A bin at the grocery store with my pick of the day: bananas, a cucumber, a zucchini, onions, some fruit.

Putting low days to good use

Even though this is the year of happy chaos, sometimes bad things happen and days end up being low. Last week was the lowest I have had in a long time. I got really bad news thrice. In the end, everything turned out to be okay-ish, but I am exhausted. I ate too much crap, exercised too little and overall feel awful. And it was the first full week that I was only working two days! Yikes.

I kept stumbling through the week. Then the wake-up call came. Suddenly, today, I couldn’t properly fit into my biggest pair of pants. A week of low days, throw in an unexpected period and wham. That was the final straw.

I think I somehow expected that everything would be magically better as soon as the work pressure was off. But that’s not how it works. I still have to build new routines, to take better care of my body. I have started exercising, but I come from a long period of being able to do barely nothing, because I kept getting injured. My physical condition is horrible. And I barely know where to start. But the scare I got today, is enough to motivate me to make the plan NOW.

Getting healthier

So I need to take the first steps. Start meal planning again, which I hate, because I don’t like cooking or eating at all. As a fat person, the irony is not lost on me. It makes sense though. I end up eating too much and too crappy food during the evenings because I avoid eating during the day. A very good program I took last year made me doing a whole lot better, but I got lost again over the last few months. Sounds like it is time to get back on track.

Roughly what I want

  1. Eat more healthy food and eat more regularly.
  2. Get some exercise every day.
  3. Meditate at least once a day.

Now to get things done

Because I have always had trouble keeping track of and doing tasks, I have read a number of books to become more productive. My favorite book is Getting Things Done by David Allen. And my favorite rule is: for any task on your todo-list, put down the first small action that you have to take. So don’t put down ‘Car to garage for check-up’, because that line actually encompasses a bunch of tasks and this might make you avoid doing it altogether. Instead, write down: ‘Look up the number for the local garage’. That is a tangible, simple task and the first thing you actually need to do. It works so much better for me than SMART goals – those are way too complicated. So let’s have another look at the list and see.

The list but better

  1. On Saturday evening, make a meal plan for next week the first half of next week.* Do the shopping on Sunday.
  2. Exercise needs to be cut up:
    • Take a 15-minute lunch walk every day. This will probably turn into a longer walk, but the 15 minute-rule makes it seem doable and will get me out the door. Nothing like a bit of self-trickery.
    • Get the Sunday and Wednesday groceries a bit farther away. Walk to the store. Bonus: that supermarket is a lot cheaper than the close one. (Bring a backpack though.)
    • I have already started sports on Mondays and Wednesdays a couple of weeks ago (yay!).
  3. Use a sleep meditation to fall asleep. Set an alarm to do it. Later I might meditate more, but this is a good start.

This might not seem like much to some, but for me it is already quite the change. Small steps are better to make sure I actually change.

The soup I was making for lunch after the ‘I don’t fit my loose pants anymore’-panic

Another part of my Year of Happy Chaos covered. Or ‘started’ might be the better word. I have to keep in mind that I will have to be able to keep this up when I get back to work full time. But this half time-off is going to help with building the habit. I hope. Wish me luck. If you want to tag along, please do! You can keep me posted in several different ways.

* Guess what? I started planning for the whole week, had to start over three times, then needed a good friend to help me not throw everything out the window. The solution: do not attempt to do the whole week at once.