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The Mifl Report – February

* MIFL = Month In Focused Living

Back in January I chose “focus” as my Word of The Year, a way to set a theme and intention. I’m doing regular MIFL Reports to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Ol' Carnegie catching the last rays, during Workout 1.2 today.
Ol’ Carnegie catching the last rays, during Up & Running 5K Workout 1.2 today.

. . .

1. Bandwagon Muesli
A friend of mine in Canberra declared it “porridge weather” the other day so geographically that must mean it’s time for me to commence yogurt season. It’s 4’C/39’F so not exactly toasty but, feck it, I’m sick of porridge. I ransacked the pantry for scraps of ye olde nuts and seeds bought under the influence of trendy healthy living bloggers and stirred them all together to form a kind of muesli. It’s got chia seeds, oats, unsweetened coconut, almonds, sunflower seeds and a few stray cocoa nibs. Very very tasty and none of that annoying dust you get with commercial muesli.

2. Full-Length mirror
I bought one from IKEA last week. There have been no full-length mirrors in my life since I had to give up kickboxing and I don’t think it’s been helping the mind-body disconnect. So far I like being able to have a good gander at reality. It’s not where I want to be, but as ol’ Tony Robbins says, “See it as it is, not worse than it is.”

Monday I did weights with an eye on the mirror, wearing a Reebok sleeveless tank they gave us at Fitbloggin. The tank showed off every roll, but it also showed off the muscle trying to reassert itself. It’s a nice metaphor for the me that gives a crap about me who’s busting to make a comeback.

3. Lard latest
A mere half a kilo off in February. I haven’t been on the scale since, as I was letting it mess with my head. I assure you I’m not in denial. I’m sticking to the 3-2-1 exercise plan and MyFitnessPal-ing, but really need a break from that other contraption.

4. Commute walks
Back in January I got a “year in review” email from Fitbit, telling me that July 22 was my most active day in 2012 and on average Thursdays were my least active day. That’s the day I work longer hours so it was a bed > car > desk > car > couch > bed  formula of sloth. In order to combat that I’ve started walking home on Thursdays. It only takes 45-60 minutes depending on my route, compared to 20 minutes by car or bus. So I’m saving money, moving my butt and it zens me up after the working day. I’ve started doing it on other days too. Simple, but effective.

5. Speaking of Fitbits
So many of you folks told me Fitbit had great customer service, even if you launder your device like a nitwit. I didn’t want to look like a Greasy Blogger Demanding Stuff so I wrote as a civilian (snort!) saying it was entirely my own nitwittery and I’d tried putting it in rice and all… and they said, “Nae bother, we’ll send you a newie”. So I am back on the Fitbit and loving it. But being extra careful to keep it out of the laundry basket!

6. Up & Walking
I wrote on the U&R blog yesterday that I’ve joined the Spring 5K Course! Walking it, of course. I’ve got some travel coming up and thought it would give me structure, especially with the Bologna race just eight weeks away. Also, our latest batch of runners are so charming I want to have even more legitimate excuses to skulk around the Forum. I just finished Workout 1.2 today and already I want to deck the Runkeeper lady and her bossy voice.

The Albatross @ 750words.com7. Morning Pages tragedy
I use 750words.com to do my morning writing. It’s a private space with a nice blank screen and a word count. You can win badges for various achievements, like speedy typing or building up streaks of writing days. BADGES!

I’d never managed a streak longer than 31 days so when I hit 58 last month I felt sure I was finally on the road to 100 days which means… THE PHOENIX!

But after the glorious January morns of tea and typing, my pages were becoming more afternoon and evening. There was a smelly big work deadline then the Up & Running course prep ramped up. I shoved the writing further and further down the list. I was doing the pages later and later then on Feb 27 I was in bed with the laptop at 11.50pm desperately tapping out the words to make the cut off. Then on March 1, I woke up and the horror hit me. I’d just plain forgotten to write on March 28.

I was fizzing with rage! Now I was back to day zero! You may say, it’s just a stupid badge. But I want that Phoenix, dammit.

Well, the real reason it rankled was the realisation that yet again I’d lost focus of my priorities. It’s not out of a sense of martyrdom, putting everyone else first like a sniffling cold-and-flu advert lady with a child on one arm and a briefcase on the other. I just forget to remember the personally-important things sometimes. I love my morning pages, they keep me calm and 76% less nutty. Gotta make ’em happen.

So I’m building up the morning muscle again and I’m on a 12 day streak. It’s all about habit. Focus focus focus. I’m coming after you, orange bird thing!

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


24 thoughts on “The Mifl Report – February

  1. Thanks for the 750words recommendation. I have been doing 15 minutes a day on a short story/novella that has been knocking around in my head but it might help to do the morning pages first.

    Thanks too for the reminder that I could walk to work at least sometimes — I really covet your fitbit.

    Love it when you put up a post and/or stop by and comment. It’s fun to hear your voice in my head.

  2. I’ve never heard of 750 words, but it sounds like an awesome idea! I’ll have to check it out, I wouldn’t mind having a Phoenix either! 😀

    That’s awesome to you’ve started walking to and from work too. I did it a few times when I actually worked in the office and really liked. Give me some time to zen out after the work day.

  3. You are kicking goals, missy.
    Good that you have got a full length mirror, need to see whether outfit and shoes match, no?
    I have walked around feeling less than attractive for many years, but now, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror looking attractive I say to myself (in my head) “well Hellooooooo gorgeous!”. It helps offset some of the negativity.
    My $0.02

  4. Good lord. How did you survive with no full length mirror? I’d be constantly afraid that my skirt was tucked into my undies or I’d put on odd shoes or something…

    I love the practical and easy addition of a walk home from work. I swear, sometimes we over-complicate fitness so much that we get overwhelmed by all the stuff we “have to do”. Then we end up paralysed and wonder why we’re getting nowhere.

    And half a kg off is nothing to sneeze at, go you!

  5. Ah…morning pages…I still write mine with pen and paper. It keeps the connection stronger for me than typing. My plan is to actual work the full 36 weeks of the Artist Way trilogy. besides the artist date, I have added the weekly walk and doing Yoga and anything else that comes along.

  6. First, I hope you’ve copyrighted the phrase “formula of sloth” because I think it will really catch on with the trendy media types. (I know I’m going to find a way to work it into my next blog post.)

    I love the sensible way you look at how you’ve done and what you can do differently – no judgment, just tweak a few things and off you go. Must put that on my goals for April!

    Finally, I’m disappointed that you didn’t take several pictures of your breakfast cereal concoction. They’ll be coming for your “healthy living blogger” badge if you’re not careful, Missy!

  7. I love that you’re still writing anyway – as annoying as missing a day may be – because you got heart and guts and determination, even if you pretend it is all about the badges!!

  8. I don’t have a full length mirror either….but I like the ones in the lifts at my office, they seem to be more flattering than the ones in the change room at H&M 😉

    I was on a Morning Pages streak in January for a while but dropped the ball when I got my new job – I would really like to make it a priority again. We could start a special part of the U&R forum for writers who run 😉 x

  9. I love the idea of walking home on Thursdays. Wish I could do that! You’ve seen where I live – the closest walk to a job I’ve ever had is about 18 miles! Which would be a hella workout but not very practical.

  10. I love your comment about seeing ourselves as we are rather than worse than we are. Like everyone, I know that I’m my own worst critic. I am often amazed that I can feel “fat” after eating a hamburger and “thin” after eating a salad…when my weight hasn’t really changed at all! So much of this battle can indeed be in our heads, so reality checks are an important reminder!

  11. Shauna, I have just taken delivery of a fitbit one and blame you entirely 🙂 It’s so tiny! I love that you can hook it onto your bra as I’m a bit of a dress wearer so had given up on those waistband pedometers years ago.

    I’m expecting this to be a bit of an eye-opener for someone who works from home at least 2 days a week. I’m already looking for excuses to do the tea run and pop to the corner shop.

  12. Thanks for the 750words link. I love that I can type my morning pages, and have the evidence spirited away into the ether so my loving family will never be able to have a casual nose – not that they would.

    1. That is so my reasoning too, Paola! Can you imagine someone finding the sort of things you write in the morning? They would run for the hills 🙂

  13. Thanks for the link. Have you ever done NANOWRIMO? I did it last year and to my complete surprise – I did it! It helped that I was waiting for some good job news (and if it didn’t happen would be terrible news) so it undertook it to distract myself.

    You are so correct that you need to remind yourself how good you feel when you write. When I had written my allocated word amount (and if you like badges you would love the ‘when you will finish the novel word count’ of NANOWRIMO – ‘If I write 500 more words I might finish on time’) for the day I felt like I could do anything.

    Now I just need to remind myself again…..and not go on the internet (which is how I managed it!). By the way, I finished the novel on the last day at 11pm (whilst my husband watched Rove – irrelevant minor detail).

    1. 11pm! Ahh I love sneaking in at the 11th hour like that, congrats on being a Nano veteran! 🙂 I did it in 2001 and 2011, it is bonkers but such a good feeling when you finally write THE END!

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