This was me last night.
Okay, I'll admit: the photo was staged (thanks to the wonderful Chloe Faulk!). But sitting here typing this with a hangover, it sure feels real.
Tell me, have you ever found yourself deciding you need a change? Everyone has those moments where they decide they need to work harder at school or that new promotion at work or bringing down that cholesterol. Millions of people make New Year's Resolutions every freaking year, and the running joke is how terrible we are at actually DOING them. We laugh because, well, sadly, if we don't laugh then we'd either have to cry or stop making New Year's Resolutions.
But we won't stop making goals for ourselves, or daydreaming about where our lives could be. Why?
BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING HARD.
I, like possibly maybe many of you (I'm not alone, right?), go in a cycle that looks like this:
"IT'S A NEW DAY! I MAY BE ASHAMED AND FULL OF DISGUST FOR MY PRESENT SELF, BUT THAT CAN ALL BE IN THE PAST AND THE FUTURE IS NOW!"
"...AND I'M GONNA GET THOSE SIX PACK ABS I'VE HEARD ABOUT AND LEARN SPANISH AND WRITE THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL AND SAVE MONEY TO FINALLY TRAVEL THE WORLD AND..."
*7 days later*
"...and I'm doing really good and I've exercised every day this week, and sure I ate that cupcake but come on, that was a reward for FINALLY DOING IT!"
*the next day*
"Yes, I'd like a large bacon cheeseburger with curly fries, a chocolate shake, and..."
It's emotionally taxing on you and possibly those around you. I can't imagine what it's like for my wife to watch me go in these circles.
Everyone has their struggle. Mine is Type 1 diabetes. I've had it for over 10 years now. The thing about diabetes that most people don't understand: It isn't just about food. Type 1 is hereditary. I didn't get it because I ate too much sugar. It is nothing like Type 2. Type 1 is very rare--in fact, only about 0.25% of Americans have it, which is a fraction of those with celiac disease. It affects every aspect of my life, and I mean EVERY. It is the leading cause of blindness, neuropathy, etc. blah blah blah
Here's a fun gif to lighten the mood:
Okay, let me cut to the chase: In order to stop myself from starting another cycle of "taking my goals seriously" and "The New and Improved Spencer (Psyche!)" I am using this blog to force myself to take accountability for my actions. I have started TODAY, NOVEMBER 1st 2015, and I will continue this for 90 days, which is the amount of time it takes to instill good habits and witness results (or so I'm told; I've never actually reached that far).
WHAT THIS MEANS:
I have cut all bad from my diet--my addiction to fast food--
(Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, I'm lookin' at you)
--and donuts, and Rockstars--
(NO NO NO OH GAWD WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT MY ENERGY)
--and ice cream, and gigantic portions. All gone.
Instead, I have written up a meal plan full of delicious egg white omelets, chicken breasts on quinoa, and veggies veggies veggies. Oh, and water, TONS OF WATER (sorry, California...)! I won't bore you with a meal photo 3 times a day, but you will be seeing proof of my new diet, and you will be HOLDING ME TO IT!
Then, I will slowly bring back daily exercise. I have a personal trainer friend who has graciously put together a weekly muscle-group weight training plan, complete with the dreaded cardio.
Oh, this isn't just about eating and exercise! I'm starting there because my health, as I've said, informs literally every single aspect of my life. But then that's where the fun begins.
SELF-IMPROVEMENT CAN BE TORTURE.
I've written up goals. I won't put them here right now, but for now, I will tell you which areas I intend to improve first.
1. DIET & EXERCISE
2. MY WRITING
--I have always wanted to be a professional writer, and I even wrote my first novel last year, but for some reason I also happen to be a huge procrastinator. Not anymore. Starting today, I am setting aside AT LEAST 3 hours every single day to work on my writing. That begins with the novel I am writing for 2015's NaNoWriMo. Oh, also, I am being published this month! More details on that later.
3. FINANCES AND ADULT STUFF
--this includes expanding my business (I'm a private piano teacher!), and other much more boring stuff, but right at this moment this means fixing my car. It broke down (transmission failure) a couple days ago, and well I drive about 8 hours a week for my job, so I kind of need to fix the car ASAP.
4. SPIRITUAL SELF-IMPROVEMENT
--this kind of encompasses a lot. I may write an article on an issue that is important to me, like feminism or marriage equality or prejudices of today in general. I may read a book that has been deemed noteworthy (first off: Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea). Or I may take your suggestions and try a new activity to broaden my horizons (i.e. visit a church, volunteer at a soup kitchen, see nature and watch the sunrise). Anything is welcome, so suggest away!
That's it, for now.
If you've read this whole thing, I promise to make future Self-Improvement blogs shorter. I guess I have a lot to say.
Aaaaaaaaaand I'm off!