Tag Archive | Goals

7/7/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters – What do you want?

One of my friends and blog followers posted a comment on my post about being right, and that comment got me thinking.  She said that she has been in situations over the last month that made her ask the question, “What do I want?”

Isn’t that brilliant?  What if we asked that question in every situation, in every argument, every conflict, every moment of doubt or celebration?  What do I want from this?  What is my goal?  What am I hoping to achieve in this conversation?

We may find that the answer is often that we want to prove a point or change someone’s mind or win.  What do you REALLY want the outcome to be, not just in the discussion or event in question, but what do you want the impact on your relationship to be?

What if I asked that question of myself the next time I felt ready to nag or say (in one way or another), “I told you so.”  What if the next criticism that is going to pass my lips first passes through the filter of “what do I want?”  Is it still worth it when you think about it that way?  Does winning or proving a point or changing a mind still have the same importance if you first ask, “What do I want?”

What do you want for others, and yourself, for your relationship?  How important is THIS comment, this conversation, this point?

What do you want?

Shout out to Sara K. for the inspiration for this post!

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5/25/12 Today’s Advice to My Beautiful Daughters (and me) — Talk less, listen more.

I am having a love/hate relationship with my blog right now.  So far, my blog has been about me sharing little nuggets, pieces of advice that I think are good life lessons for you girls.  But at the same time, I feel like this little blog is an example of me doing all the talking, and your voice isn’t being heard.

I feel a little like a phony, because I don’t’ always follow my own perfectly brilliant advice.  I feel a little sanctimonious for being inspired with such incredible insight (it IS incredible, right??), and worst of all, insecure.  When I post a blog, I watch the site stats obsessively to see how many people are “listening” to what I have to say and how many new followers I have.  The talking has become the thing, and it is making me feel unsettled, because I don’t necessarily like the me that I see through that lens. These feelings  also make me think that this blog is becoming more about me than you, and I don’t like that.

I actually started contemplating putting something completely controversial out there (politics, gay marriage) to stir things up, but I’m afraid I will be criticized, so I hold back saying some of the things that are stirring in me.  Despite my advice to you to conquer your fears, I am letting mine hold me back.  Fear is what makes me write a blog instead of the book that I have always said I wanted to write.

So even though this is me again…doing the talking, I have to tell you (again) that I don’t always get it right.  In fact, I get it wrong most of the time, and this advice comes to you from the knowledge I gained from that mistake, and from knowing there is a better way.  I’m scared to fall down.  I’m worried that I don’t lead by example.  And I’m terrified that you will look back on these years and tell people that you didn’t feel heard.

So today’s advice is for me, so that I will remember that I don’t have all the answers and I need to listen more.  I’m not perfect and that is ok.  Maybe it is even ok that I write a blog for you when I need the advice as much as you do.   I will keep writing because each post and each response plants another little seed of courage and maybe someday it will be enough for me to get serious with my dreams.  I will write because I think it will be interesting for us all to look back on this in 10 years and see how our perspectives have changed.  I will write because people seem to respond, and even though that response may make me a little too full of myself, it has also been a way to connect with people that I would never have connected with (Shout out Ellie!)  And when my ego gets too big, I can always count on you to give me a “You don’t understand.” Or even better, to tell me that you didn’t know I had a blog (sigh). That’ll teach me. 🙂

Lent Day 1

I won’t be doing this every day, but I have had some interesting revelations (may be too strong a word) today.

The first revelation is that TV is as much a habit as anything.  I have the TV on when I cook and tonight, the silence was weird.  When I sat down to eat (on a TV tray sitting on the couch), that was also weird, especially since nobody else was home at the time.  So what does one do when they are eating alone…on the couch…in front of the TV?  Reading a book was a little sloppy, but it was the distraction I needed.

The second (and probably more important revelation) was that it has already become clear to me that God is going to do some work on me during these 40 days.  I have a problem with moderation.  A big problem.  This applies to many areas of my life….TV, food and drink consumption, exercise.  I am just an all or nothing girl.  And sometimes when the pendulum swings too far in a particular direction, I use abstinence as a correcting tool.  In other words, I go from one extreme to the other.  My extremes are relative…I don’t go from drunken binges to detox, but I do tend to be more on the edges of what is comfortably healthy at times.  (That was hard to write, but is truth.)  Exercise has been an area that moderation has been a real struggle.  Once I set an exercise goal, I have trouble not turning the goal into my everyday expectation.  For example,  a recent goal was that I wanted to be able to run 5 miles.  I had previously only done this on 2 occasions ever. TWO!  So getting to the point that I could do it at all would be a major accomplishment.   The goal in my head is that I would be able to run that far on occasion and not die.  The reality is that as I increase my distance in pursuit of that goal, my goal becomes the new benchmark. I hit the goal two weeks in a row and then the goal somehow became the new benchmark.  And by the way….5 miles is a once a week deal.   I can’t do it two days in a row, and often have to take a day off after I do it.  It is NOT a good goal for everyday running.  I know this.  Yet, I still feel bad when I “only” run 4 miles.  Mark has tried to use logic to explain why my reasoning isn’t healthy.  Um…no kidding Captain Obvious, I have a problem!!  J

So back to today.  For those of you who are keeping track, my commitment for Lent was no TV with a couple of very specific exceptions.  The exceptions were specifically to address this issue with moderation.  I said that I would be allowed to watch TV when I am on the treadmill.  I need the distraction or the exercise becomes too much of a chore.  I don’t want to have the no TV thing become an impediment to regular exercise, so I gave myself this permission.  HOWEVER, today, I decided that I really didn’t want to start day 1 with even a little TV.  Cold turkey baby!!  So instead, I went for a run outside….in the rain…two days after a 5 mile outside run.  My bones are 41 years old next week and they tend to let me know that outside runs are great, but make me more fatigued than inside runs.  So I kinda knew the outside run thing could maybe not go well today.  I made up my mind that I would only go 4 miles and I would not feel bad about it.  At about mile 1, I tried to give myself permission to only go 3 miles because I was feeling kinda crappy.  No dice.  I went the full 4.  For the last mile, I was DYING.  My legs felt like they were encased in cement, I was gasping for air and generally miserable.  All the while, I am reflecting on this little problem I have with moderation and thinking, “So you think you’re trying to show me something God? Huh????  Well, I’ll show YOU!”  Ask me how that worked out for me.  But I know you already know the answer.

Tomorrow, if I can get myself up and down the stairs, I will WALK on the treadmill with the TV on.  Moderately.