Monday, February 14, 2011

120 days towards change... Week 2 FLIP SIDE WEEK

Hello hello hello!

So it is officially Week 2. I was going to write last night, but I've had a whopping weekend involving ... well, ok, a great deal of Fringe episodes. And a whooole bunch of sugar on Saturday night. And that to-do list I procured on Thursday... Friday... Saturday? ... apparently watching Fringe episodes... and catching up on Private Practice... Off the Map... Grey's Anatomy... was FAR more important!!!

So a quick recap of this week: I certainly started with a bang: Monday-Friday was extremely strong. I felt extremely committed to this project, and shared this project with everybody I could in hopes of bringing some new recruits on board (if you've stumbled on this that would be YOU!).

I began a journal on Tuesday, as I felt it would be helpful to keep a physical piece of changes... adding a quantification to the process.

Daily Checklists:
My daily checklists were fantastic from Monday-Friday, Sat/Sunday I began to slip a bit more.
Physical activity has been the easiest, with food being a close second. I keep forgetting gratitude... so the aim is to even just remember for one meal a day.
I've found it most difficult to do 1 creative and 1 financial action...making time to write has been challenging. And it feels ludicrous that this is so, especially since I'm not working... so where do my hours go?

CORRECT AND CONTINUE: for Week 2, I'm going to try checklisting ONE creative and ONE financial action, so I have 7 small ones by next week.

5 areas:
Physical Body - I've lost 3 pounds this week, and have had a whack of ideas racing through my already-busy mind in terms of finances.
Health & Energy -- Ummm... kinda lazy on the weekend. And now that's pulled a bit more into Monday... though, I think the time-off on the weekend allowed for some extra energy, at least to have a good workout.
Creative Accomplishments - I wrote a new timeline, but have definitely not put daily work into writing. I think for Week 2 I will aim for writing 3x/week instead of every day so I don't feel quite so bad.
Self-esteem feels pretty strong, all-around. I'd like to feel more achievement in terms of motivating myself to set goals instead of only achieving things when they're appointments
Finances -  Very little change. I sold some electronics I've been meaning to sell, so that gave me a nice income buffer.

Well, the only issue with this is that it wasn't really specific enough. Next time I do something like this, I will give myself daily goals. This next week will probably not be specific enough either... so I think I'll need to do some thinking as to how I can specify THINKING ON THE FLIP SIDE / NO COMPLAINING WEEK!

So... that's pretty much it. I hope that your week has gone well too! Please drop me a line... comment... message... let me know you're out there and rockin Week 2!!

Much love,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

120 days towards change...Starts tomorrow!

OK. So tomorrow's the "Big Day" (though, when you think about it, aren't all days big on this great green Mama Earth?) Or I should say, Starting Day. Though I gotta say, since this idea came to me, I've been kinda bursting at the seams to get it started already...!

So. Just to be totally clear. Here are my 5 areas that I m looking forward to seeing changes in:
  1. Physical Body
  2. Health & Energy
  3. Creative Accomplishments
  4. Self-Esteem
  5. Finances & Career
 My goals for each of these, I've already stated below, and I've written out on my little whiteboard to keep myself on track.

Daily Checklist (no matter what!):
  • meditation
  • physical connection & activity
  • food awareness & gratitude
  • daily commitments for the day
  • morning pages
  • 3 finance/career actions/day
  • 1 creative action/day
  • nature appreciation
  • visualization & imagery on each of 5 areas above
**please note that the Food Awareness, Gratitude, Meditation, Nature Appreciation are taken from attending Eion Finn's Blissology Course... a course and yoga DVD set I highly recommend!

Weekly commitments:

  1. With every interaction, think, "how can I give to this person in this transaction?"
  2. Flip Side Week (otherwise known as No Complaining Week). Also special note to be gentle to Self Week.
  3. Random Act of Kindness Week (or Pay-It-Forward Week). I'm aiming for at a bare minimum of 1/day... to friends, foe, and strangers.
  4. Good Vibes to People Week (Choose 1 person/day, and see that person surrounded in white light and getting all they deserve as much as possible throughout the day)
  5. Give tribute to Mentors Week (You remember WWJD? Substitute "J" for your mentor and act like they would... WW _ D?)
  6. Tackle my Weaknesses Week (Make a list of 7 Darknesses. Choose one per day. Devote each day to throwing every single tool I know of at it... affirmations, change of thoughts, change of actions, etc.)
  7. Eat only real, simple foods for a week. Also: goal to eat each meal doing nothing else except eating! No reading, no tv, just simple.
  8. Plan and make all meals at home for a week (no eating out... that includes Starbucks!)

    **HALFWAY!... celebration and refection and correct/continue time!**
  9. Be Kind to the Environment Week (might become Bike Everywhere Week...maybe even Low-Electricity Week (ie... no TV week... gulp! ... keep ya posted)
  10. Switch It Up Week: do something new in everything... exercise, eating, route to work, daily routine... you name it!
  11. Simplify and Clear Space Week
  12. DO IT NOW week (otherwise known as No Procrastination Week)
  13. Confidence Week
  14. Marketing Myself Week: work on marketing projects I've been putting off (website updates much?!) 
  15. Go out of Comfort Zone Week
  16. Notice the Changes and Love Yourself Week
 **I've grouped each of these into an order that makes sense to me and my schedule... but please go ahead and tailor to yourself, if any of these doesn't make sense to you**
 **Also, THANKS to all the facebook peeps who posted their ideas... it was AWESOME to see everybody's ideas, and you can see I've shamelessly stolen some of them, thanks!*

Now. Rewards and punishments ideas (I don't know how much I'll be using them, but they're here just in case they work for anyone else?):

  • Go to the spa/beauty parlour (mani, pedi, massage, etc.)
  • Buy new music
  • New clothing
  • New Lush/Eco-friendly stuff
  • Hang out at the SPCA with the puppies
  • wake up extra early for meditation
  • do Mike's chores for him
  • clean out computer files, or other jobs I've been putting off
  • donate money to a charity (alternative: put money in a jar and donate one big sum at the end)
  • Do everything on the Daily List twice
  • No TV
(thanks to Rach and Aunt Liz for the ideas!)

So.... that's the plan folks! Again, I am committing to blogging weekly (hopefully more!) and sharing my experiences. I'd love to hear comments if any of you try this -- even just a portion of it -- or if anyone out there has done something like this in the past, what has worked for them? I know this seems ambitious... but if I get to the end of the month and it's just too much, I will tone things down  if needed. Or otherwise -- even more exciting -- if it just is so darned easy, I'll ramp up the changes.

Much, much love, and Happy 120 Days to Change!


Friday, February 4, 2011

120 days towards change...Taking Stock

So I've really been putting a lot of thought into this 120-days-towards-change-thing. At first, it came to me on a whim, but a few people have been expressing interest... and, I open this up to anybody (whether I know you or you stumble across it!) who is willing... 4 months could be a looooong time to commit to something unless you've got a kick-ass support system! Hoomama.

So I've been clarifying just what, exactly, I want to put into the next 4 months. I have my 5 cornerstone themes I'm aiming to see improvement in. I've got daily actions aimed at each of them. I've been playing around with the idea of a weekly theme resulting in daily action (see yesterday's post), and some GREAT ideas have came flowing in on my facebook status (thanks peeps!). So I figured, why not give it some semblance of form, and have a MONTHLY theme, with weekly categories that come up?? (Again, I apologize for my micro-managerial tendencies that can pop up from time to time...don't worry... they'll soon pass...)

So on that note. Here's what I've got so far (any other ideas, I'm all ears!):

Month 1: Fresh, Eager, this-is-new-and-exciting energy
Month 2: In the Thick of It -- Keep your chin up and your head down, Kid (or something like that)
Month 3: Halfway--Take stock of where I'm at. Correct/revise/continue Game Plan
Month 4: TAKE 'ER HOME!

And as for Weekly Ideas, here's what I have chosen -- in no particular order:

  1. With every interaction, think, "how can I give to this person in this transaction?"
  2. Gratitude Week
  3. Flip Side Week (otherwise known as No Complaining Week)
  4. Random Act of Kindness Week (or Pay-It-Forward Week)
  5. Pray for/Meditate on/send good vibes to the same person every day
  6. Give tribute to a mentor Week (either same one, or 7 different ones!)
  7. Tackle my Weaknesses Week
  8. Eat only real food for a week
  9. Plan all meals for a week
  10. Be Kind to the Environment Week
  11. Go out of Comfort Zone Week
  12. Love Yourself Week (was gonna say Pleasure Yourself Week but I guess that's something different altogether... oh this is awkward)
  13. DO IT NOW week (otherwise known as No Procrastination Week)
  14. Confidence Week
  15. Marketing Myself Week: work on marketing projects I've been putting off (website updates much?!)
As you can see, I'm still lacking 2 more  weeks. Always open to ideas.

Lastly, I am aiming for at least 1 weekly check-in. The goal is to do a blog on Sunday night, with a recap of the previous week, and a more specific plan for the coming week. Because obviously, I've done all my planning in advance so there will be ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that will come up and knock my advance-well-thought-out plans out of the picture... ;)

I have taken an inventory of where I'm at NOW and where I want to be in 4 months. I found some areas easier than others to give basic numbers:

-the Physical Body was easiest to figure out. Numbers on a scale and the way I feel in jeans are pretty self-explanatory, and I've found in the past that when I stick to a simple plan, the numbers show for themselves... so I feel good about that. Simple, vegan foods, portion observance, intuitive eating, creative cooking, planning, and really paying attention to my thoughts & emotions while preparing and eating delicious food.

-Health & Vitality was a bit more difficult to add a quantum number to. All I could really decide was that I'd like to "feel more energetic". I think that to quantify this, over the weekend, I'm going to look at the ways I'm NOT health & vitality-full, and strategize how  I DO want to be.

-Creative Accomplishments is scariest to work with. I have some ideas for scripts that have been kicking around. Actually writing a first draft?! Going from in-the-ethosphere to in-someones-hard-drive is a scary, scary thought. Nevertheless, 2 goals are written and in the book for May.

-Self-Esteem (inside & out): ok, this one kinda goes with Health & Vitality, but it's the internal manifestation. Since I've decided that I want to have my own business, I've had tonnes of ideas that have bubbled to the surface... but Mike put it best when he quoted Susan in the musical [title of show]:

The last vampire is the mother of all vampires and that is the vampire of despair.
It’ll wake you up at 4am to say things like:
Who do you think you’re kidding?
You look like a fool.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be good enough

Why is it that if some dude walked up to me on the subway platform
and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole,
but if the vampire inside my head says it,
It’s the voice of reason.

... RIGHT???...

so it was at that point I decided that Self-Esteem deserved a big ol' spot up here. So, again, hard to put in quantum measures... but, by May, I want to feel confidence and strength in places where I am currently feeling crippling self-defeatism.

-Finances: Ah yes, my good friend Moneybags and his doppelganger Visa card.  At this point, I have debt that I would like to have totally managed by May. I am also currently unable to work my old jobs due to vocal issue... so I'm looking for creative income streams and a solid business idea and plan by May.

SO. I don't want to post too specific information here on this gargantuam Internet-thing ... I will share that info with close friends and colleagues, but I'd rather leave my goals general for now.

All right. So up to now, I've posted: inventory, monthly plan, weekly plan, daily plan. I'm also looking for rewards/punishments for each day... to help with the "motivation" factor ... although I much prefer the term "INSPIRATION" factor! I've posted for ideas on facebook... all ears for ideas!

Woo! Bring it on!

Love, light, and hugs that make you feel warm in your toes,


Thursday, February 3, 2011

120 days towards change...Weekly challenges

So, been thinking more about the Weekly Challenges. I want something that has a recognizable weekly theme, with specific daily actions. I put an all-call out on Facebook and Twitter for ideas, so far, here are some ideas that I've had:

So I have a few options here:
  1. Choose 4 themes and repeat them each 4 times
  2. Choose 8 themes and repeat them twice
  3. Choose 16 themes and have a new theme every week
  4. Choose a random number between 4 and 16 and repeat some/don't repeat others
 Any ideas/comments out there?

Also, been working on my daily actions, and adding a quantum measurement to make my goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, with a Timeline... check here for more info). The...goal... (heheheh)... is to have these written down in concrete, specific steps by the weekend so I'm good to go for Monday! Adding specific details has always been somewhat of my downfall (more on downfalls/darknesses later).

ALSO, I am giving myself the BIGGEST pat on the back... I figured out how to add FB and Twitter "share" buttons! It was so exciting! So please add, like, and share to your heart's content... how awesome would it be if a whole bunch of us changed global consciousness just by striving to be our best Selves for 4 months?

Lotsa love and hugs,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

120 days towards change...who's in?


So after a couple of days of reflection, I have decided to implement some goals and changes to kick-start forward motion.

Since being diagnosed with the vocal issue that kept me silent and forced me to cancel all my previous commitments (see my previous post!), I have found myself grappling with a fear that I am wasting all of this incredible free time that just fell on my lap. It really opened me up to how precious time is. I've spent a great deal of this time in reflection, journalling, taking Artist Dates, and watching a looooooot of TV.

As wonderful as this time is, I've also felt myself receding a bit. I realized that if it were up to me, I would spend my life indoors, listening to self-help audios, meditating, going to yoga or the gym, watching Grey's Anatomy, and eating delicious vegan food.

(I mean, really, I don't see anything wrong with that?!)

I was sitting down to eat a delicious lentil burger I made tonight, with a nagging sensation that there was something I should do. As I leaned over to turn on the newest Biggest Loser episode, a chill ran through my body....

... This is what I realized: It would be so, so easy to be this exact same person a year from now. If I continued to follow the exact same patterns as I have recently become aware of... Megan-from-the-future would be exactly the same as Megan-In-the-Present.

Chilling, right?!

So here's what I'm thinking. After much brainstorming, I've decided on 5 major areas that I really look forward to improving. I'll list them here (not necessarily in order of importance!):
  1. Physical Body
  2. Health & Energy & Emotional Well-Being
  3. Creative Productivity
  4. Finances: grow income
  5. Internal Strength & Outside Generosity
I won't share it with you here, but I have taken note of where I'm RIGHT NOW for each of these actions. In 4 months (and weekly/monthly), I will journal how things change and grow, correcting and continuing as need be.

The goal is to take daily action and one bigger weekly action for each item listed above. Daily actions will consist of:

-physical connection and activity
-food awareness and gratitude
-gratitude as often as I can remember
-daily commitments listed and marked off
-morning pages

Weekly items will change, depending on the week.

 I am aiming to start this Monday, so I have some more time over the next few days to review and clarify. But if anyone wants to start a 120 day challenge with me on Monday... towards any topic of your choosing! ... Feel free to post or comment it... after all, it's proven that any goals stated publicly have a major advantage to ones that just get stuck in your head.

So very much love to you!!

Peace and light,