february goals [1 day late]

February 2, 2013
so i hate the term ‘self-improvement’

and referring to ‘resolutions’ all year long is going to get old.  however, i really feel like i benefit from making monthly goals that pertain to habits — and reflecting on the outcome of previous attempts.
according to zen habits’ leo babauta, 3 habits/month = 2 habits too many.  but then again, gretchen rubin has quite a different take on things, with her ambitious monthly goals in both the happiness project and happier at home.  
i’m going to ignore both experts and continue with my strategy from last month — 3 goals, daily tracking, and plans to revisit any goal that was a FAIL in the next month, perhaps with a different strategy or more gradual approach.
so, without further ado, here are the plans for february:
1) studying:  take 2!
last month, i pledged to study for 20 minutes [minimum] daily.  however, an astute reader [i think it was either SD or ana] pointed out that 20 minutes is really not enough time to delve into anything.  and i agree. by the time i had all of my materials out and had started to look something up, it was usually time to stop.  
and let’s face it:  every day is a little bit stringent.  i’m sure when i get closer to the boards [november] i’ll find some more fear motivation, but right now if i could eke out a few days a week, it would still be an improvement on what i’m doing now.
SO:  the revamped goal will be to get in a total of 3 hours/week of studying, specifically working through the lovely content outline, taking notes as i go.  and, i’m going to dangle a carrot:  if [AND ONLY IF] i can succeed with this goal for the next month, i will allow myself to get something frivolous from erin condren.   i don’t even know what, but something.
2) improve my eating habits:  sugar + snacks
specifically, i would like to focus on two things:  reining in my sugar consumptions and cutting out ’empty’ carbalicious snacks.  luckily, biology seems to be on my side:  now that i’m breastfeeding much less [2x/day], i’m actually craving far less sugar.  or maybe i just know that i can’t get away with grabbing a piece of chocolate every time i swing by the stash hanging out on our counter anymore without pants-tightening repercussions.  
[yes, we keep dark chocolate bars out on the counter.  and no, i don’t plan on stopping that. i am a moderator, after all!]
just to try to solidify some better habits, i am going to pay more attention to these two things.  i’d like to limit my sugar intake to just one thing/day, whether that is a mini ice cream sandwich [obsessed] or a reasonably sized piece of chocolate [ie, not half the bar].  this shouldn’t be too hard because it was pretty much the way i ate before getting pregnant/breastfeeding/etc.  
the other thing i want to cut out are snacks that are really just empty carbs.  crackers and chips scarfed down while feeding annabel/making dinner were the main culprits, and amazingly enough now that i’ve stopped buying them, i can’t/don’t eat them!  funny how that works.  i have replaced these rather non-filling items with fruit/cheese/yogurt/nuts/etc.  much more satisfying and nutrient-rich.  
oh, and i’m cutting down on my purchase of bars too — even the KIND/Clif type.  it just makes more sense to me right now just to eat actual food without the added sugar/filler.  i will still eat them on occasion [ie, before a long run] but would like to remove them from my diet as staples.  
3) stop cursing!

because someone is paying rapt attention to everything i say and do — and i do not have the world’s cleanest mouth, especially for a pediatrician.  i really don’t want ‘F#$*&!’ to be among her first words.  please, no. 

in order to get this one to stick, i think i need to do a little bit of negative reinforcement.  and just to heighten my attention to the matter!  so, for every bad word [subject to my discretion on what qualifies – for example, i am perfectly okay with ‘butt’] that comes out of my mouth, i will donate $1 to the JDRF [juvenile diabetes research foundation].  i will report the tally by the end of the month!
off to enjoy the day!
plans include:
long run [10 mi]
date night!
very little else!

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