I’m back on track! My life as an overindulgent party girl is behind me and I’m ready to step into the light! I stayed out late on Saturday and it took two days to recover. I woke up this morning feeling old.
“I woke up this morning and I tumbled out of bed. Alice went to Wonderland but I stayed home instead.” When Donna Summer sang about wanderers in the early 80s I assumed the song was about a girl with focus issues. This song resonated with me! It seemed like Summer was on her own timeline and happy to go off on rabbit trails if the mood struck. This was so me!
I’ve always had a hard time with follow through. There are few things in life I do automatically. When I compare myself to healthier friends, I notice a gap when it comes to automaticity with healthy eating and exercise. Many of my healthy friends have a set meal schedule and exercise routine. I do not. In the past, when I’ve tried to come up with a plan, I’ve made it wildly complicated and I’ve failed to follow through.
This morning as I tumbled out of bed, I was thinking about Donna Summer’s song and adventures to be had. As I was getting ready for my day, I listened to Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-free Academy podcast on Realistic Expectations. I started thinking about mental clutter, physical clutter and realistic steps to success for a healthier me.
As I was singing the wrong lyrics this morning, I realized that I have been able to stick to routines even when things don’t come naturally. Back in the 1900s we didn’t have easy access to song lyrics. Now if I want to know the lyrics to The Wanderer by Donna Summer, I ask Siri to show me the lyrics and it pops onto my phone. When the song first came out it was much more complicated.
In 1980, there were seven distinct steps to finding the lyrics to a song.
Step 1-Hear the song at the Bend Roller Rink on Friday night. All great music was played here first.
Step 2-Listen for the song on the radio all day Saturday and hope the radio D.J. gave the song title and artist after the song was played so I could write it down.
Step 3-Call the radio station and request the song be played.
Step 4-Set up audiocassette recorder next to radio with blank tape or tape I didn’t care if I recorded over AND listen to the radio in hopes of hearing the song so I could record it. At the end of every song played, get near the recording device and be in the ready position just in case the song came on.
Step 5-When a recording of the song is complete, listen to small parts of the song and write down the lyrics. (This step requires a lot of rewinding so if the cassette tape is old, this is the step that the tape is most likely going to be caught and unwound. If the tape breaks, go back to step 4.
Step 6-Listen to the whole song to make sure your lyrics match what they are singing. Consult with friends if you are uncertain.
Step 7-Recopy the song in your neatest handwriting multiple times to distribute to friends.
It’s been years since I followed these steps but as I think about some of the great music of the late 1970s and early 80s, I can picture the bright orange formica countertop, my radio and cassette recorder. If the recording machine was next to the radio today, chances are I’d yell at everyone to be quiet and run to the devices at the end of every song just out of habit.
Over the past 18 months, I’ve listened to the Clutter-Free Academy podcast every week. Using the system, I’ve systematically decluttered parts of my home and I’ve given thousands of items away. It feels so good to take just the next small step in the process of living in a more comfortable home. In the podcast I enjoyed this morning, Lipp identifies clutter as the physical manifestation of decision fatigue. She also notes that the process of decluttering is never one and done. Living clutter-free includes small daily and weekly routines.
What if I apply these principles to my weight loss journey? If I had a simple meal routine and a movement routine, could I eliminate decision fatigue? If I eliminate decision fatigue when it comes to food and exercise, could I eliminate about 100 pounds of body clutter. What would the steps for this routine be?
Step 1. Record three favorite healthy, easy to make breakfasts on a notecard. Tape the notecard above the coffee maker.
Step 2. Record three favoritehealthy, easy to make lunches on a notecard and three easy to purchase healthy lunches on a different notecard. Put the easy to make lunches notecard in the bin in my refrigerator that hold the cheesesticks. Put the easy to purchase notecard in my card.
Step 4-Pick a 30 minute walking video or route to do every morning.
Step 5-Pick a 20 minuteyoga videoto do every night.
Step 6-Put each of the above routines in my calendar to repeat daily with reminders 30 minutes before each.
It took about 8 minutes to put those things on my calendar tomorrow and the days to come. I really wanted to add two healthy snacks in as well but I can’t decide when to add them to a calendar and just thinking about it is making me crave M&Ms. I’m going to celebrate the small victory of having an easy routine to follow tomorrow and worry about snacks later. Decision fatigue is real and I’ll come back to snacks when I have energy.
Clearly my 6 simple steps are not rocket science. What comes naturally for some people needs to be clearly spelled out and scheduled for me and I hope that I’ve made it simple enough that I can find it manageable.
Removing clutter from my home has been a slow process but the results are lasting as I’ve followed the systematic plan. I stick to decluttering tasks for just 15 minutes at a time and follow Kathi Lipp’s plan. As I look at my calendar for tomorrow, I’m wildly optimistic about the simplicity of my routine. Over the past month, I’ve been inconsistent with food and exercise though I’ve been tracking daily things I know will help me live more abundantly. Clearly, just thinking about it hasn’t made a difference.
My Year of Living Abundantly started about a month ago with a visit to a new primary care doctor. After a conversation with her, I realized that I’M the one who needs to make the decision to eat well and move more AND I’m the one who’ll live with the choices I make. Though BMI and Blood Pressure may reflect my health and well being, there are other success indicators I’ve decided to track. I’m tracking a few things here so I’ll be able to review and share the highlights when I see my doctor again in December 2020. I’d love to honestly report positive things
My sweet German Shepherd granddog learns new things with few repetitions. He’s so smart and very motivated. I need to find the joy in learning my new skills like he does. This old dog (me) can learn new tricks! I’ve got to.