Rosh Hashanah was last week. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on what changes and improvements I want to start working on. The, when New Year's comes around on January 1, I can reassess. I feel like it's given me a head start.
1. Be on time!
I have a really bad habit of being late. Not only is it rude, but it causes me a ton of unneeded grief and stress in my life. I've resolved to not just be on time from now on, but to be at least 5-10 minutes early. Job interviews, tutoring, coaching Girls on the Run, appointments, and meetings with friends and loved ones--it's important to be on time! But how can a chronically late person achieve this? For one, I need to be realistic with my planning. I simply try to cram too much into one day. I've started streamlining more and being more realistic with my schedule. Second, I have a much more detailed daily schedule. I list what has to be done at what time, other things that need to get done, and less important things that I would like to done--in that order. Third, I work backwards from the time I want to get there. Then, I subtract 15 minutes for Murphy's law. I then add driving time, add an extra 10 minutes to that, then I figure out what time I need to leave my apartment...and add 10 minutes. For some reason, I go through a time warp when I walk from my apartment to the car in the parking lot, where I instantly lose 5 minutes. Go figure. That gives me the time I need to be leaving my apartment. Whallah! Guess what? It works! Since I've implemented my new procedure, I've been 5-15 minutes early for everything. (Okay, a few times I've been a few minutes late but that's still a vast improvement).
2. Wake up early.
I know, I know. I've had this on my list for New Year's resolutions for the last 3 years. I seem to make progress and move towards this goal, and then lapse back into my habitual, old night-owl schedule. Even though my circadian rhythm is programmed to be a night person, the truth is, the early bird does get the worm. I can't achieve #1 if I don't wake up early! Plus, I can be more productive. I've started setting my alarm (I know this isn't rocket science but believe it or not, I haven't been using one). Second, I actually GET UP!!! Having a morning workout planned at a set time with the clothes laid out the night before helps a lot. Having a loved one in bed next to you that wakes you up with a delicious, steaming hot cup of coffee also helps. The result so far? Vast progress! I've been waking up around 6:30 to 7:30 every day for the last week. Before? I'm embarrassed to admit, I would sleep until 9.
3. Avoid naps. Take only short naps, if absolutely necessary.
Sleep begets sleep. The more I sleep, the more sleep I seem to think I need. This has to stop. I simply have too much to do. Instead of taking a nap, I've been trying to do something productive. Planning a workout during these low-energy times revives me 10-fold more than a nap or cup of coffee does. The result? I've only taken 1 nap in the last week (which was only 1 hour).
4. Avoid planning too much.
I tend to overfill my plate. Then, I feel stressed and overwhelmed. I know when I start feeling that way, it's time to eliminate things from my to do list. It's better to prevent that overwhelmed feelign in the first place. Early this year, I decided to do some housecleaning. I streamlined by eliminating volunteering for animal rescue and riding horses. I miss it a lot but there will be other times in my life where I have more room for those activities. I've decided to focus on my teaching career. I still get to volunteer (Girls on the Run) but it's teaching-focused. I've also put my animal art business on hold. It was taking up a lot of time and money. I miss it a lot but I still paint and draw to relax whenever I have some down time. So, my focuses right now are teaching, training and my new relationship!
That's enough resolutions! I would rather have a few that I focus on and achieve than a million I half-ass.