Finding My Way Back On Track

If you were to only look at my site stats for November, you would see that I am having one of the best months ever…but I haven’t posted anything since the beginning of October. Most of my traffic is coming from recipe pins on Pinterest which makes sense since this is the type of weather where you just want to curl up with a bowl of soup or stew. In other words, it is Instant Pot weather and I have a lot of recipes for that. So why haven’t I posted anything? Well, it comes down to motivation and I have had a decided lack of it lately.

There were a couple of things that led to my lack of motivation. Work has been extremely busy because new hires finally started after being short staffed all summer, but that also meant they had to be trained. We also finally heard back from Social Security about my husband’s application for SSDI. He was denied, so we are appealing the decision. Honestly, that decision had me floored since everything I had read about the SSA Blue Book rulings led me to believe he would have been approved on the first shot. Then the killing blow happened at the end of the month when I got back the numbers on how many participants I had for my doctoral study. Out of a pool of over 400 people invited to participate, I only had 8 people participate in my survey. This was two years of work, taking at conferences to inform people about what I was researching, etc…and nothing. Colleagues, co-workers, even friends didn’t take 20 minutes out of their time to help me out. I hit a rut hard and am only now digging myself out.

Now, I teach about Happiness and Productivity. I know all about fueling your fire and flipping the script to be more positive. I also know that when you get in that rut it can be hard to dig yourself back out of it. So what can you do (and what did I do)?

Self-care is a big one. I stopped putting it off and I went to get my hair cut. It might not sound like much, but I was not happy with the way my hair looked, so that was only contributing to the problem. I got three inches cut off and bangs. With my hair looking better, I also felt better. I also prioritized me and my family. We spent the Thanksgiving holiday at home instead of traveling to visit anyone. We took our time making the meal; it was also a simple meal. We watched a lot of movies during the break. Having a stress free holiday was wonderful. I did all my holiday shopping online during the sales; so I can also say that I slept in instead of braving shopping madness. Of course, I also read books. I will have another update posted with the books I read this month. I also did some simple baking of muffins, Instant Pot experiments, and setting up some of our holiday decorations…all of which qualify as small “c” activities (everyday creativity), which can help reduce stress.

The other thing is to make a list of everything you have to do and sort that list into priority order. It is okay if not everything gets done right away, but bonus points if you do give yourself a deadline to accomplish the task. Writing the tasks down gives the task value and importance. When we give it a date or time that it needs to be finished, we are more likely to stick to completing that task. We hold ourselves more accountable. So I am back to making my lists. I use Amazon Alexa to keep a list of things I need to buy. I have multiple lists for things like groceries or things I need to buy or gifts I am tracking in the mail. I have a paper planner for my personal tasks and I use my task list in Outlook to keep track of my work-related tasks. It is important to have a system in place and to be consistent. Yes, I like post-its for reminders too, but too many can create clutter and that can just stress us out further. So I try to keep my post-its strictly for the quick notes that need additional information (like the phone number for a doctor’s appointment that I need to schedule) or the reminders about the Big Hairy Goals like focusing on graduating next year and taking a big family trip to celebrate. In other words, the reminders to celebrate and look forward to something. I also have a whiteboard setup to list my three daily gratitudes. I also decorate that whiteboard with little drawings. Currently, I have a Christmas candle with holly, but I did have a turkey on there last week. Once again, using creativity to help alleviate stress and feeling overwhelmed.

I plan to be fully back on track with everything in December. It is a new month and a new start. Let’s get this holiday season rolling!

Advertisements

Of things to come…

This next month is going to be pretty crazy for me. I just don’t know how to say no sometimes. I think I am finally starting to realize that I am becoming over extended. Yes, being Not Quite Superhuman is catching up.

I registered at NaNoWriMo’s website but have not written a single word. I just like my WIP too much to switch to another idea right now. Though I admit that I love this month because there is just soo much advice out there from writers, agents, and publishers. The fabulous Carrie Ryan, author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, was at my library last month. She started out during NaNoWriMo and said community was the best thing she took from the experience. So for the moment I am going to follow along on the networks and lurk on the blogs for all the advice and ideas that can be found.

I have also started what I am calling the great coupon experiment. I am in month two of trying extreme couponing. So far I am spending the same amount of money each month, but my pantry is full and we have been going out to eat way less. This month will be the true test because even though it is just the three of us, we still spend more when there are holiday meals.

I also started reviewing over at No Flying No Tights which is a graphic novel review website. Yeah, finally a legit excuse to spend more time reading manga and watching anime.

I fully have plans to revamp this blog started prob in January with more of a defined schedule. Some features that I am toying with are more book reviews, discount deals, and crafts. I am not sure yet what the schedule will be or what names I will call the features, but in the mean time I will offer a peek at a great discount deal. Enjoy!

Head on over to NoMoreRack for great deals on electronics, clothes, and more. Deals are good just for either one day or when they sell out, whichever comes first. You can get some items for up to 80% off or more in some cases. Plus shipping is just $2 per item. Great for holiday shopping!