The phrase “Just Do It” is famous. It is supposed to inspire us to get over all obstacles and get it done. Easy words to say-not so easy to put into practice.
I am a person of many interests and activities (those that know me will agree). To some, I have a lot of adventures and get a lot done. I do, but for me I am consistently frustrated with doing the things that I should do. Not the should dos like housework-the should dos that I WANT to do and are good for me but I am not consistent.
At the beginning of the year I took a great Vision Board Class at Decide Differently I had to choose one word for the year. I chose Deliberate. I chose that word because I wanted to be deliberate on how I chose to spend my time/money/resources. I did not want time to get away from me-wasted in front of the television or rescuing pets on Facebook. I wanted to be mindful of financial resources-using the library first instead of just buying the book. Tithe on a regular basis (God has blessed me with so much), and to think about my resources. If I have things I do not need/use-give them to someone who does need them or can use them.
I realized at vision board class that things will not get done unless there is a plan to get it done. Thank you Shakti Sutriasa for such a great class. At the bottom of my board I have dream it-plan it-do it. That made sense to me. I can say I want to walk weekly-but what’s the plan? I also realized that if I wanted to make more time for something, I had to take time from something else. So I made a more-less chart. It made so much sense. This list has helped me to see my time as something I CAN manipulate to some degree. Below are some things I struggled with and the plan I used to resolve it.
Writing: I love writing but was not getting it done. My excuse-my journal was too big and I never had it with me. So I switched to a Moleskin. Now it is with me all the time. I use it to write the plan for the day (rather than on scraps of paper) and as a diary. I saw a video called The Bullet Journal. While I have not adapted everything, some parts have been very useful to me-like the index. I now carry my journal everywhere and a lot is getting written-all because of a plan. The moleskin for Jan/Feb of this year has more than my whole journal last year. After I filled the moleskin I bought s set of three pretty little notebooks and am using them now. Thanks Mychele for telling me about the Bullet Journal Video!
Supplements: I love my doTERRA supplements. When I take them, I have more energy, my body systems are more efficient and I eat less (Slim & Sassy). I KNOW this, yet days would go by when I was not taking them. I would put them in a little carrier to take on my days out (to take at lunch) and then I would not do it. A couple days in I would wonder why I was dragging, all clogged up, and eating junk food. My husband is amazing taking them-morning, lunch, dinner, bedtime. My friend Sandie Bowen finally told me her trick. She never packs them to take out for the day-she puts them in a bowl on the counter. Then they are there every time she walks by. If she doesn’t see it and act-her husband reminds her. This has helped a lot-a pretty bowl by my coffee maker. Thanks to Sandie & Marty for helping me get a plan in place.
Art/Creativity: I was not getting anything artistic/creative done. It made me sad-especially since I had a room filled with paint, beads, paper, and cloth. I would see my friend Mychele (who has two young children) getting all artsy and I wanted to be there! This is very much who I am and not to do it is like slow death. Every day I would intend too. Then I would start reading email, catch up on Facebook, start some wash, do some business and before I knew it-time to make dinner. This went on for months. Then after talking to my friend Mychele (I was talking out loud-she was listening) I came up with a motto-Mornings are Mine. I was always going to do those other things…so put my things first. This simple thing was LIFE CHANGING! I found when I spent the morning writing, sewing, painting etc..that when it came time for the other things-I was a JOYFUL person. Not only joyful but I seemed to be in super speed. I was not dragging through-I was efficient and I was getting things done for myself and for the family/business. I told Marty and as always, he was okay with my choice. I didn’t realize how much until we both visited Sandie. I said to her, “I don’t think Marty gets the ‘mornings are mine’ concept but it really has changed everything for me! Marty’s response, “Oh no honey, I get it. I WANT you to do your art first”. Thankful for a supportive husband and artsy sister Mychele. Mychele inspires me by posting what she is up hopefully I do the same for her!
Walking: They say the simplest exercise is walking. When I retired, Marty wanted me to make a goal for myself to walk three miles a day. My friends though he was mean. I knew he was caring-he knew I loved being outside, he knew I wanted to be healthy, he knew I wanted to stretch myself. A month into retirement, I was still not walking. Then I met my neighbor Cindy. I told her I recently retired and asked her if she was the one I saw walking all the time. I told her I need a plan to get walking. Her response, “I walk three miles a day. Want to walk with me?. Just one of God’s little blessings. Having someone to be accountable to really helps. So thankful for Cindy and what she has brought to my life.
Time Slipping: Did you ever go on the computer-intending to spend 15 minutes there and suddenly an hour hour passed? No…never! A timer is my new best friend. I will set the timer to spend so much time in an area and then move to the next. I also think backwards. If I have to leave the house at one, then I shower at noon, pack the to go bag 11:30, stop what I am doing at 11…etc. This really helped. I would often work on something till the last minute and then rush out of the house without the things I needed. Sound too regimented? You make think so-until you have that day when you cry out of joy for feeling successful!
Television: Yes I like television and I have favorite shows. I do tape them, have not seen a commercial in forever. Also I use television as my down time. I have the computer set to go off at ten. Then I try and make myself sit on the couch. I put on some serenity oil to calm me down and move towards sleep. One thing I love though is where my desk/television are. My desk is behind the couch where my husband sits to watch television. I have a direct view. Why is this important? I can sit at my desk, answer emails, write notes, or complete a project and watch a show at the same time. I know, we are supposed to live in the moment but I am not willing to give up television completely nor am I willing to spend hours watching it while doing nothing. My next project is to set up a little writing box near my seat on the couch-so I can easily write notes during my TV time. Real notes..instead of email. It’s a plan.
Out and About-It is amazing how a trip to the library can eat hours of my day and cost me money. I have to get dressed etc, to go there. More than likely I will stop somewhere else. Then I’ll get hungry and grab lunch. Next-go home and put everything away. By then-I am shot and find it difficult to be productive. I now stack my days. I choose days to not leave the house. On the days I do leave, I pack several appointments/errands into the day. WOW-this was a game changer. Sure I ‘m exhausted when I get home-but I would have been anyway. This Wednesday I’ll make Thirty-One deliveries, meet two friends at different times at Barnes & Noble. Thursday I will go to a class, see a friend and her new baby, meet another friend at dinner. In between I will pick up dog food and do other errands!. This plan works and has given me more time!
Resources: Besides your friends and family, there are books and other resources that can help you. I already mentioned The Bullet Journal. I must now mention Gretchen Rubin. She is one of my favorite authors. I have preordered every book she has written. I own every book she has written in hardcopy and on audible (so I can listen again and again). After I started writing this months ago, I received my preordered book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I ordered it not knowing much about it. Come to find out-it’s about habits. I LOVE this book and truly need to blog a review about it. This book reinforced thoughts I was already having. It also gives a lot of great ideas on developing and or/breaking habits. As I write this, I think I will plug it in again for a listen while I work in the kitchen. To me, a lot of what we struggle for to “Just do it” has to do with either making or breaking a habit. I think you will find this book a great resource.
I could go on and on. I do want to note a recurring theme. I did not develop all these plans on my own. It started with the vision board, then different people/things (Sandie, Marty, Mychele, Cindy, Bullet Journal, Gretchen Rubin) that really helped me. Being vulnerable about what you struggle with will often get you the support you need. The funny thing is-if you tell me your struggles…I can probably come up with a plan for you. If I tell you mine, you can probably help me. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
I will still struggle at times and get off course. I know one thing though, using Gretchen Rubin’s Words….I am Better Than Before!
What struggles have you solved with a plan? Please share-it may help someone else.
What do you still struggle with? Someone may be able to help you!
God Bless you all in your endeavors. I would love to help if I can! Feeling powerful makes me want to help others feel the same way.