Monday, December 2, 2013

Small Wins

I recently wrote two posts on my work blog about personal mission statements (post one and post two). The impetus for developing this statement was an assignment from my supervisor, and as part of my work on it I used an online mission statement builder from Franklin Covey. I ended up not being able to use much of it for work but it helped me to define some personal ideals and goals. I like this tool because it’s easy to work through, saves your progress if you have to take a break, and it generates a lovely recap of your personal mission.

Some of the key highlights of mine include:

  • I am at my best when I've been able to exercise and/or meditate, am satiated (hunger/thirst), am learning something new or am working on something I'm passionate about.
  • I will try to prevent times when I am hungry, I am low on sleep, I am bored, or I have had too much "on" time.
  • I will find enjoyment in my personal life through running, learning about health/wellness, blogging, reading, eating/cooking/dining out, and being outdoors.
  • My life's journey is to inspire people to make healthy choices that support a sustainable life and give people the tools/skills they need to prosper in that endeavor.
  • I will be a person who is loyal, giving, inspiring and worth knowing.
  • I will stop procrastinating and start working on recognizing when I'm not being a good person (rude, selfish, assuming, etc.), accepting my faults, and modifying my behavior to match my true intentions
  • I will strive to incorporate the following attributes into my life: fortitude, positivity, and bravery

No matter where you are on your life journey, goal setting and discovering your true feelings/motivations is the key to staying focused and being successful. I have been branching out with my podcast listening and have really enjoyed Aisha Tyler’s “Girl on Guy”. I listened to an episode recently with David Wain, who is famous for directing movies like “Wet Hot American Summer”, “Role Models” and “Wanderlust”. He said something that really resonated with me, which was basically his practice of asking himself what he has done today to move him toward his goal.

This practice is beautiful because it reflects the idea that goals are not achieved with sweeping victories, but rather small wins linked together. If you haven’t set clear goals for yourself, or determined your underlying motivations this practice won’t be useful. I've seen this practice applied to food in several places. Several of Rich Roll’s podcast guests have discussed this. Dr. Greger talks about the concept that food needs to be evaluated as the whole package. Yes, steak has protein, but it also has hormones and antibiotics and fat that are potentially harmful to your system.

Tim Van Orden discusses asking himself if the food is helping him grow, and ensures that he’s preparing food in a way that doesn't create toxins. Lisa Fallon-Mindel talks about what energy is in the food, and evaluates her food based on what it has to give her. I apply this practice now in my own life. If I’m feeling conflicted about a food choice, I ask myself if it helps me reach my goal of recovering well from half marathon training. This is why I've limited alcohol and gluten during my race training. It’s easy to apply this principle – much easier than counting calories or following a complicated diet! I also find it useful as motivation for physical activity. For example, on Wednesday I woke up sore and tired. I decided to skip my morning run, and had to go to an early appointment. When I returned home I was tempted to stay on  the couch, but I knew that wasn't moving me toward any goal.

This gave me the motivation to do a 30 minute kickboxing workout followed by some core strength exercises. (It also motivated me to do some work and cleaning that I’d been putting off!). The process of defining your own mission, motivation, and goals is not easy but is extremely rewarding. It can become the foundation of a more thoughtful and considered life where decisions come easily because they either align with those goals or don’t. Of course, having fun and enjoying life are important goals that we should all foster so there is some wiggle room!

Recent choice to enjoy life: a Thai food date!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Carrie
    I recently switch my diet to a more plant based diet, but I am a little lost on losing weight. Can you recommend any good books on how to lose weight on a vegan diet. I find myself still eating to much...I would love to lose 100lbs. I tried to find your email but didn't have any luck. I would truly appreciate any suggestions. My name is Stephanie and my email is