|Sadly, my plans do not involve lemurs. (Maybe they should.)|
I've scratched out giant lists like this one before, but I get so enthusiastic/overwhelmed that I rarely get anywhere. This time, after setting some bigger, longer-term goals to keep in mind for the future, I also settled on ONE thing to work on for September that I will then practice in two areas of my life: track everything.
The first aspect of this goal will deal with my finances. I recently started a new job, so this week I redesigned my budget into something I will actually stick to. I use Mint to track my finances, but for September, I'm going to track them on my own, too, with the intention of sticking to my new budget categories and funneling the extra money towards paying down some student-accumulated debt.
The second aspect of this goal deals with my diet. I eat fairly well, but I have terrible self-control when I'm not eating at home. Donuts at work? Please! Friends going out for ice cream after the movie? Sign me up! I may have a relatively healthy number on the scale, but my half-healthy, half-whatever diet doesn't often make me feel healthy, strong, or energetic, and that's what's important to me. However, just as I'm relatively new to fitness, I'm also pretty new to nutrition. I know I feel better after some meals than others, but without data, I can rarely remember enough details to make significant changes. The solution? Take detailed notes on how I regularly eat for the first two weeks to accumulate some "baseline" data for reference. Then I'm going to experiment with Zone* eating for six weeks, until Halloween!
I think the biggest key to succeeding is believing in yourself, and that's absolutely one of the things I struggle with the most. Despite the progress I've made in the past year, I still see myself as the mildly asthmatic shy girl who brought books to parties and was terrified of throwing a frisbee. It's exciting to see myself developing some muscle, but I still don't think of myself as athletic -- and I think that self-doubt is really holding me back.
That's why I tried really hard to make these goals seem doable. I drew up a sheet to record all purchases instead of logging into Mint at the end of the month and going "Oh no, why is everything red?" I also ordered a kitchen scale this week so I can better analyze my food intake instead of writing "I had some yogurt this morning" and not knowing what that means. I'll also need it when I start trying Zone to make sure I'm getting the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal.
I've never successfully attempted something like this in the past. However, this time I've gathered the tools I need to succeed, and unlike before, I haven't picked twelve new things to do daily. I'm just going to start writing everything down, which sounds much better than "Work out every day, go full Paleo, stop spending money, and re-paint the house." I'm feeling more motivated than ever and -- dare I say it? -- I really do believe that I can accomplish these goals by September 30th.
To add to my optimism, enthusiasm, and self-belief, I've got some extra motivation going on where food tracking is concerned. For some reason, I have a hard time finding comfortable (and, alright, flattering) shorts for working out, and lately a number of my fitness idols have all popped up wearing the same kind. They're
Bonus motivation: I'm not a very crafty person and have never made a costume, but I really, really want to do my first cosplay as the newest rendition of Lara Croft for Halloween this year. You'll notice that my 6-week Zone timeframe lines up with Halloween... As I work out and prepare my meals, I'll keep her in mind for some kick-@$$ inspiration to stick to my goals!
*Questions on Zone? I'm new to it too, so here's what I know so far:
--I first found out about Zone eating from Claire over at The Ascent Blog. Check out her tips, experiences, and inspiring before/after pics!
--The 2004 article in the CrossFit Journal (issue 21) also has some great insight on Zone eating.
--I also have "Enter the Zone" by Barry Sears in my Amazon wishlist, but I have yet to read it!
(Please note that I am not a doctor, professional nutritionist, etc. Claire's pics are inspiring, but be sure to check with professionals before attempting anything drastic. Feel free to ask questions about my experiences with Zone/Paleo/CrossFit/Whole30, though, and I'll do my best. Just be safe! :) )