Tag Archives: Self Improvement

Betty Home Skillet

The next project I’m going to be working on–in light of the holiday season and the visitors it brings–is being a better home-maker. While this house doesn’t look like a frat house, I’m certainly not the neatest person. Actually, I think my aunt Janessa is the “neatest person,” and she’s going to be visiting for Thanksgiving. Even more reason to DEEP CLEAN. What I really want to focus on during this project is cooking. Here’s some recipes I’ve been meaning to tackle, and finally have an excuse:

Homemade Butterfingers

Buffalo Grilled Cheese

Southern Chicken & Corn Chowder

Carried over from past projects:

  • Working out at least 3 times a week
  • Being open to try new things
  • Stay within my budget
  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Put my friends/family first

Project: Get Out

The project I’m currently working on is one where I exercise more. Did you know that when asked, people over-estimate how much they worked out the month before by 70%? I’ve been thinking about how we over-estimate the amount we work out and under-estimate how much we spend and eat. Does anyone remember what the psychological phenomenon is called?

Just like the food project, I’m not doing this to lose weight, in fact, you’re more likely to stick to a work-out routine if you aren’t doing it to lose weight. I’m doing it to boost energy and most of all, be happier. It’s literally night and day what I’m like after a week of frequent exercise and a week without. Besides giving me self-confidence and releasing feel good endorphins, it also gives me a sense of routine in my life so I don’t feel out of control. Plus, my brother tells me exercising prevents Alzheimers.

So, I will be

  • Running 4 times this week
  • Parking in spots farthest away
  • Putting on music to dance to
  • Taking the stairs (where there are any–it’s Florida)
  • Going for walks
  • Going to the gym 6 times a week

Carried over from past projects:

  • Being open to try new things
  • Letting go
  • Stay within my budget
  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Put my friends/family first

Pushing Boundaries

For the next couple weeks I’m going to do the project I’m dreading: Pushing boundaries. For the next couple weeks I’ll try something new everyday, get out of my routine, eat fish (catch a fish?)… there’s even some talk about letting Logan (who called a brown towel grey last night) pick out an outfit for me, but there’s strong odds on me cheating with that.

I asked a sampling of my friends and family to tell me some behaviors and adjectives that describe me, with the idea that you can’t get out of your shell, until you know what your shell is. I became incredibly embarrassed when people started sending me all these nice things. I didn’t mean it to be a mass call out for compliments, but I am VERY appreciative these people think as highly of me as I do of them.

Here’s some things I got multiple times: unique, emotional/excitable, easy-going, needs a routine (hmmm…), and creative. The rest basically paints a picture of someone who worry’s about things in the future, is socially driven, is ambitious (this was a sort of surprise), independent/doesn’t like asking for help, stubborn, and someone who wears her heart and her personality on her sleeve. So personality wise for this project I will be more in-the-moment; I’ll think more logically; ambitious wise maybe I’ll make more room to just be (I guess that’s being in-the-moment); ask more questions; and be more open to new experiences. Let’s start with visiting Juan’s sister in Miami this weekend, shall we? I’m pretty sure his sister is my exact opposite. More to come.

These are a sampling of things I’ve put into my “don’t like” category that I will re-evaluate: angry music, small talk with strangers, not having a plan (or worse, deviating from the plan), Pepsi products, messy kitchens, waking up early, driving, and being stuck in a cubicle alone all day (hey, I do those last 3 anyway). Also, I have an acute fear of heights, most especially when going  up to them (planes, elevators….ESPECIALLY elevators). This will be fun next week as we are all signed up to go on an air-balloon ride in Orlando. Also more to come.

This project wont work unless I’m uncomfortable on a regular basis.

Carried over from other projects:

  • Stay within my budget
  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul (on hold)
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Make my friends/family know they’re important to me

Generosity Wrap Up

I’m wrapping up my generosity project, but I wish I wasn’t. Going from living around my friends and family and working at PBS Kids on a show I felt really made a difference in the community, to living in Florida, has left me feeling a little lost. Trying to really contribute to the world in a positive way has made me stop moving through it like limbo, biding my time.

An amazing part of really paying attention to how I treat people, is that I pay more attention to the people that do this really well: the person at the deli who always remembers peoples’ names, orders, kids, etc.; the woman in the office who sends the elevator back to the first floor in the morning, so others don’t need to wait for it; my dad who made a big batch of gluten-free waffles so I could have the stereotypical waffles and ice cream breakfast; the people who come over and help clean up before they leave; my mom getting me pretty cut-out mason jar toppers (i use mason jars as votive holders obsessively); etc.

On the other hand, I notice people that aren’t very kind. I’m not saying I did a great job of being generous. It’s especially hard to not be sarcastic at work, reclusive in the mornings and at night and un-selfish when I’m with my close friends and family. I have this awful Napoleon complex I developed in middle school when I was a lot shorter than everyone. It’s like this character that talks over people, but I can’t stop it until it’s too late. Even if people laugh at my jokes, I still feel bad. If you’re really concentrating on it, it feels like negative and self-involved people suck the air from around you, even when it’s you.

Next on the agenda is money management. Probably not going to be the most interesting project, but I need to watch what I spend in order to accomplish other things I want to do (like go to Norway next summer). There’s too many things I allow myself to spend too much money on, like: flying somewhere about once a month, getting massages and my nails done, oh, and a dozen other little obsessions, like my devotion to creating the perfect bed. Whereas most people my age are content with a set from Target, I have 4 sets of sheets (including nice egyptian cotton ones for queen and king size beds), a cloud like duvet cover with special hypo-allergenic filling, 2 duvet covers, and my new addition, a $200 quilt.

I’m sick. I need help.

Carried over from other projects:

  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Make my friends/family know they’re important to me

More and more, it feels like I’m doing a really bad impersonation of myself.

“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it’s our job to invent something better.”—Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)

I’m on a mission to save myself from becoming a zombie, so I’ve come up with a “GAME CHANGING PLAN”. My last game changer involved me moving down to Florida, but as they say “The grass is always greener, but if you suck, everything looks like shit,” or something. This time I’ve harnessed my need to control situations and make lists into a no fail solution. Every two weeks for a total of 20 weeks I am going to tackle a new trait I want to master. I’ll also be interviewing my friends and family who I admire for integrating the trait into their life (and are also pretty awesome). Oh, and books! I’ll read a book or two on the theme, because I’m under the pool of thinking that every great idea has already been thought of; and I love to read.

Up first,  I try to start eating well, and stop thinking that frosting and marshmallow fluff counts as a legitimate meal.

Let me know any input you have, or if you have ever attempted something along these lines. Oh, and stay tuned.