I have 62 days.

24 Jul

I have 62 days. 62 days of summer. 62 days to my personal best.

Photo by Anthony Delgado

62 days until the beginning of Fall Semester.  Like elementary summers past, when I would lay out my new, shiny school shoes, brand new Jan Sport backpack and freshly sharpened pencils in preparation for the start of the new school year, this summer I’m going to refresh my metaphorical life supplies and be at my best by the first day of school. My 25-year-old definition of “at my best” is improved health, physical and mental fitness, and organization. I am not fat, not unhealthy, or any other extreme opposite that these goals may imply. I simply want to better myself.  These will be my focuses for the next 62 days.

I’m sure my definition of personal best will evolve as I age and change, but for now, these are the salient issues at hand. I’m not unique in my countdown to a personal milestone. I was first inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love along with the rest of the world, and then Gretchen Rubin’s pursuit of her personal best in The Happiness Project, and any number of weight loss and self-improvement shows on MTV, Bravo, etc. But the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back and inspired my personal spin on the docu-journey, the recently Freshly Pressed, Find Fabulous and her post Dirty Thirty: The List, where she outlines her pre-thirty bucket list of sorts. And so, along with many others, tomorrow I will embark on my journey to…me, but a freshly sharpened, shiny, new me.

According to Oliver Burkeman’s article, How long does it really take to change a habit?instead of the 21 days widely touted by self-help culture, it actually takes on average 66 days to change a habit. Though some might say 62 days is too short a time, the article explains that it really depends on the person. I say, I can! I have nearly the average amount of time recommended, but I make up for it with my enthusiasm. Where many have taken a slow stroll to change; mine will be more like a brisk jog.

Although I think of myself as fairly ambitious and moderately successful in achieving goals I set for myself, I’m focusing on these areas for a reason; they are particularly challenging for me, otherwise I would have already mastered them. That’s why I am enlisting the help of various experts in each area. Tara, is not only my boss, but a fitness and nutrition expert. She has had five kids and still has a better body than most 18-year-olds. She was the personal trainer for the mayor for crying out loud! I will be picking her brain for tips and accountability to aid me in my journey to better physical fitness, and of course sharing her secrets with you! I don’t like to bring numbers into this, because I just want to look better in my clothes and not be self-conscious in a bathing suit, but I think a ten pound weight loss is my goal.

My second expert is my best friend Shayla. Longtime vegetarian and self-taught health know-it-all, she knows things. I don’t know how she knows them or where she read them, but she’s like my own personal Google. I have texted her random questions with no expectation of an answer, only to find the pleasant surprise of a credible response and possible source link. During a recent tussle with my thyroid, I opened an email from her to find a journal article on the links between cruciferous vegetables and hypothyroid issues. Shayla will help me clean up my diet in a way that is sustainable for me.

My third expert is a fun one…it’s you! Yes, you reading this, you behind the keyboard. I can see you! No, I can’t; I’m just kidding. But, really, I will be reading, following, liking, absorbing, all the inspirational blogosphere content I can. I am determined to learn from my blogging peers and develop as a writer significantly by the time the 62 days are up. It was Kristen Lamb and her post, 5 Ways to Get Out of The Comfort Zone and Become A Stronger Writer, who initially inspired me in this area. I’m already an avid reader and academic writer, but before school starts, I want to flex my creative muscles a bit, become a more well-rounded writer and as Kristen says, soon I’ll be “typing with the big kids”. By the end of the 62 days, I’d like to have acquired 100 followers and maybe get a WordPress award under my belt.

Ok, so organizational skills is kind of a euphemism, for I’m disorganized. I always get the job done and I’m a really effective student and person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make a giant mess in the process. We’re talking coffee mugs everywhere, clean laundry in the dryer for a day and a half. It’s not that I’m lazy; I think that my time management and organization skills need a little improvement. I start too many projects, take on too many tasks, underestimate the time it will take me to finish something, and before I know it, I’m 10 minutes behind, the dryer’s still running, and I haven’t packed my lunch. My expert in this area is my lovely, domestic friend Desiree. She bakes, she cooks, her house is always spotless, even her fridge is perfectly organized. I’m not saying I want to morph into Betty Crocker in 62 days, but someday I’d like to be able to feed myself without driving to a restaurant and her tips on scheduling and time management will no doubt be invaluable. Plus, whenever I go to her house, she has snacks. Through her expertise, Desiree will help me create a system that keeps me organized and maybe teach me a thing or two in the kitchen.

So, please join me, inspire me, teach me. Tell me your personal best story below in the comments. I LOVE comments!

© Copyright 2012 hairsprayandhemingway

6 Responses to “I have 62 days.”

  1. Desiree Wauters July 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Very well written! I’m so glad my refidgerator inspired organizational envy!!!

  2. Sara June July 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Good luck in your goals! Thank you for your mention of my own in this posting. It means a lot that it served as a little inspiration. Have a great summer!

  3. Anna July 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    After I quit tennis a couple of years ago, I found too much pent-up energy than I could handle. My solution was cranking up the music and jumping in all directions(I’m wary of calling it dancing) in the confines of my room. During the holidays I do this for an hour everyday. The only rule is to keep moving. Music is a wonderful source of adrenaline. During the academic year, I keep it at 3 times a week. It’s very therapeutic on days when I’m feeling particularly neurotic.

    Good luck on your endeavor! Looking forward to following your progress 🙂

    • hairsprayandhemingway July 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      I love that Anna! I, too, have discovered the jumping/flailing/dancing technique! It IS very therapeutic. Thank you for your visiting and for your comment. I really appreciate the support!

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