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Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting it Together

My goal for the next year is to get organized – which translates into being in better shape and healthier. Okay, easier said than done, I know. But, I was inspired by one of the workshops I attended at the RWA Conference in Orlando. It was call Getting off the Roller Coaster (Writer’s Life) and the speakers were Michelle Butler, Trish Milburn, and Tawny Weber. The description of the workshop found in our booklet was “Three authors show you how to create healthy relationships with writing, food, exercise, and more.” Yes! This is exactly what I need.

I think this workshop is great for anyone, regardless of whether you are a writer, work outside the home, a stay at home mom/dad, or whatever you do that fills your days and nights. Regardless of occupation, we all get busy and the healthy stuff often gets pushed to the backburner. At least this happens to me all of the time.

Some of the points highlighted really hit home too.

"Sedentary career leads to poor health and weight can go on. Find an exercise program you like and stick with it.” Of course, this is not news to me, and probably not you either. But, I need to be told over and over before.

“When you sit for a long time you tend to shut down. By the end of the day you can end up shutting down 50% of your fat burning properties.” (yikes)

They had several tips on how to become a healthier writer, or person for that matter, and I have decided to set some goals. I am also going to track my progress from conference to conference. If I do this from January to January, I am just setting myself up for failure – especially since January is little over four months away, which makes Christmas four months away – uh oh – never mind – I am not going to think on that right now.

So, here is what I am going to do:
- Lose 25 lbs.
- Exercise at least 4 times a week
- Keep calories between 1200 and 1500
- Remember to pay attention to inches and not so much the pounds on a scale. Muscle is heavier than fat and if you are toning, you may not be losing weight. (Heaven knows I preached that enough back in the day when I managed a health club while in college)
- Put together a daily and weekly schedule and STICK WITH IT (family time, church attendance and activities, devotional time, writing, blogging, work, theater, football games, massages, cleaning (assign a room a day instead of being overwhelmed with the house on the weekends) Leave laundry to weekend because it really doesn’t take as much time to switch stuff out, etc. Allow for interruptions and changes in schedule for family, but try to keep the changes few and far between)
- Healthy food – at home – not a restaurant or fast food (I am guilty of fast food)
- Put money in a piggy bank that I did not spend eating out (will be used for meals at next conference). I’ve learned that if I give the money another purpose, goal or reward for not spending it (instead of simply planning to put it into savings) the incentive is stronger to not spend.
- Be aware of my posture and get massages regularly (the massage was one of their specific suggestions, which I latched onto as a must).
- Avoid Starbucks like the plague – unless I deserve it as a reward for doing ALL of the above.
- Walk at least four times a week (is not included as part of the exercise 4 times a week). Not only do I need the cardio but I am looking forward to another trip to France in the spring and all we do is walk (which I love being able to see the city that way) but if I am not ready for it, it can be a killer.

How about you? Do you set goals like this on a regular basis? Are you a New Year’s Resolution type of person? If so, how long does it last? I’ve tried and tried to follow these goals before and of course, get sidetracked by life. But hopefully, with the next conference in mind and knowing where I want to be, I will have a target I can focus on and stay with.


  1. Great plan, Amy. The sedentary lifestyle is a big problem for me. I guess it's time to set some goals outside of writing.

  2. I set goals, make plans and try to organize my life. Something always throws me for a loop though. That's the hardest part, managing to keep it together when life gets crazy.

    I've found the best thing to do to keep on track, is pick a couple things that you can and will do everyday (or every week) no matter what life throws at you.

    Good luck, you can do it!

  3. I'm not a New Year's resolution kind of person -- the "contrary gene" in my DNA is very prominent. LOL But I like to start of the "school year" with some goals, so this has gotten me to thinking about them some more. :)

    I like your idea of giving your money another purpose if you don't spend it -- it sounds like that would work well for me (being a die-hard contrarian! LOL)


  4. I've set goals and accomplished them, but it is hard to stick with them long-term, especially if another goal is yelling for attention. I found that to be true especially with writing, feeling like I had to write all day. In reality, my best time for writing is in the afternoon.

    Before I started trying to get published, I went to pilates class and attended Weight Watchers on my day off and then wrote in the afternoon. I finished a mss in 2 months with that schedule.

    I need to remember that all time spent at the computer isn't necessarily constructive time, and I'm not talking about doing other things on line. I simply mean I don't get in to my groove until the afternoon, so there are no excuses for skipping out on the things that make me healthy.

  5. I find the more complicated I make my goals the easier it is to forget them. Having just returned from the RWAus Conference I have a new one. It's more of a question really: Can I do better? The answer is always going to be yes!

  6. Sorry I'm late commenting, but better late than never, right? :)

    I'm glad I sat in on this workshop with you. It wasn't necessarily anything I didn't already know, but it served as a good reminder and a motivator to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    I almost always have fitness goals in mind. Working out is a must for me. Sometimes I've been forced to cut back to one or two days a week, but my goal is 4-5, and most of the time I meet that goal.

    I think the most significant thing I've decided to do is run a 5k. Hubby and I have 8 weeks to train, and our goal is to do it in 30 minutes. A 10-minute mile seems a bit crazy for me right now, but I've already gone from an 18-minute mile to a 15-minute mile in 2 weeks of training. Woohoo! I really look forward to reaping the health and body rewards of this challenge :)

    Great post, and good luck with your goals!!