Getting Support for Your Goals

The one small act of scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast has whirled into action other goals in a snowball roll.

The health coach services end in two weeks. This 2-month health coach service was well worth the money.

This is why I tell readers to get the support you need to plan and prepare for the new goals you want to take on.

One of my ideas is to go back to school for a writing degree.

It can be scary to make changes even though the changes might be positive.

That’s why I say: create a support team of individuals you can talk with.

Lastly: to remember that with health you have everything you need.

What I write I would like to educate, empower, and entertain readers.

To give followers the idea that it’s not as hard as you think to make changes.

I’ve been scrambling culinary sunshine for 6 weeks so far.

I say Go for It: risk change.

You don’t know until you try what’s possible.

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Choosing a Job for Love or Money

Choosing a Job for Love or Money shouldn’t be a toss-up.

Ideally, the job you love will pay a livable salary. When it doesn’t you can drum up a “side hustle.”

The book The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer talks about how to create a second income stream or else create your own full-time business.

Again, using the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions can also help.

The Small Business Administration website can give you information too.

Going into business for yourself or working at an established company is possible.

Clearing hurdles will make it possible to do this.

One hurdle is overcoming resistance to getting any kind of job:

Either countering your own internal roadblocks or that of naysayers who claim it’s not in the cards for you to do what you want.

In the next blog entry I’m going to document a better way.

If any social workers are reading this I would like you to take note.

Learning from Green in BKLYN

I want to talk about not giving up. About going after your goal(s) with gusto.

One scenario from the business world should convince you that taking a risk is well-worth the fear of having it not work out.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Not being successful is no cause for being upset. It’s better to try and have something not work out. Then to not try and wonder what might have been.

In 2009 Elissa Olin opened her business Green in BKLYN in the Clinton Hill neighborhood.

A mentor whose advice she valued told her not to do it because nobody wants anything to do with Brooklyn. That there’s no market for eco-friendly products. That in 10 years the business isn’t going to work.

Fast-forward to today: Olin signed a second 10-year lease on the shop. Her business is booming.

She was able to open up her shop in part because she won Brooklyn Public Library’s PowerUP! competition.

You submit to the yearly contest your business plan. The top business plans selected win cash prizes for the owner to start up their business.

You can go on Brooklyn Public Library’s website and type in PowerUP! in the search box to learn about the competition.

The moral of this story is:

Go after your goal(s) with gusto.

You don’t know unless you risk doing something what is possible.

If you don’t believe me take it from a sports great I’ll quote here to end the blog entry with:

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Be afraid not to try.

— Michael Jordan

Having 5 Commitments

Easily over five years ago I read a Leo Babauta book where he told readers to list their 5 Commitments in life.

This approach made great sense to me. In the spirit of talking about recovery I want to riff on choosing and committing to 5 areas.

Do this for the sake of your mental health and physical well-being first of all.

As I head into my fifties and go through changes at mid-life the benefit of having 5 Commitments resonates with me more than ever.

It’s called a routine: adopting healthy habits that you engage in every day or every week.

This isn’t to say that the focus of your life won’t ever change. As you get older, you’ll need to improvise as you go along.

I find myself at 53 engaging in a form of woodshedding, which I talked about in one of the first blog entries in this Flourish blog.

While isolating inside because you’re afraid to go out your front door isn’t healthy I say:

Enjoying your own company when you’re alone in your apartment or house is imperative.

As I’ve started journeying through mid-life I can vouch for the positive health benefit of needing more time for yourself to rest and engage in recreation.

You need to rest after going out socially or having a long, hard day at your job.

The key to maximum productivity in your personal life lies in the beauty of honoring your 5 Commitments.

My 5 Commitments are art, music, fashion, books and writing, and exercise.

Making time each week to do something involving these 5 things I love has been the way to feel healthy and be happy at mid-life.

What are your 5 Commitments?

In coming blog entries I will continue with the focus on careers.

Yet I will apply this wisdom to everyday life.

Living in recovery doesn’t have to be so hard. Even if you’re in pain that’s when doing the things you love can help you feel better.

That’s it exactly: focusing on the 5 Commitments that bring you joy.

 

Making Changes for the Better

Leo Babauta on his Zen Habits website invokes readers to see:

“The uncertainty and discomfort are a necessary component for us to do anything meaningful.”

Making changes–even when they’re for the better–isn’t always easy. It can be downright hard to try doing something new that has the potential to transform your life and elevate your confidence.

I say: Just Do It. The more you take action the easier it will get to keep taking action.

“A body in motion stays in motion” is the old cliche.

There’s a great lyric in a Vampire Weekend song that is so generic I dare repeat it here because it’s not the exact lyric.

The idea is that a person doesn’t want to live the way they’re living yet they don’t want to die either.

It can be scary to change in any kind of way. Yet I urge you to consider that there’s a way out of the pain by going through it and figuring out what the pain has to teach you.

You can use your pain as the catalyst to figure out your life’s purpose.

My contention is that I was able to heal in part because I placed Service Above Self.

After you have a setback and you’re in recovery from whatever happened you have the choice: to roll over and passively accept a life of pain. Or to do what it takes to heal and be well.

For some of us it will take longer to get to where we want to be. Recovery is not a race nor is it a competition.

Yet the point is you can change for the better at any point along the road of recovery.

To change the world you first have to change yourself–as Michael Jackson so beautifully sang in his song “Man in the Mirror.”

In a coming blog entry I’m going to talk about something Leo Babauta wrote in one of his books years ago.

His theory of focusing on your 5 Commitments I want to apply to recovery.

As hard as it can be living in recovery there’s always hope that you can change your life for the better.

I maintain that focusing on your 5 Commitments in life can be a way to heal and be well.

3 Tactics for Achieving Resolutions

I’ve figured out how to make it easier to achieve a resolution.

Three tactics are involved:

1.     Focus on one goal at a time.

Set aside everything else you want to do for now.

The secret to achieving goals and resolutions if you ask me is sequencing each goal in order from easier to achieve to harder to achieve.

Choose as the first goal the one you’re most likely to achieve.

This will give you confidence to tackle other goals and will boost your self-esteem.

Refrain from piling on multiple sub-goals along the way. You’re not an octopus who can reach for multiple items at the same time.

2.     Reward yourself for little victories as well as milestones.

To reinforce the positive behavior of having gone to the gym 2x/per week I bought myself a new doormat. It’s a cheap and cheerful pick-me-up.

3.     State your goals and resolutions publicly to members of your change support team.

In my life I’ve found that by globally recording my resolution in the blog I was able to force myself to go to the gym 2x/per week.

The one week I couldn’t do this was out of my control. Yet more often than not if you ask me a person does have control.

Holding yourself accountable to others is a foolproof way to actually do what you say you’re going to.

Losing Weight and Keeping It Off

In only ONE YEAR from the time I was 22 until I turned 23 I gained 20 pounds. In ONE YEAR.

When my mother is with me when I’m giving a talk she turns to the audience members and tells them: “Chris was a former chubby.” Thanks, Mom.

I wouldn’t use the term chubby  or the far worse term fat to describe a person.

The personal trainer at the gym gets it right: you can carry a few extra pounds and be healthier than a person who’s skinny and flabby.

You can be thin and in ill health because all you eat is chips and cookies and junk food. You can be heavier and eat mostly fruits and vegetables.

As I reported in this blog elsewhere maintaining your weight is not as simple as the number of calories you consume every day versus the amount of exercise you do.

Nearly as soon as I gained those 20 pounds I felt poorly. I made an appointment with an actual M.D. who had a private practice focused on nutrition. She wasn’t a dietician or a nutritionist.

Her name is Rama Z. Koslowe and she practices in Staten Island, NY–one of the boroughs of New York City. I’ve recommended her to other people.

How did I lose a total of 15 pounds and keep this weight off for good?

Once a week I replaced unhealthful food with a nutritious alternative: skim milk instead of whole milk. Skinless chicken instead of eating the skin. And so on.

In 2011 when I turned 46 I stepped up my efforts. That’s when I started to lift weights at the gym. Within a year of doing this I dropped one pant and one skirt size.

In my life I find that lifting weights that is doing strength training was the most effective exercise out of any kind I ever did.

Other people swear by spinning classes or Pilates. That’s fine if you find these kinds of workouts help you better. I haven’t tried spinning. I used to do Pilates years ago.

You can view my blog entry on setting up a home gym.

It took me 6 years to lose those stubborn 20 pounds I had gained in one year. As the years rolled by I read every reputable fitness and nutrition book I could check out of the library.

In a coming blog entry I’ll give a list of my Top Fitness and Nutrition Books of All Time.

I’ll end here by saying that the New York Times has indicated that engaging in 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week or 150 minutes of moderate exercise is perfectly fine.