I follow a lot of blogs and came across this article today. It's a list of 10 things to do before you go to bed every day to make you a more successful person. I find it interesting because I'm always trying to improve myself to be more productive, more organized, happier, and more successful. My success isn't always measured by the world's standards.
But I did find a couple of things I'd like to take from this article to apply to my life to help me focus my efforts in becoming more productive. I realize as I get older that time goes by faster. I'm not exactly sure how that works, but I think it has something to do with the E=mc2 thing and the faster you go the more massive you get or the more energy you put into something, the more light is created, or maybe I'm just taking a few naps during the day and then, when I open my eyes, the day is gone. Whatever is happening, I am realizing that time is getting shorter and I need to make the most of it.
From the article, here's what I felt was important to change in me.
1. Walk-I got the Jawbone UP arm band and set a goal of 10,000 steps a day. That's 5 miles. Do you realize how hard that is? I'm lucky to get 3500 steps. I know I need to walk more. The article suggests taking a 30 minute walk 2 hours before bedtime. I don't know that this is possible, but I am going to commit to adding 30 minutes of walking into my day somewhere. 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes as soon as I get home from work is a doable goal. My dogs would love me for that!
2. Assess your day-take note of the good and bad that happened. I'm really good at making a list of all of the bad stuff, I need to make a note of the good. Maybe even going so far as to write down something funny that a kid said because they are always saying really funny stuff. I might need to even keep a notebook at my desk. I tend to beat myself up over the little, bad things and forget the good. For example, two different kids told me how much I inspired them today. One kid said that I am making him a better person (I am constantly telling him to stop cursing) and another said I made her want to go out and make a difference in the world. (I said we are like strands of DNA, each one of us is one small voice, but when we all get together, we make a big difference.)
3. Read-I read things on the internet, and I read my Bible, but don't really read books and haven't read anything for fun in YEARS. My kids love to read and I've loved teaching other kids to read, but I'd rather make quilts or things I can give away then spend time reading.
4. Meditate-I will substitute prayer here.
5. Unplug-turning off all electronic devices is something I need to remember to do to get a good night sleep. Sometimes I get a text at night that will wake me up. And it's not important!
6. Affirmations-standing in the mirror and telling myself how great I am. I really don't need to do this, because I teach my students to tell me how great I am every day. I think I will continue to build up other people and affirm them instead. Did I tell you that the other day I decided I should have my students clap every time I talked. I told them that everything I said was so valuable they should appreciate me more and should applaud every time I spoke, so they did. They are so funny. I don't think I need an ego boost. So I will continue to watch for those students who seem to need a word of encouragement and shower affirmations on them.
7. Journal. I miss writing something every day. I really miss quilting. So, with the weekend coming up, I am going to dig out the older quilting machine and get back to quilting, which will give me something to write about. That will fulfill the need to quilt and the need to journal.
8. Plan your next day. I usually do this in my head, but I know that if I could write out a list of what I need to accomplish tomorrow, I would have a better chance of getting it done. Like the 4 classes of lab books that need grading. I had 5, but I decided on Monday that I wasn't going home until I got one class worth graded. Then, I said I was going to grade one period every day. Well, It's Wednesday and there are still 4 classes worth sitting there. I actually took one period worth out of the box, but that's as far as I got. Life happened. As a teacher I have to plan a week's worth of lessons and I need to include other things in there as well. Starting tomorrow :)
9. Most Important Tasks (MIT's)- Choose 3 things that must get done, like my son's swim lessons and getting those lab books graded and finishing up the earthquake assignment that I have to pass out tomorrow. That's my MIT list for tomorrow. 3 things are doable.
10. Thanks- End they day by being thankful. Add this to the prayer list. And maybe even start writing thank you notes to people who have done nice things. Starting to take notice of the little things people do and having an Attitude of Gratitude to start and end the day.
10 things every day? Probably not, but starting to make changes. New routines. With my dog dying, 15 years worth of routine has changed overnight. Every morning and every night since I've lived in this house, I've put her in and taken her out of the garage where she slept. Last night and this morning it was so weird because I got up to open the back door and then remembered she was gone. New routines must begin.