Finding joy in losing light.

Get S.M.A.R.T., not S.A.D.!

It’s no body break slogan but it’ll serve its purpose today.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder is starting to turn its ugly head in a few people that are near and dear to me. Each day I whisper to the trees in the park on the corner of my street asking them to hold onto their bright red, orange and yellow leaves for a few more days.

Yesterday morning, Daylight Savings Time and all, I woke to a lovely sunrise, which invigorated me to bring some cheer into the pitch-dark evenings.  I began searching for ways to carry this one brief, joyous late fall morning into the dark days of winter ahead. The Happiness Project was certainly lackluster, but I was prompted nonetheless to take on activities that bring me joy in a timely manner. Now that I have lived through the majority of my twenty-something years, I am a bit wiser to what helps and hurts my body. It has been well proven that your belly and your brain feed of each other – when one suffers so does the other. With that in mind I realized it was important to pick a few of my favourite things that would bring me comfort both emotionally and physically.

This November I am challenging myself to 30 days of embracing the following in big and small ways:

Movement. Cooking. Art&Music. Reading. Writing. Friendship.

But, how could I take the things I love and turn them into something tangible and measurable?

Formal goal setting seems to hang around the workplace and New Years Eve, but where does it live throughout the rest of the year? How does it fit in to our personal life and well-being? You may have heard of the “Third Metric” a new buzzword circulating to try and measure the worth of eating well, sleeping well, and just enjoying life! The researcher in me was curious as how this measurement stacks up for me and furthermore how I could enhance my current standing.

The S.M.A.R.T. model of goal setting fell into my lap during a friendly chat with my primary health provider. Stanford has kindly researched this goal model and deemed it one if not the best structure to increase success. During our chat about this model, she stated that if you fail, it is because your goal failed, not you. Accordingly, you must get real about your barriers and your constitution and confidence surrounding each goal. Sign me up, it seems like a worthy resource tool to have on my side.

Stanford-GoalSetting-Board

S – Attend 4 movement classes a week (yoga, pilates, dance).

M – Track my attendance on my calendar.

A – Yes, sign up for 30 days unlimited classes at Yogathletix in my neighbourhood.

R – I have budgeted for the expense & my bestie Julia is signing up with me for moral support.

T – I will be taking on this physical challenge during November.

I will report back on the [M]easurable aspect of my progress weekly accompanied by a sweet recipe of the food that is keeping me sated and energized.

Wish me luck, but remember I’ve got Stanford and a plan on my side!

P.S. if you would like to join and post your own S.M.A.R.T. goal or what you are doing to combat the end of fall blues, I would love to hear from you.

** Update for week ending November 3rd: I attended three formal classes, one fitness and two yoga. Not bad considering November just started on Friday. I’m keeping that body movin’!**

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