>I hear, from time to time, about people who seem to always set themselves up for failure. My struggle this week to balance self-care in dealing with depression and anxiety while sticking to my goals got me thinking. What does setting ourselves up for Success look like?

Thinking about weight loss, and health goals that I’ve been working on. I fail when I snack or eat fast food. Seeing myself shoot up to 415 lbs this week was a huge shock. So how can I set myself up for success, putting healthy drinks handy to access is a simple thing I did last week to set myself up for success.

This works for me because I happen to strongly prefer lemon water to plain water. It’s a small thing that takes advantage of my natural laziness. I would rather have lemon water and not make a trip over just to get soda. However I do prefer soda over plain water enough to walk. So my preference in almost all cases will be the healthier lemon water over soda. It’s a way to keep my short term goals in line with my long term ones.

I’ve taken piece of advice I read a few months ago to heart, “Working hurts less than procrastinating.” This kind of hack is about solving the problem pointed out in that article. It isn’t fun to change gears. There are many mental steps to shifting from doing one thing to another, and often there are physical steps as well. 

My experience with exercise today is a great example of this kind of thing. I woke up pretty miserable, for no apparent reason, I blame the head-meats for being chemically imbalanced.  I was unable to properly focus on school work, or even on a TV show or video game. None of those things were fun, or fulfilling. I was made even grumpier at seeing that I had gained almost 8 lbs overnight, and generally had sat down with my computer to sit on facebook complain and stew. Something a little bit different happened today, I was practicing mindfulness, even in my self-inflicted misery, and I noticed that I was depressed. I reminded myself that it does not take much focus to stay on the treadmill, and that I would likely feel better after getting some exercise. Those were the mental steps to getting over to the gym. 

To actually get to the gym I had to find my shoes and clothing. 30 min later and much grumpier I went over and started walking. I felt better for it, I got more done today than I have all week, and generally feel much better. While I was walking I did some mental math and formulated a really simple goal. I will walk for 30 min every day at a pace which will grow gradually until I can walk 15 min mile(which requires me to walk at about 4mph) It’s a slow goal that will take me about two months to do if I walk .2 mph faster every week(that’s adding .1 to my speed every Monday and Thursday).

As I was winding down tonight I observed something interesting. I put my shoes and workout clothes next to my bath towel. When I get up tomorrow morning there is a reminder for me, go and walk. I just eliminated all of the Passive Barriers to getting out to the gym tomorrow. The physical steps are all but taken care of. It is easy to imagine just getting dressed in these tomorrow instead of jeans, and walking first and then coming home showering and starting my day. All of that hard “but walking would mean I have to change, and find my shoes” is gone. I just have to notice and remember that I feel better after exercise. This isn’t a guarantee, but I’ll take the chances that I walk tomorrow over the odds I had this morning.


>So over on The Art of Manliness there was a great post about building resiliency. I suggest you take a look.

Without resiliency we forever dwell on our setbacks instead of making progress in our lives. The hurt from our past disappointments (or even the hurt we imagine could befall us) is so debilitating that we cannot muster up the courage and desire to take chances and seize opportunities; we’re afraid of experiencing pain and embarrassment

This quote in particular got me thinking, about the opportunities I haven’t tried to seize because I was afraid. All the girls I never asked out cause I was afraid, and the scholarships I didn’t apply for. But as a counter to that I have seized some amazing opportunities, and improved myself tremendously in the past three years. I decided that I would become a teacher, no matter what, and I’ve made that happen, one hour, class, day, month, term, and year at a time. Dispite the issues I deal with, and when my OCD and TS are busy feeding my depression and anxiety issues it can be hard to remember those goals. When i look at how far I’ve come, it’s easier to look forward and stick it through these challenges, because if I don’t have resilience then all of my sacrifice and effort wasn’t worth anything. I hate to see my efforts be worthless, so I keep pushing on no matter how hard, I may need to rest at base camp and acclimate, but I’m not done til I get to the top.

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