Earlier in the year, in episode number 22, I talked about having a witching hour. A close friend of mine and I were discussing that episode and she had an honest beef with the terminology I used. At first I laughed a little. I mean, I don’t much like touting phrases that are loaded with witch-crafty ideas either. However, she also mentioned that she would have loved for me to approach it in a more positive light.
Her words stuck with me, aligned with nudging from the Holy Spirit.
She was right. That time of day, when we are the weakest, the most empty of peace, and the most susceptible to bad choices, is also the most blatant invitation from our God to take care of ourselves.
First of all, I have to debunk the argument you are having in your head right now. It is the same one that I am still having. It is the argument that if I do anything but push through and continue to work that I will be less than enough. That I won’t be doing right by my family. Not only is that not true, but when I don’t stop and refresh, I spend the rest of my day spiritually limping and often falling flat on my face full of resentment that bubbles over into my family’s dinner and bedtime prayers.
So, you and me, we are going to reclaim our reset time.
For real, sister, let's do it.
First, I want you to identify the time of day that you are running on empty. It might be a transition time from work to home. It might be nap time for your little ones. It might be the moments right before bedtime that you just feel you absolutely can’t go on. Whatever time it is, identify it and right it down.
Next, what are two to three activities that you can do for five to fifteen minutes that can refresh you? Think of quiet time, a phone call to a mature friend that holds space for you, prayer, reading your devotionals, moving your body. One thing that often helps me figure out what can help reset me, is I think about what I did all day. If I was with people and doing lots of thinking, then a walk alone is what I need. If I was up on my feet cooking and cleaning, then I might need to sit down and journal. You need a break. You need to reset.
Lastly, make a firm boundary about your reset time. I know this is where I am personally having trouble. I get home from work and I see all the things I need to do on the farm, in the house, or for the girls, and I fearfully push through and then am angry and exhausted the remainder of the evening (which is still several hours that could have benefited from a happier Lora). After you have set your boundary, follow through. Let your family know what you are doing. When we do this, we are also showing the people around us that we value rest and caring for each other’s needs. You might even ask someone in your family to keep you accountable to that reset time.
Like I said, this is one I am working on. I have gone through seasons where I did my reset time so well, but since going back to teaching it has been a habit that comes and goes. As I started the new school year, I haven’t been as consistent as I need to be with this reset time. I would love to hear all of your ideas for your reset time. Let me know on Facebook or Instagram or even the podcast notes for this episode on my website.
You are brilliant, my dear. Join me here next week when we talk about a choice you might be making daily that undermines your health. I’ll talk to you then, goodbye for now!
I thought it would be fun to give you a little list of ways and reasons to get moving again today.
You know, exercise has been found to decrease stress, lower cholesterol, help us sleep, help with anxiety and depression, help us age, increase bone strength and on and on. But, it can be so ridiculously hard to tie the laces on our sneakers and get to it. So, today I’m sharing some fun ways for you to take another look at exercise and make it work for your unique and special life. Now, just a disclaimer, some of these ways don’t really go together but others you can combine to make them work for you. You’ll see what I mean once we get started.
2. Be adventurous
Literally approach your exercise as if it is an adventure and a desirable experience. Go for something you want to try like salsa dancing or outdoor hiking. Make it a hobby. Make it part of something you do with friends and family. If you are a social person, make it part of how you reconnect with others. If you crave time alone, build it into another way to be quiet with yourself away from others. Make it amazing. Don’t just copy and paste someone else's work out routine, do what sounds blissful just for you.
3. Reward yourself
This goes back to how we tend to only notice and pat ourselves on the back for results or some sort of big-finish line results. That is often why people only start running if they sign up for a race or will take up an intense kickboxing class in order to shed some pounds. Instead, I want you to really consider what exercise feels good for you. Then, set up a habit-based reward. I wish more women did this in more areas of their life. Exercise is so good for our body, mind, and heart and yet we will lose motivation so quickly if we all have a calendar date or a number on the scale. Please, reward your consistency. Nobody else is going to. Write it down. Give yourself a carrot. For example, you might say you are going to treat yourself to a massage when you make it to your pilates class every time this month. It’s like telling yourself that you care and it will make you so much more likely that you’ll follow through with more goals in the future.
4. Make it about life not loss
We usually have a reason (or two or three) for why we want to exercise, but weight loss will overshadow them. Then, I usually see one of two things happen: You’ll give up if the number on the scale doesn’t move or doesn’t move quickly enough OR you’ll stop exercising when the number on the scale gets to where you want to be. Stop making your movement be about losing something. Instead, make your number one reason about your quality of life. Push for the energy you want to feel. Push for the confidence you want to feel in your body. Push for the ability to play with kids, enjoy a shopping trip with friends, or submerge yourself in nature with utter joy. Let me tell you, that is true love. When you make it about weight loss it can take on some punitive tones. Working out can become something you have to do because of the shape you're in and the fix you got yourself in with your health. Exercise might even become your focus because you ate some extra brownies or don’t want to look a certain way in family photos. I feel like we are designed to avoid things that feel hurtful and if you approach exercise this way, you will dread it. Every time. It will feel like homework, chores, or punishment and then you’ll wonder why you just can’t seem to make yourself follow through.
5. Notice your results and progress
This last tip is important. I want you to find exercise routines and activities that can last you a lifetime. Notice your results. Write down how much you laughed with friends during your hip hop class. Take a selfie of that smile you had when you made it to the top of the hiking trail. Take before and after pictures of your arms, stomach, and thighs. Cross each day off in your calendar. Download a habit tracker for your phone and post your streaks. Anything. Just NOTICE and mark it down. Study shows that when we do this, we teach our brain what is important to us. After a while, getting off the couch and moving will become more important than the new episodes of our favorite show or scrolling for just a few more minutes on Instagram.
There you have it. My five fun ways to bring joy into exercise.
Oh how thankful I am that I get to do this work with you. My work as a life coach constantly returns to how we can live more fully our victorious life in Christ as we do the good work we were created for. You are so precious to me.
Pinterest was my friend. Anytime I felt bored with my diet or frustrated with my results, I pulled open my phone app and began to scroll. Within an hour I would have downloaded an infographic, a calendar plan, or a new book. My heart would hammer with hope. I couldn’t wait to get started, to push myself toward a challenge, to reclaim health and sanity, and (mostly) shed some pounds.
Today I want to talk about four reasons you might be addicted to dieting. I want you to look at some of the habits you have around dieting that might really be holding you back from permanent weight loss. But, I won’t leave you hanging. For each reason I’ll also give you a great tip or insight to help you turn this around.
1. You want quick results.
This is the most common reason. Those “extreme” diets can give you quick and astounding results. The problem is, you make such drastic changes, concentrating only on what you are putting into your mouth, that the moment the diet ends, your brain and body rebell. Essentially, you boomerang right back into your old habits and often right back to the same number on the scale.
Pro tip: Make smaller changes and pay attention. For example, I went vegan a few years ago in my attempt to get my cholesterol under control. I eventually went on meds but there are tons of vegan habits that are still an established part of my diet. Why? I ate a lot of the same food, but they were prepared differently. I also didn’t go “cold turkey”. Instead, I began by preparing a few vegan meals a week and paying attention to what I enjoyed eating and how it made my body feel.
2. You diet out of fear because of something you heard or read.
It is a confusing world out there. You can find a diet book that claims just about anything. You can go full carb, no carb, vegan, paleo, keto, whole-food, Mediterranean…you get the idea. Honestly, pick a food, pick ANY food and just google why that food is good for you and you’ll get something. It reminds me of the verse in the 2 Timothy 4:3, NIV, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” That fear you feel when someone tells you why onions are destroying your arteries is completely normal. Be kind to yourself, acknowledging that your brain is designed to do whatever it can to keep you safe and as pain-free as possible. Then, make a decision not to react but to make a rational choice.
Pro tip: Do your research (on both sides). Ask your doctor. Listen to your body. Think about what makes sense for your life and family. I recently coached a lady who teaches and takes her children to multiple extra curricular activities. I told her that eating out wasn’t evil. If it makes sense for your life and family, make a plan for what you will eat and how you will order and stick to it. Overeating is so detrimental to our health. You can start with small healthy changes and have amazing and sustainable results at the end.
3. You want a challenge
I literally lost weight through a life coaching program and then turned right around and tried to find another diet. I missed the challenge. I missed that feeling of success and pride. It is a personality thing, often, but it is also deeply connected to our self-esteem. I got really good and patted myself on the back when I was following a diet but shaming myself when I wasn’t.
Pro tip: Start installing amazing habits and reward yourself for percentage of completion or streaks. For example, you might want to install the habit of weekly meal planning. You tell yourself that if you do it 11 out of 12 times in the upcoming months then you will reward yourself with a new small kitchen appliance. You are building your self-esteem. Essentially telling yourself that you notice your own hard work and positive changes.
4. Dieting feels “normal”.
This makes me so sad, but it is just a fact. For myself and so many of the ladies I coach, dieting has been a major part of their life for decades. When you stop there is such a void. How do you just quit?
Pro tip: Acknowledge that healthy people still think about what they eat and how their bodies feel. You’ll still want to have healthy habits in place that support your health. You’ll want to listen to your body, avoid food that makes you feel bad, and try new foods that help you level-up to smarter food choices. You just won’t always be eating off of an infographic food chart or following a calendar you downloaded from Instagram. You’ll learn how to use smart information and your body’s signals. It is essentially just another form of dieting, but it is closer to how God created us to exist.
I hope today’s podcast gave you a little more insight into that dieting Ferris wheel that might be calling your name. If you want more help with this, I’ll be opening up enrollment for my next group in just a couple months. Head over to my website and click on Weight Loss from the Soul to sign up for the waiting list. My love to you!
Adela went bowling as part of a class trip last fall. She loved it. She told me all about all the pins she had knocked down and all the points she earned. I was confused, wondering how a beginner could be an obviously better bowler than her poor mom, but then she told me about the bumpers that had been set to keep her ball in the lane.
Boundaries can be looked at in two ways: restrictive or constructive. I want you to see them as constructive, keep your ball in the lane so you can knock your goals down one by one. To do this, I want to look at 8 areas of your life where boundaries are helpful. You might even consider some boundaries in these areas especially if you are struggling in these areas. The areas are faith, physical health, mental health, emotional health, marriage, parenting, relationships, career, and finances.
When you create a boundary you need to ask these questions.
What is my goal?
What is keeping me from fulfilling this goal now?
What would have to change to make me successful?
What do I have control of that I could use to protect my efforts?
Faith: This one is incredible personal but where we start first. I like to advise my ladies by first asking two questions: How do you want to continue to learn about God? How do you want to make sure you include God in your life? Personally, I put the boundary in place that I mentioned in our routine series that I always begin my day with Bible Study and prayer is essential. I do not do anything else unless I have spend time in God’s word and in conversation with Him. It is a boundary that helps me connect with Him and put Him first in my life. You might do something similar or you might have a standing date with a prayer partner or do a devotional with your husband. There are many boundaries you can put in place to make sure God is getting a place in your world.
Physical Health: I have oodles of boundaries ideas for ladies that struggle with physical health issues that are related to emotional eating. Personally, I don’t eat unless I’m physically hungry. That is a boundary that helps me not emotionally eat and it helps me tune into my body’s needs. Other physical health boundaires my put limits on sweets, alcohol, times of day to eat, when you exercise, how much water you drink, and the quantity of sleep you get. Our body’s are vessels of the Holy Spirit and we can do nothing on this Earth without our physical bodies.
Mental and Emotional Health: This one can feel tricky, but incredibly important. Want to hear one boundary that really helps me? I don’t multi-task. I just don’t. I know multitasking saps me of mental energy and makes me go from peaceful to anxious and frustrated within a couple minutes. My only excepts is if you am doing something entirely mindless like driving or gardening. Your boundaries might be turning your phone on Do Not Disturb in the evenings or meditating before getting started on evening chores. The question to ask yourself is, where do you feel your mental energy slipping and emotions go from peaceful to reactive. How can you protect yourself? Where to boundaries need to be put in place?
Marriage: How do you need to protect time with your spouse? I have a standing rule that my husband will not eat alone. Even if he arrives home at midnight from moving cows, I will sit with him. I also like to make sure that whenever possible we do something special together once a week, even if it is snuggles and a movie on the couch.
Parenting: Parenting can be life-consuming. So, let me keep this as simple as possible. What do you kids need from you? How do your kids need to grow? Right now my daughters need to know that even when I am busy that they are loved, seen, and important. They also both need to learn how to be responsible human beings. So, our boundaries include me always looking them in the eye when they talk to me and they also have to do their chores and homework.
Relationships, careers, and finances are the last three areas. I decided that instead of giving you personal examples, I would love to hear from my listeners. To do that, go over to the page for this podcast. I’ll link it in the show notes, and leave a comment. Or, you can contact me on Facebook or Instagram. I would love to know what boundaries you have in place to protect your relationships with family and friends. How do you use the concept of boundaries in your career and finances. Just let me know.
Have you ever traveled and put your jewelry in a little bag? Inevitably the necklaces and bracelets become a messy ball of shiny chains. If we ever want to wear them again, we must painstakingly begin to pull apart the mess. We surely can’t afford to throw them away and buy the same pieces again.
I want you to keep this analogy in your head as we talk about the wreck you believe your life is in.
First of all, you cannot get all the knots out at the same time. You can’t just try to shake it hard and have it all work out. If you do that, something might even be damaged.
You have to go slow and target one tangle at a time.
This is exactly how it works when we feel like our life has gotten too chaotic to reign in. With school season starting, I know you are looking at all this and feel like you have a lot of irons in the fire. It might even seem like you would like to throw it all away and start over, but that is not really possible.
So, this is how and where you start.
Step 1: Write down all the problems or areas in your life that you feel you need to work on or sort out. Think about your relationships, your health, the physical condition of your home, your faith, your children, your mental health, your marriage, your job, and your finances. I know this might seem intimidating, but once ti is on paper it can be a relief to stare it all in the face. It becomes more tangible. You can look at it from different angles instead of all these issues bouncing around in your head like crazy worries. And some things you will even let go of.
Step 2: Divide them into tasks and habits. A task is something that simply needs to get done. Such as, buying the kids school supplies or writing thank you cards. A habit is something that needs to get done with ongoing consistency such as working out or going on date nights with your husband. Now, there will be a few things on your list that are both a task and a habit so you would list them in both areas. For example, you might need to reorganize your closets and then would need to develop the habit of maintaining that organization.
Step 3: Schedule out your tasks in a doable manner. If you are a working mom I would consider scheduling only a single task per week or even a couple a month. But, truly schedule them. Put it on the calendar the same way you would do any other event and then follow through.
Step 4: Pick one habit at a time to work on. I know we want to do all the right things right now and right away, we are more likely to be successful if you concentrate on one habit at a time and then build on them from there. Believe me, if you picked twelve new habits you wanted to install and said you wanted to start on all twelve tomorrow, you would most likely fail and be extremely frustrated in the process. But, if you concentrate on putting in place one habit a month, you can end the year with 12 new positive habits firmly installed into your routine of life.
Step 5: Monthly reassess. Each month get out your task and habit list. Schedule your tasks and begin work on a new habit.
This is how true and lasting change happens. Don’t be discouraged by the time it takes. That time is also a powerful blessing that shapes your character and develops your life.
I also want to pause and ask you that you lay down any shame or self-condemnation you might feel at this point. Things happen and we deal with them the way we know how in the moment. When Micaela was a year old I had to take a hard look at my life. I had spent the last two years in survival mode between pregnancies, moving homes, and parenting. I had spent the last nine months figuring out Micaela’s therapies, doctors, and daily care. My older daughter, Adela, had spent most of her time in front of the TV. I haven't exercised in forever and my eating and drinking felt out of control. It was a terrible situation to be in. My first steps forward were baby steps. They are actually why I call my work The Beautiful Day Project. I had to figure out how to have beautiful days even within the struggles and heartbreak that seemed to fill my life.
Okay, here is a little rehash of the steps.
I feel like my PM routines are really where I need the most discipline and follow-through. Honestly, I have the tendency to become incredibly reactive as stress levels rise and energy levels fall. My routines in the afternoon circle around closing down work in a way that I can be present with my family, caring for myself so that I can refill and show up as the mom and wife I want to be, and go to bed at an hour that I feel rested and replenished the next day.
We are going to work through the final parts of our routine and as we do, I want you to remember to give yourself grace and be realistic. Follow through is goal number one, so if you make your routines unrealistic for yourself and your family, you will not be able to execute them in a way that feels successful for you.
In order to set up your routines, I have some questions for you to ask yourself followed by an example of what I do. The three routines we will look at are: prep to leave work, arrive at home, get ready for bed
Prep to leave work:
How do you need to feel when you end work so that you can be present at home and with your family?
What communications do you need to check?
What planning or calendar systems should you check?
Are there any people you need to check in with before you leave?
What needs to come home with you?
I want to feel confident that everything got my attention and I am ready for the next day in my classroom. I check my emails one last time. I go over our calendar and write anything down in my planner that might need my attention. I also make a plan for the next day while I’m in the mindset of what needs to be prioritized. I finish up any grading or physical cleaning and organizing of the classroom. I grab my water bottle, coffee mug, and lunch box and turn off the lights.
Arrive at Home:
How do you and your family need to replenish?
What tasks or chores need to get done and who should be responsible for them?
What needs to be prepared for the following day?
Okay, I begin with replenishment. At this point I’ve already driven home with the girls and reconnected with them so I set the girls up with some snacks and some music and then I do 15 minutes of intense exercise followed by five minutes of meditation. I would also like to add five minutes of journaling here. After that, the girls tackle homework. When homework is done we move one to household chores. I am going to make a checklist for Adela here, too. Then the girls have screen time while I cook and finish preparing items for the next day.
Get Ready for Bed:
How do you want to feel ending your day?
How do you want to connect with your family?
How many hours of sleep does your body need?
How much sleep do your children need?
What activities will help you decompress and help prepare your body, mind, heart, and soul for sleep?
Bedtime begins with what my daughters’ needs. Micaela needs extra attention with medication and self-care. When we are all ready, we like to read together, pray together and sing our bedtime songs. I like feeling connected with them before I turn off their lights and walk away. Then I get ready for bed physically and when I am all cozy and in PJs, I read and go over how my plan for the day went and what tomorrow will look like. Then, honestly, I just go to bed. I might watch TV on the weekend with my husband, but, don’t laugh, most TV shows make me feel anxious or too full of thoughts to sleep so I just avoid them. My girls go to bed between 7:30pm and 8:00pm. I am usually in bed by 8:30 pm on the weekdays or 10:00pm on the weekends.
So, there you go. Successful routines can be yours. One thing I should mention here is that while of course our routines look different on the weekends, some things stay the same. For example, I still like to do my self-care routine in the later afternoon even on the weekends. I also find that the girls bedtime routine is incredibly important to follow through on no matter what day it is. Lastly, my Bible Study and coffee happen no matter what, even if I’m still in PJs and the family all woke up together. I just know it is something I need.
Okay, you’ve got this my dear. Our routines can create powerful change in our relationships and health. Let me know how it is going and, once again, don’t forget to download that routine toolkit. It’s on my website under free resources and it is linked in the show notes.
If you listened to the last episode then you should have done your homework, evaluating your current or past routines, writing down what is or has been happening. For example, I’m looking at the upcoming school year. I sat down and looked out routines we have used this summer and routines we had last year. My goal is to develop something that works for myself and my family during this upcoming year.
Our morning routines are essentially broken up into the areas: Wake Up, Before You Leave, and Land at Work. I want to break this down for you and give you some important questions for each area that you need to answer. I will also show you what this looks like for me.
How much time do you have to devote to coffee, devotional, journaling, planning, & getting dressed?
Do you want to include some movement or exercise?
What needs to happen to make sure you actually complete this routine?
How do you want to feel after you do your wake up routine?
My routine is simple. During the school year I grab coffee and get dressed, doing my hair and make up. Then I sit down, do my Bible Study, plan my day, and dig into some social media work and posts. I wake up at 4:30am in the morning to do this so that I have time alone before the girls wake up at 6:00am. That might seem extreme, but it is incredibly important and works very well in my life.
Before You Leave:
What does your family need from you to set them up for success?
What can and should they do for themselves that you simply need to check in on?
What do you need to make sure you take with you when you leave the home?
What do you need to check on before you leave?
How much time do you need to get this done?
What do you need to do to make sure you follow through with this routine?
My routine for this area leans heavily on that wipeable list. I have to make sure that Micaela is dressed with her leg braces and glasses. I have to give her a bolus of water through her G-tube and make sure she gets her meds. My dad usually gets them on the bus so he will make sure the girls eat and brush their teeth. Adela is ten, so this year I’m actually going to post her own checklist that I will check on before I leave. I have to make sure I have my water, coffee, and lunch before I exit the home. If there is anything special happening on that day, I actually leave space on the checklist to write it in for that day. You’ll see that in the example on the checklist, of the routine toolkit.
Lastly, there is the “Land at Work” Routine: (home or work)
What transition do you need to make in your brain as you switch from home to work? What would help you do this?
What communications do you need to check?
Are there people you need to check in with?
What planning system or calendar should you look at to know what your day entails?
My routine begins with prayer for myself, my coworkers, my children, and my students. Then I check emails and update my planner with any tasks or dates that need my attention. I go over my planner and my plan for the day then I get to work. Work might mean morning duty or it might simply be doing some lesson planning before the first bell.
Okay, my love, be real with yourself as you plan out these routines. If you are a beginner who has never had routines or have gone through a serious life transition, give yourself very short routines with plenty of time. What you want to cultivate is follow through. Not some sort of grand and expansive routine.
The three routine areas we looked at are Wake Up, Before You Leave, and Land at Work. Go ahead and get the free toolkit resource. It will lead you through the routine building process. I’ll see you here next week for the last part of this routine series.
People often ask me how I do it all and I have to say first of all that I don’t do everything. There are many things I ask for help with and there are many areas in my life that are simply not up to 100% perfection and that is perfectly okay. But, with a special needs child, a farm, a full time job as a teacher, a home to maintain, and my life coaching work, it is routine that keeps me centered and peaceful most of the time.
Routine also allows other people in my life to step in and help out. More on this later.
Right, so I am finishing up my daily wipeable routine right now. I have a summer routine on the fridge but as soon as that first day of school comes around, I’ll be posting our school-time routine to the fridge and our routine will be ready to go. Some things won't be changing but other things will change drastically.
Routines are simply habits that follow one another in a series.
What is the benefit? The benefit is that you don’t have to think about them, they just happen. For reals. You save time and mental energy plus, if you are proactive, your routines can set you up for a more healthy and successful life.
Everyone has routines. Think about it. You have things you do right now at certain times of the day without having to think about it. You might come home and put your purse or bag down at the same spot and then go straight to the refrigerator for a snack. In the evening you might go to the same chair and turn on the TV before you begin to scroll on your phone. In the morning you make your way to the coffee pot then check your phone again. See, you already have routines, but today we are talking about leveling up our routine game.
To do this, I am breaking it up into beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels, because if you have never worked on your routines, then we need to start with an expectation that you can follow through on. However, some of you might have done work on your routines in the past and you simply need a fresh infusion of idea and a couple good tips to get you ready for the school year.
Lets jump in.
I like to divide my routines into six areas. Don’t worry, they’re not that complicated. Wake up, get ready to leave, land at work, prep to leave work, arrive at home, get ready for bed.
Wake up: This is the very first part of your day. It might happen before the rest of the house wakes up or it might be you handling it all the moment your feet touch the ground. Either way, this is the order of events and what you do to set you and your family up at the beginning of the day. A key question you want to ask yourself is how you want to feel after your wake up routine.
Get ready to leave: This part includes making sure you did chores and that you and your family have everything they need to leave your home and go to school and/or work.
Land at work: For me this is checking my email and getting things out for my students before they come into my classroom. For you it will be anything you need to do to get yourself set up for the work tasks on your plate. This also helps you make a key mental shift from home to work.
Prep to leave work: I like to leave work after checking my email one more time, taking anything home that needs to be done, and having a plan for what I need to tackle when I get to work the next day. This is also a mental shift time. I’m shutting my work brain down so that I can come home as a wife and mother without the niggling feeling that I might have forgot something.
Arrive at home: This routine is key to my mental health and where I find I need to plug in my exercise and some decompression before we get started on homework, etc.
Get ready for bed: In order to rest well, I know there are certain things that work really well for me. I do them here.
Okay, don’t turn this off. Like I said, you already have a routine for each of these areas. I have a whole routine building toolkit that you can sign up for and it is entirely free. But, before you dig in, I want to talk about deciding first if you are a routine beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Beginner: You would know you are a beginner if you feel like you have no healthy routines at all. Perhaps you feel like your life is completely chaotic and utterly unpredictable.
Intermediate: You are an intermediate routine enforcer if you feel like you have some healthy routines or habits in place in a couple areas I mentioned before but feel like those routines need some work and feel like you could use some routines in more areas of your life.
Advanced: An advanced routine enforcer has routines built into most areas I mentioned. You will enjoy revisiting these routines and making changes as needed throughout the year.
Okay. We’ll be spending the next three weeks on routines. For now, I want you to simply look at your routines. You can grab a notebook or use the resource from my website that I’ll link in the show notes. Think about what you do currently, or if you are like me, think about what you were doing during the school year last year. Write it all down. Decide if you feel like you are at the level of beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
This is the first step and it is crucial. Evaluating current and past routines allows you to become curious about your life and what is working and what it isn’t. You can work through the routine toolkit from there. If you are a beginner, I will want you to only pick one or two habits in each area to put in place. More than this will overwhelm and you won’t follow through.
Let’s recap today’s episode.
Today we defined healthy routines as a series of habits that make you more efficient. I went over six areas that most ladies benefit from having proactive routines: Wake up, get ready to leave, land at work, prep to leave work, arrive at home, get ready for bed. Lastly, I left you a task of evaluating your current routines and deciding if you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Okay, now, I promised you a fun hack, right? Okay. Use a laminator or a document protector and start checking off your routine as you do it throughout the week. This will make things fun and also help you solidify your routines into place. After a while doing it will become automatic. No check marks required.
When the girls were little, I so wanted to become a runner. My sister and a couple friends were avid runners and they described how good they felt and how they loved the freedom the activity came with. However, I was so unsure of myself. I had so many questions and worries. Would I be able to consistently train? What if I did things wrong and hurt myself? What if I did things wrong and wasn’t ready to run a race? Would running be worth the investment of time? Finally, I signed up for a 10K and simply jumped in.
It was one of the absolute best things that I did that year.
It was the same year that Micaela developed epilepsy, Adela began preschool, we started farming, and my husband started a new job that required a long commute. There was a lot going on in our lives, but the hours spent running and training were pivotal for my mental and physical health. The investment of time was worth every minute.
What about your health goals? I work with women all the time who would like to lose weight, become more active, or handle their stress and anxiety better. However, we all have lives and women these days have so many responsibilities it makes our heads spin. The very idea of adding another complication to life feels completely ridiculous.
So, I want you to consider three reasons why you should work on your health goals now and three reasons why it might be better to wait.
Three Reasons Why You Should:
Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t:
I look back on my life, and am so thankful to have went for the changes that have shaped me into the person I am today.
Let me throw confetti in the air and blow a horn and sing a song. You made it to do 42. And, honestly, that means for 42 days you were working on change. Guess what, it wasn’t until my third attempt to break my sugar habit that I was actually able to do it.
Okay, my dear, let's do this. Let's sit down and use the K.I.S.S. method that I learned from Michael Hyatt, to talk about what next steps are for you. To do this, I am going to honestly evaluate how I did as I worked to stop eating when I wasn’t hungry. Before we get started, I want to tell you that I have been successful 30 out of 40 days so far of this journey. That is 75% of the time. K.I.S.S. stands for what do you want to Keep, Improve, Start, and Stop.
Keep: What I want to keep is the journaling at the end of the day. I started doing this in order to do the journal prompts from the challenge at a time when I was most tempted. This means I am doing 2 to 5 minutes of journaling twice a day now (morning and late afternoon during my witching hour).
Improve: I still have trouble leaving food behind on my plate. I’ve gotten better at portion size, but I would like to be able to simply say I’ve had enough and I don’t need to eat it. I sometimes do this, but about half the time I did not follow through with my goal because I just had to finish those last few bites.
Start: I would like to start sharing more of my journey with the community. It was fun the few times I did, but I think it would be powerful to share more consistently on social media and/or with an accountability partner.
Stop: I am going to stop pushing through instead of stopping whenever I need a break. The other times I over ate was when I was so emotionally, mentally, or physically exhausted that I ate even when my body didn’t need the food. I was either too tired to pause and consider my hunger levels or I was eating out of the need for comfort.
Okay, my dear, it is your turn. I am ridiculously proud of your journey. I pray for your freedom as it is said in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Grab that coffee or ice tea, your journal or computer and answer your journal prompt.
Journal Prompt: Look back on your journey. What would you like to Keep, Improve, Start or Stop.
Congratulations on all your learning and growing. I am so proud of you.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.