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Thursday, May 3, 2012

12 in 12 - my habit of choice for May

So here it is a brand new month and this time, I want to concentrate on the people around me instead of always focusing on mememememe. There are some (mostly sisters) who will say that's all I ever think about. It's not true, but maybe it seems that way. I'm not really interested in changing other people, but that's not to say I'm not interested in them. I just think there's room for lots of ways to go about things and your way is probably as good as mine. Still - I'd like to be sure I'm not so busy working on my issues that I don't actually let people know I'm interested in them too. So this month I plan to add complimenting others to my days.

Originally I was just going to do this with my staff. I really like the people who work for me - and they deserve to know it. Also - in order to compliment someone you have to look at what they're doing - and when you do you often notice strengths they have that could be used in other areas of the workplace. People get tired of doing the same thing all the time but they always love being asked to do what they do well. I need to take advantage of these strengths to enliven their day while also enriching the workplace! But there's no reason I can't do this with friends and family too. So the little tweak I'm giving my May 12 in 12 will be to compliment someone every day. 

As the year rolls around, though, and I keep adding things, it's getting a little harder to be sure I'm actually doing all of them. I tried to keep them small so that they'd become ingrained, habitual, a part of me. I also tried to choose at least some things that I already did some, but knew I would benefit if I did them all the time; things like exercise and drinking enough water or planning my tomorrow at the end of today. But now that I'm seriously trying to juggle 5 of them I need some way to keep track of how well I am doing - especially when it involves pro-actively touching others. I've decided to keep a list in my 2012 journal of every one I compliment, what the compliment was, how I made it real, not just nice, and if possible, what was the underlying good trait about the person that prompted the compliment. I certainly value the act of speaking a kind word on impulse as often as I'm prompted, but I want these to be a little deeper - to touch upon the essential goodness of a person, not just the pretty outside.

Keeping on top of some of the other things will require a bit of note taking as well. I already journal the food I eat - and have done so faithfully for 4 months. I know it's becoming a habit because on the one or two days I don't/can/t I get all antsy and cranky about it. If I forget my little Weight Watcher's food journal, I grab a scrap of paper and write down what I've been eating. I've lost about 5 lbs since Christmas. Nothing to turn cartwheels over, but down is down and that's always good. More importantly, the food journal often keeps me out of the kitchen after dinner is over - my bugaboo time when chocolate ice cream whispers to me. Yes it is a tiny low fat ice cream on a stick - something I do not intend to expunge from my life - but No. I do not need to eat 2 of them. Or 3. The little food journal is a gentle guard on the refrigerator door.

I also bought a little exercise journal I can keep in my gym bag. I've been working out with W the Personal Trainer at my gym. I love having a personal trainer. It's ... it's a little like being a kid again. Like having a parent set the bar for you and praise you when you reach it. Or, maybe not a parent - because they love you too much. More like a really good private teacher. While WthePT is friendly enough, he is not invested in me. In an impersonal, though always courteous way, his interest is in my trapezoids or my triceps - not my obedience, cooperation or agreement. He's so full of different exercises that I can't remember how to do them all between one week and the next. There's lots of demonstration and discussion about why we do what, but it's information overload. So from now on, at each session I'll make little notes of each group of exercises so I can practice during the coming days. The point is to give me an arsenal of movements and choices that work all the muscle groups so that I don't get in the habit of doing the same old routine - and my muscles can't figure out how to make those exercises easy. It's challenging and fun, but so rich I need to take notes.
As for how I'm doing with the other new habits - well -  I have probably not always been as good at drinking enough water, there are days I don't get to the gym, but I'm stronger, steadier and fitter than I was 4 months ago. Prayer has helped me over a lot of tough patches this year and I'm exploring new avenues to fulfill my spiritual hunger. So - I am making progress - and for a classic ENFP, that's all I really wanted anyway.

1 comment:

  1. A picture's worth...well, you know! Must try to find one o' those...