Thursday, April 21, 2011

Discipline and motivation

An exchange with a friend about self discipline and motivation... I thought it might be interesting to others as well.

"I wondered about keeping yourself motivated. I am usually a fairly self disciplined person, but in the past 6 months or so, I have noticed that I am "slacking" off in certain areas of my life, exercise, housekeeping, diet etc...It hasn't really become a huge issue yet, but for those of us without Dominants/Masters to help keep you in line - what "tricks" do you use when you find yourself backsliding?"

I'm extremely goal oriented and driven. I write down my goals and commit to making them happen. Sometimes certain ones take a backseat for a while but that is just a matter of priorities. I can't make more hours in the day.

Another reason why I write down my goals is because I like to cross them off my list, and see what I've accomplished in a month, two months, a year, five years. Accountability and commitment.

Now... back to staying on track domestically. :) I consider myself domestic mostly because I like living well. And for me that means creating a home environment (for myself, or my owner) that is soothing, peaceful, calm, clean and comfortable. For me, it is a matter of mindset. I used to have a hard time doing things for myself. I would do it for my master, but when it came down to just doing it for me, I would be more apt to let it slide.

When I was single, I realized I could always be *awaiting the one*, and in the meantime, I'd be letting things slide here and there if he wasn't there to enforce me getting stuff done. I could cook and serve a formal dinner to someone else, but when it is just me, I'd just grab a snack here and there because it didn't seem worth going through the trouble.

But my happiness is just as important as any future master's. So now if I am single, I do it because I am worth taking the extra time and energy for- its a form of self love. So is exercising, eating right, improving myself- I'm not only improving my life in the meantime and creating my own happiness, but I am improving the value of the potential property.

My house is my sanctuary and my refuge from the craziness that comes from trying to do more things than I have time or energy for. So it is very important to me that I keep it in order, uncluttered, clean-- my time in my home balances out the chaos from work and social life, and lets me unwind. Because I am so busy, I found it easiest to write out all the weekly tasks that I need to do to keep my home the way I want to.

Then I break them up into what I can fit into a 30 minute time period. I open the windows during the half hour and air out the house, and set a timer for 30 minutes for focused, steady work. If I need to, I do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. Anything I skip gets added to the next night and weekends are my catch up times.

Just as an example, I might plan out the following:
  • Monday: scrub the bathrooms, put out fresh towels, wipe down the kitchen and put fresh sheets on the bed
  • Tuesday: mop, sweep, wipe down the kitchen and bath
  • Wednesday: clean out the fridge, make up my shopping list, and wipe down the kitchen and bath
  • Thursday: tidy my bedroom (change pillowcases) and living room, and wipe down the kitchen and bath
  • Friday: dust, vacuum, wipe down kitchen and bath
  • Weekends: Laundry, grocery shopping, filling up the car/washing it, cleaning ceiling fans
Then I build those into my calendar so they pop up and remind me.

If needed: Once a month, I set aside an afternoon for one task (organizing spare room, purging closet, cleaning out garage) as well as an afternoon for things like shampooing carpets, wiping out fridge and oven.

Mostly, I try to do certain things every day: air out the bed, make it, wash dishes and put them away, put away shoes and laundry into hamper. The rest is just simply making the rest into a habit of cleaning 30 minutes a day to maintain. 30 minutes is not so much, and it will make a world of difference. And if not 30, then 20.

Even when I was single, this practice helped me stay on top of things so that if I ever served someone who wanted me to keep the house clean *and* spend time with them, I could keep the housework minimal and spend the extra time doing more fun things :) If you stay on top of it, it doesn't seem overwhelming-- especially since you already have a lot on your plate with working two jobs, socializing/dating, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc.

And if housework is not your thing... there are options so you don't have to do it, which opens up time to do the things you do want to do. Pay someone else, do a trade, have a friend come over to help and then go to their house the next weekend... but do something to get it off your list of things to do.


  1. Thanks for that *ahem* timely reminder! The ironing really does need doing in some quantity, so I should make a start on that this Easter weekend before our friends get here on Easter Sunday. I usually do 10 items a day when I feel like it, but lately with my new job, I'm wiped when I crawl in. Not to mention the state of the loft, that's a spider's haven, for sure. *sigh*

  2. I agree. The other thing that motivates me is that if I don't do x today that means I have to do x and y tomorrow and that x may be xx!!

    And I am a compulsive list maker. And love crossing things off.



Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin