My Compound Effect Project

Day 22…

It takes 21 days to create a habit, they say… Today I am at DAY 22!!

On June 1st I started my journey to a healthier life for the one millionth time. 

If you’ve been following my blog over the years you may be rolling your eyes now and thinking here we go again and understandably so, but bear with me because this time will be different.

Yes… I know I’ve also said that before and you have no faith in my words anymore but I’m asking for a little trust here… Trust that this time my approach is different, trust that this time I’m more committed than ever before, trust that this time it’s more than just about losing the pounds but a move to literally change and possibly save my life.

When I turned 27 on April 30th this year I decided that the next year of my life would be life changing. I had already set the ground work over the past year for some bold moves to come and I am ready to move full seed ahead. I detailed my goals and my next steps in my little notebook and immediately started to figure out how I’d be achieving them.

One such goal is to learn as much as possible from some of the greatest minds in the world. From this goal my Journey to 300 books was born (a quest to read 300 books that will ultimately make me the best version of myself). I opted to start with books about life lessons and Book3of300 is what gave me the nudge I needed to restart my journey to a healthier me.

Book3of300 is Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect which I listened to free of charge on mixcloud.com. The principle the book teaches is very simple but really profound and I plan to listen to it a few more times over the next few months.

In his book Hardy posits that if you make small changes, and commit to them over time the results will be compounded and inevitably yield amazing results. This resonated with me because every time I have embarked on my weight-loss or healthy lifestyle journey in the past I literally ran into it trying to change everything all at once and of course I would always lose steam after a week or two.

I listened as Hardy advised that in order to create new and healthy habits I would first need to become acutely aware of my bad habits. I would have to understand what caused these habits and what contributes to their success and eventually it would be easier to break them. There is no magic formula, there is no overnight sustainable fix… this would  take time and I will have to commit.

Before I even got to wondering how I would be able to achieve my desired results Hardy provided the answer. TRACKING!! Choose one thing you want to change and spend 21 days tracking every detail relating to it, he said, and so my food tracking began.

I bought a small notebook that goes everywhere I do and everything that goes to my mouth gets recorded. I’ve only forgotten to make the recording for two days over that period while I was working and quickly moved to rectify that.

I must confess that after 21 days I am surprised at how my eating has changed. By week two I had started to rethink some things I would normally eat because I started to feel a little cute about the possibility of using a second page for one day. And for week three I had started to plan from the night before what I wanted to eat for the following day and moved to pack a lunch kit to take to work with healthier snack options.

On Day 21 I decided to visit a nutritionist for a consultation. The cost burnt a hole in my pocket and his recommendation of a two week juice only detox programme along with exercise has hurt my heart but I’m busy figuring out how to fund it all because afterall, I only have one body and would love to be able to fit into my clothes again and would love to enjoy it for many years to come!

PS… I was craving a slice of Oreo cheesecake to celebrate my 22 DAY 22 milestone but then I’d have to write that down in my little notebook and that wouldn’t look too good with all the progress I’ve made… So I’ll just smile as I eat this Oikos Black Cherry Yogurt and prepare for my upcoming 14 day juice only detox programme…

Stay with me on my journey, I have a feeling it’s going to be an exciting ride.

I’ll keep you posted!

~Shermaine

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2017… One Day at a time

It’s hard for me to believe that we’re only two months into 2017 as so much has happened to me and with me over the past few weeks.

I’ve been blissfully happy and painfully sad, laughed til I cried and just plain cried because I didn’t know what else to do… I started this year with an overall plan for improved health, wealth, friendships and adventures and so far it’s been an emotional ride.

Looking back I’m thankful for each experience and I am both excited and scared for what the rest of the year will bring.

So far this year I…

  • spent a whole day catching up with two of my dearest friends
  • took a trip to California and spent a week attending the Special Event Show and exploring Long Beach and Hollywood
  • bought a purse that cost more than all the purses I’ve ever bought for myself combined
  • worn makeup more times that I did for all of last year combined (if you know me you know this is a significant achievement)
  • took a trip to Westwood High with the bestie to attend the launch of our 135th anniversary celebrations (first time back in 10 years),
  • freaked out about work thinking that it’s all too much and I’m in over my head
  • felt frustrated by work and feeling like I’ve reach my limit with my current department
  • found the faith to remind myself that all things are possible through God
  • planned and executed two major live shows (Magnum Live and Redemption Live Concerts) … while working on several other projects as well
  • Bought into my company’s IPO… got a good enough number of shares that have now doubled in value in just three weeks
  • cleared a COK Debt con loan that I had taken out two years ago to pay off the Student’s Loan Bureau
  • lent money to someone I swore I never would again because he said he’d otherwise end up in jail
  • keep switching between giving up on the weight loss plan and being very motivated to keep going
  • “runalked” the Sagicor Sigma 5k run in 53:11 minutes
  • went on a “venue hunting” site visit  which turned into a road trip to Westend in Negril… absolutely stunning venues!!
  • gone through last term’s reports with the kids and dealt with the fact that 2 out of three are failing school
  • hit an all time low feeling I have failed the kids and they in turn have started to fail school
  • gotten angrier at my mother’s first born for her lack or contribution to her kids and her lack of concern that they are now failing
  • got a Valentine’s gift that melted my heart… “Nuts about you” he said 🙂
  • had to accept the fact that  Canadian High Commission didn’t trust that I would return home after visiting their country so they denied my request for a temporary resident’s visa… which ultimately means my plans to travel to see the hubby for his birthday next month are cancelled
  • cried myself to sleep realizing that I will not be seeing the hubby for another 5 months at least
  • missed out an a chance to visit lime cay for the first time ever cause I was too scared on going on the yacht because I can’t swim…
  • tried to encourage others to be their best selves even while admitting that I have a long way to go
  • spent waaaay too much money between the Dermatologist and the Dentist

I could go on, really I could… but for now I’ll stop here. Let’s see what more is in store for me this year…

As the journey continues I remain committed to improving health, wealth, friendships and adventures.

Cheers!

~ Shermaine

The “Mischievious” workings of God

I know, I know… The saying is that “God works in mysterious way” but my grandmother said it differently.

My Grandmother died when I was very young so I’ve never actually heard her describe the workings of God but I’ve heard the stories.

During a testimony in church one day she called on the congregation to “Praise the Lord” as she talked about the “mischievous” ways in which god had worked in her life. Of course she didn’t quite get the idiom (if I can call it that) correct but she wasn’t wrong…

God has the most amazing sense of humour ever. Of course most of us can’t take a joke so we might not realize this but the Big Man is constantly sending us things to make a rough day feel lighter.

I was watching the movie Evan Almighty on Sunday  night (surprisingly for the first time). While the movie is fictional it got me thinking of the factual “mischievous” workings of God.

In the movie Joan Baxter (Lauren Graham) leaves her husband Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) because she (and everyone else) believes he is going crazy. To be fair to her she had a good reason. Which modern man builds an ark and of all places in New York?

Anyway after she left home and is at a restaurant, a programme on TV is making fun of her husband and that’s when God (Morgan Freeman) appears to her. He gets her to open up and she talks about the strange way in which her husband had been acting.

His response to her happened to be the most profound message I got from this movie.

He asked her about how she thinks God works.

“If  someone prays for patience does God give him patience or does he give him the opportunity to be patient?” he asked.

He continued… “If someone prays for courage does God give them courage or give them the opportunity to be courageous?”

This statement resonated with me. For the past few months I’ve consistently prayed for patience. In September I wrote a blog post (I Pray for Patience) about my quest to become a more patient person following some difficulties at work.

Could this have been a direct message to me and is God working in mischievous ways in my life right now?

My boss might be the most annoying person I’ve ever come across and if dealing with him isn’t a grande opportunity to be patient I don’t know what is.

So from here on out, lets see if rather than complaining that my boss gets on my nerves I can learn to handle it :).

Another lesson I learnt from that movie was with relation to the building of an ark in New York City. The literal ark was necessary in the movie because developers had cut corners and the dam was to break and all the people would’ve drowned without it but there’s more to the ark than boards and nails.

At the end of the movie we realize that the modern day ark is not a wooden structure on which you’ll load a pair of each animal but rather Acts of Random Kindness (ARK) which are much much easier to do.

It’s holding a door for someone, giving an elderly person or a pregnant lady your seat on the bus. Building an everyday ark is in saying I’m sorry when you’re wrong and in helping a child to cross the street. It is in asking someone how they are doing and actually stopping to listen… and the list goes on.

Often times we have not a clue the far reaching effect that our ARK has on others.

So… who said movies were mere fiction? Evan Almighty was shown on TV at a time when I would be watching to remind me that God works in “Mischievous” 🙂 .

– Sherjei.