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Reinforcing better patterns Last challenge I made some progress on setting up better patterns at work and at home. My goal for this time is to keep up the momentum on those things. Work habits: Get emails done right away No social media Project work first thing in the morning No caffeine No snacks between breakfast and lunch Go exercise right away at lunch time. No "just this one thing" first. Leave on time - I can read the internet at home if I really want to. Home habits: Take time after work to do something fun before doing chores. Do knitting or spinning for 15 minutes before playing games or reading social media. Pack breakfasts and lunches in the evening or on weekends. Lay out clothes earlier in the evening. Do finances first among weekend chores In particular, I want to build on the momentum from last weekend on dealing with finances. Each weekend I want to make progress. I can do them early if I want to take time in the evenings. April 20-21 update spreadsheet of regular and one-off expenses for the last four months April 27-28 submit HSA reimbursements May 4-5 Balance checkbooks, get business tax info from Dumbledore May 11-12 Discuss priorities with Dumbledore, change allocations appropriately Task list: Spring/winter clothing swap. Get the boxes back into the attic the same weekend this time. sand and oil bokken and jo Get the dry cleaning done Mend two sweaters Clean the toaster oven (or get someone else to do it - it is disgusting) Gardening - one or two 30 minute sessions a week. Keep this from getting overwhelming Questions to ponder: How do I want to spend my time between friends, aikido and projects. There is also a financial component to this question. Aikido seminars cost money. Dumbledore is supportive, but that does not mean we have funds for everything I want to do. This weekend we are visiting friends several hours away for a party. We are getting a hotel room because they don't have crash space and we don't want to drive home in the wee hours. The following weekend a friend from the dojo will be taking his nidan test at a seminar 3 hours away. I could crash at the dojo for free, but the seminar costs money. Being gone two weekends in a row makes it hard to keep up with food and laundry. I'm also considering spending some time at a zen retreat at the beginning of May. That would be more time and money. Time is not such a big concern because I have plenty of vacation time. In fact, I could plan on taking some time for doing projects at home. Having too many demands on my time makes me want to say no to all of them. Hmmmmm.
Mistr wrangles weasels My last challenge was about establishing a new sense of normal. I am happy with my progress so far. I have been getting more sleep, sitting zen more often and doing more spinning. Other things need more work. Having a checklist here worked well last challenge so I’m doing that again. The main thing I’m adding this time is dealing with brain weasels. Mine and my family’s. Cast of characters Starting with my own issues, I’m feeling a lot of imposter syndrome at work. Most days I am just getting the immediate pressing tasks done. On bad days those pile up. I am not planing ahead and taking time to actually check in on and coach the people I supervise. I feel guilty about not being more proactive. I have a nagging sense of dread that someone is going to notice how much I’m slacking off and I’ll lose my job, which is the main economic foundation of our household. On the home side of things, I have not been keeping up with budget analysis. I’m scared of what I think I’ll discover. I tend to do other good and useful tasks and let finances slip to the bottom of the list. Weasel wrangling round 1: Break my bad patterns at work - Wait until after lunch to check my non-work email. No FB at all. Get my support emails done early because they tend to drag me down at the end of the day. See how these three changes go for two weeks before adding anything else. Be selective about what I work on at home. I really don’t have enough time to cook, clean and take care of all the tasks I wish would get done. Rely more on frozen veggies and pre-packed salads for the next several weeks. Be patient and give Dumbledore and Elf time to do cleaning. Give positive feedback to Dumbledore and Elf for all the good things they do. Keep my temper and don’t expect anything. Even if we do consult and they agree to do stuff, the timing is likely to be slower than estimated. Know that this happens and roll with it. Watch out for the get-it-done weasel in the evening. Do prep for the next day early so that I can relax and go to bed on time. Last week at work there was an invited speaker who gave a management training. He talked about how to take control of one’s life and make positive things happen. A lot of things he said are familiar to everyone here - get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, have clear goals. The one part that struck me was about being positive with the people around you. I have been using my challenges as the place where I can vent my frustrations. I will continue doing that. I’m going to be very careful about sharing my frustrations at home. I will make a conscious effort to give positive reinforcement to at least one person at work and home every day. I already work on this when I teach aikido. I will keep working on NOT giving feedback when I’m not teaching. Non-weasel goals: Exercise: strength training twice a week yoga or bodyweight and mobility training once or twice a week aikido at least two classes a week (not counting teaching). My training partner had knee surgery a week ago and is ready to get back to gentle training this week. Lots more internal power work and weapons katas. Usually two days a week. Food: No caffeine. Minimize dairy. This is a test to see if my GI tract and joint inflamation gets better. Stick with 10/14 IF most days. Keep eating lots of veggies and save the desserts for at home. There will be exceptions - work on having fewer of them and not feeding the brain weasels. Tasks: file taxes budget analysis sand and oil bokken and jo take holiday lights off the bushes buy storage box, pack up clothes on top of dresser wash and store wool sweaters (already partly done) mail yarn samples to my friend in England All the other things can wait until these are done. In particular, worrying about the other things can wait. If something actually important comes up, I can add it to this list.