Today I read, with great interest, Oscar Del Ben's post, "30 Habits That Will Change Your Life."
Shari Storm: I nodded my head at each and every one of them. Then I slammed my laptop shut in frustration: Clearly, it was written by a man with no kids.
NO WAY can a mother even attempt to achieve any of those things. I mean, when would I feed the kids, take them to their dance lessons or, oh, I don't know ... talk with them?
But the article sat on my mind and sat on my mind.
Maybe I could, if I just ....
So I'm taking his 30 habits and making them mom-friendly.
30 Habits That Will Change Your Life (Mother-ized)
Exercise 30 Minutes Every Monday
Eat Breakfast Every Day
My doctor recommends oatmeal with fruit. Some diets recommend a nice portion of protein. Oh, and while you are at it, eat lunch and dinner too. Sometimes we feel too busy for meals, but they really are good for us -- all of them.
Sleep Seven Hours
This is a tough one for us. If it isn't the kids waking us up in the middle of the night, it's our hormones (or lack of). Studies have shown that new moms' chemical make-up changes so that we need less sleep when our babies are young. However, some of us don't go back to normal for years. Did you know sleep deprivation can make you gain weight?Do everything in your power to get seven hours in.
Have Healthy Snacks Between Meals
Eat Five Portions of Fruits and Vegetables Every Day
Our body and brain loves getting vegetables and fruit, so I highly recommend eating as much of them as possible. Five portions is the dose that's usually recommended by many health associations.
Fish is rich in omega-3's and other healthy elements. At least one meal per week of fish should be enough for getting all these nutrients.
Drink One Glass of Water When You Wake Up
When you wake up, your body is dehydrated. Better yet, put a spoonful of Metamucil in it. Water and fiber in one. Yum.
Bad for you, bad for your kids.
Keep Your Body Clean
This is especially true for new moms. Shower! My husband used to make me shower when my first baby was first born. I felt like I was too tired, but it never failed, it ALWAYS made me feel better.
If You Smoke, Stop
You know the health ramifications of smoking. Enough said.
Don't Drink More Than One Glass of Wine with Dinner
With all the stress, mothers are prone to alcoholism. Be careful.
Take the Stairs
Whenever you can, take the stairs. It's a quick way to put a boost of exercise into your day.
Write Things Down
Keep a notebook handy and jot things down when they come to you -- ideas, things you need to remember, etc. Look at it every morning. Once something is done/obsolete, cross it off the list. It feels good.
You know you are only going to get to three of the 20 things on your to-do list. Which ones, if accomplished will make you happiest and your family healthiest?
Plan, But Not Too Much
Act with purpose each day, but do not beat yourself up over what you did not accomplish. Think through your day each morning and celebrate what you did do each night.
Wake Up Early
Waking up early does two things -- it gives you a bit of time before the family wakes up to work on what you want and it forces you to go to bed earlier. Nighttime TV watching is the villain of productivity.
Answer Emails Twice Each Day
Don't be a slave to your inbox. Do not stop what you are doing each time you get an email. You will never accomplish the important stuff.
Eliminate Unimportant Stuff
The definition of unimportant is different for each person. My list includes: office gossip, meticulous cleaning and aimless web surfing.
Have One Place in Your House That is Yours
Make it off limits to the kids and keep it clean. It may only be a chair and table in your living room, but don't let dolls and cars and toys pile up on it. Keep it a small haven for you and only you.
Set up as many bills as you can on Bill Pay. Anything else that you can have done without touching it -- do!
Set Strict Deadlines
If you want to get something done, make yourself do it for a set amount of time each day. I published a book while working full time and raising three daughters simply by working on it one hour every day.
Take One Day Off Each Month
Spend it with your kid, your husband and yourself. Each month, I take one day off work and have a "special day" with either one of my children, my husband or me. I make myself do nothing but have fun.
Listen to Books on Audio on Your Commute
Commuting is an enormous time waster. Take the time to "read" books.
If you can do them with your kids, even better. It is great for brain exercise.
Think Positively. Always
You've heard the phrase "you are what you eat" -- and the same could be said for the brain "you are what you think."
Don't Be Afraid to Make Quick Decisions ...
But don't be afraid to wait on things. Decisiveness is efficient, but sometimes waiting is wise. Knowing the difference is where good parenting comes in.
Wait Before Buying
Wait 48 hours before buying major purchases. This can save a lot of money.
Meditate for 30 Minutes Every Tuesday
If you can't meditate, try stretching.
Every Friday, Have Coffee with a Friend
Make a list of people you enjoy or want to get to know better and line up a coffee date every Friday afternoon. There is no better career advice than to network. Plus, seeing friends is fun and therapeutic.
Keep Your Resume Always at the Ready
The day that headhunter calls, you want to be able to list your strengths without batting an eye. The only way you can do that is by periodically going over your resume. Better yet, go on interviews -- it's great practice, it will keep you knowledgeable about your worth in the marketplace and you'll be more likely to know about opportunities when they arise.
|Shari Storm is the author of "Motherhood Is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to be a Better Boss" (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's Press). Storm earned her Masters of Business Administration from Seattle University. In addition to being an executive at a $400 million financial institution, Storm is a mentor for Seattle University's graduate program and writes for the Working Mother Magazine blog. Storm has three young daughters.|