I had a ton to accomplish yesterday, but all I wanted to do was stay in my PJs, snuggle with Peanut, watch Bravo and read magazines. It took me a while, but I eventually got moving and ended up being SO productive. I think we all go through unmotivated spells at one time or another and they seem to strike when we have the most to accomplish. Here are a few things I’ve found can help get my rear in gear:
- Make a To-Do List: Putting everything down on paper is a great place to start. Even if there are a lot of items, it still feels doable whereas having all of my “must do this, must do thats” swimming around in my head feels overwhelming. Once the list is made, I can prioritize the tasks and get to work. For me, there’s something so gratifying about crossing a task off the list with good ol’ pen & paper. For those of you who are a bit more “all tech, all the time” :), I know Kath is a big fan of todoist.com.
- Move It, Move It: There’s something about exercise that makes me a to-do list tackling machine. I’ve read many studies about how upping your heart rate and releasing those happy hormones can make us more productive. For me, it has as much to do with getting my head in the game as it does with my physical response. Exercise makes me feel strong and empowered. If I’m doing a repetitive exercise (running, walking, elliptical, cycling), my mind will wander to developing a plan to accomplish the things I need to get done. I’ve also been known to compose blog posts in my head during this time. 🙂
- Put Your Best Face Forward: I left my full-time job in December to stay home with Peanut. For the first couple of days, I stayed in my PJs all day, rarely brushed my hair and makeup? Forget about it! Peanut was taken care of. Beyond that I was largely unproductive. That’s when I decided to treat being a stay-at-home mom just like my desk job schedule. I made a commitment to getting out of my PJs (even if it is just changing into yoga pants, a t-shirt and flip flops most days), doing something with my hair and putting on makeup every day. It was amazing how much more I accomplished. Most people who work outside the home or go to school don’t really have the option of staying in PJs all day. However if you find yourself getting up 5 minutes before you have to leave, trying getting up 10 minutes earlier and spending that time on yourself. It has nothing to do with appearances to other people. It’s all about you and showing yourself know that you’re vested and care about you.
- Fuel Up: To food bloggers this might be obvious, but you need the right foods as fuel to give you energy. Skipping meals is NOT a good idea, even if you’re busy.
I used all of these strategies to get me going yesterday. I made my to-do list while feeding Peanut and eating my unphotographed oats. The first item on my list was RUN! I really wasn’t feeling it and tried every excuse I could think of to talk myself out of it. “My head’s still really plugged up.” “Is it okay to take Peanut outside with an ear infection?” “I think my hip might be hurting a little today.” “The front tire on the stroller looks a little low.” “I don’t think I have any clean sports bras.” ENOUGH! It was on my list and that made me want to go just for the sake of crossing it off. I bundled Peanut up (She was so cute in her little hat!), laced up and headed out the door. I completed Week 7, Day 1 of Couch to 5k which was a 5 minute brisk walk followed by 25 minutes of uninterrupted jogging. I was pretty slow, but felt accomplished when I finished. Peanut was asleep in the stroller so I backtracked my route and added 30 minutes of brisk walking to round out my hour. 646 calories burned according to my Polar F6.
When I got home, I showered, changed clothes, pulled my hair back and put on my Bare Escentuals. I prepared a quick lunch of baked whiting fish, black eyed peas and cucumber slices. Yum! Not very many calories, but very filling.
After lunch I cranked the tunes and got to cleaning. I vacuumed and moped the living spaces, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, hand-washed pots & pans, changed bed linens and did a lot of declutterring. In the meantime, I did 6 loads of laundry and put them ALL away. I took a break for a cup of hot tea before tackling the bathrooms.
I may have a new favorite tea: darjeeling.
I’m a big fan strong black teas. The description on the box of this darjeeling said it was a black tea, but likened it to the muscatel grape so I was expecting something a little fruitier. What I got was a delicious black tea that was even stronger than the Twinings English Breakfast & Irish Breakfast teas are two of my favorites. It was absolutely delicious!
My husband called just as I finished cleaning his bathroom (gross!) and I switched to dinner mode. I had a second cup of darjeeling tea while I browned the ground beef for our Cheeseburger & Fries casserole.
~2lbs. extra lean ground beef
~1 can cheddar cheese soup
~1 can golden mushroom soup
~1 small onion, chopped
~1 bag crinkle-cut frozen french fries
Brown the ground beef with the onion. Stir in both cans of soup. Spread the mixture evenly in a 9x13x2 inch baking dish. Top with the fries, spread into an even layer. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-55 minutes.
Several members at my last Weight Watchers meeting absolutely raved about this recipe. I wish I could tell ya’ll that it was as good as they said it was. Yes, it was quick and easy and the ingredients were easy to find. Those are all plusses. My husband really, really liked it. I thought it was okay, but pretty bland and nothing really special. It might have been better with some added seasonings or if the french fries had turned out a little crispier.
With a side salad:
After dinner, we all curled up in the living and watched Survivor. Is anyone else watching? I won’t give anything away because I know there are a lot of DVRers out there, but WOW. Just wow.
What’s your most successful strategy for getting motivated?