I just discovered a dramatic life-improving secret that’s so simple and stupid, you’re going to laugh.
Here’s my problem: I come home in the evenings, tired, with a cranky toddler who’s also tired, and quickly become totally overwhelmed by the zillion things I want to accomplish. (Make dinner! Spend time with son! Work out! Shower! Blog! Get groceries! Meal prep! Clean the house!)
So guess what really happens. More often than I’d like to admit, I end up in front of the TV, paralyzed because I have so much to do that I don’t know where to start. (And screw it, anyway–I’m tired.)
Yesterday, I tried something revolutionary: I scheduled my free time.
The schedule didn’t start until after my son went to bed, so nothing interfered with the little time we have together. But from then on, the night was scheduled out. I even planned multi-tasking, like doing an online barre workout while the sweet potatoes I was prepping for lunch were in the oven.
You might be gagging at all this, but here’s the thing: free time is not actually enjoyable when it comes with guilt. When I’m relaxing on the couch, but wish I was doing one of 1,000 productive things I could be doing, it’s not that relaxing at all.
When I make a realistic plan for the things I’d like to get done, considering the time I have, and strategically work in some guilt-free down time, it suddenly looks 10x more manageable. Plus, when I get to the free time, it actually feels relaxing and deserved because I’ve checked all the must-do’s off my list. Maybe I didn’t clean the house or do any blogging, but those things weren’t on the schedule for that night, so I don’t care.
Anyway, we’ll see how this goes. I’d at least like to come home at night with a general list of things I want to get done, so I don’t keep falling into the “I want to do everything, but I can’t, so I’ll just do nothing” vortex.
In the meantime, as promised, here comes the giveaway I was telling you about yesterday!
This is very different from the giveaway offers I generally get, and I’m not positive it’ll be something that’s appropriate for my general audience on this blog, but I thought it was so cool, I had to share!
I was contacted by the folks at Adventure to Fitness, asking if I’d be willing to give away two 6-month subscriptions to their online kids’ educational fitness program.
Main features of the program include:
—Interactive Fitness: Short, engaging 30-minute videos and activities to encourage kids to exercise while learning important health facts.
—Education: Each “adventure” integrates academic material like math, science, social studies, language arts, and history.
—Kid-Friendly Recipes: Healthy recipes to ensure that kids are getting the nutrition they need to stay fit.
Now, the idea of “workout videos for kids” might sound like it sends the wrong message (since we ideally want fitness to come from natural play), but these videos actually look seriously fun for kids.
Plus, the sad reality of winter (at least where I live) is that kids don’t get to blow off steam outside as much as they should, so creativity becomes necessary. (Here I go again, right?)
Here’s my crude description of the videos: this guy goes on thrilling missions in cool landscapes (the forest, jungle, arctic, etc.)–ducking under obstacles, jumping over things, and dodging predators. When he’s not doing a special movement, he’s running in place (at a steady pace, or extra fast when escaping predators). Kids are encouraged to do the movements with him, all while he’s casually teaching them terms like “tuck jump” and sharing random facts about animals.
Check out this example:
I know that a huge chunk of my readers either don’t have kids or have younger kiddos who aren’t quite ready for this level of exercise action. But I also know that some of you are teachers–maybe this could be a good way to break up a lesson and get kids refocused, or just help them survive these last weeks of winter?
If this isn’t something you could use personally, do you know anyone else who could? If so, either point them here, or you’re welcome to try and win yourself as a surprise gift!
I could see this being especially exciting for kids who see their moms do fitness videos at home. Here’s one just for them! (And it’s way, way cooler than ours.)
–Two winners will each receive a free 6-month membership to Adventure to Fitness (a $60 value). Memberships include unlimited access to 10 episodes per months, plus activities, quizzes, and episode guides.
–Contest is open to anyone in the US or Canada.
Leave a comment below telling me what you’d do with the membership. (Try it out with your kids? Classroom? Give it to a friend/relative?)
Contest closes at midnight next Thursday, 2/20/14, and I’ll randomly pick two winners the next day.
Want to help me out and spread the word about this giveaway? <Tweet This> (thank you!)
Does anyone else get stuck in the paralyzed couch vortex?
What are your secrets for making the best of your free time?