Monday, February 8, 2010

Losing the lazies

Another re-post from a couple weeks ago.

I don’t know what it is, but once I get home from work in the evening, I lose all motivation. I can have great plans to work out or see friends or cook a great dinner for myself, but as soon as I step in the house, all I want to do is sit and chill. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that’s exactly what I need. But most of the time it’s just me being lazy and apathetic and that’s not the girl I want to be.
I was really thinking about this the other day and how much I could accomplish if I didn’t just sit and watch TV at night. So I decided to make a change.
Being ridiculously into lists, that’s how I started this project. First, I wrote down TV times–those times during the week when there’s actually a show on TV that I’d really likely to watch on a weekly basis. Other than those times, my TV watching is just time filler and really unnecessary. (Not that any other TV is really necessary, but a girl’s gotta have her shows)
So my new TV schedule looks like this:
Mondays: 8-10 (The Bachelor–don’t even judge)
Tuesdays: 8-10 (The Biggest Loser–love it!)
Wednesdays: 9-10 (Criminal Minds)
Thursdays: 8-9:30 or 10 (Survivor, The Office)
Fridays: 8- (There’s lots of fun stuff on Fridays and I figured one night of total chill time is ok.
I didn’t write anything for the weekends because weekends aren’t really a problem time, with lots to do and no time to waste on TV when I could be hanging out with my husband, AJ. 
So there’s list number one. It still seems like a lot, but, believe me, that’s a big change for me. Plus, I won't be watching all of these shows every week. I do plan to leave the house as much as possible. This is more of a rule for when I have no plans and don't want to spend my night watching 5 straights hours of television.
List number 2 is a list of TV alternatives–things I can do instead of the TV-watching. It may seem obvious, but I find it easier to do something else if it’s already decided for me. Same principle as food really – don’t have a plan, eat junk, have a plan, stick to it.
This list is actually really great because it joins together with my last post, 30 by 30 and maybe I can check off some of that list sooner than later. Here’s what I came up with:
  • Read the Bible (seriously, I need to get into that regular devotional time again and what better thing to replace TV with)
  • Scrapbook (I’m not too far behind, but it’s something I really love to do and it’s been too long)
  • Cook (I really need to get back into cooking good dinners for myself, and by that I mean, learn how to cook and don’t put it off just because I’m cooking for one)
  • Write letters (2 years ago my New Year’s resolution was to write a letter every month. I did okay, but it’s dropped off since then and I’d like to pick it back up)
  • LIFE work (I usually have some sort of project for LIFE on the go)
  • Plan the weekend (when AJ and I have some miraculous time together on the weekend and don’t have anything planned, I could save us the “what do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do?” and plan something fun)
  • Clean (this one does not make me excited, but it’s something that needs to be done and I always feel like a good wife when I’ve cleaned stuff)
  • Unpack (we’re getting close, but I’d like the rid us of those last few boxes)
From the 30 by 30 list:
  • Recover dining room chairs (sounds like a lot of fun and a good learning experience)
  • Read another book (my 30 by 30 reading list is a pretty decent size so I need to get started)
  • Learn to sew (Probably a 25 year old shouldn’t be asking mommy to fix her shirt button)
  • Blow up 3 photos as art (this one’s more expensive, but something to do one day. It’ll probably take me a while to choose just 3)
  • Teach Snax a new trick (that dog is super smart so that should be a fun one)
  • WORK OUT (weigh 160 seems like a ridiculous goal given how working out has been going, but I’ve got the videos and I need to use them…a lot)
  • Bake a pie from scratch (totally do-able, it’s just about getting around to it)
  • Design (I want to make a calendar and I could start the template any time, it’s just a matter of getting the program. Photoshop Elements is less than $100, so I’m hoping to get it for my birthday perhaps)
That’s 16 things! I could be occupied with a new thing every day for 3 weeks. Of course, I do go out a couple times a week. And I try to make plans as much as possible to keep myself busy and prevent losing my socialite membership.
So yesterday I put this plan into effect. And wouldn’t you know I would happen to start on a Wednesday. If you look back at my TV plan, you’ll see that there is zero TV allowed on Wednesdays. All day I was like, no problem, how could I have a problem going one night without TV. What I’ve discovered is that TV is more than just about lazy mindlessness, it’s about loneliness. That big house is very very big and quiet without the TV on. I usually have it on while I’m making dinner or writing e-mails, just to have a presence in the house. It’s comforting. At first I told myself that if I just had it on in the background it didn’t really count. But then I thought, if I can’t even make it through the first day, this plan has no hope. So I left it off and turned on the iPod for some musical companionship. It helped.
With the TV distraction I was amazingly productive. I had gone grocery shopping before I went home so I made myself a delicious, even well-balanced dinner. Mashed potatoes, baked chicken and carrots. Delicious and WAY healthier than the hot dogs or quesadillas I usually make for myself. While it was cooking, I read my book, played with the dog and made a couple last minute changes on a LIFE project.
After dinner, I did dishes then went to work breaking down all of the empty boxes that are piled around the house, putting them in a neat pile. I then went in search of some notes I needed and although I didn’t find them, I did find my winter coat I had been missing for a month!
By that time, it was 8 o’clock and time for a workout. I did 45 minutes with my Biggest Loser Bootcamp DVD and, let me tell you, Bootcamp is totally appropriate. I only did level one, plus the warm up and cool down and I was sweating and breathing heavy and even sore. It was good.
After making myself lunch for the next day, I headed upstairs to change into pyjamas, slipped into bed and finished the last 80 pages of my book. Lights out by 10.
Seriously, that was more than I accomplished in the last 2 weeks, plus I had a healthy meal and got to bed at a decent time. As much as I missed the TV, I think once I break that routine, I’ll be totally fine. And I feel way better about myself when I get things done–even proud.


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