Reboot! Let’s try this again!

It has been over three years since I created this blog and made my last post. I’m ready to try again!

Obviously, I’m still striving to become ship-shape.  I’m wrapping my last class in my graduate program, and so after May 5, I will be either finished with that or awaiting the news that I must retake the capstone class. It has been quite a bear to work through!

Today, I just want to recount the areas where I want to become ship-shape:

  • Health
    • Lose weight (I currently weigh 215, and would like to get down to 150 (at least). So, that is losing 65 pounds.
    • Get in a habit of regular exercise.
    • Go vegetarian, and then possibly vegan?
  • Work
    • Be better at focusing on tasks
      • Catch up on the backlog
    • Be more organized
    • Reduce paper clutter.
  • Home
    • De-clutter
    • Create a place for everything, and then put everything in its place
    • Regular cleaning schedule
    • Reduce waste – Reduce-Reuse-Recycle in that order!
  • Other
    • Write more – this includes journaling, this blog, and maybe even a novel someday!

 

These (above) are lofty goals, so I think I need to approach them a bit at a time. Since life is crazy right now with my final class project, I will focus on the following (through May 5):

  • Health – Log all that I consume in an app, and drink more water.
  • Work – Begin or end the day with recapping what I did and planning for the future. Don’ leave until I have a plan for the next day!
  • Home – Make my bed every morning, have all dishes clean before bed!
  • Other – begin using “Day One” regularly, just to log the little things.

Struggle, struggle, toil and trouble

I was just looking for an option to turn this blog private temporarily.  I’m ashamed of my half hearted attempts to start writing and talking about productivity, when I am failing terribly from all of this.

I didn’t find such an option, but that is okay.  If my act ever does come together, then these first posts will show any future readers that if it works for me, it will work for anyone!

Today is a Sunday morning.  It is almost 8:00 am, and I am writing from my comfy bed.  Daisy is with me for a morning cuddle, and Henry was kicked out about an hour ago for annoying Daisy.  I need to let him back in, soon…

Things that I need to do today:

  • Finish school assignment
  • pay bills
  • laundry
  • cook

Things I need to do in the next week:

  • make progress on paperwork (scan / shred / file)
  • school work
  • Buy TP!

Things I need to do soon:

  • organize my budget
  • taxes
  • reimbursement for healthcare expenses

 

At work, I’ve found myself moving away from the Noteshelf app for daily note taking, and back to a a paper notebook.  I like writing on paper so much better, but I really like the portability of digital notes.  I find that I don’t write things down as much digitally, though, so it  doesn’t do me much good if I don’t use it.  I think that I’m learning that I’m a hybrid when it comes to note digital vs a paper for journaling and task tracking.  My ultimate list of things to do is in Todoist.  I like its ability to organize items and schedule things. It even sends you text messages if you like. That’s nice for long term, and making use of great tools like reminders. However, in the moment, I think that paper is the way to go for myself.  I’ve heard a lot about bullet journaling by Ryder Carroll.  I seem to be using an adaptation of this.  Luckily, he encourages readers to use what works for them.  I’m essentially using some of his bullet point symbols, but am really only doing the daily logging.  I use my calendar and apps for a lot of the long term things.  I’ll probably post something dedicated to my adaptation after I’ve worked with it a little bit longer.

I am now going to force myself out of bed, start some laundry, and make a smoothie.  Hopefully I’ll have another post sooner rather than next summer. 🙂

 

 

 

Well, that didn’t work.

Well, November was a bust.  I refuse to give up, though.  I just need to get the right routines set so that I can be more disciplined about writing and just being generally better organized.

I have plenty of excuses, none good enough though, since it boils down to determination and good habits.

Where to I go from here?  I finished the final for my class yesterday, and so I now have over a month in which I don’t need to worry about schoolwork.  First step: get my home in order and find a routine to keep it in order and a conducive environment for writing and returning to my schoolwork in late January.

I will try to continue writing regularly, once again, just forming a habit of doing it.

Should I change my blog to just ship shape someday?  Nope, must have to try to do this SOON! I’m not getting any younger!

5 days in, but only 2nd day of writing…

Wednesday, November 5, 2015

Sadly, I’ve already skipped a few days in my writing. I. Not sure how much I’ll accomplish today. I have not done well since I started this. I have managed to make my bed daily. That’s a start, right? Much of my time for the next week so be to work on my contribution to our group project for school. It is a topic that I’m interested in, so this is not a big problem. I just need to do my research, and write up a few slides. I did do 30 minutes of yoga today, so that was a pretty big accomplishment on my part!

I did a fairly good job at staying focused at work yesterday, I think it is certainly helpful to take the time to review the day and make a game plan. It’s equally important not to over schedule the day, because so much time is spent reacting to new things. For example, I had planned to work on something for for a few hours yesterday, when a colleague approached me for help on something he needed by the next day. I was able to drop things in this case, but depending on what I’m working on, I might have had to say no or work late in order to get things done. I’m willing to do this when I can, but need to keep an eye on how much I do it.

Today, I restarted my food and exercise log. I’m off to a good start so far, just need to keep up with it! I’m trying to find the best way to do this. I started out using MyFitnessPal, which is a wonderful free app. Unfortunately, I would get too obsessed with finding the perfect match and measurement” then, I would become frustrated, and then I stopped logging things. So, I decided to write things down, but I kept misplacing my notebook! Well, I usually can (eventually) find my iPhone and iPad, so I considered using a spreadsheet on my phone or handwriting the information on my iPad. My dietitian gave me a paper sheet for logging my food. I’ve scanned this and created a page for my iPad Noteshelf notebook. This could very possibly change as I go, but this is the current plan!

I think I’d like to make an entry devoted to daily note taking and paper vs electronic at some point…

Today’s goals:

  •   Make my bed 
  •   Do the dishes 
  •   Exercise DONE! 
  •   Tidy around the house 
  •   Pack a lunch. 

Nanowrimo 2015 has arrived, and I’m trying (again)!

Building My Rainbow – Blog Entries

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Welcome to my blog, where you will witness my journey of developing good habits and becoming a put-together, organized person.  Today, I am not that person.  One of the habits that I am working on, in addition to becoming super-organized, is to write more.  I am typing this into one big document, but every day’s entries will also be posted to WordPress.  If you are actually reading this, THANK YOU!  Please feel free to hold me accountable for the things that I plan to do here.  If any of this works, then I will have the contents of a real book

This year, I’m a “pantser”.  I’ve wanted to do nanowrimo so much for maybe the past 6 years or so, but have failed every time.  So, this year, I am just getting into the habit of writing!

What are some things that I’d like to write about?

  • A young adult novel. Oh, how I’d love to be the next J.K. Rowling, but I haven’t figured out where to start on that.  However, I want my novel to be fun like Harry Potter, and also really speak to the underdog.  The shy child who seriously lacks in confidence, to show them that anything is possible, but also to just accept themselves as they are if that is what they prefer.
  • A get-organized book. I’m interested in how to both organize stuff as well as time.  This would also include the importance of creating better habits. After all, it would be difficult to keep my time and things organized without making a habit of that and becoming disciplined to stick with my plan.

Getting organized / Habits / Time management

So, it seems to me that the good habits need to be developed before I can really be serious about the organizational progress.  What are some important habits to start with?  I’m thinking of:

  • Morning routines – get off to a good start, and cleaning up after myself!
  • Make the bed
  • Exercise (4/7 days at least)
  • Dress nicely (particularly for work)
  • Have a good, healthy breakfast
  • Pack a lunch (or plan a healthy one at work)
  • Log breakfast & exercise
  • Work Routines
  • Review and map-out the day (Leave room for the unexpected)
  • Take a lunch break whenever possible
  • Do not leave until checklists have been reviewed, and the next day’s plan has been started
  • Log lunch and snacks
  • Weekend Routines
  • Laundry
  • Change sheets
  • Plan outfits for the week
  • After-work routines
  • All-over tidy
  • Clean one room
  • 1 hour of homework
  • Play with Daisy and Henry
  • Night-time routines
  • Log dinner and snacks
  • All-over tidy

Developing these habits.  There are plenty of tools and apps that I could use to work on these habits.  I think that “momentum” might be good.  I’ve played with it in the past.  There are others as well.  (Honestly, there is also something called pencil and paper, but the problem with those is their lack in ability to REMIND me to do something.  Whether I use an app, or paper, or even just my own mind, I need to be disciplined about this, though.  How do I MAKE myself do these things enough to turn them into a habit?  I could reward or punish myself, but I’m not sure what would really be effective.  I wonder if I could punish myself with something that was a pain in the neck (but would also be helpful in the long-term)?  With this, I’m thinking of something like doing a less-pleasant chore that has to be done at some point anyway.  Such as:

  • Paying off bills
  • Catching up my paperwork
  • Clearing clutter-items
  • A yucky household chore

Anyway, as you can see, this is very much pantsing.  I’m just typing my ideas as they come to me.  Maybe someday, some great advice will come out of this “novel”, but for now, it is just a collection of words, and the development of a habit.

Today’s to-do list:

  • Make bed
  • Read for school
  • Answer discussion questions
  • Change 2 lightbulbs
  • Go to market
  • Reset momentum for habits
  • Start research for paper

Writing Prompt: My Fictional Best Friend

There are so many neat and interesting fictional characters that that I’d like to know.  However, for this prompt, I needed to narrow down the field a bit, and so I thought of what I look for in a best friend.  I think that the most important thing would be a person who is kind and caring, and can act as a friend.  It would be a person that I also cared enough about to be an equally good friend to them.  That’s kind of boring, isn’t it?  Important, but boring. We would be sitting around being nice and caring to each other all the time.  ZZZZzzzz.

So, something is still missing, and the best (and pretty simple) word that I can think of is “fun”.  I want to enjoy my time with this person and have adventures that we’ll remember fondly years from now.  So, what imaginary character might fit that description?

I’m thinking of Tara Maclay.  I could definitely picture sharing so many of the moments that are important between friends with Tara.  She’s all that I mentioned above, but she’s also a little goofy, she would tolerate my bad jokes, and come back at me with her own.  Yes, I can see that working very nicely!

Image from Tumblr writing prompts:http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/2316294439/41

Do-over number one!

Every time I fail to meet my goal of posting regularly, I’m going to tag the post as a do-over.  It means that I know I’ll probably fail, but I’m just going to start over again, until I get it right.  Keep in mind that I said that if I turn out to be successful in meeting my goals, then (seriously!) anybody can! 🙂

So, last Thursday, I had big plans to to set some easily reachable goals for the day, update my progress that evening, and set new goals for the next day.  That didn’t happen!  The good news is that I did still make some accomplishments.  It was a free day off due to weather, and I did manage to do the chores that I usually tackle on Saturday, which freed up my Saturday to do my schoolwork!

Today, I’m trying again!

The goals that I wrote on Thursday:

  • 2 loads of laundry – DONE
  • Finish class readings – DONE (on Saturday)
  • Balance checkbook – Do today!
  • Write a post about my challenges – what I want to accomplish to make myself feel “ship-shape someday”. – DONE

Today’s goals:

  • Finish my class assignment (due tonight at 11:55 pm
  • Balance my checkbook
  • Clean up / Catch up my to-do list on Todoist
  • Student loan payment
  • Visit with SAS

Challenges – Master List

These are the areas in which I need to improve by becoming more disciplined and forming better habits in my daily life:

  • Time management (Home / School / Work) – Need to fit all of these areas in so that I don’t fall behind, but without giving up time to relax
  • Clutter – Need to continue downsizing my possessions. I’d love to be a minimalist, but don’t know if I could manage such an extreme change.  For now, I’d just like to reach a point of having a place for everything, and everything in its place.
  • Diet – Eat healthier. Eat more vegetables. Eat out less.
  • Exercise – Begin incorporating a regular schedule of exercise (cardio & yoga) into several days of the week
  • Organization – find a better way of managing my paperwork, bills, taxes, filing, etc.

Well, those are the broad categories. If I went into too many specifics, it would just be too much!  I think that time management is one of the first areas that I need to work.  Simply put, I need time to work on these things and to make room for keeping on top of all of these things during my day!

Accountability, thy name is blogging!

(Sigh)

I had the most success with weight loss when I was living in PA, and near a weight watchers store which offered many convenient meeting times.  I actually attended the meetings, and had to be accountable since I stepped onto the scale with a weight watchers employee watching me.  Now, I no longer have easy access to in-person WW meetings, and have not been doing well in that area.  This tells me that accountability may be the key for me.

As can  be seen on the dates of the previous posts, my intention for this blog hasn’t worked out the way that I planned.  So, here I am trying again.  I really want to record this journey, with the hopes that I’ll make some progress at some point.  If I reach a place where I feel like I’ve really made some breakthroughs, then maybe I can compile my experiences into something worth sharing!  After all, if I can get my act together, then anyone can!

So, here is my latest scheme…

  1. I will post something on this blog almost every day (I’ll aim for at least 5 days-per-week!).  It doesn’t have to be anything substantial, just a check-in is fine.
  2. I will include in my post my plans for the next day. At this point, these can be everyday things like “do laundry” or “finish the week’s readings for class”. The key is that in the post that follows, I have to fess up on whether I actually dd what I said I would!

I’ll start with a to-do list for today.  I’m actually off work today due to the extreme cold, and so I have no excuse not to accomplish a few things today!  I’ll try to post again later with my success and my plans for tomorrow.

To Do – Thursday, Feb 19, 2014

  • 2 loads of laundry
  • Finish class readings
  • Balance checkbook
  • Write a post about my challenges – what I want to accomplish to make myself feel “ship-shape someday”.

And again…

Motivation is hard!

I’m not sure whether to blame extreme introversion or just plain laziness.  All that I know is that at the end of the day, I just want to come home from work and be a couch potato or play with my cat.  I really believe that the formation of habits is the way to go for me.  I read the book, The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, and it had very good points about taking the time to form habits.  I tried it… for about a week, and then slipped off of the wagon again.

I have ideas of some habits that I’d like to form that would leave me feeling much more “together”.

  • Making my bed everyday
  • Straightening up before bedtime
  • Doing dishes every day
  • Putting things away after I’m finished with them
  • Creating a meal plan each week
  • Putting laundry away rather than leaving it to wrinkle in the basket
  • Regular monitoring of my finances (updating checkbook, paying bills early)
  • Stay on top of school assignments
  • Write every day (I need to at least update this blog to keep myself accountable, I’d love to attempt fiction-writing as well.)

I think I need to start slowly, otherwise, I might give up again.

There are also some general “projects” that I’d like to tackle.  I’m hoping that they’re basically a one-time thing.

  • Purge my wardrobe. (Dump the things that I haven’t worn or hope to fit into someday.)
  • Get rid of additional junk (maybe there is a community yard sale that I could join).
  • Design an organized storage system of the stuff that I want to keep.

So, anyway.  I’ve set myself up (again) by publishing this post. Now, I need to update regularly to share my progress as well as any ideas!