7 habits?

October 11, 2011

ebb + flow
i feel like i contradict myself sometimes, writing posts like this one about not pushing so hard, and then sitting down a couple of weeks later to write this:

goals for spanish + endo!
specifically, my goals are to:

✰ study some spanish [rosetta stone] daily for minimum ~15 minutes
✰ get through the above-listed chapters in my endo text [reading + underlining] by the end of 2011 [yes, one of the chapters is called “ambiguous genitalia” — my job is so fascinating!]

i don’t know! it’s possible i may burn out and tear up this list in a fit of self-pity just two weeks from now. but i feel like i’ve turned a bit of a corner when it comes to managing my energy/time. i’m also realizing JUST HOW EASY everything is now compared to how it is going to be in 6 months.

and somehow, just this simple fact alone is very motivating.

7 little things that make life “effortless”
hmm, i have a hard time believing life can ever be ‘effortless’. we’re human and we are built to struggle a little! but i see what good old leo babauta was getting at in yesterday’s zen habis post.

he suggests:

1. Do less. ie: focus on only the important things. i can’t really argue with this! admittedly, i consider quite a few things in my life to be ‘important’ right now:

✔ my lab work
✔ my clinical work
✔ spending time with/taking care of very overworked husband
✔ studying more endo so that i can a) pass the boards someday and b) be better at my job
✔ eating [and therefore cooking] healthy food
✔ exercising + staying fit
✔ making time for rest + relaxation [and SLEEP!]
✔ working on learning spanish!
✔ this li’l blog


2. Having less is lighter. here, leo is referring to possessions. i think we’re at the point where most of the things we have we really do use and/or love. and still, our apartment is very prone to becoming a disaster very quickly [much more so than our last apartment]. hmmm.

3. Let the little things go. i 100% agree with this and am continually striving to improve my own equanimity.

4. Clean as you go. ahh, perhaps if i followed this tenet, our issue in item #2 would be solved. again, working on it!

5. Make small, gradual changes. this is hard for me! i’m always wanting to overhaul everything at once [uhh, see list photo above].

6. Learn to focus on the things that matter. [This is implied in the items above, but it’s so important I have to emphasize it.] this item is a bit redundant, but i give leo credit for acknowledging that fact! i guess he really wants to drive it home.

7. Be compassionate. leo is referring to his interactions with others, but i would add self-compassion as equally important. life is beautiful and worth savoring — even in its imperfect state. inevitably, there will be blank boxes on my list page above, and it will not make me any less worthy of a person.

what do you think of leo’s 7 habits? my last zen habits-themed post was completely adversarial, but i think his words are true here.



easy salmon dinner
i love cooking light‘s 20-minute meal section [actually i love almost everything about CL these days]. the options are generally made from whole foods but take just a few minutes to throw together, and they are almost always delicious! this recipe for salmon with red pepper pesto was no exception. i was literally finished making this dinner in 20 minutes.

+ some sautéed greens with leftover pepper + almonds and bake-from-frozen sweet potato fries
[fact: if i attempt to eat a dinner that does not contain some carb element, i WILL wake up at midnight hungry, especially now. hence, the random fries. they were good, too.]

workout: 25 minutes elliptical intervals + i finally lifted weights! and WOW, have i lost strength. i attribute this more to hormones than to my avoidance of the weight room, because in the past such avoidance has not lad to the marked changes i noted when i attempted to strength train yesterday. example: i could always reliably churn out 10-12 [real] pushups, and now i can manage . . . 3. bicep curls with 10 lb weights are now a challenge. and i’m sore today! [ <– and will be taking a full rest day]

spanish: 15 minutes – check! it was mostly review [la mujer cocina. yes, yes she does.]

endo: ~20 min on thyroid development. you know, embryology has taken on a new meaning now that i have my own developing science experiment inside of me! did you know he/she is starting to make some of his/her own thyroid hormone already? amazing!


  • Reply @Coree_Brown March 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Nerdy question but what kind of notebook is that? I love the blank space at the top and graph on the bottom.

  • Reply Sara March 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    i love that you make cooking light food! i check your blog to see what i didn’t pull from the latest issue that i should! i haven’t tried this salmon, but i will put it in on my list for sure…looks great.

  • Reply Solitary Diner March 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    I love your thoughts on the zen habits post. I need to remember the advice to "make small, gradual change". Like you, I want to change everything all at once, which leads to inevitable disappointment when it just isn’t possible to instantaneously become a super resident who works out regularly, eats nutritious home-cooked meals, keeps a clean apartment, and studies for hours a day.

    I’m starting to love Cooking Light too. I’ve bought a few copies at the grocery store and finally decided to splurge on a year’s subscription. Can’t wait for the first copy to arrive.

  • Reply BroccoliHut March 10, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    What a beautiful pizza! I think arugula makes almost anything taste better 🙂

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