Last year I bought a fitbit to track my steps and then made a New Year’s resolution this year to do 10,000 steps a day. So far I have kept that resolution except for one day when I was feeling under the weather but I made the steps up the next day.

Still not a habit I want to get into, the goal is to do a minimum of 10,00 steps a day and if I do more GREAT! Otherwise I could see myself getting lazy and trying to make up all 70,000 steps for the week in one day, which would take about nine or ten hours of constant walking.

It’s been pretty easy, the winter has been mild so weather hasn’t been a factor but even on cold days I just head to the mall and wander around until the 10,000 steps are done. Once I’ve done them I always feel so much better for having gotten off my ass to do something.

Walking is also my favourite time to think. If I have a problem or am working out a plan of action I find walking helps me straighten things out, brings me clarity, often brings me insight into a situation once I’ve taken the time to relax and mull over whatever problem I’m trying to sort out. It calms me down and the fresh air always makes me feel better.

I also like walking because I don’t need any special gear, I just throw on my hikers or in the summer my sandals and head out the door. For 10,000 steps you need comfy shoes but not anything heavy duty. If I’m planning on 20,000 steps or more then I find socks, correct support and such becomes much more of a factor.

Walking is also nice because I can take a cup of tea or pick up a coffee to drink while I walk. In the summer it’s nice to walk and feel the sun and I’m looking forward to the weather warming up when I can go farther distances and make an afternoon of it. Taking my camera along to document the world around me. After Kingsley (my basset hound who passed away last October) passed away I wasn’t making the effort to get out and walk. With him around I had to get up and get out because he required, demanded, that we go out.

There was once a quote that said “Walk the dog everyday, even if you don’t have one”.

Or something like that, I’ve probably butchered the original quote, my apologies….

I’ll buy into that, walking does your mind and body good. If you’re like me and work well with validation try getting a pedometer like a fitbit, since I’ve gotten it I haven’t needed to search for the motivation and the thought of missing a day of statistics on my tracker causes me anxiety. Seeing how far I’ve walked and collecting the badges keeps me motivated.

Whatever works for you get up and get out there. Happy walking everyone!

Change Is Exhausting

Or maybe the right thing to say is contemplating change is exhausting. Full of what if’s…..

What if I leave this job and don’t find another one? What if I try to do what I would like to do and fail? What if I there isn’t something better? What if I run out of money and can’t pay my mortgage? What if I end up homeless? You know the usual worst case scenario thinking that stops us from taking a leap of faith because we don’t want to end up as bad ladies (or men).

Then the big what if that I keep coming back to is what if I don’t even try? What if I take the leap and it works? What if there is a better way?

Worst case scenario is really that I take a few months off and write. Give myself the time and space to really try without deadlines and dread hanging over my head. Throw myself into it. I have the skeleton done it needs to be filled in. Lately though I am too tired to think, to organize, to put in the effort. If at the end of a few months it’s not working or looking like it might work, then I find a job.

So I have a plan that I will put into place. After this week I have a week off, time to enjoy and work out the details of a plan (also go to Banff for a few days). I already have an outline, now I just need to fill it in. The biggest hurdle though is the fear of letting go of the life I’ve known for fifteen years and dare to leap into a new one. I am feeling ready though and oddly comfortable with taking the leap, the scales have tipped in favour of pursuing a dream instead of hanging onto security.


South West Coast Path 2014

South West Coast Path Book

I ordered the guide book after talking about it with my Mom.

The South West Coast Path is 630 miles around the south west coast of England. The standard suggested itinerary would take fifty-two days. The scenery would be spectacular, the experience I can only imagine would be life changing. How I don’t know…. but can you walk 630 miles and not be changed by the experience?

The start is in Minehead and then ou walk from small town to small town, staying in B&Bs or small hotels until you get to Poole. This trip like Iceland it has a pull, not just a “I would like to do that” but a pull that is demanding attention. A feeling that this is something I am suppose to do.

I’m already making up excuses to only do a portion, to cut it short but then a feeling that it’s the whole path that is calling returns. It would be next year that I would like to do it. I would have a year to plan, where, when and how. How do I get two months off work, who looks after my home for two months, how do I afford all my expenses for two months back home and while on the trail.

The more I dabble with the planning, the more I see that it can be done but it will take a leap of faith that everything will work out. I think we all need to take a leap every now and then. Upon my return from Iceland I will start to put my plans down on paper and next year I hope to be heading off for fifty-two days of hiking.

Goals 2013

These are my goals for this year, pretty similar to last year with a few alterations:

  1. Yoga workshop – is this cheating when it’s already booked? Okay I’ll make it harder and commit to doing two workshops.
  2. Travel – It might be Iceland or I will choose another exciting destination but doing a trip is definitely a must! Maybe New York, I’ve never been and it’s been on my travel list FOREVER!
  3. Clean up office – REALLY I’ll get to it this year so that I have a proper space to write in! Then maybe I can get the novel organized!
  4. Biography’s – I’m going to read a biography every month. I love them and have many on my list to read but never seem to get around to them. This way I’ll make a list and then get to them!
  5. Write – okay this is a change from 1st draft of a novel. This is a goal to just write. I have a writing competition book and my goal is to submit at least two works into competitions. They could be short stories, poems or shorter pieces and this seems less daunting than a novel.
  6. Yoga – start a home practice. My goal will be to do yoga three times a week at home to develop my own Mysore practice.
  7. Bike – the bike is back! My goal is to ride 1,000km on it through the summer.
  8. Keep in touch – I can be terrible at keeping in touch, with remembering to send emails, remember b-days and just drop a note saying “Hi” my goal is to foster my relationships with those that are important to me. Also to make the effort to get out, meet some new people and really enjoy the people in my life.
  9. Explore Calgary – with travelling it is easy to forget what is in our own backyard, this year my goal is not just to get out to the museum but to get out in my own city (Calgary) and rediscover it!
  10. Blog – 5 days a week again? Nope, to cut down on crap and hopefully up the content I’m going to commit to writing for the blog 3 days a week (will probably have pictures on the other two days).

There if I do all that, it should be a great year!

2012 Goals How Did I Do?

2013 already, where did 2012 go? I had a great year, it started in Paris and ended in Hawaii with the Galapagos in-between. Certainly a great year and I do feel that I accomplished a lot but looking back at my goals for 2012 how did I do with those?

Now bad, I didn’t get to everything but that makes the 2013 list easier we can carry a few over! This is how I did:

  1. Yoga Workshop – no I did not attend a yoga workshop. In fact I’ve been a little lazy with the yoga lately. The good news is I am signed up for a yoga workshop at the end of February, so although it didn’t happen in 2012 it was planned in 2012.
  2. Read Great Expectations – YES I did, I also read “The Old Curiosity Shop”, “Nicholas Nickleby” and “A Christmas Carol”. I really enjoy Dickens and am planning on reading more.
  3. Save an extra $1,200 – YES I did and then spent it on the Yoga Workshop/Conference I am going to in San Diego!
  4. Straighten up office into proper work space – no I didn’t. In fact it looks more like a walk in closet now than it did before.
  5. New playlist on IPod – YES which I did in early December, yep it took me that long. I am LAZY with the IPod.
  6. Go to Iceland – no I didn’t go to Iceland but I did go to the Galapagos. Iceland will be on the list again but might be bumped to 2014.
  7. Go to the Glenbow Museum – I don’t know where the time went? I didn’t make it, seemed like such an easy one but another year has gone by without me visiting the museum.
  8. Ride bike twice a week from May – September – YES I bought a new bike this year and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It was a pleasure and a joy to get out on it!
  9. Blog 5 days a week – YES I made it! I wasn’t sure at  the beginning of the year if I would make it but I did. Some were just pictures and some was crap but I did it!
  10. 1st draft of novel – no, I did do quite a bit of writing but never got down and focused to construct and write the novel. I do have pages and pages started though and I think there is some good stuff in there, also a lot of crap.

Tomorrow it’s time to look ahead and tomorrow I’ll share my goals for 2013.

7 Habits So Far

Well after spending a week with the 7 Habits, actually the 1st Habit which was “Be Proactive” I learnt a lot. Maybe not what I was suppose to but this is a process and it takes time to learn the 7 Habits.

What does that mean? Well it means I’m still sitting on my ass and watching crappy t.v., not as much so there has been improvement. Things happen which means you do have to be flexible. If I have cycling scheduled in and there is a torrential downpour that evening, well I’m going to cozy in with Gordon Ramsey for the night. Perhaps I could have done other things on my list, this I suppose is where the learning curve comes in.

The good is that I did make it to yoga twice this week (I was suppose to go three times), I completed seven of the ten tasks I assigned myself. My floors are CLEAN! Spotless, beautiful, shiny clean. I did get some writing done and I have a new plan for next week. Things are improving and this week I have a new schedule and new list of tasks, I’m feeling good about it. I also booked in some t.v. time, I figure if I book it in I won’t feel deprived.

This week the habit is “Begin with the end in mind”. Hmmm….. do I begin with retirement in mind or is that thinking too far ahead?

I will come up with four goals I want to reach before retirement. Then I will lay out a plan for how to achieve them. Okay week two we’ll make you even better than week one!


The Habits Begin

So last week I took the 7 Habits Of Effective People course, now I get to work them into my life. The plan of action that is recommended by the course is to cover one habit a week. So by the end of 7 weeks you have developed 7 new habits.

Okay, lets give it a shot!

First week “Be Proactive”. Sounds pretty simple but for me there are somethings that I’m very good at doing and for things like travel I like to be prepared. In others I don’t do them until there is a gun to my head. This is definitely a lesson I could use in my life.

Part of the homework this week is to schedule your days, fill in your calendar and make a weekly and daily to do list. Didn’t take as long as I thought and since I started on Sunday I’ve already realized one important thing. Be flexible!

Okay I came up with that when my calendar almost immediately went sideways. The dog slept in and his walk did not start on time. That was okay as I started in on the household chores. Then I did walk the dog and he wanted a nap. No problem right?

Well if the basset is having a nap I’m going to have a nap with him, it’s one of my favourite things. Looking at my calendar and to do list at the end of the day I got everything except two things done. So I have to rescheduled those. I would say so far so good!

Also this week we need to think of our life mission statement. This I haven’t come up with yet. It does get you thinking about what’s important to you and there is the obvious and then trying to come up with a statement that encompasses what you want out of life and what you believe. I like friends, chocolate and travel but I don’t think that’s exactly what they are talking about. It’s gonna take a little bit of work and maybe a basset nap will help.

Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the week goes but I’m going to stick to it.

Change Is Coming

Yesterday I completed the 7 Habits course and I am really glad I took it. So much useful information and tools to use in my life. I am glad I took the course, I started the book years ago but never finished it. With a facilitator, especially one as good as Jodi, it’s easier to get through and understand. Also you have to do the exercises and group work which really help the concepts to sink in.

The best thing about the course, I’m now feeling very optimistic. I haven’t felt optimistic in quite awhile. Now I feel like I can get things under control and back on track to achieving my goals.

After a kind of tough first half of the year and getting slowly back to focusing on my life I think the 7 Habits will definitely help speed the process along. The learning doesn’t end after the course, there is a 7 week program to follow to get you used to living with and using the habits. I’ve already completed the first part of week one, which is to spend time planning my week. I have it set to start this Sunday for week one. I’ll let you know how it all goes as I work through it. Right now I think that 7 weeks from now I’m going to be back on track and in a really good place.

For anybody looking to find a way to focus on what is important and work a system into their lives for accomplishing what they want I would recommend taking a look at the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Maybe I’ll change my mind but today I’m very optimistic and that feels good.