Purposeful, Intentional, Productive

Okay, wow.

I did it! I reached over 50,000 words in the month of November. For those of you wondering what I’m talking about, it’s NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo Winner 2012-180x180

The month was a crazy one:  Moving everything we own one weekend, working on a church project every night another week, and of course, the Thanksgiving holiday with family. On top of having a full-time job. I spent the last week getting up at 5:00 a.m. to catch up on my word count. And strangely enough, it turned me into a morning person. Which I now love!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to write about this last Thursday–I was sick for an entire week. Which brings me closer to the point of this post…

After training for and running a marathon (see Here We Go Again… and Good vs. Crappy Runs and My First Marathon:  The Wonderful in the Horrible), after trudging through NaNoWriMo (see NaNoWriMo!!!!!!!!!!!!), and after a week of being sick, I decided to take an evening “off” from everything by watching TV and surfing the net. Of course, I did a few productive things like eat supper, play with the dog, and put laundry away/organize my closet (it’s still a little crazy after moving). I expected to feel relaxed.

Nope.

I felt like the evening was a complete waste. And I was frustrated because I had no idea why. Well….. Having spent every spare minute in the last six months working productively and intentionally toward huge goals, I have reprogrammed myself. Just like a person can “become” a morning person (see Michael Hyatt‘s post, How to Become a Morning Person), a person can become other things. I am becoming purposeful, intentional, and productive.

So now I’m struggling with conflicting feelings about the “new me”. I’m excited because being purposeful, intentional, and productive will propel me toward my future goals, life dreams, and crossing things off my bucket list. But I’m also a little saddened because I wonder if I will never feel relaxed again. But my husband reminded me, relaxation could just be redefined.

All in all, even if I have lost the ability to feel relaxed doing “nothing”, I am beyond excited at the future accomplishments and realization of dreams before me!

Goal Setting, Self-Discipline & Dreams

I mentioned in an earlier post that I rediscovered my joy of writing fiction. I am more than ready to jump right in!

There are two things I have heard over and over, when it comes to seriously attempting something:  Make your goals very specific, and write them down. So here I go…

I am attempting to finish and publish a novel. And there are four things I have implemented, or plan to:

  • I contacted my former writing accountability partner. We plan to hold each other accountable for our use of time, and any specific goals. I am so excited! Getting feedback from another writer can be a ton of fun.
  • I purchased Michael Hyatt‘s Get Published. This is information I have always wanted to get my hands on! I have mentioned before that we are doing Dave Ramsey‘s baby steps, so this material was purchased with money made from selling our mower.
  • Once I am done training for my marathon, I will use that time to write. Marathon training has definitely upped my self-discipline ability!
  • I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month promotes quantity–50,000 words to be exact–over quality. But it will enable me to get the gist of my story out. I can go back to tweak and research later.

This is going to take a lot of self-discipline! But I figure, when’s a better time to start? Just this evening I told someone there are too many people who never pursue what they’re really passionate about…not enough time, not enough money, too many other things to do, or they spend too much time in front of the TV. If I have the chance to accomplish my dream, I’m going to go for it!

Of course, I haven’t given myself a specific deadline to have the first draft done… Maybe it should be January 1, 2013, considering I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. What do you think?

How have you used self-discipline to pursue your dreams, or to reach a goal?

Rest.

How many times do we desire rest? How often do we rest? How many people take time and prioritize rest?

I know that’s something I struggle with.

I always have something I could be doing….marathon training, writing my blog, working on my two book ideas, learning how to use different programs I want to implement in my projects, doing the research behind ideas I have for church, networking, reading about leadership and small business, budgeting financial goals, and the list could go on. Don’t forget playing with my two fur-babies and maintaining a spectacular marriage!

My husband occasionally has to put his hands on my shoulders and say, stop. (And that’s one of the ways we balance each other out just perfectly!)

I used to fight the idea of rest. I would get all frustrated at myself, that I wasn’t able to cram over a hundred “to do” things in one day. It would stress me out!

Now, I am much more open to the idea. But more likely than not, I’ll just forget I need to stop and take the time.

Rest enables us to be more productive during other hours in the day. Rest lowers stress levels. Rest is good for our minds, bodies, souls, and relationships.

That’s one of the reasons I don’t listen to music most of the time while running, even during that 15 miler I did the other day. Silence, other than cars passing and the occasional animal, helps my brain to relax. I also use it as an opportunity to talk with God.

The other day my husband was bemoaning the fact that it felt like our weeknights were nonexistent, and weekends……what are weekends again? So tonight, I insisted on preparing supper so he could have some time to just sit and read. Rest is important.

I have learned the hard way a couple times. My body took on flu symptoms and literally forced me to crash. It was not the flu. I don’t want to ever experience that again. And I hope you never will.

So…..How ’bout you go rest.

Good vs. Crappy Runs

Just crossed the finish line of my 2nd 1/2 Marathon

I mentioned in Here We Go Again… that I was going to be training for a marathon. First off let me say, I haven’t backed out yet! Before starting, I was nervous about running three days in a row (I am using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training schedule). I wondered if I would get shin splints right away, never recover, and have to back out of the race. Some of you may think it extreme that I already had that fear. But my running had been pretty sporadic, and I’ve known a number of people who have done just that.

So far, so good.

Today was not my best time, but it felt glorious! It’s always good to have those runs that feel just perfect.

Yesterday I had the crappiest run yet. Felt awful. Of course, it didn’t help that I ran during a hot part of the day… But during that run, I reminded myself we have to have the crappy runs to realize how great the good runs really are.

And tonight, I realized that perspective is similar to a view we should have about life.

We don’t like going through the crappy parts of life–the other day I just wanted to curl up in a corner. But if we didn’t have those crappy parts, we wouldn’t realize how priceless the good parts are.

May I always, in a way, be thankful for the crappy times of life. I am definitely thankful for the lessons I learn through running!

When Everything Falls Into Place

Don’t you just love that feeling?

That feeling of everything seeming to fit together just perfectly….

We left what we had with nothing ahead of us (Changes in the New Year). After a month of job hunting, I found a job…that I’m still so thankful for (Got Job?)! As far as a place to live….we kept looking, and looking, and looking….(He Will Lead Us Home.)… Until now!!

Now we are signed up to move into an apartment in August. I’m so excited! It’s perfect. It’s within our price range, but nicer than others we looked at. There are a number of walking/running/biking trails, which will be perfect for my marathon training (Here We Go Again…) And they will accept our pets. And….

Some even awesomer news… My husband got a job with a great company, and starts in July!

I’m shaking my head at myself right now. We used to live in a rental house and our landlady decided to sell. At the time I had been so worried…what are we going to do, where are we going to live, etc. Then, at just the right moment, God provided a home. (Financial Obstacles) I declared I would never worry again–ha!

I was less worried this time around, but the worry was still there. I am sure this will not be the last time God gives me an opportunity to strengthen my faith!

Psalm 119:105

Here We Go Again…

My Second 1/2 Marathon

In December I posted about beginning training for my first marathon:  Marathon Training:  The Beginning

That didn’t work out.

Unfortunately, I got really sick for over a week. And right after that, we moved to another city and I started job-hunting. No time for running, let alone marathon training.

But it’s still on my list of things I want to accomplish in 2012. So guess what…. I’m going to attempt once again to train for a marathon. Here’s hoping I’ll actually accomplish it this time!

Downside to living in a new city:  I don’t have my regular, trusted running partner to go the distance with. Oh well. I’m a fighter! And I can do it!

I received several good tips on my last post. But I will appreciate any more tips you runners out there might have!

Thanks!!

 

Marathon Training: The Beginning

This past Tuesday was the first day of my newest challenge:  marathon training.

I started running March 2010, and ran my first half marathon the following August. This will be my first marathon.

First 1/2 Marathon

In 2010 I became addicted to running because it physically embodied running away from my problems. Outside of commitments I did nothing else, but run….away. I even prioritized it ahead of spending time with my husband. My husband called me out on it, and I attempted to balance my life.

Those problems are still there. But I no longer run from them. Running for me has transformed. It has become the physical embodiment of overcoming the obstacles. Instead of escaping, now when I run, I feel like I’m meeting challenges head-on. Which enables me to believe that I can overcome challenges in other areas. God has used running to illustrate transformation in my life. I was reminded of all this when I read Chris LoCurto’s Blog entry Why You Can’t Stay Focused On The Past.

Marathon training can take up a lot of time. That’s one reason I picked an easier guide that doesn’t require as much distance:  Hal Higdon’s Marathon Training Guide, Novice 1

Hopefully, besides reaching a goal and enjoying the endorphin highs, I will also be able to keep my life balanced…and not drive my husband crazy!

If anyone has marathon experience, tips are appreciated!