Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO / What to do first?

Marjorie Spitz Rento2 Comments

Aaaaaah priorities.   Do I cook a healthful meal, or eat a greasy burger and fries at the local joint? Tackle an important project, or procrastinate with the latest reality TV fiasco?   Go to the gym, or out with friends for some holiday cheer?

This time of year, regardless of your religion, even those with the best intentions can get distracted from focusing on the things that really matter. 

You already work your tail off at the office, run your household, make time for your family, and squeeze in a shower, meals, and a bit of sleep.  Presumably, you typically make time for healthfulness, whether it is to cook at home, get in a workout, or practice spirituality.  With the holidays upon us, on top of all you have on your plate, you now have to shop, travel, attend events, be festive, often while surrounded by sugary temptations.   You are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d, to say the least.

However, with some simple prioritization, you can have your proverbial fruitcake and eat it too. You CAN still exercise personal self-care rituals; just recognize that they may take a different shape this time of year.

Can’t get to the gym AND wrap those presents for the annual festival of greed (that’s what my brother’s in laws used to call Christmas)? Well if it’s a couple of hours prior to giving out said presents, then certainly wrapping is the hot priority!  

Your physical health is obviously of critical importance, and I don’t advocate skipping the gym on a regular basis.  However, your mental health is also valuable and once you set the priority of wrapping the gifts, establish a “no guilt” zone around yourself and stick to it!   It doesn't mean you’re a bad person, just that you have to make a choice and this time, that is the choice. 

That also doesn’t mean you can’t take 10 minutes and do some of your favorite stretches, a burst of jumping jacks and some deep breathing as you dig into the gift wrapping– plus it’ll do your psyche wonders!  If you’re unable to get to the gym for your usual 45-minute work out – this time - an improvised short workout right where you are is an amazing accomplishment!

Now, alternate scenario:  if it’s today (12/9) and you aren’t giving out those gifts for a couple of weeks, then the workout may be the priority.  In that case, hit the gym with gusto. Simultaneously alleviate any upcoming present–wrapping stress by getting your prep underway.  Take those 10 minutes and do a supply review – do you have the tape, wrapping paper, cards, bows, etc.?  Make a list of what you need so you can tackle that on your way home from the gym (or online!).

This is just one example of hundreds you can turn from anxiety inducing into productive, guilt-free deeds that will result in getting your “musts” done with grace, while also chipping away at the lesser priority.

The literal definition of prioritization is “to arrange or deal with in order of importance.”   How can you arrange your life between now and January 1 to live a sane existence, with some fun and a sprinkle of good health in there too?   Imagine what a relief that would feel like!

So, right now, take a pen to paper and list the top 5 things you absolutely need to accomplish over the next week. Make those the priority and tackle them!  Get the list out of your head and in front of you. See it. Smell it.  Feel it. Go for it!  Consider anything else you achieve beautiful, tasty sprinkles on top.

YOU are in control. So what do you want to do first?

xoMarjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™

P.S.  If eating healthy among the madness is a priority for you, here are some tips!

  • place an order with Fresh Direct (or a similar service) so delicious meals comes right to your doorstep, ready to heat up.
  • set aside a day to cook and freeze a bunch of items for the week.
  • order Chinese – the restaurant will steam most items for you (chicken, vegetables, etc.). Skip the sauce and use some of your own spices, olive oil and balsamic.  Voila, fast, inexpensive, easy, healthful meal!
  • Delegate the shopping or cooking to someone else in the household for a night.  Even ask for that as a holiday gift!