Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Life’s Distracting Choices

I'm sure you've heard this before, "Life is about choices".  That is a broad statement.  Too broad, really.  I find that I am in constant "yes" or "no" conversations with myself.
Take, for instance, this morning.  I woke up at 5:45.  Once I became fully awake, I was faced with a decision.  I'll call it the "first choice" of the day.
Should I stay in bed or get up?  
It's still dark out.  But, I can get an early start on...uh oh more choices.  
Let's see, I can try to fix the mistake I made on the scarf that I am currently knitting.  Which, by the way, I finally chose to put down in frustration last night.
I decide no to the knitting.  My eyes are still too tired from working on it for  hours last night.
I could just make my tea.  Making "my tea" doesn't require much thought because I make my tea every morning.  It's not "usually" or "perhaps", it's always, the second thing I do when I get up.
So, I could get up, make my tea, then just sit and listen to the stillness before the dog notices that I am not in bed and starts to bark... because?  Oh yeah, he's a dog.  It's what he does.  
Hmm, that will affect my decision.  If I wake the dog up, he will want to go out.  Like I mentioned, it's still dark and icy cold.  But, I don't walk the dog, Ross does.  And Ross is still sound asleep.
So if I get up, make my tea, and the dog starts barking, Ross will wake up.  I'm sure it isn't a choice Ross would make.  He wouldn't want to get up at 5:45 and walk Rico in the dark coldness.
Okay, I could get up,  make my tea, then when Rico starts to bark, I could let him out in the back for a quick pee and Ross could stay sleeping.
By now, the day is starting to lighten.  As I lie in bed, I imagine the sky is now starting to change from black to gray with hints of salmon pink on the horizon.
It would make a great photo.
I could get up, make my tea, let Rico out the back to pee. Then while my tea is brewing, perhaps I could capture a sunrise.
So many choices.  Oh, they may sound mundane and small.  And they are, really.
But this morning they were mere but necessary distractions.
For, this morning, before I was fully awake, still hazy from a restless night and with a nagging lingering headache, I fuzzily recalled that Ross was going to the movies today with his friend Sal.  Star Wars in 3D.
I wondered if Joe has seen it yet.
And then I remembered.
Should I stay in bed or get up?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Cup, The Chart and The Money Jar

I do want to make this year different, even if it the changes are small.  I proposed to myself that meeting 12 goals might be a challenge but doable.

Making a commitment to myself, though, might not be incentive enough for me to complete these goals.  Letting the rest of the world know about my attempts, well, that just might be the motivational kick in the pants I need.

I thought about which 12 goals I might like to accomplish.  But I immediately started to get overwhelmed thinking about twelve.  That's a lot, twelve, isn't it?  It is to me.

One.  One at a time.  That's how you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.  At least, that's what I've been told.   I will plan and document one goal a month, to be revealed at the beginning of each month.

So here is Goal Number One.

2016 - January's Goal

According to the Mayo Clinic website,  I don't drink enough water.

"So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day."

I figure I can start my goal's dozen with drinking more water.  Easy, right?

Not so much for me.   I've tried before.  But now I have devised a plan.   To tell you the truth, spending the time to devise the plan may have been a procrastination technique.  Yeah, probably, it was.

Anyway here's my motivation plan for drinking more water.

Step 1:  The Cup
                    A personally meaningful one.

A Past Christmas Present from Anne

Step 2:  The Chart.
                       I have to be accountable

Step 2.  The Incentive - The money Jar

                  For each cup of water, I drink I will pay the Money Jar (AKA Me) 16 cents.  That means if I drink all required 8 glasses by the end of the day, I will make $1.28.  At the end of the week,  $8.96.  At the end of 4 weeks, $35.84.   I'm not sure what I will do with my windfall.  Perhaps I will add it to next month's goal.

According to the website Science How Stuff Works:

"The reality is, habits are easier to make than they are to break. If you repeat a behavior often enough, those synaptic pathways are going to get worn in. The human brain is a very adaptive piece of machinery. But does that take 21 days? Who knows? Everyone's brain is different, and habit formation also relies on aspects of experience and personality."

I'll let you know how my brain works at the end of the 28 days.