I woke up this morning thinking about food (what else!?). I am truly one of those people who LIVE to eat. Eating to live is just plain silly. I LIVE for delicious new recipes, restaurants, menus, TASTES!!
But – the fact is. Food doesn’t always love us does it? I mean it shows its love to us by HUGGING us (our bellies, our thighs, our side butt thing I don’t really know what to call) . . . but for real, in order to ENJOY all of the yumminess, but still stay lean and not ruin ALL of our hard work when we sweat it out . . . we need to PLAN IT.
What does that mean? It means you need to plan out your treats people. For example. I began writing this on a Friday. I know I am going to a friend’s house for a family pizza playdate and I offered to bring a salad. My FIRST plan of attack was to bring the salad for a healthy sidedish, but have a slice of pizza and maybe a brownie too. But then I remembered my incident with the Reeses’s Easter Bunny and the Sauvignon Blanc from a few nights before. I right there decided to have a CLEAN Friday and thus stay true to the nutrition program I am doing. So, a new PLAN was born:
Bring a LARGE salad and eat it as my dinner. Bring some leftover meatballs from the week to add in as a protein. Say NO to pizza and say NO to dessert. Say YES to an IPA (that is an India Pale Ale folks) and call it a night! And guess what peeps? It WORKED! It worked because I made a PLAN and I full on committed to it. (And because I hopped into bed as SOON as I got home so the popcorn and Easter candy wouldn’t tempt me . . . “Bed It” will be the topic of another post!). Guess what that means? I now have some more freedom for Saturday Night FUN, because I planned for it!
Before I lose you . . . before you tell me a planning can be SO daunting, you don’t have the time, you just don’t; want to . . . what if I said, ok, let’s break it into chunks and you just plan one day at a time? If that is too hard, try one meal at a time?
What if I ALSO told you this method works at work? (I am talking to my fellow lawyers especially here). What if you approached every day deciding in advance the top three tasks you needed to handle? What if you planned for them and blocked out your calendar accordingly? What if you did NOT let your e-mail inbox dictate your day? On the days I succeed at this very thing, I am WINNING peeps. I am on top of my cases, I see my legal strategies more clearly, I meet my billable hour goals, and I can leave work and come home less stressed.
Again . . . before you freak out and tell me you are too busy. Here is what you do. FIRST thing you do when you start to think about work, whether you are home drinking your morning coffee or finally sitting down at your desk. Give yourself just a .1 of time to YOU and
- Look at your day and see what chunks of time you have in there.
- Look at your calendar ahead and see what top 3 things you need to do. (Smith – Write Letter to Opposing Counsel with counter-offer. Jones – Revise Interrogatories. Doe – Review documents from subpoena).
- Take the task that feels most daunting — put that into the first free block. Take the next task, put it into the next block and so on.
- Follow your plan! When you get to work, pull out that planner and make sure you remind yourself of your plan.
- Look at your email after lunch. Turn off your notifications. Follow your plan!
Note: you can do this the night before too if that is more your jam.
Before you think I live in La La land, I am FULLY AWARE that more often than not there will be a a fire to put out and you didn’t get to all 3 things. Your phone will ring. You will have unannounced visitors. Etc. Guess what? That is ok. You have still made a list of what you need to do and have the framework of a plan. Most likely you still got to your first thing and you KNOW where you need to focus the next day. You still have your PLAN! (Side-note: I also find I have a better chance of following my plan if I actually write it out in a paper planner (Week at a Glance). I then transfer that to my Outlook Calendar so my schedule stays blocked!
I encourage you to try. No matter how tired, busy, overworked, hungry you are . . . truth is we all have a to-do list. You might as well know what you are tackling before it creeps up on you! Same with food peeps. I LOVE a good glass of wine and noshing on treats and sweets . . . but when I have a plan for them, I stay on track, don’t kill my progress and the best part? No guilt!