Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Turning Mountains Into Molehills with Lin-Manuel's Music

Jenn's Sad, Sad Closet
 I have a confession to make. 

< ------- THIS was the normal state of my closet for a shockingly long time.

I know….trust me, I know.
I’ve lost clothes (not to mention shoes, jewelry, exercise equipment and my sanity) in there.

I don’t enjoy living in clutter - it stresses me out to no end. The problem was that every time I thought about tackling this mess, I gave up before I even started. It seemed like way too big of a problem. It was too time consuming and too complicated. (What if I don’t have enough room for my shoes or clothes?...What if my favorite necklace isn’t at the bottom of that pile and I have to admit that it seems to be gone for good?)

Jenn's MUCH  Better Closet
This is my closet today ------ >

But don’t be impressed yet because this ain’t my first cleaning rodeo. I go through the clean-clutter cycle on a pretty regular basis. It’s not actually all that difficult to organize my closet. The hardest part is starting the job. After that, I just have to set a timer for 5 minutes and clean until the timer ends. That keeps the work from seeming insurmountable because I’m not actually trying to do ALL the work right away. I’m just working for 5 minutes. No big deal. Sometimes I really get into my podcasts and accomplish 30 minutes of good solid cleaning. I even end up enjoying the process. Totally weird but it works.

The tricky part (which I’ve yet to master) is making sure that I don’t allow my closet to become a mountain of work again. The only way for me to succeed is to make sure I spend 5 minutes, 33 seconds on my closet each day. Luckily, that’s the EXACT amount of time it takes for me to sing along with Lin-Manuel Miranda as he belts out “My Shot” on the Hamilton soundtrack.

Oh, yes. Hamilton - that groovy but scampy Founding Father is going to be the secret to my success because I’ve got 23 fabulous hip hop tracks to give me short bursts of organizational inspiration.

Wondering what my next success story will be? Weight lifting.

Wellness, general good health and having a free-from-pain and moderately muscular body is the Everest of mountains in my life right now. I have SO FAR to go and so little time to spare for exercise.

The idea of doing a 30 minute workout feels like the impossible dream, because it sounds draining and I also seriously doubt that it will make much of a difference. Luckily - science and hip-hop are coming to my rescue!

The Science

A recent Scientific American article reported that 30 minutes of walking each day (even if the walking happens in bits and pieces) reduces the risk of dying over a three-year period by 33%. That might not be enough to turn me into a svelte athlete, but it’s a darn good start.

As far as weight training goes, there’s some really great news in that department as well. This article from Greatist gives me a lot of hope because it turns out that a couple of basic strength training workouts each week could result in huge benefits.

I’m already doing a good job of getting plenty of steps in each day. (There’s nothing like a little bit of marital FitBit competition to inspire a more walking, amirite?) Now I need to find a way to add two 20-minute strength training workouts into each week. I panicked just thinking about the idea of setting aside time to build muscle until I remembered my new hero -  Lin-Manuel.

My hip-hop Hamilton plan!

Workout #1 - Start the Hamilton soundtrack at “Ten Duel Commandments” and keep going all the way through “What Comes Next.” It’s not quite 20 minutes (15 minutes, 39 seconds) but I’ll be pumped up  enough that I know I’ll keep going…King George is my new favorite villain so ‘ending’ with him is perfect because I won’t let him have the last word!

Workout #2 - Start Hamilton at “Non-Stop,” skip the two tracks that bum me out (“Take A Break” and “Say No To This”) so I don’t lose my fight and keep pumping iron (or, in my case, heavy plastic) all the way through “The Room Where It Happens.” That’s 19 minutes and 14 seconds of heart-pounding patriotism.

So there you have it - I’m going to use my favorite music to break my emotional mountains (organization and creating a healthy, strong body) down into tiny pieces.

I am NOT throwing away my shot!


Mica said...

This article is right up your alley. I have been trying to make it my new life goal plan.http://www.fastcompany.com/3056613/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/how-i-became-a-morning-person-read-more-books-and-learned-?utm_content=buffer3c1e0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

JennInAustin said...

Oh - I really like that article, Mica - thanks!