Tagged: interchange

You’ve Done It Before


You have done it before and you will do it again.

What the hell am I talking about? Success. You’ve been successful before in your lifetime, if you’ve made it this far. Maybe you would consider that your only win, but either way, it’s something. And you will be successful again. Have you heard that lately? It feels oddly good to say it: You WILL be successful again. The purpose of this post is to review the context of some of my goals to see where I have been successful so we can recreate that context down the line.

I have completed many of my 27 x 27 goals. 17 to be exact. There is a sense of completion, of follow through, a feeling of “done-ness” with these items. It is immensely satisfying to review it and say “Yea, I did that!” (High Five). Check. Goal setting builds a system for resolution and habit creation by breaking a larger value into measurable and attainable steps. Stevo, the sport psychologists’ mantra echoes in my ears: “Have the courage to start small”. Hell yes. One step at a time, next thing you know, you’re holding a handstand, kicking it at your new job, and attending the CrossFit Games for free.

San Francisco CrossFit Regionals Cheer Team: A fine looking crew. 2013

San Francisco CrossFit Regionals Cheer Team:                            A fine looking crew. 2013

I have 10 goals left to accomplish in 2 months. The other day I signed up for Maneesh Sethi and James Swanwick’s Get It Done in 30 challenge. I wasn’t going to sign up, but once I watched their videos and realized there was still space I decided “What the hell! This is exactly what I have been experimenting with all year!” Get your ass in gear for 21 to 30 day challenges to explore habit change. I am hoping that the Get It Done in 30 challenge will help me accomplish something on this list, specifically, losing weight. This is a goal I seem to really struggle with. As I have explored in the past with Stevo, I have some trouble asking for help. Well: “I NEED HELP!” I need some sort of support.

Another reason for this review is to see where I have been successful and where I have failed. In Maneesh Sethi’s Hack the System Ebook, he explains that recreating the context in which you have been successful before sets you up for success in the future. He also shares a graph demonstrating morale and enthusiasm over the course of a project showing the importance of expecting failure. Applying these concepts is an important step in recognizing my blind spots and how I can accomplish the rest of my list (or at least the goals that are most important to me).

The Misfit Quarterly: AJ Leon

The Misfit Quarterly: AJ Leon

While Maneesh writes about setting yourself up for success and how to accomplish your goals, Danielle LaPorte explores the difference between motivation and inspiration. She explains that motivation is often driven by fear of consequences, whereas inspiration is a deep desire to accomplish something regardless of the cost. Thinking about these concepts has really put a new spin on some of my goals. So let’s get started.

Starting with my new tradition: My new annual ritual is to do some kind of activity (5 mile run/CrossFit WOD/get sweaty) and then get into a body of water on my birthday. These are 2 definable activities that don’t require much in the way of habit change throughout the year to accomplish. It was basically an accident that this became my new tradition. I was visiting Netarts Bay in Oregon with some of my best friends and we decided to do a run on the beach on the morning of my birthday. We ran for a long time and despite the frigid water conditions, knew that it was a special opportunity to get into the ocean. In we went! Year 2 of this ritual approaches. I was successful here because I had a friend who joined me for the activity and we were having fun. I doubt I would have gone on the run or jumped into the ocean solo. Either way I wouldn’t have done them for as long as I did. This September: I would like to do another workout on the beach and go for a swim. Care to join me?

With friends at Netarts Bay, OR 2012.

With friends at Netarts Bay, OR 2012.

My goal of making a reading list is about inspiring myself to read. Getting myself back into the habit of reading is super challenging. It comes and goes in spurts all the time. I have been getting better, but I hardly ever read at the same time of day, which seems to be a major component to creating this habit. I am successful if I read before I go to bed, take public transportation, or take a break at work and sit at a cafe. I was extremely successful with The Fire Starter Sessions because Maria and I had a book club and would meet to discuss the chapters. AH! Maneesh Sethi is right again! Accountability always wins!

I completed Interchange, the counseling program. Paying money and attending an organized class where other people care about your attendance is a strong motivator. I know people cared about whether I showed up or not because when I arrived, we took attendance in our home group and talked about where the people who were not present were. How did we know where the missing people were? Well, the first couple of times people didn’t show, members of the group got upset and made it known! After that we hardly ever had an unexplained absence. Group accountability strikes again! Note: Your action or inaction  in a group always speaks. Your participation in life or lack thereof does not go unnoticed, so do things with intention.

Fire Starter Sessions: Danielle La Porte + Interchange = My Life On Fire.

Fire Starter Sessions: Danielle La Porte + Interchange = My Life On Fire.

Goals that I accomplished because I had support and/or accountability:

  • A new tradition
  • Read a book
  • Interchange
  • CrossFit Open
  • Armory Tour
  • Blog
  • New Jobs

I submitted mail art to people around the world. I work well with deadlines. Having a final date and knowing that it is quickly approaching gets me going. I often leave things till the last minute because then I get nervy about them and set aside the time to accomplish the task. Sure, it can feel like poor planning, but otherwise the urgency just isn’t there. Having a finite timeline in the near future is by far the best way to get me to do something. Accountability to the clock!

Goals that I accomplished because they were time-bound:

  • Job Applications/Interviews
  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate
  • Submitted mail to mail art show
  • Blog

My sharable “explore something sexy” goal is that I read an erotic novel and attended a book talk by the author of the Boudoir Bible. Lightning struck on this one. I had a conversation with a friend about the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty and was so intrigued by the premise of the book that I went out and bought it. Reading erotic fiction was exciting, as you can imagine, so I got through it in a reasonable time frame. However, there was no accountability here, only fodder for my own ideas. Reading the novel inspired me to look up erotic literature events in San Francisco, which lead me to Betony Vernon’s talk about the Boudoir Bible that was being hosted the day after I discovered it. I blindly jumped at the opportunity (having no idea who she was) and showed up. Lightning and the magical cosmos inspired action? I’m so glad I attended.

Goals I accomplished because I was inspired/magic happened:

  • Reading/Book List
  • Expressing my feelings
  • Writing my 12 commandments
  • New Jobs
  • Went to yoga for a week after not having been in 1 year
  • CrossFit Gear
  • Attending Betony Vernon’s Boudoir Bible talk
  • Blogging


These are all the goals that I have completed and that make me feel successful. What context have I been most successful in? By far, the things that I am most proud of and seem to have influenced me the most are where I have community involved. I am super inspired to accomplish all the things on my list, so combining it with a defined time line and the support of others makes for a potent combination. Any goal that I have not yet accomplished is directly related to not having a buddy and/or a due date. Of course my birthday is a deadline, in theory, but that is not enough for all goals.

In short, I intend to quickly weed out the things that I am not inspired by out of my life and replace them with things that do. The goals that have not yet been completed, I am rededicating myself to them and enlisting support for the next 2 months. What the fuck is this list for if not for fun and a little challenge? GSD.

Get inspired.

Get inspired.


World Domination 2013

Sauvie Island, Portland, OR

Sauvie Island, Portland, OR

Though I haven’t written much, I’ve accomplished a ton in the past 6 weeks. Writing hasn’t fallen to the wayside for lack of inspiration or something to talk about. My mind feels like it might explode every time I look at the date. It’s July!? Where did the year go?

Rewind: last October I started Interchange, a counseling program that explores different philosophies and techniques in therapy. My original intention in starting this program was to figure out if I want to pursue psychology as a profession. Since I am a self-proclaimed self-help nerd, I knew I would get a lot out of the training based purely on my love for introspection and self analysis. I fancy myself a pretty good listener and I am proficient at speaking about my feelings. Interchange took me to the next level. I am proud to say that I have completed the ten month program and have received my certificate!

Celebrate good times with a pinata!

Reward yourself  with a pinata!

As far as my original intention, I am clear at the moment, that I have no interest in a masters in psychology. I am intrigued by life coaching, general counseling, and people who create personal brands. I love talking to people about their problems and their passions. Helping others to connect with their dreams and desires in order to live happier lives excites me. However, I am not in the space at the moment where I wish to make that my profession. Similar to my dream of starting a hostel, I do not rule this out as a career, but know that it is not for right now. Either way, completing Interchange was a longer term goal and I am proud to have achieved it!

WDS 2013!

WDS 2013!

Through Kate Courageous, a lovely woman who taught a marketing series at Interchange, I managed to get my hands on a ticket to the World Domination Summit. When I told people about this conference, many thought it had something to do with CrossFit, which I found very amusing. The World Domination Summit is actually a conference with people from professions across the board, coming together to talk about how to create change. It’s about refining your skills, unearthing your passion, and turning your dreams into a reality. It’s about focus and connection.

I traveled to Portland, stayed with a good friend, and listened to Chase Jarvis of Creative Live, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, Danielle LaPorte, and Nancy Duarte, amongst others pour their hearts out. The whole conference was incredible! Chris Guillebeau did an incredible job orchestrating WDS. The events sounded insane. I missed a lot of it due to visiting with friends. I had a tricky time balancing the old with the new, and really needed some down time after mingling and listening to speakers from 8am till 4pm each day. I would love to attend again and make sure to take full advantage of each of the special events.



A specific goal that I have had for a long time is to attend a Kink.com Armory tour here in San Francisco. I finally managed to do this. A friend of mine was equally as excited about the idea and said “let’s go!” So we jumped online, set a date and bought tickets. Of course as I am waiting on the steps in front of the Armory, I run into some other friends who are also going on the tour. I love how small the world is. The armory is magnificent and kink.com has totally piqued my interest as far as its business model is concerned. We all know sex sells, but Kink seems to be operating as the change it would like to see in the world. 40% of it’s employees are women, while 60% of their directors are female. Apparently, this is unheard of in media companies. Let’s take a moment to ponder what this means as far as the production of porn. Women at Kink have significant influence over the type of porn being produced and are controlling how it is being put out into the world. This is a big deal. I like it.

June and July are demonstrating just how crazy busy life can get. New goal: simplify simplify simplify. I am ready to get back to some passions of mine that haven’t been nurtured in a while. This means drawing, letter writing, and reading. It also means hanging out without scheduled meetings on some afternoons and getting my ass in the ocean to try surfing again. 2013 is more than half finished. How are you going to spend the rest of the year?

photo (2)

#1 Goal(s)

Buy yourself flowers. It's nice.

Buy yourself flowers. It’s nice.

I found a blog the other night that I find interesting. Hack the System with Maneesh Sethi. What a crazy dude. When you subscribe to his email list he asks that you write to him about your number one goal.  I found myself thinking that I should have a number one goal because I have so many of them. When I read his email requesting to hear what is it, I thought “Shit, man!” And then my brain came to a stuttering halt.

I have a lot of goals. Too many, actually. How do I know it’s too many? From Stevo, the sport psychologists perspective, if it feels like too many, it is.  Well, it feels like too many. From Byron Katie’s perspective, it’s not too many, it just IS and it’s only my thoughts in relation to the number of goals that is causing any stress. Byron Katie is the author of Loving What Is. She is the creator of “The Work”, which is a series of four questions about our thoughts and then a turn around that aims to transform our relationship to ourselves. Here is an example.

The Work on Having Too Many Goals.

Statement and/or judgments: I have too many goals.

Is that true?  No. (If no, you can move to #3)

Can I absolutely know that to be true? I can not know it to be 100% fact.

How do I react when I think that thought? How do I treat myself and/or others when I think that thought? Stressed out! I am irritable and frustrated. I hate on myself. I feel like I am scattered and unfocused. I feel like I can’t see progress clearly and that I am a failure. I get panicky and anxious.

Who would I be without that thought? Who would I be without believing that I have too many goals? I would feel peaceful and calm. Life would feel more harmonious and I would celebrate the small victories.

Turn it around: I do not have too many goals. I do not have enough goals. I have the right amount of goals. I have the perfect number of goals.

Workin hard. FSS.

Workin hard.

Perhaps this is another step in dismantling the 27 x 27. I am happy to have so many goals. They can just hang there in space, the letters typed neatly out on the page. The list will grow, wilt, and stagnate at times. I want to cultivate a compassionate relationship to the goal list. It is, afterall, my list of dreams. They each symbolize a process through which I get to know myself a little better and that lead me down my path a little further.

Looking at what I would like to focus on for April and reflecting on what I worked on in March, I am seeing that not much has changed. I am trying to start small and continue slowly. For March I had a fatty list: Interchange counseling sessions, write everyday, handstand practice, mobility, read, work on the Fire Starter Sessions, and attend the CrossFit certification course.



How did I do?

Interchange: I had a couple of Interchange sessions. I have surpassed my 20 hours of counseling now.

Write:  I have a check mark for everyday that I wrote on my calendar and made it a practice to write every morning. It increased the amount I post to my blog based on working with more material. This has been a very enjoyable process for me.

Handstands: I have had many 20 minute sessions in the park and practiced at CrossFit. I have seen a lot of improvement and have had a lot of fun!

Mobility: This is another item I have on the daily checklist. I have struggled with this because sometimes it is enjoyable and other times it is just a pain in the ass. Literally. But I am committed to working on my knee and the rest of my body.

Read: I have been reading more! I read the entire CrossFit training guide and I am in the process of finishing Loving What Is. I have also read a TON of blogs and information online. I also bought a GOOD magazine.

The Fire Starter Sessions (FSS): I love this book. Danielle LaPorte is awesome and the book is beautiful. Maria and I have been meeting about FSS and it is amazingly therapeutic and motivating. We’re lighting shit up!

CrossFit Certification: done and done! I attended the weekend course, which was great, and I past the test! BAM! PLUS, I applied for a job at San Francisco CrossFit and guess what?! I GOT THE JOB! The cert has already paid off.

Fire Starter Sessions

Fire Starter Sessions

Writing this has been so satisfying. Earlier I felt like the March list was way too long. However looking at all the progress that I have made for each item, I can see that I have actually been quite successful! WhatWhat!!! I think that one thing that would allow me to see progress more is by recording small measurable benchmarks or each. That would look like this:

Goal: Record daily check marks, record time spent on activity and other detailed notes.

I am halfway there. I have recorded most of this stuff, but I could get into the details if I wanted to see more numerical results.

So let’s circle back to the beginning. What is my #1 goal?

My number one  goal is to feel awesome. I’ve been able to pin-point four core feelings that are important to me and I want to connect to those feelings in all that I do. Those four core feelings are: Connection, Clarity, Creative, and Powerful. I don’t have to feel all four of the feelings all the time, but I want clarity in my activities because I think it makes for more harmonious living.

You can read about my twenty-seven #1 goals and how they tap into my core feelings here. If you think that this post is a bunch of bull and that my goal is way too vague, then here are some specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive (S.M.A.R.T.) goals to feast on:

Wild Success! Things that were not on the goal list but make me feel ON FIRE:

Thanks to Maneesh Sethi for pushing my thoughts about goals a little further.


A Self Defining Declaration

Self Portrait Painting 2005

Self Portrait Painting 2005

I had Interchange week 7 this past weekend. The focus was Deconditioning. A fun exercise that we did was writing self defining declarations. We began by brainstorming and remembering times when we felt most like ourselves. Our aim was to come up with optimistic statements versus affirmations and to describe what we do rather than what we are. Rather than typing up my notes I am going to share the first draft of what I wrote.

A self defining declaration written in 20 minutes.

Stille Wasser sind tief” my mother says to me in German. I am as calm deep blue as the ocean, embracing ever-changing tides, weathering storms, and washing up on sandy beaches. I am fascinated by the world around me, exploring the activities and ideas that speak to my authentic self.

I am creative and optimistic in my outlook on life . I exercise this through not subscribing to clicks, but rather cultivating my own tribe of vagabonds, rabble-rousers, and misfits. “Prost!” we cheer as we clank biersteins, champagne flutes, whiskey shooters, and martini glasses. We keep it classy at our underground sweaty parties.

I choose to do things with intention: if you can’t get out of it, get into it. Act how you want to feel. Fake it till you make it over the moon and you are so high you barely know which way is up. Redefine success for yourself. I do things because they lite me up. I love myself like my life depends on it. I seek out Fun Type B because I won’t rest till I know myself inside and out.

I love fiercely. I ride my bike and feel the wind in my hair as it breaths on my neck and whispers “freedom” into my ear. I act like I may only live another year, fueled like I may live another 300. I strive to accept myself as I am today. I explore my sexual and sensual nature, knowing that in the depths of these waters are multiple orgasms: because Life is That Good. There are  experiences of ecstasy and unity waiting to be had that currently may seem unimaginable.

I play because it makes me strong. I aspire to be a ninja-woman with cat-like reflexes and motivate others to celebrate their bodies through movement. Do it because it needs to be done. I am an idealist, wandering, but not lost.

Love, strength and vigor!

Sunset Saturday March 30, 2013: Fort Mason Center, SF

Sunset Saturday March 30, 2013: Fort Mason Center, SF

Why Do I Feel Guilty?

What does good?

What does good?

This weekend was an Interchange weekend. The theme was development: reparenting. I like the idea that we are all vessels of resources (a resource being a skill or human trait that allows us to get our needs met); some of them we have developed fully and can exercise them skillfully, like ninja-warriors. Others lay dormant or under-developed, scarcely allowing us to recognize them. Then others still, are completely absent and only our brothers and sisters can help us to acquire them. I think the part of development that I find so awesome is that we aren’t focusing on breaking things down, but rather on building things up. Let’s focus on the positive, people.
Haha, I say this as I am about to dive into something quite vulnerable. Our homework for Interchange this weekend was to come up with a list of unanswerable questions that we currently have in our lives. We came up with all sorts of delicious things: Who am I? Why can’t I get my shit together? Why can’t other people get their shit together? Why can’t I tell that I belong? How can I live fully expressed? How do I get off the roller coaster? Is it safe to be me?
I enjoyed this assignment because this is exactly the type of exercise I get nerdy over. I can play this game for hours. I came up with plenty of my own questions: How am I not myself? (I Heart Huckabees reference DUH)
How am I not myself? By Kate Pugsley

How am I not myself? By Kate Pugsley

Am I committed enough? Can I make it work? Where? Where should I live? Where should I start a business? Where should I travel to? Do I settle in? Do I settle down? Do I run amok? Am I running away? Am I running towards something? Can I have a home base and still travel a lot? How can I make money doing something I love? How can I make money? Will I have enough? Will I ever stop comparing myself? Why do I feel guilty? If it’s never a a good time is it always a good time? What does true balance feel like? Will I be able to move past the fear?

One of the exercises that we did with our groups over the weekend, was going around in a circle and each choosing one question that seems to resonate with us in the moment. Group members helped each other to decipher which one seemed most poignant. For me, we chose “Why do I feel guilty?” Ouch.

I guess this is an excellent question for me to meditate on because my response is still “Ouch”. The following exercise was for us to identify which resource we are missing that could help us with our unanswerable question. As the group came around to me, I felt pretty sure that the resources attached to my question were boundaries, self-awareness, and not taking things personally. While those are all true, our group leader asked me how I felt about getting group attention (all eyes were on me as we were exploring which resource I may be lacking for my question). I felt nervous. The group leader says that being nervous is feeling afraid of something. What am I afraid of?
How am I not myself? Compliments of the University of MIssoula

How am I not myself? What am I afraid of? Compliments of the University of Montana, Missoula: Art Department

Damnit. That rings true. Stab stab. What am I afraid of?

I believe I mentioned something about how a lot of people are afraid of receiving so much attention. He responded with that not everyone is nervous or afraid for the same reasons, nor is everyone afraid of receiving group attention. What is it for me?

Something funny about this situation is that my default mode of responding is frustration, like: “FUCK!” Gah, I feel like I know the answer, but it is getting all stuck and jumbled up inside of me! I react with faux frustration. Wait, it’s not fake, but it’s dramatized? Here I am, floundering, once again to figure it out. It’s funny because it is actually exactly what I want. I want someone to push me. No, not just a little push. Really fucking push me, like you care. I want the attention, I want help figuring it out. I want the group/my friends/my family to be a part of my process.

So what am I afraid of? With a group of 20 people looking at me, what makes me nervous? It shows up in my body as a fluttering. It is some kind of vibration that ripples through my body. I wouldn’t even describe it as bad necessarily. Overwhelming, sure, but it is also a nervous excitement. I am scared of looking stupid, like I have said before. I am afraid of being judged. And you know why? Because that is what people do. They judge. I judge. I am at Interchange and I am judging. Perhaps because I know how un-compassionate my judgments of others can be, I figure others do the same and I am terrified of being the target.

Escape from Alcatraz Triathalon, great place to cheer others on.

Escape from Alcatraz Triathalon, great place to cheer others on. Badass athletes.

I used to pride myself on not caring about what others think, but I am officially throwing that out the window. I am coming to terms with the fact that I care about what others think of me. I do not see that as a bad thing, though I am feeling guilty about it… I see that I need to reconstruct my thought patterns around this if I want to feel less scared and less guilty and more empowered in front of groups.

What do we have so far?
My unanswerable questions: Why do I feel guilty? What am I afraid of?
Some resources around those unanswerables: Judgement, boundaries, self-love
Resources I can work on: Self-acceptance

My group came up with self-acceptance as a resource I should develop further. This came in our discussion around my fear of receiving attention from the group. Part of me is thinking “What? I totally accept myself.” Shit, do I? Now I’m confused. Wait, I just wrote a whole post about if I am confused, I should contribute instead of focusing on myself. But I’m not done yet! What is self acceptance anyway? Then I find myself asking, if no one else loved me, would I still love me? Then I remember that just a couple of days ago I was sitting in the park outside my work, crying to my sister on the phone, asking “what if this is it? What if this is all I ever accomplish?” Do I accept myself? How do I not accept myself?

I have trouble accepting that I still weigh more than I ever have in my life. Why haven’t I lost weight like all the other girls at CrossFit? I am trying to accept that I am working in the restaurant industry despite saying that I don’t want to work with food. I struggle with living in the United States when I have an E.U. passport. I hate that people say “do it now, while you are still young” because I start having an anxiety attack that I am doing “it” all wrong. I can’t decide if I feel great single or if I am constantly judging my self worth by men being attracted to me and being in a relationship. Do I mind not going for a masters degree? Am I a failure compared to the rest of my family? How can I accept myself through these things?

Pachygerm Portrait

Pachygerm Portrait

Guilt and fear are alive and well in all of the above.  What happens now? I need actionable items. I am looking for my resource: self acceptance. How do you accept yourself? How do you show up in groups? I want a “Hell Yes! I am a badass.” Show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.

Confused? Contribute!

Bier Garten Tulips give that sunny feeling.

Bier Garten Tulips give that sunny feeling.

I recently read a short and sweet article on how to solve issues surrounding purpose and motivation by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. His solution is simple: help other people. Since I am one of many who struggles with finding my purpose (actively struggling here), I believe I would benefit from this advice. Being in my mid-20’s, I can see how self-centered my life currently is and I would like to shift my focus from self-serving to providing a service. I am enjoying this phase and doing self-improvement has always been a passion of mine, but I definitely strive to create connections with my community and I feel powerful when I help others. Babauta explains that the most important element of this concept is the shift in focus, from being concerned about one’s own hurdles or blocks, to asking “where can I contribute?”

In order to shift from self-analyzation to community-contributor mode, Babauta lists some excellent questions. “What can I do to help people in need?” or “What problems are out there that strangers might have, that my particular skill set could solve?” I think that this is a brilliant way to reframe our approach to finding purpose in our daily lives. Though simple, this is tricky because it is a significant change in mindset.

I am experimenting with a 14-day challenge based on this article because getting into the habit of shifting focus is one I would like to cultivate. In my last Interchange weekend we engaged in a practice where we laughed for 20 minutes, cried for 20 minutes, and then sat in silence for 20 minutes. This is the ultra-mini version of the Osho Mystic Rose meditation. The goal of this practice is to “bring out all the poison of your being”. It calls upon us to fully engage in the practice of laughter, tears, and observation in order to clear away generations of pain.  The connection for me here is that these things are not so easy, but with regular practice we can make monumental shifts within ourselves. Babauta’s suggestion of lending your focus to others requires you to become more aware of your thought processes and be committed to changing the way you pose questions. The 14 day challenge that I am currently engaged with is just a baby step: I am noticing where and how I contribute to others and my community everyday. I do not push myself to take it past observation, but sometimes it occurs to me “how can I help today?”

RIding your bicycle is an awesome form of activism. It can be silent, humbling, and powerful. Every little thing makes a difference.

RIding your bicycle is an awesome form of activism. It can be silent, humbling, and powerful. Every little thing makes a difference.

Babauta then adds a couple of other steps that are generally great rules to live by. They echo “have the courage to start small.” I have about 20 different 14 day challenges kicking around in my head, but I have to remind myself: Keep It Simple! It is best to focus on one thing. When Stevo and I are analyzing a goal or a task, he asks me what the likelyhood is that I will accomplish it, on a scale of 1-10. If my answer is not a confident 9 or a 10, we back up and come up with a smaller step. In reality, like here and now, of course we all have a bajillion things going on in our lives. But if you can come up with one 14 day challenge, or one intention for your day, your chance of success is much higher. And that’s what we want to do, we want to set ourselves up for success. Why? Because as Babauta writes:

It’s quite nice.”

Yes, quite nice, indeed.

Yes, quite nice, indeed.

The Courage to Start Small

Stumbling upon the Presidio Pond

Stumbling upon the Presidio Pond

My obsession with goals and developing new habits is transforming into a new phase. I have been working with Stevo, sports psychologist at San Francisco CrossFit (SFCF),  for several weeks now. Along with other forms of counseling, this is helping me look at my personal struggles to reach certain outcomes. The sessions and goals that we have had are not what I expected, though I wasn’t sure what to expect anyway. I think everyone I talk to about having a sports psychologist says “What’s a sports psychologist? I didn’t even know that existed.” Ditto. But when Stevo showed up at SFCF, I thought “Yes! Of Course! THIS is IT!” and then I thought “No! Shit, that’s what I want to do!” He has the job and the clients that I want.  Or that I think I want. A great “Aha” moment for me, but the initial sports psychology questions are relevant because I am still learning about the training psychologists receive and what someone like Stevo does on a day-to-day basis. 

What is a sports psychologist? In my experience, it is someone who studies traditional psychology and then specializes in habit building and introduces a mind-body connection. This is what it looks like from the outside to me. The above link describes it a bit more succinctly. It appears to be an incredibly tricky job and working with Stevo has validated my thoughts about why this is so. During a session with a client, how do you tease out important core feelings and emotions, plus talk about overcoming barriers and creating new habits that will improve their performance and life experience? That’s a lot of ground to cover!

Firestarter Sessions Core Feelings Brainstorming

Firestarter Sessions Core Feelings Brainstorming

As I sit here, my mind feels like it is going into explosion mode. This is a feeling that I have been experiencing often lately. Mulling over how a sports psychologist tries to guide you in a particular direction and develop concrete action steps seems like a complex process. I am also experiencing this in Interchange, my counseling training program. I am becoming quite comfortable with the idea that the being is the doing and I know that it can be quite transformative. However, working with my “regular” psychologist, Tonja, and with Stevo, plus watching seasoned Interchange leaders, I know that a great counselor is a trusted guide. Someone who leads us deeper into our dark jungles, lifting tangled vines so that we can progress forward or perhaps just lighting a lantern so that we may find our own way. That’s powerful.

The intersection of beautiful and mysterious.

The intersection of beautiful and mysterious.

So how does it all come together? Stevo asks me how my day is going and then we discuss how the past week has been for me. Have I followed through on my mini goals? Am I being consistent? How did I feel on each day? What was I listening to when I performed my mobility exercises? If I missed a day, why? What were motivating factors for me to mobilize? What made it easier? What made it harder? As it turns out, guilt and accountability are great motivators for me. I am still figuring out how they function and how they manifest in my brain, but those are two themes for me to examine. Everyday I record how I have accomplished my goal, including some minor details about the context. This is the framework within which we dissect the habits that I am building.

Somehow we manage to get through all of the above and move on to larger issues. I have signed up for the CrossFit Open Games and my Level 1 Certification, I am overwhelmed by my hobbies and goal pursuits, I am feeling unfocused and self-conscious. How can I continue to work on these small steps while developing a stronger sense of self and building a career path!? Stevo tells me that if I feel like I am taking on too much, then it IS too much. Well, good, because that’s what I said. “Its too much.” Yet… (cue the Little Mermaid soundtrack) “I want MOOOOORE!” Stevo brings me back to reality with his awesome motto “Have the courage to start small.” Thanks Stevo. [Fist pound.]

Put a bird on it. It will all be OK.

Put a bird on it. It will all be OK.

Tackling the Ocho

Inside the Box.

Inside the Box.

I am realizing why it is so hard for me to post about my 8 goals this November. For several of them, I do not have much to say. I feel that a picture is worth a thousand words and that accomplishing the thing itself was so exhausting that reliving it through writing may be too much for me right now. But since I’ve resolved to blog each goal, I would like to write at least a little something for each. Or at least link/show you what’s up.

Mr. Fix Anything

Mr. Fix Anything gets a letter.


    1. I read a book! There is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Huber: This book is super simple and therefore enjoyable. It is a bit repetitive, but fun and sweet.
    2. I made mail art! I participated in Snail Mail My Email 2012: I have basically already blogged about this, but it’s one of the goals I am most excited about because so many people made awesome letters! Check out the gallery and the map.



    3. I took my bod-photos. This is a difficult one for me to post about because I am really self conscious about it. Inspired first and foremost by San Francisco Crossfit when I did the Paleo Challenge, I am trying to eat better and if not actually lose weight, at least pay attention and monitor my body. Other sources of motivation and information are Robb Wolf, Nerd Fitness, and Mark’s Daily Apple.

      San Fancisco Crossfit and the Parking Lot of Dreams

      San Fancisco Crossfit and the Parking Lot of Dreams

    4. I did not smoke for 30 days: this is a hard one for me to write about because it means that I have to admit that I smoke sometimes. Well, I was smoking too much this summer and I said enough is enough! I know I can drop it (like it’s hot), so I did. Here’s some info on building new habits. Or “How to not suck at building new habits.”
    5. I expressed my feelings when it was difficult for me multiple times and recorded it somewhere… I’m no Penelope Trunk so I won’t get into the super personal details of all the times I had challenging conversations over the past month. At least not at this point in time. But to give you an idea, I apologized when I thought it was important for me to do so, I spoke up for myself, and I gave honest feedback.

      Sometimes this is what expressing yourself feels like.

      Sometimes this is what expressing yourself feels like.

    6. I attended the 2nd Interchange weekend. The theme was Storytelling and Reauthoring: Narrative Therapy.
    7. I got new jobs! Three to be exact. I now work at Biergarten, Suppenkuche, and Lululemon. Wowza. Don’t be shy, come by and say “Hallo!”



    8. I moved to San Francisco! WOO!

      Good people & beer = coping mechanism. Prost to making things happen!

      Good people + beer = Coping Mechanism. Prost to making things happen!