Everyone needs to find a quiet space. It's the place we make time for ourselves before the business of the day sets in.
It can be sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee, going for a walk in solitude, or sitting outside simply listening to the sounds around you.
Yes, it's much easier for me to accomplish this, because I'm an empty nester. However, I really wish that I had made the time to do it when my kids were younger. I think I would have been a more present and patient mom if I had put myself first with some me time before everyone else got up. I know it has done wonders for me now.
Since I'm lucky enough to be on summer break, I get up around 6:00 a.m. During the school year, I'm up at 5:00 a.m. I have some non-negotiables I call my dailies. I do them every morning without fail, because they get my day off to such a positive start:
1. Drink a glass or two of lemon water to detox my body and rid myself of the dehydration caused by sleep.
2. Take Lady (our dog) out and then feed her, Chloe (our cat), and Lily (our guinea pig).
3. Write in my journal and organize my day in general.
4. Read my bible. I'm doing a plan where I will have read the entire bible in a year.
5. Meditate using my Calm app.
*6. When I can, I also fit in a short run before I jump in the shower.
This entire routine takes 45-60 minutes (mostly because of the run, otherwise it's more like 30-40 minutes).
Like I said earlier, I know this is probably not practical for where you are in your life in terms of the time frame. However, you need to put yourself first and give yourself some quiet space everyday. You will seriously notice a difference.
More often than not, people make the time for themselves when they get up before the rest of their household. Doing something for yourself for 15 minutes is a great starting point. What do you want to do for yourself during that time?
Believe me, you're worth it!
We're in Kansas City for a weekend trip. My husband is at the Kansas City Royals baseball game on a press pass for his company, and I opted for a relaxing evening in our hotel room.
It's been a great day of road tripping and eating.
But guess what was missing?
There is a workout facility in the hotel that I will definitely be using for cardio, but there wasn't enough space to do the sculpting routine I needed to complete.
You know where there was enough space? In my hotel room.
So, I put on my workout clothes, made some modifications, and completed my workout.
I tell you this not to give myself credit but rather to say, when we want to we can commit to something when it means enough to us. Otherwise, we will continue to make excuses.
It was important to me to get in some kind of a workout today. We drove for three and a half hours. I ate blueberry pancakes, eggs, and hash browns for supper.
I needed to move and this was the best way I could get it accomplished. Was it perfect? No, and it didn't need to be.
Sometimes I think we wait for the perfect circumstances in order to make changes in our lives. We want to buy the gear to work out in or we say that we will start eating better on Monday two weeks from now because that's the beginning of the month, or we say we'll work on decluttering the house when things slow down at work.
Excuses. Every single one of them.
I'm guilty of doing the same thing, unless my reason for doing so is important enough. Then I will find a way rather than getting out of it.
So, what's your excuse? Why aren't you doing what you say you want to do? What's stopping you?
Sit down with yourself and seriously answer these three questions. When you stop making excuses, find your compelling motivation, and get out of your own way, you will start making progress.
Over two years ago, my sister Sara decided that she wanted to lose weight. She works full-time, she and her husband have three boys under the age of seven (under the age of five when she got started), she's extremely involved with the youth group at her church, and she didn't like exercise.
Fast forward to now. She has lost over 60 pounds, continues to maintain and lose additional weight, and she completed her first half-marathon in May.
How was she able to do it? She had a compelling reason (she wanted to be able to keep up with her three active sons), she had a great support system (her husband watches the boys so that she can work out), and she dumped the excuses. She always finds a way to stay active and eat healthy, because it's important to her and her family. It's a priority.
It's time for you to put yourself first. Make yourself a priority and kick your excuses to the curb. They don't look good on you anyway.
Run your race.
Three words. One sentence.
Simple, yes. Easy? Not so much.
In his book Louder Than Words, author Todd Henry, challenges us to run our race. And, no, he isn't talking about a 5K or a marathon here. Although, that direct reference would also aptly apply, and he does talk about it in reference to what he really means.
What Henry is referring to is pursuing our own unique voice. Stop comparing ourselves to others.
"Pursue uniqueness with your voice. Run your race. Execute your plan. Do your work, not someone else's," says Henry.
He is absolutely right, but it's not as easy as it sounds and Henry knows it.
It's a challenge to be who we are in a society that wants to constantly compare us with others. We dare to be ourselves, but it's easy to get caught up in how we stack up against someone else who is doing the same thing.
However, it clicked for me as a runner. I will be the first to admit that I used to be ultra competitive. I wanted to be the absolute best in everything I did, and if I couldn't I would jump ship. Something changed, and I believe it happened when I stopped coaching. I didn't lose my competitive edge, but I no longer competed against someone else. I started competing against myself as I started to run races.
I don't pay attention to others when I run. I pay attention to myself and how I'm feeling. I run to see if I can better my time. I run for the enjoyment of it. I have no idea what others are doing or what they might be thinking or doing. I just do my own thing.
And now, running my own race professionally just got a lot easier. I'm taking the attitude of running my own race in my vision of impacting others through life coaching and writing.
I'm doing it through three action steps:
1. What do I want to do?
2. Why am I doing it?
3. How am I doing it?
By focusing on the answers to these three questions, I'm running my own race. I'm not thinking about how someone else might answer these questions or answering them a certain way so that I emulate someone else.
No, I'm taking action my own way in the best way I know how. By doing so, I'm running my race.
I love tattoo day!
Every once in awhile, my daughter Jaelyn and I get the urge to go get tattoos. Mind you, it's been two years since we've gotten one, so it's not a bug that bites very often.
We have a couple of tattoos that have an element that is the same in them. Saturday was no different. We both got something that incorporated words in each of our dad's handwriting, and they each have the same flower as a part of the design.
I don't think we thought about this as we made the appointments, but it's pretty cool that we went the day before Father's Day. The funny thing is that neither my husband (Jaelyn's dad) nor my dad even like tattoos.
This is just something that Jaelyn and I enjoy going to do together. We have some similar tastes in designs and yet some very different ones. I like to think that our tattoos are both tasteful and meaningful to us.
I know that there are varying opinion about tattoos. You're either in the camp that doesn't like them at all or you're in the camp that loves them. There really isn't an in-between. I like it when someone asks us what our different tattoos mean, because there is a story for each one.
Jaelyn's tattoo says, "Hang Loose (in Jack's handwriting) will forever tell a story (in her handwriting)." When our kids were young, Jack always told them bedtime stories, and one of his running characters was Hang Loose.
Mine is a reflection of the nickname my dad has for me, Toad. When I was learning to crawl, I guess I would kind of hop around like a toad. I have always been Toad to my dad, and he's the only one who calls me this name. To this day, that's how he addresses me in cards, texts, and in person.
Even though I have no idea when we will go again, I will say this...a half sleeve MIGHT be in our future. :)
I got up this morning with a spring in my step ready to go for the day.
I ate a healthy breakfast and limited the amount of coffee I drank. That's mainly because I made a smaller pot of coffee. Trust me, if I had made a bigger pot, it would have been gone.
When lunch rolled around, I made this beautiful and healthy meal to the left. Amazingly enough, I didn't even have dessert.
I went to the gym for my workout later this afternoon and drank a protein shake during the time I was there.
Yeah, you could say I was feeling really good about myself. No missteps on my eating today.
And then it happened.
I got home from an intense workout, and suddenly I was stark raving hungry. I curbed it for awhile. I ate half of a banana and drank a glass of water.
But then I wanted to basically eat everything in sight.
How did I keep from doing so?
First, I set myself up for success, because I knew exactly what I was going to prepare for supper. Therefore, I didn't have to do more thinking. The more thinking we do later in the day, the bigger chance we have of losing our willpower. We only have a finite amount of it. So, when we take decision-making out of the equation, we give ourselves a fighting chance.
Secondly, I use the myfitnesspal app to track my eating and I make sure to log it during the day. That way I can see how I've been doing and plan the rest of the day's eating based upon how I've done so far.
It's crucial to track food as you eat it, rather than waiting until the end of the day. At that point, you're done and have no chance of salvaging anything. When you track during the day, you can see where you've gone a little overboard and can cut back if need be.
Thirdly, I have a goal that I'm currently working toward. It helps to remind me what I'm on track to do. I log my eating and workouts daily and then send them to a friend of mine. It helps to know that I'm being held accountable.
All of us have a finite amount of willpower. When it's gone for the day, it's gone. This is why it's imperative to set ourselves up for success by being proactive. Thinking ahead instead of thinking in the moment is tough, but I find I have a much better day when I do so whether it is with eating or with anything else I happen to be doing.
It all goes back to a saying that I heard so many years ago, yet it still applies today: "Prior planning prevents poor performance."
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.