There’s something magical about the bare minimum.
I have an ingrained habit of overcommitting … even on a minute-by-minute basis. (This has actually made me chronically late for things, because I have an inflated sense of how much I can accomplish in a 10 minute period. My sincere apologies to everyone who’s dealt my policy of “3 min late is still on time ” because I got hung up building a rack for my wine collection.)
If I’m going to work out, I’m going to FUCKINGWORKOUT. Clean the apartment? DEEPCLEANALLTHECORNERSANDREARRANGEMYCLOSET. And this leaves me with a bit of a paralysis, because that level of performance for close to 33 years has – quite literally – worn me thin. I really don’t want to deepcleanmycloset. I don’t feel like sweatingmyassoff. …and if I only have an hour to clean or nap? NAP. every time.
But what if I just did a little cleaning AND took a little nap? This idea seemed in line with my recent commitment to itty bitty lifestyle changes, so I jokingly told my strength coach that 2017 is the year of the BARE MINIMUM. Quite literally an experiment in: how little can I do and still move forward?
I immediately proved my own point about needing to back off by committing to do the “bare minimum” in about 5 different areas of my life every minute of the day…. and ended up completely flattened because I was so overwhelmed by all the shit I needed to do. SO. I’m back to square one, but trying on things like:
- I’ll just unload a part of the dishwasher while I’m waiting for coffee to brew.
- I’m just going to go to the gym for 20 min and do whatever I feel like doing.
- I’ll make a super simple/bulk meal for the week.
There is a magical element in the bare minimum…it transforms into JUST ENOUGH.
- instead of avoiding the dishwasher for a week because I can’t wrap my head around cleaning the whole kitchen, the damn thing is magically unloaded and I probably found 3 min to load it too.
- Instead of agonizing over the awful squat workout I “should” do and just staying home because OHGODSQUATS … I’m magically in the gym 3-5x week.
- And instead of living on cottage cheese with pineapple because the idea of cooking for > 15 min makes me stabby, I magically have a huge pot of soup split between my fridge/freezer.
So here’s the point (because I know you’ve been wondering “Why is she talking about cottage cheese and closets today?”)
Remember the tiny ninja changes thing? What is the SMALLEST thing I can do right now that would effect larger-scale change? Apply that to the little things!
Is there a teensy action you could take that might help you feel successful? And what’s the tiniest piece of the larger whole (your kitchen/course work/business/life/relationship) you could do right now?
Feeling run down and constantly short of your goal will add up to a whole lot of feeling shitty about yourself and your goals. But constantly feeling like you made a small success?? That adds up! You didn’t fall short on a huge leap … you took a bunch of tiny steps forward! Good Job, You!!
And if you only came by for the soup recipe … it’s delicious and took me 10 minutes. (15 min if you count roasting and pulling a CSA chicken that’s been languishing in my freezer, part of which you can avoid by buying a rotisserie chicken.)
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 Large Bell Peppers (diced)
- 1 Large Poblano Pepper (diced)
- 1 Small Onion (minced)
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 3 Tbs taco seasoning
- 1/2 c Salsa
- 2 Cans Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Stock (like thick soup. feel free to adjust.)
- Optional: 1 can black beans (I don’t eat legumes, but you do you)
- Medium Chicken (home-roasted or rotisserie) shredded
- 1 small bag frozen corn
Toppings: shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, cilantro
Magically Easy Directions:
- Chop your peppers, onions and garlic. (and if you’re like me and HATE your hands smelling like onions and garlic, try this fancy trick.)
- Sautee onion, peppers and garlic in butter/oil until onions are translucent.
- Add taco seasoning and cook for 2 min more.
- Add tomatoes and salsa, and cook on medium-low for 3-5 min. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Add chicken, (beans) and corn, and simmer for 8-12 minutes or until you’re good and ready to eat it!
- Top with shredded cheese, and add chips and other toppings as you’d like!