I feel different than I did one month ago.
On July 8th, I started the Frequency Project.
I picked four core habits and four core qualities to focus on. I made them REALLY tiny this time. I asked Jon (my partner) about what habits he thought made the biggest impact on my mental health, and he helped me pick out the four that I ended up with.
It’s been 22 days since I started, and so far…
- I’ve woken up before 7am on 19/22 days
- I’ve gone for a walk on 22/22 days
- I’ve tidied or reset something on 22/22 days
- I’ve drank a full gallon of water on 16/22 days
I can safely say that during the past 22 days, I’ve felt more peaceful, more energetic, more driven and more CALM than I have in a LONG time.
I’ve gotten into this habit of waking up each morning and moving to the roof to drink my morning coffee. I think the early morning sunshine has also helped stabilize my circadian rhythm, because I am waking up more naturally, I have WAY more energy, and in general – I’ve been in a great freaking mood.
However, those amazing benefits have not quite extended to my workout schedule.
Of the 16 workouts I wanted to do in the month of July, I only completed 7. I had told myself I was going to workout with my normal frequency during the two weeks that we were in Indiana on vacation, and retrospectively, that was likely not a super realistic or compassionate goal. I know WHY I set that expectation for myself – I was really feeling ready to get strong – but I think I could have at least reduced the workout frequency while I was there.
But then, there was the past two weeks – two weeks where I, quite frankly, didn’t plan well and then chose to prioritize work in the later half of the week. (And, I got a desk treadmill and it kicked my ass LOL). Luckily, my coach is awesome and she has put ALL my main important lifts on the first two days of my training schedule, so I’m still progressing and overall I’m not beating myself up about it. BUT, I do think it’s important to learn from.
Lesson #1 about Karin’s gym adherence: Get a workout done WEDNESDAY. I do my first two workouts on Sunday & Monday, and rest Tuesday – and if I get “back on the horse” on Wednesday I’m likely to finish the week, but if that workout gets pushed, it tends to not happen.
Lesson #2 about Karin’s gym adherence: I need to eat more. I’m already on top of this one, but part of the reason this past week has had less workouts is simply because I didn’t recover well from the first two, and I think adding calories is going to be a big part of the solution there.
So to recap — At the end of June, in my review, I had set three goals for July.
Get all 16 workouts done… (fail).
Do my core four on 27 days of the month… (didn’t really start frequency project until July 8th, so… in progress!)
Hit my protein goal on 27 days of the month. (Unclear, because I didn’t end up tracking food on vacation!).
If you’re reading this, I want you to pay very close attention to the fact that I’m not labeling July as “good” or “bad.”
I’m not beating myself up over not achieving mini goals, or blaming my personality, or reinforcing any old beliefs about my ability to be consistent.
I’m just observing data – with curiosity, with interest, with fascination.
And now, I’m gonna use that data to evaluate and set mini-goals for the month of August.
So, without further ado…
August Goals & Outlook
PART ONE: When something works, keep doing that shit.
With that in mind, I’m obviously committed to the Frequency Project for the entirety of Q3, and so I’m going to stick with it and continue to focus on getting more core four qualities done.
I want you to know that the taste of “success” here is making me WILDLY desire adding more habits to my roster.
Like many of you, I have a long list of habits I would LOVE to adopt. And my brain, right now, is pointing at the data and screaming “KARIN, things are going SO SO WELL, why not ADD FOUR MORE HABITS????”
And I will kindly remind my brain that 22 days (despite what the random pinterest quotes say), is not indeed enough time to truly solidify a habit. I need more time. I need more obstacles to face, more failure to analyze, more reps on reps on reps.
For the sake of a little excitement and novelty though, I will challenge myself to complete my core four habits at least 28 days of the month. Let’s see if I can keep up the high frequency I’ve been achieving, shall we?
August Mini-Goal #1: Complete Core 4 on 28 days
PART TWO: Always identify the root cause.
When I compare the days I’ve completed all of my core habits to the days I have not, and when I look at the connection between the qualities and the habits, one thing is super clear:
Feeling PEACEFUL is deeply connected to me enacting the behaviors I want.
It’s likely a chicken egg situation, right? The behaviors create a sense of peace, and the peace drives my motivation and self-regulation ability so I can do the behavior.
However, I can pay attention to the idea of creating peace in all areas of my life. For me, that might start with brainstorming the things that make me feel the most peaceful.
Karin’s Peace List:
- Quiet coffee in the morning on the roof (bonus if I bring my journal up there instead of just scrolling on my phone, which I do also enjoy)
- Waking up to a clean kitchen from the night before
- Actually getting dressed and ready each morning, bare minimum being jeans & mascara.
- Getting my workout done first thing in the morning so my brain doesn’t debate it all day long.
- FULLY checking out at the end of my work day (zero-ing my inbox, shutting all programs down, tidying my office) even on the days I want to slam my laptop shut and walk away.
- Playing music while I’m cooking, using ACTUAL cookbooks or printing recipes, basically using cooking time as a way to ground myself (almost meditative, in a way)
- Showering at night and eating dessert in my pajamas on the couch
- Planning my food the night before so I know I’m ready to go when I wake up
- Getting all the tiny admin things that pop up done BEFORE I jump into deep project work for the day
As much as my brain would love to make each of these things into a rule or a habit or a spot on my calendar, for now, I can simply observe and make note of them in my brain.
With that said, in August, one mini-goal I’ll set for myself (more of a mantra or intention, really) is…
August Mini-Goal #2: Pursue Peace
PART THREE: Keep going on what matters, even if it’s not going well,.
I care deeply about working out.
I LOVE it. I love powerlifting. I love feeling strong. So while my workout adherence in July wasn’t the gold shining star I would have wanted, I can still look at this month as a potential foundation for improvement.
Since last month I averaged 2 workouts per week, for August, I want to average 3 workouts per week.
Obviously, best case scenario, I workout 4/4 days each week, duh.
But I can still pursue the best case scenario while giving myself the more realistic & compassionate benchmark of 3 per week. I can meet myself where I’m at.
(Side note — a lot of you seem to think that setting a lower & potentially more realistic goal means you’re “giving up” on achieving the higher thing…. but what kind of logic is that? If you blow your goal out of the water, isn’t that just… more awesome?)
August Mini-Goal #3: Workout a total of 12+ days
That, my friends, is what I’ve got for ya this month.
We checked the box on 250k, we’re still pushing toward that powerlifting goal, and I’m DEFINITELY becoming tidier (there has been a big shift this month on that front).
I’ll keep updating you month by month, and day by day in stories.
If you made it this far, thanks for following along!
PS: In my journey to evolve myself and achieve my goals this year, I’m using the EXACT skills and following the EXACT method we use in Alliance Coaching — so if you’re feeling the quiet but powerful desire to evolve, make sure you submit an application. <3