Next month, next year, next steps

On so many levels, I am a planner. I am a creature of habit and like routine and predictability. That said, I have found that goal setting is really not a good motivating or productivity tool for me. Goals become one more commitment or measure for which failure is an option, and that tends to not motivate me so much as stress me out and pressure me to perform. Stress/pressure (stressure) is bad. Stressure is not motivating, uplifting, or exhilarating. Stressure is crazy-making in my world.

With an eye toward of making it easier on myself, I have no plans to set any goals or make resolutions for 2016. In addition to the stressure aspects, goals get kind of stale and boring to me, and in truth I have so many other things to track and monitor and follow-up on and complete having a set of defined personal goals is going to send me running away from the laptop screaming. Or I will feel like a loser for not keeping up.

Instead I have been thinking about what I do on a day-to-day basis and what random directions the blog is headed this time.

I feel as if I am in the midst of reinventing myself. My job, my health, my family status (both kids engaged, at least one of them married by the end of 2016).

I am putting a lot of effort into my overall health. This is obvious from how frequently and how much I discuss my training and fitness efforts reflects my focus. Eating and diet are next on my list for such gazelle-intense efforts.

I am working part-time and self-employed the rest of the time. The demands and rewards and balance that come with being an employee and my own boss simultaneously are significant, and nothing is precisely as I anticipated.

I have never been much of a personal finance blogger and have no aspirations to go in that direction. If anything, I feel as if I am slowly and steadily meeting our retirement savings, home enhancement, and other savings targets. Budget is here, there, everywhere but working like a glitchy gadget. Talking about all that is probably even less enthralling than watching paint dry, but I may occasionally have something to share on those fronts.

With all that in mind, what I know with absolute certainty is that I will continue to write a summary and recap of my training sessions with trainer J throughout 2016 … unless he fires me or declares me fully trained in all things exercise. While these are unlikely scenarios, they are in keeping with my “hope for the best, plan for the worst” philosophy. These recaps and write-ups have proved to be invaluable for me to sort out my thoughts and feelings about gym, exercise, and fitness stuff in the moment and as part of the overall big picture of life. Eliminating the goals and such I set for myself before I started working with J should make them more focused and concise in what we are doing each week. I am also released from having to show some sort of measurable, quantifiable progress toward a predefined target (see stressure disclaimers above).

Since somewhat pulling myself together about overall direction of my diet, I am toying with a few ideas to help me sort out, refine, and get better at this aspect of my health journey. I have made strides and improvement, but the efforts have been sort of scattershot and haphazard thus far to say the least. And that’s okay; I do not have to have all the answers to every question I have this week.

However, like my choice to go to the gym to acquire a new habit and incorporate it into the rhythm of my life, I need to elevate meal planning and dietary balance in my priority queue. The idea and objective have been kicking around in my head since before Thanksgiving, but the holiday avalanche of goodies everywhere I turn and more luncheons, dinners, social invitations in the month of December than the rest of the year combined … well, the timing is not the best to try and be super mindful and conscious of what I am eating. It is all I can do to regulate portion control on what is served and not be distracted and derailed by my many lovely clients and wonderful friends who insist upon extending invitations and sending me gifts.

Speaking of which … my first box of See’s candy arrived today. I could not run fast enough down the hall to the lunch room to get it out of my office and insulate me from the mere smell of good chocolate. I am so weak.

I have to accept the limitations of personal and professional social obligations and interactions right now and understand that this particular December is not a good time to overhaul and rebuild my diet from breakfast on up. What I can and will continue to do is the best I can for right now. And plow my way through the various reading materials J has generously provided, ask questions, formulate a plan for January when things are calmer and I am not eating out 5 or 6 days per week. No, I am not kidding about that; it seems there is a lunch, a dinner, a reception, a holiday party, a social something scheduled throughout the balance of December.

Please universe, take pity on me and do not let me gain 27 pounds in the remaining 27 days of December.

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