It’s the new year, time for a fresh start. This sounds great in theory, but I’m currently feeling like I’m stuck in such a rut, and it’s hard to decide where to start when there are so many things I’d like to change. I’ve found that as a stay at home mom, it’s especially easy to end up stuck in a rut. When I’m not getting out of the house regularly, I’m usually scrolling through Zulily’s daily deals on my iPad, third day hair in messy ponytail, wearing sweatpants I found on the floor. This is not a pretty picture, but let’s be real y’all. Even if “getting out of the house” just looks like running out to Walmart for milk and bread, I still feel so much better when I’m out and getting things accomplished. Ruts have been happening for me way more than I’d care to admit, and this year, I’m setting out to fix that.
Here are my goals for 2016:
Better sleep. It all starts here folks. When you don’t get enough sleep or you aren’t sleeping well, things don’t get accomplished. Simple as that. On the worst days, I come home and nap and barely do a thing between morning drop off and afternoon pick up. This does not do good things to my ego. Better sleep = better days. What I’m changing: 11:00 is bed time. Not lay in bed and surf the internet time, real bed time. I’m also tracking my sleep with my new Fitbit Flex. On really rough nights when I can’t get to sleep, Tylenol is a major help. I’m usually restless 17-20 times per night, but after taking two regular Tylenol before bed just once, the next three nights I was restless 7, 3, and 0 times. Getting a good night of sleep made subsequent nights that much better!
Self care. I am important, and so are you. I love being a mommy, and I think about my daughter way more than I think about myself, but if I don’t take care of myself and I’m at the end of my rope, I can’t be the mom I want to be. I can’t be the mom she NEEDS me to be. What I’m changing: What ever gives you life, do that. For me, it’s showers, makeup, jewelry, and nice nails. No more three day hair. Even when I feel too busy to do anything for myself, I’m making the time. I’m getting up early enough to do my makeup before waking Reagan. Even if all I’m wearing is some yoga pants and a plain tee, I’m still grabbing at least one piece of jewelry before I walk out the door. Reagan and I do our nails together. We bond, and when I look at my nails it makes me want to take care of myself. Everyone wins.
Financial management. I haven’t been the best at saving, and it’s caused me a lot of undue worrying and stress. As someone with anxiety, stress here spills over to all aspects of life. What I’m changing: I’m using budgeting printables from Pinterest to put it all out on paper. Before I buy anything, no matter how small, I’m praying about it and really considering if this purchase is necessary in this moment. Intentional spending is crucial. When I let myself buy without thinking, not only do I usually regret it, but I end up tempted to do it again. Even when I’m in a financially stable place, spending without thinking is wasteful and leads to stress.
Better risks. I have an etsy shop made with nothing in it. There are so many ideas of written down but haven’t actually made yet. I have tons of projects planned that I want to post about. Photo shoots, recipes, crafts, trips, products and books to share. I know all about taking risks. Hitting the snooze button just once more and still trying to get there on time, not studying enough and still trying to ace the test, just one more cupcake but maybe it won’t go to my hips if I exercise enough. Sure, I take risks every day, but are they the right ones? What I’m changing: I’m going out on stable limbs. If it’s not beneficial (ex. all the things I just admitted to doing), I just need to save my time and energy for the risks that are worthwhile. This year I will be building my business, blogging regularly, doing fun things I would normally be tempted to skip, taking a few classes on hobbies I’ve been wanting to try (Craftsy!), and other things outside my comfort zone that will enrich my life.
Less procrastination. I have the terrible habit of putting off everything from class assignments to getting out of bed until the very last minute. This is one of my biggest stressors and yet I haven’t changed, until now. What I’m changing: I’m praying over how I spend my time. God wants me to use the time I’ve been blessed with wisely. Talking with Him keeps things in perspective and makes me want to be intentional about how I spend my time. Less time wasted means less stress and more time doing the things that matter, and that sounds like a wonderful change for me.
More exercise. I work and attend college from home. I’m a stay at home mom. I’m not out and about often, and I have reason to sit at my computer basically all day. The last couple years of this have equated into less and less time moving. Virtually no exercise has taken a huge toll on my health and my self esteem. What I’m changing: I’m getting up and getting moving! I’m using my Fitbit Flex to track my steps and starting out with a 10k step daily goal. I just started last week and I already feel SO MUCH BETTER. Walking is easy and I know I can stick to that. I’m not going to set myself up for failure by trying to commit to something intense when I’m not ready for that. I sneak walking in all the time throughout my day. Everyone has time for this! I walk while the microwave is counting down, while I’m brushing my teeth, when I’ve been sitting at my desk for a while I hop up and walk for a few minutes. I walk in place, outside, around the house. My Fitbit Flex keeps track of my steps, and I love that all I have to do is look at my wrist to find out where I stand with my goals. It’s exactly the motivation I need to keep moving all day. My friends and I also use the Fitbit app to challenge each other and that works wonders as well.
Good nutrition. I feel pressed for time 24/7 from stress and procrastinating too much which leaves me with very little time. It’s much easier to reach for a quick fix with poor nutritional value when I’m busy than to take the time to fix a healthy meal. I’ve let this business be my vice for far too long. What I’m changing: I’m making better eating choices. It is faster to grab something at home than to hit the drive thru, no matter what I try to tell myself. I don’t NEED that coffee while I’m running errands, I can just fix a much healthier one at home and bring it with me. And when I don’t feel like cooking my lunch, I can grab an organic Lean Cuisine instead of unhealthy alternatives and have a much healthier lunch that I love in the same amount of time. I’m also giving this one to God. When I talk to him about my choices and think of my body as the wonderful gift from Him that it is, it makes me want to treat myself better. Correct portion sizes, fresh fruits and veggies, and unprocessed protein are delicious fuel. I will not limit or restrict myself, I’m simply making better choices and changing my perspective. I’m tracking my calories in the Fitbit app so I know where I stand with the calories I’m taking in. I’m also drinking Plexus Slim and taking the Plexus Xfactor multivitamin daily.
More time outside. When I’m sitting in front of my computer working and studying, or cleaning and organizing the house, or the million other things I feel like I need to do NOW, I don’t take the time to get outside and get fresh air. This is so unhealthy!! What I’m changing: Every single day that weather permits, I’m going outside for a minimum of 15 minutes. Sunshine and vitamin D and taking the time to stop and enjoy this beautiful world He created does me so much good, and it is important that I make time for this. It is such a mood lifter!
Tidy living. When I’m feeling super exhausted, it’s hard to motivate myself to tackle the clutter in my house. Then I look around at the mess that’s already taking over and I feel that much more exhausted because I don’t know where to begin, and so the cycle continues. What I’m changing: Every morning, I’m starting a load of laundry. Even if I don’t do any laundry for the rest of the day, at least I know we’ll have some clean clothes ready to go. It doesn’t have to take up my entire day to make a difference. I’m also taking 15 minutes to take on the clutter. I pick a room, grab a trash bag or bins for organizing, and set the timer on my phone. 15 minutes of intense cleaning gets so much more done than sitting on the couch stressing about everything I need to do and the lack of time I have to accomplish it all!
Choosing JOY. This is my word for 2016. I prayed for God to show me what I needed to focus on this year. I asked Him to give me a word that could be my mantra. I was cooking dinner and listening to the Christian music station, and a song came on that really struck home with me and made me think of joy. I have a beautiful necklace with the words Choose Joy on the front, and it’s always been a sentiment I loved. When I stopped to think about how I’d been feeling lately, I realized that I had NOT been choosing joy. I’ve been letting the negativity of situations cloud out the good parts of my day, and it was stealing my joy. My biggest mission this year is to change that. What I’m changing: I’m putting my focus on the bright side of everything. When my daughter is pressing on my last nerve and I’m about to lose it – how blessed I am to have this issue. I have a child that I love, I am a wonderful mother, and I am so blessed that I have an independent little girl that I get to work through these issues with. When I’m feeling exhausted and worn out – I’m so lucky to have this body that has never failed me, and a bed to go rest in, and a warm home to protect me so that I can get some much needed rest without worry. In pretty much any situation, there is a way to choose joy over upset. And when you make a conscious decision to pick joy, it changes your outlook on everything for the better. I could use more joy and positivity. I can’t wait to see how my life changes this year because of these new choices. I hope this inspires you to have a wonderful 2016 and choose joy!