It’s a New Year and we have all heard many make Resolutions and Goals and Wishes and Dreams. But really when it comes right down to it the reason for them is because 1/1 is the time of a new start. It just says we can move past and let go of the old and start something new because today is day 1. The problem is that we have to deal with the issues of days 2, 3, 4….. and we lose site of the plan. Or worse we have too many expectations and overwhelm ourselves so we end up letting go of everything. Why not just focus on one things. Make sure it is something that is attainable (remember we need to make it SMART so we can measure our progress), something that allows us to enjoy the journey and something that will let us meet our needs and not the needs of everyone around us.
If this is to get healthy then that is just too vague and if it is to lose weight that is just average. You need something that is going to motivate you to step out of your comfort zone. It has be something that inspires you. Something at that has steps to it. “I want to be able to do entire Zumba video without stopping, modifying or being embarrassed so I will feel more comfortable taking a group class.” This is measurable. It is a 60 minute video that I know I want to accomplish. It puts me outside my comfort zone because it gives me a goal to do a group class, something I always feel awkward doing, and it is something I want to do because I tend to isolate so it puts me in a social situation.
When you choose to focus it does not have to be something that will take all year but it should be something that will take effort. As you walk this journey or in my case dance this journey you need to assess how you are doing along the way. This way you can adjust your goal. Let’s say I am working toward this goal and find that I reached it but I really do not enjoy the classes then I need to find something I do enjoy like maybe spinning or something that has nothing to do with fitness like a speaking group or improv class that may give me the social interaction I desire but is building on my self-esteem instead of my appearance.
If you are interested in learning more or working with me sign up for a class at www.afterwls.com. or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is your lack of sleep a choice or a product of lifestyle? It is a bit of both. It is not always a choice to sleep less. We have so many causes of our short sleep. The question is what you can do to optimize your sleep and help improve your health.
The first thing you should ask yourself is what is under my control and what do I need to accept. You cannot control your insomnia but you can control your exposure to light. You cannot control the stress in your life but there are practices to help you relax and let the ideas go.
Insomnia can be caused from stress which you will experience from time to time. This is usually transient or temporary. It usually lasts less than 2 weeks and there are a few tools that will help you move past insomnia.
One of the main causes of insomnia is financial stress. Money will always be a problem. People will always need more money. There are good programs out there to get your money straight. Dave Ramsey offers software for free. Better Budgeting has an excellent newsletter they put out once a month. Tony Robins has a new book about finance and managing money.
If it is other stress you can find simple ways to distress. The 8/8/10 breathing exercise works for some. For others progressive relaxation works, still others find that meditation works. Even if you just take time to take 10 slow deep breathes; this will increase you oxygen level and decrease your heart rate. How much healthier and more relaxed would bedtime feel if you were able to let go of that one last nagging issue.
Your environment can also contribute to your insomnia. Is it that the clutter around you keeping you awake? A room with clutter, or your computer and work can keep you focused on what needs to be done rather than sleep. Taking time to declutter will help you significantly to relax and enjoy the experience. The same is true of the bedding. Sheets and blankets matter and should be comfortable. The room should be dark and cool.
My final suggestion is to have a pad and paper next to the bed. Not your phone or tablet. This will allow you to write whatever you feel needs to get done and will let you let it go because you know you will remember it in the morning. The action of writing
I spend a great deal of time at work, and I have to balance it with my family and with studying. As I am finishing my MBA I find that there are certain tools that are essential to being successful in learning that balance. There is a short list
· My crockpots- I have two
· My exercise mat
· A timer
· Fraya, my cat
Each one of these has a role for me to be able to get my studying done and still allow me to meet other responsibilities.
I find that dinner is the time where we communicate and my service of making dinner is a way of expressing my love for my family. A chicken can be roasted for Friday night dinner by putting in three crinkled balls of tin foil and placing the chicken on top of it. I make pulled pork or all manner of chicken breast with sliced veggies. I have also made soups in it. I also have a small crockpot that I use for breakfast like oatmeal of there are some egg recipes that can be made in it.
My exercise mat allows me to do all manners of exercise and snuggle time with the pets. I use the yoga to help me unwind at night. I cannot meditate because all I do is worry about what I did not accomplish. Instead I do yoga. I am not talking being a profession al yogi just a short series of poses that I have ha to modify since I am overweight and cannot do them perfectly. But I do hold them for a count of eight which makes me breathe and count which helps slow down my brain so I can go to sleep. I have also found that if I am getting stiff or having back pain if I do abdominal exercises they help to relieve the pain. I particularly light reverse sit ups, supermans, bridges and planks. All these exercises are simple but not easy and they can be done without any special equipment.
A timer lets me know I need to get up and move around or get some sun. Studies have found that we can increase our health and decrease our mortality and morbidity by getting up every hour and moving around. If we get a bit extra oxygen and sun we can focus better. Just take time to move.
Fraya is the most important tool. She loves me no matter what. She is totally entertaining and if I am getting too into my homework she will distract me. She walks across my keyboard and sits on my chest but usually she will only want to be petted for 10 minutes then she loses interest and goes attack a stuffed mouse or our dog.
It is important that we find balance in our lives when we are a student. We are doing it to improve our lives. We may have to give up some of the leisure activities but in the end you cannot exchange what you learn from school with that weekend at the beach you may have missed.
The day consists of 24 hours and a week consists of 168 hours of which you need to sleep 49 at a minimum. In the remaining 120 hours you need to work, take care of yourself, family member and other assorted tasks. You will never have more hours and you should not be cutting into your 49 hours of sleep. However, life is never clean and simple and there will always be something that throws a schedule off track. Therefore it is a myth that you can balance everything and achieve everything you want because there are just not enough hours, especially if you are focused on a large goal. Something has to give and it is better to plan for it than to overstress yourself.
What I am saying is that focus on the big thing you want to accomplish and work the other things around your big item. An example would be if you are going to college. That is a big thing. If you are doing it as a working parent that is a bigger thing because you also have the responsibility of caring for your family and providing an income.
You work 8 hours a day and commute another 2 hours. That is another 50 hours from the 120. That leaves you 70 hours during the week assuming you do not work overtime. During that time you go to school for 4 hours a day that is another 20 hours. With the 50 hours left, you have to cook, clean grocery shop, care for and spend time with your kids and spouse as well as study. Here are five tips that will help you survive;
· Speed cleaning saves a ton of time and helps you to keep the house presentable if not immaculate. Jeff Campbell’s book breaks it down into simple steps or Flylady.com can help you to take baby steps to planning and getting the cleaning done.
· Plan and prepare your meals one day a week. Emeals.com is a great menu option and they take into account what is on sale at the grocery store. If not there are many make-ahead meal plans and books out there. It is worth that time one day a week to have home cooked healthy dinners so you do not have to survive on microwave meals and fast food.
· Plan without exception so personal down time that includes physical activity. This can be a walk, a dvd, going to the gym, whatever allows you to move your body and gives you some time for yourself at least three days a week. It is essential for your health. Being sick will not help you survive the big thing you are trying to accomplish.
· Plan one day a month as family time with an outing. This is not chore time, this is time for you to bond and make memories. It is the positive time that makes going for that big goal worth it.
· Know your why. Are you going to school to advance your career, or to change careers? Are you focusing on physical fitness because your health has suffered? Whatever your big thing is you have to know your reason or it will not be worth it. You need to remind yourself that this is the big thing that will change and make the sacrifice worth it.
You need to remember that life is a journey not a destination and that you need to enjoy that trip. You also have to remember that you cannot have everything and please everyone; all that
will do is lead to poor health or drive you crazy. You can achieve the big stuff but remember no one has died from a ferocious dust bunny and no one other than yourself expects life to be perfect.
As a student I want my study time to be as effective as possible. If you understand how the brain works than you will be a successful learner. That means that cramming should be a thing of the past, study time should be planned on what you need to learn and your environment should be optimized.
The following are the six must do skills you need to study better.