Three Goals Thursday a Day Late

000hard on yourself

I LOVE this meme.  It reminds me to pause from my self criticisms, be they many and of differing varieties given the day, and focus on my own unique brand of cool given me by my Papa God.

He don’t make junk, that’s for sure!

I wanted to pop in here real quick and update you all on my three goals for last week, before sharing my three goals for this week with you.

I missed my Three Goals Thursday post here yesterday, but hey, better late than never, right?

I feel pretty good about the three goals I made for last week. They involved evaluating my foods, eating certain types of food, getting a teeny, tiny bit of exercise each morning, and staying positive. All good things, right?

Sidebar: I have a few friends on facebook who have been particularly negative lately, and a bit passive-aggressive. Stop that!  Look for the gold lining in life, please. You guys are bumming me out.

Its’ not passive-aggressive of me to say that, is it?

Back to my goals: I feel I made some real progress this week, especially in the area of positive affirmations.  I also feel like I did well with the food–well, all except for that one night when we went to the fair. Even there, I didn’t go hog wild.  I ate an appropriate amount of food, and even turned down stuff offered to me that I didn’t really care about. That’s progress, and I’m giving all the credit for it to the Holy Spirit working in me to “get ‘er done.”  I’m praying, a lot, and I’m meditating on my goals, a lot.  I’m also seeing progress: a lot for such teeny, tiny changes being made.

This week’s goals:

1.  Continue to eat oatmeal for breakfast each morning, and pay special attention to portion sizes with all foods.

2.  Perform five minutes of exercise before doing anything else in the morning.

3.  Read something positive that requires real thought every day this week.

If you’re new to my Three Goals Thursday postings, let me give you a brief explanation of what I’m trying to accomplish here.  These goals are about challenging myself to make teeny, tiny changes, so as to produce winning scenarios for me, so as to build helpful habits, so as to eliminate some of the struggle I have with staying the course in life.

If you are the praying type, pray for me as I attempt this list this week.

And before I close, a lil story of how helpful habits can be. Years ago I decided that I wanted a clean range top in my life.  Long story made short, I believed the concept of habit formation that says you can create a new habit in 21 days, if you repeat the same practice every day and really really REALLY want to form the habit. I did, so I did. I put a sign over my sink that read:  The dishes are not done until the stove top is cleaned.

It was really that simple, then I set to work being methodical in my manner with regards to the dishes and the stove top.  Within one month I had formed a habit that serves me all these years later. I still CANNOT put the dish cloth away, or the water down the drain, UNTIL I clean that stove top.  Cleaning that range top happens effortless for me now, whereas before building the habit, it was work, work, work.

Habits Help!

What habit are you working on this week?  How badly do you want to see it take root in your life?

 

 

Fun at the Lake

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Recently, the boys came for an extended visit. We went to Ithaca, NY to feed the ducks.  Not surprisingly, the lake was muddy, since it had rained a lot this summer in upstate NY.  But wow, it was really muddy the day we were there.  Didn’t stop a couple guys from having water fun with their sails.  We watched, fascinated that they would choose to dip their bodies (read: heads and mouths), in that surf.  Yuck!

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Here is a shot of A, daring to go where his big brother has been before–to the wiggly bridge.  The surf was strong this day, and the end of the dock was bobbing up and down, up and down, up and….  Well, you get the picture.  Literally.

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This is a shot of J on the end of that dock.  He’s laughing at me because I’m nervous.  Notice how daring he appears to be.  Uncle is holding tight to that rail, but as you can see, there are white caps everywhere on the water surface.  In actuality, they were about six feet from the end of the dock here, but J was proud of himself for daring to go so far. I wonder what the look was on my face at this point. I am hyper over-protective with these guys when they are in my care.

Guys, they always want to push the envelope a little further.

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A better shot of the guys sailing.  He had on a wet suit, but still. Yuck!  The lake looked like a huge can of Yoohoo Chocolate drink. I can’t imagine it tasted much better, either.  Double yuck!

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We fed the ducks and walked around.  The park was mushy underfoot. Water soaked. Even the playground was inhabitable in some places.  There was a kid there, about 13 or 14 who was sitting in one of the mud puddles, throwing mud up over his body. Grossed me out, but he was having a splendid time. None of that for the grands.  We were staying dry and clean, thank you, very much.

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We walked. J mocked. A wanted to throw stuff in the water. I captured it all on film.

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This poor guy had a broken wing. Don’t know how he will fare this winter.  Another of the geese had lost the bottom half of his leg. Bob wanted to take him home with us. They were all very friendly, and J took about a million pictures of them before we left.  We had a bag of bread with us, which they greedily ate. We shared a piece with a lil girl.  It was fun.

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See what I mean by muddy?!  These are adolescent geese, I guess. They still have fuzz on their heads, but were a bit shy compared to their adult counterparts.  We did see a few ducks, but not many. I guess the geese rule here, and try to keep the riff raff out.

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Lots of droppings everywhere, of course.

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Here was one piece of outdoor equipment dry enough to use.  They boys quickly made a friend.  It was a beautiful day, except for the standing water. Windy though.

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Carousels are always fun.  J is pulling on that snaggle tooth that just wouldn’t come out.  It did, on the day his parents returned home. Guess the Tooth Fairy didn’t want them to miss out on the fun.

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A riding his painted pony.  :)

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I kid you not about the wind!

We had fun, fun, fun at the lake. Can’t wait to go again!

Have you checked out the lakes around your hometown this summer?  What fun things did you do while there?

Goals and Simplicity

My aim is to live a simple life, full of joy.

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Today, I want to share with you an update re: my teeny, tiny goals for this week, but before I do that I want to give a shout out to a fellow blogger who had some great things to say about simple living over the weekend.

Over at All About Healthy Choices I found an article that I thought expressed perfectly what that simple and joyful life can look like.  I hope you’ll give it a read this morning. Let me know what you think.

As for my goals, every day I am finding it easier to make teeny, tiny changes to my routines.

Remember: My take on habit is that it can either help or hinder in unconscious ways.  I need to be about the work of developing good habits, while at the same time quitting bad ones, if I want to change my life for the better.  I’m therefore working to develop routines that will help me do certain things without putting too much effort or thought into what I’m doing.

Why am I doing this? Two reasons:  I’m lazy, and I’m too much the critic. 

I am.

I’m lazy when it comes to planning and prepping, and I over think my process many times.  That means that organizing my thoughts and making my body do what my mind knows is beneficial often becomes extremely hard when I want it to be easy.

I crave easy.

I want that gentle path.

I desire a gradual slope.

I want effortless.

Life is not effortless.  Anyone who says differently is lying. But, good habits make daily living less strenuous, so that’s the direction I am headed as I work to live a more simple life.

I am convinced HABIT is the key to simplicity, but not just any habits; my habits need to be good habits, consistently applied.

Wish me luck as I continue on with my experiment.

Now for the update:  I have been focusing this week on making it a habit to eat what I need to eat, while allowing others to eat what they choose to eat.  I too often get distracted with what others are eating, paying less attention to what I need to eat to stay healthy, and more attention to what they are enjoying, although it may be the exact opposite of what I need. This leads me down wrong paths. I’m also focusing on staying positive in my thought patterns about the changes I need to make. A positive attitude makes good things happen quicker and easier.

The truth is, there are certain things my body can handle and others it cannot. I need to choose well and be consistent in those choices. 

So far this week’s teeny, tiny goals are helping me eat the right breakfast every day, exercise every day, and pay attention to what I am supposed to eat, every day.  Yay!

What habit do you have, that you wish you could change?  What teeny, tiny thing are you willing to do today to create a better life tomorrow?

He Drops the Dew

…by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.  Proverbs  3:20

This morning my yard looked like this…

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…bright, vibrant, and full of shadow.  Only the top of the hedgerow was round about with dew, while in the valley this is what we saw…

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And this…

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and this…

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It’s amazing to me how much difference a thirty-minute drive can make in weather conditions.

The contrast between my yard on the hill and the valley below made me think about how one minute our lives seem all sunshine and shadow, and the next they are covered in mysterious fog.  The fact that we sometimes see clearly, and other times have our vision occluded, has not escaped me today.  It speaks to me of the need for a Guide; a loving Leader who can help me through the fog and clouds of life.  A Teacher, who can help me appreciate both the clarity and the mystery.  A Savior who holds my hand and enjoys our times together as much as I do, whether sun or dew fall across the path we walk together.

I’m sometimes amazed at the lessons God teaches me through nature.

What have you learned today of God’s goodness through His creation?  How have you been asked to trust Him in the dewy days of life?

Three Goals Thursday

This week my three goals will be teeny, tiny and created with a bent toward being more positive. I hate all the negativity in the world. How about you?  As a Christian, part of my gig is to be joyful, but I think that is a learned behavior, especially if you grew up in a home with a mom who was fearful all the time.  I did.  Today, I want more out of life.  I don’t want to be afraid, and I don’t want to let my fear of others opinions be the determining factor in my recovery.  I want change, and I’m on a crusade to get it.  I’m using prayer, goal setting, and meditation to pave the way.  Why not join me with three teeny, tiny goals of your own.

This experiment is about me trying to create new habits that will serve me through the course of my life, which is why I post similar goals many Thursdays.  I am also trying to change it up from time to time, though, in order to stretch myself in the process of developing new behaviors/habits built on a foundation of positive thinking and acting.  My thought is: Yes, bad things do happen in life, but our attitude often affects how well we fare when they happen.  I want to fare well, so I’m working on facing tough situations through even tougher means of personal grace.  I’m seeing progress, so I will continue in this vein.

Here are my three goals for this week:

1. I will continue to eat oatmeal for breakfast every day, and will add a colorful veggie salad at my evening meal every night this week. I love veggies and they are plentiful this time of year in NEPA, so this is a win/win winning scenario for me.  Bring on the veg!

2. I will exercise for five minutes in the morning each day before doing anything else. This is a hard one for me because I usually am very stiff in the a.m.s, but I’m willing to do it because I so want to develop a love for early morning exercise. Plus, I am wayyyy less stiff once I do it. “Imagine that,” (she says sarcastically to herself).  I may even buy me one of those wacky commercial workout tapes to help get me moving in the morning. Wouldn’t that be fun?!

Can you say, Richard Simmons?

3. I will work at not letting the food others are eating affect the way I eat. This one was suggested by a blogging friend of mine who always has good ideas for me, and who always has my ear (or rather, eye, since I read, not hear, what he says). I, like millions of other Americans, am distracted from good eats by restaurant fare, food commercials, and community food fests. This week I will strive to blaze my own trail with regards to food choices. I think this one can serve two purposes, because I can also use this as food planning and prep time, a goal that I have had on my teeny, tiny goal list for many weeks.  Again, win/win. Yay!

Those of you who are in the habit of praying, please pray for me as I attempt to stay focused and on track with my three teeny, tiny goals this week. I know they seem very teeny, tiny, but if I can daily apply these goals to my life every day, consistently, soon my lifestyle will change.

Change is not only possible, but probable if we will but try to follow God’s design for our lives! I believe.

What teeny, tiny goals are you going after this week? How do you make change fun? Please share!

I’m Baack!

I’m back from vacation. Wow, what a wonderful vacation it was!

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Chasing after two wee ones for 10 days was a work-out for this gal, for sure, but a joyful one. Too bad I ate things I don’t normally eat while we were together. I probably could have lost weight during this time away from my regular routine had I not indulged in a few more sugary substances than I normally allow. But hey, vacations are for getting away, right?  I got away to the tune of five pounds, but three of those were water weight and were gone this morning when I stepped on the scale. Yay!

One thing that struck me while I was away from the office, away from the computer, away from my friends, and away from my routine and with the grands, was the fact that Wisdom was always with me.

I heard God’s voice speaking many times over the last two weeks. 

During my vacation I thought of His words; His suggestions, and how He lived His life on earth…the recovery He granted to those who sought after him.

I thought of You, Lord, when I exercised, when I ate, and definitely in those few moments when I was anxious.

I get that way sometimes.  Anxious.

But it’s all good, because when I am anxious, you’re always near by to calm me.

You encourage me!

You cause me to ponder the world.

You urge me to examine what I’m doing.

You hold me accountable.

You teach me new things.

You stay close by me.

You never stop investing in me.

One thing that tickled me while I was on vacation was how God reminded me of my three goals for the week and how much I want to stay true to them.  I need to keep in constant contact with Him in order to stay the course, I know that. Thanks for reminding me, Lord, while I was away from my normal routine.

I’m back and happy for it, but I have to say I do miss the sound of lil voices early in the morning, and the laughter of lil voices giggling down the hall. The vision of lil toes poking out from the swing as it flies by, I truly miss that.  I miss the boys!!!

I know they will come again, but I miss them now!

I started today with five minutes of exercise before doing anything else-a goal I am hoping to continue this week.  *A* helped me exercise several times while he was with us.  He’s such a good motivator and life coach.

I also packed my baked oatmeal for breakfast today, even though I really wanted to eat a bagel with egg and sausage–the lazy gal’s breakfast.

I committed early to letting my mind guide my progress today, and not my stomach.

I brought a piece of fruit with me to work before logging in here to report my progress and honestly share my weight gain.

I did all this because transformation means something to me. It means life, health, vitality, and the opportunity to model God’s love to others. That last one is very important to me, this Jesus knows.

Little by little I’m changing, and Wisdom is the reason why.  Thank you, Wise Lord, for vacations. And, thank you, for regular routines.

What changes have you made recently that have drawn you closer to God? How have those changes brought you renewed vision and joy?