How will I ever lose 100 pounds if my actions don’t change?
The sunrise is amazing today! The rain will fall soon so I’m soaking up the light and brightness of this moment. When the sun shines it seems like anything is possible. I’m tempted to wake up my husband and take him for a walk before the rain falls. I’m tempted but I won’t because I’m cherishing this moment of quiet productivity.
My kitchen is clean and the washing machine is humming. Because of Kathi Lipp’s Clutterfree and The Clutter Free Academy podcast, I’ve learned skills that have helped remove clutter from my home and I’ve developed routines that make life more enjoyable. For years, I’d waste time searching for clean clothes to wear or I’d be depressed before I even got out of bed because just the idea of making coffee near a sink filled with dishes was too much. It’s taken 18 months of implementing the Clutterfree principles but my clean sink and empty laundry basket are evidence that I can change!
When I first started My Year of Living Abundantly (after a visit to a new primary care doctor) I really thought everything would change. In fact, for the first week, it did! After my doctor visit, 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. I pictured going back to my doctor in December 2020 and having her praise me for taking my health seriously. For the first few days, I ate less and moved more. Then, I didn’t.
I am a great STARTER! My weight loss graph when I started Noom had this slope. My weight loss graph when I started Weight Watchers had this slope. My weight loss graph when I started LA Weight Loss, Jenny Craig, and PRISM looked like this as well. I am great at starting things but I don’t have a track record YET for finishing well. 2020 will be the year of FINISHING WELL.
In thinking about things I’ve learned to finish, I think of Kathi Lipp. She has shown me that living in a cluttered free house is not the result of a one time effort. She says often that decluttering is “not one and done” but an ongoing process. I’ve learned to create space and systems for finish the next small thing.
Laundry for instance always seemed like it was done once I’d transferred the clothes to the dryer. Once clothes were dry they were wearable and my family knows how to get dressed from he dryer. Through Clutterfree, I learned that laundry is really finished when it’s put away. Before Kathi Lipp, my problem was that my drawers and closets were so full of things I didn’t wear that there was no room for things I did. The reason we lived out of the dryer was that our clean clothes didn’t have a home. Once we removed the things we didn’t love or use, our clean clothes had a space in our drawers. It made the process of finishing a load of laundry doable. Knowing what the end of the process looks like makes it easy to do a quick load every day and I take pride in checking off laundry as a finished task.
I need to think about how I can apply these principles to my goal of moving more and eating less. This morning when the sun was out I opted not to go for a walk because I told myself I had too much to do. Really I was just being greedy with my quiet time. By noon, my day will be full of others and I cherished the silence and sunrise. How will 2020 be the year I FINISH WELL if I don’t get started.
One thing I’ve never had a hard time finishing is a great book. I just finished The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal. As I read about three sisters visiting India to spread their mom’s ashes, I started thinking about overeating as an act of GREED. One of the sisters thought of the other sister as greedy when she ordered two ice creams at McDonalds. The relationships between the sisters made me think about self-talk and assumptions we make about the words of others. The setting and Sikhism were new to me but story of family provided a familiar predictable satisfying ending. As I finished The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters I savored the ending and was reluctant to start right in on a new book.
The satisfaction of finishing provides a chemical release in my brain that makes me feel good. I like the way I feel when I finish something.
Today’s small thing to finish will be my bedtime routine. Here are the steps I plan to take in order to end the day well with happy thoughts.
Step 1-Clean my kitchen after dinner and set out everything I’ll need for a successful start to Sunday.
Step 2-Go to my bedroom at 9:00pm.
Step 3-Brush my teeth and wash my face.
Step 4-Cuddle with my husband for 10 minutes.
Step 5-Think happy thoughts and things I’m grateful for until I drift off to sleep.
The last step might be the hardest. It’s often as I’m drifting off that I think about what’s in refrigerator. The harder I think about what might taste good, the more I think my tummy might grumble. If I worry that my growling tummy will wake my husband, I’m more likely to get up and get something to eat. If I get something to eat, I’ll turn on the television. If I turn on the television, I’ll find a show I just have to finish (apparently, I finish tv shows too). In order to stay awake, I get more to eat. The night time eating means nighttime dishes which means I wake up depressed. Tonight, I must finish step 5.