take him on a short run with the jogging stroller while the big kid rides her bike. He woke up pretty happy and energetic, so it seems like my chances are pretty good.

Have a happy Monday!

Current step total: 2,707

Current step goal streak: 1 day 
Previous step goal streak: 1 day 
Longest step goal streak: 6 days 

 

 

Day 5: The importance of habits and routines

I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) a few years ago. I could easily write a very lengthy and very detailed post about what being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult is like, but suffice it to say, my diagnosis and treatment have highlighted the importance of habits and routines in my life. Habits and routines aren’t just important for people with ADHD like myself though, they benefit everyone.

In my Day 1 and Day 3 posts, I mentioned Charles Duhigg’s habit book. Obviously, I really like this book, and with good reason – it’s a great resource for learning about habits and how to change them. In the part of his book where he discusses keystone habits, Duhigg specifically mentions willpower as “the single most important keystone habit for individual success.” He considers willpower a habit.

I can’t explain Duhigg’s reasoning as to why willpower is habit. It’s something you really have to read for yourself, but I do want to try and share what I took away from the ideas he shared: basically, whenever you have to make a decision or complete a task that requires some thought, you use willpower. The more thought or effort you have to put into each decision or task, the more willpower you use, and unfortunately, willpower is a finite resource. You only have so much of it to use each day. Habits are automatic, so you use less brain power to do them. If you create habits and routines for the things you have to do throughout the day, you’ll conserve willpower and be able to use it for other things, like cutting back on junk food.

Although I’m still trying to change my habits and figure out what routines work best for me, I’ve determined that my morning routine of waking up at 5:00 am, having a light snack, and working out right afterwards, make my day begin a lot smoother. I’m by no means a morning person, but the more consistent I am in sticking with that routine, the easier it becomes. As I mentioned in my Day 3 post, you don’t really get rid of your habits. Yesterday I realized that this applies to good habits as well. Despite numerous weeks of “falling off the wagon,” waking up early and working out yesterday wasn’t as hard as I had expected it to be. My day went a lot smoother too. I had a lot more energy, got stuff done, and I was in a much better mood. I also hit my step goal fairly easily and logged all my food. Not too shabby.

Day 4: Strong

It’s Monday.

I woke up this morning when my alarm went off at 5:00 am, and despite not feeling the best, I managed to get up and hit the gym. Today, I restarted Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove’s Strong program. It’s a strength training program consisting of three phases of full-body workouts done 2-3 times a week. Today’s workout was Stage 1, Workout A. There was some ab work, legs, upper body, and even a little cardio. It was challenging, but well worth it.

I’d tried Schuler and Cosgrove’s New Rules of Fitness for Women (NROF4W) program in the past and really liked it. Both programs focus on compound exercises, and they start off relatively easy, so they’re great for going from the couch to exercising. I went with the Strong program this time around because although it seems more complicated at first glance, it’s still pretty basic and it’s got the extra cardio component NROL4W didn’t have that I like. I also like that even with that extra cardio part, it only took me about 40 minutes to complete. I know as the workouts progress, they’ll likely take me longer to complete, but for now, 40 minutes works for my schedule. It can be really hard to find time (and the motivation) to go to the gym, so I’m all about any exercise program that is short, but effective (and doesn’t suck). Strong is all of those things.

This morning’s workout also gave me a great head start on my step count, so I’m hoping between those steps and the to do list I’ve got to tackle today, I’ll easily hit my step goal. Otherwise, I guess the dog will be getting an extra long walk this evening.

Current step total: 6,184

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