Post written by Leo Babauta
www.zenhabits.com

You are overcome with laziness and procrastination, feeling unmotivated, stuck, can’t get started.
You are not alone. This is a commonality in the human condition, and the solution is elusive, never standing still and not wanting to be easily caught. You are not alone, but in this union with your brothers and sisters, there is hope. I’m among you, and I have found a few meager solutions. And if I can solve this problem, so can you. If others have beaten it, you can.

These are ways I’ve found inspiration.
one: This morning as I sat down to write I had some ideas for posts but wasn’t excited about any of them. So I asked on Twitter, “What are you having problems with that I can help with?” Several people responded with things like laziness, motivation, procrastination, getting started. Having something to help with inspired me to write.
lesson: Inspiration can come from finding a way to help others.

two: My eight-year-old son was looking bored, and I asked about a (short) novel he’s been reading. He showed me the book and I challenged him to read four chapters today. His face lit up and he got to reading.
lesson: Creating a challenge can be an inspiration.

three: I have problems with procrastination, just like anyone else. I usually solve it when 1) I crystalize in my mind what I most want to be doing right now and what is most important; 2) I clear away all other distractions; and 3) I get started. As I began writing this post, I closed all other browser tabs (bookmarked ones I want to read later) and opened only the “new post” page in WordPress. Then I clicked on the “fullscreen” button so that everything but the writing box disappeared. Then I entered “Presentation Mode” in Google Chrome, so that everything else on my computer screen faded away. Now it’s just me and these words.
lesson: Clear away everything else and just create.

four: In the morning I sometimes feel lazy when I’ve told myself I want to exercise, stretch, or meditate. I don’t feel motivated. So instead of motivating myself to do something that might take 10, 20 or 30 minutes, I just focus on the smallest action: starting. To meditate or stretch, I just need to put my butt on the pillow (on the floor). To exercise, I just need to lace up my shoes and get out the door. Once I start, the rest is easy, and I’m always glad I did.
lesson: Get your butt on the pillow. Don’t wait for motivation, just start. Motivation will come.

five: As I began to write this morning I heard what sounded like opera music streaming through the walls from my neighbor’s house. What a lovely sound to write to! I immediately began playing some opera of my own, and the uplifting beauty infused my act of creation.
lesson: Surround yourself by inspiration. Music, art, great books, fascinating people.

six: When I feel lazy and don’t want to do anything, I remind myself of the gift I’ve been given. I live an amazing life, and to be given the joy of this world and the people around me, is a complete and utter miracle. Then I ask myself, “Is this how I want to use this miracle?” What a complete waste of something so perfect, so profound, to spend the little time I have in this life on pointlessness and laziness. I don’t mind doing nothing, if it is a nothing that makes me happy. But I also want to create, to help people, to be compassionate towards others, to do something fulfilling and joyous. And so I do.
lesson: Be grateful for the miracle of your life, and ask yourself how you want to spend it. Then get to creating, to making lives better.

seven: I read blogs by fascinating people doing inspired things. Often they will write about something they’re working on, and it sparks an idea in me, makes me want to do something really cool too. Yesterday this happened and I’ve spent hours now dreaming up something big. It might never happen, but that’s not the important thing. Because I surround myself (virtually) with inspired people, I’m more likely to be hit by inspiration.
lesson: Don’t wait for inspiration to strike — you have to meet it halfway. If you want to be hit by lightning, go out in a thunderstorm with a metal rod. Scream at the thundering gods, daring them to strike you.

POSTED: 08.10.2012

 
Time to pick these amazing little anti-oxident fruits, prime picking time is now so head on over to your local pick your own and stock up. They freeze well and are great in smoothies! Locally here in Putney Green Mountain Orchards is in great shape for fast picking and with many varieties to choose from they extend their season to the end of August with late season varieties. Imagine great food and exercise all in one with beautiful views from the Rockwell patch.
Happy Harvest
K
 
Post written by Leo Babauta. www.zenhabits.net

While most people want to lose weight, get fitter, get healthier … it can be tough forming the habits.
It took me many starts and frustrations before I learned how to live a healthier lifestyle. In 2005, I was 70 lbs. heavier, a smoker, addicted to junk food, sedentary, couldn’t exercise for more than a few days without quitting.
Today, I am much healthier, leaner, fitter. I eat healthily most of the time (with regular indulgences) and I’m able to stick to a meal plan if I want, and avoid junk food most of the time.

How did I change? I learned a few simple strategies. These aren’t for everyone, so pick and choose the ones that might fit in your life, and give them a try!

1. Toss out the junk food. Having junk food in your house or workplace makes it too hard to stick to a healthy diet. If at all possible, toss everything out that’s sugary, fatty, greasy, salty. The best strategy is not having it around. Clean out your pantry and fridge!

2. Find some healthy recipes and buy the ingredients. There are thousands online. Find one or two to start with, easy ones that don’t take an hour to prepare, and go buy the ingredients today.

3. Cook in bulk. I find it easiest to stick to a healthy meal plan if I prepare things in advance. So cook big batches of veggie chili or soup, or tofu veggie stir fry, and put the bulk of it in containers in the fridge or freezer. I like to divide things into meal-sized containers so I just heat things up when it’s mealtime.

4. Stock up on healthy snacks. When you’re hungry for a snack, what will you eat? Have healthy things to munch on at home, at work, and for the road. Fresh fruits, chopped veggies, raw nuts, dried fruits are some of my favorites.

5. Socialize in healthier ways. Instead of going out to bars or unhealthy restaurants, can you get together for tea, or a game of basketball, or a walk in the park? Or find a healthy restaurant to eat at?

6. Find a workout partner. Get your spouse or good friend or coworker to go on walks or runs with you, or meet you at the gym or a workout class. Having someone do it with you makes it fun and easier, and you’re more likely to show up if you have an appointment to meet someone.

7. Use social media for motivation. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your favorite online forums for motivation and accountability. Publicly announce 2-week or month-long health challenges, and have people keep you accountable. TryFitocracy — it’s a social fitness game that can make getting fit fun.

8. Play outside. It’s important to go outside every day and get some fresh air and sunshine. Move around, take the kids out and play, find a friend and take a walk or throw or kick a ball around.

9. Find healthy options for eating out. Instead of eating at fast food or chain restaurants where everything is deep fried, can you find more local restaurants where there are some healthy options? Make a list, and go to those places when you go out.

10. Make water & tea your default drink. Many people drink soda or sugar coffee drinks all day. This is not necessary for a healthy or enjoyable life. Water can become your favorite drink, and (unsweetened) tea can be very healthy. I love a mindful green tea ritual once a day.

11. Schedule active breaks. If you’re on the computer all day, schedule short breaks every 30-60 minutes where you stretch, walk around, maybe do some squats or pushups, drink some water. Exercise doesn’t have to be just once a day.

12. Get your spouse on board. It’s hard to make changes if your significant other is resistant. So early on in the process (read: right now), share your thinking, share your reading materials, and ask them to help you get healthy. Don’t ever force them to change, but see if they can be on your team.

13. Start small — don’t overdo it. Big changes tend to be hard to sustain. Make one small change on this list, and then try another, then another. Each step along the way, you’ll get used it and it will become your new normal. No step needs to be very difficult.

14. Have fun exercising. Create challenges for yourself, and your friends. Find sports you like to play. Use running as a form of meditation. Exercising doesn’t need to be boring or hard — it can be one of the best parts of your day.

15. Drink red wine. One or two glasses of red wine can be very healthy, and can add some pleasure to your new healthy lifestyle. I’m a believer in making a healthy lifestyle one that you enjoy, so add healthy foods you love, activities you enjoy, a mindful tea ritual, and an end-of-the-day wine ritual.

16. Explore berries, kale, raw almonds and walnuts, avocado, flaxseeds, quinoa, tofu, tempeh. These are foods that many people don’t eat on a regular basis, and some people have never tried some of these. One by one, explore these foods, as I find them to be very healthy. Some of them take some time to acquire the taste, and others (like tofu and tempeh) just need the right seasonings — they don’t have to be bland!

17. Add healthy ingredients to your meals. If you don’t want to change your entire diet, start adding some healthy stuff to your usual meals. For example, if you normally eat spaghetti, try ground turkey or meatless grounds instead of beef. Add some finely-diced kale and carrots, and some flaxseeds. You can do this to many recipes.

18. Try new ethnic foods. Don’t look at changing your diet as a sacrifice. Think of it as a joyous adventure. Want to try going meatless a few days a week? Try some healthy dishes from India, Japan, Thailand, the Mediterranean. It can be a lot of fun, even for the whole family.

19. Stop smoking. OK, this isn’t the easiest strategy, but it is one of the most important. I quit smoking on Nov. 18, 2005, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. It takes about a month of focused effort. Here are my tips.

20. Diet before exercise. One of the easiest ways to start getting healthier is to start improving your diet — it’s fairly easy to add some fruits and veggies, for example, and maybe cut back on some of the sweets. Starting exercise takes a bit more focus, and doesn’t always get results as quickly. On the flip side, if you start exercising, don’t let that be an excuse to eat whatever you want — it’s easy to negate the benefits of your morning run with a donut and sugary and fatty coffee drink.

www.zenhabits.net

POSTED: 08.07.2012

 
Do you finding yourself avoiding exercise like walking in the woods or hiking because you are feeling unstable on variable surfaces or wanting more support and stability in rough terrain?  Are you protecting and old injury or rehabbing a newer one?  Are you wanting to move more of your body while hiking to get that full body workout? If any of these scenarios sound familiar, why not try hiking with poles?  

Hiking with an old set of ski poles can be fine and hiking poles can be found at your local outdoor store or on line. Most of these more specialty hiking or “Trekking” poles are pretty light and strong, they are also adjustable so you can shorten them for uphill and lengthen them for downhill sections and they can be shared by folks of differing heights. Pole height is best measured to mid chest or top of the pole should fit comfortably into your under arm.  This height allows for support with out bending over and putting extra strain on your back or alternately having to reach too high and over extending – adjustable poles allow you to play with this interaction on various terrains finding what is most comfortable for you.  Adjustable poles can also be collapsed into a smaller size for easy packing.

Compared with a hiking “stick or staff” hiking poles give you better more bilateral and ergonomic function and support, they also put more upper body movement into your hiking and thus allow you to move more of your body = greater exercise benefit.  Poles are helpful on steep terrain both going up and coming down they support your lower body by providing greater multidirectional function and stability with less chance of injury. Cross-country ski racers and many other athletes hike with poles to get an upper body workout and strengthen their arm muscles and abdominal muscles. Hiking with poles is a great way to get in shape, stay in shape and explore the forests, hills and mountains in your local area.

Try it out or if you already are enjoying the benefits of hiking with poles please share your experiences here.

Happy Hiking….

Kirsten



PS: for a great article with videos see the link below!
"Effectively Using Hiking Poles: The Gas-Brake-Coast Method," by Skip Spitzer. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/hiking_poles_technique.html, 2011-10-11 00:00:00-06.