Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Motivation

Do you ever have trouble with motivation?

I used to have trouble with weight loss motivation.  There was so much going on in my day that I didn't have the energy or focus to make it happen. But then, there were other things holding me back as well.  Now that I've managed to confront and address all of those things, the motivation to eat well and exercise has been pretty consistent, even on days that are more challenging.  I almost always get 60 to 90 minutes in, and I almost always eat about 1400 calories of nourishing, healthy food.

What I find missing now... is the motivation for everything else!  Tom and I both freelance and are working on our own projects, and so we don't have the regular 9-to-5 that provides automatic structure to our days.  We get on a good path and make terrific progress - inertia is our friend! -  but the second we get redirected by some unexpected event, inertia is our enemy.

After I stumbled on a terrific blog post by The Token Fat Girl, I thought it might be fun and productive to create a list of things that would make each day or week awesome.  It was EXACTLY what I needed today - it gave me a boost of motivation to strengthen my productivity the way I've been strengthening my body.  So here's my list:

Take care of my body:
  • Exercise.  At Slimmons, evenings T/T/S, for 90 minutes.  At YMCA all other days, mornings for 60 minutes.
  • Food.  Plan and shop for all meals on Sundays, aim for 1400 calories daily, following Food Mover.
  • Shower.  First thing on Slimmons days. Immediately after pool on YMCA days.
  • Teeth.  Brush morning and night, floss and mouthwash morning.
  • Face.  Wash in the shower and at night.  Mask once a week.
  • Medicine.  Morning.  No exceptions.
  • Lotion.  Before bed.
  • Fashion.  Select a cute outfit on workdays AND weekends.  Stay up to date with tailoring and purchases as my sizes change.
  • Medical.  Make and keep doctor, therapy, and dentist appointments.

Tend to my environment:
  • Kitchen.  Put away clean dishes in the morning, load washer throughout day, run in the evening.
  • General tidying.  Pick up kitchen, living room and bedroom daily.
  • Laundry.  Put clean and dirty clothes in their proper places. Wash swim laundry the same day it's made. Do a few loads each week instead of waiting until I'm out of underwear. (This will get more important as I update the wardrobe with smaller clothes, and have fewer of them.)
  • Bathrooms.  Clean and mop once weekly.

Manage my business:
  • Make lists.  Create my daily "Five To Do" list each morning before 9 AM.
  • Regroup.  Attend our daily "team meeting" each morning at 9 AM, to discuss to-do lists and start work for the day.
  • Focus.  Refrain from internet and television during working hours (excepting one hour lunch break.)
  • Be proactive.  Manage paperwork as it arrives.
  • Budget.  Enter expenditures as they are made.  Have weekly budget meeting.

Nurture my spirit and creativity:
  • Projects.  Work on my writing projects for at least 4 hours on work days.
  • Blog.  Write 1 entry per day.
  • Journal.  Do morning pages every morning.  (More on The Artist's Way in an upcoming entry.)
  • Refill my well.  Take an artist date weekly.
  • Embrace adventure.  Try new things at least once weekly.
  • Center.  Pray and meditate daily.
  • Relax.  Plan time to rejuvenate myself through rest and creative input instead of output.
  • Don't play computer games.  They kill my creativity. And my productivity.

Connect with my friends and loved ones:
  • Online.  Reach out via Facebook, blogs, LoT, LiveStrong - once at lunch and once in the evening.
  • Respond.  Answer emails and messages as they arrive.
  • Call. Talk to family on a regular basis.
  • Write.  Send one letter/email each day.
  • Honor birthdays. I've been terrible at this, and I really want to change it.
  • Network.  Have one meeting or discussion to expand work circles, once weekly.

Just doing this exercise was refreshing for mind and spirit.  I feel excited to get started... and keep going.  I sure hope this isn't the emotional equivalent of buying organizational tools at The Container Store, only to drown in clutter two weeks later.  But all I can do is put my best foot forward.  Many of these things I already do, though sporadically. Or I have done with success in the past.  So... sally forth and tally ho!

What's on your awesome-day list?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great schedule- it is great when inertia works for you, but I totally understand about how it can so work against you! And by sharing it, it makes you more accountable.

    Keep up the great progress! I look forward to helping you with your "keeping in touch with friends" item- we have lots to catch up on!