To begin a Master Action List, write down or type absolutely everything no matter how small. Develop the list without considering the importance or significance of each item. You will do this later. Remove everything out of your head and get it onto your list. Write down all things for which you have even the smallest responsibility to change, finish, get involved with or handle. Once completed, create sub lists by grouping and consolidating similar actions. Some tasks may be associated with certain days of the week or need to be done in a specified location or even with a particular person. Categories can be things like errands, calls to make/return, online actions, computer work, things pending or awaiting response, house projects, bills/finance, etc.
Hearty, flavorful and full of fiber, Brussels sprouts make an awesome addition to a healthy detox diet. Not only can they promote regularity to get things moving, but Brussels sprouts have also been shown to boost liver health and enhance detoxification. In fact, one study published in Carcinogenesis showed that eating just 300 grams of Brussels sprouts daily was able to amp up the levels of detox enzymes by a whopping 30 percent. (2)
I haven’t smoked since that morning. Re-entry into real life post-retreat was pretty rocky, but I still did not pick them back up. The first few nights, my sleep was riddled with drinking nightmares. I also had a cigarette-smoking dream (Amy Dresner was there, also smoking, and super pissed off about having to order pizza for a bunch of hyper women in recovery. Bizarre!)
Mostly, I’m overcome with joy at the opportunity. If I was still actively addicted, this trip would be unlikely. If it happened, chances are I’d jeopardize myself by getting lost, going home with the wrong person, or getting kicked off a plane for being impaired and obnoxious. Instead, I’m wide eyed, awake and life feels quite complete. If I die, it will be knowing I’ve made amends for my mistakes, and I won’t be embarrassed by what anyone finds on my phone or in my closets at home. (Maybe a tiny bit embarrassed, but whatever. I’m human. I’m single. It’s not that weird.)
Knight, who favors the shouty, super-caffeinated tone of a spin-class instructor, calls herself a “bestselling anti-guru.” She is particularly proud of the best-selling part, and it’s easy to see why her approach appeals. The phrase THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU takes up two full pages of her first chapter. She agrees with Storr that what is wrong is society, or, rather, the “random, stupid obligations set forth by society—whether to be nice or thin or to act submissive or sane.” Sanity seems not to be an entirely random or stupid social obligation, but never mind. Knight’s point is to encourage her readers to embrace themselves as they are, warts and all, and to help them do so she proposes strategies like “mental redecorating” (recasting one’s weaknesses as strengths), embracing pessimism (to be pragmatic and set realistic expectations), being selfish (advocating for one’s needs), dwelling on the thought of death (to maximize happiness while alive), and “breaking free from the Cult of Nice.” Knight is happy to demonstrate the latter. “You have to stop giving a fuck about what other people think,” she tells us.
Exercising at least 20 minutes each day can have enormous health benefits. Most people don’t make exercise a habit, and in turn, suffer from a lack of vitality. The body needs to move and you need to break a sweat, for it to be considered exercise. And, while walking 10,000 steps each day increases your overall health, it’s not the same as exercising.
One extra note here: Chewing your produce has benefits over sipping it. It could take two heads of romaine lettuce to produce one cup of juice, and while two heads of romaine would leave you satisfied, a small cup of green juice probably won’t put a dent in hunger. Though you’ll get many of the same vitamins and minerals, juicing removes the fiber, which not only helps you fill up, but also provides important nourishment on its own.
My first reaction to rejection is shame. It feels like a sharp weapon, and causes deep painful injuries if we allow it. I default to self-condemnation and self-doubt. But there’s another option. I don’t have to be a victim, and I don’t have to turn to self-loathing. It’s totally possible to reframe my thinking. (Hint: I learned this in Mindfulness courses!)
Similarly, podcasts are a great on-the-go news source. And a lot of the time they’re just what you need to unwind without completely wasting away in front of the TV (not that I have anything against relaxing that way). I’m a big fan of tackling one podcast during my commute—half of it on the way to work, half on the way back, and the stories always bring out some real emotions. (For reference, my favorites are This American Life and You’re the Expert.)