February 2017 Newsletter: Small goals

Several years ago, while I was finishing up my last year of graduate school, I reflected on the amount of writing I was doing. It occurred to me that if I was able to produce multiple, well researched papers and short articles because I was paying for it, I should be able to continue some form of writing after I graduated. I decided I was going to write one blog a month. At the time, that seemed manageable and I knew I could carve out the time for it. To make sure I had a plan, I decided I would spend two Saturdays a month devoted to writing.

After doing that for a year and a half, I realized I wanted to write something that was more digestible, something the general public could read that was short and maybe inspiring or informative in some way. I decided I was going to start a weekly Facebook “column;” it didn’t matter if anyone read it, but it would be a way to make sure I was writing weekly, and because less research was involved, it felt a little more freeing.

Fast forward to today: I write almost every day of the week. What started off as a twice a month commitment to myself turned into a way to settle me down and allow me to improve my productivity. Self discipline has never been a problem; creativity, on the other hand, was never an asset I felt I possessed.

In the book, Tools of Titans, Tim Ferriss says of accomplishing one major thing a day,”Write down the 3 to 5 things-and no more- that are making you uncomfortable…For each item, ask yourself, “If there were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day? What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?” Block out two to three hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide.” 

We tend to try and take on too much. This becomes overwhelming, so we do none of it. If someone told me 5 years ago, I was going to be writing my monthly blog, weekly musings, one to two articles a month for Breaking Muscle, a monthly newsletter, and creating online courses in addition to working full time, I would have laughed, told the person he was crazy, and proceeded to abandon all of it. Because it sounds like a lot. It sounds scary and impossible. But if instead of focusing on all of the things you want to do, you focus on one and get into the habit of doing that one thing for a chunk of time each day, the magic of creation has an opportunity to begin.

Upcoming Events:
Good things happening! I recently released two yoga classes for Jenni Rawlings class library (http://www.jennirawlings.com/online-yoga-classes-2/). Enter the code BEWELL a free month of online access.

Catherine Cowey, M.A., will be offering her expertise on hyper mobility at Be Well Personal Training in Carmel March 4. If you are hypermobile or regularly work with individuals with hypermobility, this course will be extremely informative. More info: http://www.bewellpt.com/events/2017/3/4/an-introduction-to-hyper-mobility

I am teaching in LA at 360 Fithaus March 25-26. We will be exploring the shoulders and hips in an in-depth way (I am hoping to have online versions of this course up and running by then, which can either be taken as a supplement to the course, or by itself if you can’t attend the course live. More details coming (hopefully by my April newsletter!). To check out course info: http://www.360fithaus.com/partytime.html

Napa Retreat: Nature and Movement. I am super excited to be co-hosting this with Catherine Cowey. It combines two of my favorite things, teaching movement and exploring nature, in a beautiful setting (Mayacamas Ranch). For more information on this all inclusive, two night retreat, check out the information here: http://www.bewellpt.com/events/2016/9/11/mind-body-nature-a-two-day-movement-retreat

Reading:
My two most recent on Breaking Muscle can be found here:
http://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/mastering-bodyweight-exercise-the-triple-a-framework
http://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/the-neck-pain-troubleshooting-guide

Because I have done quite a bit of writing, most of what I’ve been reading online has been research. However, I reflected back on the books I read in 2016 and 3 stood out as extremely memorable.

“When Breath Becomes Air,” by Paul Kalanithi. This was a lovely, heartbreaking memoir about a young, brilliant neurosurgeon’s experience with impeding death. If you are feeling sorry for yourself, read this; it puts the meaning of life into perspective.

“Tribe,” by Sebastian Junger. 
This slim book discusses the necessity of human interaction. As someone who often puts personal relationships on the back burner in favor of work and independent study, it was a nice reminder about the importance of human connection.

“The Routeledge Handbook of Motor Control,” edited by Albert Gollhofer, Wolfgang Taube, and Jens Bo Nielsen.
Yes, this is a textbook. Yes, it is expensive, Yes, it is awesome and worth the read if you study motor control for fun. I dog-eared almost every page- that’s how much useful information I found. It sparked questions, which directed (and is still influencing) research. Concepts presented in a thoughtful way should encourage the practitioner to ask why. This book did that for me.