Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

by Nneka Kelly

“They” say that you aren’t supposed to talk about yourself if you want to grow your blog readership. Today I’m breaking the rule.

My word for the year is foundation. I have many goals that revolve around building habits, 3 in particular, meditating, writing, and exercising. As always, the year began with a bang, but by the end of March things started to fizzle. In April, I was knocked down by the cold. While I was lying in bed recuperating, I took stock of where I stood and recommitted to where I want to be at the end of the year. I also admitted to myself what I really want out of establishing those 3 habits. I made 3 major changes to align myself with my goals for the year.

Kicked Off The Artist’s Way

A gift from one of my friends in another life, the book was sitting on my shelves for almost 10 years. I never picked it up because I’m not the “creative type.” However, I got curious about it because I want to be able to write and speak exceptionally well. Little did I know that it’s a book about self-discovery.

One of my admissions is that I feel lost. I have a grand sense of what I’d like my life to be like, but I don’t have a very concrete sense of what I enjoy doing, what makes me tick, or what I want to do as an adult. I’m not sure if that makes any sense.

The best part about the Artist’s Way is that I have to write everyday. As the writing is stream of consciousness, not for production, it addresses 2 of my goal habits, writing and meditating. The artist dates are also helping me to get out and experience the world – a prerequisite for good writing and creativity in general. As a bonus, I spend some time figuring out what I like doing.

Joined Weight Watchers

I sucked it up and joined Weight Watchers. My goal for the year was to establish the habit of daily exercise, but deep down my desire is to lose weight. I finally admitted it and faced the fear of failure.

I feel healthier for the daily exercise, but it was not getting to the heart of the matter. It wasn’t helping me to reach the real goal of losing weight. Weight Watchers will help me address the half of the equation that I’ve always ignored – FOOD. Let’s just say that I have a lot to work out in my relationship with food.

Physically Moving

By the end of May, I’ll be out of my 3 bedroom house in the suburbs and into a 1 bedroom carriage house in the city. I will be able to walk everywhere in my world: work, church, library (Toastmaster’s), park, University, and local shops. My daily walk will become a natural part of my routine. One of my goals is to become a naturally active person rather than someone who sits around for 23 hours and schedules 1 hour of exercise to repair the damage.

While early rising has tremendous benefits, it’s just not for me. I can now get 7-8 hours of sleep by making my walk to work my daily walk and my morning pages my meditation and writing everyday. I won’t have to wake up at what I consider an ungodly hour and badger myself on a daily basis.

I get a $500/month raise out of this move which buys me freedom. I will use it to reduce debt and build my savings. The raise also helps me with my approach to this site. I can relax and write from Spirit, rather than obsess about stats and chase the latest technique. I can also experiment and develop my style without fear of losing readers.

What Does This Mean to You?

For almost all of April I was sick. I was running myself ragged between the day job, board presidency at church, and building the blog. I was chiseling away at the foundation I’m trying to build. I realized that I need to take care of myself so that I can have the capacity to give to the world. I have big plans for my life, but this year is about becoming stronger and setting the stage. I will be devoting my time, energy, and resources to building my foundation.

Not to panic, I’m still going to post. However, I’m discontinuing the regular spots (Year of Prayer, Fab 5 on Friday, and Monday Musings). It doesn’t mean that there won’t be posts on prayer, links, and questions, it just means that they won’t be on a schedule. I am also reducing the posting frequency from 5-7 times a week to 3-5 times a week. I want to improve the quality of posts. I’m also going to be more selective of the activity that happens in the background to drive traffic to the blog.

As we approach the half way mark of the year, do you find that you are wavering on your goals? You might need to shift some of your priorities, or drop some of the embellishments, or find a new route to accomplish them. Take some time to assess where you are, check in on the validity of your goals, re-align yourself with them, and finally start marching in that direction again.

Now to get on with renewal, I’m heading off to vacation ;-)  

In Spirit,
Nneka

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

OptimistLab.com May 3, 2007 at 5:54 pm

Hey Nneka,

One of my recent things as a blogger has been to start reading, and connecting with other bloggers more. So here I am, second time in as many days responding to something you’ve written. :)

I feel really moved by your words. There are about 20 things I want to say, but I’ll limit it to this: in my experience there is a real connection between knowing what you like doing, what makes you tick, etc., and clearing up body/weight issues.

The only way I’ve ever been able to permanently handle food issues is by paying very close attention to how I feel, what I truly want, in every aspect of my life. I discovered that I am actually this very picky eater, who really enjoys feeling “light” in my body. Before I started paying more attention to myself, I was Ms.-Iron-Stomach-eats-everything-and-anything.

Anyway, I’m not sure if the weight loss goals and getting to know yourself better are things you feel are connected, or care to, but I felt inspired to share my experience about the two.

You’re a lovely woman, thanks so much for sharing this. I am glad you did. Oh, and thanks for the Bowie reference.

Reply

Nneka May 3, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Thank you for the kind words. Getting around and hanging out with other bloggers is fantastic. I just love this community.

Regarding the weight, I absolutely know that they are linked. I feel like I am carrying around another person, literally and figuratively. I see the weight loss process as letting go of the other person and coming into my True self.

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Steve Olson May 3, 2007 at 10:25 pm

Nneka,
Thanks for breaking the rule. I am glad to hear about you.

You have indentified things you want to change and you are doing it. When you identified that the weight issue wasn’t just about exercise it was partly about food… you found a personal honesty most people can’t deal with. I’ve found in my own struggles with weight that caloric intake is far more important than exercise.

I love to hear about the positive changes in your life.

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Char May 4, 2007 at 12:13 am

Exciting times! Wishing you all the best now and always.

Char

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OptimistLab.com May 4, 2007 at 4:24 pm

I can relate to feeling like you are carrying around another person–when I changed my name, I did it because I felt that my old name was referring to another person. In my case, it felt like a person who other people had created, through their expectations of me, who they wanted me to be. And none of that felt like it had anything to do with who I am, what I’m about, my True Self. Changing my name was for me, a way to say to myself, THIS is who I am, and to remove myself from all the stuff I felt had been foisted on me.

Thanks for sharing this. I have complete faith in your journey, you’re a wise lady.

Cardin

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Today is that Day May 7, 2007 at 8:26 am

Nneka,

Identifying what you want is the single most important first step in any journey, so you are already well on your way.

For anything that you don’t have a concrete plan of action lined up for, my advice would just to be concentrate daily on how having those things will FEEL, and the path to get there will fall naturally into place.

You are in a great spot right now, poised on the edge of some exciting times. Looking forward to continuing to read your work and to watching your journey.

- Aaron

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Edward Mills May 7, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Hi Nneka

Great post. And if talking about yourself is detrimental to blog readership then I’m in deep doo doo!

Like you, I am re-evaluating my posting frequency and examining how my blog ties in to my overall business vision and life Vision. It’s so important to get clear on why we’re doing this and where we’re heading in order to know how and where the blog fits in.

I, for one, applaud you for opening up and sharing what is happening with you. It makes this blog and my connection with you feel more real.

Thanks!

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Nneka May 7, 2007 at 10:25 pm

@Cardin, I am touched Cardin. And as I mentioned before, you have such a beautiful name :-)

@Aaron, I’ve been dancing around these things for months (in this cycle). I’m finally ready to face them and do the work that comes with it. Thanks for the encouragement.

@Edward, I agree on getting clear with “why”. Thing is once you do that you realize that there are a dozen ways to achieve the same thing. You may not be choosing the right one. I also had to figure out my limits.

To everyone, thank you so much for your support :-)

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Paul Martin May 8, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Nneka, your blog is a great find – so in line with my thinking too, especially the importance of bringing spirituality into daily life.

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Carla Mae May 9, 2007 at 10:02 pm

It is so ironic that I just read this blog because I was just reflecting in my jounal about my weight loss of 9 years ago. That was a turning point in my life. I joined Weight Watchers, and I found that if I followed the program, I lost weight really fast. This is the first time that I had ever committed to something so difficult. Sure, I had just completed my Bachelor of Science, but that was child’s play compared to tackling weight loss. I just told myself that if I could pass an organic chemistry exam (which wasn’t particularly my strong suit) that I could resist shoving a donut in my mouth. I went from 220 to 160 and am still at 160, 9 years later. It’s a lifestyle change, and a renewed confidence in yourself. I’ve never felt so strong, powerful, and enlightened.

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Abundance Journal May 24, 2007 at 11:38 am

I’m at that point right now, too, of honing my vision, and I feel like your post speaks directly to me.

I think that your journey forward on the Artist’s Way will enhance your personal growth. I did morning pages for ten years, and developing the practice was one of the most profound things for me.

For me, my morning pages were actually my introduction to the basics of the law of attraction. They were like magic – I’d write about a need or desire one day, and sometimes even just that very day, the desire would manifest.

Eventually, I got to the point where I could go to my pages even when I was in a negative frame of mind, and the act of writing became my point of connection with Source.

Now that I’ve written that, I’m thinking to myself, just exactly why did I stop? I think I just might need to re-examine this …

You write beautifully, Nneka. I think your adjusted posting schedule will give you the breathing space that you need, and won’t take away from your blog at all.

With love,
Belle

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michelle ward May 28, 2007 at 11:13 am

What is the writing book that you refer to?? I am anxious to start on the plan including the 3 things that you focus on.
Please tell me more!
Sincerely,
Michelle Ward

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Nneka May 31, 2007 at 8:22 pm

Michelle, the book is called the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s more like an at home 12 week class on discovering yourself and your creativity. One of the pillars of the book is “morning pages”. It’s 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing in the morning.

In Spirit,
Nneka

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Miss T February 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Hello, Nneka,

New here. Followed in from a Zen blog post you did for a friend.

I see things we have in common.

Perhaps you will find time to visit me, too.

I’ll be back.

Reply

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