26 December 2014

2015 here I come

I love new beginnings. On this journey called life, there are a lot of detours and delays along the way. The only way to truly reach your goal is to just keep going and sometimes (lots of times) starting over. I haven't done that lately. I've made some half-hearted attempts but nothing serious. It is now time to get serious. I am at a point in my Ph.D. quest where I have to become completely disciplined and focused if I plan on completing it and I do plan on completing it. But in my quest for that, I cannot allow my health or my work to suffer. Therefore I need a new approach. Balance. Compartmentalization. Schedule. I need to be firm with myself. I have been lazy for far too long. Cruising along, just doing what's necessary to get by. I like to consider myself a good worker. I like to tell myself that if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it well. That has not been the complete truth lately. Lately I've fallen into the good enough category and that is no longer good enough. I'm looking at writing a dissertation that will be published and read by people. Hello!!! Good enough is not good enough. I need to focus and do my absolute best. But I also need to workout too. When I don't workout is when I find myself getting lazier and lazier. I need to workout and keep my energy up. And food. Must we talk about food? Yes. When I eat crap I lose energy. I want to nap and I want to not do anything. When I eat a reasonable amount of good, healthy food I feel good. I have energy and I don't feel the need to nap. So some focus has to be put on food. Now I just need to find the balance, the way to compartmentalize each of these areas so I can devote time and energy to them without taking away from other areas of my life. Not only do I need to figure out how to work this all out, I need to stick to it. Yes, things come up, but being tired and lazy is not an acceptable excuse for that. So here goes, let's see if I can mesh this all together.

Workouts: this is not very difficult, I've kind of gotten this down already.

Monday: walk the dogs
Tuesday/Wednesday: Crossfit/Walk the dogs
Thursday: Walk the dogs
Friday: Crossfit
Saturday/Sunday: Crossfit/Walk the dogs

This is a good schedule that works out well for everyone; me, hubby, and the dogs. It is just a matter of sticking to it. There are days when this won't be possible, hubby may have to work nights, or I may have something at school, but that's okay. If I stick to it 95% of the time, the other 5% won't be that big a deal.

Food: Prep for the week will be done on Saturday/Sunday. Breakfast casseroles, crock pot lunches, etc. I can prep this all on Sunday so that during the week I only have to throw things together. And that throwing together will be done at night. After I clean up the dinner dishes, I will put all my food together for the next day. Doing this will free up my mornings for:

Dissertation writing: something I need to devote more time to. 30 minutes in the mornings would be perfect. I get up at 5am. If I have prepared everything the night before, all I have to do is make coffee and sit down and write until 5:30/5:45. By writing, I don't necessarily mean writing only. This can include reading, research, whatever is necessary. This length of time is not set in stone. I'm sure some days it will only be 15 minutes and others it might be a whole hour. The point is to do it everyday. And early morning is best for me because that is when I am most creative.

Teaching work: This will have to be relegated to during working hours. I will not have time to work on this stuff at home, so once again, I must be focused and organized. The last couple of weeks of school, I spent far too much time on facebook and checking emails. No more. Time at school will be completely devoted to work.

School work: Finally, my school assignments. Luckily I only have these 2 classes and then 2 more and I am done with classes. But for now I will need to take time during the evenings to work on this. TV watching may have to be curtailed for a while. Even if I only take 20 minutes to see what is coming up or to check discussion boards. The majority of my work will still be done on the weekends, but I need to keep on top of things during the week. That means checking the discussion boards/wikis at least every other night. Oh, idea, I could schedule my checking into my calendar. So for example, I will be working on school work all weekend, no need to check in on Monday. But Tuesday night hubby plays poker, so I could do it then. And Thursday night I generally watch stuff he doesn't like so I could do it then. Perfect. Take the pressure off to do it every night and have it scheduled. I like that.

And there you have it. It is not all that different from what I was doing before break, I just need to be disciplined and stick to the program. There still leaves time to hang with hubby and do fun things, but I have the important stuff scheduled.

One other thing I need to start doing is working on things when I don't feel like them. I will reach a point where I have something to work on and I just don't feel like doing it. I know that I can do crappy work when in that mood, so I will need to learn to focus on an area I do feel like doing. There are always a thousand pieces to any assignment, I just need to find one I do feel like working on. Also, if I know I only have 10-15 minutes, I can create interest and do something quick and easy.

Okay, I feel much better going into the new year with a solid plan. I am not good at winging it, I tend to make poor choices when I do. So having a solid plan makes me feel a whole lot better. Now, I'm off to get some work done....

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