Encourage Project 2016: The Rules

(Disclaimer: These are my personal rules.  And while I think they are pretty good rules to live by, they may not be your personal rules.  )

Part of nurturing oneself, I think, is by intentionally avoiding situations that cause you stress and unrest.  I realize that I live a different life than a lot of you, as I have no spouse and no children filling up much of my days, but I think that this topic can apply to each of us in a very individual way.  

Over the past several months (years)(entire life) I've struggled on and off with getting things done.  I'm a planner.  I can plan my butt off.  But I'm not very good with the follow through. I have good days where my mood and productivity are high and I have bad days when I'm basically a waste and spend all day wondering what's wrong with me and accomplishing nothing except clicking off too many episodes in my latest netflix series - or making more plans (THE plans.  You know, the ones that are going to fix me for good!).

 I've figured out recently that there are 3 specific things that push me majorly in the wrong direction.  I call them my rules and when I break the rules, things don't go well.  

Rule Number One - My environment has to be neat.  For me personally the idea that your entire life is better when your house is clean is a very real thing.  It applies to my craft studio (I love calling it that) and my work office as well.  Clean and pretty equals zen like feelings and productivity.  Messy and cluttered equals disappointment, depression and zombie-like non productivity.  

This is hard for me  because while I love to clean (I don't know, it's just a thing) I am AWFUL at maintaining it.  I am a messy person.  I work messy.  I can trash my desk - at home or at work - in 20 minutes flat.  I don't know what's wrong with me but that's the ugly truth. This makes it easy for me to get distracted by the mess and spend time I could be working on something creative, doing something else like organizing stickers or sorting sequins by color or some dumb thing.

My plan for 2016 is to be constantly putting things away.  Like a game.  Put it away, put it away.  I read once that the key to being a neat person was to be constantly tidying.  I also plan to get rid of a bunch of stuff I don't really need and that should help.  This will be a big part of one of our later monthly topics "Less".

Rule Number Two - I must get enough sleep - I have to get up really early in the morning.  It may not be early for you but 5:20am is SUPER DUPER GOD AWFUL early to me.  I am a night person through and through and have been my entire life.  But my job is a good hour drive from my home and since I have to be there at 7, it means that I have to get up and go early.  

My problem is that I suck at going to bed early.  In order to get enough sleep, I really need to go to bed at 9pm.  This is so impossible for me.  Like... I can't even.  But, the fact is that when I'm living off 4 or 5 hours sleep, I'm sucking at life.  Remember the zombie-like non productivity?  Yeah, that's back. Depression and disappointment.  I get home and sit down and I'm done.  I don't go to bed, I just sit in my favorite chair and guess what - back at the netflix.  (Yes, I know that not watching netflix should be my rule number 4.)

My plan for 2016 is to get in bed and turn out my light (and my phone) at 9:30pm.  I'm hoping that the exercise that I'm supposed to do daily for the #fitgirl challenge will help me fall asleep faster because going to bed at 9:30 and then laying there awake or playing Soda Crush on your phone until 11:30 doesn't help.  :/

Rule Number Three - I need to eat healthier.  Holy smokes has this become a big one.  I'm getting a tiny bit older (I'm 39) and lately what I eat, especially at dinner, has been having a HUGE impact on my life.  I have a poor diet.  It's a bad fact in my life.  I eat lots of rice (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese bring it on) and bread and carb city.  And when I do - guess what? ZOMBIE-LIKE NON PRODUCTIVITY. Disappointment and depression.  Do you see the pattern here?

How I plan to combat this in 2016 is by really making an effort to get healthy.  Gina and I are starting our first FitGirl challenge on January 4th and it has a very specific diet and exercise program.  I'm really motivated to get this part of my life under control this year.  "Reach Goal Weight" has been number 1 on my yearly goals list for far too many years and I'm over it. Something new and fun needs to take over that slot.

So part of nurturing myself this year is going to be to stop setting myself up for failure.  I mean if I KNOW what's going to make me have a crap day, why would I do these things?  It's easier said than done.  But I'm going to try very hard to follow the 3 rules and see if it works in my favor.

Do you have triggers?  Do you know what your personal rules are that cause you to have a bad day?  What are your plans to avoid these things this year and take care of yourself?

Thank you for sharing.