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Goals, motivation and priorities June 12, 2012

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Fitness, Technology.
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Hard work, dedication!

Is reaching you goals that simple? Of course not, for anyone with a real life. I have really enjoyed watching the NBC hit show Biggest Loser in which contestants are sent off to a secluded ranch to working with world class trainers to reach their fitness goals. One of these trainers liked to use the mantra “Hard Work! Dedication!” I like that, too, but if we all had that opportunity to focus on one goal at a time, we would be able to accomplish that one goal. But variety is the spice of life and we all have battling priorities.

I am very curious about many things and so my list of what I count as priorities is pretty high. One thing I am curious about is how to better organize my do list and have it do the mental work of prioritizing for me. I have tried many apps and different techniques but I think the ability to prioritize on the fly is nearly impossible to turn over to a computer (yet).

The problem is this: we all have a list of to dos and we all have calendars, the power of the human brain is that it can take those data elements and ranking in terms of importance. And it does this so quickly we often don’t even “think” about it. Picture this, you are at a sporting event with a drink in one hand and a snack in the other. Suddenly, a ball comes sailing in your direction. What happens next is a matter of how quickly your brain process all the important data points. Should you save your drink or project your body? You have an important meeting at work, but your child’s school calls and you have to go pick them up. We make these instantaneous choices throughout the day. Of course, these are the “emergency” examples.

This image comes from the web site of Myrko Thum who discusses Time Management and the Seven Habit of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

What about the priority choices we have to make? Watch an interesting show or exciting sporting event on TV or get to bed on time? Watch TV or read that book you have been wanting to finish? Work on a home improvement project or get some exercise? It seems simple, but these are the priorities we have to rank careful to make ourselves happy. Some have only short term consequences and others affect us over the longer term. The matrix above sums it all up, but how do you choose between similar and competing interests?

I would like to hear how others use technology to help them make the right choices, satisfying their needs and making themselves happy. Please comment below.


Another Run with @JillianMichaels April 21, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Fitness.
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After my run last week, I decided to back off on the running for a few days. My back did not feel great and clicking in the low back seemed to be progressing. I definitely notice it more while laying in bed. So, I have been focusing on core exercises and some light upper body work. Since I feel very weak in these areas and can not get many reps done, this is not a bad idea no matter what.

So today’s run was back to the normal path in the park. I am consistently running this route in about 38 minutes. Hopefully by the end of the summer, I will have magically lowered this time into the 35-36 time range. I am not exactly sure how I am going to pull that off, but we’ll see. Maybe the extra core and upper body strength will give me some advantages.

The second half of today’s run got a little hairy. It was only about 65 degrees, but my sweat combined with itchy allergy eyes and runny nose made it difficult to see and run. I had to stop a few times on the return section. I felt pretty good otherwise, so wish I had a way to keep the sweat out of my eyes. I think I might break out the visor again and see if that works this Spring. I used it last summer and liked it for the most part.

But during today’s podcast, I listened to another Jillian Michaels podcast from her 2008 talk show on WKFI. As usual, she takes calls from people and has a couple of developed segments. Two of her segments struck me as interesting this time. In one, she had a dog trainer on that was there to talk about exercising with dogs. Jillian brought her recent adopted dogs and how well they behaved with their trainer and how poorly they behaved with her. I found it very interesting that she was so unaware of her role in their behavior. Having see her episode on Cesar Millan’s Dog Whisperer, I think she probably has learned her lesson. Even still, as someone who clearly taps into human’s behavior and triggers, it really goes to show how even the best can miss the signals.

The second valuable segment for me was one on will power. She did not really talk about anything new or overly enlightening. But the thing that struck a cord in me was when she said something like “Envision what you want and start making steps toward it.” Ironically, last night I decided what it is I want to accomplish by this summer. As confident I am in my body and proud of my exercise routine, I am inwardly self-conscience of the little inner tube I have running around my waist. Since I starting listening to her podcasts, I feel it is possible for me to rid myself of this extra fat. So, my goal for the end of June (before our family trip) is to lose it. I am not sure if it will mean much weight loss, which I think will make it hard to measure, but mean I will be able to see the difference on my waist line. (My second goal is to continue to lower my Milford 5K time in August. I hope to be under 26 minutes.)

I turned Green today – JUST DO IT! April 15, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Fitness, Society, Uncategorized, Work.
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I have now completed 158 miles with my Nike+ and ipod Touch. That puts me into the Green Level… only 463 miles until I move onto Blue.

I ran the trails on the local park. It was a nice day and I managed to push the pace a little bit with a couple of surges. But after about 20 minutes, I started to feel a bit tired and empty.

Today’s listen was yet another Jillian Michaels radio show from a couple of years ago – they really are timeless. There was nothing specific about this podcast that I want to remember, but one thing occurred to me after. She talks a lot about BMR and calories in versus out, intensity of workouts and changing it up to keep the body working harder to adapt. Blah blah blah. What it really comes down to is just doing the work and making the change.

If you want to accomplish something, you have to start somewhere. And you keep going until you get there. If you give up before you have accomplished your goals, you have to evaluate how important those goals are to you. Lately, I have not had major goals to shot for from professional and personal levels. This has gotten me down a bit and level me with a lack to direction. Having recently recognized this, I am trying to figure out what I want and give me something to work toward.

We all WANT a lot of things and we NEED other things. The question is, after you have fulfilled your needs, how to do prioritize your wants and then lay them out in a way that you can be successful in accomplishing them. I think the problem many of us have is that there is no one way to achieve a goal. This is why I think you have to start moving toward the goal, if you don’t know what the step after that will be. Sometimes progress is progress and you can make adjustments along the way.

What do you think?

Movie Review: Julie & Julia December 19, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Society.
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Netflix Synopsis: Amy Adams stars in this truth-inspired tale as Julie Powell, a disenchanted government secretary who decides to enliven her uneventful life by cooking all 524 recipes outlined in Julia Child’s culinary classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Based on Powell’s book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, director Nora Ephron’s heartwarming dramedy also stars Meryl Streep as legendary chef Child.

I am not much of a foodie and really knew very little about Julia Child before watching this movie. Although after she passed, I did hear that she was actually a CIA agent. But what probably will not come as much of a surprise is that I got a bigger kick out of the other side of this story – the story of Julie and her blogging. It was fun to watch this girl transfer from what seemed like an underachiever to accomplished blogger – for whatever that is worth. Knowing about Child’s secret past made it difficult to get past the historical accuracy of her side of the story. However, given Julie Smith’s story was based in 2002, two years before Child’s death, it makes sense that Smith’s understanding of Child’s history is limited.

The movie itself was a little slow. It was interesting and fun to watch both the parallel lives. But like I said, it was difficult to believe, because of new information about Child’s life. Funny cameo for fans of the new show Glee – you have to watch – I’m not telling!

Fall Resolution September 16, 2008

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Fitness, Society.
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Based on last night’s post, I am going to start a new fall resolution. I figure, why wait until the New Year. I even started last night with my first yoga routine from Chas at YogAmazing. So I am hoping this plan will help me feel better about what I am accomplishing and limit how much time I am “wasting.”

Here is the plan… I will create a new page here that lists the lists I am working on. Rather than sit on my butt, I am going to pick something off the list and check it off. The lists will include things like reading, running, doing yoga, doing a project around the house, etc. Clearly I will get more accomplished, learn more, and certainly get in better shape in the process.