Yes.  I’m still here.  I had a slight detour; a pause of sorts.  But I’m back and better than ever.  I’ll get around to writing about SBB’s day 55 prompt later this week. Essentially SBB (that tricky gal) played the “keeping it real” card and recommended that you either fully commit yourself to Simple Abundance or you pass along the book to someone who wants to get off the bench and participate.

Well, life got a bit hectic in February…and March, April, May and June.  But I’m back and I’m ready to kick it up a notch.  SBB – take me off the bench because I’m ready to play.  No, I wasn’t just lollygaging and wasting time, I did go back to revist about half of the posts to take a more in-depth look at the theme of the day as well as tried to get in the habit of daily dialoging.  I’ve been sporadic about my efforts at best but today – July 1 – today is the day to turn the tide, to get back on course, to officially launch this project that was just an idea six months ago.

I have made significant lifestyle changes with the assistance of Simple Abundance and the teachings of SBB, along with the wisdom of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits and Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project.  I have taken back control of my life and turned the focus on what is best for me, what makes me happy, and seeking to reclaim my authentic self.  I’ve gotten off the couch, started an exercise routine, and I’ve lost about 20 pounds since April.  And I’ve begun to rebuild my muscle – so the gain of muscle has likely exceeded the amount of weight lost.  Regardless, I feel the best that I have in years – I’m working toward getting healthy, getting fit, and getting happy in the most healthy, productive way possible.  This isn’t about a fad that will take off weight over night, I’m on the slow but steady to win the race.  literally.  I’m almost done with week 5 of 9 in a couch to 5K program – August 1 is the big day.  And I really want to try and get a 10K and Half Marathon under my belt yet this year. 

Not to gush about exercise, but five weeks ago I could barely run for a minute.  Today I ran for two eight minute segements and I’m going to run for 20 mintues on Saturday morning.  Wowzers!  I’m pumped.  My body has exceeded expectations thus far and I’m excited to see how I fare against this new challenge.  

In addition to using today as a chance to start fresh and get back to blogging, as well as building on my enthusiasm for exercise and fitness, I also am starting my own happiness project today.  If you haven’t read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, I would highly recommend it.  She has inspired me to give some structure to my Simple Abundance project and build on it to focus on the areas of my life where I an work on myself – put my energy and focus into my happiness – and track my progress of the coming year.  Today is Day One of Claire Yunker’s 366 Day Mind, Body and Soul Happiness Project.  

Here is the round-up of the broad categories of what I want to accomplish over the next 366 days

July 2015: Writing (Mind)

  • My Happiness Photo of the Day via Instagram
  • Daily Blog Post based on Simple Abundance writing prompt
  • Simple Abundance Daily Dialogue
  • Simple Abundance Illustrated Discovery Journal
  • Daily Gratitude Journal

August 2015: Exercise (Body)

  • Run 5K on 8/1/15
  • Begin training for 10K and Half Marathon.  (I may or may not sign up for a half marathon trainng course through Fleet Feet.  I think it might be good for me to do a group training effort…hmmm…)
  • Embrace exercise and fitness every day by getting moving for at least 20 minutes every day.
  • Monday through Friday – do the 2 mile lunch hour.
  • Go on weekly bike rides with my husband.  Biking rocks. 
  • Do Zumba! at the bar next to my apartment at least one time per week.  

September 2015: Living in the Moment (Soul)

  • Unplug – Establish structured parameters for using facebook and other social media.  My time is best sent on me – not zoning out looking at stuff.
  • Create traditions 
  • Start a collection
  • Say Yes!
  • Focus on the now to minimize distractions. In otherwords, be present and participate.
  • Start a book club 
  • Celebrate the small things and find at least one thing to celebrate every day.
  • Keep myself comfortable – I need to eat and stay hydrated and be in comfortable clothing.

October 2015: Workerbee (Mind)

  • Keep up the 2 mile lunch hour.  My productivity increases so much when I take breaks and get physical activity in the middle of the day.
  • Keep up beginning work at 8.  My evening is so much more enjoyable when I get home at 5:30.  
  • Keep participating in the Biggest Loser
  • Live the 7 Habits, expecially at work.
  • Grow/Build my skillset

November 2015: Stengthening My Temple (Body)

  • Meet with my naturopath 
  • Eat good food – put good things in my body. Make sure I’m nourishing myself to eat the things that I need to be healthy and strong.
  • Keep food journal
  • Cut out the junk!
  • Figure out what food, supplements, etc. are best to aid in getting pregnant.
  • Run a Half Marathon! (mid-November or mid-December)
  • Run the Berbee Derby on Thanksgiving Day

December 2015: Friends (Soul)

  • Spread the love and give my close friends someting truly special and unique for the holidays.
  • Spend time with the people that mean most to me over the holidays to celebrate the season.  Do I sense creating a new tradition?
  • Send out holiday cards

January 2016: Do New Things (Mind)

  • Do something new every day
  • Get on Go Mighty!  Create a one year and long-term life list
  • Take a new class to learn a new skill/hobby
  • Work with A, T, and K to get a plan together for our 15 year reunion.  Wow.  That makes me feel old.
  • Give mom Brene Brown’s online Oprah class.  Begin doing the class in January.

February 2016: Fine-Tune My Body

  • Meet with a personal trainer to figure out a “lifting” plan to build muscles and increase strength.
  • Take a new fitness class.
  • Set new fitness goals

March 2016: Learn New Things

  • Figure this out in January:  Skill/Hobby; Talent; Dance move/workout

April 2016: Happy Marriage, Happy Life (Soul)

  • Celebrating our milestones i.e. birthdays
  • Enjoy the mundane, live in the moment together
  • Increase my patience by not snapping!
  • Grow our shared interests
  • Experience something new together.

May 2016: Relax (Body)

  • Take a mindful mediatation class
  • Make sure to carve out adequate time for reading
  • Get out and go on bike rides
  • Coloring and crafting – find meditative ways to create things.

June 2016: The ties that bind us – family! (Soul)

  • See my parents every month
  • Go on more bike rides with my Dad. Come up with a plan.
  • Maintain/enhance valuable relationships with my family and with my huusband’s family.
  • Spend time with our nephew every month.
  • Have more fondue with my nephew and sister-in-law.
  • Take a summer trip or plan a summer celebration with my husband’s family.

I don’t quite know where to fit this in, but I want to become a fan of a sports team – a fan that watches every game.  I WILL do that this year with the Badger’s mens basketball team.

Well, here it is.  it might seem like a lot.  But I know I can do it.  I’ve come so far.  After all, I ran for 8 minutes straight tonight without stopping. twice.  What seemed really hard 5 weeks ago was made possible today…and the distances that are mindblowing tonight will be achievable in the future.    


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