Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Finding a way

I was reading my Facebook status updates this morning, and one really struck a chord with me. One of my friends posted this quote:
‎"Those who want to succeed will find a way, those who do not will find an excuse."
Hmmm...that is applying to me, some good, and some bad, on so many levels. Today I'm reflecting on 3, so as not to overwhelm myself (because, seriously, I could go on and on). ;)

DIET--It's been a full 3 months that I've been on this diet, and I've been really pleased with the results. This is the longest that I've ever stuck to a healthy eating plan. I truly see this as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary diet because in my adult life I've never felt better. I am proud that I have kept these healthy choices as a priority, working them into my busy life, and not letting discouragements or stresses derail me.

Is there room for improvement? Yes. I've been getting into rut with some of my food choices. Lately, I have been consistently reaching for the same favorites instead of working in more variety. So that's my goal now: Branch out a little more again, and get more creative in my meal and snack planning for myself and my family.

EXERCISE--I've been exercising for the past 3 months now too. I can't believe that I am running again! I am thrilled that I am back to doing an exercise that I felt was so integral to who I was when I was growing up. I moved past fear, and did what I needed to do to move beyond my back issues and knee injury. And I'm running in my first 5K on Saturday. That's my first race since college! Although I am kind of nervous about the race, I am thrilled to be at the point where I can actually do it.

Again, is there room for improvement? What has been my excuses in this area? I have, on the whole, been pretty consistent in my exercise. What bothers me is that lately I have been exercising mostly in the evening after the kids go to bed, and that when I am the most tired. It is the time of day when I am the most apt to say, "I need to catch up on this or that. I'll run tomorrow." Or "I am too tired tonight." I don't want schedule exercise at a time where I am in the most danger of making excuses. So today I am running right after I finish this post. :) And tomorrow I am going to try to run before the kids wake up. I want to run in the morning when I have the most energy, enthusiasm and motivation.

Another area for improvement...I am within my target range for healthy weight, but I'm at the high point of that range. I range between having lost between 32 and 35 pounds, and have just kind of plateaued right there. I am happy to be there, but truthfully get a little discouraged when I'm at about 32 pounds down. I do have some areas that I want less flabby and more toned (hello, stomach after 4 kids!), so when my weight is higher I don't like it. However, I am trying to remind myself that this process is long-term, and with continued exercise and attention to diet I will see positive changes to those problem areas. From this point forward, I want to be motivated less by the scale, and more by toning and becoming a strong runner.

HOUSEWORK--Keeping up on housework? That is the area where I am making most excuses. Oh. my. word. I honestly have the market cornered on excuses there. The state that we keep our house is not pristine right now. That is an understatement. Yes, indeed, it is. But I've been working out. But I have been busy with the kids' activities. But we've been away several weekends lately. But I need to write a blog post. But Evan's been asking me to play. But I need to call so and so. But I need to catch up with my emails and paperwork. But I'm tired.

Truthfully, some are good excuses, but when it boils down to it, they are just excuses. And I have too many of them. I need to figure out what I should do to move past them. Because, truly, I am failing my family if I don't figure this out. I am not teaching my children what I should if I rely on these excuses and don't do what needs to be done here.

The fact of the matter is this: I have 4 able-bodied children. Yes, the kids do basic chores like cleaning up their rooms and cleaning up after themselves in the kitchen. When asked, they'll help put away laundry. Are they always good about cleaning up after they play with their toys? No. Do they complain? Yes. Could they do more? Should they do more? Yes and yes.

I tend to get behind for various reasons, and then I get overwhelmed. When I'm overwhelmed, I don't think clearly. I then tell myself that I can't have the kids help out until I make some sense of the mess. Then I procrastinate doing that. Grrrrr...Seriously, Sarah, make a plan. Stop feeling bad about it. Jump in with both feet and create a system. Dave and I don't have to do it all (because, in all honesty we don't, and probably can't). Get those kids busy. do I move beyond the excuses and create success for my family in this area? I am not going to overwhelm myself or the kids. I am starting with something small and then I am going to build from there. This week, Seth's on kitchen duty, Caroline's on bathroom duty, Evan's on playroom duty, and Henry is on laundry duty. The next few days, I am going to teach them my current expectations, and I will inspect each time they complete their job. Each week, they will switch and learn new jobs.

Every time they pass an inspection, I am putting a ping-pong ball in my container on the fridge. Every time they do a job without being asked, I will put another ping-pong ball in the container. Every time they do an extra job that I request without complaining, I'll put in another ping-pong ball. When we fill the container, we'll do something fun together as a family. Examples would be a family game night, a hike, a bike ride, a picnic, movie night, taco bar and ice cream sundae night, etc.

As they progress in these chores, we'll move to a chart to record their passed inspections. I am going to then write numbers on the ping-pong balls, and those numbers will correspond to extra jobs that I need done that week. (Thanks for the idea, Mom!) So in addition to their duties (kitchen, bathroom or laundry), they will be responsible for an additional number of jobs (5?). We'll celebrate the regular chores as a family, but I'd also then like to celebrate individually. When we're at this stage, I'd like to start giving them an allowance for completing the extra jobs.

Obviously, this is a work in progress. But I am proud of myself that I am ready to move beyond the excuses, and start success today.


The Talking Frog said...

YOU INSPIRE ME! I am going to print this out and put it where I will see it every day! Lisa

Monkee said...

What a GREAT idea! I was just talking wit ha co-worker yesterday about kids and chores, and how they never remember (or CHOOSE not to) and it frustrates me and I aLWAYS remember, but hate to be a nag and always be the "yelling" one...ya know? GREAT idea! :)