1- Planner thoughts, ~5 months in. As many of you are well aware, I reviewed multiple planners in 2018 but ended up sticking with my old favorite, the Hobonichi Techo Cousin. We are now 5 months into the year and I can safely say that this trusty system is still a wonderful fit for me.
I continue to use the weekly pages as my master schedule and live by the daily pages, too. Every morning I set up my daily schedule & task list (based on what is in my weekly), and this ritual is both centering and comforting, because I try very hard to only migrate tasks that are going to realistically fit into the day’s events. I have a slim notebook (also made / sold by Hobonichi) tucked inside with all of my bullet-journal inspired content: books read, monthly and quintile goals, etc.
The monthly pages are less useful to me, but I still do use them for long-range planning (vacations, etc). And I even keep track of family illnesses & my hormonal cycles on the yearly calendar pages! This book feels like my secret weapon in life and I absolutely love it. I know some have felt like it is bigger than desired, but this has not been an issue for me (it fits nicely into my work bag). Finally, I am using a plain black leather cover which looks very professional and serious, because I decided that was best. I am much less self-conscious of my slightly quirky (in today’s times) organization methods with an inconspicuous design.
2- Body/exercise/weight-related thoughts. Laura’s recent post made me think about this. She got many comments, so clearly it’s on the minds of many of us. I want to preface this by saying that everyone is entitled to different goals in this arena. I respect those who reject the cultural pressures to be thin/in shape. It’s absolutely an individual choice. However, I feel best when I am in a certain weight range and probably body fat percentage (though I have no idea what the latter might actually be!).
I have been feeling the best that I have in a long time this year. My two-pronged strategy is as follows: #1 strength train! #2 eat mindfully. Literally, that’s it. I am at my ‘happy’ size (totally normal BMI, on lower end of range, size 0-2 at 5’1″) and am stronger than I have been in many years, possibly ever.
Back in the day, I used to run a lot of miles. I believe I ran over 2000 miles in 2005 or 2006!? It took a lot of time and did make me faster (and able to race marathons!) which was fun, but it didn’t really do anything extra for me from a body image/composition standpoint. (It also likely gave me hypothalamic amenorrhea, which sucked!). I have been tracking my workouts on Strava and my range has been from 30-40 miles per month since January, which would add up to 300-400 per year! That is NOT a lot! The difference is that I have been doing 9-11 strength training days per month, either Ultimate (at the gym) or Beachbody 21 Day Fix at home.
I still love to run, and based on the 5K I ran last weekend, am not even all that slow (by my standards, of course — running speeds are always relative!). I’m not sure I could set any race PRs with my current training style but from a well-being, physical fitness, and body composition standpoint — it seems to be working really well.
On the food front, many of you may recall that I spent about a year eating largely paleo. I definitely do not follow any kind of prescriptive regimen or ‘style’ of eating anymore. I do 3 things:
- Try to mostly eat when hungry & avoid snacking when possible. I used to snack more, but most days do not really find it necessary (maybe because I’m not running so many miles?!).
- Write down what I eat (no measuring, completely qualitative & not quantitative), and this goes right into my Hobonichi daily page. It keeps me honest and helps me see patterns. It also helps me not stress about indulgences from time to time when I can see that overall I make healthy and moderate choices.
- Avoid OD-ing on carbs (though I absolutely do not avoid them. I’m just more like to eat half a bagel than a whole one)
- Avoid ANY kind of absolute rules. This is best for me. Do I want ice cream for dinner one day? Do I need a hearty snack at times? Great! I have grown to really hate food rules; they annoy me and make me want to rebel. I am a very effective moderator as long as I know there are no ‘can’ts’ or ‘not-alloweds’ when it comes to food.
3- Time. My time-tracking week was fun, though I’m not sure it was terribly illuminating. I am currently reading Free to Focus in the mornings and am inspired to put some of the techniques into action, particularly improving my work shut-down ritual, delegating better, creating more templates, and batching.
The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that quality work has so much to do with creating time to actually focus (ie, BLOCK THE INCESSANT INPUTS!). My next read is going to be Digital Minimalism, which I think will make a nice follow up. As I take on more leadership (more on that to follow), I feel like I have to become more and more intentional with my work hours.
I feel like this post make me seem like I have my #($&@# together more than I actually do, but hey — some things are working for me! That’s something to celebrate, even if I am still behind on some of my goals & like everyone else, would love another hour to two in each day.