Becoming like Michelle Obama

Today I ordered “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. I love books, but don’t often buy them. I’m obsessed with libraries.

But I was excited to purchase this hardcover, and await its arrival scheduled for after Thanksgiving.

If only this book were a how-to guide

Michelle Obama is my role model. She is everything that I want to be, and has all the pure and unabashed qualities that I want:

· Grace
· Poise
· Style
· Captivation
· Presence
· Depth
· Pride
· Positivity
· Class
· Worthiness
· Dignity

She’s essentially royalty by the way she holds herself and treats others. She’s how I wish to raise my future daughters to be.

I find it difficult to emulate. When I try to be like her, I’m reminded of all of my terrible faults, insecurities, and past failures. All of my mistakes surface to my mind, and I feel like a wasted human life.

However, I’m putting her at the forefront consistently as inspiration and goal. I have a flawed past, I deal with terrible mental setbacks, and I’m my own worst critic.

But each day will be a day I can try to hold some of the revered qualities I see in her.

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Shouldn’t I be running…faster?

This is the second full week of my continued running.

I’m glad I’m sticking to it. I’m especially glad that it’s slightly becoming a habit already. How do I know?

  • I’m not making excuses. This week, I had a friend visiting us and I had to pick them up from the train station in the morning. But, I run in the morning. Instead of saying “Well, I have to get my friend in a couple hours, I can’t fit in a run”, I went to the gym to do a light workout and ran my mile.
  • I’m going when I don’t want to. A couple days ago, all I wanted to do was stay in bed. But that nagging inner person I have kept saying, “We can sleep after the gym. We really want and need to run a mile today! We have to! There’s no reason not to!”

However, I’m still running around 14 minute miles! I do treadmill running, and can only set it comfortably up to 4.6 mph. If I go to 5mph, I feel like I’ll never make the mile because I’m too tired.

Shouldn’t I be running faster? Especially considering:

I’m not an Olympian, but shouldn’t I be running 12 minute miles at least?

– I’m not that old

– My diet has changed for the better this month. I’ve been eating what I need to (and what is recommended) for running to ensure I have enough calories, and have decreased my intake of sugar, salt, and unnecessary junk food items.

With my speed and above info, I’m thinking I should just start training for a 5k with a couch to 5k program. This would include walk/run intervals. The last 5k I did with a C25K program, I finished within 45 mins. So around 15 minutes a mile.

I want to ingrain my running habit, but now I also want to increase my speed at the same time. Maybe building up stamina with a C25K program will help on top of a daily mile.

That’s the hope anyways.

 

 

Why is productive habit building un-enjoyable?

Only a week into my “November New Year” good-habit goals and I’m here to say that I’m having a difficult go of it.

Yes, I ran a mile today and worked out. But I didn’t enjoy doing either. I was THRILLED when it was over and I could leave the gym.

So simple and so difficult to execute at the same time.

Yes, I’ve been writing daily for NaNo, but it’s a struggle to get the story going in an elegant pace. It’s like I’m writing the story as it comes to me, instead of knowing where to go in the first place. I have character and scene cards from a previous attempt, but writing the story unfold should be easier I feel.

Not to say that you HAVE to enjoy the road to obtaining your goals, but it seems like if I had that component, this would be a lot easier.

So why is building up a productive habit (like running, working out, and writing your goal novel) less enjoyable than a bad habit like sitting around watching NetFlix?

Perhaps because bad habits like being inactive with instant gratification is an easier decision, that get’s easier with time. Whereas productive habits requiring physical or mental exertion with much delayed gratification of accomplishment are harder, but potentially get easier with time.

If only it weren’t so! Because I’m in the beginning of good habit forming, and already I’m thinking it’s too difficult to maintain long-term.

But, I’m planning to continue the journey this month. Perhaps by Thanksgiving, I’ll find it easier and enjoy my good habit building more.

 

 

Running a mile daily is harder than novel writing

As I mentioned a few posts ago, I’m using November as my new year and taking on a few monthly challenges to build up some good habits.

While I’m finding that writing 1664 words for NaNo is getting easier (I’m up to 14k words so far for my novel including previous attempts), I will concede that running a mile daily is hard.

I’ve seen quite a few blogs where they say a daily mile is essentially nothing. And my goodness, it’s quite the opposite for me. I want to quit halfway through.

This is putting into perspective:

  1. Just how out of shape I am. I’ve been sedentary for the last couple of years sitting behind a desk and falling deeper into my depression and inner realm of negativity, regret, and self-doubt.
  2. Just how loud the “quitter voice” is. When I was at .55 miles on the treadmill, I kept telling myself that it was good enough and I should just stop because I was so tired. I didn’t. I did increase the speed so I could finish as quickly as possible.
  3. Questions on why I want to run. A few years ago, out of nowhere I started running and trained for a 5k. It was just something that popped into my head. But, if I’m being honest, I really don’t like running all that much. I just like the sense of accomplishment at the end. After I run, I’m proud. I feel like I’m succeeding at something in life.
  4. Going to the gym when I really want to stay in bed is already helping. I’m doing this to help break bad habits and build up new ones. This morning, I was EXHAUSTED and just wanted to stay in bed and read REDDIT. But, I reminded myself that neither of those things would do me any good in the short or long term, so I rolled out of bed and rode my bike to the gym to knock out the mile.
  5. Personal goals are important. When I read the articles about how running a mile won’t do anything for weight loss or that it’s super easy, I try to remind myself that this goal is PERSONAL to me. It’s a challenge for ME that I have to work through. No words on the internet are going to help my physically, and I have to start (again) somewhere. 1 mile a day is where I’m starting this month. Maybe training for a 5k next month is doable, but I have to focus on doing what I said I was going to do.
  6. I’m not nearly as depressed as usual when I get home. Granted, it’s only been a few days, but I’m noticing less negative feelings in the morning.

I’ve ran a daily mile now four days in a row. I’m currently around 14 minutes a mile. Maybe that time will go down, but right now, I’m focusing on getting this habit on track.

This month, a couple of good habits and the start of getting fit. Next month, who knows.

NaNo and Deadlifts: November is my new year

Instead of making a new year’s resolution in January, I’m starting this month. This way, I believe, enough momentum will be carried out to the first quarter of the year that I won’t be resolving to improve, but building upon what I’ve already started.

So, I’m doing a few things. Note, DOING, and not thinking about:)

  1. NaNo. After reading so many bloggers participating in NaNo this month, I’ve decided to take the plunge. I thought about doing it a few years back, and I’m not making the right kind of progress on my novel as I’d like, so I figured this was the perfect time.  I’ll be writing 1164 words a day for
    Maybe not up steps yet, but this is the first time I’ve run in years.

    the novel. I have more than that written, so this is going to put me on track.

  2. Run a daily mile. I used to run a few years back, trained and ran a race, and stopped after an acute stomach virus. And I found even less motivation when I was at my last job. But I got back to the gym today with the goal to run a mile and start working out. Went to a running shoe store, had my feet and gait reviewed, and bought some recommended kicks.
  3. Weight training and classes. Started today by joining a new gym, and getting my work all-body workout and trained on the free weights. I’d been curious about dead-lifts for a long time, so I’m excited that I finally learned how to.
  4. Networking events. So, these are somewhat difficult because of social anxiety, but I’m going to try to attend at least one networking event every week. There are a couple that I’ve looked into that start next week.
  5. Mental Stop Signs. I’m going to try and utilize this technique my therapist suggested more this month. When the bad thoughts come, I’m going to try and just imagine a big STOP sign so they’re minimized or go away completely, leaving me to focus on something positive and productive.

Regarding number 5, yes, the bad thoughts definitely came to me today. But only later when I finally sat down. Retraining my brain from going down the negative paths is by far the hardest thing on this list.

However, practice makes perfect.

Distractions like running or writing help as well:)

Self-Confidence and her evil twin Self-Doubt

Sometimes, I believe myself to be a complete waste of space, devoid of any value or critical importance.

Other times, I have the utmost belief in my capabilities, and fully aware that I have the resources and experience to fulfill any of my dreams.

Self-confidence…Self-doubt. Terrible ride.

It’s a sea-saw that I absolute despise having to play on.

This dichotomy of confidence and defeatism is getting old. I hate having to go through the times of self-doubt and wade through it like a chest deep bog, and then being surprised by the almost surprise revelation that I AM capable.

It’s part of being human, but I have the suspicion that some humans are able to get past their self-doubt a lot easier than I am.

However, a wave of self-confidence has just begun, so I’m going to try to ride it as long as possible and get as much planned and/or accomplished before her ugly sister of self-doubt rears her head.

 

 

 

Is there a way to kill the inner-critic?

I have my own coping mechanisms for my inner critic.

Little Demon
Inner critic, always there when I’m trying to be productive.

Sometimes I ignore it.

Sometimes I provide counter arguments for why it’s wrong.

But jeez, sometimes I wish I could just kill the bastard completely!

I’m currently writing, and he keeps bothering me.

I wonder if long term writers have this same issue, or if their inner critic has completely shriveled up.