Rocking Middle Age

Live boldly, with passion and purpose, fully engaged and awake

Category: Clean Eating

Building the Bricks of a Great 2017

Figuring out my goals for 2017 has proven more difficult than I anticipated… Having had a lot of success with my 2016 goals seems to have created more pressure in my mind to come up with the “perfect” goals for the year.

But sometimes done is the best you can hope for, so eventually I just vomited all my ideas on a piece of paper. And then I let them sit there for a few days marinating.

And lo and behold, I am pretty happy with my list.

There are no big audacious goals on this year’s list but rather lots of smaller, building brick goals that will make for a great year.

So here they are:

Marriage:

Complete most/all of the activities from my hubby’s Christmas gift to me
Take dance lessons
Re-institute regular date nights

Motherhood:

Continue to give my all to homeschooling (one of last year’s goals)
Help my children develop regular fitness routines
Take the kids to Boston & Philadelphia for homeschool field trips
Monthly dates with Peter & Lily – alone time with Mom

Food:

Give my all this year to get down to my best weight – whatever that is – I’ll know it when I get there – the scale does not define me!!!

Fitness:

Continue to focus on healthy and strong rather than thin
Plan long hikes to prep for Venture Crew trip to Floodwood this summer
5Ks – at least 4 this year

Blog:

Develop a regular blogging schedule
Develop ROCKING MIDDLE AGE to its potential

Personal:

Develop a more concrete and consistent morning routine… tweak what works and expand from there
Read one book a month

I would love to hear a goal or two that you have for 2017. Let’s inspire each other. So please leave a comment and let me know what you hope to accomplish this year. Let’s ROCK MIDDLE AGE in 2017!

P.S. Many goals are accomplished through developing new habits. My 30 Day Quickstart Guide to Habit Change can help you get started.

Don’t Rush It!

Last year around this time, I took the time to develop and write down my goals for 2016.  I am a big believer in writing down your goals.  For me, they seem to transform from wishes to goals through the act of writing.  And I am pleased to announce that I completed the vast majority of my goals in 2016.

What was the difference this time (as opposed to other years)?  I took the time to really hash out what was most important to me for the year and chose goals that were actionable.

Also I referred to my list weekly to remind myself of what I was aiming to achieve in 2016.  Then I could plan baby steps to put me on the path towards completing my goals.

For example, reading my goal to be below a certain number on the scale was an impetus for me to sign up for my first 12 week challenge with my1fitlife back in April. You can read more about that here.

Reading my goal  that I was going to “give my all to homeschooling” in 2016, helped me to get back to devoting myself to my children’s education when I started to slip back into burnt out mode.

Life is short… it might not feel that way some days, but it is… I don’t want to sleepwalk though my life… Do you?

So I am taking the time to focus on my goal-setting for 2017 over the next week or so.  These goals are too important to just rush the process and slap some words on a paper and call it done.

My theme word for 2016 was HABIT.  You know how much I believe in the power of habits.

This year’s word is BOLD.  I will share my goals with you soon in hopes that they will inspire you to develop some goals of your own.

So don’t rush the process!  Take some time and set some goals.  Dig deep and dare to set some big time goals.  Because remember, together we can ROCK MIDDLE AGE!

P.S. I’d love to hear some of your goals… Let’s inspire each other!

Why Would You Want to be Normal?

15192688_1804742426405124_7672977203953794164_n

Throughout most of my adult life, I have rarely followed the norms.  I married young in a generation that started pushing back the “normal” age for marriage.  I chose to educate my children in a non-conformist way…  how many homeschoolers did you know 20 years ago?  My children knew never to ask me for the latest “in” thing… I was totally counter culture.

And now I am choosing to go against the norm again… I am choosing to embrace middle age.

(I know that many don’t even like to use the phrase “middle age.”  Our culture is so youth driven that admitting that you are no longer in your twenties or thirties seems to be a taboo.  But why?  My twenties were fine, but I think my forties have been much more fulfilling.)

So what does the “normal” middle-ager look like?

Many are desperately searching for the fountain of youth, the quick fix, the magic potion… but really, these are all just an illusion.

I choose to

~ make these years the best yet

~ face life with a smile, brightly shining into the lives of others

~ workout daily so that the adventures I dream of are physically within my reach

~ eat cleanly, so that I reduce the likelihood of illness and increase my energy level

~ be a vibrant wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and human being

~ go on adventures!!!

~ recognize myself as the special person that God made me to be

As I look around, I know that this definitely doesn’t make me normal.  But heck, why would I want to be normal?  And why would you want to be?  It’s time to join me in ROCKING MIDDLE AGE!

14702299_1195992403772619_3671275033138747793_n-1

30_day_quickstart_guide_to_habit_change_-_smaller

Habits are the key to changing your life... one habit at a time... use this guide to get started on the road to change!

From Good Intentions to Habit

motivation-habit-1

Over the last few years, I have read many good books about habits and their importance. Some can oversimplify the challenge of creating good ones. Many promise that if you just do it for 21 days, it is yours for life.

The more realistic approaches say it takes at least 30 days. In his book, The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod describes the process of acquiring the habit of early rising in three phases:

Days 1 -10: Unbearable
Days 11 – 20: Uncomfortable
Days 21- 30: Unstoppable

Based on my experience, I would say this is pretty accurate. By the time you finish 30 days, it is much easier to perform your new habit with less resistance from your mind. In addition, you can feel the benefits of this new habit. For example, if you started the habit of exercising 15 minutes each morning, you will be able to feel your increased energy levels and improved physical condition by the end of 30 days. These benefits will help to motivate you to maintain your new habit.

I would add, however, the importance of not becoming complacent with your new habit. It is important to recognize that letting more than a handful of days pass without doing your new found habit has the potential for throwing you back to Phase 1.

The area that I find this to be most true for me is in the area of clean eating. When I let too much processed sugar, alcohol, processed food, white flour, etc. back into my diet for too long, I can sometimes throw myself back into the Unbearable stage.

Whereas when I just shake off the dust of a bad day or two and jump back into my clean eating habit, I might feel uncomfortable for a day or so, but it passes quickly.

So here is my advice, my friend. Start small. Pick a habit that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. Starting small is important to strengthening your change muscle. Success breeds success!

Also I recommend, at first, adding a good habit to your life rather than trying to get rid of a bad habit (for example, form the habit of exercising 15 minutes daily before trying to give up smoking). Once you have strengthened your change muscle with a handful of positive habits, you will be ready to tackle those big bad habits!

Next pick a time to do your habit. I find early in the day or first thing in the morning to be ideal, so that life doesn’t get in the way. Set a reminder on your phone or write yourself a big note so that you can’t miss it.
Then work through the first 30 days from unbearable to uncomfortable to unstoppable. Don’t let one missed day stop your forward progress. Shake it off and jump back in!

You will find that this anchor habit will be the beginning for many other positive habits. My anchor habit is exercising first thing in the morning. Exercise empowers me to face life with gusto and confidence. It is the anchor upon which many of my other habits are attached.

And then once your new habit is established firmly, guard it. Be sure not to miss more than a day or so. It is much easier to maintain a habit than to establish or re-establish one.

I have developed a simple habit change checklist to aid you with your habit change. You can get it by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post. Need more help? Please feel free to ask any questions you might have. Remember, you are stronger than you realize and together we can ROCK MIDDLE AGE!

30_day_quickstart_guide_to_habit_change_-_smaller

Habits are the key to changing your life... one habit at a time... use this guide to get started on the road to change!

Everything is difficult before it’s easy…

everything-is-difficult-before-its-easy

What does your comfort zone look like?

Mine used to consist of sleeping as late as a mother of four could manage, a very overweight body that balked when presented with stairs or other physical challenges, just getting by, just surviving, and basically sleepwalking through my life.

You might be saying – “You call that a comfort zone?” Well yes I do.  I was used to my life as it was.  And although I wasn’t happy with myself, it felt normal.

That is not to say that I hated my life ~ I loved being a wife and a mother. In many ways I was living my dream and a very blessed life.

There were many times that I tried to change my life.  I would experience some temporary success, but then the shine would come off, and I would return to my comfort zone.

Then I discovered the power of habits.

I began to understand that my comfort zone consisted of a lot of bad habits.  I realized that I wasn’t doomed to obesity by bad genes and a poor metabolism.  I wasn’t a bad person.  I wasn’t a weak person.  I was really just repeating and repeating my bad food habits over and over.  The result was an obese woman who felt she had to throw herself up the stairs one step at a time due to her poor physical condition.  I discovered that I was, in actuality, able to change ~ one good habit at a time.

The first habit that I had to change was my stinkin’ thinkin’ (a FlyLady term that I love).  I had to learn to talk to myself kindly as I would to a struggling friend.  It took me a while to recognize all of the defeatist thinking that was going on in my head:

“I’ll never change”

“Why bother?  I will just gain all the weight back anyway.”

“I am doomed to be fat.  Just accept it.”

Now whenever I get down on myself, I start talking myself, replacing the negative with the positive:

“I am beautiful!”

“My past does not define my future!”

“It’s OK to stumble.  Just dust yourself off, Heather, and begin again!”

In fact, one of my favorite and most effective habits is my positive affirmations.  You can read more about that here.

Believe it or not, those negative affirmations in your head are part of your comfort zone.  And now it’s time to break out and start celebrating the glorious YOU that has been uniquely created by God to shine in the world. It’s time to change your stinkin’ thinkin’ and move out of your comfort zone.

As Hal Elrod said in his book, The Miracle Morning, “Everything is difficult before it’s easy.  Every new experience is uncomfortable before it’s comfortable.”  Eventually positive thinking will become your new norm.  It won’t be easy at first, but it will be worth it!  When you develop the habit of positive thinking and forgive yourself when you stumble, you will start ROCKING MIDDLE AGE!

30_day_quickstart_guide_to_habit_change_-_smaller

Habits are the key to changing your life... one habit at a time... use this guide to get started on the road to change!

The Need for Change

bulldozedroadchange

There are occasions or milestones in life that can be an awakening of sorts… the death of a loved one, the divorce of close friends, the birth of a child or grandchild, a natural disaster… you get the idea… For me, turning 48 was one of those wake up calls.  My mind yelled, “You’re turning 50 soon… you are old… 50, holy moly, how can I be turning fifty???”

It took me a while to process my feelings about what about this upcoming event was sending me into a state of panic, anxiety, and near depression. Ultimately, I realized that time was ticking away,and I wasn’t living my life the way I desired.

# my weight was still a cause for constant recrimination… while no where near my highest weight, I felt like I was on a roller-coaster of quick fixes and overeating in response to the deprivation of the supposed fixes.

# my fitness was not where I wanted it to be.  I was still working out regularly, but I knew I wasn’t in the kind of shape that would allow me to age gracefully.

# I didn’t love myself.  That’s the long and the short of it.

# I didn’t value myself enough to take the time to get my sh*t together

I was blessed in so many ways… a loving husband, great kids, a granddaughter on the way, stable finances, etc… but I wasn’t happy with me.

I knew something had to change… I prayed for the something… I looked for that something… and in entered the 12 week 1fw/my1fitlife challenge. Thanks to this program, I have found

* a sensible way to eat that is sustainable

* a fitness level that I had never attained before, even when I ran a half marathon

* a love for myself… not a selfish love…not vanity… a true love that makes me happy to be me even when 50 is staring me in the face (December 21st, 2016… mark your calendar!)

* a group of accountability partners that are so incredible that they defy explanation

* a sense of adventure that I didn’t even know I possessed… who knew that this height-fearing grandmother of 2, would love to climb 30 ft. high rock climbing walls???

* an understanding of the importance of taking “me” time, even if it is early in the morning before my children awake.  I can’t care for them properly if I am not taking good care of myself.

So I am happy to report that I have found my badass spirit… I love me… I love my life… I am rocking middle age!

But what is holding you back?  What are the challenges that you need to face in order to be the best version of yourself?  What adventures would you like to embark on?

I encourage you to live your life on purpose and find your answers.  And come join me in ROCKING MIDDLE AGE!

 

30_day_quickstart_guide_to_habit_change_-_smaller

Habits are the key to changing your life... one habit at a time... use this guide to get started on the road to change!

© 2017 Rocking Middle Age

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑