pay yourself first

I know a lot of people hate Mondays.  I’m sorry.  I’m not one of them.  I’ve always loved Mondays and I like them even more when it’s raining or cold.  I feel really productive and I think, “Well, I have to get my work done, so why have the pull of great weather taking my attention.  Crappy Monday weather simply makes it easier to get at what has to be done.

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So, on this cloudy (with a good chance of showers this afternoon) April Monday in Vermont I find myself with one of these such days. However, I’m rested, coffee fueled and hitting the ground running.  These are rainy day images from Brooklyn I shot over the weekend.

I’m trying a new process to get myself organized and I would love to hear how others do this as well.  On Sunday nights I write down a list of my intentions for the week—day by day.  This practice has uniquely organized my “highly disorganized” brain and has allowed me to relax a bit because the week is laid out for me.

I have to get very specific because I’m easily distracted.  I even write down my food intentions for the week because it sets a tone…especially after a rather indulgent weekend with friends eating and drinking beer in Brooklyn.  I pencil in writing, homework, appointments, exercise, breaks, errands, projects, phone calls, tasks, quiet time and family time.  This may sound rigid, but there’s plenty of wiggle room.

I’ve started paying more attention to what I do when and this has been a real game changer for me.  I’m highly creative in the morning and I have a lot of clarity and energy.  So, the tasks that require the most of my brain power I do first thing.

I can complete other things later in the day that require much less of me.  I don’t want to waste my most creative time doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom or paying bills.

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I was reminded when I started this practice that my Grandpa Louis used to say; “Pay yourself first, Lisa”.

He said this in regard to my savings account when I started working my first job at a grocery store when I was eleven.  However, now I realize that Grandpa meant so much more in that simple statement.  Setting my intentions for all aspects of my life; work schedule, social activities, food, exercise, creative and quiet time is paying myself first and it’s been quite effective for me so far. Thank you, Grandpa.

A BUSY BRAIN STRATEGY

LILLIBRIDGE priorities choices

This morning my friend, Marita and I discussed the need to unclutter our busy brains. I’ve found when I employ this strategy—it really helps. In the morning if I make a list of my priorities/values and say to myself that I will only:
1. read
2. click through
3. listen to
4. seek out
information that has me closer to reaching my daily goals that I’m way more satisfied at the end of the day. Try it. Just like everything else it takes practice and daily reminders. You might be amazed at how empowering it can be to act more deliberately. The irony of blogging about this when I’m asking you to not pay attention isn’t lost on me. 🙂

High Praise for Narrow Mindedness

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Lisa Lillibridge, “Noise” acrylic, 2′ x 2′, 2010

in·ten·tion
inˈtenCHən/
noun
plural noun: intentions

1.
a thing intended; an aim or plan.
“she was full of good intentions”

This painting reminds me of too often what my brain feels like—going different directions, no singular path, no intention set and therefore no thought map for the day. We think of “narrow minded” as a negative term. In this day and age I think it is the smartest path if it means you aren’t wasting time on media that isn’t getting you closer to your goals.

I am setting an intention to narrow my focus. My desire is to block the “noise” that isn’t educating me on topics that need my most urgent attention. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, lets try. Send me a note with your intention. Sometimes just telling someone makes it seem more real. Good Luck on your quest to become more narrow minded.

Handpainted Thrift Shop Bag

From This Morning's Inspiration

My color inspiration actually did have an affect on my day’s work. After my jewelry class at Jane Frank’s studio in Burlington and running some errands I finally got to my studio. Those colors I was struck by in the morning stayed with me. I kept wondering how I could use them. I wanted to sew (I have a few t-shirt reworks I want to execute). However, I didn’t really have time to get into a big sewing project so I got out my leather paints and experimented on this thrift shop bag. It needs a few more coats and the sides aren’t painted, but I love the palette. I think this is a message about setting our intentions for the day. If we set our mind to something and remain pretty aware of sticking to it—cool things can happen. Try it with—happiness, bacon, ACDC, ice cream, cowboy boots or whatever. We are powerful when we set our cap on something. What will your intention be tomorrow?