Monday, June 2, 2008

Project: Buff (eventually)

First things first, the engagement photo session went really well, I think. I went with the jeans from #1 and the top from #4, as many of you suggested, and I felt very comfortable. We'll get the digital images from our photographer in a week or so, but he did show us some of them on his camera screen, and they looked great. I am really excited to see the proofs, and of course I'll share them with all of you once I get them.

Also on Saturday, we finally got started making invitations, with help from the amazing, talented, and exceptionally crafty Alice. Seriously, you guys? She is a lifesaver. She drove all the way to my office in a thunderstorm to help, and she actually brought her own little paper cutter, which came in very handy. So handy, in fact, that afterward she left it with us in case we need it again. And she folded so much paper, and in such straight lines, and she was so fun and nice about it and didn't whine at all (unlike certain other members of our invitation-making party of three, and no, I'm not referring to myself).

We got a lot of folding and cutting and taping done--and for those of you who were worried, yes, most of the paper was pre-cut. There was a very minimum amount of cutting that needed to be done in order to make the pockets and the polka dots. So yes, the end result will not be crooked. I hope. And speaking of the end result, of course you'll see photos. But at the moment there isn't much to see, unless piles of purple paper are really appealing to you.

Anyway, Alice, Torsten, and I spent about two and a half hours working on the invites on Saturday, and I'd say we're now about one sixth of the way done, including all the numbering of the RSVP cards and sorting and addressing of the envelopes. So that's basically just five more Saturday afternoons, assuming that's the only time we work on them. And that's really not that much more time at all. So that's a relief.

Also on Saturday? (It was a busy day.) I spent a fair portion of the day carrying around a very cute 18-month-old child, which was tons of fun until yesterday morning when I woke up and my right arm was aching like crazy. For a few minutes I thought I'd pulled something, and then I remembered the baby I'd been holding the previous day, and everything clicked into place. And wow, if this is any indication? All those parents of young children out there must be BUFF. I shall choose to ignore the pain that comes along with that and instead add "buff arms" to my list of good reasons to have a baby.

And then I went and compounded the damage by spending a lot of time on arm workouts at the gym yesterday. As a result? Both arms are sore today, as opposed to just the one arm that was sore yesterday. But I kind of like it. The ache reminds me of the benefits of working out. And speaking of which, I've decided to scale back my workout plan--before I wanted to go to the gym, like, almost every day, and that was too much for me. So then I wouldn't go, and then my plans would be shot, so then I would keep on not going. I think a goal of just a few times a week is a lot more realistic, and therefore I'll be a lot more likely to stick to it.

While we're on the topic of goal-setting, I'd like your input. What kind of goals do you set for yourself? And what do you do to make sure that they're attainable, and that you're able to stay motivated long enough to achieve them? Any goal-setting tricks I should know about?

38 comments:

Pickles & Dimes said...

I can't wait to see pics of the engagement session AND the invites! And that was SO NICE of Alice to help out.

I've been really lazy about achieving my goals lately. My goals are usually writing related, exercise related, or big household goals (e.g., paint the window trim).

But when I am feeling motivated, what really works for me is to write down the goal in easily accomplished steps, like: 1. Buy paint and paint supplies, 2. Tape off windows, 3. Paint window trim.

That way, it doesn't seem overwhelming and I get the satisfaction of crossing off items, even if they're relatively easy. Nothing bugs me more than completing 90 steps toward a goal, but not being able to cross it off because it hasn't been completed.

Whenever I do write down a master list of goals (full of easy tasks and some more comprehensive ones), by the end of the year, without fail, I've achieved all of them. Something about seeing it in writing really gets me going.

And if it's a HUGE goal, I reward myself when I'm done with it. Naturally!

JulyBug said...

I'm a dork and I like lists. But like Pickles said above I break things down into increments. Makes you feel better crossing something off even if it's small. I do the same thing with exercise. If I'm running 10 miles, I only focus on the next 2 until I'm done.

Christina said...

I am glad that you felt awesome for the phot shoot. I am sure you two looked amazing. I look forward to the photos.

As far as goals, I try to set reasonable goals and milestones. I try to review my goals as I go along.

One of my challenges is the goal to exercise. I haven't gone to the gym in a bit but we are walking more and that counts. So I try not to beal myself up about it. Sadly, it does not always work.

Alice said...

first of all: you guys, their invitations are SO SUPER CUTE. obviously we wouldn't expect anything less from jess, but SERIOUSLY OMG SO CUTE. and unique! and purple! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

hee, i've always had "buff arms" in the benefits column for having a kid, too. when i used to babysit all the time, i totally had strong arms (and a strong back from lifting toddlers up so much, too)

SLynnRo said...

I'm pretty much the world's worst goal setter- I procrastinate and procrastinate until it's the "right time" to do something. The right time never seems to come. The only thing I'm continually proud of myself about is my dedication to exercise. At this point, that is no longer a goal, it is just a part of my life. I have to do something until it is a habit in order to achieve goals of any kind.

I like to do lists, but there is one in my bathroom written up for last Saturday, no two days ago but the week before. It has one item crossed off. Oops.

Ms. Karen said...

I'm very happy you're pleased with the engagement pics. I knew they'd turn out.

The invites will come together so easily with all this pre-prep, you'll wonder what all the fuss was earlier. We did that for Spawn's wedding, and despite one snafu that resulted in undoing a lot of stuff (I forgot to include the time of the ceremony... Yeah. dang.) we still got them together in one evening.

Goals... this is strange, because a writer's board I frequent has a new topic of goals. I'm TERRIBLE about setting goals, which is probably one reason I'm not progressing as well with my writing as I would like.

Maybe all this is the Univers' way of telling me it's time to get organized, or at least draw up some kind of plan.

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

I have such a hard time with goal setting. Not that I can't set a goal, but I set so many that I sabatoge myself to fail. I've gotten better though and now I just try to remember the end result that I'm working toward. One thing I'm really trying to do these days is organizing my house. To get there I've found organizing blogs and Flickr groups that inspire me. That really keeps me going.

Can't wait to see the pictures and the invitations!

3carnations said...

Heh. My son still likes to be carried around sometimes, and he weighs 42 pounds. I have very nice biceps on my right side. I also notice that my right "side" (like right above my waist) is more toned. I tried switching the side I carry him back and forth when he was younger, but it never felt quite right on the other side.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Carrying kids around is tough work. As for goals, I try not to set too many for myself, but if I do I try to break it down into small parts so that I feel like I am accomplishing something. Like a to-do list.

Sizzle said...

Glad you found an outfit that was comfortable and cute!

Goals? What are those? Oh right. I need to get back on track. Thanks for the gentle kick in the pants.

lifeintheleftlane said...

Um, I'm sort of awful at setting goals and sticking to them. I'll start something, then get bored with it and quit.

In regards to a working out goal (which I've set and rarely meet), having a friend to do it with you helps a lot. You can motivate each other to keep going when one of you is ready to give up.

I'm glad your pictures turned out well. Can't wait to see them!

BS said...

Well I can give you a laundry list of reasons not to have a baby (or rather why I don't want one), but I'm guessing you weren't looking for anyone to play devil's advocate in response to the buff arms thing.

As far as staying motivated? Two words: little victories. When I was training for the tri, I would celebrate something as small as enjoying my run (I hate running) or shaving 30 seconds off my swim. That kept me focused on the strides I'd already made instead of how far I had to go.

La said...

I seriously just got tired reading about all the stuff you accomplished. I'd say it's WAY more than I got done!

Banana said...

I'm such a project nerd - I had a ton of fun making my invitations. It sounds like you're enjoying it too! I'm glad you had some of the elements pre-cut; I figured you would I just wanted to suggest it in case you didn't know where to go, not because I didn't think you'd be able to figure it out by yourself.

In answer to your question: I am a goal junkie. I set the bar incredibly high for myself in regards to most aspects of my life. For the most part, writing the goals down and checking in with myself periodically helps me not slip too much, although I almost never actually "reach" the goal I set out to achieve. For me, having high expectations and aspirations helps me continue to reach - even if I never get there (also, I am apparently SUPER cheesy today).

Sandy said...

In all honesty? I kinda suck at goal setting. I seem to enjoy setting them, & then once that is finished I promptly forget about it.
I'm trying to do the same thing, though. Start working out- slowly at first, since I do have a gym membership and would like to use it this summer for more than just their pool!

Marie said...

Yup, kids will do that! Every time I carry around a baby and then give them back to his/her parents, I'm shocked at the arm ache I get. Who knew they were that heavy!

As for goals, only thing I can say is make them as realistic as possible. Don't set goals you truly know you will not be able to achieve.

Vanessa said...

I have no goal setting advice, but I'm so glad the photo shoot well!

Stefanie said...

I find that mowing my lawn is also a pretty good arm workout. The difference is that when I'm done mowing, I can turn off the noisy mower and stash it in the garage. Can't say the same about a baby! Yep; I'm sticking to lawn equipment instead of babies for now. :-)

Saly said...

I can not wait to see the photos.

I am a really bad goal setter. Like, really bad. As in, I don't set any, because I'm lazy.

Tessie said...

You would THINK that I would have Totally Buff Arms, but what I IN FACT have is one Weak and one Not As Weak. BOO.

I am a Lister, but I also tend to Aim Low, so I'm maybe not the best goal setter either.

Maxie said...

I set ridiculously high goals for myself, but I never accomplish them so I'm not sure I'm the right person to ask. As far as dieting goes, I'm all about "go big or go home" kind of thing. For me it's all or nothing

pessimisticredhead said...

That always happens to me when I hold a baby and it makes me feel like a gigantic pansy.

I still can't believe you have Torsten making invites. You're my hero.

d e v a n said...

Can't wait to see pics!!! My current goal is to lose 60lbs and fit into my wedding dress by my 7th anniversary, next June. Being 2 weeks postpartum, this goal may be a long way off...

artemisia said...

Jess - I love the outfit you chose. Cute, I love the sleeves on the shirt, especially.

You look great. You are HEALTHY. You are HAPPY. And that? That is beautiful.

getdone said...

Lets see... I am terrible at goals. But the thing that works for me is to remind myself constantly of what my goal is. Right now I am trying to save money. So every time I am about to spend, I think "Do I really need this?"

desperate housewife said...

Gaaah, I am bad at goals. Like, big goals. I often make daily to-do lists involving things like Clean Bathroom or Put Away Clean Clothes or Take Kids On Walk, and those things almost always get done if I actually commit them to paper. But big things that will take a long term commitment, like working out or losing weight or sticking to my grocery budget? Blech. It's actually embarassing, and one of my least favorite things about myself. I am fairly unmotivated, and also I have no patience, so if I'm not going to see results Right Now! then I don't like to bother.

a little bird said...

baby steps, my friend, baby-baby steps. the worst thing is to set lofty goals which you will never attain.

Kristen said...

Im sure you looked damn spiffy. I cant wait to see the pics and excellent choice of ensemble.

Kat said...

I'm excited about seeing the pics too. My firt goal everyday is to actually get out of the bed and go to work. That's a tough one every single day! lol

chasinglibby said...

well at my gym this morning there was a sign for a six wk program working towards a 5k run. i think i might do it. something attainable...something i can look forward to and then look back on and say, yeah i accomplished that would be cool

L Sass said...

Yay! You went for the outfit I liked! I feel totally gratified.

I cannot wait to see both engagement photos and a sample invite!

Princess Pointful said...

I've actually just started going back to the gym over the past few weeks... and going back hard. I don't even know what made it different this time.
Actually, in all honesty, it was probably paying the year fee in advance. There's no way I could not go as often as possible being $500 poorer in an instant!

Kate said...

Ooh! invites and e-pics exciting!

I'm pretty crappy at goals. A lot more setting than achieving. I also try to break goals down, and also (especially with exercise and food), do things one week at a time.

So, on Monday mornings before I start work, I consider my commitments, plans, obstacles etc, try to plan meals, workouts and so on. That helps me to feel less guilty about eating out/not working out in busy or social weeks.

I also keep separate work and non-work tasklists and I try to sset a few deadlines every week/fortnight, even the really mundane stuff. This week I have to send STDs and some engagement thank yous and buy flea/worm meds. Next week it's booking my eyebrow appointent and a haircut!

Rachel said...

Now that I think about it, I've been pretty lazy about achieving my goals also. I set goals for myself every year, and I haven't accomplished many this year. I definitely need to check out that list. :)

Anna said...

Lists, lists, lists.
Love em.

And yes, I guess my arms are slightly toned, even if I have belly jiggle. (Eeew, but that's the truth.)
One son is 33 pounds, one is 25 pounds.

And can't wait to see the photos!

bren j. said...

I like goals in baby steps but sometimes even that isn't enough. I spent WEEKS visualizing painting ONE room before I started. Now all I have left to do is the touch-ups and I'm having a hard time getting to that.

I almost exclusively carry the LG on my left arm and looking in a mirror, I can notice a difference in arm size. Hmmm...

Penny said...

Ha, I'm imagining you dragging your poor sore arms around all day.

My goals have been seriously scaled back over the years. Recently my goal is to run 4x a week. Just 4x! You'd think I could pull that off.

If you're in serious training / getting fit mode, I think one thing to always remember is that you'll have weeks where you'll Build Up, and then a week or two where your body says F-OFF! and it's a Fall Down week, and you just got to honor your body's wishes through it.

Swistle said...

Well, you know, according to celebrities, they get to be size 0 by "running around after the kids all day." Buff arms are ONLY THE BEGINNING!