inventing the frog sandwich

Why I Love The Internet: because I think of daft titles for blog posts then Google ‘frog sandwich’ thinking, “no way will there be an image for that!” and then find 5.7 million images. We love you, interwebs!

Hope this beady eyed chappie hasn’t put you off your lunch. I am typing this whilst eating a coronation chicken sandwich but then I have a cast-iron digestion.

Right. Have come up with amazing new motivational theory and wanted to share it in case any one else found it helpful. However it may just be me who has to treat her own mind like training a performing sea lion in which case ignore me!

As someone who is self-employed with a family, sometimes deciding what to do next can be really hard. Particularly when it is a task I don’t feel like doing. Putting off things (and emotions, and feelings) was a big part of my boozing.

The following quote, which gave the premise for this book, is (probably incorrectly) attributed to Mark Twain:

β€œEat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” 

I first came across this quote here back in 2009 which formed the basis of my current to do list system. Tsh’s argument is that you should write out a to-do list every day, and then deal with your least pleasant task first thing so that it is done and not hanging over your head.

As my length of sober time increases I am gradually getting to grips with some of the tasks I left by the wayside when I was drinking. The problem is, I let them slip for a reason. It is because they are hard. Or unpleasant. Or painful. Or expensive (!). These are all forms of discomfort, as in my seed planting post a couple of days ago.

To be honest, dealing with the nastiest thing first every day kind of sucks. Maybe when I am further down the path I will be able to do that. But at the moment – no.

Yesterday I had to deal with a work thing which has been on the back boiler for months because I couldn’t find a solution to it. It had become urgent and I needed to act on it, but I just couldn’t face it. I thought, “I know, I’ll have a treat afterwards. Treats work SO well for me. That’ll do it.” But it didn’t. I was still dreading the task too much, and it was making me miserable.

So – lightbulb moment – I decided to have a treat BEFORE the frog, as well as a treat AFTERWARDS as a reward for doing it.

TREAT : FROG : TREAT = frog sandwich πŸ™‚

I had to choose the pre-treat carefully as it had to be something finite so I wasn’t tempted to let it drag on. (Also without sugar as I didn’t need sugar brain!)

And it worked SO well for me! In my mind, I was linking the getting a treat first with the task – so I actually became ‘grateful’ to the task because I was getting a treat for doing it, so I dreaded it less than if I had just made myself sit down and grimly work through it in anticipation of a reward. I got the task done, solved the problem, and got a treat afterwards, too πŸ™‚

Another way of addressing this might be to turn the frog into a prince, as advised in this article. If we don’t perceive the task to be so hard, we will find it easier to do. This is a lot of how I am coming to approach the not-drinking thing, in the Jason Vale headset of ‘you ain’t missing nothing as there’s nothing to miss.’

Typing this to you has been my pre-treat for this afternoon’s frog πŸ™‚

I am so glad I am pre-treating now rather than pre-gaming!