Have you ever felt so blind to something taking place for so long right before your eyes that once you were aware, you were a little in shock and quite ashamed?? Once the “off season” kicked in last year, I did a lot of reflecting on the prior months that were spent primarily managing an overbooked schedule.
What worked? What didn’t? What needed to be changed immediately? What changes did I need to make immediately? Asking all of those questions is when the shock set in.
All of that said, the reflection that took place lead to some pretty high goals for 2018 and I knew that my heart, my mental health, physical health, and relationships would be in a better place if I stuck to it.
As I analyzed every aspect of how to achieve those goals, I realized that there was no “do this and everything will be fixed” solution. I knew that changes needed to be made- purposeful changes with real intention behind them. So, I stepped out from what was comfortable and made some new routines. Here’s what happened in 5 steps!
I realized that a lot of my frustrations started before the day hardly even began. To combat that, I created a new morning routine and here’s the key- I wake up BEFORE my daughter!!
I used to sleep as late as I could in hopes of resting enough for the day ahead. What I learned was that it wasn’t the extra rest that I needed, it was the chance to get myself prepared for a busy day before I began my mommy routine.
I now wake up at 5:30 am every day. I get up, I make a cup of coffee (which I then get to enjoy while its still hot), I put on my make up, fix my hair, get dressed, and then work on my computer until she soon wakes up!
It is such a simple change but it has made a WORLD of a difference!!! And! What I love most, is that I’m no longer making my way into my daughter’s room half asleep when the day begins. I cant help but think that sets her into a great mood to start the day as well when I walk in chipper, wide eyed, and bushy tailed!
TIP: This portion of time isn’t just about getting ready and looking pretty.. Its about making time for yourself!!! Enjoy the warm coffee, enjoy the silence, enjoy the tv- just use the time for YOU before you begin pouring into others.
I started drinking more water. Lack of water effected my mood, my energy, my skin, and so much more that I didn’t even realize until I started actually drinking 8+ glasses a day and FELT the difference. I’m not one of those people that can just drink water all day and love it, so it takes some commitment for me to actually reach my goal, but I always feel SO much better when I am adequately hydrated!
TIP: Create a system to track how much water you’ve had so that you can SEE your daily progress!! We have a dry erase board on the fridge. I draw 8 small circles on the board and after each glass of water, I color the circle in! I love the simple visual of my progress paired with my goal!
I always felt like I barely had time to keep my responsibilities in order, so the idea of taking time to exercise was a joke to me. But! I quickly learned that in order to clear my head from the clutter of daily life, I NEEDED to run whether that fit into my schedule or not. It helps me release any built up stress, keeps me thinking clearly, and helps me actually be MORE energized to keep up with a toddler!
I don’t try to find the time, I just do it when the time becomes available! Maybe its a few minutes before my daughter wakes up from her nap, maybe its after I’ve put her to bed- the point is that I just DO it when the opportunity is there! I run about 1-2 miles at 5-6 mph. It’s not a marathon, but its enough to keep me feeling great!
Also! Anyone thinking of Legally Blonde here??
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.” … NOT that I want to kill my husband because I’m actually madly in love with that man, but running certainly helps keep my attitude in check!
My feelings about reading were very similar to that of running. WHO has time?! However, I realized that reading is a way to calm my thoughts, a way to focus on something other than a to do list, and is a much better alternative to blank staring at my phone, scrolling through my feed! I read before bed so that my thoughts become more quite, my mind becomes more calm, and I inevitably will get better sleep!
I wanted to read the Bible this year. All of it. But then I realized that my Bible is 1940 pages of small text that requires some thought be given as you read each line and I didn’t want my reading to begin feeling like a “chore”.
I sought after a more meaningful way to work through the Bible and ended up buying a Write The Word journal from Cultivate What Matters. Each day, I write out what I am grateful for, I’m prompted to write a bible verse, and then there is space to write out whatever is on my heart at the time!! That space for me often turns out to be a prayer that I didn’t even know was on my heart until I begin to write and that is such a powerful experience each night.
I chose the Gratitude version from the Write The World collection to begin with and I write at night before turning out the lights for bed. I personally enjoy writing at night because I have the entire day to look back on. That challenges me to FIND THE GOOD in each day, even if I may have felt overwhelmed by it. It’s such a simple action that puts my heart in a joyful place of gratitude. I go to bed feeling happy, and then that joy and gratitude carries over to the next morning!
. . . . .
I’m still a work in progress, but aren’t we all?? Aren’t we all just trying to live our best lives, be our best selves, and be the best that we can be for our families?? I know those are some pretty high standards but they all stem from a place of love and kindness and seeking joy- and that, my friend, is a beautiful scenario.
We live in such a social world that lies to us every single day. “Buy this, do this, eat this, say this, go here, post that- and you’ll feel amazing!” … But I cant help but believe that all of those things may give temporary happiness but the real joy comes from digging deep into our soul and listening to what’s been laid on our hearts.
So, with that being said-
Whats on your mind, friend? What is your heart is longing for? Maybe its peace? Or joy? Or contentment? What are changes that you can make to achieve what you’re hoping for? What are new habits that you can implement into your daily life? I know from experience that even the smallest of changes can make such a huge impact, so don’t be afraid to start small and know that something much bigger will come from it!
As always, I’m just an email away and I’d love to encourage you and pray for you if you’d like to share. Just reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org !!