Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stay Inspired.

Photo source

I found that this list actually applies to me.  I read all sorts of ridiculous self-help crap, and as an optimistic realist, I do my best to share with the world only the advice that I have tried and conquered.  This list, while simple and slightly corny, works quite well.  "I'm looking for corny in my life." (#moviequotenese)

Here is my example of applying these twelve steps to staying inspired in my day.  Make it your own, and remember, we are not looking for perfection here.

Stay Healthy:
  1. Drink a glass of water: I trick myself into drinking water by flavoring it to taste like a mojito.  I should probably stop telling people at work that I drink mojitos just to get through the day.  If it was just water, I would die the swiftest death of dehydration on record.
  2. Move and sweat: I exercise 5 days a week because I don't want to look stupid when I run a 10-k in a few weeks, and mostly because I want to eat cupcakes.  Luckily, it also probably lowers stress.  But still, I do it so I can eat cupcakes.
  3. Get more sleep: You did not need to tell me that.  It is my only ninja super power.  I am a real crabby patty with anything under six hours, and I think I am still catching up from college.
Plan Your Day:
  1. Top 3 Tasks: Check.  Now, I just need to actually do those three things first.  When I actually get the icky stuff out of the way first, I TOTALLY feel better about the rest of the day.  Get the clutter out of the way first.
  2. The 50/10 Rule:  I have found this to be important to my day now that I am in a position where I might go interrupted for more than 15 minutes.  I am totally squirrely if I don't get up, walk around, stretch, chicken someone, and chat it up.
  3. Reflect Daily: I always do this when I start a new project or job, but it gets harder when you get used to your daily routine.  This is when it is probably the most important, so that you never stop questioning the status quo or forget what needs to be improved.  I am doing this now, and am trying to continue this even as I get comfortable.  Write down everything you see, hear, or feel, even if it is big or small.  I have a four-page secret list of things that need to be addressed from these daily notes.
Keep Learning:
  1. Reading: I have given you some good book suggestions, start with those (e.g. Lean In, The Happiness Project).  Other constant sources of information for me include local bloggers and online news sources and Harvard Business Review (just follow them on twitter).
  2. Browsing: At work, research to find facts that support what you are trying to drive.  I found some compelling research to convince others when managers should recognize their teams.  At home, the hubs and I use IMDB and Wikipedia constantly, mostly to cross reference actors, and answer the question, "Where are they now?"  If nothing else, the useless information helps us lose at trivia weekly.
  3. Brainstorming:  I suggest doing this with people of different perspective than you, otherwise, you might as well just ask yourself.
Focus On What Makes You Happy:
  1. Express Gratitude: I don't know about 10 things in the morning, because that sounds like a tall order for non-morning people (i.e. me), but perhaps throughout the day.  Don't forget to tell people about your gratitude when you see them.  Their happiness as a result will be effective in boosting your happiness. Thanks for being you is a favorite of mine.
  2. Clean Your Desk: Seriously. Removing the clutter has an amazing effect.  Use one of those 10 minute breaks in the 50/10 rule to remove the clutter.  Try this at home too if you feel like your clutter is holding you back (See first chapters of "The Happiness Project").
  3. Indulge in Your Favorite Things: Let's see, watching SYTYCD, blogging, running, eating cupcakes, running to burn off the cupcakes, happy hour with friends, dinner with the hubs, pinning, reading and browsing.  Are you spending enough time to recharge with your favorite things?
Don't knock it until you try it.  Maybe doing something differently is just what you need.

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