“I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.” – Mary Oliver
That in only two places in the entire world there is a phenomenon called ‘simultaneous bioluminescence’ where fireflies in the area sync up their flashes so they all light up at the same time repeatedly all night long. This happens (apparently) in Southeast Asia and Smoky Mountain National Park.
I had no idea!
Found on ‘The Magic & Folklore of Fireflies’
This image is another one of my iPad creations.
A few months ago I made the decision to get a personal trainer to help with my healthy lifestyle goals. As is typical, we had a discussion about nutrition and exercise at our first meeting. One thing we discussed that I wasn’t familiar with was learning my ‘Calorie Maintenance Level’.
It didn’t sound that important at first (just more diet and nutrition stuff) but for some reason I was paying attention, made note and decided to investigate further when I got home. Thanks, Google! You can read more about it at: www.acaloriecounter.com.
But if you’re not into the research thing like I am – here is a (very) brief summary:
In order to reach your goal; whether the goal is weight loss, fat loss or muscle building it’s important to know where you are starting from. Your calorie maintenance level will tell you that. Once you know this number it will be much easier to calculate and successfully reach your goal –and in the most efficient manner possible.
Think about it this way. If you were about to embark on a road trip, you wouldn’t just jump in the car, start driving and hope to get there. Yes, you might end up at your destination but it might also take you a really long time to get there. Enough said!
The key take-away point to all of this is: whenever we’re trying to eat healthy, or get into better shape there is a tendency to WAY over estimate the value of our efforts assuming that EVERY effort is a MAJOR one on our part; when in fact, this is (usually) never the case. And, as expected, this will only lead to disappointment and disillusionment when our goals are not immediately met.
So, if you’re really serious about achieving a new healthy lifestyle goal – do yourself a favor and find out what your ‘calorie maintenance level’ is – trust me, it will be an eye-opener – and will save you a lot of angst in the long run!
Now, believe it or not this blog post really isn’t about how to lose weight or gain muscle…it’s really about how this information can be applied elsewhere – with any goal.
It’s really easy to set goals. We get a great idea in our head about how wonderful it would be to accomplish A, B or C. We get excited and we plan. We’re confident we can achieve anything at this point.
And then reality hits.
But I don’t think it’s so much a problem of not following through as it is improper planning.
I think we set ourselves up for defeat from the beginning because we’re not honest about our starting point.
We tend to do the opposite of sandbagging – we exaggerate our credentials. Just like when we’re ‘calculating’ how many calories that Turkey-Melt sandwich has.
I think being honest with who we are and what we want to achieve in a reasonable time frame would help us more in the long run. No matter what the goal is.
Just something to think about.
I’ve commented often (and have even written a blog post or two) about the speed in which time seems to be passing. People will always say that time just passes faster once you get older but, in all honesty we know this really isn’t true.
I still hold on to my theory that time seems to be passing faster now because there are no longer ‘start’ and ‘stop’ markers to our day; that cell phones, emails, texts and computer access have made it too easy to be available 24 hours a day.
I still think this is a large part of the problem and since I don’t see this life-style changing anytime soon – we need to figure out a way to work around it. And I think I may have stumbled upon that ‘way’ totally by accident!
If you really want to slow down the clock – set a goal. Nothing slows time like anticipation!
And not just any goal – a goal you actually plan on achieving. One that is important to you and that requires a little bit of focus (well, maybe just a little more than a little); nothing too painful though. The goal needs to be one that is within fairly easy reach (that you can achieve within a reasonable amount of time) and one that will give you measurable results (i.e. pounds of weight loss, money saved for a vacation, paying off a credit card, etc., etc.).
Here are the steps:
1. Set your goal.
2. Decide on your method of attack.
3. Commit to it.
It really comes down to that.
This plan doesn’t work for people who set goals and then give up after a day or two – sorry; this will only work for people who are serious about reaching their goals. You have to be at that place – you have to want it bad enough. I know this all too well because I’ve been ‘that person’.
The best part is – all this goal-setting has a two-fold benefit. Not only does it help to slow down the clock, it will get you excited about the future. Setting and reaching goals is a very productive way to spend your time – not to mention being very empowering. Once you accomplish one goal, you will be motivated to set another. And then another.
“In a year from now, you’ll wish you’d started today.”
What a great quote – and so true – and what better way to spend all the extra time you’ll now have!
Ran across this quote…thought it worth sharing!
I’ve been dabbling a bit with digital art; composites mainly, where I take a photograph from my camera roll, transform it into something else by applying different apps, most times blending with another image, and then refining that result. Sometimes the process varies but usually not by much.
I do this on my iPad. I limit myself to images already on hand and most always use only one or two – sometimes three apps. And since I’m already traveling light, I prefer not to bother with using a stylus.
The workflow is simple and the process very relaxing; I’ve never been so productive! Changing my method of approach has been a real game changer.
I walk into my studio (it’s recently been organized) and I can see all the tools and supplies everywhere I look. My big studio table is clean and clear and ready for art making. But sometimes that can be a little overwhelming – even a little intimidating. What do I do first? The idea of a big, white canvas sounds more like a lot of loud, white noise. More times than not, I just turn around and walk right back out of the room.
I read somewhere that having too many choices can paralyze our ability to make any choice at all and that couldn’t be any more accurate – for me anyway.
That’s why I think this limited approach works so well – especially for an artist with limited time to spend in the studio.
And then the thought came to me: “Limitations can be very freeing”.
As odd as it sounded at first; I was quickly able to see how much it really makes sense.
Limits are put into place to keep things in check. We set boundaries for our kids, we put up fences for our pets…we set boundaries all the time.
This limited way of working has definitely put the emphasis on the creativity part – I’m now working with only what is available at hand (my existing camera roll) and limiting myself to using just a couple of apps. I now have to be more creative with what I have, and in the time I have to use it. One thing I do know is: my productivity has greatly improved.
But should that really be a surprise?
Isn’t that how we do most everything else? Isn’t that how we all spend our days; multi-tasking to meet multiple goals in an already tight schedule?
Maybe it’s not such an odd thing after all. Maybe I’m just part of a new evolution.
And that puts a whole new spin on things!
Right now I’m working on self-publishing a book of images, interestingly enough called, ‘Spin Cycle’.
“I want to write something
or about pain
as you are reading
you feel it
and as you read
you keep feeling it
and though it be my story
it will be common,
though it be singular
it will be known to you
so that by the end
you will think—
no, you will realize—
that it was all the while
yourself arranging the words,
that it was all the time
words that you yourself,
out of your heart
had been saying.”
Evidence – Mary Oliver