Healthy Aging

I heard a talk last night on healthy aging.  The presenter discussed 3 keys to healthy aging and avoiding demensia:

Sleep

Exercise

Socialization

Sounds good!

I would add to that by saying, strive for 7 hours of sleep a night (or supplement with naps), get up and walk a few times a day for a combined total of 30 minutes of activity, stay in touch with friends and relatives and talk with everyone you come across during the day, even if it is simply to say hello.

 

My Goals for March

WOW, February was a tough month!  4 major snowstorms dumping about 7 FEET of snow.  Let’s hope that is the end of it!  2015-01-27 14.10.29

These snowbanks will be here for quite a while!  my poor doggie has all but given up trying to go outside!  To give you some perspective, in the background, behind the gigantic snow bank you can see my second floor windows!

But, moving on, as February ends it is time to review my February goals and see how I did. As you may recall, this year I am setting monthly goals or resolutions rather than making a big list of New Year’s Resolutions so that I can actually tackle them one by one.  Hopefully the good habits I’m forming (and bad ones I’m breaking) carry over to future months and by the end of the year I will have a list of positive habits I’ve developed and negative habits I’ve broken.

So far in 2015, my goals have been:

January Goals:

  • Drink 5, 12 oz glasses of water daily — I believe I’ve achieved this at least 80% of the time; I need to keep working on this).
  •  Stop Procrastinating! — I am doing good with this one, getting to things right away rather than leaving them “for later”

February Goals:

  • Go to the gym 3x per week — DONE!  I did it!  There was a week or two when I didn’t’ think I’d get my 3 times in, and I wanted to say, “shoveling counts”!  But I did get my weight training in, and I really enjoyed it and even better, greatly improved my work load (weight x reps x sets).
  • No Extra Spending — Also done!  While I did spend a lot of money (on a planned vacation, and on excess snow removal), I didn’t spend frivolously, I cut down on lattes, didn’t buy and clothes or shoes and managed to stay away from stores in general (perhaps the excess snow helped here!)

So now the trick is to continue with these resolutions and add in some for March.  I am going to amend the gym 3x/week as I need to start adding back in some running and yoga, and so I am going to resolve to exercise 4-5 times per week and include running, yoga and weight training.

March Goals:

  • Positive Habit:  Blog 3x per week.  I actually have 2 blogs, this one and my professional blog which focuses on communication, marketing and social media.  Feel free to check it out!  My goal is to post twice a week here and once a week on the other.  Since it is already Friday and I have only written this post, you will be hearing from me again soon!
  • Negative Habit: Be Less Judgmental, or put more positively, Be More Open Minded to new things, new ideas, new people, new ways of doing things, etc.! I really like this quote from Walt Witman and will strive to live by it!

February!

Happy February…Rabbit…for whatever reason it is we say rabbit on the first of the month.  More importantly, Happy Super Bowl Day (Go Pats!).

Even more importantly, it is the start of a new month and time for a new resolution.  This year, rather than make a bunch of resolutions in January and scrambling to achieve them all at once,  I decided to make one big resolution for the year and then make two monthly ones that I could work on for 30 days to form into positive habits and break negative habits.  January’s resolutions were to

Positive Habit to embrace: Drink 5 12 oz glasses of water a day

I’m doing great with this one!  I actually crave water now if I don’t have a glass in my hand. There are so many important health reasons to drink water: more energy, better digestion, better skin, etc.  but I must admit, the water has made those “wine headaches” stop.  Woo Hoo, now I can enjoy 2 glasses of wine again.  Stay Hydrated my friends!

Negative Habit to change: Stop Procrastinating

While this resolution isn’t easily measurable, I have definitely procrastinated less this month. Several times, I’d look at something that needed to be done and was about to put it off when the little voice in my head (yes I admit, I have those) said,  “Don’t procrastinate” and so I got up and did it!

While I will continue to encompass these two resolutions, I have added a positive and negative one for February:

With a ski trip coming up at the end of the month, my positive resolution is to:

GO TO THE GYM 3 TIMES A WEEK.  No Excuses.  Regardless of what other exercise I do, (yoga, running), I am going to get to the gym for some serious weight training at least 3 times a week.

As for the negative habit, I am resolving:

NO EXTRA SPENDING THIS MONTH!  I finished paying off the Christmas bills, and again I have an (expensive) trip coming up, and for various reasons, my income is taking a big hit this year and so I am resolving to curtail spending on extras.  No shopping for clothes, shoes, makeup, things for the house, electronics, etc.

Here goes, wish me luck!

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

As I am bordering on compulsive when it comes to list making, I thought I’d mix things up a bit this year and NOT make a long list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Instead, I am going to make one overarching Resolution this year.  This one came from my daughter who suggested that I learn to play what she has called, The Suggestion Game.  Simply put, rather than keep making the same suggestions over and over to people, make it once.  That’s it.  As long as the persons isn’t deaf, they have heard the suggestion and can either take it or not, as the choose.  They can also ask for clarification if they need it and so there is no need for me assume they don’t understand and repeat the suggestion in different ways.  This is going to be a tough one for me!

Additionally I will make two resolutions each month focused on habits, one good and one bad.  They say that it takes 21 days (3 weeks) to form or break habit.  Let’s see if I can form one good habit and break one bad habit each month.

Here goes…

January

Positive Habit to Grow:

glass-of-water

Drink at least five, 12 ounce glasses of water each day.

 

 

 

Negative Habit to discourage:

When something needs to be done, do it…don’t procrastinate.

As a matter of fact, that might be a good theme for the year, Do It Now!

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Year in Review

My cousin, and blog friend Lisa, has posted this Year in Review on her blog every year for the past 10 years.  I think it is a great way to look back on the year and share some of its highlights (and low lights), and so I took up the practice.  This is my third annual Year in Review.  (Feel free to check out my earlier posts 20112012 and 2013).

This is a fun exercise and a great way to summarize the year and I recommend that you gives it a try.  Let me know if you do!

A quick overview:

To summarize my year, the overriding big change was my puppy, only 10 pounds, but a lot of work!  It was also the first full year of having my Dad live nearby and seeing him frequently since I went off to college.  My year was full of road races.  I even reconnected with some old time friends (Cindy and Lynne from college days and Deb from Hampstead), and I went to a reunion luncheon with 25 women from my sorority. Weather-wise, it was the year of the Polar Vortex and so it was very, very cold from January through March, brrr.  The summer was fairly rainy and didn’t offer many hot days.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? — Nothing overly exciting, but two things I did for the first time in 2014 were: I went to a 6 week puppy training class with my puppy, and I went to the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I kept a lot of them and posted ‎my successes and failures.  I like to make New Year’s resolutions and since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve written them down and kept track of them through the year which really made a difference in terms of keeping them!  I will definitely make more for 2015 and will post them on this blog.

Did anyone close to you give birth? My cousin Kristin had a baby boy, Tyler! Also another one of my friends became a grandmother this year!  Congratulations Lorri Z!

Did anyone close to you die? A former neighbor died in an accident this year.  I feel sad for his (adult) children as they were friends with my kids, and for his former wife is a friend of mine.

 What countries did you visit? Once again, no trips to foreign countries this year.  As far as domestic travel, a took a ski trip to Sugarloaf Maine and made a few trips to New Jersey, Virginia and D.C to visit family; a trip to Bethesda, MD for a family wedding.  Already in 2015, I have a trip planned to Florida for some fun in the sun, and to Utah for fun on the slopes.

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?  I have everything I could ever need or want.  But I would like to go ice skating — now that the new outdoor ice rink is open at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, I plan to do this!  I would also like to visit my friends Janet and Cindy in New Jersey, and Diane, Brenda and Barb in Virginia.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? It is either very good or very bad that I can’t remember any single noteworthy date.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?  I did some speed training and a lot of racing this year and improved my running times immensely, I broke an 8 minute pace for a 5K twice this year!  As a matter of fact, I came in 4th in my age group in the Seacoast Race Series!

What was your biggest failure? I really didn’t have any “failures” but I did have a job setback when one of the agencies I worked for lost a HUGE account, thereby cutting my time (and money) down by A LOT.  However, I recovered as another company became busier and needed more of my services.  Still a net loss money-wise, but I have more time and overall I am happier.

Did you suffer illness or injury? ! I was nice and healthy in 2014, and I plan to keep it that way!

What was the best thing you bought?  Perhaps my authentic, Shearling-lined L.L. Bean boots.  I’ve lived in New England since 1977 (except for 6 years in VA from 2001-2007) and I have finally gotten some Bean boots!

Whose behavior merited celebration? My family celebrated my cousin Justin’s wedding to Rosette in October!

Where did most of your money go? Other than my mortgage, my biggest expenses have been clothes for me and gifts for my kids!

What did you get really, really, really excited about?   I saw a lot of old friends who I hadn’t seen since college this summer.  I spent a great weekend on the Cape with my former roommates Lynne and Cindy.  And a few months later, I went to a luncheon with 25 of my Alpha Xi Delta sisters — again, I hadn’t seen most of them for many, many years!

What song will always remind you of 2014? Take Me To Church by Hozier (no reason, I just like the song and I really can’t think of any stand outs from this year!)

Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • Happier or sadder? — The same, perhaps not quite as happy
  • Thinner or fatter? – The same weight as I’ve been most of my adult life
  • Richer or poorer? – Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Skiing, weight training, yoga

What do you wish you’d done less of? A little less working!!

How will you be (or did you) spend Christmas? I spent Christmas with my dad, my cousins and my daughter Kelsey.   We had a great celebration.  We always have a great Christmas Eve dinner with family, enjoying the traditional 7 (or more) fishes.  And then on Christmas Day another wonderful dinner at another cousin’s home, and again had fun eating, drinking, socializing and just being together!  My daughter Kelsey came back to New Hampshire with me and we enjoyed the weekend — opening some more presents, shopping, eating, drinking, a show at the Music Hall (Justin McKinney), running, yoga and a movie (100 Foot Journey).

Did you make a new friend this year and/or get closer to a friend or an acquaintance?  I reconnected with a friend, Deb and I met her friend Julie, plus I believe I have taken steps to repair a friendship with an old, estranged friend. (well she isn’t old, the friendship is old.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others? In terms of community service, I have joined the board of Coastal Athletic Association.  I hope to have a positive impact and become more involved in the Seacoast running community.  Perhaps this will become meaningful to others.

What was your favorite TV program? This year I discovered The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, both hysterical comedies

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Oh let’s phrase this differently,“Have any of your relationships worsened over the past year?” — No!

What was the best book you read? I read and/or listened to a bunch of good books in 2014, but the one that stands out the most as it was intriguing and very different for me was Shantaram.  I also enjoyed And the Mountains Echoed.

What was your greatest musical discovery? Sad to report, I have nothing to say on the music front!  I haven’t been to any concerts or musical shows and I really didn’t discover any new exciting artists.

What did you want and get? I wanted to get more clients for my business, and I did.  I also wanted to have professional photos taken and update my website which I did.

What did you want and not get? There is nothing tangible that I did not get.  I would like to get to spend more time with my kids.

What was your favorite film of this year? I didn’t see too many, and some were a disappointment — Tammy, Osage County.  But of those I saw, I enjoyed the last installment of The Hobbit, Nebraska and Maleficent; although I wouldn’t classify any of these as a favorite.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went out to dinner with a special friend for my 55th birthday.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having a little more free time (it was a very hectic year work-wise) and a little better weather (it was freezing all winter and not all that hot this summer).

What kept you sane? Eating healthy, exercise, reading and spending the spring and summer on the water.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Absolutely no one!

What political issue stirred you the most?  Politically, all eyes were on the mid-term election, but as far as an issue went, everything got me stirred up, but there is nothing that “we the people” can do about any of this except to vote.

Who did you miss?  My mother

Who was the best new person you met this year? I didn’t meet many new people this year, but I would have to say it was a year of meeting up with old friends and that was one of the best parts of the year — Debbie, Elaine, Lynne, Cindy and my AZ Sisters!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014: It isn’t easy to train a puppy!

Quote that sums up your year:  It’s still light out, let’s drink white!