July 1, 2013

July Challenge: GSD

I can’t believe it’s July 1st already – are we really already in the second half of the year?? The beginning of July also means the end of June’s mindful snacking challenge… but unfortunately, I’m a bit disappointed with my results.

On the positive side, I did a decent job cutting back on the afternoon snacks I typically have at the office. For the snacks I did have, I sized up – so instead of having a few bites here and there (which would add up to a lot because I kept going back for more all afternoon), I had one larger snack of 150-300 calories. Many days, I split my lunch in two, and I found that it was really satiating to have half at 1pm and the other half at 4:30pm or so. Mini meals!

One thing that made my month of mindful snacking more fun was choosing to indulge in real treats that I could savor, rather than little bites here and there that I always felt guilty about having. Therefore, I was thrilled when Justin’s offered to send me some of their new peanut butter cups to try. At 1.4 ounces, they are just slightly smaller than the 1.5oz Reese’s peanut butter cups – but once you move past the size/shape, the similarities end. Unlike the chemicals and preservatives in Reese’s, Justin’s peanut butter cups are certified organic, and the chocolate is certified fair-trade. Of course I know that the Justin’s cups are still candy and not exactly good for me, but if I’m going to have a treat, it’s best to get the cleanest candy possible. Justin’s cups came in both milk chocolate and dark chocolate varieties, and in addition to loving the rich taste of the dark chocolate, I definitely basked in the health halo of the antioxidants 🙂 At 100 calories per cup, they felt like a decadent, yet totally reasonable treat.

In general, I’d say I did a pretty good job sticking to my mindful snacking month when I was in the office (outside of a few slipups when I was having a really rough day and totally admit that I turned to emotional eating to fix it). But where mindful snacking totally failed me was outside the office. I hadn’t before realized how few full meals I eat when I’m at home! On weekends, I usually have a little bit of something when I first wake up, but try to save room for a bigger brunch out with friends later in the morning (11 or 12). Then in the afternoon, I’ll often have another mini meal/snack (or… several) before going out to dinner with other friends at 7:30pm or 8pm. And of course, any drinks I have later in the night aren’t calorie-free, which is probably why I’m less hungry for breakfast on weekends than on weeknights! To be honest, I didn’t even really try to change my snacking habits on weekends – and I kind of regret that. But I guess one of the things I learned from trying to snack mindfully is that while I always knew I snacked too much at the office, I’m not so mindful about my snacking at home? (Trying to at least look at this in a somewhat positive light.)

So because I feel like I didn’t push nearly as hard as I could have for the month of June, I want to really amp up my challenge for July and knock this one out of the park. I thought long and hard about what I really need to change (vs coming up with some goals that were good but I kind of thought “eh, I guess that would work”). I wanted a goal that I felt passionate about, and would be truly motivated to go after. I came to realize that where I’m really slipping lately is with procrastination – I have started putting off so many things, particularly when they don’t come with hard deadlines, and it’s a really terrible habit. I have far too many balls to juggle to start dropping them out of laziness! On the heels of my recent post about what do you do when you get free time, I’ve decided to push for maximum efficiency in the month of July.

What does that mean? Well, I have a pretty good to-do list system (full post on that to come as part of this month’s challenge), and it’s structure generally forces me not to procrastinate and just GSD (get “stuff” done). Unfortunately, my system doesn’t work when I don’t use it! Lately I’ve been really slacking on my to-do list so it’s become one of those useless “things I might do, someday” instead of “things I am committing to doing.” No more! Why should I waste my time with a list like that? I am cracking down – the only things on my to-do list for today are those I have to get done before I go to bed. Seeing only those items will force me to focus on doing them, and it will also help me to prioritize and manage my time in a wiser manner. This used to be an area where I excelled, but I feel like I’ve been slipping in the last month or two, and it’s time for me to get back on track.

Work Expands to Fill the Time Allotted
Original image source: Candie N

The month of July is going to be quite an interesting one for me – I have a few days of vacation around the 4th of July, then my normal week working in Texas, and then a week in NYC for jury duty before one final week in Texas. All that vacation time (yes, I am counting jury duty as vacation) would make it far too easy for me to relax and stop being productive, so I think this is the perfect time for me to GSD. I can’t wait! Stay tuned all month long as I share my strategies for procrastinating less and achieving more 🙂


4 thoughts on “July Challenge: GSD”

  1. I can’t wait to read about what you’re planning for this month! I have been thinking about your post on efficiency ever since you posted it and have been looking for ways to be more productive. Good luck!

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