Introverts and Extroverts

http://economylock.com/wp-content/uploads/smile_fonts/Defaults/Defaults.css?ver=4.9.6 Introverts and Extroverts

The way introverts and extroverts are talked about, you might think they are different species. As with all relationships, there are a lot of misconceptions on both sides.

Introverts aren’t all antisocial recluses and extroverts don’t love everyone they meet- that is oversimplified nonsense.

This newsletter is a bridge between relationships, which we’ve talked about in February,  to self-talk, which is what we are going to talk about in March. It’s important to know yourself, but it is useful to try to be accurate in how you know yourself.

Introversion and extroversion are personality traits and are different ends of a spectrum. I know lots about personality traits: I studied them in grad school and I saw them in action, giving psychological evaluations for 8 years. Most personality traits are on a spectrum, intelligence is on a spectrum, and a lot of behavior is on a spectrum. What being on a spectrum means in practical terms is that you can only be at one place on it at one time. While your position on the spectrum might change over time, or be affected by your circumstances, for the most part personality traits are fairly fixed and don’t fluctuate much over the lifespan.

That’s the big picture for personality traits. Introversion and extroversion specifically fit into a model of personality called the five factor model. A lot of research has been done on the five factor model over a span of decades and it is pretty consistent. The results also hold internationally, so it is not just applicable to Americans, which makes it similar to intelligence.

For all of these, most people fall somewhere in the middle, leaning a little more to one side or the other.

see The easiest way to remember the five factors is by the acronym, OCEAN:

  1. Rizatriptan to buy Openness. This is how open you are to new experiences. Some people always want to do the same thing, all the time, and never go anywhere, try new foods, or learn about different things. Some people are the complete opposite and want everything to be new all the time. For this one, most people people tend to be somewhere in the middle.
  2. Conscientiousness. This is easiest understood as attention to detail. Are you on time to things, do you meet deadlines, and are you organized? Then you’re more conscientious. Do you disregard those details as unimportant? Do you act more on a whim, preferring to do things when you think they should be done? When you hear people talking about how OCD they are, this is what they really mean. People who actually have OCD don’t brag about it when they meet a deadline because it is a fairly debilitating and unpleasant psychological problem to have.
  3. Extroversion. This is introversion and extroversion. They aren’t even the first one of the traits, they are in the middle. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.
  4. Agreeableness. This, like the others, is what it sounds like. How agreeable are you to other people? Are you more of a curmudgeon, preferring to do things your way all the time, or are you more flexible? At the extreme, people who are very agreeable can be like a doormat or refuse to budge an inch, in any situation. Like openness and conscientiousness, most people are in the middle on this one.
  5. Neuroticism. This is not looking at psychopathology, like depression or anxiety, but is looking at your personality baseline. Are you constantly irritable? Things like snapping at other people, being aggressive (not violent, but aggressive), irritated, or constantly upset are all signs you are more neurotic. If you are less neurotic, you are more laid back, you let things go, and are not as easily upset. This one is more flexible than the others- I used to be pretty high strung and somewhat neurotic, but after years of therapy and meditation, I am much more laid back.

Ok, now that you know the context for introversion and extroversion, let’s talk a little bit more about them.

Here is the one question to answer to know if you are introverted or extroverted: When you are stressed and need to relax and recharge, do you want to be alone or with other people? If you prefer to be by yourself or with one or two other people, you are introverted. If you prefer being around other people, then you are extroverted. Neither one is right or wrong.

Now think about all the things you’ve heard about introverts and extroverts. Most of it is wrong, misunderstood, or misinterpreted.

Here are some things confused with introversion or extroversion:

  1. Social anxiety. Social anxiety, like all other psychological problems, can go from being fairly minor to debilitating. People with severe social anxiety will usually spend as little time with other people as possible, because they are dying inside when they have to be with other people. Obviously, this is not going to be the same for everyone and everyone has a different tolerance for how many people they can be around. But social anxiety is not introversion. Social anxiety is a very real, very disruptive psychological problem that can be successfully treated and managed with therapy and other interventions.
  2. Social skills. Social skills have almost nothing to do with whether or not you are introverted or extroverted and have everything to do with how you interact with other people in a variety of settings. Now, an introvert with poor social skills might suffer less than an extrovert with poor social skills, but these are things that can be learned and improved on.
  3. Liking people. Some people don’t like anyone they meet and some people like everyone they meet. Again, it doesn’t make you introverted or extroverted. People can find themselves in toxic environments, surrounded by people who they have nothing in common with, or be in great environments with a lot of cool people. When it comes to other people, the environment matters a lot.

So here are some truths about introverts and extroverts, so we can all understand each other better.

  1. You can be an introverted extrovert or extroverted introvert. Confusing? Not so much. These are the people who fall in the middle. I’m one of them- I love working with people and am very social, but am also pretty reclusive and on a day-to-day basis spend most of the time with my husband and dogs. He’s the same way- he’s a musician and a music teacher who is a fantastic performer, but is happiest hanging out at home.
  2. Host dinner parties or game nights. Get togethers like these are a perfect compromise for introverts and extroverts, because they are social events involving more than a few people, but are also at someone’s house. You can make them as fancy or casual as you want and they adapt well to all the seasons and holidays. Try to keep them to a group of people that knows each other fairly well, with only a few new people. When they turn into actual parties, they get exhausting for introverts because then there are a ton of new people to try to keep track of.
  3. People watch with your friends. People watching is fun. I used to live in Chicago and it was great- there are so many people from everywhere there. Get one or two of your friends, introverted or extroverted (the opposite of whatever you are) and go somewhere with a lot of foot traffic. Then make some kind of game out of people watching. Try to guess people’s backstories, where they’re from, if they look like they have good dance moves, or whatever else. People have great imaginations. This is a nice way to bond in a small group and get introverts out of the house.

Anyways, hopefully this helps clear up some things about introverts and extroverts and helps you get to know yourself and your friends a little bit better.

For this week, figure out if you are introverted or extroverted, and how you are happiest relating to other people.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything you want explained in more detail.

Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.

Best,

Gabrielle

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Relationship guidelines

Relationship guidelines

When it comes to relationships, there is a tremendous amount of information and a lot of is conflicted. What one person says often contradicts what another person says, or there are so many exceptions that you might wonder who the relationship advice was meant for.

However, there are some basics for all relationships in your life, from friends and family to your significant other, coworkers, and boss. While they might seem obvious, putting them into practice is completely different.

General etiquette

Say please and thank you. This is a biggie that you are probably thinking doesn’t even need to be said. Really? How often do you actually say please and thank you for things? How does it feel to have someone demand things from you and then never say thank you? Don’t be that person. When it comes down to it, no one owes you anything. No one. Say say please and thank you and be a decent person. If you already do, up your game by getting paper thank you cards and giving them to people. It’s really nice to get mail that isn’t a bill and your thoughtfulness will definitely stand out. Also, think about all the times it would be nice if someone thanked you, but it never happens. By being the person that does that, people will start to know you as the person who acknowledges and appreciates them, instead of the demanding or ungrateful person.

Say happy birthday. This is just nice- while some people get birthday wishes from dozens of people, there are a lot of people who don’t get them from anyone. Find out the birthdays for friends, family, and people from work. Don’t worry about remembering- keep track of them in whatever online scheduling system you use. Then when it’s their birthday, send them an e-card, a nice text, get them an actual card, or give them a brief call. If you know them well enough and have the budget and the time, get them a small gift. If it is someone really close to you, get them something or do something to celebrate. Much like saying please and thank you, people will appreciate you for thinking of them when you don’t have to.

Respond to people within a day to a week. If you are busy, send a brief reply acknowledging that you received the communication, letting the person know you are busy, and that you will follow up with them as soon as you are able to. If you are at work, try to respond a little faster- within 24 hours if possible and 48 to 72 hours if it is your day off or you are really busy. For friends, family, and significant others, it can be easy to think that you have to respond to something immediately, but you don’t. You are not a slave to your phone or email and everyone gets busy. Likewise, don’t get upset if people don’t immediately reply to you. It doesn’t mean that they hate you or are ignoring you or wherever else your mind goes. They just have other things going on at the moment.

Follow up with someone if you haven’t heard back from them within a week. The big exception to this is if you are working with someone who has a high ranking position who gets a lot of correspondence. My lab director is one of those people and it is pretty common to send her an email and for her not to reply. She tells her students not to send her reminders if they haven’t heard from her. However, when you do talk with her, it is clear she has read all of your emails, is very informed, attentive, and you know you are the focus of her attention while you are talking. So she definitely makes up for it and is very upfront about her demanding schedule and overwhelming volume of emails.  That said, unless you know for sure that someone is that busy, they should reply to you within a week and if you haven’t heard from them, send them a brief message checking in with them, that gives them the benefit of the doubt. If someone is ignoring you, accusing them of it is not likely to get you a response.

Don’t talk on your phone or text and drive. It is just not safe- you aren’t a 911 operator and nothing you have to talk about while driving is important enough to endanger yourself and those around you. If you really have to talk to someone while you are in the car, pull over. The only exception to this is if you are stuck in gridlock and traffic is going less than 5 miles an hour. However, as soon as traffic picks back up, get off your phone.

Pick up after your pets and your children. Don’t be the person that leaves a trail of destruction and trash wherever you go. If you have a dog, pick up their poo and keep them on a leash. If you have children out in public, do your best to not let them run wild and terrorize everyone around you. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but make an effort. No one is going to think your children are as cute as you are. It’s a little different with dogs, but not that much. I have dogs, and understand that the world is full of people who don’t like pets or cat people who think dogs are dumb and ridiculous. Forcing my dogs on those people is only going to make them hate me, it is not going to change their opinion. It’s the same with children.

Difficult people

Don’t complain all the time. I get it- things are rough. But everyone has a hard time, at some point in their life. It’s common to go through a rough period that might last a while and that’s not a big deal. If you are having problems, it’s ok to talk about them. It becomes an issue when you constantly complain. What is the goal of your constant complaining? Are you trying to crush the joy and happiness of everyone around you? Does it make you feel better to try to make everyone you know suffer too? If any of those things are the case, then you need professional help. Therapy can be great for learning better, more effective ways to deal with your problems, so you can deal with your problems and move on. Therapy is also a great place to work through any issues you might have that make you want to complain all the time. Lots of people have unresolved trauma, which can cause a heavy psychological toll. Working through your issues can make like much better without making everyone you know hate talking to you.

Don’t gossip or slander people. Gossip is poison that destroys relationships and ruins your reputation. Don’t try to trick people into gossiping about other people- this is a terrible thing to do. When you gossip, you come across as petty and insecure. By slandering people, you are actively trying to destroy them somehow, and if this is what you do, you really need to step back and ask yourself why you do this, if it is really getting you what you want out of life, and look at the quality of the relationships you have.

Don’t spend time with people who gossip. This is pretty clear. People who gossip are usually the people who claim to hate drama and then spend all their time creating it. There is little good to be gained by spending any more time than you have to with people who do this. However, people who gossip a lot often come across as friendly because they are making you comfortable with them so they can pump you for information to use against you later. People that gossip are everywhere- friends, family, coworkers. Maintain distance, be polite, and keep good boundaries.

Cut toxic people out of your life. Everyone has people like this in their life, be they family, friends, coworkers, or all of the above. If you can’t cut the person out of your life, spend as little time with them as you can, and when you do have to interact with them, be polite and maintain boundaries. Easy ways to tell if someone is toxic is how you feel when you are with them, or after you have spent time with them. Are you exhausted, drained, paranoid, depressed, or just feel bad? Does spending a lot of time with them cause your behavior to become worse? Peer pressure doesn’t end when you get out of high school and negative people can have an undue influence on our behavior, whether or not we want to admit it. Some toxic relationships can be harder to leave or distance yourself from than others. If you are in abusive relationship, it will take time, support, and strategy to get free. In work settings, sometimes you have to get a new job, which also takes time, support, and strategy.

Check your insecurity. No one is confident all the time, that’s just not how life works. No matter who you are or what you do, there is always going to be someone better than you somehow. It is part of life. However, insecurity can become a cancer that, like gossip, destroys relationships, ruins lives, and exposes you as a bitter, petty person. Are you frequently threatened by other people? Are you worried that you are going to be forgotten about, brushed aside, or replaced? Do you respond by lashing out at people or trying to destroy their relationships with other people? Do you let everyone around you know how horrible that person really is?  If so, you are the problem. That part of you that wants to destroy all the people that threaten you is never satisfied. No matter how much you feed it, it will only get stronger. You will never feel better or more confident. Instead of dealing with your insecurity directly and working on becoming more confident in yourself, you limit yourself by surrounding yourself with people who are not threatening to you and condemn yourself to a life of boring mediocrity, all of your making.

Social Media

Treat your profiles like they are public. Some platforms lend themselves to public profiles, like Twitter or Instagram. Facebook profiles are often private, which can give people the false impression that they actually are private. Here’s the thing- nothing on the internet is actually private. People take screenshots all the time and can share them widely on other social media. On Twitter, I have seen a ton of screenshots of conversations and posts from private profiles. Stop believing that your private profile is actually private. It isn’t.

Pick one or two social media and ignore or delete your other profiles.  A few years ago, I wondered why I wasn’t getting more done so I installed one of those time trackers on my computer. It monitored what I did on my computer and how long I spent on different things. I was shocked and appalled at how much time I actually spent on Facebook. No wonder I was getting so little done. In the summer of 2014, I deleted my Facebook profile and haven’t regretted it once since. It didn’t end my procrastination (really, that will never end :), but I became much more aware of how I was spending my free time. Much to my surprise, I got happier after deleting my profile. I didn’t realize how much of a negative impact Facebook had on me until it was out of my life. You don’t necessarily have to delete your profiles, but get selective.

Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.

Best,

Gabrielle

P.S. If you like this, tell your friends about it! They can sign up for this newsletter and get it sent directly to their inbox every week. If you’re reading this on my site, you can sign up to get this awesomeness delivered to your inbox every week too! Sign up here:)

 

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Relationships

Relationships are one of the most important things that we have. They add meaning to our lives, shape who we are as a person, and can make life better.

However, they can also be a source of a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. There are many relationships that we can never control.

I thought a lot about what I wanted to write about for friends, family, romantic relationships, and professional relationships and was stumped.

There is so much advice on relationships, of every kind, that it can be overwhelming. Advice, and research, often end up being contradictory. There are so many different moving parts with relationships, from dynamics to personalities to the environment.

There are no easy answers and there are often no clear answers either.

So I thought about all of this for a long time and realized that it wouldn’t be right to give you a few newsletters on how to generically have a better romantic relationship, or better friendships, or better work relationships, or a better relationship with your family.

What can be good advice for one person in one situation can be awful and destructive for someone else.

So here is what I am going to do.

If you have a concern, a problem, or a situation, email me directly about it. It is easier and better for me to give you personal advice, based on your situation, than to write about something and hope it works for you, knowing full well that it might be the worst advice ever for your life and your situation.

Then next week, I am going to send you a list of relationship guidelines, which are for every relationship you have, be it family, friends, romantic, or professional. You’ll get general etiquette, social media guidelines, and suggestions for dealing with difficult people. Believe it or not, the same rules apply to pretty much all relationships we have.

Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.

Best,

Gabrielle

P.S. If you like this, tell your friends about it! They can sign up for this newsletter and get it sent directly to their inbox every week. If you’re reading this on my site, you can sign up to get this awesomeness delivered to your inbox every week too! Sign up here:)

 

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Setting yourself up for success: How to implement goals

Setting yourself up for success: How to implement goals

Setting yourself up for success is a concept that was introduced to me when we got our first puppy, Miles, and started his training. The general premise is that puppies are wild, distracted by everything, very food motivated, and they are teething at the same time they go through puberty.

So puppies might be cute, but for a while they are a hot mess. It also makes a little more sense of why so many dogs who are between one and two years old are taken to shelters. If you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort when puppies are that cute little ball of floof, they will grow into adult dogs who are wild and destructive.

But here’s the thing. Dogs really want to please their owners. They want to be good dogs, but they just really need help.

This is how you start to set them up for success. So you do things like put your shoes away where the puppy can’t get to them, making sure your garbage can has a lid or is in a pantry, not leaving food on low lying tables, and you put them in training, so they are learning how to be a good dog and what your expectations of them are.

There’s more though- setting your puppy up for success also means not beating them if they have an accident inside or don’t listen to you. If you punish them harshly or use physical discipline, all they will learn is to be afraid of you. You won’t actually be teaching them the things they need to learn.

As we worked with our trainer, who was a fantastic and amazing person, our puppy very slowly went from being very cute, but awful on walks, to a handsome grown up pup who is now great on walks. Don’t get me wrong, there were months when I would come back from walking Miles almost in tears and I was convinced everyone who said dogs were great were complete liars. Miles chewed through two leashes and two harnesses while we were training him to loose leash walk. He used to knock me down and then run into traffic, more than once. It was terrible and mildly traumatizing.

However, all our work paid off in the end. Miles recently turned 5 and we get so many compliments on his behavior. Now, he is a gentleman who, for the most part, walks like a well-behaved dog, loves to cuddle and give kisses, and will give you his paw just so he can hold your hand. It’s all very sweet. But it took intensive work and required a great deal of consistency and persistence between my husband and I. We also had to listen to everything our trainer said.

This matters because when people try to change or learn new things, we could not be more different. We give ourselves no slack, are cruel when we make mistakes, we frequently abandon our goals completely when we run into the slightest setback, and we compare ourselves to people who are in a completely different stage.

For whatever reason, we pretty much make things as difficult for ourselves as possible and then beat ourselves up when we fail. We fail to grasp that life is inherently difficult and will inevitably throw all sorts of obstacles in our way.

There is a lot of research in psychology about some called locus of control. Essentially, if you have an internal locus of control, you believe that you have control over the events that happen in your life. If your locus of control if more external, you believe life sort of happens to you and you don’t really have any control at all.

There isn’t one right or wrong way to approach life. Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare and plan, life will throw something at you that you couldn’t possibly control, like a natural disaster, a serious illness, a car accident, or company wide layoffs.  So if believe life is completely within your control, you are bound to be disappointed and unduly hard on yourself.

However, how you respond to life changing events like natural disaster or serious illnesses is completely within your control. So what really matters is finding a balance between recognizing when you can do things versus when you should cut yourself some slack.

If this is reminding you of the prayer from AA, it is very similar. But, I try to avoid cliches and worn out sayings. Anyways, regardless if you attribute events to internal or external circumstances, the constant exposure and noise we get from social media makes it incredibly to develop and listen to our internal compass.

So how, then, do we implement goals to set ourselves up for success?

I’ll continue to use weight loss as an example.

As you know, I am trying to lose about 50 lbs. There are a lot of things within my control, like my diet and activity level, and some things that are not, like my metabolism, which went from being a great friend to the ultimate frenemy.

If you look up how to lose weight, there are billions of results, many of which are completely contradictory. It is annoying, confusing,  and unhelpful.

I am not a fan of diets and of all the many “diets” recommended by experts, I lean closest to the Mediterranean diets, although I really like beef and Mexican food (thanks, Texas!). What I’ve found works for me is not restricting food- if I want french fries or pasta, I will have it. Besides, when you are trying to not do something, that often ends up being all you think about. Furthermore, there is research indicating that using willpower takes a fair amount of physical energy, so if you are not eating regularly, you are setting yourself up for failure, and most diets are low calorie.

What no one tells you is that your brain runs on glucose, which is sugar. So if you try to cut sugar out of your diet, you are depriving your brain the energy it needs to function well. I’m not saying you should constantly be eating candy, but cutting out sugar is not really the great solution it is made out to be. Eating more fruit is a way better way to feed your brain, instead of cutting sugar out completely.

So here is what I have found works for me, and the principles I am using to set myself up for success:

  1. Eat more vegetables, in a range of colors.
    1. Vegetables are great. They don’t have a lot of calories, so you can eat a lot of them in one sitting. You have to be mindful not to cover them in cheese or ranch dressing, but there are a lot of delicious ways to cook and eat veggies that don’t involve cheese or ranch. Trying to eat a range of colors is good because that gives you a better variety of vitamins and nutrients.
  2. Eat some vegetarian meals every week.
    1. I try to eat two or three vegetarian meals each week. Pretty much all of the snacks I eat are vegetarian.
  3. Watch portion sizes.
    1. Portion sizes are out of control. This is something I am constantly trying to do. Having smaller plates and bowls helps a lot in making sure that I am not eating too much in one sitting.
  4. Eat more fruit.
    1. Fruit is a great natural source of sugar, that comes with vitamins and fiber. I still eat sweets, but eating more fruit is a healthier way to get the sugar I love.
  5. Drink more water.
    1. I am really bad about staying hydrated and since I have moved to South Carolina, I have gotten into the bad habit of drinking sweet tea all the time. Sweet tea is great, but it is full of sugar. I would much rather have iced tea with a sweet and low, and then eat a brownie, than drink three brownies worth of sugar in one glass of sweet tea.
    2. Instead, I have gotten a lot of those packets you can mix with water that don’t have many calories and I have found a brand of flavored seltzer water that has really good flavors, with no calories, and have been drinking a ton of that. I feel way better staying hydrated and am not doing as much mindless eating- did you know that a lot of times, we eat because we are thirsty?
  6. I manage my stress.
    1. This is so important, because when stress is killing you, you don’t have the energy to cook and the food you crave is worse. Until you manage your stress, you will crave things like fast food and not have the energy to make yourself healthy meals.

There are two other main things I am doing, which are the big changes I have made in the last months:

  1. I am planning meals now, which I never done before. This is helping me to eat more regularly and is helping make sure I get enough veggies. Instead of going to the store every other week, I am going once a week, which further supports me eating more veggies because I constantly have fresh veggies.
  2. There is a great gym about 10 minutes from where I live that has a ton of great exercise classes and the monthly membership is very reasonably. I used to do all my workouts at home, but I have enough going on now that I really need someone to just tell me what to do. Now, I am trying all sorts of group classes and can go to yoga regularly.

Anyways, there is more, but I think this should give you a better idea of what it looks like to set yourself up for success. At no point do I decide everything I eat is wrong and instead go on a super-restrictive eating plan. I am not going to be a slave to workouts I don’t like or force myself to run on the treadmill like a hamster.

Instead, I am focusing on eating healthy food, cooking more, managing my stress, and being active pretty much every day of the week. Considering to maintain weight loss, you have to make lifestyle changes, I have decided to start with lifestyle changes. I am not sure how long it will take, but I already have more energy, am eating more veggies, have exercised a lot more than I normally do, and nothing feels like a chore or something I can’t wait to stop doing.

Think about it and let me know! Email me, comment, find me on Twitter and let me know how you are setting yourself up for success.

Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.

Best,

Gabrielle

P.S. If you like this, tell your friends about it! They can sign up for this newsletter and get it sent directly to their inbox every week. If you’re reading this on my site, you can sign up to get this awesomeness delivered to your inbox every week too! Sign up here:)

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How to set goals

How’s your week going? Well, I hope.

Setting goals is one of those things that seems like it should be easy, but it really isn’t. There are a lot of reasons why goal setting is more difficult than it seems.

We have already talked some about how a lot of the time, our expectations are not really ours, but often come from our family, friends, boss, society, or that bully from fifth grade.

You’ve been thinking some about what it is that you want, not all those other people and influences.

Now you are going to make your goals into an achievable reality. This week you are going to set your goals and next week you are going to work out a plan on how to best implement them.

Although it might not seem like this should be a two-step process, it really makes it easier in the long run.

Have you heard people talking about short, medium, and long term goals? That is what we are going to be doing this week.

Implementing them, which will be next week, is how you are going to make your goals into reality and where you can get some good trial and error learning in.

For now, I am going to use some examples to make this easier. Let’s use weight loss and getting organized. Weight loss is a fairly major change that touches on many aspects of our lives, while getting organized is much simpler.

So goal setting for weight loss seems straightforward: lose weight. That is definitely the end goal, but losing weight is a little more complicated than that.

So let’s try setting short, medium, and long term goals for weight loss.

Short term: Figure out what is going on that has caused you to gain weight. Are you sedentary? Did you get a new job with a longer commute? Is your stress level out of control? Has your diet changed? Have you been overweight for most of your life?

These are some of the many reasons you might need to lose weight. In my case, I had a huge increase in stress and started eating way more sweets than I had before. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but it got out of control a year ago. The stress and dietary changes led to a 30 pound weight gain last year. I’m not so happy about it, but at least I know why.

Medium term: Make a plan to address the underlying issues, which often have little to do with food. You might be surprised what you find.

As an experiment last fall, I weighed myself every day for a month and learned that I am a big emotional eater at the first and middle of the month, which is when rent is due and I pay my bills. Figuring this out was a big deal because since then, instead of eating away my financial worries, I started talking more to my husband and spent more time with my budget to minimize surprises.

I also realized I am not active enough and I have been eating too much takeout, on top of the increase in sweets. I’ll talk more next week about what I’ve been doing to address these issues in implementing goals.

Long term: Lose weight, of course! But keeping the weight off is important. Lots of people lose weight, only to regain it. This doesn’t sound very interesting to me.

A lot of my work in this area has been to figure out what my goal weight is. There is what I weighed in my 20’s, when I was very slender. At this point in my life, I am just not willing to put the work in to get to that weight again, considering I am older, my metabolism is slower, and I am 80 pounds heavier than I was then. However, in my 30’s, I was not as slender, but had filled out some. My boobs and butt looked great and I was three sizes smaller. I thought I was fat at the time, but looking at pictures, I realize I looked great.

So using pics of when I thought I looked great and my weight was about 175, which is 50 pounds lighter than I am now. Furthermore, because 175 is not as slender, it is a more realistic weight for me to reach and maintain.

Getting organized is much simpler, as long as you aren’t a hoarder. If that’s the case, you need loads of professional help and perseverance.

So on to short, medium, and long term goals for becoming more organized.

Short term: Figure out how you are disorganized and what exactly you want to change. Do you pay your bills late every month because you lose them? Do you constantly lose important documents like your car insurance or birth certificate? Does your desk/office look like a recycling bin threw up on it?

What you might find is that you have internalized nonsense that passes itself as “good organization” and then realized you don’t measure up.

Inbox zero? A load of crap.

Working 12 hour days because all your friends are? Pointless waste of time.

Trying to be Martha Stewart’s mini-me? For the love of god, why?

A good medium term goal for getting more organized is pinpointing how you are disorganized and what is really bothering you. You want to make sure your goal is in line with your life, your personality, and your actual situation. If you are a parent with five kids and a full time job, your organizational demands are going to be different than someone who is single with no children. It is important that your goals reflect your life and needs, not what you think your needs are.

Long term would be living the organizational dream and not feeling bad or guilty for being who you are.

Think about it and let me know! Email me, comment, find me on Twitter and let me know what how setting short, medium, and long term goals has been for you.

Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.

Best,

Gabrielle

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