My Weekly Goals Project

Hi friends!

Okay, let’s get real for a minute: things are a bit of a mess right now. Whatever side of the political/social wall you are on (see what I did there?), I think we can all agree that the general climate in the United States has been a bit topsy-turvy for the past few months, and doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon. Deep rifts have ruptured in some of the closest of families. The Unfriend button on Facebook has seen more action than all of the Spiderman reboots combined. And my general mentality has been, “Well, we’re all gonna die, so I might as well finish the bottle/eat the whole bag/adopt all the puppies.”

With all of this, I’ve had a bit of a hard time writing lately. At first I was angry and sad, and I wasn’t inspired to put any of my negative feelings or thoughts down on paper (internet?). Then when I started to collect myself and things began to settle a bit, I tried to write a blog about all of the things we still have that make humans happy, but after puppies and Beyoncé I ran out of ideas. Blergh.

So I turned inward, and I began to actively seek out new ways to better myself, educate myself, and basically live life a little more mindfully. My #Today2017 project has been really incredible for that (read up on it here https://pattimurin.blog/2016/12/31/please-make-it-2017-already/), and between that calendar and coffee, waking up each morning is borderline joyous.

When January 1st came around, New Year’s resolutions were on my mind. But since they’re borderline impossible to keep for an entire 365 days (seriously if you’ve kept one, you are literally a superhero), I decided to go about it a different way.

Each Sunday evening, I sit down with my planner (yes, I still use a paper agenda, thank you), and I write a list of Weekly Goals, with a very simple set of guidelines.

It can be as short or as long as I want.
I write this list with the intention and idea that there is absolutely no pressure or punishment if I don’t achieve all of them. There will be no self loathing involved in Weekly Goals.
The list can change weekly, or stay the same.
And at the end of each week, I reflect back on what came up that wasn’t included in my goals, and I make sure that I commend myself for those things as well.

What is a Weekly Goal, you ask? Well for example, this week’s list is:
Exercise 5 times
Publish a blog (check!)
Finish half of a non-fiction book
Finish 2 fiction books (I read A LOT)
Eat well!
Try a new class
Don’t flake on any plans

And that’s that! It’s all about simple health and happiness at the core. Previous and future weeks have and will include Goals such as: volunteer, disconnect for 24 hours from all technology, donate to Goodwill, make chili, etc. Make sense?

The reason that I’ve found it so easy to keep this up, week after week, is because once I decide what I want to do and write it down on the Weekly Goals list, I become responsible for myself. The only person I’m hurting by not doing these things is myself. But on the flipside, the more Goals I complete, the more people I will be helping. If I don’t publish this blog, fine. But if I do? The chance that I could inspire even one other human being makes it worth it. As soon as I physically write down “exercise 5 times,” I become my own guide. I become my own teacher. And I become my own biggest cheerleader.

As I said, if I get to the end of the week and I’ve only worked out two or three times instead of four or five, IT IS OKAY. Things happen, roadblocks come up, and we have to be flexible and forgiving with ourselves. But by writing it down on my Weekly Goals list, the probability that I will complete these things raises exponentially.

Singling out each week, one chunk of the year at a time, has made it much easier to live in the present, and to take life day by day. I find myself worrying less, my anxiety level has dropped from a 9 to about a 3, and every single day I have the ability to feel accomplished, should I so choose. I’m happier, healthier, and my self worth has grown. This is better than any New Years’ resolution I’ve ever made.

So give it a shot if you want! Do exactly what I do, or tweak the concept as much as you would like. Your Weekly Goals, your decision. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work out.

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I WANT CANDY*

Food, food, food, eating, healthy, food, yum, food, hungry, fat, skinny, heart, food, food, food. It’s all we hear about, all we read about, all they’re talking about on TV, in magazines, even in the ads in the subway where I practice my Spanish. We are officially obsessed with food and how to eat. There are diets upon diets upon diets. No carbs, all carbs, all bacon, organic only, eat like a caveman, eat like a French woman, eat like someone who doesn’t eat. We literally take pictures of our food and plaster them all over the Internets: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and our newest social media app: Periscope, where you can show people what is in your fridge. In real time. Because people will actually watch this. Seriously, try it. Then follow me on Periscope @pattimurin.

The main message in all of this? Eat Healthy!

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This is horrifying.

Whatever the heck that means. One year dairy is in, then it’s full of hormones and will make you fat. Red wine and beer drinkers live longer than teetotalers (SAT word alert), but don’t have more than one glass a day, or else you’re considered a binge drinker. Carbs are terrible for you, then all of a sudden they’re totally fine as long as you’re eating whole wheat products that taste vaguely like the dirt you used to plant your seeds in in elementary school science class that you may have tasted when no one was watching.

Full disclosure: I like to eat crap. In-N-Out is my church. My regular concoction at Yogurtland has been described as “a whorehouse of flavor.” Right now I’m eating a dinner fit for a ten year old boy rushing from baseball practice to Boy Scouts: mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, with a healthy side of barbecue sauce. I’ve been known to eat one singular food group as a meal, and it’s usually cheese. I just don’t gravitate to healthy foods, no matter how hard I try. Even when I have salads, they’re filled with cheese (cheese is a big part of my life) and croutons and enough dressing that I can’t actually taste the green stuff at the bottom (I think it’s called lettuce?). After years of trying to clean out my diet and clean up my act, I finally came to a crashing, yet remarkably simple realization.

You know why it’s so hard to eat healthy? Because it’s AWFUL. Healthy food is TERRIBLE. Vegetables are the Earth’s revenge for trampling all over it. Earth literally said, “Dude, I JUST decorated! You gonna cut my babies down to make prom corsages and those stupid subscription inserts for magazines that you already subscribe to? Fine, then I’m gonna grow a bunch of crappy tasting green edible plants and you’re gonna eat them because I will make them good for you! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” Damn you, Earth. We coulda had candy trees.

And then we decide to cook these nutritious little devils, to make them more exciting! I am absolutely baffled at this idea. Why would I take something that, in its raw form, tastes the best it can ever hope to taste, and make it hot and limp? Hot and limp are not words you want to describe anything in your life. Trust me.

(Note: raw carrots are exempt from this blog. There is nothing more satisfying than a crunchy, freshly peeled carrot. Unfortunately for me, I am allergic to them.)

Beet-Pancakes

DO NOT BE FOOLED. These are beet pancakes..

To make vegetables good, you have to disguise them. There are entire cookbooks that exist solely filled with recipes designed to hide vegetables in them. Beet flavored pancakes? Punishable by 3-5 years in a minimum-security prison. Pureed cauliflower that looks like mashed potatoes? Expect divorce papers. Spinach in my brownies? That’s literally the meanest thing anyone could ever do to me.

But what about deep frying, you say! Yes, deep fried asparagus is obviously preferable to sautéed asparagus, but then you hear the voices in your head telling you that “deep fried anything is most likely not as good for you as non-deep fried anything**.” So using this logic, as long as your Oreos aren’t deep fried, they’re healthi-ER for you than deep fried asparagus! Right? No? Great.

And the worst offender of them: kale. Is there anything worse than kale? To make it even remotely interesting, you have to stuff it in a salad and pour dressing all over it, or make freaking CHIPS out of it, and THEN sprinkle said kale chips with weird seasonings like coconut or cayenne. Whose idea was that? Give me ten full-fat sour cream and onion potato chips instead of a whole bag of kale chips any day. I’m not that hungry.

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A perfect meal.

But you know what tastes great all by its lonesome? Chocolate. Chocolate tastes amazing without cream filling or peanut butter (even though it is drastically improved by peanut butter in 99% of cases***). Guess what else tastes awesome all by itself? Cheese. When push comes to shove, cheese don’t need no crackers or fancy meats to make it better. You can shove that stuff in your face straight out of the package. So it’s tasty AND convenient.

I get that we have to avoid obesity and keep our hearts going as long as possible so we can live long and prosperous lives, watch our children grow and finally have money and time simultaneously so we can travel to the Australian Outback. So I shall continue to do my best, if only for the sake of my fiancee, my parents and my future children. I mean, I want to be alive to bake them Squash Pizza.

Just kidding. I would never be that cruel.

*There are absolutely no scientific facts in this blog. I am not a scientist, even though I read every UberFact on Twitter and most of the articles in Dr. Oz magazine.

**I just made up this quote. I didn’t actually quote it from anywhere. It just seemed like it belonged in quotation marks.

***This is a scientific fact. For sure.