Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treadmill Routine Change

Well I decided to change my morning treadmill routine. I had felt really bad about it for a while, as I think I have mentioned here before. I started out strong and went about 3 weeks going 1.5 miles a morning. Then something happened, I think I started waking up a lot later, and I couldn't get it all done in time. I never seem to be able to get it done anymore. Maybe it doesn't seem as great to wake up for anymore, I don't know. So finally a couple of days ago I decided to change my routine so I only walk 1.0 miles instead of 1.5. I figured there was a reason I could not make that goal, and maybe I was reaching too high and could not sustain that much. So now at least I have been able to walk 1.0 miles for the last 3 days instead of not at all. I have some accomplishments I can achieve now. It will be a while before I increase how far I walk, and I think when I do increase the distance it will be a much shorter increment like .05 mile or something.

I also have been managing to wake up at about 9, give or take a few minutes. I usually set the alarm for 9:15 then fill with anxiety over that I won't be able to get everything done and be in to work by 10 am now that my boss has put his foot down. So what time should I strive to wake up for? I think for the next 2 weeks I will just try to wake up at 9 consistently. What stinks is for 3 weeks I will have to be at my new class by 8 am so that will help me in the short-term but not help my long-range goals, unless I handle the change correctly.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Personal Update

I haven't been updating much cause I have been busy but don't worry, I *never* forget what I am doing wrong!

I started to take the Paxil a couple days ago, I think it is already helping ever so slightly but due to it usually taking 2 weeks to notice the effects of an SSRI maybe this is a placebo effect.

I am waking up slightly earlier, around 8:30-9. I have been setting my alarm clock for even earlier than that and have resumed my snooze button pushing, however it all takes place much earlier. This will have to do for now as I realized I have bigger [money] problems to solve. I may attempt to wake up earlier by 5 minutes a week or even one minute a week if this is what it takes to do baby steps!

I have not walked on the treadmill for 2 days in a row. I have decided to walk 1 mile in the morning instead of 1.5, until I can do that well enough and am waking up earlier and have more time in the morning. I can walk extra at night if I want to.

I shine my sink every day still.

I am concentrating more on my diet.

I have been thinking about switching to group classes at the gym instead of weight machines. They are too boring for me. I figure if I take up a hobby like Yoga or even tennis maybe, I might do the exercise more. Maybe I will join a basketball league or something.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Can too much sleep cause depression?

the other day I was Googling some things and came across some articles that hypothesize that getting too much sleep can actually lead to depression, rather than being a symptom of it. Or maybe it is circuitous. While there may still be a lot of controversy about whether or not this is true, here are some very interesting articles for your consideration:

Too Much Sleep Can lead to Restless Nights- this article says that people who get too little sleep and people who get too much sleep report the same types of sleep problems! Scarily, it says there have been reports about people who get too much sleep being more at risk for death! Ahhhh! As if I don't have enough to be phobic about! Well if this doesn't get me to quit it with the snooze button nothing will!

List of articles about the link between sleep and depression: interestignly enough, total sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce depression symptoms in 40-60% of treatments. Of course this is not wise nor practical, nor a long lasting solution, but very interesting nonetheless.

Circadian Rhythms and Depression: interesting because I have long suspected my own body clock is out of whack!

More info on sleep deprivation treatments for depression.

Incidentally, depression can cause carb craving.

Based on my research, I have decided to practice waking up early this weekend instead of attempting a 'rest cure'. I think I would be better off in the long run by learning to get less sleep and wake up earlier in the morning.

Also, sometime next week I plan on practicing a new goal of mine- to stop watching tv. I am going to start by giving it up one day a week, cause I am into baby steps, you know! Whats exciting and different is that I am not going to use the television for anything, even for just a light in the room while falling asleep. I will have to ::gasp!:: read a book or something!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sleep Cures and Sabbaticals

A long time ago I read an article or blurb about something called a "sleep cure". I believe it was a phenomenon primarily in some of the Asian cultures, whereby when someone presented themselves to their doctor, the doctor would often suggest they sleep for a while as a way of curing themselves of whatever malady. Most often it was used for psychological problems such as depression. I can see the allure and promise in the sleep cure myself. Oh to sleep for a few days and finally wake up rested and rejuvenated. A symbolic starting over. It is enticing. I have even thought of taking one this very weekend coming up! I have just felt so. tired. lately and I am not sure why. I am finding it hard to reach any goals. I am feeling beaten by the filth in my house. My messy room mate will never leave. I will never stop putting these 'starting points' on my goals. Next tuesday I will start living a new life where I keep my house clean. On Sunday I will start my new healthy eating lifestyle. This weekend I will start waking up earlier.

I am tempted to take a mini-retreat this weekend. Stay in all weekend. Write in my journal. Catch up on my chores. Take baths. The idea of a sabbatical is SO enticing to me because I feel like I need to summon up all my energy and reserves for getting ready to try and enforce this habit of waking up earlier.

Today I almost got into an argument with my work supervisor about arriving later and later every day. He is right, but why isn't that still enough to get me out of bed? Perhaps my berating and criticizing myself is not enough of a punishment. Somewhere inside my head, do I think that the self-criticism lets me off the hook? Maybe it is not bad enough of a punishment, I am too used to it now.

Some really cool sleep facts.

Who knew that significantly less sleep can cure sleepiness?

Now I am starting to think the opposite - maybe this weekend I should deprive myself of sleep! Probably I should practice getting by on 7 hours, which I am pretty sure is the best amount of sleep for me given long years of introspection.

I will have to let you know what I decide to do with my weekend!


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Getting up earlier

Well as you may have heard from my previous entries, I have been getting up reeeally late for the past 2 weeks or so and I have been very disappointed in myself, as the first few weeks of January I was able to get up nice and early and had very pleasant, productive mornings. Well slowly I woke up later and later, to the point I was waking up even later than I have been for the past 3 months. I don't know why but I think I figured it out- I have been trying to set my alarm for the latest time I want to get up instead of way earlier than I want to get up (remember I am a chronic snooze-button pusher). My body is just NOT used to that. I have been setting my alarm for 6, 6:30, 7, for as far back as I can remember, even in high school. So that is why now when I set the alarm for 8:30 the night before, I am sleeping for another hour or more. I am just used to doing that after my first alarm goes off.

This needs to be resolved, of course, although I am not sure how. I wish I could find an alarm clock with NO snooze button, that won't even let you reset the alarm for say, 10 minutes after it originally goes off. That way I would have to wake up for at least 10 minutes to reset my alarm. I think this would really work. I am actually gonna be trying to find this alarm clock today on Google. If it exists, it will be on the internet I am sure.

In other respects, I have been focusing way too much on my personal struggles lately so to not focus on my inner thoughts so much from now on I will be only posting article reviews for a little while.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Paxil and Medications

Well again like I have mentioned previously, things have not been going well lately. I feel a sense of slipping back to my old ways of not doing much to achieve my goals. I have not been to the gym in 2 weeks. First I was sick and then I just could not get up the motivation to go, I gave in again and again to my lazy-bones attitude and told myself I would go the next day. I am gonna try so hard to go today but I have to work late and it seems hard to go to the gym really late. Again, not doing good at one goal leaves me struggling to get another accomplished. It all seems to depend on the start I have to my day. If I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, it is all I can do to try to walk on the treadmill a little and I have really been trying to make showering a neccessity, so in the end I am really "late" to work (I set my own hours but the work must get done by the end of the day, so I wind up working late). Then I berate myself all morning. The berating and anxiety over the overwhelming problems I have are starting to take their toll. My stomach is upset a lot and I drink a lot and my shoulder muscles feel so achey.

I am going to my psychiatrist tommorrow and I think I will try a medicine for a while again. I figure what do I have to lose? I would really rather not go on medication but I think enough is enough. I have read about some problems Paxil users have from going off of it but I have taken it before and I did not have bad effects. It is really a risk I am willing to take at this time, for the promise of help getting my life in order. I will see what my psychiatrist says. Even if I get the prescription I may think about it some more before taking it. But I definetly need help with my anxiety problems and my emetophobia. Enough is enough!


Friday, February 16, 2007

Personal Lows

Well I seem to have hit a new personal low. Oddly enough you may not guess it because I took the time to blow dry my hair nice this morning and wear jeans to work instead of sweats. However I just cannot get out of bed in the mornings! I finally woke up at 10 am when I am supposed to be at work at 9 am (that is the time I decided on for myself). I just do not know what to do. I already see a counselor. I have an appointment to maybe try an anti-depressant. I am doing even worse at my goals than I was a few weeks ago and even then I wasn't doing enough.

I did manage to join but I have to still clean the sink this evening after work.

I did do half my time on the treadmill, walking .75 miles.

I showered.

I blew my hair dry.

I took my vitamins (especially the B vitamins) two days in a row.

So all is not lost, I am in just such a funk because I feel like I am always walking around confused about life. What to do with my work life feels really confusing right now, and it is affecting my other parts of my life. I don't make enough money right now, but I like my job. I don't like it enough to do forever, so I need to go back to school for some education. I can't afford it on my current salary.

What do you do when you feel confused and unsure of what the best course of action is? I need your help out there!

Since I am of no use to anyone right now, the least I could do is give you a good link to a resource on overcoming indecisiveness. Here's a good quote from this article:

"Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else's life." -- Eleanor Roosevelt "


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Become a Flylady

Well, I mentioned this in another one of my blogs but it is worth mentioning here as well. I have decided to become a Flylady again in hopes that it will help me start cleaning my house and getting my life together. I will be periodically be posting about my Flylady experiences here and in my Cleaning and Organizing Blog, since both blogs are a bit similar in nature. My Cleaning and Organizing Blog focuses on the physical aspects of cleaning and this blog focuses on the psychological. Anyway, Flylady is designed to help you get your life together one small baby step at a time. I have joined it once before and cancelled the service because I received too many emails and it was overwhelming to try and keep up with them, because I didn't listen when they said don't try to keep up! So I am gonna try it again and give it my all. Maybe they will help me start to get a good idea of what achievable baby steps actually look like.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Tough Approach to Laziness

Well you may have noticed recently I haven't been so kind about my inability to have self-control and I have started calling it pure laziness. This is the kind of attitude you will start having with yourself if you frequently disappoint yourself with your efforts and successes. I have continued to look up information on the relationship between laziness, medication, and if there are any other ways of beating laziness. I happened upon a rather tough approach to conquering laziness. Although it is tough, I really buy what this person, Chuck Gallozi, has to say on the subject in his article entitled, "Cure For Laziness: If you don't make things happen, things will happen to you."

Here are some of the things he said that really stood out to me, I encourage you to read the entire article:
  • Who said that anxiety, discomfort, or fear has to prevent you from starting? I don't remember being told that I have to stop whatever I'm doing if it makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • Once you accept that sometimes the weather will be too hot or too cold, or that we will be hungry sometimes, you can begin to think with reason and not act based on your emotions.
When you decide to do something despite the discomfort, you will discover that it wasn't as bad as you thought it was going to be. You will feel relief. Nothing will be weighing on your mind. You will be rewarded by whatever the act was (for instance, losing weight). You will be starting a new habit of doing things you know you should do.

Some other great points of Gallozi:
  • do not use the idea of seeing a counselor or buying/reading a self-book or writing a plan as a way of putting off Action.
  • Do not assume motivation needs to come before action. Act first, and then the rewards will motivate you to do more.

This author recommends the following books, which I intend to check out at the library"
- "SELF-DEFEATING BEHAVIORS, Free Yourself from the Habits, Compulsions, Feelings, and Attitudes that Hold You Back" by Milton R. Cudney, Ph.D. and Robert E. Hardy, Ed.D., HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.

Hope you enjoyed and found use in this blog entry. I know I did!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Laziness, Depression and Medication

My previous post on my personal grapples with not meeting my goals has led me to devote an entire blog entry on the idea of taking medication for laziness or lack of self-discipline. For the purposes of my goals, self-discipline means I have been so self-indulgent that I have had a hard time meeting my goals or doing what I know I am supposed to be doing. The decision to act against my long-term interests happens so quickly and automatically that I rarely catch myself in the act. I decide to not go to the gym cause I am sick, or so I tell myself. Then I go out with friends cause I am not that sick. Which is it? If I am honest with myself I know I am almost certain I am well enough to at least walk on the treadmill and lift weights. But the excuse telling to myself happens so quickly I cannot recognize it always, or I don't want to. I feel like, if I have an excuse that seems legitimate then it is okay if I don't go. I literally lie to myself!

Anyway, I went off-track for a moment there. What is self-indulgence? In one online resource, self-indulgence is termed :

Self-indulgence (Self`-in*dul"gence) (?), n.

Indulgence of one's appetites, desires, or inclinations; -- the opposite of self-restraint, and self-denial.

But what causes an excess of self-indulgence? What I am trying to get here is that perhaps an excess of self-indulgent behavior- eating, sleeping late, vegging out in front of the tv- is caused by depression or mild depression known as dysthymic disorder .

Can medicine cure self-indulgence, laziness, apathy, etc? Can medicine help us meet our goals? It is very tempting to want to believe this, when we feel like we cannot find the strength to change. We may keep spinning our wheels and not know why we just can't seem to get anything right.

Here is a really interesting explanation I found of depression. I am going to be ruminating on this idea for a long time, because although I studied depression in depth during my college studies, I have never heard it put quite this way:

Depression manifests as a result of doing things every day that aren't good for you. This may be spending long hours in a job you hate, or being trapped in a marriage with a partner you've given up on (or who has given up on you), or just being completely divorced from any sense of one's own being, being disconnected from what's real and true.
Depression is the inability to function (or be aware of) the present moment. Depression arises by being constantly burdened by the burdens of the past, or the perceived pressures of the future. It's in the reality of the Now (and also the only reality) that the key lies to salvation. It's in the Now that we need to be in order to not be depressed. Now is all we have, and all we will ever have. But being in the Now also requires us to face those things we've being trying to escape from (and escapism takes many forms, from listening to music, watching TV and movies, to reading, to sex, to shopping, to sleeping).

And perhaps this person's most poignant idea: Constantly chewing on thoughts that have no final answer (especially playing back unsolved mental dramas from the past) and depriving ourselves of meaningful answers and things to do (solutions in the present) is a highway to hell.

I want to write more on this later. For now, please read the entirety of that article above. I really approve of this article 100%.


My Personal Update for this Week

Well this week has been lousy in terms of personal achievement. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold and it has been hard for me to stay active and keep up with anything. Ho hum. What is wrong with me? Actually both Monday and today, Tuesday, I have woken up at 10 am when that is the usual time I have been getting to work for the last couple months (and I am actually aiming to be at work at 9 am like normal). I have not been going on my treadmill for 1.5 miles. I have either been going for .75 miles (half of my usual) or not at all. I always have an excuse, and sometimes rightfully so cause I wake up so late I won't be able to get to work on time if I were to go on the treadmill. This is not cool as I was able to go on the treadmill for 3 weeks straight before I started slacking! Almost 4 weeks as a matter of fact, but it wasn't until 3 weeks that I skipped any day at all.

I haven't been to church in 2 weeks. I don't eat breakfast as regularly anymore. I don't do Weight Watchers at all anymore. I don't take a bath at night before I go to bed. I haven't been to the gym in 8 days, when I am supposed to go 3 times a week.

The only things I have been keeping to are washing my face, brushing my teeth, and giving my pets their medicine twice a day.

What has happened to me to get me so far off track? I sincerely don't know, but I started getting a strong sense that I was slipping out of control and everything started to feel overwhelming. I attended some funerals last week and also my pets were sick, and I am sick, so maybe it was all enough to make me lose track of my important everyday things I need to do in order to reach a better life.

Also, waiting for my room mate to leave in order to clean my house has severely tripped me up.

I am thinking of going on Paxil. Does anyone have any experience with it? I am afraid it will make me gain more weight but so will my recent bad attitude. Hmm. What to do. Since I have grappled with my lack of productivety for so long it has occurred to me there may be more going on than I can change by willpower, resolve, self-loathing, etc.

This has been a rather unusually personal post for this blog but you know what? Feeling like this, the way I do know, is my entire reason for creating this blog. I hope my experiences reach out to others who sometimes feel the same way. I am on a quest to get better, not wallow in my current behavior and feelings.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

How to stop being lazy.

Well this weekend has basically been a miss in terms of living the life I want to live. I woke up late on both Saturday and Sunday. I did not get to the gym. I ate like crap. I did not clean my closet even though I had plans to clean the closet under the stairs this weekend. In part, this is due to me feeling under the weather and my body feels broken down. I think I am coming down with the cold or flu that is going around. However, I get dissapointed in myself cause I see plenty of other people go out and do the stuff they need to do even when they have a cold. For me, I view some sniffles as an excuse to lay around and veg out for a couple days. I think most days are veg-out days after work and this is not going to get me anywhere!

Because of this crappy weekend, I have decided to have today's blog entry focus on how to stop being lazy. I did a little research and found this Wiki article on laziness. Here are the steps they said to take in order to stop being lazy:
1. Set goals that are high but you can reach them. Make a to-do list (these really work if you can not get overwhelmed by them!)
2. Wake up earlier (I cannot emphasize how much I agree with this tip). Shower and get fully dressed every morning at a decent hour. Do not leave your room until you get this done (but don't be like me and use this as an excuse not to go out anywhere!)
- what else can you use as a motivator to get done? How about not having breakfast until you are fully dressed?
3. Eat healthy
4. Exercise

Number's 3 and 4 are a bit patronizing, aren't they? In fact all of these tips are pretty obvious. Lets see if I can come up with something a little more helpful. I found a good article on how to stop being lazy at work, but this isn't exactly what I mean by laziness.

Suprisingly, I found a lot of really amazing answers on Yahoo! Answers for the question, "How do you stop being lazy?".

Here are some of the answers from that site that I really found useful:

- "Try getting up early, get your metalbolism going by doing work outs. I do Denise Austin every morningcalled slow and fit. After about four days you will begin to really feel the difference and have energy all day. Get enough sleep also."
I like this tip because it really would kill two birds with one stone- you would be exercising and curing your laziness at the same time! Plus you follow along with a video so this helps those of you who need someone following along and pushing them to do the right thing.

- "First step is to do one thing a day where you go outside and two days a week where you go somewhere. Does not have to be for a long time just has to be done. Like go sit on back poarch where no one can see you and read and then walk accross yard. Then next day go to store and get something small for reward. Watch it is not candy as sugar makes depression worse and makes you fat on your medication. As you do a little, add just a few minutes and little things here and there. Even if you are still depressed, you will get moving."
I like this tip best of all. This makes getting out and doing stuff seem attainable. I could sit outside for a little while, even in this cold weather, if it will help me attain more of a 'busy' living-life spirit!

- This are some really funny tips, who knows I may resort to these if my willpower stays down in the dumps!
"1.Put needles, points up, on all the seats in your home so that when you sit down,well, you know.
2.Sleep on the kitchen floor so you don't over sleep.
3.Run laps around your neighborhood screaming "I WILL NOT BE LAZY!!" over and over again.
4.Hire someone (or two or three someones) to slap you in the face with a fly swatter every time you don't do a chore. (Make sure to pay them well, and make them Promise to slap you.)
5.Duck tape all the screens in your house (computer, TV, etc.).
6.When you eat, put the food on the floor, and do push-ups. Down, bite,chop,one. Down, bite, chomp, two! And so on.
7.Think positively. "I can do this, I can do this!"
8.Only eat health foods, throw out all the potato chips and soda. Time for trail mix and water!
9.Make sure to breath. Inhale through the nose, "heee", exhale through the mouth,"hooo".
10.Just do it! Do it!
11. Oh, and drink lots of water."

Here are some other great tips from a similar question asked on Yahoo! Answers:
- "get motivated, make a list of things you would like to do and need to do, cut them out and fold them up, put them in a cup and each day take one out and do it. If it is the weekend do 2 or 3 of them, you just need to be motivated."

I hope these tips have helped you, maybe you can use one of these tips and report back on how they worked!


Friday, February 9, 2007

That Out of Control Feeling

If you are like me, you may sometimes get the sensation that you are walking around and living your life, but you feel really out of control. You may have been better at working on your goals last week or last month, but somehow, and you are not really sure how or why, you have fallen off track. You may have slipped up on your diet or have not been following your exercise routine as enthusiastically or at all. Maybe your laundry is piling up, or your dishes, when you had been doing so good at keeping everything neat for a while. You want to get back to that feeling that you were starting to live your life right.

I believe one of the reasons you get that feeling that everything is spinning out of control is because, you are starting to lose the self-discipline you had gained. You are out of control! You are starting to let your whims and emotions dictate your behavior again. For example, you are letting the fact that you feel like you might be coming down with a cold convince you to forsake the gym routine. You are letting your immediate desires control your actions.

You may not be sure when you are going to be able to get back on 'the wagon' again. Well this feeling of spiraling out of control comes from too many impulsive decisions in a row. One day you had an appointment after work and you couldn't make it to the gym. Another day you ate lunch too late and thought you might get sick to your stomach if you did stomach crunches after work. You let yourself think if you don't accomplish your goal at the set time you shouldn't bother doing it at all. Soon it will be a week since you have been at the gym. Your unwillingness to be flexible prevents you from achieving your goals. If you were thinking like a winner, you might go home for an hour and let your late lunch digest and then go to the gym. So what if you are at the gym late? Don't let your schedule and unexpected events prevent you from meeting your goals!

Getting that sense of control back starts with one right decision. Then make another right decision, and soon you will be back to taking all those little baby steps and meeting your standards you set for yourself. Remember, don't let a bad mood or an unexpected stress or crisis keep you from meeting your obligations to yourself (eating healthy, going to the gym, cutting back on smoking). Those habits you are trying to acquire will give you more stability in your life, not less.


Thursday, February 8, 2007

That Damn Snooze Button

After mentioning the snooze button in my last entry, I decided to do a full spread on the topic. Many of you may know what I am talking about. There are people who hit the snooze button and there are people who don't. I have been hitting the snooze button since I was in high school and had to wake up myself instead of my mom coming in the room and yelling at me to wake up.

Since one of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to wake up earlier, I have been trying to set my alarm for earlier but I get sucked into this pattern of hitting the snooze button or resetting the alarm in my sleep, and I wind up having no time to get everything done in the morning! For instance, this morning I woke up too late to get my treadmill time done or eat breakfast! Now I will be starving for lunch and might choose the wrong things! So now my inability to wake up early enough has also caused me to have trouble meeting my weight loss goals. This is a bad cycle to get into. But I digress.

I have definitely come to the full realization that hitting the snooze button is an evil thing. You would not believe it but there are a lot of internet resources on why people hit the snooze button and its evils. This author explains that even if you do hit the snooze button, you are not getting an extra dose of the kind of sleep you would really need to feel more rested. He suggests setting your alarm clock to the exact time you usually wind up getting out of bed so you can at least get more of the deep sleep rather than light sleep.

Another reason many hit the snooze button is because they want to gradually awaken. This is a reason I tell myself for hitting that dreaded thing. Again, this author, Jeff Wong, makes a good point. Wake up a little bit earlier so you can lay in bed for a few seconds or look out the window. jump in the shower that much quicker. Have a glass of water by your bed to help wake you up. You can even buy one of those alarm clocks that mimics the sun rising.

If all else fails, you may need Clocky to get you out of bed and going in the morning. Clocky is an adorable little alarm clock that has the ability to jump off your night stand and run around your room when it goes off in the morning! That way you are too busy trying to find him to hit the snooze button!

For more on the great article by Jeff Wong entitled, "My Take on the Snooze Button", check out his website:

5 Simple Ways of Improving Your Self-Control

I would like to bring you a short article that gives some tips on improving your self-control . Below is a short synopsis of the full article.

1. "Drop a small bad habit"
This may something like never remembering to put the cap back on the toothpaste. Just try to develop this one act of self-control and you will be better off.

However, the author of this article seems to think "Other examples include giving up a regular afternoon snack, pressing the snooze button on the alarm clock, or having one too many coffees a day" which in my opinion none of these are small habits! I spend a lot of time and grief trying not to press that damn snooze button in the morning! At this blog we are working on all habits, because what is small to you may be a mountain to climb for me!

2. "Learn something boring but useful."

Now this is an exercise I can really get behind. If we all resolved to go home today and read ONE chapter in a manual we have (for the DVR recorder, for the digital camera, for the exercise bike, etc.) I bet we could all learn something really helpful in making our lives easier or more efficient! In fact, if you decide to do this, please leave a comment on what you wound up reading and learning so that you can be an inspiration to others!

3. "Do something you know you should every day for a week"

This is a toughie! If I could do something every day for a week, I feel like I would already have a new habit! The author says if we miss a day you have to add one 2 more days of doing it at the end of the week. Now what could I do to follow this task? And also, after a week should you let yourself stop doing it, even though you know it is something you should be doing every day?

4. "Set yourself an achievable, but difficult goal with a date for reaching it"

I don't know how this is a simple exercise for building self-control. Everyone should be doing this as they try to make it to a goal, but this is not what I had in mind when I said a simple exercise. Maybe, to make it simpler, it could be, to lose 2 pounds by March. Thats not too bad.

5. "Have a month where you ban yourself from putting anything off"

????? This is bizarre to me! If the readers of his article could accomplish this, are they really the people who are going to be reading this article? Although I am grateful for this writer in publishing these 5 Tips, I think this last tip may go a little too far for his audience. Maybe they are meant to be progressive tips, after you accomplish one you are ready for the next. However, I think they give someone struggling too much too soon. If you read this and think, that would be impossible for me to do, don't get discouraged! Everyone is at a different place. Like the author of the article I wrote about last time said, everyone's muscles are in a different place and someone is able to lift 10 pounds and another person is able to lift 100 lbs. Thats okay as long as you are working towards something.

To read this article in full, please go here:

And although I had some negative comments to say, remember to thank him because it is very nice of him to go through the trouble of writing up his opinion on how to improve your self-control. He had some great points although some were a little harder to do than others.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Self-Discipline article by Steve Pavlina

For my first article presentation, I bring to you an excellent, thorough article I found by a personal growth expert named Steve Pavlina. He has a ton of good information on his website that I have actually used before, for example an article on Becoming an Early-Riser. This was extremely informative and there really isn't a lot of information out there on self-discipline and changing smaller habits like getting out of bed in the morning. There is a real need for help with this sort of thing for people like me who have trouble telling themselves to do something and following-through.

Anyway he is presenting a week-long series on the nature of self-discipline and how to develop self-discipline. Here are a few quotes he had on achieving your goals that I felt were especially useful:

"Self-discipline is the ability to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state."

"Self-discipline is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger you become. The less you train it, the weaker you become."

"...The basic method to build self-discipline is to tackle challenges that you can successfully accomplish but which are near your limit."

He also described what tools we have at our disposal to help with achieving goals: passion, goal-setting, and planning, and self-discipline. I think it would be a good idea if we discussed these tools further in upcoming entries.

I really enjoy his analogy of starting where you are. If you say you are going to do something, and then you fail to do it, you have set out to do a goal that was too high for you right now. Thats a much better way of thinking about it, then just thinking you are a plain-old failure, isn't it?

In the spirit of this article I am going to resolve to try to eat one serving of vegetables every day for the next week, instead of resolving to do my usual "eat healthier from now on". I will let you know how I do and I will follow up with this goal and also present Part 2 of his series a week from today.

Hope this helped you, and a special thanks to the author of the above article and information!

To read the article in full, check out:

Monday, February 5, 2007


Do you have trouble achieving your goals like I do? I had such a hard time quitting smoking and since then, I have trouble losing weight and keeping my life clean and orderly. I have tried out lots of different ways of achieving my goals and I always seem to get stuck or disappointed in myself. I never have the life I want, and I know this is pretty much due to my own shortcomings. I would like to use this place to post interesting thoughts and reflections on building the self-discipline to achieve the goals you set in life. I also plan on posting a lot of outside resources about achieving goals and building self-control. I know there are a lot of people out there just like me, you say you are going to behave differently and then you don't seem to be able to make the right decisions or stay strong. Hopefully by helping myself I can help someone else out there, too. Good luck and please leave a comment if you have a tip!