Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Posts tagged ‘chores’

6 Steps to Kick Procrastination

Kicking Procrastination in the Butt

Now that my Thanksgiving dinner for an intimate group of 30 is over, my house feels remarkably empty with just me and my furry roomies. It would be easy to  allow the sudden silence and lack of activity to lull me into a soporific stupor, and at times, I’ve been tempted.

Drowsing my days away won’t, however, help me achieve my goals, hopes and dreams. Yet, there are a multitude of excuses whereby I might delay my efforts. What to do?

One of the marks of a procrastinator is our ability to be easily distracted by, well, almost anything. In my case, it might be chores, or administrative tasks or a book that falls on my head. So I set out this week to eliminate all possible culprits.

I sit here now with my bookkeeping chores complete, my bills for the month paid, all piles of laundry washed, folded and put away, and the remnants of Thanksgiving tucked away until next year. I also have a freezer so packed with food I can’t even find room for single servings of another pot of chili. (and I’m down to my last 2 containers, so I need to make room soon!)

The issue now is how I’ll avoid going off on still more tangents which inhibit forward progress on those aforementioned goals, hopes and dreams. So, how do we keep ourselves on track towards achieving our goals, hopes and dreams?

Step 1: To Do Lists

I am a great list maker, and for awhile, I’ll even stick to them. The key is to make them simple and actionable. Too many long-term projects on the list and you’ll get discouraged. When you get discouraged, the list will go out the window like so many other things you’ve tried and given up on before you had a chance to see if they’d actually work.

Step 2: Break it Down

If you’re like me, you have a tendency to set huge projects for yourself, then wonder why nothing ever gets done. I liken it to being a hoarder who wants to reform. You stand in the doorway of a room full of stuff and feel overwhelmed by the project before you even start.

I’ve learned through a great deal of trial and error that every project can be broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces. This way, you start seeing successes right away. By deciding how quickly you need to see results, you’ll know how much to break those projects down.

One of my biggest projects is to clean up my garage. Somehow, things always get tossed in there when I don’t know what else to do with them, and soon, everything is falling off shelves and onto the floor where it gets tripped on, stomped on and otherwise scattered around. Recently, while looking for my staple gun (which sadly, I still haven’t located) I faced down the mess which had accumulated in front of my tool box. In about 15 minutes, I had cleared the clutter, re-organized the bottom shelf where I keep the power tools, and swept up the crud which had been coating the floor for years. Yes, I did say years!

The best part is, the space in front of my storage room is now completely clean and clear, making it easier to get in and get to what I need (like, for example, the boxes of wrapping paper and paraphernalia necessary to make beautiful Christmas packages for my kids). I can even accomplish it without aggravating myself with false promises to someday clean up the mess. Why? Because the mess is gone!

Step 3: Set Goals

We all need something to strive for. Just like the hopes, dreams, and goals we have, there is a feeling of accomplishment when we achieve the simplest things; clear the clutter from the dresser, dump the cat food into the bin and put the bag in the recycle barrel, wash the load of towels that’s been accumulating in the garage. Get the picture? It isn’t about getting the whole house clean or all the laundry done. It’s about getting something done. If you’ve made some progress with Step 2, you already have the hang of breaking those goals down into manageable pieces. Here are some examples of small daily goals I set myself. I’ve found they make it easier to set and achieve the larger ones which might span a week, a month or even longer.

  • Wash the dishes
  • Scoop sandboxes
  • Make the bed

And here’s an example of how I break down the larger chores:

  • Wash clothes
  • Fold/hang up clothes
  • Put away clothes

Do you see how you can give yourself credit for each step, and while you’re at it, get something off your list? Not only that, you’re not giving yourself time to stare at the pile of clean laundry for days before you just use it up by wearing it every day. I don’t know about you, but the sight of a laundry basket full of clothes in the middle of my room is a constant reminder of the many things I have to do but haven’t. It’s also a cat magnet in my house, and it’s hard enough to leave the house with minimal fur on my clothing when they’re put away in their proper place!

Step 4: Congratulate Yourself

This may sound silly, but we all need an attaboy now and then. Why not give it to yourself when you check something off your list? Over the last couple of years, I’ve slowly managed, in spite of the ADD which has me starting something, only to go into another room with an item to be put away and start something else, to clear a number of spaces in my home. Many of these spaces are part of larger projects, but the clean spots inspire me. They not only let me know that I am capable of clearing a space, but show me how pleasant it can be to have those clear spaces.

Step 5: Make it Fun

The best way I’ve found to make myself get things done is to turn work into play. It might be something as simple as music in the background or dancing with the vacuum. Or maybe you turn a project into a game, or a competition with yourself (How fast can I…? How many…can I in…minutes?). Think “Whistle While You Work” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Step 6: Reward Yourself

I know you’re thinking you don’t deserve a reward for doing things you should do anyway, but nothing could be further from the truth! Just because you should do them doesn’t always mean you do them willingly, much less, cheerfully. So why not give yourself a treat? (Having spent years fighting my weight, I don’t recommend an edible one unless you’re one of the lucky few who burn off everything you eat!) Here are a few examples of my treats of choice:

  • A couple of hours of reading for pleasure
  • Watching/going to a movie
  • A visit to my local bookstore
  • A foot massage

For you, it might be a hike or a run, a walk on the beach, a nap, a long bath. Use your imagination, and make it something you’ll truly enjoy. Give yourself small rewards for getting one or several of the small things done, but make the reward really special when you get a large task (that you’ve broken down into several smaller ones, of course) completed.

No Excuses. Make that Dream Happen.

Now that you’ve managed the stuff you have to do, you’ll find you not only have more time, but more energy to go after those things you really want. You’ve also acquired a few skills which will make achieving them easier and maybe more fun as well. Use the time and the skills to map out that dream you have of building a business or writing a book or showing your art. It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is it’s something which makes your heart sing with joy. It’s something you don’t have to do. It’s something you want to do but have put off because you don’t think you have time.

By simplifying your life, by making it more fun, you’ve suddenly found hours you didn’t even know you had! I wish you many dreams-come-true.

Don’t Forget the Gratitude

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for the lessons I learn and the words with which to share them.
  2. I am grateful for the things I’ve accomplished by simply following the rules I found for myself.
  3. I am grateful for making my dreams come true.
  4. I am grateful for keeping it simple
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, dreams, goals, hopes, friendship, success, writing, published work, readers, followers, clients, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Photo courtesy of Orin Zebest via Flickr

Advertisements

March 2, 2015 Weird things I’m grateful for.

It’s a proven fact that my mind takes many uncharted detours.

As my fellow ADD and ADHD types know, the mind, when not securely leashed, takes many side trips. As mine is typically off leash these days, the possibilities are pretty endless…and very random. Tonight as I hurried to get the trash cans to the curb before the sky decide to deliver another deluge, I found myself actually feeling grateful for the chores I need to do every week. Whether it’s scooping the sand boxes, cleaning up the kitchen, carting the trash to the curb, or any number of other things which keep my house from being completely disgusting, it all boils down to one thing. When I’m doing chores, I’m moving, and when I’m moving those achy, cranky parts of my are getting a little action to keep them from stiffening up.

I’ve discovered, of late, that regardless of when I go to bed at night (and there are times when it’s 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning more often than not), I’m still waking up by about 8 or 8:30. Why? Because parts of my body take issue with prolonged inactivity, even if it’s something kind of necessary like, say, sleeping. Last night, after hitting the pillows well after 2 and much closer to 3, I was awake by 6:30, locking cats out by 7:30, and finally giving in to the stitch in my back and the ache in my knees by 8:30. When I check the sleep pattern on my Fitbit lately, I’m seeing something less than 6 hours a night. Of course, that includes the multiple times I get up to drink and get rid of all of the water I consume during the day, but still, I’m amazed at how little sleep allows me to function somewhat normally.

I remember when I was younger hearing that older people sleep less hours per night. But am I really “older people” now? Say it isn’t so! Though if you were to ask my daughter, according to the calendar, I really am old, even if I refuse to act like it! Frankly, I feel very blessed that I can still do my own chores and dance the night away at my advanced age. A lot of the twenty-somethings have trouble keeping up with my older friends and I. Which brings me to another gratitude. I have had friends, over the last few decades, who were old by the time they were in their forties. They had limited mobility and a laundry list of ailments to hinder them even further. I do find myself wondering, though, if they had, like me, refused to allow themselves to be limited, would they have continued to suffer as much?

Do we magnify our aches and pains by paying attention to them?

What it boils down to is that I believe we have choices. If I wake up with my knees aching or my back twinging, I start out by doing some stretches, then grab the glucosamine, fish oil and turmeric to help keep everything moving more freely. And do you know what? Once I get moving, the aches typically subside. If not, I grab a heating pad, a rice bag or an ice pack along with the glucosamine cream and give things an extra boost. Rarely does it require more.

So, without meaning to sound insensitive, would my former friends who essentially immobilized themselves have fared better had they worked through the pain? OK, granted, my pain threshold is off the charts so things which would bring an average person to their knees are simply a petty annoyance to me, and maybe that has worked in my favor. Or maybe sitting around watching TV, unable to do the simplest of chores annoys the crap out of me so I tell my body to suck it up. Whatever the reason for my better quality of life, I can only be grateful that it is so.

Learning to love and appreciate our limitations too.

We all have our challenges, no matter who we are. For me, it’s getting rid of all of the excess weight. I know I’m in charge and shoot myself in the foot much of the time, but something I finally learned is that whatever our limitations are, they do not define us. They may slow us down or keep us from doing every single thing we’d like to do but they are not us. I am not that 60 or 70 pounds overweight body. I am the person inside of that less-than-perfect packaging who makes choices about whether or not I’ll allow it to slow me down every single day. Because of that, I’ve learned to be a lot less judgmental about what others choose to wear or do or eat because, frankly, if what they are wearing or doing or eating makes them feel good, who am I to tell them differently? If I determine that it is unattractive or unhealthy, what I’m really doing is applying my own personal set of standards to someone else’s behavior. I wouldn’t wear something like that on my overweight body or eat that cafe mocha with a cinnabon, so they shouldn’t either.

Bullfeathers!

I’ve finally learned that rather than judging someone, I feel a huge wave of respect when I see someone who is not concerned about what others think at all, but simply does what makes them happy. I can’t always do that and I admire those who can. Just as I admire women who can walk up to a man and just chat casually, engaging him without any emotional angst going on. I strive to have that feeling of comfort in my own skin which allows me to just feel good about me no matter what.

Each of us is a wonderful, beautiful, amazing work in progress

I think that’s why I find it easy to be grateful for things both large and small. Each thing which makes me feel that gratitude means I’m making progress in growing and redefining myself according to kinder standards. Over the years, each of us has a mental blueprint of what we should look like, work for, accomplish, and be, but as time passes, that blueprint should evolve. I suspect it does for many of us, but what if it doesn’t? Would we be stuck trying to be the person we envisioned when we were twenty? If so, we’d find ourselves very frustrated and wrought with repeated failures by the time we hit our forties. A twenty year old can’t possibly understand the life lessons we gain as we continue along our personal life path. My twenty year old self, in particular, was a very insecure, uncertain, poorly motivated individual who strove to follow the proper path which society expected: go to college, get a job, support yourself, get married, have kids, buy a house, pay your bills…yadda yadda yadda.

I much prefer the self I am now, lazing around more than I should, keeping weird hours, following my heart instead of the side of me which is boring, stuck up and filled with responsibility. Are there aspects of my current life I’d like to change? Of course! If there weren’t, what would be the point of trying new things, taking classes, meeting with other like-minded people and stretching my boundaries. Am I making those changes right now? Not necessarily, but I’m doing a lot of work internally and know that needs to happen before I can successfully navigate the next set of changes I decide to implement. But I’m grateful for the chance to take my time and figure it all out. I’m grateful for the days when I just work a lot of puzzles while my mind churns away in the background. I’m grateful for the nights I write until 3 in the morning only to get up and start my day again at 8 or 8:30. Because it is all part of the process. Whether I see progress or not, what I’m doing is moving me forward even if the progress is, to the naked eye, imperceptible.

Self abuse is never attractive

Be honest now. What would you rather listen to? Someone ranting and raving about how miserable their life is, or someone who gets excited over something small and seemingly silly? I know which one I’d choose! Even if the only thing I can think of is that my clothes stayed where they belonged instead of chafing and binding, at least I can take it and not only make it amusing, but allow you to relate to a common problem. Look at what someone did with the annual bathing suit shopping trip. I laughed so hard at the way she described it, and yet, someone else might have looked at that and been either critical or sad about trying to squeeze a less than perfect body into a piece of spandex. It’s all in how you allow yourself to see the world.

A friend recently shared a post about being too positive (though the woman attributed excess positivity to Mary Poppins rather than Pollyanna). I said then, and repeat it now that I don’t believe that you can be too positive. If your life is in the toilet but you still manage to put a positive spin on things, is that really so bad? If you refuse to wallow in the setbacks, but instead find something funny about them, set them aside and move on, I find that a lot healthier and, in the long run, I believe the setbacks will be fewer and less gut wrenching. We all have a choice, every single day. We can choose to be happy and to avoid allowing some of the curveballs life throws us to kick our butts, or we can take each imperfection we experience and blow it up to the size of Mount Saint Helen’s complete with billowing smoke and scorching molten rock. Burning in a self-imposed hell has never really been my style, even at my lowest point.

I’ve wandered from hither to yon and back again for long enough this evening, but I hope I’ve given you reason to find the small things in life which make you happy and to focus on those. To find gratitude in odd places and to allow it to bring a smile to your face, even in the midst of adversity. I’ll leave you with one last thought: Will whatever you might be going through right now matter in five years? In ten?

My gratitudes tonight are;
1. I am grateful for the small stuff.
2. I am grateful that I am responsible for my own chores as it keeps my body moving even when it would prefer to be a lazy lump.
3. I am grateful for evolution: I would not want to remain my twenty year old self for eternity.
4. I am grateful for a mind that runs amok most of the time as I get to tilt my head several times a day and think: “Now where did that come from?”
5. I am grateful for abundance: opportunities, friendship, chores, movement, joy, love, responsibility and detours, hope, health, peace, harmony and prosperity.

Blessed Be

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my website at http://www.shericonaway.com which contains a link to this blog and my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created both page and website as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

November 17, 2014 Changes made and more coming. #shericonaway

Making changes brings even more opportunity for change.

As you know, if you’ve read my last couple of posts, I found it necessary to change the time of day for writing my blog posts to accommodate the crazy mental place I go at night while working on the latest NaNoWriMo challenge. So far, it’s actually working out well, so well, in fact, that I am writing a more prolific blog and feeling less stressed while working on my book because the two no longer conflict. Whether this change will become permanent remains to be seen but for now, it’s working.

In the spirit of that change, I revisited my daily practice of doing a one Tarot card reading. That, too, has evolved over the last few months. I started doing a second reading from Doreen Virtue’s Angel Therapy Oracle cards and tying the two together. Then I began noting the card I cut when I replaced the Tarot card in the deck to see if it added anything to the message I received from the single card.3f968-spiritualshelf

But over the last couple of days, I was inspired to make yet another change. Right above my computer monitor is what I call my “Spiritual Shelf” upon which sits my collection of Tarot and Oracle cards, the Laws of Attraction series of books, The Secret book and video and several other books related to spiritual practices.

Looking up at this shelf on a daily basis, it occurred to me that it was time I actually used some of those Tarot decks I’ve been collecting instead of just allowing their boxes to collect dust upon my shelf. And so, my next adventure began.

About three weeks ago, I began using the Wizard’s Tarot instead of my tried and true Spiral Tarot. About a week ago, I added the Steam Punk tarot to my reading repertoire, and finally, I added Pagan Cats. Fast forward to yesterday when it hit me that I’m no longer “feeling” the easy, breezy, the Universe is always in your favor flavor of the Angel Oracle cards. (nothing against Doreen Virtue, but her cards just don’t look at the darker side of our souls which, to me, is a very necessary part of our being. Without it, there is no balance.) Instead, I replaced the second card reading with my original and oh-so-comfortable Spiral Tarot.

As it had been close to a month since I’d read from the Spiral deck, I was caught by surprise when I got them in my hands and they felt like an old, familiar friend. Familiar as they were, however, I found that I had trouble shuffling them. I don’t know if it’s because they are a different size, shape and texture from the other three decks I’ve been using or if the deck was just telling me I needed to make an adjustment within myself to using it alongside other decks, but the only way I can describe it is that it was familiar, yet it didn’t quite fit.

Today, it was much easier to work with, so I can only assume that, cat-like, it was giving me a little bit of crap for ignoring it.

Trading Pilates for housework. Oh, joy!

After receiving a message from my Pilates partner that she wouldn’t be able to make it to class today, I realized that with my shoulder still giving me trouble (though nothing that a nice massage with energy work wouldn’t fix!), and a list of chores I want to finish before my daughter arrives on Friday for Thanksgiving week, I would be better served to use my energy to dump and clean sandboxes and vacuum and scrub floors. Heaven knows, I’ll expend sufficient energy in those pursuits to replace at least three Pilates classes! But thanks to the frequent visits to the gym, including those Pilates classes, I actually have the energy now! Funny how that works.

As my readings today really highlighted flexibility as well as staying on task, I believe I’m heeding the advice of the cards admirably. I also feel very strongly that the wherewithal to indulge in that energy work/massage will manifest itself very soon! I just hope my massage therapist has not converted her practice completely to energy work just yet! I really need those magic hands!

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my willingness and even excitement about making changes.
2. I am grateful for the way things are falling into place with each little change I make.
3. I am grateful for a week with my daughter and grand puppy.
4. I am grateful that my son-in-law is safe, if overworked right now. I know that by his efforts he will achieve his goals.
5. I am grateful for abundance: change, time, opportunity, imagination, motivation, energy, forgiveness, acceptance, joy, love, friendship, inspiration, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

And now for some shameless self-promotion:
I’d love it if you’d visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel. I’ve created this page as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” it or leave a comment! Thank you!

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: