This past weekend as I rallied the troops for room cleaning, I took a different approach. I said, "Kids, we're not 'cleaning' rooms today. Today we are going to make our rooms BEAUTIFUL!"
Okay, so they kind of saw through my ploy. But it also kind of worked. When we removed the negative connotation- the idea that we had to CLEAN and cleaning was WORK- and instead thought about how we were going to make our rooms beautiful- and making things beautiful was creative and fun- it changed our approach.
I have found this to be true in other aspects of my life as well. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed and stressed out with parenting I engage my creative energies and try to envision what I want and how I can get there. The more outside-the-box thinking I do, and the more creative I can be in solving my problems, the more fun it is.
I'm not a big fan of cooking, but the one way I've found to make it more bearable is to look for new recipes to try and to keep searching for the very best of the best so that I know my cooking efforts are going toward a stellar result. This puts a creative spin on a sometimes mundane task, and it makes it much more enjoyable for me. (By the way, my current "nailed it" file contains recipes for fajitas, fried rice, bread, brownies, vanilla frosting, chocolate frosting, and chocolate chip cookies, among other things- can you tell which types of things I spend the most time perfecting?)
Same thing when it comes to food & exercise- when I think of what I don't want my body to be (flabby and out of shape), the idea of getting rid of the negative can make me sigh and want to grab another cookie (after all, I do have the perfect recipe for them). If, however, I envision what I want my body to be (fit and healthy) and I get creative about my plan to get there (trampoline workouts, anyone?) the more fun it is to achieve my goals. Recently we've switched to much healthier eating so I've had a chance to get really creative with vegetables, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. (Cookies aren't totally out of the picture, we're just eating a few less these days.)
I have this one workout dvd in which the trainer says things like, "When it gets hard, this is where you set your intention," and "this is how we're sculpting our bodies." And it's a good thing she says stuff like that because it's a hard workout! But when I'm sweating and shaking and I hear those words: "set your intention", it makes me feel determined, it reminds me of the end goal, and I feel stronger. When I remember that I'm not just sweating and exercising for exercise's sake, but to "sculpt my body", then it becomes more of a creative endeavor than work.
So this Thanksgiving week when you may have a few extra chores to do around the house or a few more dishes to make for dinner, set your intention: you are creating a beautiful home and delicious food- have fun with it!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!