I didn’t use to be much of a procrastinator, but unfortunately it’s a tendency that seems to creep up on me more and more with each passing year. It’s probably a good thing in some ways: back when I was doing my post-bacc, I was so overcommitted in so many directions that I actually couldn’t afford to delay doing anything. And while that wasn’t true for all of grad school, it was true a lot of the time.
My schedule nowadays is more reasonable and forgiving. But without that familiar level of busyness, it’s sometimes difficult to remain as motivated and productive as I used to be. I’m still figuring this transition (from overwork to regular work) out. I seem to be doing so with quite a bit of delaying and dragging my feet.
This week, I came across a tip in Rachel Hershenberg‘s book that was very helpful. Dr.Hershenberg offers the invitation to approach goals, rather than planning on either accomplishing or delaying them.
Appropriately, I didn’t start to implement this tip in any big or dramatic way. I explored it in small ways. When I had a home cleaning or organizing project that needed doing, I invited myself to tidy up or clean one area of my apartment, instead of trying to put aside hours to do the whole apartment at once. When it came to a writing project that I’ve been stuck on, I tried writing a few paragraphs only, and then allowing myself to call it a day.
This was really, really helpful. Giving myself permission to approach things slowly and in stages seems to keep me from getting overwhelmed by my own to-do list. It motivates me to take some action—any action—rather than remaining stuck.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen firsthand how important a softening of expectations can be. In my own nutrition practice, I’m constantly encouraging clients to set more realistic, achievable, and short-term goals (as opposed to the highly ambitious and demanding goals that a lot of all-or-nothing folks are attracted to). The idea of approaching a task is very akin to my friend Maria’s motto of leaving something “better than it was,” rather than perfect, which is a motto that I’ve borrowed from her very gratefully.
But sometimes we need a reminder of something that we already know. When it comes to tendencies that go against our own inborn tendencies (in my case, the tendency to be all-or-nothing in the way that I greet just about everything), we might need constant reminders 🙂
Slow and steady seems to work a lot better for me at this point than the alternative, and it’s easier to practice over time. Wishing you a week of small wins, too. Here are some recipes and reads.
A butternut soup with a spicy kick (and beautiful, deep color) thanks to the addition of harissa.
A cozy, nutritious, and meal-prep friendly curried cauliflower and chickpea bake.
The dreamiest winter comfort food: vegan creamy tortellini and vegetable soup with pesto.
Another dish of stick-to-your ribs, plant-based pasta! A WFPB version of lasagna with Bolognese ragout and béchamel.
Last but not least, something sweet. In this case, perfect vegan teatime scones.
1. I was super inspired by the video in which Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s opens up about her struggle with alopecia. I hope it finds and comforts many others who are struggling with alopecia and other autoimmune diseases.
2. A reminder to greet online claims about probiotics (and all dietary supplements) with a discerning eye, and to gather as much evidence-based information as possible before making an investment.
3. A smart, thoughtful meditation on recipes as a form of science communication from writer Amanda Baker. Couldn’t agree more with her closing line: “It is a process, and – like with any other skill we might seek to develop – just comes down to a willingness to try.”
4. An argument for why preventive action around mental illness on college campuses matters—not at the expense of, but in addition to, treatment options.
5. Finally, I loved this Food52 article about a historical NYC house and the tasty cake recipe that comes from it.
This week, a delightful new muffin recipe (in a flavor combination I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about yet—you’ll see what I mean!). Till then,
Happy weekend! And to those of you who celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, happy new year. I greeted the holiday with Isa‘s vegan challah from Superfun Times and a gathering with my chosen family on Thursday evening. It was a lovely night, rich in conversation and good food. I got to thinking about how five months ago I sat at the exact same table for Passover, my outlook and spirits so different than they are now. I remember how much it took for me…
Years ago, when I had just transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, I spent most of my time secretly hoping that people would ask me why I was vegan. Like many new vegans, I was all conviction and ardor. I felt like a soldier in a great and important battle, and I welcomed a fight. Over time, the desire to take up arms waned. I found that a lot of conversations about my lifestyle felt not like dialogs, but attacks, and I was less prepared for battle…
Sorry to be posting weekend reading late, everyone! The last two days seem to have flown by–but not too fast for me to bookmark a couple of outstanding recipes and compelling reads. We all know that I can’t resist an avocado toast recipe. This one–slathered in homemade dukkah–looks almost too awesome to be true. While we’re on the topic of spice blends, za’atar is one that I wish I used more often, because it’s wonderful. These hemp za’atar sorghum crackers with parsley hummus…
I got into a long conversation about adventures the other day. I was chatting with a friend–a friend who happens to fit my very definition of an “adventurous spirit.” She loves trying new things, taking calculated risks, traveling to new and interesting places. Her curiosity and thirst for new experience is clear in everything she does, whether it’s flying up into an inversion she’s never tried in yoga or tasting an exotic ingredient at a restaurant. Me, I’m a different story. It took me years and…