goals

A New Beginning

When do you start?

Do you wait until there is a special day? Until a new month? A new year? Until tomorrow?

Do you wait until your birthday?

Until after the 4th of July?

Until after your friend's 30th birthday bash?

Or do you start now?

There are things in life you want. 

Sometimes you just have to start.

And keep starting.

Until you are doing. 

All I want is coffee

This has been a rough week and it is only Wednesday :/

I switched to decaf coffee at the beginning of February.

I did it pretty gradually adding in more and more decaf coffee to my caf coffee until it was all decaf. That didn't suck too bad.

I have done this in the past and those first two days of no caffeine were MIS-ER-ABLE. I was a lump. I had no energy. No light. No focus. I was one sad panda.

But, I got through it.

And this time around it wasn't so bad. I didn't want to die, so that was cool.

But, my friends.

There is one thing I am leaving out. This time. Ohhh this time. I was like, you know what is okay?

Some dark chocolate.

I decided this right around V-day figuring it was apropos to embrace the delightful buzz of 80%+ dark chocolate. 

Yes. I know. Chocolate has caffeine. 

And OH YES. My body loved it.

My brain was so super happy. I'd have moments of OH MI GAWD I can be so productive! Which FEELS great in the moment, but isn't really helping my body for the long term.

Now is time to focus in on the long term. I want to get my body to a place where it isn't so dependent on stimulants to feel ammazeballs. I want that to come from me, I want to support my adrenal glands, and I want to one day maybe enjoy an occasional cup of caf coffee.

I also think chocolate is rad and will let it come to play again, but right now it is serving as a crutch and undermining my goals. 

So.

This month I am letting go of chocolate and boy, does this make me sad.

 

And all I want is a cup of coffee.

Sometimes the short term goal is so very tempting.

So. Very. Tempting.

And sometimes you have to mute it's siren call and focus on the long term goal.

One decaf sip at a time.

 

Be Human

Sometimes I want to be perfect.

Sometimes I look at what I've accomplished in life and think I will reach a place where everything feels right. Where I feel like I have dialed in the perfect combination and I will feel a sense of contentment at all times.

Where I will feel connected to myself and the world.

And the world and I will hold hands and smile at each other. The end credits will play with a swelling back drop of poignant music and fade to black.

It doesn't go that way.

Life is a constant ebb and flow. Which is annoying, but you know what they say - if you don't feel the lows you won't appreciate the highs. I wish it weren't as true as it really, really is.

I experience moments of simple perfection like walking home after a good workout, feeling expended, feeling endorphins kicking, and looking at the beautiful world around me. I pause in those moments and think this is it. This is what it is all about.

Then I have other moments where something is just off. Nothing I can put my finger on, just a sense of not being connected. I will often try to trick myself out of it by doing something, by distracting myself... by something. 

But lately I have considered what if it is okay to be off?

What if that is part of human?

And obviously it is. I KNOW IT IS.

But. I often forget.

Facing the world is interesting. You see people in mere moments of their lives. Glimpses. It can seem like they are eternally happy in that moment. That they have it all figured out. 

But, there isn't a figured out.

The goals always shift and there is no perfect. There is no code to crack. There is just human.

And so, I will forgive myself for not being perfect.

For making mistakes. 

For being human.

You.

Take care of yourself.

I used to hate it when people told me to be "kind to myself".

Like. Hate. It.

It sounded too gentle.

I would think "YEAH GREAT! But how am I supposed to get SHIZ DONE?!"

If I am over here being "gentle with myself" how am I supposed to pay my bills, get to the gym, interact with friends, pursue side projects, cook dinner, plan things, go to sleep, wake up and do it all again? PLUS! What about errands? Who has time for gentle when I need to get to the Post Office, when I just ran out of dishwashing soap, my shoes are wrecked, I need a haircut, AND I have nothing in my fridge?

WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND THE TIME TO BE GENTLE WITH MYSELF?

Answer: Never.

And then I would get a break. And I would get sick. Everything would set in and I would get terribly sick, full of all the ill, and not having much fun.

I felt like everything was on high speed. Do one thing to get to the next thing, to get to the next thing, so I can finally get to this last thing - sleep - wake up and do one thing to get to the next thing to get to the next thing to get to the next and so on. 

Until what?

Years of my life went by like this. I am not saying there were NO MOMENTS of joy or fun or pleasure, but the overwhelming feel was I need to do these tasks because I have to, because they build my life, and by doing them I will get to a more elevated place where maybe I won't have to do them as hard or as much? But right now in this moment I don't deserve to "be gentle" because I haven't earned it yet. I haven't gone to the gym enough, I haven't earned enough money, I haven't advanced in my career enough yet -

I NEED TO HUSTLE.

I NEED TO GET THINGS DONE.

So much pressure. It is a lot of energy without a lot of reward. 

All of that pushing and doing never got me further ahead. 
I was just numb. I felt comforted because I was busy, but I wasn't really advancing on my goals. 

My head was always spinning. I was constantly mired in thoughts and lists and plans and my life was just slipping by - I started to take care of myself more. I sought out acupuncturists, nutritionists, and naturopaths - but my mindset hadn't shifted. I had just added more appointments to my list of things to do.

I needed to believe I was worth the time.

That it didn't matter how much I had or hadn't accomplished.

That it was okay for me to slow down.

That being GENTLE wasn't being WEAK.

Which is why I kept myself so busy - WHO CARES if I am not achieving my goals, if I am not weak. Right?

I really had to check myself on that. 

Being able to be with yourself, kind to yourself, and allow yourself what you need to take care of you is STRENGTH. It makes you the kind of person that CAN help others. 

It is an amazing skill. And so I urge you -

Be kind.

Be gentle.

And slow down. 

What is the first thing I should do?

How can I get the most BANG for my BUCK?

Is there a magic thing that I should be doing RIGHT NOW?

And you know what, there are some good places to begin - one of my favorites is breakfast start at the beginning of the day and build from there. 

But honestly, there is no perfect place to start. The magic is unsexy. Because the magic comes from consistency.

It doesn't matter so much where you start, but that you continue. And something is always better than nothing.

What if you were determined to run a 5k.

And your goal was to get out and run for 30 minutes each day. But, then life happens, things happen and 30 minutes might as well be 30 hours. 

So what if instead your promise was just to run around the block?

Do you think you'd be able to commit to that?

And do it everyday?

And then do you think somedays you'd do more, go further, maybe hit that 30 min mark?

So basically:

  1. Start
  2. Choose a bite sized goal (1 pushup, 1 walk, 1 minute of meditation)
  3. Keep it consistent 

I know you all think I am uber wise, how could you not? This is crazy revolutionary! Ok, ok, it isn't but it IS hard to implement. All of this is logical, but there are so many people that set BIG goals, start strong, and then when those goals start to go sideways they abandon what they set out to do. 

Start smaller, be consistent, and you will win all the things!

Gimme caffeine!

You know what is magical?

Coffee.

Oh man, it is good stuff. I hold it closely to my heart and my lips. Coffee has been my friend through good and bad. I love the smell, the taste, the routine, and that fun little buzz I get.

Sadly. Coffee is a beverage of diminishing returns.

One of the jobs I worked I got in at 6 am, which meant getting up at 4:45... which meant that by the time I was dropped off in Downtown Seattle all I wanted was coffee in my mouth. I didn't want to TALK to people, I didn't even want to hold up the thin veneer of social grace and be semi-polite to people. I just wanted my coffee. Now. Yesterday. GIMME!

I'd order a 12oz 4 shot Americano. It felt amazing for 2 seconds and then I needed another hit. GIMME MOAR! This was in my less enlightened days where I was still consuming sugar on the regular and thought there was nothing wrong with having a Redbull daily (along with my coffee).

I was constantly looking for a boost. Though I wasn't really aware that is what I was doing and if you had asked me at the time I would have said - I don't know why I get so tired/unfocused/fatigued I eat a pretty well! I workout all the time! I digress... 

Let's focus on the caffeine.

There are different viewpoints. Dave Asprey famous for his butter/mct oil/coffee blend (which I dig) is a big coffee fan and he believes that as long as the beans are sourced properly most people will be okay attributing some of the negative side-effects to mycotoxins that can be found in not properly prepared beans.

Mary Vance is on the more conservative side of coffee, she loves it, as I love it, but tends to keep it to once or twice a month due to negative side effects like "anxiety, energy fluctuations and blood sugar instability".

I flirt on both sides of the line.

What I know from self experimentation is that pulling coffee out sucks. I have a bad couple of days. It feels like all the "happy" has been taken from me. Why life. Why ever do anything. How be happy?  = my brain on no coffee... AT FIRST and then I get over the lack of happy. I begin to feel ok again and I notice the benefits:

1) I sleep better

2) I wake up better (much better, I mean a lot... like I actually don't mind waking up)

3) Overall better energy regulation

Then when I reintroduce caffeine I am like WHOA THIS STUFF IS IMPACTFUL! THIS STUFF PACKS A PUNCH! 

It is really cool to actually FEEL what coffee does to you again. And for this reason alone I recommend cutting it out for a while.

NOW...

There was a time when I cut it out and I did no coffee whatsoever - meaning - no decaf, no stimulants, no teas - etc. I just drank water in the morning. I was SOOO miserable. I love the ritual of coffee and this made me super sad. Almost not worth it sad.

So this last time I switched to decaf, I do tend to use the bulletproof decaf because I appreciate the care that goes into processing AND it tastes good! Going decaf was so much better for me - so much less painful - I got to have my ritual, my morning drink, and that made everything so much better.

Most recently I am back on the caffeine dragon. My mornings are suffering. I realize it is time to jump back off for a bit, but friends, let me tell you - this can be hard.

But.

It is worth it.

Give it a try. See how magical coffee can be again :)