One thing I've found during this move and the adjustment to all this newness is that it's helpful to reconnect to some oldness at the same time. It's been surprising that even just a 10-mile move has thrown all of my routines into disarray, and I still feel like I'm trying to find my way around. I had no idea I was that dependent on those old familiar routines. The very word "routine" makes me cringe, so this was a BIG surprise!
So, in spite of the new house and the looming holidays, I decided on December 1st to make two goals to help me feel rooted and familiar in the midst of change.
1. My Health
I made the goal to run a mile a day every day (except Sundays) in December. I was inspired by Elise Blaha Cripe's new workshop at Big Picture Classes, I Choose: Inspiration and Motivation to Make Goal-Setting Fun. As the title suggests, it truly is both inspirational and motivational. The one teeny tiny thing that stuck with me the most is that, for the last couple of years, Elise has run one mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, taking a picture of her shoes every day she runs. It's truly a brilliant idea, for several reasons.
- One mile is a friendly enough distance that it's impossible for me to say (and believe) that I don't have time. Even during the holidays, I can always make the time for a 10-12 minute run.
- The reward of being able to take a picture of my shoes when I'm done, for a cute photo collage (see below), is extra motivation.
- Even on the coldest of cold days, I can convince myself that I can endure the weather for just 10 minutes. (Unless I'm bringing the jogging stroller, as I did on the frigid 21st of December, when Keira quickly convinced me to turn back after just .3 miles. That day, I took a picture of my slippers.)
- December is definitely my worst month of the year for consistency when it comes to exercise. So no matter what happens, I'll have exercised more days this December than I have any previous December ever.
- Since it's only one mile, if I miss a scheduled run, as I have twice, it's no big deal to double the distance the next day.
In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, there are three downsides to this venture:
- The runner who inspired this goal lives in Southern California, which is a very different environment in December than frigid, mountainous Utah. (And my gym is now 15 minutes away!)
- The daily run absolutely necessitates a daily shower. Usually, when life gets busy, I can skip a day and just mask the lack of shower with a hat or some dry shampoo. But not so if I've run that morning!
- The fact that I'm running every day, even for only one mile, somehow makes me feel entitled to more than a few extra handfuls of Angie's White Peppermint Chocolatier Holidrizzle Kettle Corn. And thus by late afternoon I ruin any caloric advantage I might have had after my morning run.
One more little thing I learned from Elise's workshop is not to feel like a failure if I don't 100% vanquish my goal. I'm absolutely on track so far, but the week of Christmas will be the real test. If I skip Sundays and Christmas day, I'll have run 25 days in December, which is definitely a record for me. Maybe I'll even run an extra 1.2 miles on December 31st, so I can say I ran a complete marathon (26.2 miles) this month!
I've been meaning to do this for years, but I've finally decided to embark on a "40 days through the Book of Mormon" journey, which means reading about 5 chapters a day. I've read this book several times, but usually no more than one chapter a day, which makes it more difficult to grasp the ongoing narrative. I'd pick up snippets of inspiration here and there, but I've never read it straight through, like a novel. I've loved the experience, and I haven't missed a day yet. That same "photo a day" trick that has worked like a charm with my running has been an extra motivator for my reading, too. (Note: That little spiral notebook is a study guide that outlines each day's chapters, plus a scripture and a motivational quote. For the life of me, I can't remember where I got it!)
You can do the same thing with any book that means something to you. Just google "40 days through the Bible," for example, and you'll see lots of resources pop up. (I think that's going to be my next journey, although maybe not in 40 days!) Or why not "40 days through Les Miserables" (about 25 pages a day) or through War and Peace (about 32 pages a day).
Who knew? A couple of achievable goals are actually helping me get through the holidays. Maybe it's because I'm prioritizing two of the most important things, so those less important things are seeming, well, less important.
What goals are you working on? Whatever they are, try the I Choose self-paced workshop to help you get there—and have fun along the way.
Speaking of workshops at Big Picture Classes, my first workshop, Grammar-Free Journaling, is now open for registration! The fun starts in February, and believe me, it will be FUN as well as educational. I'll be posting sneak peeks and other fun info about the workshop in the weeks to come. And it's available for $7 off for a limited time. Details here.