Doing something new every day – a recipe for motivation during lockdown?

I am attempting to do something new every day in a challenge to motivate myself through lockdown 3.0.

There have definitely been tough times over the last couple of days. Between the weather, homeschooling and the lockdown, life was triangulating to frustrate me.

However, having my daily challenges has certainly helped. Somehow, they are much better than a goal right now. If I’d a goal to stay off booze until the end of the lockdown, or to lose a stone or some other typical fitness/health target, I wouldn’t be arsed. Every day is like a lifetime, and imagining the future in two weeks seems like pondering a transatlantic swim. So instead, a daily challenge to find something, even something tiny, to do that’s new; that feels just about manageable while also stretching. I know some of these things are miniature fun-size accomplishments, but I feel like wonderwoman in lockdown completing them!

Yesterday I learned to speak Chinese. Well, I learned how to say hello in Chinese – Nin hao! I would have liked to research the language a bit, discover some interesting idiosyncrasies about it, learn basic sentence construction and comparisons to English or the roman languages. But I didn’t. It was beyond 10pm last night by the time I finished up all the other chores and stuff I had going on, so that was all I could manage. Plus, my husband was keen to watch the next episode of Snowpiercer.

Today I had great plans about doing something impactful, but today was not the best day of my life. It wasn’t the worst. The weather has lashed freezing rain at us for days now and I was slave to the whims and humours of two small children fed up with being stuck inside, who openly tell other people that I’m a bad homeschool teacher (they have a point), and on the snorty end of a cold. So I cooked a chicken dish I’d never cooked before – chicken breasts with Taleggio cheese and breadcrumbs. It was grand.

The brainwashing has worked very well this week (last week, my something new was to brainwash myself into enjoying homeschooling). It seemed to grease the wheels of homeschooling very well including yesterday, which was a breeze compared to normal Wednesdays. However today was too much. Today even Pol Pot’s brainwashing school of indoctrination could not have stood up to the anguish, frustration and disbelief that my soul encountered and endured for two hours. I have put it all down to the fact that my son is on the wrong side of a cold and am hoping things improve tomorrow.

I obviously haven’t been out for a walk or a run in a few days. The weather is a tyrant. However I did a very ‘robust’ session of yoga yesterday and most of my limbs aged by 100 years while I slept last night. So that was great.

New Stuff Diary:

Day 1: went to a local park to which I’d never been.

Day 2: Cooked asparagus (yes I’ve eaten asparagus before but for some reason had always been scared of cooking it)

Day 3: Read a French poem – Demain, des l’aube by Victor Hugo. It is simple yet astonishingly beautiful.

Day 4: Cooked chicken tikka masala.

Day 5: Brainwashed myself into enjoying homeschooling

Day 6: Took a break – yippee!

Day 7: Cooked chilli con carne

Day 8: Wrote a proper love letter

Day 9: Learned how to play sodoku

Day 10: Learned how to say hello in Chinese – Nin hao!

Day 11: Cooked a chicken and Tallegio dish courtesy of Mary Berry

I am attempting to do 7 resolutions over 6 days for 5 weeks:

  1. Continued embargo on crisps, fancy cheese and booze (except those used in cooking)
  2. Meditate for ten minutes
  3. Go for a run or a walk
  4. Do something new – I’ve never done before.
  5. Clean the kitchen every evening
  6. Do at least 5 sun salutations every morning
  7. No eating after 7pm (cutting my reprieve down to only one day per week but have a feeling I won’t be able to do it and will revert to Friday & Saturday)

Published by gillsheeran

Former CFO/COO who quit my job to emotionally support my family at the start of the pandemic.

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