Saying goodbye to my comfort zone


“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”
― Seneca

Bake Oven Knob to Lehigh Gap 10In the new year I didn’t exactly make “resolutions” but I did set some intentions to create better habits. These include working on improving my physical, mental, and emotional well-being. I often think that I wish I could see people I admire while they are doing the work to get to the place they will later be successful.

So this is my new intention for myself, to share my journey with you this year. One challenge, one day, and one month at a time. In doing the work each day, and practicing, participating, and engaging in life everyday. If I hit  my goals, that’s great, if not, that’s OK. The journey is what is now really important to me, becuase it will be what I go back to when things get hard, and instead of going to old and “comfortable” habits of the past life, I know that I’m creating new habits to lean on in the hard times that will serve me, not diservice me. Finding truth in myself is the path.

In January I began a coaching program that is supporting me over 12 weeks to create positive changes for my life, the life I’m working to create.

In this new life, I imagine the person I want to be, and realize that to become that person, I have to start doing the work today.

I’m in control of my life, so I’ve made intentional decisions in the last year to get me to the place I am now, and to continue to do the work to get to where I want to be in the future. Last year I talked about how Minimalism played a big role in my life, helping me clear the visual and physical clutter, removing toxic people from my space, and focusing on what’s really important to me.

Morning Photos

This year I’ve intentionally decided to be outside and no matter rain, snow, or cold, I’m out almost every morning walking and hiking at my local park or going on hiking trips.

Another way of getting out of my comfort zone to challenge my limits for fitness and I joined some hiking groups to do that. Recently I went out on the first group hike and met some new people. The hike, at Bake Oven Knob was a challenge, climbing over rocks, constantly looking down to make sure I don’t trip over something, keeping pace with other hikers, and even leading the group in parts of the hike. I thought about how a year ago, I had been depressed, recently quit smoking (Yay!), and was out of shape. So a hike like this, 8.5 miles, over four hours, would have been way outside my comfort zone. This year I’m beginning to excel and grow as a hiker, and push my fitness limits. I know that I can and will reach all of my fitness and health goals this year.

Journals

I started using a journal back in December and now I write in three journals; one for writing my thoughts; one for writing about my food/mood/hunger; and The Daily Stoic Journal asks questions each day that I take time answering. The questions have inspired me to ask how I can make positive changes each day in my life. Asking questions means doing deep work to better understand the choices I’ve made or the decisions I’ll need to make for my future.

“We go through our days responding and reacting, but it’s rare to really pause and ask: Is this thing I’m about to do consistent with what I believe? Or, better: Is this the kind of thing the person I would like to be should do?”
Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius

I really tried to take moments to be present and focus on self-improvement. So this year, instead of running to the gym everyday like lots of others at the beginning of the year, I’ve committed to working out at home to build consistency. Now I’ve been going to the gym three-to-five times a week for the last five years, so it wasn’t like I’m saying goodbye to the gym forever, just for now, and intentionally adding workouts at home to focus on my personal areas of focus and growth.

“Comparing yourself to others as a guide to live life is a sure way to discontent. Instead, follow your values and beliefs.”—The Minimalists

Part of that workout includes practicing yoga on a daily basis. I highly recommend Yoga with Adriene, she’s wonderfully funny, sweet, and kind. So far I’ve done two 30-Day challenges, and have successfully practiced some form of yoga everyday for 60 days. What’s great is getting up before the alarm, writing in my journals, practicing yoga, taking a few moments for meditation, and getting in a 3-mile walk/hike before 10 AM. And that’s just the beginning of my new life that I’m working to create!

In case you were wondering, I’ll share some things that have added value to my day over the past few months.

On my drive I now listen to some awesome podcasts that I am inspired by and learn so much, here’s some of my favorite podcasts:

The Minimalists Podcast

Stuff You Should Know

10% Happier Podcast with Dan Harris

Primal Potential

The Ground UP Podcast

My evening routine is to read instead of turning to Netflix to chill, so books have been my go-to for the last few weeks. In December I was gifted an Amazon Fire and so I started to use the digital reader and discovered that I love reading via Kindle. Some recent books I highly recommend would be the following:

Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes by Ben Bergeron

Motivational Manafestio by Brendon Burchard

I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl by Alexis Jones

Here’s to 2018, I’m going to make it my YEAR OF CHANGE by doing the work. No magic, no special tricks to getting the life I want, just hard work.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or feedback, here’s where I’ll say “Bring it On!” The biggest thing I want to do in getting out of my comfort zone is continuing to work and grow as a writer and creator. I know that I want to continue creating images and words to share stories with others. I spent many years as a journalist telling stories and I realized that I want to continue doing that in different ways in the future. So now, until I find another story to tell, I’m telling mine. Thanks for joining along with me in this journey.

 

 

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