Connected, yet so Disconnected

A few weeks ago, my phone found itself sitting in a pile of water next to the sink (aka I put it there). I was trying to be “disconnected,” and intentionally not look at my phone for a few hours while I was hanging out with my friends. Sure enough, a few hours later, I come back to the kitchen to check on my phone and notice that the screen has noticeable water damage. I immediately power my phone off, panic, ask for some rice, and stick my phone inside, praying that my phone will be resurrected.

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What I noticed throughout the next few days as I “patiently” (not really) waited for my phone to dry out is that, as much as I hate to admit it, I am so dependent on my phone. I rely on it for communication, killing time when I am bored (looking at you Facebook), and filling up the silence during my commute. Without it, I felt extremely naked and anxious that I was missing an important text. In fact, I took my iPad with me for the next few days to hopefully connect to wifi wherever I was and use it like a phone. Yes, I have an iPad and an iPhone and a MacBook. I am the poster child of successful Apple marketing.

Why is it that we are all so connected via Facebook, Snapchat, etc, yet feel so disconnected? Sometimes, I know more about my friends through their social media than I would if I just talked to them. I know that my friend took a random trip to New York for the weekend, and I know that my housemate got a free coffee at our favorite coffee shop.

So many times in big groups, I find myself checking my phone along with everyone else. Here we are, trying to “bond,” but are staring at our phones entranced in this world hidden behind a bright screen. I find myself in my living room with all my housemates, each of us blocked by our laptops watching Netflix, clacking away working, or clicking the refresh button to see if there are any new Facebook statuses.

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And the ironic thing is, I’m doing it right now! I’m in the living room, clacking away on my laptop, while my housemate is on his laptop. I think we’ve spoken a few sentences to each other, maybe.

PS: I’m all about this article. Do not disturb is one of my favorite (next to Night Shift) updates in iOS9. Thank you Apple.

Fitness Goals for 2017

Disclaimer: This draft was 5 months old when I picked it back up today, but it is funny to go back and take a look at my 2016 and 2017 goals, ha!

I’m all about goals. At the end of 2016, I randomly discovered and instantly bought Lara Casey’s Powersheets, which has turned out to be a really great way for me to be intentional about setting my goals, checking in on them on a daily basis, and reminding myself that it’s about “progress not perfection,” as Lara Casey always says.

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Now, I find that setting fitness goals tend to be the easiest for me, because they are easy to measure and take steps towards achieving. For example, if you wanted to get one strict pull up, you could start by taking measurable steps towards getting one, rather than a lofty goal of “be a better friend.” The goals below are mostly fitness related. By end of 2016, here were the goals I wanted to accomplish:

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Fitness:

  1. Get 30 consecutive double unders. –> didn’t accomplish this in 2016, but as of March 4, 2017 I got my 30 consecutive double unders!
  2. Do 8 strict pull ups in a row. –> Can do 5, so tabling this to 2017. 🙂
  3. String together 3 kipping pull ups. –> YES! Not sure if happened in 2016 or 2017, but I’m not going to sweat it, because I can do these, yay!
  4. String together 10 toes to bar. –> Haven’t worked on these, but I can string at least 5!
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Anyone else feel this way? 🙂

Here are my long fitness term goals for 2017:

  1. Consistently do double unders in a WOD. My goal for March is to do 30 consecutive double unders, which I got on 3/4/2017, so now my new March goal is to do 40. 🙂
  2. String together 20 kipping pull ups in a WOD. 
  3. Handstand walk the distance from the rigs to the wall (5 mats). So far, I have been able to walk the length of 3 mats.

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    My brother and I trying to synchronize handstands on the sunny beaches of Santa Monica.

  4. Get a bar muscle up. This may be a stretch, but baby steps! Maybe for the Crossfit Open in 2018. 😉
  5. Do the 3 WODs RX in the Crossfit OpenI’ve RX’d one so far (17.1), so I have 2 more options!

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    “Friday Night Lights” at my gym for 17.1!

  6. String together 20 toes to bar.
  7. Get 5 handstand push ups.

I have many other goals, including no social media past 7:30 pm, stretching before bed, and eating gluten and dairy free, because those do not make me feel well! Maybe, I’ll post something about March goals, but if not, then April, yay!

Go get after your goals!

-Eann

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2016 in Pictures

Happy 2017 to you! I know I am a little late to the game, but I tend to avoid any computer type things over the holidays, so I am just now getting to write a few blog posts that are long overdue. If you’re one of the few readers reading this, I’ve got blog posts for 2017 goals, some recipes (what?!), my favorite cookbooks, the power of a hug, etc. So stay tuned, folks, it’s going to be a wild ride. 😉

As I was reflecting back on 2016, I am mostly amazed by how God turned my sorrow into seeds that I am just now seeing the fruits of. I began 2016 in deep sadness and loneliness that words cannot really describe, which led to my thoughts on friendship. Through persistent prayer and some intentional coffee dates, I can look back and see how God answered my prayer for deeper friendships.

Here are a few highlights:

  • I graduated from graduate school in June.
  • I started a job as a Software Developer in Cambridge, MA.
  • I traveled to Taiwan, Japan, New York, and Los Angeles.
  • I fell more in love with Boston (for the record, I truly hated Boston when I moved here for school in 2011, so this is wildly unexpected).
  • I made lots of yummy food in our new kitchen and learned more healthy recipes that I imagine I will share with you at some point.

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Here’s to the new year!

3 Ways to Strengthen Your Willpower.

Have you ever found yourself trying to eat healthier, start a new job, exercise more, and spend less money all to find yourself mentally exhausted and face first in a box of Oreos?

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No? Me neither.

Maybe you were able to pull it off for a week, but eventually decisions became so hard and your mind just couldn’t stop churning. It seemed like nothing you wanted to accomplish happened.

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Enter the concept of willpower. According to Kelly McGonigal, PhD and author of The Willpower Instinct, “the willpower response is a reaction to an internal conflict. You want to do one thing, such as smoke a cigarette or supersize your lunch, but you know you shouldn’t. Or you know you should do something, like file your taxes or go to the gym, but you’d rather do nothing.”

How willpower gets depleted

Willpower is finite. We only have so much, and it runs out as we use it. Each decision we make and each resistance depletes our one tank of willpower. McGonigal states that “trying to control your temper, ignore distractions, or refuse seconds all tap the same source of strength.”

Willpower is like a muscle. We can fatigue it, but we can also strengthen it by training it.

How to strengthen your willpower

  1. Minimize the number of decisions in the morning. If you start the day already depleting from your tank of willpower, then you’re more susceptible to decision fatigue later in the day. These seemingly simple decisions, such as – What am I going to eat for breakfast? What am I going to wear? Should I go to the gym? How am I going to get to work?, can start to add up. Examples of minimizing decisions include:
    • Setting out your workout and/or work clothes the night before.
    • Meal plan and know what you’re going to eat for breakfast.
    • Pack your lunch the night before.
    • Decide the night before if you are going to the gym. Then stick with it the next morning!
  2. Avoid temptation. If you are tempted, have an if/then plan. If you can’t eat ice cream without eating the whole pint (or tub), then don’t keep it in your house. Know your weaknesses, and make an if/then plan for when you encounter them. Some examples:
    • IF I am craving ice cream and I really want it and decide it is worth it, THEN I need to go out of the house and buy it.
    • IF I get less than 7 hours of sleep,THEN I will sleep in and either go to the gym later or go for a walk after dinner.
    • IF I go to a party where there are sabotaging foods,THEN I will only eat foods that are gluten and dairy free.
  3. Rather than “I can’t,” think about “I choose to.” Instead of thinking about resisting, I find it helpful to tweak my  mindset an think about my freedom of choice. For example, rather than thinking to “I can’t have a brownie,” I have found it beneficial to think “I choose not to have a brownie, because I’ve already had 3 cookies today, I don’t want it.”

Now, I am not saying that I have “mastered” willpower by any means, but these are just a few tips that I try to incorporate in my daily routine. Maybe, they will help you too. 🙂

Your Name is Victory… Right?

All praise will rise to Christ our King.

I went to bed last night in an attempt to get a good night’s sleep and wake up to find out who our next president would be. After all, spending all night watching the red and blue map of the United States seemed pretty stressful, and I’m all about minimizing stress these days.

About every few hours, I woke up, checked the time, then went back to bed, telling myself “not yet.” Finally, about fifteen minutes before my 5 am alarm, I woke up at 4:45 am and decided it was time to check the results of the election…

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You’ve got to be kidding me.

This must be a dream.

There is no way Donald Trump won. How?!

Let me check a few other sites. Maybe CNN is punking me.

Wow. Donald Trump…

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As I slowly got ready for the gym, I was in shock, as I’m sure many of you are. There were very few people, as I’m sure many people stayed up late watching the results and hoping it was all a dream. Or they’re crying in their cornflakes. Probably both.

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New York Times – you had ONE job!

I feel a lot of things, and they are all so conflicting. I am genuinely confused how this happened. How did Trump win nearly half the popular vote just as Hillary did? Clearly, there is a portion of the population that truly believes he will turn things around. I am sad that people in old factory/industrial areas are hurting – how fed up they are and how unheard they have felt for so many years. I am ticked off by the inappropriate, racist, sexist comments that have been made public and acted as a platform to win voters. I am discouraged that this is not over. I am worried that our country is so divided.

Yet, despite all of this, I see many Bible verses and claims that Jesus ultimately sits on the throne, which I believe to be true, but how do I reconcile all of my feelings, especially as a believer? Am I allowed to feel discouraged, sad, and angry? Or am I supposed to be peppy, joyful, and hopeful?

Honestly, I’m having trouble fixing my eyes on Jesus and reminding myself that He is Lord, when I feel so numb inside. I didn’t expect to have such strong feelings about this election, but I think that’s because I never truly thought that this could actually become a reality. And here we are. This is not a dream.

So what do we do? My mind says to hope and dream, to not be weighed down by man (even if he is the president), and to place my hope in Jesus Christ. Yet, my heart is raw, my soul is tired, and my strength is weary.

Today, I will let my feelings be my feelings. I will curl up with my favorite book, sit with my housemates, and cook a delicious meal. But tomorrow (or hopefully soon thereafter) I hope to replace my feelings with what I know to be true.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” -1 Tim. 2:1-4

“Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it… Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” – HRC

Welcome.

Hello friend!

So, as it turns out, I’ve started a blog. I’ve always wanted to, and have even kept a small travel blog to document my adventures through college. Yet, I’ve also always been hesitant to put all my thoughts “out there.” Would anyone care? Would people Google me and judge me based on my website? Do I have even anything to say?

I still don’t know the answer to those questions, but as I finished Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, I was inspired to engage and test the “power of embracing your messy, beautiful life.” According to StrengthsFinders, one of my strengths is “Communicator,” and one of the action items is to “practice telling stories or saying these words by yourself, out loud.” Thus, this is my attempt at testing my strength and figuring out for myself what being a “communicator” means.

Here, I plan to write about my random musings, health and fitness, food adventures, and whatever else happens to be on my mind. A few things on my mind right now in the queue:

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read about the random things I have to say. I hope it’s worth your time, and I apologize in advance if it’s not. 🙂

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Washing my hands in Kyoto, Japan. Who knew it could be so much fun?