The whole “New Year! New You!” vibe that happens every January never fails to bum me out. 

I consider myself to be a work in progress along the lines of the Sagrada Familia,  so I rarely feel the need to re-think, re-set, or re-configure, I just need to keep on keeping on

I saw another list-serve email and in my in box calling itself a “Monday Motivator” and my reaction was “Argh! I have enough things to suck at this week!”

Now granted this reaction is a slice out of my “never good enough/perfectionism/imposter syndrome”, but it made me think about how often I make myself feel bad about not achieving. Or completing. Or exceeding. 

Sound familiar?

A technique I share with some of my over-achieving, productivity-driven, super responsible clients is something I call choosing the win. (Autocorrect just made that “choosing the wine” but that’s not what this particular chat is about.)

Choosing the win is taking a goal or task you want/need/must! accomplish and breaking it down to the first, 100% achievable step. And then successfully completing that step. (Fireworks! Balloons! Open the champagne!)

I use this method to manage my own nonsense which is why I feel like I can recommend it to my clients with a clear conscience. 

Recently I have been making myself feel sh***y about not exercising. 

Yes, I know how important exercise is for both physical and mental health, but running my own business makes me feel like I need to work 12-hour days to stay on top of everything so I sit down first thing to start writing, or answering email, and suddenly that 45-minute yoga video feels like a huge indulgence. 

So, the win I chose on my imperfect path to getting back to working out every day (HUGE goal!), was putting on exercise clothes. 

That’s it. 

Getting out of bed and into yoga pants instead of the shower.

I’m still reading my newspapers, checking news websites, looking at social media and working on half a dozen “to-do” items simultaneously, but I was doing it in yoga pants.

The next step was putting a yoga mat and weights (3-lb itty bitty weights), in the hall outside my office. 

It took about 5 days of wearing yoga pants before I actually did a 10-minute stretching video. Yay me!!!

And I have now completed the first 20-minutes of the 45-minute yoga video (a 30-day challenge) three times. And that’s a win.

Part of the reason I am calling this the Monday De-Motivator is that my theme for 2021 is “The Year of Being Less Shitty to Myself”. 

So, don’t expect this newsletter every Monday because I’m not sure thats acaheivable. Think of it as a treat that pops into your email. And if you need a quick win that day, you can say ‘I will do one thing today that I will absolutely accomplish’, and then you read the email, and that’s a win. 

Yay you!!!

I hope you will join me as I take my tiny steps on the Path to Imperfection this year. I promise to trip all the landmines so you don’t have to. 

This week’s inspirational anthem (and I use the word week loosely) is from the late, great Curtis Mayfield. Staring the day with music is always a win. 

person hanging on clothesline with message hang in there

Feeling a bit like a tumbleweed tossed around by life at the moment. Family and friends, a wedding and a funeral, rituals and milestones that mark time.

Being equal parts over committed (my own fault), and under participating (+ feeling guilty), makes it hard to stay present.

The other day I said to a frantic faculty member “surely you can gift yourself 30 minutes to start writing your white paper. Set a timer.” She took the suggestion and churned out a page of writing.

So today I gift myself with 10 minutes to write a blog post.

Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and it always makes me think of Norman, my husbands grandfather. I only knew him for about 6 years before he died, but very much loved him and his forceful personality. A raconteur of the first water, equally kind and caustic, friendly and demanding, I was new enough to the family to enjoy his flaws and find his quirks charming.

My husband and I went to dinner with Norman at least once a month and then more often after his wife died. Eventually I started cooking meals for him at our house or his. I made him meat dishes that he loved, even though we are vegetarian and I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing, and of course sweets.

My favorite was the Crowned Apple Cake that I made him for Rosh Hashanah. It looked so dramatic and was so dense with apples, it made for a sweet New Year and a happy memory.

L’shanah tovah to those who celebrate.

10 minutes is up! (not my cake below, but same recipe)