Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm a Guest Blogger!

A friend of mine began a blog based on defining femininity. She asked for contributions... and I contributed. Check it out here, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Needed to Hear (Read) This

Disclaimer: I'm stealing this straight from this website. None of the following material belongs to me.

How to Build Self-Discipline

self discipline

Discipline is freedom. You may disagree with this statement, and if you do you are certainly not alone. For many people discipline is a dirty word that is equated with the absence of freedom. In fact the opposite is true. As Stephen R. Covey once wrote, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions”. And in the longer term, the undisciplined lack the freedom that comes with possessing particular skills and abilities – e.g. to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.

Self-discipline involves acting according to what you think instead of how you feel in the moment. Often it involves sacrificing the pleasure and thrill of the moment for what matters most in life. Therefore it is self-discipline that drives you to:

  • Work on an idea or project after the initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away
  • Go to the gym when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch TV
  • Wake early to work on yourself
  • Say “no” when tempted to break your diet
  • Only check your email a few of times per day at particular times

In the past self-discipline has been a weakness of mine, and as a result today I find myself lacking the ability to do a number of things which I would like – e.g. to play the guitar. But I have improved, and I can say that it is self-discipline that got me out of bed this morning at 5am to run and then write this article. Believe me, I would love to be curled up in bed right now, but this desire is subordinated by my inner sense of purpose.

If you struggle with self-discipline, the good news is that it can be developed. For example, it is only in the past two years that I have trained myself to wake early. The following are what I have found to be the five traits of self-discipline:

1. Self-Knowledge

Discipline means behaving according to what you have decided is best, regardless of how you feel in the moment. Therefore the first trait of discipline is self-knowledge. You need to decide what behavior best reflects your goals and values. This process requires introspection and self-analysis, and is most effective when tied to written expression. I highly recommend taking the time to write out your goals, dreams and ambitions. Even better, write out a personal mission statement. I found that writing such a statement gave me a greater understanding of who I am, what I am about and what I value. Dr. Covey has an excellent Mission Statement Builder on his site.

2. Conscious Awareness

Self-discipline depends upon conscious awareness as to both what you are doing and what you are not doing. Think about it. If you aren’t aware your behavior is undisciplined, how will you know to act otherwise?

As you begin to build self-discipline, you may catch yourself being in the act of being undisciplined – e.g. biting your nails, avoiding the gym, eating a piece of cake or checking your email constantly. Developing self-discipline takes time, and the key here is you are aware of your undisciplined behavior. With time this awareness will come earlier, meaning rather than catching yourself in the act of being undisciplined you will have awareness before you act in this way. This gives you the opportunity to make a decision that is in better alignment with your goals and values.

3. Commitment to Self-Discipline

It is not enough to simply write out your goals and values. You must make an internal commitment to them. Otherwise when your alarm clock goes off at 5am you will see no harm in hitting the snooze button for “just another 5 minutes….” Or, when initial rush of enthusiasm has faded away from a project you will struggle to see it through to completion.

If you struggle with commitment, start by making a conscious decision to follow through on what you say you’re going to do – both when you said you would do it and how you said you would do it. Then, I highly recommend putting in place a system to track these commitments. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets improved”.

4. Courage

Did you notice the sweat dripping from the man in the picture at the start of this article? Make no mistake, self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetites and passions can be powerful forces to go against. Therefore self-discipline is highly dependent on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful. Instead, find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. As you begin to accumulate small private victories, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.

5. Internal Coaching

Self-talk is often harmful, but it can also be extremely beneficial if you have control of it. When you find yourself being tested, I suggest you talk to yourself, encourage yourself and reassure yourself. After all, it is self-talk that has the ability to remind you of your goals, call up courage, reinforce your commitment and keep you conscious of the task at hand. When I find my discipline being tested, I always recall the following quote: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret”. Burn this quote into your memory, and recall in whenever you find yourself being tested. It may change your life.

Peter writes about how to change your life at The Change Blog. He also runs a blog for audio book lovers called Audio Book Downloads.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I See Crazy Things on the Street Sometimes

Yesterday, I saw one of these:

Ever seen one before? Check them out here.

Today, I saw someone riding a bike uphill while talking on a phone. Uphill. On the phone.
Hats off to you buddy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Am Beyond Impressed

I'm a DWTS fan. I like watching the different dances and imagining that it's something I would be capable of if I just had the right training. I don't always watch every episode of every season... but I'm still a fan.

It helps if there's someone on the show that I either knew of before and liked, or get to know a little bit about during the show and they seem like good/nice people.

This season it's this guy:

J.R. Martinez was wounded while driving a Humvee while serving as a U.S. Army infantryman and the Humvee hit a landmine. Read more about him here.

before and after
via - follow the link and read more about him - plus a video of him

Call me a sucker for a soldier, patriotism, or a tragic hero; but I'm really impressed and grateful that there are men and women willing to serve their country regardless of the risks to themselves.

And as a bonus, he seems like a nice guy (I know, I know, what can you tell from a few hours on TV? Probably not a whole lot...). He also seems to have a great attitude, saying things to his partner like - 'I only have one ear, so I can only hear half of what you're saying.' Anyway, I hope he wins this season.

Check out his most recent dance. Week 2, the Jive:

update: he got a 22 on this dance (same as last week)
even though carrie ann was ticked about the lifts at the beginning and len thought it looked more like a lindy hop than a jive

I Think I Would Maybe Feel Like Killing Him

I got this sent to me through my work email. I don't know the person who sent it, so I'm wondering if I was an unintended recipient, but I'm kinda glad I got it. (:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Considering the Plunge

I'm thinking about closing my facebook account.

I've been thinking about it for a while.

Any arguments for or against?

I'm open to hearing both sides.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Did It!

#12 - go paragliding or hang gliding (or both) -- check!

practice flight -

flight number 3 or 4 (or 5?)

Soooo fun! I loved it. I almost always got nervous before take off (just a little) but I loved being in the air. It was awesome. It's way too expensive to become a hobby for me now (maybe at some point in my life...) but I would love to go on a tandem flight sometime. Alex - my instructor - offered to cut Annikki and me a deal if we ever wanted him to take us up. I'm probably going to take him up on it sometime.

Not all of my take-offs were as flawless as what's in the video. After that flight I hiked up the slope to go on one more flight. The wind was kind of picking up, but Alex said we could get one more in. I was all set to go, got the paraglider up, and the wind picked me up and threw me right back down onto my backside. It was kind of hilarious - and maybe just a little bit painful. He got me re-set up right away, and that time I got the paraglider up, and then the wind started shooting me way over to the left. I thought using the right brake might help compensate for that, and it kind of did... except I shot the brake down way too far, ended up falling down on my right side and getting dragged through the rocks and weeds a little ways until the paraglider decided to come down and join me on the ground. That one was a bit more painful.

Don't worry though, I did end up having a flawless last flight (after the two blunders) and it was awesome. It's not a sport for sissies, and I have the scrapes, bruises, and sore muscles to prove it. (:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This is Getting Depressing

So... I'm turning 30. I've mentioned that... once, maybe a couple of times... (and more, I'm sure)

Anyway, I have a friend from my graduate program who is also turning 30. 11 days before I do. We've been commiserating this week about all the aches and pains we're getting. So sad. We're talking like old people.

Just this morning I mentioned to him that I pulled a hamstring while running yesterday. He said he was doing the criss-cross-type of crunches and could feel a pain in his back starting, so he left off the last set.

That's it.

I'm old.

How sad is that?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Really Want a Snickers Bar

Make that a Snickers Peanut Butter bar.

I also want -

- Krispy Kreme doughnuts
- a pudding/cream cheese dessert my mom made last night
- ice cream - cookies and cream
- pizza

I think that's it.

Am I going to have any of those things?


Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.*


Because I'm back on 'Eat to Live' as of Monday.

I knew the cravings would come, but ugh...

I'm leaving work in 20 minutes.

I'm stopping at the store on my way home.

I'm buying -

- kidney beans
- zucchini
- broccoli
- dog food

That's all.

No Krispy Kremes, ice cream, etc.

I really hope this craving period ends.


*that's a movie reference, obscure though it may be. probably a jazillion points if you get it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Record-Breaking Week

This morning I found out that a guy I know was on Regis and Kelly with four other guys attempting to break the world record for the most front-flip slam dunks in 30-seconds.

Check it out -
Justin (my friend) is the next to last when they line up to talk to Regis and Kelly, and the one who helps Regis get in position at the end.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bringing the Kitchen to the Bathroom*

I know a lot of people are blogging about 9/11 today - with good reason. I really don't have anything to add to what I posted last year, except for maybe - God Bless America. We need Him so much (always, but even more so now than before I think), for so many reasons. I love this country and am indeed proud to be an American. I don't agree with everything that goes on, but I don't want to live anywhere else. America truly is great.

(*those of you who know me well may know how hard it was to write that title. i refuse to take any food or water into the bathroom. it's disgusting. but read on, and then the title will make sense. :)

For a little over a week I haven't been using shampoo or conditioner on my hair. Don't get freaked out, I'm still clean (promise!). I've just been using an unconventional method.

Ready to hear it?

Baking soda.

That's it.

Well, baking soda in water. 1 Tbsp baking soda for every 2 Tbsp water. About. It's not a scientific process. I put it in a little squirt bottle and shake it up before every use (it separates), and after wetting my hair, I squirt some baking soda/water on my head. Rub it in really well (it's a different feeling and takes a bit getting used to), then rinse it out really well. The post-baking soda/water feeling take a bit of getting used to as well.

A few days after doing this, I read this lady's blog who mentioned putting an apple cider vinegar/water mixture in your hair after washing with baking soda, or lemon juice/water. I put some lemon juice (about 1 Tbsp to every 1 cup of water - again, not scientific so it doesn't really matter) and water in a squirt bottle and after rinsing the baking soda out, I put some of that in. I love how my hair has been feeling. It feels clean and is easier to manage. I'm sold.

Next crazy idea:

brown sugar/honey/olive oil/vanilla body (and face!) scrub.

I've tried this for a few days too (a couple of days without the olive oil, then I saw a recipe with olive oil and I mixed that up last night and used it this morning).

Once again - SOLD.

I love it.

This also separates, but I keep it in a little tupperware-type container and keep a plastic spoon with it so I can just quickly mix it up before using it.

With my hands, I scoop some out and start scrubbing.

My skin felt so soft and moisturized even before getting out of the shower. I didn't put any lotion or any kind of moisturizer on my body or face after getting out of the shower - because I didn't need it.

I know I posted about the greatness of baby oil gel a little while ago, but this trumps that. There's no contest in my opinion. It's really amazing.

One warning with the brown sugar mix - careful about it getting into your hair; or wash your hair after using the body scrub. I got some of the mixture in my hair from my hands and shoulders where my hair touched, and my hair was just a bit oily (because of the olive oil). I'm still going to use the scrub because it's awesome, but I'll probably clip up my hair after washing it just to keep it out of the way.

And the best thing about using these things - if you get really hungry in the shower you can just make yourself a cake or something. (:

Which reminds me of this:
(skip to 2:33 - or a bit later - and watch to the end to see what I'm talking about)

also, in honor of National Honey Month (who knew that even existed?) read here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Mom and I Got Pedicures the Other Day

It may have reminded us of this:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hmm... I Don't Think I Love It...

A friend told me about stumbleupon a few days ago. It's a pretty fun website. I've found some cute ways to do nails and hair (especially long hair - which makes me determined to grow mine out again -- for real this time...).

One type of nail painting that I thought was really fun is called water marbling. I got some fun colors today (silver and pink) planning on trying it, but the polish I got just wasn't working (they do say that some are better than others). While looking at tutorials on water marbling, I found this post on tie-dye nails. Soo much easier, and also kind of fun, so I thought I'd try that instead.

Simply - paint two layers of one color on all your nails. Let it dry. Paint one layer of another color on all your nails. Let it dry. Take a q-tip, dip it in nail polish remover, and start rubbing different designs into the nails as you reveal the lower color.

~ for the second layer I didn't really care if I covered the whole nail since I'd be rubbing some off anyway ~

~post q-tip rubbing ~

It's kind of growing on me, and I'll probably leave it on for a few days, but I don't think it's my favorite look.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Don't Think I've Posted This Yet

I heard this song for the first time after I had been dumped because I like dogs.

Needless to say, this song has a special place in my heart. (: