Week in review 4

Sometimes I set intentions for a week, workout 5 days and eat full meals each day and read the stack of research journals piling up on my nightstand, and when I don’t achieve those goals I take it as an excuse to get down on myself. Nevermind the fact that I was already feeling down on myself to begin with, which is why I didn’t accomplish any of the things I had hoped… vicious cycle much?

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Rather than getting down on myself, I am choosing to recognize what I did accomplish this week, however small it may seem. Shoutout as always to Meghan for giving me the forum to spill the crazy thoughts in my brain.

I got at least 8 hours of sleep each night, with a little extra on the weekend in the form of naps. Sure my hair my look a little crazy when I rock a ponytail for the third day in a row, but who am I to argue with my body when it wants just 5 more minutes?

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I worked a full week at my regular job, including writing annual reviews for 2 of my most challenging students. I also saw two home health patients and continued getting set up for part-time hours in a local pediatric clinic. I may have an increasingly thick stack of articles I want to read to help me design the best treatment for the wide range of individuals I treat, but I always leave work feeling like I made a difference for somebody.

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I fully enjoyed all my co-treatment sessions with occupational therapy. From yoga to crab walking I got a full range of movement at work each day this week. I may not have had the motivation to do any additional exercise, but the movement I got did my body good.

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I spent Sunday afternoon/evening tearing apart all our belongings in the basement and reboxing them in some semblance of order. During this time I also bagged up several bags of unused items for donation and attempted to convince Z that he should do the same.

Annnd that’s about it. I’m hoping to move out of this funk in the week to come, but I’m also trying to be respectful of my body’s natural highs and lows by not pushing myself if my motivation doesn’t come back.

Do you struggle with your motivation? Do you push through or give yourself a break?

 

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Self Talk

Self-talk. It’s the voice that keeps us on track when we decide to not to buy another new top at Target. It’s the voice that keeps us on track when we choose to make dinner instead of ordering takeout. It’s the voice that makes Z and I question the choices we’re making as we build our future.

Financial choices are difficult enough to make when you are surrounded by loved and support. When that support isn’t there you feel as though you’re continually defending your choices against some else’s perception. That constant state of defense makes it hard to maintain your motivation. Answer the same question enough times and you start to ask it of yourself. That’s when you know it’s time to make a change. No matter where the doubt is coming from there are steps you can take to keep your self-talk positive and productive.

Know what you want.

Sit down with yourself (or your partner) and get clear on your goals. Make a list, make a plan, make a dream board, the medium is secondary to the message. Clarify what you really want, what you’re working towards, and what steps you’re taking to get there. Having a clear message allows you tell yourself, and others, exactly why you’re following the plan you are.

Make it visible.

Once you’re clear on your goals put them someplace where you will see them every day. Increasing the visibility of your goal increases your motivation to achieve it. That increased motivation makes it easier to change your self-talk when negativity starts to creep in. I have my goals for the year in my bullet journal and I’ve broken those goals into action steps that I track each month.

Take charge of the conversation.

When you feel people in your life are criticizing your choices it’s usually coming from a place of love. Help them show that love in a way that’s productive instead by telling them how their criticism makes you feel. If you can’t find a supportive compromise then set conversational boundaries. Recognize when you can’t have a productive conversation on a topic and change the subject when it comes up. You may not be able to change the perspective or concerns of those around you, but you can limit their opportunities to voice those concerns to you.

At the end of the day, your goals are only as strong as your motivation to reach them. Focusing on your goals and seeking support from those who care about you allows you to keep to change your internal message. Aligning your self-talk with your goals makes that voice in your head work for you, the way it’s supposed to.

Lessons in Love from 8 years together

Z and I have been together for 8 years. There are days when that seems like such a long length of time and days when it seems life has flown by in a flash. The past 8 years have taken us through college and graduate school, 4 shared and 9 separate addresses, 5 full-time jobs, and 1 engagement. We’ve made a lot of memories and learned a lot of lessons, some of which I’m sharing with you (out loud) today.

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Be Present

When you’ve been together for any length of time it can be easy to put your relationship on autopilot. Every week you eat the same meals, do the same chores, and watch the same shows on Netflix. While routines are a comfortable part of everyday life it’s important to make sure you don’t make your relationship one of them. While there’s nothing wrong with mutual vegging after a long day make sure you consciously balance it with activities that promote connection on others. Some of our favorites include game nights, going for hikes, or grabbing breakfast at our favorite restaurants.

Talk

This one seems like a given, especially considering my profession, but believe me when I say we have learned a lot about how to talk with each other over the past 8 years. Especially in this past year as we’ve been working crazy long hours in order to reach our goals. We’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) to have important conversations when we’re both well rested so we can each talk and listen without getting overly emotional. We’ve learned it’s okay, even healthy, to disagree as long as we’re willing to listen and talk towards a compromise.

Get on the same page

This doesn’t mean you have to agree about every little detail, but you should be reading from the same book. Z and I agreed about many of the big things from the start but we spent a few years working towards those goals from different directions. Now that we’ve spent more time discussing our goals and making concrete plans to achieve them we’ve seen our progress move much faster. We may be frustrated with the pace of our progress, but working together with the same mindset has helped keep us positive.

Prioritize each other

When you spend a lot of time with other people (coworkers, family members…) it can be easy to fill your day without spending any time with your partner. Z and I spent a good portion of this year working long hours on somewhat opposite schedules which made it even more difficult to connect. We learned to take time for each other, even if it’s  just a few minutes before bed some nights, to make sure that we check in and catch up on the important moments of the day.

It’s okay to wait

I’ve waited for many things over the years. From graduate schools acceptance letters to finding the right house, it seems waiting is an inevitable part of growth. It can be hard to wait, especially when it seems everyone around you is moving ahead but I have learned (the hard way) that I have to trust the timing of the universe. This isn’t easy as I’m an impatient person by nature, by Z has learned to keep me balanced.

Change is healthy

We are not the same people today that met 8 years ago.  Our professions, our living arrangements, and even our health have been through more changes than I care to add up. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.We have continued to loved and supported each other through the uncertainty that change brings because change is a sign that we have continued to grow as people, trying new paths and building our future. And I, for one, hope that we never stop changing.

Z and I have a lot of bigs plans we’re working on this year and I have no doubt that all of these lessons will continues to hold true as we work together to meet them.