Today was awesome. Felt like I slayed some major dragons. But more on that in a minute.
First, Fearless Leader Jon’s Day 7 e-mail:
Please don’t make me quote anymore German professors so that I sound fancy. Trust me when I say that it’s easier to accomplish a goal when you have someone helping you. The problem is that most of us love the one-man wolf pack mentality. It’s us against the world! We’re going to do this alone. Garbage.
Big dreams take other people. So do small goals.
So WHO is your WHO?
WHO is going to call you on your excuses? WHO is going to celebrate your successes? WHO is going to track the progress with you?
And they don’t have to be a best friend, spouse or lifelong companion. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Your WHO could just be someone you check in with via text every few days.
Today’s task is pretty simple, write down a WHO!
I could list a lot of “who”s, thanks partially to this blog. I consider everyone who reads this to be my “who,” because I know that if I suddenly stopped participating in this challenge, y’all would be judging me. (Okay, that’s harsh. Maybe not “judging” but at least “wondering what happened.”)
I’ve been posting links to my blog on Facebook, so I count my Facebook friends among my “Who?” as well. And those of you who I am Facebook friends with have been very supportive, so thank you for that!
I also have a couple of special Facebook friends named Guadalupe and Tisha who are joining me in an accountability partnership. They have goals that are different from mine, but the idea is the same: help each other stay on track.
Just the fact that I’ve gone public (at least online) with my morning routine goal has helped tremendously. So there might be something to this whole “Who?” business.
Jon’s Day 8 e-mail:
Read any book on breaking habits, changing your life or dreaming and you will notice a few things in common. One of them is that you have to be able to envision what the future looks like when you’ve accomplished your goal.
You need a mental (or real) picture of what life will look like when you’ve done it. There are several ways to do this:
1. Write a magazine article. Pretend Time Magazine is doing a short feature on you. Write that article as if your goal already been realized. Think 100-250 words for length.
2. Make a dream board. Grab a stack of magazines and rip out any and all pictures that make you think of your completed dream. Glue them on a board. Put the board wherever you do your WHERE. (Unless it’s Starbucks, people will stare.)
3. Take real photos. You think this is crazy, but you are wrong. Want to work somewhere? Is that your goal? Drive by the building and take a photo of the front sign. Working out so that you can fit back into a pair of your favorite jeans? Take a photo of them. Trying to work on a chapter of your book? Go to Barnes & Noble and take a photo of the shelf it might sit on one day.
It’s time for a little vision.
Get started on yours today!
Out of all the tasks Jon has assigned to us, this might be the toughest for me. And the biggest reason for that is this:
Deep down, I’m afraid that I have unrealistic expectations of my goal.
There are specific things I want to do more of with my mornings under control. Things like more knitting, especially for charity; more crafting; more bass guitar playing. I would also like to start scrapbooking (or at least photo album-ing) and archiving all my girls’ artwork, so it won’t take up an enormous bin in the shed like it currently does.
But I’m not even sure if my goal will get me closer to the increase in knitting and bass guitar playing, let alone other kinds of crafting and photo albuming and archiving. I tried out my morning routine on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and it went great both days, but… I didn’t get the chance to do any knitting. No crafting. Not even a thought about my bass guitar. Both days were consumed by writing and housework and cooking or baking.
That made me worry that my morning routine will simply ensure that all my housework and freelance writing will be finished, but my goals of being something other than a homemaker and a hired writer will be unrealized.
However, today was much better. I got all my cooking, my housework, and my writing done, and I was able to take a 30-minute knitting break. I also did some knitting before I began to write this blog post.
I also remembered two things:
1) Even though I started my morning routine Monday, my daughters didn’t return to school until today (thanks to 2 snow days). So a good chunk of time the first two days of this week was devoted to my girls, and that’s not typical of a weekday.
2) I have a musician coming to my house on Saturday. (Yeah, I had to sneak this in AGAIN.) That means I’m doing a lot more housework and cooking than I normally do during a typical day or week.
So after all this: I’m still kind of vision-less. I have ideas floating around in my head, but I don’t yet know what they will look like. Maybe they will look like a successful Etsy shop? More fun with my bass guitar? Fun yet functional craft projects decorating the house? Packages of charity knitting projects going out monthly?
I’m working on it.
On another note, today was my first real test of my morning routine. I’m actually glad now that I had the first two days as a test run. I stayed on task remarkably well, even when the girlios kind of disrupted the beginning by waking at the same time as I did (they hardly ever do this!). Where I would normally sit with my coffee and do my morning devotionals and journaling, instead I made them each breakfast. Then, while they ate, I retreated into my bedroom with my coffee.
A little later, Elena decided to get into my bed and go back to sleep. No problem. Then Kiersten came in with her book and decided to read for a while. Which would have been no problem, except oddly enough she started talking while she read. She doesn’t usually do that, so I’ve no idea what that was all about.
I couldn’t concentrate, so I took my coffee and journal into the living room so I could finish journaling. Just before I finished, Kiersten followed me into the living room. At least this time she was quiet!
The only thing that I didn’t do at the appointed time was unload and reload the dishwasher; that was relegated to the second 2 hours. But I also fed Elena during the first two hours rather than the second two, so I guess it all evened out!
I didn’t quite get a writing task finished before 9:30, but I think it was finished by about 9:50, which isn’t bad. I think I might move the cutoff time to 10 a.m. instead of 9:50. About 20 minutes of my morning are consumed by taking Elena to school and staying for a short time during her morning assembly, so I need to take that into account.
One fun thing about setting up my routine in this way is that I get to race with myself. I noticed on Tuesday that I was trying to see how many tasks I could finish by 7:30 (within my first two hours) and then again, how much I could get done by 9:30. I guess I might have a bit of a competitive streak!
One more thing I wanted to add: I have completely failed on taking 15 minute breaks during my morning routine, unless you count Twitter or Facebook as breaks. I don’t know that I do. Maybe I should though because those brief moments have kept me from feeling like I’m just pushing through item after item on my list.
And now it’s shower time. Looking forward to seeing what Fearless Leader Jon has in store for us tomorrow!