A failure to take precise and deliberate action is the reason why so many New Year’s resolutions and other goals fail.
Motivational speakers work to motivate you–get you into action. You have hopes, dreams, unfinished projects. How do you convert your thoughts into reality? Though you may have heard differently, it requires effort. You cannot sit in front of a T.V. set and watch your ideas materialize.
So what can you do? If you are like me, prone to low moods and bouts of no motivation at all, you need a consistent method of keeping yourself moving. Though I have not entirely conquered inactivity, I have developed some techniques that make a difference. Project 2021 is Actions with Values. What do I mean by that? I connect my actions with values by assigning them to the values they support. I determine my values in advance and then work on them every day. Here is my list of values:
Make a List of Values
I shared these values with a friend, and he said they were his values also. I do not claim these values are universal. However, you will probably have no trouble editing this and morphing it into a list of your own. You are free to start with this list or even copy it if it matches your taste. You may want to change the order. My values are listed most important first.
Connect Your Activity to Your Values – Consider Using the Cronometer App
What can we do to ensure that our life reflects our values? You can use any software with which you feel comfortable. However, I chose to get a second copy of Cronometer to track activity. Since I could not use two separate copies of Cronometer in Chrome, I use a second copy in Internet Explorer. To make a shortcut at the top of the Windows start menu, I selected:
- the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of Internet Explorer
- More tools
- Create shortcut
Remap Nutrition to Values
I added activities as foods and recipes, using nutrition to represent the values. For now, I am using amino acids for the top 15 principles by which I live. Since there are 19 amino acids in Cronometer, I have the capacity for four more values. If and when I think of them, I can add and track them. Activities can support more than one value. Values can have more than one activity–a many-to-many relationship. Find software that supports many-to-many networks between values and actions. It may be useful for this purpose.
Within several weeks, you can run a Nutrition Report in Trends using custom dates to display your average scores. Consequently, you can set up Daily Targets for each of your values. Unlike standard Cronometer, where there are RDAs for your nutrition, you use your judgment to set standards. You can change them to reflect a greater need to allocate your time for one value or another. As you log new activities, they will affect your profile. You can set up activities with the list of associated values that will encourage you to do them. You may find yourself doing activities that support the most principles. That is the way it should be. Congratulations! You have connected with your values.
Add and Do “Nutritious” Value-Packed Activities
Once you have this setup, you keep logging your activities and adding new ones as you do things you have not done before. You may think when adding new activities, “How nutritious is this activity.” Is it just empty calories? I log activities to have one gram per serving and one calorie per gram. A gram represents one minute. You can edit a copy from a skeleton activity to save time when creating activities.
The Happiness Trap
I have many tips and tricks for using this app. However, you may devise creative ways to make it useful for you. The underlying power of connecting with your values and taking action inspired Project 2021. The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris changed my life. If you have trouble getting yourself off the couch, Russ Harris’s book is for you. Last year, during the pandemic’s early days, I suffered severe depression, accompanied by motivation paralysis. It culminated in a four-day stay at a treatment facility. After getting out, I read Russ’s book, and it changed my perspective. I could no longer wait around until I felt like doing something. I started using Harris’s ACT program. The book is more than a decade old, so it may no longer seem relevant. However, it is.
What Is Cooking for the New Year?
What is cooking for the New Year? Even though I like to write more than cook, time in the kitchen can be happiness-producing. During my 110 Days to 50 kg, I prepared variations of Mini Joy and Green Drinks. Fortunately, neither one required a stove. For the coming year, though, I want to get more creative. I have not planned what I want to do yet, but I want to do something. I checked out a cookbook from the library loaded with ideas. My cookbook, purchasable at the bottom of this blog entry, is nutritious and delicious. However, for me, it is old hat. I want something new. In general, I am more likely to create a recipe than follow one. I like to do my thing. Recipes from various sources have inspired many of my creations, however.
Fortunately, with my primary care physician’s insistence, I got an appointment to see a neuro-ophthalmologist today rather than February first. He will order an MRI and some blood work about my brain hormones.
I am still feeling happy about my year so far. Yesterday, I scored beautifully for all of my values except cleanliness. Last night, I was mentally exhausted after doing the “paper” work for my neurology appointment. I did not feel up to taking a shower or cleaning the kitchen. Today, I started with a shower and am doing better, though the kitchen is still a mess.
I felt the urge to chew and eat after the stress of my doctor’s appointment this morning, even though it was on Zoom. The doctor did not want to say that Risperdal was the cause of my vision loss. He wants to look into it deeper. I have never had an MRI scan before. Hopefully, it will be thought-provoking enough to make it worth it. My neighbor has agreed to drive me to the imaging facility and back, so we have already arranged that. He may have to take me all the way to Denver.
Getting It Together Again
Let me get myself together. I switched to carrots instead of chips. That is the first sign of improvement. I could not make myself consume a green drink right after my appointment. When I do not eat a green drink, that blows my nutritarian goals for the day.
I got some more carrots. When you have the urge to chew, raw carrots are an excellent choice. They are not only nutritious, but they also require a lot of chewing. If your teeth are still capable, do it.
Our cosmetologist planned to come this afternoon. However, she is preparing for surgery and has canceled and rescheduled several times. My husband is relieved that she is not coming. I think sleeping on the floor every night is fatiguing him. I have asked him repeatedly if he wants a bed, but he always says no.
I got more than seven hours of sleep yesterday, but it was not contiguous. This morning, I woke up an hour earlier than desired, so catching up on my sleep will require another nap today. Maybe now would be a good time.
A two-hour nap this afternoon helped make up for my deficit this morning. Tonight, the reality of my eye condition is starting to settle on me. The doctor said both eyes are affected, even though I mostly notice the problem in my left eye. Overall, my vision is cloudy. I hope my neuro-ophthalmologist can correct this.
This hassle could be at the root of my driving anxiety; my fear may arise from my visual difficulties. The problem has gradually gotten worse over the past ten years or so. I have agonized over my aversion to operating a car, particularly on the freeway, and considered it purely psychological. It may not be.
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One. If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below. Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.