Sunday, December 11, 2016

Preparing for a Big Time Commitment

As the New Year approaches I know many people will be thinking about commitments. There will be old commitments revisited and new things to explore. I'm a curious person and there are many adventures I would like to take. Many things to learn. There is one thing I know in my four and a half plus decades of life. You can have it all but you can't have it all at once.

Twice in the past month I have heard that people don't really change until they become uncomfortable enough to change. You eat a poor diet and the doctor tells you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol but you feel fine so maybe you don't really change until you have a heart attack and vow on that hospital bed to change your life. When I was in Virginia this past year at a yoga therapy conference I heard one of the speakers say there are two ways to learn. The hard way is to have to pay a consequence or suffer from your mistakes and the easy way is to observe others. If you want to have money do you ask a rich person or a poor person how to accomplish your goal? If you want to be happy do you ask a negative person? Heck no, you find a pleasant and peaceful person.   

My career is one that has been based on many, many years of trainings. It is also a career that has required to me to constantly train and keep up. This means working sometimes seven days a week. I have learned quite a few lessons over the years to keep up with this schedule and I thought I would share them here in hopes that it would help the readers and especially in hopes that it might help some of my students. 

1. Keep a nice big paper calendar and sync it with your calendar on your phone/computer. Do this every couple of weeks. 
2. Fill your calendar out in advance. 
3. The week of your training or big commitment do not make any unnecessary appointments. 
4. If something comes up that you must do, such as a child's school event, then go but plan so that it's not to exhausting. Go right home after. Have an easy meal prepared that evening before you go.
5. Avoid alcohol the week of the event or training. Also avoid artificial sweeteners a few days before something that requires heavy thinking.
6. Eat a healthy diet.
7. Take your vitamins. 
8. Have a regular sleep pattern. 
9. Avoid negative media. 
10. Plan time off. I plan my summers with as few working weekends as possible. I make sure I am off two weeks at Thanksgiving and no weekends for three weeks during Christmas. Most months I have to work Monday to Thursday at my day job, every day at my home office and two to three weekends a month teaching or taking trainings. It is imperative that I "KNOW" I have some time off coming up so that I don't get exhausted. 
11. Take mini breaks during the week. If you are working seven days a week can you sneak in a couple of hours to do something you enjoy. Maybe a pedicure or a massage, maybe a 4:00 matinee, or dinner with a loved one. These little mini breaks are very important to not getting worn out. My dear friend once told me she enjoys one hour of mindless t.v.. One hour of relaxing is very helpful to your nervous system. 
12. Do mini exercise sessions. I do 7 minute workouts, 10 minutes on the treadmill, 5 min meditations. Sometimes I'll do them throughout the day. This is essential to my mental and physical health. 
13. Do not take on many commitments at once. Stay focused on one goal at a time. Occasionally things overlap but be very careful to not allow this to happen to often. 
14. You can not do many things well. There are so many hours in the day and simple daily activities that you must do take up much of your time. If you take on a big commitment try not to take on two at once. Sometimes this is unavoidable. I had three schools going when a dream job came along that I couldn't turn down. I immediately hired extra help to give me a break. It's hard paying that extra money but I also know that I would be mentally drained if I worked 7 days week for a year. So if you find yourself in this situation try to find a way to give yourself some relief. Hire a sitter, a house cleaner, a yard service, or someone to give you a break.