If you sometimes feel trepidation about Monday morning on Sunday, Laura Vanderkam suggests a solution in her new book, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life. She says that even if we love our job we can feel some trepidation about Monday, so she offers a solution: plan something fun for Sunday night.
Here’s how I super-charge my Sunday: I pack up my yoga gear and head out to my local yoga studio to enjoy an hour and fifteen minute lunar flow yoga class. This has worked wonders for zapping me out of a funk. It’s such a great change from the usual routine and it helps to quiet my mind and set my intention for the week ahead.
5 quick ways to have more fun on Sunday night:
- Invite friends over for a movie and popcorn night
- Give yourself a manicure
- Have a chick-flick night: Sex in the City re-runs with girlfriends and homemade cosmos
- Go out for a run at sunset
- Listen to an inspiring podcast while out for a brisk walk
Create Anchor Activities
Laura Vanderkam suggests planning ahead for your weekends so you can make the most of them by choosing 3-5 “anchor” activities. It’s not about charting every single minute and hour, but instead figure out those major things you’d like to do and then designate how many hours you’d like to dedicate to them.
My 5 Anchor Activities for Today:
- Knit: 2 hours working on a new design for Creative Knitting magazine
- Read: 1 hour
- Family time: 2 hours. It’s a rainy day, so it’s all about puzzles and board games!
- Run on Treadmill: 20 minutes
- Lunar Flow yoga class: 3 hours. (includes driving time)
Estimated time — 8 hours and 20 minutes. Totally do-able! This leaves a realistic two-hour window of “open time” to prepare meals, relaxation and time for reflection in the morning and evening so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour.
You may think planning out your weekend is a little too intense because it’s time to RELAX! However, I find that if I don’t have a plan for the weekend, time just passes me by. As a result, I end up feeling a little cranky and unaccomplished. I counter this by planning my weekends just like I plan my work week. I may not cross each thing off my list, but that’s not the point. The objective is to have a road map so you don’t feel scattered or restless. Doing this little exercise will help you uncover areas where you may be too ambitious about the time you really have. Scaling your activities down can put things into perspective so you can happily enjoy your weekends to the fullest. Sometimes less is more!
Playing It Safe
I love to go out cycling. I feel so free, powerful and alive, but I also play it safe. The photo below is a road that I pass each morning. I’d like to go down it, but I’ll admit straight up– I’m scared to death– seriously. I have a phobia that I will be chased by dogs who will torture me for miles by nipping incessantly at my heels.
This “road less traveled.” heads out to farmland and it’s unknown to me, so I opt for staying well within my comfort zone by riding through residential areas.
When I think about this fear, it makes no sense. I’m afraid of something that may or may not exist and quite frankly, my fears are probably unfounded in this case. It’s easy to blame this fear on my city girl mentality. I just feel more comfortable where there are people, where there is activity, not in a desolate unknown place.
I pass this road each morning and I continue to stick to my comfortable path. Metaphorically, I know it’s showing me that I need to face the fear of the unknown and of failing. This path symbolizes many things in my life, and my guess is that you’ve faced some roads that scare you to death too. It’s easy to remain in that safety zone, but it can also be pretty depressing too because it causes limitation and stagnation.
Failure does not does not define who you intrinsically are as a person. Failure is simply part of the journey.
As soon as I hit publish on this post, I’m heading out for my morning ride, and I will be passing that road. I will need to make that decision to either turn or keep going straight. How about you? Will you punch fear in the face today?
I want to leave you with a success quote that I stumbled upon this morning which I find inspiring. I hope that it empowers you in everything that you do today!
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
On this final morning of the 21 Days to Mindfulness Challenge, I spent about an hour really thinking hard about what the post should be on this final day. I came to the conclusion that it should be about remembering all of your efforts up to this point– even the days when you didn’t stick with it. As long as you remember those tiny realizations, and those small ah-ha moments, these are definitely signs that you’re on the right track.
Life is Like a Rainbow
Think of a rainbow– you can see it, but as soon as you try to find it, it disappears. If you examine your life, maybe it’s kind of like this rainbow. Our bodies are a great way to examine this. We grasp at finding that perfect body weight. We gain a few pounds, and that perfect body is gone, then we struggle like crazy to get it back. When we have it, we work really hard to keep it. We think it’s a permanent, fixed body so we keep running after it. It hangs out for awhile, but when it decides to leave, we have to be OK with that too because this is the very nature of our existence.
“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.”
– Shunryu Suzuki
I first read this quote in The Art of Getting Things Done, by David Allen. This concept suggests that you can get your mind into a productive state by eliminating the things that cause you to overreact or under-react. Allen uses examples that we can all relate to such as: responding inappropriately to email, your staff, your projects, your unread magazines, what you “think” you should do or not do.