Succeed Book Club Day 3: What Makes You Do Stuff?

Day 3 of the Succeed Book Club. Do you know where your goals come from?

There are a ton of goals you’re working on right now both conscious and subconscious — ways you’re choosing to spend your time.

Here’s what’s influencing your priorities and what can free you to make different choices. From the book by Dr. Heidi Grant.

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Introducing the out-of-thin-air Succeed Book Club

When I read a book, I always wish I had someone to discuss and parse through it with, especially when there’s a lot of meaty stuff to talk about that is relevant to everyday life. What I often do is take notes in my Evernote app to go back and reference later. If I don’t take notes, I will forget too many golden tidbits.

This week, with 2019 rolling in, the timing was perfect to talk about Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Dr. Heidi Grant.

We’re all thinking about how to conquer 2019, aren’t we? She starts off saying to put aside your beliefs about why you’ve succeeded or failed in the past. Tomorrow we’ll get into a little bit of “do this, not that.”

Here’s a quick introduction to the book.

A few days after making this, it occurred to my I mindlessly said that Carol Dweck is the author of Grit. She isn’t! She introduced growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. And a lot of that concept carries into the books of Dr. Heidi Grant, who is her protege.

There are 3 days of videos I will be posting with some fascinating, actionable nuggets from this book! Stay tuned.

(Or you can watch them now on my YouTube channel!)

Why? Why? Why would I subject myself to the ketogenic woe…

And I mean woe…not way of eating.

Ha…I started writing this blog right in the middle of our 3-month ketogenic diet adventure. (I’m publishing this about 10 months later.)

For three straight months, we stuck to fat, veggies, and protein, with as close to zero carbs as we could do.

I hate diets. Why did I do this one?

I had never done a strict diet before. I prefer to eat in moderation. I don’t have an addictive personality prone to binge eating. But I do love food.

It had been 3.5 years since giving birth to my second child, and I still had some pounds to shed.

I had been reading so much about the ketogenic diet for a while, that I finally thought I ought to give it a try. And my sister-in-law Jolly operates a weight loss clinic and is a fan of the diet, so I have a built-in keto consultant!

Sajan usually tries out a diet at the beginning of the year, so I asked him – how about we both do this one together? And he was on board.

I became obsessed with reading up on this way of eating. There’s so much information and so many Facebook groups out there. I loved reading people’s stories about how it changed their life. There can be conflicting information and snobbery about what counts as keto and what doesn’t.

What I Did

My goal was to stay around 30 grams of carbs. I didn’t pay strict attention to fat and protein, other than to make sure my protein intake was moderate. An online calculator said I should consume 60-80 grams of protein and 100 grams of fat, though I rarely reached that level of fat intake.

I was more generous with butter, olive oil, and coconut oil in my meals than usual.

I actually looked forward to coming home and knowing a satisfying dinner would be waiting for me.

For breakfast, I would eat my usual two eggs, but for keto I added some sauteed greens. For lunch, we usually ate chicken thighs and salad, but for keto I added zucchini to the meal. Eventually I also added two cheese sticks.

Dinner had been our weakness before keto. We generally had avoided carbs at dinner, but on the weekends we would go out to eat and the carbs would come flooding in like a tidal wave.

So during keto, we carefully planned every meal.

That was the key.

We had a fear of getting hungry and making bad choices. So each meal, and even snacks, had to be scripted. Continue reading

Making a Compost Bin

Growing up, we always threw scraps into the backyard garden. When I got older, I didn’t continue the practice because I couldn’t always make time to head to the backyard. But I sure did feel guilty every time I threw an egg shell or fruit peel into the trash can.

Finally, I’m mentally ready to use a compost bin. So Sajan made one. I think if we would have used just wood, the construction would have been quicker. I wanted to try chicken wire (aka poultry netting), so it took a little longer to subdue the chicken wire and get all the wood properly attached.


Sajan worked hard on putting it together. Earlier that day he had mowed over our lawn full of brown leaves. He bagged all the leaves.

The next day, Ezra and I poured the leaves into the new bin. It was so fun! Layla had started to help. She asked me to watch the ground and make sure there were no ant piles. Unfortunately, she ended up stepping right into a small hidden ant pile. She didn’t get any bites, but she decided to stay on the patio.

Layla still helped by taking paper towel rolls she had been collecting and ripping them apart. Then Ezra delivered them in multiple trips to the compost. They both had so much fun. It was nice that as a family we could all play a part in bringing the compost together.

And it was refreshing for me to know I don’t have to throw precious things like tea bags and coffee grounds away.

I’m taking it slow. First I want to work with what we have, and at minimum, redirect a few waste items from the landfill. The kids and I have watched a lot of YouTube videos about composting, browns and greens, and different strategies to decompose the material.

At some point, we’ll get some worms and other items in there to make a real compost. For now, we are enjoying learning about composting little by little.

How I Take Notes & Plan My Day

Back in college, there was a time when I would take an extra 12-month calendar that was lying around, write notes on the dates, and use it as my “planner.” I would also find old spirals, like my second grade spelling notebook, tear out the used pages, and use the leftover clean ones to write notes.

At one point, I had been gifted a few different small blank hardcover notebooks, and I used those. I would write the date and my notes below. It’s still pretty helpful because if I’m looking for info, I can go back to an old notebook and flip to the right date to find it. But even this wasn’t quite organized enough.

I realized I don’t like small 5×7-inch notebooks. They’ve got to be blank, not lined, and 8.5×11. I can fit and view more information on bigger pages.

Lined pages mess me up. Here’s why.

  1. They darken up the page, fill it up, and make it boring.
  2. They make it harder for me to control which words on the page get the most attention and importance.
  3. They don’t leave room for drawings.
  4. They don’t leave room for varying layouts of info.
  5. I don’t want to write in straight lines — or even horizontally for that matter — all the time.

The Search for an Unlined Notebook

As 2017 was fast approaching, I looked everywhere for a blank journal/notebook larger than 5×7 inches. It was impossible to find. I had recently used a beautiful pink hardcover unlined notebook from Half Price Books, but I think the company that made it had gone out of business. I even asked around about a bigger unlined notebook in a Bullet Journal Facebook group. No one knew where to find one. There may have been a Leuchtturm brand available, but I didn’t want to spend that kind of money.

In a rush, I went to Target and bought a giant sketch notebook. It was about an inch think and a hassle to carry around. I loved the massive white space in the pages. But it said “SKETCH” in giant letters in the front and looked unprofessional. Eventually I found $4 unlined notebooks on Amazon.  They were perfect. Eventually, I switched over to dot grid. It has the same feel of being unlined, but I can use the grid to keep things looking nice and event.

I use notebooks for about six months at a time before I run out of pages or the book gets too worn looking.

What My Pages Look Like

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