Do Something Different

I got an email today from a program that I did years ago called ‘Do Something’.  It was a 14 day program that motivates you to get out of your comfort zone and do things you would not normally do.

To shake things up.

To see things from a new perspective and experience something different.

Each day for 14 days I received an email telling me what to do.  It remember some being interesting and some being pretty lame.  I did them all for the first few days and then I started lagging.  I don’t think I completed the program.

Which is not like me!  I’m a cultivator of new habits! I stick to my goals and do what I say I’m going to do.

Turns out, I do what I say I’ll do, not what others tell me to do.  I guess that’s not so surprising.  After all, the motivation behind my own personal goals and testing out a new program are very different.

BUT – I loved the idea, and I still do, which is why when I got this email from them announcing a new program I immediately signed up.

The Do Something Different Program

So this one again is a 14 day program. For 14 days I will receive emails with things to do.  I can then log into the app check off that I did it (gotta love a little accountability built in!) and I can comment and share my thoughts with other people in the community.

Before starting the program they had me answer a bunch of questions.  They do this so that they can tailor the program for you so that you’ll get the most out of it.  They asked things like:

  • behaviours that best describe me (like introverted, extroverted, calm, energetic, etc)
  • some of my habits (like screen time, spending time with people you love, noticing good things around you, etc)
  • my wellbeing (feeling happy, coping well with problems, physical heath, etc)

They then gave me a ‘score’ – which I gotta be honest, I think is a load of crap.  They say that I’m only using 10% of my potential personality.  Oh and that 80% of my personality is waiting to be unlocked – ha yeah, ok.

Despite this silly report, I’m still open to giving it a try.

The First Do

So I got my first ‘do’ right away and it’s an easy one: switch seats today.

And I’m gonna do it.  I work at a university (and I do all my work on a laptop) so there are a lot of great places that I can go work.  Maybe I’ll go work here today:

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Only it won’t look like this because 1: it’s rainy and gloomy outside, and 2: it’s the second day of classes and the campus is packed with students.

I’m sure I can find a quiet place on campus to work.

I’ll keep you posted on this program and let you know how it goes.  Or you can just give it a try yourself (it’s free).

 

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Go For a Walk!

One of my favourite things to do is to go for walks.  I know, that sounds really lame, but I get a lot out of going for walks.  It’s a big de-stresser for me – especially if I’m walking amongst trees, or near flowers or the ocean.  I think a lot while I walk.  If I’m sitting at my desk and feeling uninspired or a little stuck, I get out for a walk and chances are ideas will come to me.  And then of course, there’s the exercise aspect.  It’s just so good to get up and move!

So I’ve been trying to get out every day for a walk.  I’ve said this before, but I work in a really beautiful setting.  I’m walking distance from a river, a canal, an arboretum (trees!!), and coffee shops.

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At the Arboretum near my work.

It’s actually crazy that I wouldn’t get out for a walk every day.  But you know how it is.  You’re at work, head down focused on something and the time just slips away.  Or you feel lazy.

I often feel lazy.

But it’s one of those things that once I get up and out I think, why don’t I do this more often!

So my new (ok, repeat) habit for this summer is to get out for a walk every day.

You with me?

Feel Healthier: Day 5

Well, the past two days haven’t been the healthiest for me.  It’s funny how one bad day, one slip up, can destroy all good intentions.

Luckily, I do still have good intentions.

In fact, I still have every intention of keeping up with this challenge.  I just need to do what I always do when I start to lose motivation.

I remind myself why I’m doing this.

I’m doing this because:

  • I hate waking up with a headache
  • I hate feeling groggy throughout the day
  • I hate how I feel after I overindulge on wine, chips, and pastries (those are my biggest weaknesses), when I don’t drink enough water, when I sit at my desk all day, and I don’t get enough sleep
  • I don’t like how I feel when I’m not taking care of myself

Better yet – eating well,  drinking water, moving my body, and sleeping well will make me feel:

  • happy
  • healthy
  • motivated
  • energized

And I want to feel these things every day.  Especially first thing in the morning.

I just need to keep these four habits top of mind and make more of a conscious effort.  And not let one bad day spoil it all.

Accept.  Learn. Forgive.  Move on.

Feel Healthier Days 2 and 3

I was going to just write an update on yesterday’s progress (day 2) but realized that I have no idea how I did yesterday.

My days are too long.

So I figured I’m probably better off recapping the day at the end of the day.  Makes sense.

So here we go.

Day 2 (Yesterday)

Eat well.

It’s a good thing I took pictures, otherwise I’d be drawing a complete blank.  Thanks to my visual reminder, I can say that yesterday was a big carb day.  What can I say, I was hungry.

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I had a small breakfast (oatmeal, yogurt and papaya) and ate all my lunch and snacks by noon.  By three I was starving and bought a raisin bread cake thing (which was super disappointing). And, apparently, a giant plate of pasta wasn’t enough dinner for me because I had a bowl of cereal an hour later.

I woke up the next morning with a headache and a stomach ache.

Takeaway for the day: Bigger breakfast. More veggies.  Less bread.

Drink water.

I refilled my water bottle twice at work.  I think that’s going to be my baseline, or bare minimum.

Move my body.

I couldn’t remember if I went for a walk and then my phone pictures reminded me that, yes, I did and I enjoyed it very much (thank you phone!).  It was a chilly 45 minute walk but so worth it.

I also did a 30 minute yoga routine from www.doyogawithme.com and that was lovely, as always

Sleep well.

I’m considering taking this one off the list of habits to cultivate this time around.  As much as I want to get 8-10 hours of non-interrupted sleep the reality is that I have a baby and he makes noise and I wake up.  A lot.  I do go to bed early, but I can’t always fall asleep easily.

Last night I was in bed reading at 8:30.  Didn’t fall asleep till after 11.

Day 3 (Today)

Eat well.

Much better day today.  Had a bigger breakfast.  Lots of veggies.  And I even skipped my afternoon coffee so we’ll see if that helps me to sleep better tonight.

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I guess posting this at the end of the day is good incentive to not snack at night time.  I kind of want cereal though.

Drink water.

I didn’t quite make it through two water bottles while at work today.  Going to put more effort into this tomorrow.

Move my body.

I went for a 30 minute walk and I also made it out to a yin yoga class.  It was a hot class all about the hips and it was heavenly.

Sleep well.

It’s only 8pm now and I’m falling asleep typing this.  Looks like skipping that afternoon coffee is working…

All in All

Not such a bad first few days.  I’m definitely becoming more aware of these four habits, which is really the first step in making any change.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

Feel Healthier: Day 1

Yesterday was day one of my Feel Healthier plan and as promised, here is my daily update. I really hope these don’t get boring for you, but I find posting here really helps to keep me accountable.

So here’s how day one went.

Eating well.

My plan to start is just to track what I’m eating.  So yesterday I took pictures of everything I ate.  Looking at this I think it was actually a pretty good day.   I actually had about three times as much dinner as shown though. I’ve been so hungry!!

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Sure I had chocolate and coffee and ice-cream, but I also had fruit and vegetables and I managed to keep away from things that don’t make me feel good – namely chips and popcorn.  I have absolutely no self control when it comes to these two things and I always (and I mean always) end up with a sore stomach.

Drinking water.

I made a conscious effort to have a glass of water within arms reach all day.  I think I need to get a second water bottle – one for home and one for work.  When we went for a walk I brought one of Nathan’s sippy cups with me haha.

Moving my body.

I’ve decided to change this habit from ‘exercising’ to ‘moving my body’.  Even though I grew up an athlete, I am now intimidated by the word exercise.  Feels so onerous.  I don’t want to exercise.  But I do want to move my body.  Yesterday was a good day.  It was Sunday so I moved around a lot with Nathan, went for an hour long walk, and even got on the elliptical for 20 minutes (I tried for 30 but got bored).

Sleeping well.

I was really tired yesterday and went to bed at 9:30.  I read one chapter in my book and then it was lights out.  Unfortunately I woke up several times in the night.  Ever since Nathan was born I’ve become a ridiculously light sleeper.  At least I no longer wake up panicked that he’s in the bed and I can’t find him.  And then he cried out at 4:15 and was up for the day at 5:45.  So yeah, I tried.

All in All

I’d say it was a pretty good day.  Not bad for day one.  I’m not going to attempt to make any changes to my eating habits or routine for a few more days.

I think for now just being conscious of these four habits is a step in the right direction.

My Feel Healthier Plan: 4 Habits

I woke up this morning feeling not so great. It might have been the entire bag of microwavable popcorn I ate.  Or maybe the three glasses of wine I drank.  Or the fact that I didn’t fall asleep till after 12.

I do know for sure that I feel healthiest when I’m:

  • eating well
  • drinking water
  • exercising (preferably outside)
  • sleeping at least 7 hours

I know, pretty shocking stuff right there.

And so, for the next 21 days, if not more, I am going to focus on cultivating these four healthy habits.

Starting today.

My Feel Healthier Plan

  • Eating Well.   I found that when I did the three day Get Healthier Challenge (forever ago) recording what I ate really helped me to become aware of what I was eating, which in turn helped me to eat healthier.  So for the next little while I’m going to track what I eat (by taking pictures) and after a few days I’m sure some not so healthy patterns will become apparent.
  • Drinking Water.  This has been at the top of my habits list right from the beginning of Cultivating Habits.  I’ve learned that the only way for me to drink more water is to carry my water bottle with me at all times.  Or have water near me.  Right now I have a coffee next to me, not sure that counts.  I will get a glass of water as soon as I’m done writing this post.
  • Exercising.  I’m going to try to get in 30 minutes every day.  This will probably be either walking or doing yoga – basically the laziest kind of exercise you can do.  Today was great.  I went on the elliptical for 20 minutes (ugh so boring!) and then Danny, Nathan and I went out for an hour long walk.
  • Sleeping.  OK this one is a tough one because I can go to bed as early as I want, but if I can’t sleep, there’s not a whole lot I can do.  Hoping that the exercise will help with this.

To keep myself accountable I’m going to record my progress here every day – at least for the first little while.

Going to get that glass of water now.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

The Spring Clean Challenge Starts Today

I’m so excited for this challenge!  So far there are over 200 people who have joined/are interested, which is pretty amazing.

It’s so weird to get excited about a cleaning challenge, but what better way to get stuff done!  Each day I not only look forward to doing the task (they are, afterall only 10 minutes) but I look forward to posting it and seeing everyone else post theirs too.

It’s not too late to join.  Each day for 14 days I’ll give you a cleaning task to do.  Each task is very manageable – they have to be otherwise I wouldn’t do them!

I did the first task last night when I got home from work. It took only 9 minutes and I really noticed a difference.

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Join now and let the cleaning begin!

The Spring Clean Challenge is Back!

This Saturday, April 9th, I’m going to start a 14 day Spring Clean Challenge and I would love for you to join me.

Last time I did this (two years ago) over 300 people joined me and it was really quite amazing.  Not only did my house get super clean, but I had fun doing it with such a great group of people.

The Spring Clean Challenge

Here’s how it’ll work:  Every day for 14 days I’ll post a small task for you to do.  It will only take 10 minutes, I promise.  I’ll also post a more ambitious task if you’re up to it.  You’ll then post to say you did it and at the end of 14 days we all have super clean homes!

So are you in?

All you have to do is join the Spring Challenge Facebook Event.  Each morning, beginning April 19th,  I will post the task.  You do it, and then comment on the event to say that you did it.

Here’s what people said about the last Spring Clean Challenge:

  • This has been such a great push to get stuff done feels great! Thanks Mary Kathryn !- Meaghan
  • Thank you so much for the spring cleaning boost I had so much fun! – Susan
  • It was much needed in my world and got the ball rolling. Thanks MK! It was nice having someone else do the planning for me for a change.  – Jenna
  • Thank you so much for this. Even with an infant of now four months old I was able to complete ALL the ambitious tasks except one. – Grace
  • Kitchen is 100% clean and organized! What a great feeling – Darla
  • My kitchen is completely done, can’t wait to start the next room bring it on lol – Ann
  • I have to say I am honestly loving this challenge, my house is feeling cleaner by the day! – Michelle
  • I’m loving the challenges and so far my fridge is looking great, pantry and junk drawer is fully organized along with most of the cupboards. – Jamie
  • All I can said wow! That  was desperately needed! – Bonnie
  • I might sound like a dork but I’m excited for what we get to do tomorrow hahaha – Stephanie
  • Thanks for this awesome challenge MK – Samantha
  • Sad the cleaning challenge is over, though my mother probably won’t believe it! I need a cleaning challenge every month lol! Thanks – Meghan

I’m excited to do this again!  Join the challenge now.

Just Not Feeling It

After I put Nathan down to sleep (which, by the way, has been amazing – he’s 11 months old today and he’s really changed these last two weeks. At night time I can put him down drowsy but awake and he actually falls asleep.  Blows my mind.  Needless to say we’ve had some real adventures in the sleep department over here!)

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yes, right, after my baby miraculously fell asleep ON HIS OWN!!! CRAZINESS!!! I rolled out my yoga mat, all set to do today’s video.  I’m quite a few days behind on this Yoga Camp thing because on days where I do my own thang (go to a studio or just my own practice) I obviously don’t double up and do that days video.  So I’m on day 15.

I opened up the video and saw it’s 40 minutes.  Ugh, OK, I thought, a little long for tonight, but I can do it.  And then I read the description.

“Strengthens” it said.

“Stick to it” it said.

“Challenging” it said.

No thank you, I said.

I decided instead to give this yoga for bedtime video a go.  I made it to a whole eight minutes before I stopped the video.  I just really wasn’t feeling it.

So I thought instead I’d do a little meditation before bed.  Came across this meditation video which is actually pretty good, but I stopped the video after only six minutes.  I felt really uncomfortable and just couldn’t settle in.

So yeah, not the best night for yoga or meditation, but that’s OK.  Hopefully I’ll have more energy tomorrow.

Oh Pincha, How I Miss You

So I made it to a yoga class today!  Yay me.

And, oh my god you guys, it was a hard one!  It was a legs shaking, heart pounding, sweat dripping kind of class. I mentioned that yesterdays yoga video had bakasana in it, well, today’s practice did too.  With a jump back, which I haven’t done in FOREVER.

It also had my old friend, pincha mayurasana.

Oh pincha, how I miss you.

Another lifetime ago I came so close to getting it.  I worked every day for 66 days (I didn’t make it to the 100 as I stopped when I found out I was pregnant) and I was at the point where I was able to gracefully kick up – with the wall behind me – and hold the pose for, oh 15 seconds or so. Here’s where I was at at four weeks into the challenge:

So today when the yoga teacher invited those who were working on pincha mayurasana to kick up, I thought, why not.

It was scary.

It felt brand new and awkward.

And I realized something that I already suspected: I am back to square one.

But you know what, I did it before and, if I wanted to, I know I can do it again.

And I think I want to.

I loved feeling the progress in this pose.  I went from not really comprehending how one even balances on their forearms to freaking balancing on my forearms!  Plus, through practicing it I accidentally was able to do a headstand completely away from the wall.  And that was pretty cool. (Also something I haven’t even attempted in the year and a half.)

I’m not sure I’m ready to take pincha on as a 100 day challenge again – at least not quite yet.  With this kind of challenge I need to be fully committed in my mind and body. Which means I’d have to do the fear facing, shoulder and core strengthening thing all over again and I’m just not in the zone to do that right now.  Perhaps after I establish my yoga practice again (we’re getting there) I’ll dive back in.

And who knows, maybe it’ll come back quickly.  And if not, that’s OK too.