Count your calories! … but not the way you might think

So this is The Year of Enough…
Last week’s “homework” was to make a list of everything you do in a day.

So you wrote everything down, right.

Or did you?

Have a little look over your list. Did you put in all the emotional stuff that you did that day? Chances are you forgot it… because “it doesn’t count” right? It doesn’t count in the real world, it doesn’t make you any money… but it DOES count because it takes your life energy just as much, if not more!

So look over your list and write down every major emotional interaction you had too, so

  • Comforting a sad child
  • Dealing with a tantrum or argument
  • Consoling a distraught friend
  • Helping your sister with her financial worries
  • Worrying about a major life change
  • Having an altercation with a man in a car park
  • Having some couple time with your partner
Positive or negative it’s all your energy which is being used.
And don’t forget “passive” activities, such as commuting, talking on the phone, even watching TV… And minding kids for a day or be in work is worth 100 basic points before you add in the specifics!
So now you have your full list of where your energy went in one day. 
Now to “count your calories”
Just like in a diet program you count your calories (energy parcels) to see how much you’re taking in. In this exercise you are counting your energy parcels that you are giving out. (Please note these are not actual calories – I am just using the term to make you aware of the energy impact of your day.)
The scoring system
Any action – emotional or physical which lasted 30 mins or less in your day = 50 calories 
Any action which took particular 
  • concentration, 
  • stress or 
  • took over 30 mins receives double points= 100 calories 
Add 250 calories for each of the following
  • have a full time job (including being a full time mother), 
  • have a baby under 1, 
  • are breastfeeding
  • are pregnant or undergoing IVF
  • are being woken more than twice a night, 
  • have an illness or disability
  • are caring for someone sick
  • are a single parent, your partner is working away or working late
Any deeply stressful, once in a lifetime event – a birth, death, imminent divorce, hospitalisation, major illness or hospitalisation = 500 calories a day

So add up your points. What did you get? This is how much energy you are using in a day… (for a worked example see mine at the bottom).

As with calories, an average, sustainable day would be between 1300-2000 points, depending on your energy levels, level of support, your enjoyment of what you’re doing, and a good self care regime etc.

Anywhere over 2500 is unsustainable on a regular basis – you need to get more support, simplify your daily routine, off load commitment.

Now obviously, this is totally unscientific. But if you do this for a few days you will get a sense of:

  • How much energy you are using over a day. 
  • Whether you are front loading it or spreading your energy use evenly over a day. 
  • What events are recurring on a daily basis which you could consolidate, or avoid all together?
  • Where is your energy going?
  • Where is it leaking being drained?
  • Where could you choose to use it differently?

In short, where does it point to you how to sustain your own energy-use levels and apply the law of Enough in your life.

I’d love to hear your responses…

Example: My day’s total was: 2250

  • 250 -have a full time job (including being a full time mother)
  • 250 -are breastfeeding
  • 250 -are being woken more than twice a night, 
  • 250- baby with a cold
  • 50 -Car journeying
  • 50 -Filled out my 75 things I want to do in 2012
  • 50 -Did a high speed local grocery shop
  • 50- Made all three kids breakfast and minded three all day
  • 50- Checked my email and wrote some
  • 50-Finished and promoted my blog post for Dreaming Aloud, and another blog
  • 50-Did JUNO correspondence
  • 50- Created a dinosaur scrap book with Timmy using Google images
  • 50-Got the kids to help me tidy their room
  • 50-Played musical statues with them
  • 50- Got us all dressed
  • 50-Fed the chickens and Fed us all lunch
  • 50-Emptied and filled the dishwasher
  • 50-Did a little house tidying
  • 50-Got three kids out of the house with shoes, coats and snacks
  • 50-Recycled 7 bags of clothes
  • 50-Took Meli to the nurse
  • 50-Got clay from the pottery – made a labyrinth and a sculpture
  • 50-Checked emails and Facebook – helped promote a friend’s event
  • 100-Made supper for all tonight and for tomorrow
  • 50- Brought in yesterdays washing and hung up in side
  • 100 -Kids bedtime
  • 50-TV and Wrote my list!