Baby Steps

Once upon a time I read an article on habit formation that talked about establishing a flossing habit by just flossing one tooth a day.

I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of this concept.

Of course the author answered my silently uttered, “what is the point?!” by of course citing a bunch of behavioral change theory. Or maybe I’m confusing my MPH classes with my blog reading. OH WELL!

Basically it’s the idea of building upon small wins. <—can’t tke credit for that concept either thank you Danielle/Marie/Hillary/Leo/Ramit/Derek/Tonya/Sarah/Kris/Gabby/Lindsay/I can’t remember who said it so yes I just listed all my mentors. If you floss just one tooth a day every day for a week, you’re building your capacity + your belief in your ability to do it. To be honest, I still think its super silly but guess what I started doing this year? And guess what actually worked?

Yea, I have a flossing habit now. So what?

Well I decided to be super ambitious and extrapolate this baby steps mentality to a bigger project: getting my Master’s paper published. I’m embarrassed to admit that its been almost a year since I submitted it and I basically haven’t looked at the damn thing since. Frankly, there’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in the paper and it was written at a pivotal time when I was coming out of the darkness of the previous months and into the newness of being a Master’s grad. In other words, there’s a whole myriad of reasons why I never want to look at that paper again.

But getting it published is something I want, both for me and the field. Its good work and despite whatever emotions surround the experience of writing it, I’m proud of the work.

So this week I committed to spending just 10 minutes a day on it. On Monday, all I did was read through it to get myself reconnected to the work. During that time I started to get anxious and tense because omgthere’ssomuchtodo! And I remembered how much effort the damn thing took and now that I’ve waited its, admittedly, going to be harder to go back in and make edits because there’s another year’s worth of research that I have to go through. My antural instinct is normally to plow through projects. I give 100%: to work or to play but never to a happy medium of both..

I’m starting to recognize this is a problematic pattern for me. I alternate between weeks of insane productivity and weeks of utter and complete laziness. Because when I’m in a project, I’m in it. Until I get bored and take a break and a week later, I’m still taking a break.

And so just like with flossing, I’ve said no more. Baby steps from here on out, with this project and so many others. Next week, I’ll do 15 minutes per day. 20 the week after that. It isn’t much, and my ego is having a shitfest with it, but its more than I did before. And the little results (like realizing how badly the amazing citrus that is in season gets stuck in your teeth <—ew) do feel like wins and are totally worth celebrating. Plus I have something new + tangible everyday to share with the beau.

As I look at my life I see so many areas where this pattern has been toxic for me. I get paralyzed by all the things I need to do and then just stay stuck because there’s literally no way to do them all right now. Thankfully this year I have an amazing accountability buddy (shout-out to Danielle!) who’s not only there to push me but also to remind me that its ok to take a break. That if all I accomplished on Monday was re-reading my paper, then that’s a successful day. Because those 10 minutes are about more than just doing the work (or even building confidence). They’re reconnecting me and rebuilding my relationship to the project. And that’s what is going to get the damn thing done.

I don’t believe in the go-go-go push it mentality. I believe in working with ease. But sometimes ease = distraction for me and that’s not work either. So baby steps is, in essence, my way of finding a balance in how I can be productive with ease. On day s when I want to do more, and its coming from a genuine place of being inspired and enjoying the work rather than fear at it being too much, I will. But on days when I don’t want to do anything, at least I’ll have 10 minutes to say that I accomplished something worth celebrating. And most likely feel a helluva lot better about the work than before.

So here’s to trying something different and actually getting results,. And being held accountable. Since, you know, I just told ya’ll that I plan on getting this paper published. *gulp* W

What’s one big goal you want to accomplish this year and how can you break it down into #babysteps?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Money Saving Monday: Standing On Line

Um can we talk about how its been over 2 months since I’ve posted one of these? What the what?! Unfortunately, this reflects the fact that I haven’t done “regular” shopping in about just as long. There’s been holidays and trips back-and-forth to CT and “getting by” grocery runs and mid-week ones and “I need to buy new face wash + moisturizer because my doctor said so” ones and… well, you get the picture.

This week, however, this glorious mild week, we had a “normal” week. Well, normal with regards to grocery shopping! By that I mean I couponed + meal planned on Saturday and Sunday we hit up two stores and saved a ton of $$$. In fact, we were even under budget.

Bitches I’m back!

*clears throat*

Before I get to this week’s goodness I just need to tell you a story. So Sundays I’ve started going to a mindfulness group. It’s effing amazing and I can’t wait to write about it + share some of the juicy things I’ve learned. Anyway, there’s a Trader’s right across from the subway which makes it super duper convenient to stop by on my way home. Last week, I did not know this. This week, I was smart. No seriously I even packed my couponing stuff Saturday evening when we got back from our second gourmet vegan dinner (omg guys I’m so effing lucky in this city…so. many. vegan. desserts) so I wouldn’t forget.

ANYWAY…I decided to pop into Starbucks before going to Trader’s. I had a coupon + a gift card so heeeeellllloooo free coffee. When I walk back to Trader’s, however, I see all these people waiting outside. In a line. And I realize…holy shit, the store is at capacity and I have to wait on line to get in. <—yes ‘’”on line.” I’m a New Yorker now folks and this is how we roll Thankfully I had my coffee (plus a deeeeep desire for cheap produce + pantry staples) and the line moved pretty darn quickly.

It was so worth it too. Why? Because the midtown Trader’s is a magical place that’s three stories (ok the first floor is just where you enter but shhhh indulge me here) and includes so many goodies I haven’t seen anywhere else. Don’t ask me what because a) I didn’t write them down and b) I was trying to figure out where the heck everything was and wandering around in circles. But there were fancy items and how could there not be with two whole levels of Trader’s goodness?!

It also was magical because while I’m picking out bananas (I kid you not…seriously, could I make this up?!) I hear someone say my name. When I turn around its one of the girls I was friends with at the Trader’s in Worcester! There were a lot of high pitched squeals and screamed profanities. From my end only since, you know, she was working. But guys…its been almost two years since I’ve seen this girl. And in the recesses on my mind I remember that she moved to New York (I even remembered that she was living with family out in Long Island what what!) but what are the effing odds?! I seriously just kept saying “holy f*cking sh*t I can’t believe this” and “omfg I’m so excited to see you.”

True story: I have a potty mouth.

Anyway, let’s talk about saving money!

Meal Plan

Pizza
Harvest Chili with Cornbread (Happy Herbivore Light & Lean (HHLL))
Creamy Avocado Pasta (usually lightened up by subbing water for 1 Tbsp of EVOO) with “Chicken” Strips
Pear & Lentil Salad (HHLL)
Skinny Puttanesca (HHLL)
Creamy Kale Salad (HHLL) with Broiled Tofu and Lemony Couscous (HHLL)

Ok I’m a bit obsessed with HHLL apparently. Mostly because I had to meal plan in a rush and it was right in front of me and the recipes are fresher on my mind so I knew how I could use some of our leftover produce from last week. Like the many avocados that have taken forever and a day to get ripe. *le sigh*

Spending Savings

Trader Joe’s: $26.23
Whole Foods: $49.59
Total: $75.82

WHAT UP! *happy dances* Also we totally got 5 full bags of food for this. I was so damn excited.

Whole Foods: $26.00
Total: $26.00 (34%)

yes yes yes yes yes

Steals and Deals

Trader Joe’s

Organic Tomato Paste (BPA-free can): $0.89
Organic Tomato Sauce (BPA-free can): $1.49
Salsa: $1.99
Whole Wheat Couscous (): $1.99 <—#amazing
Organic Carrots: $0.89
Craisins: $1.99
Golden Raisins: $2.69
Bananas: $0.19 ea

We got other stuff but I think these represent the best deals.

Whole Foods

Organic Kale : 2/$4.00
Blood Oranges: $1.79/lb
Grapefruit: $0.99/lb
Sprouted Seed Bread: 2/$6.00
Whole Trade Peppers: $3.49/lb
Cedar’s Mediterranean Hommus: 2/$5.00 <—yes!

Buy (1) Back to Nature Cracker, 2/$6.00 (reg $3.99)
Use (1) $1.00/1 Back to Nature Product coupon
with (1) $1.00/1 Back to Nature Product Jan/Feb Whole Deal coupon
Total: $1.00 (holla!)

Buy (2) Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips, $7.98 (reg. $10.78)
Use (1) Buy One Beyond Meat Product Get One Free coupon (newsletter subscribers)
OR (2) $1.00/1 Beyond Meat Product coupon
Total: as low as $3.99/2 or $2.00 each!

Olivia’s Organics Salad Mix, 1 lb, $6.99
Use (1) $1.00/1 Olivia’s Product coupon (NLA)
Total: $5.99  <—cheaper at BJ’s but more convenient at WF

Welll that’s all for this week folks. Now that things are settling, I’ll be back to blogging more regularly. Huzzah!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Lucky Deal

Lucky Deal

OH I love this…

Plum District, a groupon-esque site geared towards moms but great for random deals like this too, is offering half off a voucher to Lucky Vitamin. LV is like VitaCost or iHerb -lots of great products at discounted prices. I used it to stock up on nuts that the beau can eat (aka weren’t processed in a facility with peanuts) so I can go back to making nut butters and raw desserts without the fear of him going to the hospital. huzzah!

If you want to take advantage, click here within the next 3 days.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo