Monday, February 20, 2012

101 Things

Ever since my last post, I've been thinking about the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. I wasn't sure I could come up with that many short term goals, but with the help of my friends on Facebook, I managed to get 101 things.

You can find the list at Day Zero Project, but for your convenience I will list them here. As you can see by the strikethrough, I've already completed one thing on my list.

  1. Get a piece of my writing published
  2. Achieve my goal weight
  3. Run a marathon
  4. Get my driver's license
  5. Paint a canvas and hang it on my wall
  6. Take a creative writing class
  7. Finish a story - first to final draft
  8. Go backpacking in the mountains
  9. Learn to play a ukulele
  10. See the Northern Lights
  11. Make an effort to dress better
  12. Travel outside North America
  13. Save a 3-month emergency fund
  14. Complete a 365 day photo challenge
  15. Go away for a weekend on my own
  16. Make a successful soufflé
  17. Make sushi from scratch
  18. Make pizza from scratch including the dough
  19. Do the 100 pushups challenge (
  20. Do the 200 sit-ups challenge (
  21. Fast for 3 days
  22. Buy (& at some point wear) lingerie
  23. Get a passport
  24. Become debt free
  25. Get my own vehicle
  26. Go cross-country skiing
  27. Plaque mount and hang my favorite photos
  28. Wear all my shoes at least once or get rid of them
  29. Learn another language
  30. Attend a cooking class
  31. Visit at least two new provinces and a territory
  32. Get rid of my clutter
  33. Learn how to and create a scrapbook
  34. Get my nose pierced
  35. Go on a picnic
  36. Have an un-birthday birthday party
  37. Get renters insurance
  38. Attempt meatless Mondays for a month
  39. Write down my recipes
  40. Go vegetarian for a week
  41. Donate blood regularly
  42. Do NaBloPoMo again
  43. Pay myself $5 for every task completed (to be added to my rainy day fund)
  44. Find and buy a real watch
  45. Do the Hypothermic Half Marathon
  46. Take a hot air balloon ride
  47. Grow an avocado tree
  48. Open a TFSA to save for a down payment on my own place
  49. Stick firmly to my budget for one month
  50. Fly a kite
  51. Make my own wine
  52. Catch up on my webdesign work and resolve to stay up-to-date
  53. Take a photo to commemorate the completion of each of these goals
  54. Keep a list of inspiring quotes
  55. Learn to shoot a gun
  56. Organize my spare room so it's useable
  57. Donate $5 to charity for each task I don’t complete
  58. Take an unplanned road trip
  59. Create 5 new recipes
  60. Write 20 short stories
  61. Learn to change a tire
  62. Don't complain about anything for a week
  63. Talk to myself with respect for a week - no name calling
  64. Go one week without hitting snooze
  65. Go one week without swearing
  66. No junk food for a month
  67. Buy a dress and wear it
  68. Take myself out for a fancy meal
  69. Write down something that made me happy everyday for 30 days
  70. Run 10K straight
  71. Send out Christmas cards
  72. Dress like a professional for one work week
  73. Organize my paperwork/bills and shred what I don't need
  74. Try snowboarding
  75. Learn to make cheesecake
  76. Follow a strict skin care regimen for 2 weeks
  77. Keep up with ALL my laundry for one month
  78. Get involved in a sport
  79. Take a weekend bike trip
  80. Try 5 new foods
  81. Make homemade marshmallows
  82. Replace my mismatched dishes with a full, nice set
  83. Start taking vitamins
  84. Make my own jam
  85. Learn to make 5 new desserts
  86. Make my own GF bread
  87. Maintain my goal weight for one year
  88. Buy a nice/expensive pair of shoes
  89. Inspire someone else to make their own list
  90. Learn to sew
  91. Pre-plan my meals and actually eat what I planned to for a week
  92. Watch all the movies I am ashamed to say I haven't actually seen, though often pretend I have
  93. Listen to 30 new-to-me artists
  94. Own more than one dress
  95. Find my perfect red shoes
  96. Do the 200 squats challenge (
  97. Have a mole check done
  98. Finish a full first draft during NaNoWriMo
  99. Clean my fridge top to bottom
  100. Clean out my freezer
  101. Post this list somewhere I will see it everyday

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Different Kind of To-Do List

A recent post by The Capillary had me thinking about the same question that she asked herself.

If I died tomorrow, what do I want to have pursued and accomplished before anything else?

And I'm not just talking about the big things, I talking about the little things too. My passions, the things I enjoy. Stuff that I've always wanted to do and never had time to. I mean I have my Life List, but those are things I'd like to do sometime in my life. These are the things that may or may not be on that list. Some of them are just little things. Seemingly inconsequential things.

Right now, it's not a long list, but I think it's a start. It's got me thinking anyway.

  • Have a body that I am proud of/happy with
  • Run a full marathon
  • Take a backpacking trip in the mountains
  • Learn to play my ukulele
  • Take a creative writing course
  • Get my drivers license
  • Attempt 101 goals in 1001 days (and hopefully succeed)
  • Publish something. Doesn't matter if it's a novel or a short story or a non-fiction article.
  • Finish a novel first to final draft - even if it never gets published
  • Learn a new language and use it.
  • See every province and territory in Canada.
  • Take a road trip with no destination in mind
  • Take a trip/vacation with no plans.
  • Visit Antarctica
  • Paint a painting

I guess that's all, but perhaps I should sit down and start plotting out a way to make these things possible. Heck, I can even make everything else a part of my 101 things in 1001 days. I should do it. I will do it. I might not be marathon ready in 1001 days, but why can't I be? Why not?

The only thing standing in my way is me. As I've said before This is the Time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Twenty Five Pounds

Damn. Every time I say that it feels good. I have gotten rid of 25 lbs of excess weight. I can't help, but post about. I almost want to sing about. I'm over a third of the way to my weight loss goal. I am ecstatic.

I've started to make more changes to my current diet. Now that I am past that 20 lb mark, I am giving myself some more reign and watching what happens very closely. I'm watching what I eat, but I'm not counting my calories right. I'm still exercising, and I'm adding more challenges to my life. I've started doing the #PlankADay challenge on twitter. My goal is to be able to do a full minute standard plank and a full minute on each side.

Of course, if I stall or if I start putting back on some of that weight I lost then I am going to go back to counting again. Just long enough to get myself back on track, but I am feeling good about this right now. I feel like this is the right step forward for me. I don't want to spend the rest of my life counting the calories of everything I put in my mouth.

I am looking to try other challenges for health via social networking - I just have to find those challenges. Do you know of any health/exercise challenges that can be done via social networking?

In the meantime, I'm just going to bask in the glow of happiness at hitting this milestone amount.


Oh yeah, I'm still not tired of saying it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Confession

I have a confession to make. It's not something I say often or tell many people.

I am a romantic

I know it doesn't seem like much, but I've always put on a tough act. I've never been much of a girlie girl. I don't even like for people to see me cry. Even my best friend of over 18 years has rarely seen my cry. I've been taking care of myself for a long time and it has made me a little hard. Cynical is a word I often hear used to describe me.

And I am a cynic. I don't like or trust most people. I often expect the worst of people while secretly hoping I'll be wrong. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Despite all of that, I believe in a love that can last forever. Even if you have to work at it sometimes, but it's worth it. It's worth it because the other person means that much.

My grandparents met on a blind date and were married 6 months later. They spent the rest of their lives together. It was pure chance that they were both in Vancouver. They got lucky.

Even my own sister seems to have found her perfect match. A romance that spanned halfway across the world with her in England and him in California. The distance was no obstacle to them. They found a way to make it work.

Sometimes it feels silly that I'm waiting for something like that. The romantic in me insists that this is what I need to do. To wait for this great love. Although I often feel sad that I'm still waiting. Waiting and hoping for something that may never come.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This is the Time

Now is the only time you really have.

If you want to accomplish something, now is the time to start.

Later does not exist.

Later is a lie we tell ourselves to make us feel better about that which we want to do, but never get around to doing.

We put off our chores, we put off our dreams, we leave our lives for later because we don't have time now. We wait around hoping that one day we'll have the time. We make it the enemy. "Later," we say, "When I have time."

Time isn't something you can wait for. The longer you wait, the less you have.

Time is something you make. If you really want it, you will make time.

Ask yourself what you really want to do. Go on, make a list even. What do you really want to do?

Here's mine: I want to...
  • write a book
  • get fit
  • save more money
  • be a better housekeeper
  • stop procrastinating

Maybe your list is longer. Maybe your list is shorter. That's just fine. It's your list and it isn't meant to be judged against anyone else's. In fact, it should never be judged.

Now look at each of those things you've written down. For each one, ask yourself "Why am I not doing this? What am I letting stand in my way?"

Time is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
It's too hard is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
I don't know how is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
It'll take too long is not an excuse. Throw that one out.
I'm afraid is not an excuse. Throw that one out.

Look at your excuses that are left, if there are any. Now ask yourself "Is this an excuse or a reason?"

An excuse is just you standing in your own way. It is you rationalizing why you aren't doing what you want to do.

A reason is an outside factor that is nothing more than an obstacle to be overcome.

Now, sit down and make the time. Make a schedule if that works for you. Get up 30 minutes early and go to bed 30 minutes late. One extra hour may be all you need.

If you want it, make the time now because all you have is now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wasted Time

Today I'm going all the way back to a my kickthehabit posts about procrastination. I had started to make some good progress, but I've backslid quite a bit since then. There are a lot of things that are just not getting done. Why did I back slide? I'm really not sure. Disruption of routine usually does it for me easily enough.

I've found a lot of ways to put off doing what I need to be doing. Instead of designing websites (which is work after my day job) or writing, I'm exercising. Or trying to work of the energy to exercise. I've got to find better ways to manage my time then I currently do and still fit in the exercise as well.

Okay. We'll take this by the steps. Let's work through this.

Step 1 - Break down your day
  1. Get out of bed between 6:30a and 7:00am
  2. weigh-in, heat up water for shower, feed cats, make lunch - 15-20min
  3. shower - 15-20min
  4. set-up coffee, blow dry hair, dress - 20-25min
  5. make-up (if time) - 5-10min
Time Required: 55-1:15min ~ Time Unaccounted for: 0min
Work 8am-5pm (not including OT)
  • breaks and lunch are used for surfing internet, sometimes writing blog post. Potential for optimization.
  1. arrive home between 5:15 and 5:30pm
  2. optional - grocery shopping, run errands do laundry - 40-1:30min
  3. cook dinner, check on cats, do dishes - 30-60min
  4. eat dinner while watching TV - 60min
  5. exercise - 30-60min
  6. Bedtime at 10:30pm
Time Required: 2:00-4:30min ~ Time Unaccounted for: 30-3:00min

Step 2 - Find Wasted Time

Okay, there is some obvious room for improvement on those evenings. We all need time to chill as well, but how much do I really need? Is my dinner time my chill time or should I use that to multitask? Should I try cleaning while I'm cooking my dinner? Can I make better use of my breaks at work for writing or blogging?

I've never written my schedule out like this before and I'm scared of even thinking about how much time I waste on the weekends. My weekends are so up in the air all the time and when I do have the weekend at home I often find myself thinking about everything I need to do, but not doing any of it.

Step 3 - Plan Optimization

Okay, the best way to take this is to change on thing at a time. So what can I change? Where can I add or move things to make the schedule better? I can add more time in the morning, by getting up earlier. I can use that time for writing, exercise or even blogging. I can prepare my lunch the night before to free up even more time in the morning.

I can block manage my time during the evenings so that I spend less wasted time. I can break up the workout. Maybe even do some exercises while cooking. Some people find that block managing their time and focusing on one thing at a time makes it easier to get things done. I've never tried it before, but it might be worth it.

The important thing is making the changes slowly, one at a time, so that I can make them apart of my schedule and not back slide again. Once I have one change well incorporated then I can add another change and then another.

It's obvious that, like many, I procrastinate way too much. So here I go again, trying to kick my procrastination habit.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dear Carrie,

I know it's been a few years since we talked last and now I know we never will again. Your story was one of such sadness and hope. I had always prayed that your path would remain true. I will never fully understand the struggle that you faced every day of your life, I'm just glad that you kept fighting. Had you never given it your all I would never have had the chance to have you in my life - even for such a short time.

You can rest now. Your fight is over and I hope that where ever you are, you're truly at peace. And our tears are only because we miss you. Because we loved you.

RIP Carrie. I'm sorry I never got to know you better than I did, but you are a shining light that I shall always remember.