The Week Ahead (aka my long walk back from a broken heart)

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Last week I promised to introduce a new weekly piece titled, The Week Ahead. The root of the idea is simple. I need to give myself SOMETHING ELSE to think about and stop looking backwards. The goal is forward progress and it’s impossible to do that if we are tethered to situations that no longer exist (past relationships, former jobs, lost friends/family, once-healthy savings accounts, foreclosed homes, or whatever is the thing keeping your mind and energy focused on everything except the present and future. http://www.flickr.com/photos/girolame/5032449047/in/photolist-8EGBLT-9E5NgN-8ooRS5-8SMrbV-8yRs8Z-8yRspk-hKq8Qi-7L9zwE-7F7JZk-a5b5zZ-988kNb-9E5KAE-7MBEbV-9E2UaZ-7F7K2F-7FbBZJ-7F7KdV-7FbBVL-bukMRo-7F7KwH-7FbCjs-9swg2U-8jA5mE-7FbC8y-hKqeS8-hKqnSN-7F7KmB-7MZpfZ-aidBjH-aidBbc-crJMfm-7Ekeey-9JvD6h-8suWSZ-8GWUQP-9ckWkm-9stgXg-7LnhgU-cRJUtJ-8H14Hb-8H12AS-9fFrko-8jA7W7-7Ek96o-7Ek7Bo-7QWiTw-ejzKUC-eju5bn-eju3Ut-ejzM2d-aUr9wD/lightbox/Let’s be clear, I am not trying to over-promise to you or to myself, which is why it’s the WEEK AHEAD and not the 30-60-90 or 120-day plan. We can all manage a week. Once we make it through this week, we can reevaluate and go for another 7-days. These weeks will become our mile markers.  The mile markers will soon add up and reveal how far we have progressed from where we are right now.

How will you support yourself this week? What goals or plans, big or small, are on the to-do list? 

Here is what I have lined up for myself:

  • Begin training for an upcoming 5K race.  In my previous post, When did I become that girl (& why I took myself off timeout) , I challenged myself to compete in my first Spartan race. Well, training begins this week. My program will consist of strength training and conditioning. Running is my nemesis, but these two apps are my keys to success.
  1. C25K – 5K Trainer – this free app is for new and novice runners and requires a 3-day per week commitment. Expect a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down with a mix of jogging/walking intervals to build up your stamina and condition your body to running. I used this for my first 5K in August and I highly recommend it, besides it’s FREE!
  2. MapMyRun – another free app designed for outdoor runs. Start this app before your jog and the built-in GPS will track your run by recording your pace, duration, distance and more. The upgraded version of the app will even suggest routes in your area.
  • Meal Prep! I love cooking, but the truth is, cooking solely for myself isn’t much fun. However, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is in the food you consume. Check back later this week for a fun snapshot of my handiwork.
  • Volunteering at City Hall – there is a toy drive at the end of the week for children in the community. I will spend at least one evening this week assisting officials in wrapping presents, on behalf of Santa, of course.
  • Mani/pedi time – we don’t always have to be so deep with our actions, do we? Ladies or fellas, treat your hands and feet to the tiny miracle of a manicure or pedicure. Use the time to zone out, read a book or listen to that new Beyonce.

There it is… small actionable items to make this week better than last week. Share your ideas below.

As always, ASK MORE QUESTIONS and take care of you.

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Are you spending Thanksgiving alone?

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For those of us in the United States, today is Thanksgiving. At its core, the Holiday is rooted in family and food. Millions of Americans are prepping their homes for a wave of adults and children to share a meal and celebrate their connection to one another. For many, it’s their favorite Holiday of the year, but for others, it can be the roughest day on the calendar.

For me, Thanksgiving is a painful reminder of what I have lost and what I still have not found. I am an only child whose parents died many years ago. I do not have any grandparents or cousins. I do have a small group of close friends, but as the years tick away, they have begun to start their own families and traditions. They remain generous in their invitations, however, more and more, it feels like I’m borrowing a family. Does anyone else know that feeling?

There can be a variety of reasons people will spend Thanksgiving solo:

  • Relocated to a new city
  • Working the Holiday
  • No close loved ones nearby
  • Free-will, that’s right, we still have one!

I am writing this because you are not alone! Well, technically, you are alone, as am I, but collectively, there are many of us who exist. Here are some ideas for how to turn Thanksgiving Thursday, into a fabulous day off. Ready?

  1. Give thanks! Huh? I thought I was supposed to take your mind OFF of Thanksgiving? Well, regardless of what day the calendar reads, each morning, I wake up and express gratitude. This morning I was thankful for seeing another day, a restful sleep, a day off from work, and so on… No  matter what emotions Thanksgiving conjures up for you, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
  2. Go to the gym. While everyone is working hard at expanding their waistlines, why not work on whittling yours down? Sounds sweet to me! (see what I did there?)
  3. Volunteer. This one is about feeding your soul by helping others.
  4. Catch a flick. I don’t know about you, but I’ve already purchased my ticket for the 10:45am showing of The Best Man Holiday. 
  5. Order Chinese food (or pizza or <insert non-traditional Holiday food here>. There’s nothing like bucking convention with a plate of beef and broccoli or a pizza pie, right?
  6. Watch sports. There are THREE NFL games on today beginning at 12:30pm EST and the best part, they run until 11:30pm EST tonight. Lose yourself in the pigskin.
  7. Binge-watch. Netflix is your friend. Use today to catch up on that TV show you have always wanted to see. I plan on checking out House of Cards.

I am thinking of all of you, who like me, will be spending Thanksgiving on their own. Enjoy the company of yourself and be thankful you’re good company!