A New Practice

From the archives

I began a new practice this morning after my oatmeal and coffee, hopefully a practice that I can stick with for the first time. I began a “Start Today” journal, an idea I read about over on The Chic Site. I actually stumbled upon the site through iBooks the other night when I was trying to find a new book to read myself to sleep. It’s an interesting site, a very empowering, I-am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar type of site, but with just enough humor and down to earth humanity thrown in to keep me from squirming too much.

Usually I click off those empowerment blogs and websites faster than I clicked on them to begin with. Just something about all that integrity and passion and authenticity makes me question my own self and ask myself what it is I’m doing wrong with my life to be unable to live like the writer is talking about.

Needless to say, self-help books usually make me feel pretty bad about myself rather doing the opposite: helping myself to feel better about myself. I’d be a terrible motivational speaker.

Anyway, the point of the journal that Rachel Hollis is talking about is that you sit down everyday and write out first, what it is you’re grateful for before moving on to writing out your goals that you want to achieve. The final step is to write down the one goal you want to achieve and how you’re going to go about achieving that one goal. Hollis is a firm believer in tackling only one goal at a time.

Makes perfect sense to me and it’s how I tend to operate, too.

It’s like you’r making little promises to yourself everyday. You wouldn’t make a promise to meet your best friend for a cup of coffee only to blow her off at the last minute because you didn’t want to miss out on the latest episode of your favorite television show, so why would you break a promise that you made to yourself to run more miles or to be more forgiving towards others? The neat thing about this intentional goal setting is that Hollis tells you to write your goals out as if you’ve already achieved them, and if you write them out every day like that, one day you will be able to run 10 miles non stop and to be more forgiving towards others. It’s a practice I’ve heard Peter Hurley describe in some of his classes I’ve attended. This practice is called “visualization” and if you intentionally write out what you want to be, to accomplish, to become every single day, you will become whatever it is you want to become.

My goals are a mix of pithy and hard. Yes, I want to be able to run 10-12 miles on my long run days again and to be the weight I was 13 years ago, but I also want to stop thinking so negatively and to be less stressed, especially at this time of year when not only is it the holiday shopping season and Meghan’s birthday and Christmas, but throw in my mother getting her other knee replaced, a trail race I’m shooting and an engagement session I’m photographing on top of surviving the first Christmas without my sister and helping my parents through that . . . I could so easily go off the rails. So to remain calm and stress free is going to be hard these last few weeks of the year, but if I keep telling myself that I can do it, then I believe I will.

I really want this to work because this year up until now has been an incredible year for me, a year that I can finally (hopefully) look back on on December 31 and say, “wow, look at everything I’ve done and everything that I’ve accomplished.” I’ve never been able to do that before, making my wishes and dreams come true (how very Walt Disney that sounds!), but something tells me that this year I’ll be able to.

And with that being said, it’s time to lace up my running shoes and start my daily therapy session.