So it's back to homeschool at our house (double yuck) and I'm afraid we have all gone into it kicking and screaming and complaining and asking how many days until summer. Finally I said ENOUGH! We are not going to approach every day as if we live a miserable existence. I simply refuse. We love homeschool. Period. It's time to change our thinking or it will be a very long miserable year. I'm a motivational speaker for gosh sakes – it's time to walk my talk.
Well, it's easier for Mom and Dad to take that approach than it is for a 9-year-old. So Will and I now have a new routine we have added to homeschool – creating a list of things we have to look forward to. It's amazingly simple, yet amazingly effective. We sit down at the beginning of the week and make a list of the things we are excited about – Chinese dinner and movie on Friday night, a new toy on Saturday if he gets his work done on time, lunch one day at Target if he aces his tests, a Scout meeting, three martial arts classes, and getting to do his homework at the gym while Mommy works out if he promises to have good penmanship. For a 9-year-old it doesn't take much to get him excited.
Througout this process (which is working really well for now – I know we'll have to tweak it and change it up over time) I realized that I have been doing this kind of thing ever since I was little. No matter what my current situation, I always had a running ticker-tape of things to look forward to – things as simple as an upcoming birthday, to a cupcake at home with my name on it. Was I born learning to find things in my life to get excited about? Or did I learn it? I'm not sure. But it doesn't really matter. And I think this method might work for you too.
Are you facing a tough day? A tough week? A tough year? Start a routine of sitting down and coming up with a list of things you are looking forward to for that week. And if there isn't anything on that list – CREATE SOMETHING. It doesn't have to be huge. In fact, it shouldn't be. Create small treats and luxuries for yourself that you can look forward to all day or all week. For example, I'm looking forward to getting some Scallion Chicken and an egg roll on Friday night after my son's martial arts class. I LOVE chinese food. And the fact that I'm waiting all week to get it, means I'm sticking better to my healthy foods the other days. It's also Netflix movie night with my son (his choice – dear God, please don't let it be zombies) so he's excited all week about that. And you don't have to pick things that cost money. Maybe you want to tell yourself that on Saturday afternoon you are checking out from motherhood for a long bath, candles, and a book. You're allowed. Add it to your list. They'll live.
It's amazingly simple. But many of us stay in the miserable stage. I think because we're just too busy to stop and talk ourselves out of it. Or maybe because we don't have a routine. Well, here you go. Happy week!