Monthly Archives: January 2012

managing time zappers

Managing my time more efficiently was one of my new year’s resolutions (yes, I will be coming back to these a lot!) During this first month, I have become more aware of my daily patterns such as scattering multiple appointments throughout the week when they could be condensed to a single day. Part of the reason for this is I tend to put others schedules ahead of my own. To get clearer on exactly where else my time is going, this week I am going to track it using this worksheet from 168 Hours.

On a side note, I finally worked up the courage to trim my own bangs, saving me an hour (when you factor in commuting) + $15. This youtube clip was helpful.

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art of adjustment

Took a workshop to improve my hands on adjustments with the lovely Rebecca Bly this afternoon. Not sure which I enjoyed more, giving or receiving the adjustments. My body is certainly reaping the benefits of being practiced on this evening. Have plans to follow-up with delicious bubble bath.

Teaching several yoga classes each week, this is a skill I constantly use. What tends to amaze me about taking workshops is that there’s always something new to learn. All you have to do is show up and be open. What did you learn today..?

commitment to practice

Last night I lectured on the science of stress, how it affects the body, and relaxation practices. I have been pondering the idea of committing to a regular blogging practice. Not technically a relaxation practice, but a practice none-the-less. What would this mean for me..? Right now, my blogging practice seems…well a little sporadic. I have always been a little afraid of risk. To go all in. Many of the other commitments I have made in my adult life also seem sporadic. By that I mean they are in constant motion. Changing. When I started practicing yoga, for the first few weeks I would go to the same space on the same night. Then, I decided I wanted to branch out and began trying different teachers. Now I schedule it when I have the time. It changes every week. When I went to grad school, I committed by moving to the US for a couple of years and by attending classes. Who knew I’d end up here indefinitely..? My commitment to my husband is forever, yet the ebb and flow of our relationship changes from day-to-day. Right now, I want to deepen my commitment to blogging but struggle with wanting to be consistent and while honoring my go with the flow attitude toward commitment. I am ready to branch out and expand. Ready to start defining in this space. Stay tuned….

struggling with stillness

We had snow last night. Not a lot. Maybe an inch or so, but in DC that inch was enough to bring things to a halt this morning. A board meeting I was supposed to attend was cancelled. A friend who was going to come over after the board meeting declined since it was no longer necessary for her to come into the city. I believe these events may have been a subtle message from the universe to slow down and be still. To continue to enjoy the hibernation of winter.

Not even one month into the new year and I have already experienced a lot of movement. So far I’ve done heaps of work toward my permanent residence paperwork, attended a free sewing lounge where I created an adorable bag, have a promising job lead, gave my first stress management lecture for the semester, qualified for an inspiring coaching session with the yogiprenuer, and have spent a lot of quality time with good friends. With the exception of the past few, the days have been long, busy, and exciting. Although I know it’s important to have a little quiet time between spurts of busyness, I have been finding it difficult to allow myself to slow down and enjoy the stillness. I think when we experience a lot of movement in our lives, it can be addictive. It’s easy to keep plunging forward even if our actions and schedules are not really serving our long term goals. This tactic is one that I am certainly guilty of. So today, I am listening to my body instead of my mind and spending the morning (and I suppose early afternoon now) relaxing in my pj’s.

DIY: creative date nights on a dime

Materials Needed:

cardstock (or any type of paper)

envelopes

markers, colored pencils, crayons…whatever you fancy!

love

One of my long term goals this year is to begin to save for a house. Sadly, this seems to clash with my desire to have frequent date nights with my hubby. Because we both have busy schedules it’s often difficult for us to find the time to get out of the house. Most of our time together is spent watching netflix and movies. When we do find the time to go, our conversation goes something like this…”What do you want to do..?” ….”I dunno, what do you want to do..?”

Sounds familiar..? To remedy this back and forth dialogue, have more date nights, and spend minimally, I created four date night coupons. Each ‘date’ costs a minimal amount. The most expensive one costs about $25 and involves dinner + ice skating. I was able to keep these dates at a low cost using groupon and living social deals, as well as recalling things we’ve talked about doing, but have never gotten around too such as checking out our local library. After creating the coupons and decorating envelopes, I stuffed the coupons into envelopes without knowing which coupon was in  what envelope. This way it’s a a surprise for both us when we open up the envelope on our date day! Have creative date night ideas up your sleeve..? Would love to hear about them in the comment section.

action steps & accountability: goal setting part 3

The final step toward achieving your goals is action and accountability. This is the fun part where you get to do the work and make your dream a reality! As I stumble through my transition, I am still trying to figure out what exactly “doing the work” means to me. I tend to be an on-the-go chic, constantly feeling as though I never have enough hours in a day. One of my new years resolutions (goals) is to manage my time more efficiently. Part of this process will involve stripping away the busywork to make more time and space to “do the work.” One thing I am certain of though is that “doing the work” requires creating action steps to get to the big goals. Life goals are really just a series of baby steps.

Action Steps

So hopefully by now, you’ve created your 2012 vision and set goals using the SMART goal framework. However, at this point you might be feeling overwhelmed just looking at them. Reviewing your goals, for each goal consider…what can I do right now..? It’s helpful if the ‘right-now’ is time-bound, say for the month of January. Similar to the SMART goal framework, this provides you with a measurable deadline for completing your action steps. To further clarify this process, one of my goals for 2012 is to establish an online presence – a goal that definitely takes me out of my comfort zone! Some great action steps for January are:

  • Adding 10 new people to twitter a week
  • Blogging 3x/week minimum
  • Adding my blog site to my email signature on all three accounts
  • Writing an updated bio for my about me page
  • Adding twitter ‘join the conversation’ to my blog’

You don’t have to have this many action steps – generally 2-3 will do. This is just a big focus of mine for January. Because putting myself out there in cyberspace makes me very uncomfortable, if I didn’t determine these very specific action steps it would be easy to neglect this goal.

Accountability

Accountability is all about sharing your intentions for your family, friends, pet, significant other, on your blog etc. Putting your goals out into the world allows others to inquire about and support you on your journey. This is a very important and courageous step because we are making ourselves vulnerable to others. If you find it difficult to share you with others, perhaps share your vision board instead. Part of the reason I made my vision board a mini-journal this year is due its portable nature. Keeping your vision someplace where you can review it daily (or at least weekly!) also helps with accountability by serving as a constant visual reminder. In addition, reviewing your goals periodically keeps you accountable and allows you to monitor your progress.

My 2012 Dreams 

  • Develop a lifestyle wellness program that works for me
  • Establish an online presence
  • Create a professional network
  • Be authentic
  • Have date nights
  • Learn to better manage my time
  • Become a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • Maintain a clean home
  • Weekly artist dates
  • Net $______ after taxes (sorry this number is private)
  • Create a business plan
  • Build my career
  • Save for a house

How about you..? What are some of your dreams for 2012..? Share them in the comments section to keep yourself accountable.

setting SMART goal for 2012: goal setting part 2

Apologies for not getting this up yesterday. I had one of the best deep tissue massages I’ve had in years yesterday afternoon! However, I was feeling pretty loopy afterwards – not ideal for writing a post about setting grounded goals.

A lot of times we think were setting goals when in reality were simply rattling off a list of wishes and desires. For example in 2012…”I want to lose weight” or “I will buy house.” While these things may positively impact your life without having an understanding of why we want to achieve them and/or a plan of action, they simply remain wishes and desires. For setting very concrete goals, my preference is to use the SMART framework.
Specific – What objective am I trying to achieve..? What outcome am I looking for SPECIFICALLY..?
Measurable – How do I know I am making progress toward this objective..? What are quantifiable ways can I measure my progress..?
Achievable – What resources do I need to have in place..? Are these resources presently available..?
Relevant – Why am I working toward this objective..? How will this achievement positively impact my life..? How does this objective align with my values..?
Time-based – By what date will this objective be completed..?
To further clarify this process, let’s plug my Big Vision in to the framework. If I were to say, “I’m going to create my big vision in 2012” this would be more a wish than a goal. Yes, by throwing the “2012” in there it becomes time-based, but I have no clear plan of action as to how or why I am going to do it. A better way to phrase this goal would be, “I am going to create a business plan for my big vision in 2012.” This indicates a very specific plan of action.
Specific – Create a business plan for my big vision
Measurable – Breakdown the overwhelming task by dividing the business plan into sections i.e. company vision and values, marketing etc. and tackle one section at a time. Set aside 2 hours (does not have to be consecutively) every week to work on this project. Pencil this time into my planner. Each week review what sections have been completed and set plan for following week. If I do put in the time each week, ask myself “what got in the way..?”
Achievable – TIME!! This is the biggest resource currently standing in my way. Eventually to build a business I’ll require capital and labor, but creating a plan only requires time. Right now I am only working part-time, so I have time and energy to focus on this project
Relevant – This is my dream job and life mission. I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE EXCITED ABOUT ANYTHING!!
Time- based – This project will be completed by the end of 2012 sets a definite deadline.
A few helpful tips:
  • If you’re having a tough time getting started with plugging your goals into the SMART framework, try brainstorming a list of your goals. Write down whatever comes to mind about each goal as you brainstorm and then see where it fits on the SMART chart
  • If you’re more of a left-brainer than a right-brain type you may what to do this step prior to creating your vision for 2012.  I still encourage you to create a vision board though. This will help with accountability, which I’ll discuss in a future post.
  • There is no right or wrong way to complete this process. These are merely suggestions to help you along the way. The best way is to find your way!

Happy Goal Setting! What are some of your goals..? Feel free to share them in the comment section (also helps with accountability!)