February goal recap

It’s easy to make goals, but harder to reach them. In an effort to keep myself on track and be accountable, here’s my report card for February.

Write 1000 words per week: I didn’t write 1000 words per week, but did make progress.

Post blogs three days a week:  Again, I fell short of that goal, so I’m revising my goal. (more on that topic below)

Health Goals – C

Research and try migraine treatments: I have been trying a new over-the-counter treatment for migraines. It doesn’t appear to be working, but I’ll give it a little longer.

Consistent exercise: Epic FAIL…

PT for tennis elbow: Improved!

Household Goals – A
Organize every room and closet in the house: I’m a little behind on this, but not too far off schedule.

Personal Goals – B+
Read two books: So sad – no progress on this item.

Document family history: I haven’t spent a lot of time on this, BUT with the help of a cousin or two, we solved a mystery!

Plan 34th anniversary trip: Nothing done this month, but still on track

Spiritual growth: This is difficult to measure, but I am being consistent with my quiet time.

So, for the month of February, I have a 3.0 GPA, which was where I wanted to be. However, I am seeing a trend with my writing goal that has caused me to make a revision.

booksMy priority is to write books. I have two started, one of which came together in a very amazing way. Every author who is unknown needs a blog and a social media presence to market their books, so I’ve been trying to build an audience while writing the books. Unfortunately, I’ve been writing posts for the blog, commenting on other blogs, commenting on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of other blogs; basically writing everything but a book.

I spoke with a coach who pointed out that unless I actually get the book finished and published, the purpose for the blog becomes purely social rather than entrepreneurial. She gave me “permission” to take a break from being social and encouraged me to post to my blog just once week (I may do twice if one post is on Wordless Wednesday). So, you’ll be seeing a little less of me for a while, but I hope to be back with a book under my belt!

2013 goals

I learned quite a bit reviewing 2012, and used that information to make a plan for 2013. However, it’s time to stop looking back and start moving forward!

Writing Goals
Post blogs three days a week:  I realize that blogging five days a week is not realistic for me, and trying to do so was causing more stress than pleasure.
Write 1000 words per week: I want to finish a writing project this year, but it’s a little overwhelming. I’ve decided to tackle it chunk by chunk.

Health Goals
Research and try migraine treatments: I saw my neurologist in November and there is nothing new on the horizon for the treatment of migraines. However, I am always receiving kind messages from caring friends who have heard that this or that worked for someone. I’m open to trying anything with the approval of my doctor.
pilatesConsistent exercise: I enjoy my treadmill and Zumba, but both tend to bother my tennis elbow. Yoga is challenging and I usually feel like a complete klutz, so I stopped exercising for a few months. An acquaintance mentioned her love of Pilates and gave me a couple of DVDs to try. So far I’m liking it!
PT for tennis elbow: Speaking of tennis elbow, I need to get back to doing the physical therapy. No excuses!

Household Goals
Organize every room and closet in the house: This shouldn’t be too difficult since there are just two of us living in our home. It’s really not too bad, but there are a few things in every area that are driving me a little nuts. There are 12 rooms and closets, so organizing one per month seems very doable!

Personal Goals
Read two books: For those who are voracious readers, this may seem like a very small and silly goal. I love to read, but it’s always something that gets shoved to the end of my priority list. I love history and set out to read a biography of every president before I leave this world. I’ve only read two so far, so I need to pick up the pace. The husband and I have chosen to eliminate some television so we can both spend more time reading.
Document family history: Again, I love history and what better way to explore it than by discovering the roles my ancestors played. I hope to keep scanning photos and documents my mom and I uncover while organizing her house (that’s another goal!) I’m limiting this to one day per week as it can burn a LOT of time.
Plan 34th anniversary trip: The husband and I take turns planning long weekends to celebrate our anniversary. It’s my year and I have some great ideas for a memorable getaway!


Spiritual growth: This is an ongoing goal. Truthfully, nothing else is very successful and I’m out of balance if I neglect to nurture spiritual growth.

I have a few other goals I’m considering, but for now, these seem realistic. And as always, I plan to accomplish them with *finesse!

What are your goals?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

Looking back

When I worked on major projects with a team, we always sat down a few weeks after the project was completed to recap. It was important to learn what went well and what didn’t. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I do think the beginning of the year is a good time to look back and take stock of what went well and what didn’t.

I’ve been reviewing what didn’t go well or as planned, and to be honest, 2012 did not finish with all the *finesse I’d hoped. The first thing that popped into my head is this blog. When I began, I was advised to write every day and include pictures. I did fairly well for about six months and then I seemed to lose steam. I need to think about why that happened. Is posting daily realistic? Do I need to include photos or illustrations with every post? Do I even want to continue?

The answer to the last question is yes, and for three reasons. First, I need to be creative and writing has always been a creative outlet for me. Second, I need to feel connected to other women. I LOVE your feedback. Third, I am working on a much more involved writing project and the blog will be a great way to share it.

Speaking of that writing project, I had hoped to be much further along. That’s another thing that didn’t go as planned. I am committed to the project, so I need to explore ways to keep it moving.

On the health front, I would have liked to see my tennis elbow completely healed, a reduction in the frequency of migraines, a five pound weight loss and a more consistent exercise routine.

I’m going to spend some time thinking about each of these items and others that failed to meet my expectations in 2012. I need to decide if they are something I want to accomplish and are these goals realistic. If so, what do I need to do differently to see some progress?

Tomorrow: What went well in 2012!

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

Elbow PT

I’ve begun physical therapy for my tennis elbow, which I posted about in early June. The pain had subsided with the use of ice, heat and anti-inflammatory meds, but was still present. I’m not one to be content with healing halfway, so I advocated for physical therapy.

I’ve had two sessions, and while I haven’t seen any major improvement, I do feel like I have a better understanding of how long this may last and what I need to do to move toward being 100 percent.

I’m still using ice and heat and the occasional anti-inflammatory and have added stretching exercises. These simple movements, when done correctly, are allowing me to move my elbow and arm with less pain.

I’m also wearing a brace which limits the way I move the tendons between my elbow and wrist. I’m much more aware of what I was do that hinders healing. It’s a little uncomfortable to wear while sleeping, but I try to keep it on as much as possible.

According the my therapist, tennis elbow can take six months to a year to heal – so much for a quick fix. I’m not the most patient patient or the most disciplined, but I want to have the pain-free movement I had pre-injury so I’ll do my best to follow the treatment plan with *finesse.

Lesson learned is to listen to my body. When it’s giving me a “this is uncomfortable” signal I can push through, but when it’s giving me an “OUCH! That hurts” signal, it’s time to stop. Are you a good listener?

My wellness finesse level:  Novice     Advanced beginner     Competent        Proficient        Expert

What’s your wellness finesse level?

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)

Tennis elbow? But I don’t even play tennis!

I’m not an athlete. Outside of running sprints on field day in grade school, I’ve never really been an athlete (not to brag, but I did win quite a few blue ribbons!). I was a cheerleader, so I was active, but participating in competitive sports wasn’t and isn’t of interest to me. However, wanting to be healthy, I’ve been exercising on a fairly regular basis for several years. Nothing too strenuous, mostly fast-paced walking on the treadmill ramped up to a pretty good incline.

I felt my arms could use a little better workout than just swinging them back and forth while I walked, so I added some 2.5-pound weights while I was warming up. About three months ago, I started experiencing a little pain in my left elbow during these brief exercises. I’m thinking, “For goodness sake, it’s just a little weight. Buck up!”

I should have listened to the pain, but a little story I’d heard influenced me otherwise. According to the story, an older lady liked to sit in her comfy chair doing knitting, or some such activity. She had a side table nearby for her glasses, a cup of tea and a book. One day she reached for her glasses and felt a pain, so the next time she had family visit she had them move her side table closer to her chair. That was fine for a while, but before too long she reached for something on the side table again and felt a pain. As you can guess, her family moved the side table closer to her chair until the chair and table were nudged up against one another. Eventually, the older lady’s world was reduced to that chair and side table.

I’ve resolved not to be that lady. I want to be a woman of *finesse, so I ignored the pain and kept using the weights. When the pain persisted after exercising, I decided to make a doctor’s appointment. My symptoms provided the diagnosis of lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow.

According to WebMD, tennis elbow affects 1 to 3 percent of the population overall and less than 5 percent of all tennis elbow diagnoses are related to actually playing tennis. It most often affects people between the ages of 30 and 50 (men more than women), although people of any age can be affected. It also affects athletes other than tennis players and people who participate in leisure or work activities that require repetitive arm, elbow, and wrist movement.

Two weeks after the diagnosis I’m still applying cold packs, heat packs, massaging the area, taking ibuprofen, and generally resting my arm. Next up, some physical therapy. From now on I’ll be listening to my body when it’s trying to tell me something.

*finesse (skill, flair, grace elegance, poise, assurance)