Metabolism Monday – The Start

This is not a normal 66-day habit, but I will be following a prescribed program.

Habit: Follow the Fast Metabolism Diet for the required 28 days.

Start Date: Friday, 04/30/2018

Projected End Date: Sunday, 05/27/2018

Action Plan:

Incentive: Buy an elliptical machine!

Lofty Goal: Be healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

My coworker, Dave, did a presentation at our last internal conference about his weight loss results with
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight. He’s lost 47 pounds since January and other members of his extended family have had similar results.

Pomroy’s book does a great job of laying out the program and explaining the data behind each element. The program is 4 weeks long and the weeks are broken into phases. Phase 1, two days, is mostly grains and fruit and pairs with cardio workouts. Phase 2, two days, is similar to a paleo diet and pairs with strength workouts. Phase 3, three days, is a balanced diet incorporating healthy fats and pairs with relaxing workouts like yoga.

This book hits on so many of the healthy habits I have been trying to build. It ties my meditation, green smoothie, 8WW meals, and rowing habits together and I am hoping to see tangible results.

The program is practical and straightforward and we’ve finished Day 1! We enjoyed most of the food and felt sated throughout the day. We also completed our first cardio workout by swimming after work. We’re off to a great start and are determined to finish out the full 28 days!

Have you completed the Fast Metabolism Diet, or know someone who has? Please share your experiences in the comments!

Friday Friends – The Start

I’m in a new job and a new city. Now I need to make some new friends!

Habit: Introduce myself to a new person every day for 66 days

Start Date: Friday, 04/13/2018

Projected End Date: Monday, 06/18/2018

Action Plan:

  • Attend a community event
  • Attend a professional event
  • Join a local book club
  • Read 2 books about networking
  • Volunteer with a local association
  • Watch 3 videos on networking

Incentive: Host a game night for all my new friends!

Lofty Goal: Attain enlightenment, give generously, and be healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Things are finally starting to settle down after our move. We’ve gotten into a new routine, and we’re both happy where we’ve landed. I am ready to explore my surroundings and hope to meet interesting people.

I miss my midwestern friends dearly, and I want to build some equally strong relationships now that I am back in sunny SoCal. Friends help with our mental and physical health, and they improve the quality of our lives. That seems like a lot of pressure right off the bat, but I’m sure to find people I enjoy having a drink with!

Clayton thinks this habit sounds exhausting, and I must admit it is a little daunting. It’s difficult to make new friends as an adult, but introductions are the first step! Since I’m still the new person at work, it should be pretty easy to meet people around the office. It will be harder to meet new people on the weekends, but my action plan should help.

I am somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum. There are some days when I am so mentally drained that the last thing I want to do is interact with other people. Most of these introductions will take place in person, but I am going to give myself a little wiggle room and count online introductions as long as they potentially lead to in-person interactions.

What’s your favorite way to meet new people? Please share your tips in the comments!

 

Workout Wednesday – The Start

All I wanted for Christmas was a rowing machine, and Santa-Clayton delivered!

Habit: Row for at least 10 minutes every day for 66 days

Start Date: Sunday, 01/21/2018

Projected End Date: Wednesday, 03/28/2018

Action Plan:

  • Attend an indoor rowing class
  • Create a Pinterest inspiration board
  • Read 2 books about rowing
  • Research the benefits of rowing for improved cardio health
  • Try 5 different rowing workouts
  • Watch a documentary about rowing
  • Watch 5 instructional videos

Incentive: 3 private rowing lessons on the water with iRow Fitness!

Lofty Goal: Being healthy enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

The main reason I want to build this habit is to improve my cardio fitness. I actually started prepping for this habit in December because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to row every day right out of the gate. As a beginner, I started with The Mirror workout for 10 minutes every other day. I’ve progressed to 20 minutes, and as I try to build up this habit I will continue to do the mirror every other day while I incrementally add in different rowing workouts. I don’t want to burn out or injure myself so I am starting small, but building consistency.

Rowing is an activity that I have always found challenging and fun. Since I travel so much for work there will be times I am away from my rowing machine. On days I don’t have access to a rowing machine I will count a full body work out as an equivalent exercise toward my daily goal. I’m glad to have a contingency plan up front, and I am so stoked about getting out on the water I know it will keep me on track throughout this challenge.

Please share your favorite no equipment full body workouts in the comments!

Strummin’ Saturday – The Start

I posted a teaser picture about this habit in January, and I’m finally ready to start building my BANJO! habit. I’ve wanted to learn to play the banjo for.ev.er and was ecstatic when Clayton bought me one for Christmas.

Habit: Practice my banjo for at least 15 minutes every day for 66 days

Start Date: Saturday, 08/05/2017

Projected End Date: Tuesday, 10/10/2017

Action Plan:

  • Take 5 banjo lessons
  • Watch 3 TED Talks about learning a musical instrument
  • Learn pro-tips for practicing
  • Create a Pinterest inspiration board
  • Post weekly on Saturdays about my progress

Incentive: 10 additional banjo lessons

Lofty Goal: Finding my passion!

I’ve hardly touched a musical instrument so I knew I would need help getting started. I found a teacher on TakeLessons, and had a great first lesson. I thought it would be good to set a baseline so here is a short video of how little experience I have.

It’s going to take a lot of practice, but I can’t wait to go fast!

If you have any helpful tips about learning and instrument please share them in the comments!

Friday Finances – The Start

3 years ago Clayton and I formulated a 10 year plan. Our ultimate goal is to save enough money to take a year sabbatical and travel the world.

The first phase of our plan was to pay off all of our unsecured debt. It seemed easier to manage our finances when we had clear goals of what debt we wanted to pay off, when. I’d like to validate our current budget to maximize our savings.

Habit: Track spending every day for 66 days

Start Date: Wednesday, 03/01/2017

Projected End Date: Saturday, 05/06/2017

Action Plan:

  • Read 2 books on personal finance
  • Watch 3 TED Talks about personal finance
  • Analyze online budgeting tools
  • Determine best investment tools to save money with
  • Create a Pinterest inspiration board
  • Post weekly on Fridays about my progress

Incentive: Meet with a financial planner. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but it really excites me!

Lofty Goal: Being healthy (financial health is a type of health!)

After we have built this habit we will know where we are spending our money. We have a budget but have never validated that we are adhering to our spending limits. I want to make sure we are saving as much as we can to reach our goal!

What tools do you use to stay on budget? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments!

Good Will Wednesday – The Start

I have yet to build a habit related to giving generously. It has been difficult for me to reconcile the idea of coming off as a braggart versus using this blog as a way to focus my efforts when developing better habits. Ultimately, this blog is for personal development, and I know my intentions are pure.

Habit: Perform a Random Act of Kindness every day for 66 days

Start Date: Sunday, 10/16/2016

Projected End Date: Wednesday, 12/21/2016

Action Plan:

  • Volunteer at the RW Food Shelf
  • Read 2 books about philanthropy
  • Watch 3 TED Talks about philanthropy
  • Watch a documentary about philanthropy
  • Find online volunteer opportunities
  • Find volunteer opportunities in the RW art community
  • Find a volunteer opportunity with the Project Management Institute
  • Complete the Headspace Gratitude pack
  • Track my random acts of kindness on Twitter
  • Post weekly on Wednesdays about my progress

Incentive: If I complete a random act of kindness everyday for 66 days, I will celebrate by participating in a fun charity event.

Lofty Goal: Give generously

I’ll be building this habit throughout the holiday season. Focusing on acts of kindness and becoming more active in my community should only increase my holiday spirit!

Do you have a favorite volunteer activity? Please share in the comments below!

Spanish Saturday – The Start

Hola amigos! I have become increasingly interested in learning a new language, and it’s time to turn that wish into a goal!

Habit: Practice Spanish on Duolingo for 30 minutes every day for 66 days.

Start Date: 04/17/2016

Projected End Date: 06/22/2016

Action Plan:

  • Practice on Duolingo
  • Listen to a Pimsleur Spanish audio-book
  • Watch 2 Spanish movies
  • Read 10 Spanish children’s books
  • Find a good Spanish podcast or radio show
  • Attend a meet up or find people willing to converse with me in Spanish

Incentive: A weekend trip to a fun locale where we can immerse ourselves in a Spanish-speaking community.

Lofty Goal: Attain enlightenment!

I took 4 years of Spanish in high school and some of my family members have a passing fluency. I figured my background with Spanish would make it an easier habit to dive into. I never gave learning a second language a shot in school, but I’m ready to take it more seriously this time around.

Ultimately I would like to become fluent enough in Spanish to add it to my resume. I’ve always wanted to travel more for work, and being able to speak another language will open new doors for me.

Follow me on Duolingo, and kick start your own habit!

Project Management Monday – The Start

I have been wearing dual hats over the last 3 years as a business analyst and project manager. Recently I committed to the project management career path, and want to grow my knowledge base in this area. My next habit will focus on reading A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK(R) Guide. It’s a daunting tasks, but I am hoping that making it a daily habit will help me break it into manageable chunks.

Habit: Read 8 pages in the PMBOK everyday for 66 days

Start Date: Sunday, 01/31/2016

Projected End Date: Wednesday, 04/06/2016

Action Plan:

  • Read the PMBOK!
  • Start a study group at work with others interested in getting their PMP
  • Watch 6 PMI webinars
  • Attend a PMI-Minnesota Chapter meeting
  • Post weekly on Mondays about my progress in improving my PM skills

Incentive: Attend the Agile PMP seminar!

Lofty Goal: Finding my passion!

I would like to get the most out of the Agile PMP seminar and I think reading the PMBOK will be excellent prep work. I am also hoping I can build on this habit to get my Project Management Professional certification in the near future.

What types of personal development do you do for your career? Please share your strategies in the comments!

Food Friday – The Start

A new habit for the new year!

Clayton and I went back and forth for weeks discussing what my new habit should be. We both wanted to make more progress in improving our diet and looked to the 8 Weeks to Wellness program for inspiration again.

Habit: Plan and eat one 8WW approved meal everyday for 66 days.

Start Date: Sunday, 01/10/2016

Projected End Date: Tuesday, 03/15/2016

Action Plan:

  • Try 2 new recipes from SparksRecipes
  • Try 2 new recipes from the 8WW workbook
  • Keep a photo journal on Instagram
  • Track our weight every Sunday
  • Post weekly progress on Fridays about developing better eating habits

Incentive: If we build our meal habit AND lose 10 pounds each over the course of the 66 days we will take a trip back home to attend Cubs vs. Angels opening day game!

8WW Meal Day 4: 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta with meat sauce, side salad, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
8WW Meal Day 4: 1/2 cup whole wheat pasta with meat sauce, side salad, and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Lofty Goal: Being healthy

I have less action items for this habit than previous ones because I think this habit will take up more of my time than any of the previous ones. You might also find our incentive to be a little extravagant. We figure losing 10 pounds is a big deal, and this is something that will keep both Clayton and I motivated. I will get to see my family, and Clayton will bend over backwards to see Cubs opening day!

Wish us luck and please share any of your favorite health recipes in the comments!

Tidy Travels – The Start

Clayton and I are moving, and I am going to take this opportunity to try something new for my blog!

Over the summer I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I plan to track my progress implementing the KonMari method rather than stretching this out as a daily habit over 66 days. I will be posting about each stage of discarding before the move and storing strategies after the move.

Start Date: Thursday, 11/19/2015

Projected End Date: Thursday, 12/24/2015

Action Plan:

  • Post weekly progress on discarding in the order recommended by Marie Kondo
    1. Clothes
    2. Books
    3. Papers
    4. Misc
    5. Mementos
  • Complete discarding and packing by Thursday, 12/10/2015
  • Post about storing techniques
  • Keep a photo journal

Incentive: Monthly cleaning service at the new house!

Lofty Goal: Being healthy and giving generously

Tidying up fits in the health category because of the peace of mind I feel when I am in a tidy space. I also choose to list philanthropy because the discarding process will give us the opportunity to donate a lot of the things just taking up space.

Moving is hard, but Clayton and I have done more than our fair share. I am hoping that implementing the KonMari method will help us get a jump start on packing so that it’s not a mad rush the week of our move.

Have you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing or other organizational books? Please share any tips or tricks in the comments!