My 2017 Intentions

You should know something about me. I’m a self-help junkie. It started back in my high school years when Copperfield’s Bookstore was right around the corner from my high school.  Going to Copperfield’s and reading what I wanted to read instead of some classical literature that was deemed “required” sounded so much more appealing to me. Luckily, it was pretty easy to ditch class (go Crushers!). I wouldn’t go as far to say that I was a truant student, but I did find it incredibly fulfilling to head to Copperfield’s and Trader Joe’s (also in the same shopping center) instead of going to class on occasion. While I enjoyed the cookbook and fiction sections, I usually gravitated towards the self-help section. Some of the books I found were quite ridiculous (Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days!), but most fascinated me. I would grab a book, then plop on an overstuffed chair and hope they didn’t notice that I was only planning on reading a few chapters and didn’t have any intention to actually buy the book.

Looking back on it, I should have known then that my future self would want to pursue a career that focuses on motivating people to change their behaviors. That would have been too easy though. Instead, I spent four years getting a degree in Human Development and to this day have no idea how, when and why children development. As long as they are walking and talking, they are cool by me. I think I eventually figured out what I wanted to do though, because I was constantly checking in with myself. Basically, I feel like I treat myself like my own science experiment. I tried turning my husband into my science experiment, but he was resistant to my powers.

I frequently ask myself, “What would happen if I did this?” Then, I proceed to determine if it would be worth it to try whatever crazy idea came to my mind. I usually just keep my findings and experience to myself (because I assume people get sick of me talking about this stuff), but I decided it would be beneficial to share my newest experiments, aka my 2017 intentions, with you. I like the term intentions more than resolutions. These are things I intend to do in 2017 and hopefully forever if I feel like they add value to my life. Sure sometimes my actions might not match my intentions, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give up. Scientists don’t give up on their research; they tweak something and try it again.

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I plan to share my journey through these intentions with you sporadically throughout the year. You may be asking yourself if I intentionally planned to publish this post at a time when most people have sadly given up on New Year’s resolutions. Nope, it just took me this long to post it. My promise to you is to honestly share how my intentions are going and not fluff anything up. For example, I’m currently failing at relying less on technology, because I just got a new phone and am now finding it difficult to disconnect. Knowing that I set this intention for the year is always in the back of my mind though, so my little self-help voice reminds me to just disconnect and walk instead of check my email at the same time.

Do you have any intentions for the year? I’d love to hear about them below!

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Why Lowering the Bar Blog Dropped Off the Face of the Earth

You may have noticed that Lowering the Bar Blog dropped off the face of the earth after getting my feet wet in the blogging world in 2016. Why? The simple answer is that life happened and I didn’t enjoy being on my computer after work. Summer is generally slower time at work (less meetings, more planning), so I am stuck inside on my computer for most of the day. I didn’t love the idea of hopping back on my computer after work. Instead, I went on walks where I continuously told myself that walking in 98 degree weather isn’t that bad or on an adventure with my husband to the batting cages or driving range. I just wanted to be outside.

However, I really enjoyed writing for this blog, so I spent some time trying to dig deeper and understand why I lost total motivation to post. Eventually, the light bulb went off and I realized that I was trying to make this blog into something that I don’t necessarily enjoy. I read a lot of blogs (editors note: seriously a lot of blogs) that post recipes and photos of food. I love reading these blogs and drool over the beautiful photos, but I really, really don’t enjoy taking my own photos of food nor writing recipes. I appreciate food photography and the time and effort that go into it, but I have zero patience or passion for it. After creating something in the kitchen, I want to eat it, not stare at it through my phone screen. I also don’t own a legit camera, which disqualifies me from the food photography club.

Creating recipes also isn’t my favorite thing to do. It takes the joy out of cooking for me. I rarely follow a recipe as written unless it is for baking or an international food that I am not very familiar with cooking. I am a fairly creative person and cooking allows me to express that quality. I like to choose spices based on how I’m feeling, add my own twist and basically just do whatever the hell I want. Sure, there are cooking rules like letting your meat come to room temperature before cooking and letting it rest after cooking that should always be followed, but I like just trying things to see what happens. When I am in this zone, I rarely remember exactly what I did (not wine related). The thought of actually having to slowly add salt with a measuring spoon until I reach the perfect recipe worthy amount, then writing this down on a piece of paper sounds terrible. Rather, I grab a pinch or (more often) a bunch of salt out of our salt jar, throw it in the food, and hope it was the right amount. Sometimes this method doesn’t work very well with red chili pepper flakes…

So, what does all of this mean? I promise there is a purpose to this rant. I am going to make this blog something I enjoy rather than try to fit into a mold of what my mind thinks it should be. I won’t feel sorry for the terrible photos of food that I post. I won’t feel guilty for posting a recipe without exact measurements, but I will write about what truly inspires me and gets me all worked up. Some weeks I may post our weekly meal plans and other weeks I may post about things that drive me crazy, like food marketing to kids. Basically, I’m going to let loose at Lowering the Bar Blog. There may be no rhyme or reason to the posts and some may even be posted week’s apart (gasp!). I just want to write and share my thoughts about health, wellness and life with you. I invite you to come along for the journey, but you have to promise you won’t hold me to any blog standards; because I’m Lowering the Bar for my blog standards.