Wednesday, May 14, 2014

10 Days of Discovery

My husband and I just returned from a week long vacation in Europe.  I have studied Spanish since I was in elementary school but I am still very self conscious when I try to speak Spanish to other people.  During this vacation I spoke Spanish daily.  I tried to initiate all conversations with native speakers in Spanish.  A lot of people recognized that I was an American before I opened my mouth or a few words into my attempts at communication and started speaking to me in English (which I was grateful for).  But a lot of people didn't.  I was nervous at first but by the end of the week my confidence was up and my Spanish wasn't half bad.  

I would love it if I could speak Spanish on a regular basis.  I don't want to travel abroad frequently (I could really take it or leave it).  There are plenty of Spanish speakers in the US.  I just need to figure out what I can do to interact with other Spanish speakers on a regular basis. 

Before we left for vacation I worked harder than I have in months.  I went into the office and finished tasks that I had let pile up.  I took work home and completed projects that would be due shortly after I returned from vacation.  I took the initiative to organize tasks so that it would be harder for me to fall behind in the future.  I was able to complete all of this in 2-6 hours per work day.  I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and still had plenty of time left over.  I still need to work on how I manage this left over time but it felt great to be productive again without really having to try that hard. 

I have given myself 2 weeks off of teaching fitness.  I found substitute instructors to cover all of my classes so I could take the time to reset my class preparation routine.  When I first started teaching fitness I would work on routines for hours before presenting them to a class.  Even though no routine is ever perfect my preparation made me more relaxed and translated into me being a better teacher.   I want to walk into every class feeling confident that I'm going to be awesome.  I am lucky to have built a strong following among my class participants.  I want to make sure that I am always living up to my own reputation.  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

#100 Days of Me

All over social media people have been doing these 100 days of something.  They post a picture (or several) daily and describe how it relates to their goal.  I have seen 100 days of selfies to learn to love yourself, 100 days of running/working out to get into shape, 100 days of healthy eating and, my favorite, 100 days of happy. 

In 100 days of happy, people focus on one thing that they have done that day that has made them happy.  The goal being to focus on something positive even if you've had a really awful day.  At the end of the 100 days you have a better outlook on life and keep looking for those bright moments even after the 100 days.  
I'm not having a bad year but I am in a bit of a rut.  I don't really like my job any more but I don't know if there is a job out there that would make me just as happy and have all the same benefits.  I've heard a lot of entrepreneurs say that if you can't find the job you love you should create it.  That's easy to say when you don't have a mortgage to pay but there is definitely some truth in that. 

I have a flexible schedule.  My bosses keep very loose tabs on all of us.  I could do so much more with my job than I am now without anyone batting an eye.  Maybe 10 hours of my work week are defined outside of meetings.  What I do with those other 30 hours is totally up to me.  What I usually do is half-ass work that isn't a priority and dabble in several hobbies without any major commitment or focus to any one thing.  Being a fitness instructor is what I really spend most of my time on but, to be honest, I half-ass my prep for that sometimes too.  

So in my 100 days of me I'm going to try and find myself.  I'm going to do things that feed my soul and help me to be happy again.  Maybe this journey will show me what my dream job is.  Maybe I'll find enough joy outside of my professional career that it will balance what I don't like about my job.  Maybe I'll realize that the problem isn't the job, it's me.  

The fact that I'm even going on this journey shows how much healthier I am than I was not too long ago.  I am still a work in progress but I have done more this year to improve myself than I have in a long time.  I seem to trend towards the negative in this blog so I'm going to end by patting myself on the back and reveling in my accomplishments:

  1. I added strength training to my workout regiment and started paying more attention to what I eat.  I have lost 8 lbs and 12.5 inches since December and my BMI and Body fat percentage are on the decline.  Admittedly I have had some slip ups where 1-3 lbs of this weight back on after traveling but overall I am trending down and I know what to do to keep moving in the right direction. 
  2. My husband and I started going to a marriage counselor to learn to communicate with each other better and to deal with issues from our past that affect how we interact with each other and the world. 
  3.  I am wearing more fitted clothing to enjoy my body as it is now and stop focusing on all the parts that I don't like.  Am I learning what clothes to wear to accentuate the good (and camouflage the bad) and holding my head a little higher when I walk past a mirror.