The Ben Franklin Approach Part II

My walking attire this week.

My walking attire this week.

A few months ago I started making a few small changes in my life.. Whenever I set goals, they usually revolve around losing a bunch of weight and life subsequently becoming fantastic. However, a few months in I end up getting frustrated and disillusioned and quit, usually finding myself a few pounds heavier. So I decided to take the pressure off of losing weight this time around and focus more on achieving mini goals that will (hopefully) improve my quality of life in real and tangible ways.

So far, I have:

  • Given up soda (still going strong!)
  • Started drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day (easy enough)
  • Attempted to go to bed by 10 (Not exactly happening, but I’d say I’m almost always asleep by 11:30. Good enough. I do have to say that I feel better, more rested, and find myself craving sweets/junk less frequently ever since I started sleeping normal hours).

Since I last wrote, I’ve added a couple more things:

  • Making my bed every morning. I’d say this is happening about 80% of the time. There is something lovely about getting into a well-made bed at the end of a long day.
  • Walking 10,000 steps per day. This is something that was suggested to me by several fellow bloggers and real-life friends. I have one of those phone pedometers and I’ve been keeping track of my steps. Getting 10,000 steps really isn’t that hard. I’d say I get 5,000-6,000 on a day that I don’t do any exercise, and if I throw in a 45-minute lunch time walk 10,000 steps are pretty much guaranteed.

Unfortunately, I picked a very bad week to start the 10,000 step challenge. It’s been snowy, icy and freezing, so I haven’t been able to walk much outside. (Lesson learned: Never move north). But because I’m committed, I’ve been trying to get my steps in any way I can, even if it means walking around the grocery store next door to my office. Fun fact: I’ve found that just walking up and down the aisles at your local grocery store yields 2,000-2,500 steps! The only problem with this approach is that you look like a crazy person when you go to a grocery store and just walk up and down the aisles without actually buying anything. In order to avoid looking like a crazy person I end up buying some little thing I don’t really need. So instead of looking crazy, I just look like someone who’s never been to a grocery store in her entire life and therefore must walk up and down every single aisle to find a loaf of bread.

I’ve also discovered that mall-walking is an incredibly effective method for generating steps. I had to buy something at Sephora a couple of days ago and in about a one hour period I walked nearly 5,000 steps! And the good thing about walking around the mall is that you don’t look nearly as crazy as you do at the grocery store because you can just pretend you’re window shopping. At a really fast, determined pace. Without actually looking at any shop windows. Luckily, it’s sunny outside today and the temperatures are finally going to hit the mid 30’s, so I’ll finally be able to go on an outdoor walk the way normal people do.

I’m thinking that next week I will implement the most radical of all my mini changes thus far: I’ll start picking up after myself right away. That means doing dishes right away, picking up my towels/clothes/shoes right away, etc. This will not be easy. But the problem with leaving things lying around is that things spiral out of control. That one pair of jeans quickly becomes a giant and terrifying pile of clothes and suddenly you look like you could be one of those sad, isolated hoarder cases you see on TV (but without all the cats) and nobody wants to get to that point. So that will be my change of the week unless I get another, better suggestion from anyone out there!



Categories: Me, Me, Me, Self-improvement

Tags: ,

2 replies

  1. Great! You’ve done BF proud.

  2. I always feel better when things are neat… not that it happens all the time. –Curt

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