Friday, January 27, 2017

Making over my mornings, Day 12 and 13


We are on the home stretch. It's kind of sad actually that tomorrow is the last day of my makeover my mornings course! I'm not going to reflect today though, that will be used for tomorrow. Today I finished day 13, and I can't tell you how I've enjoyed the past two sessions!

Day 12 was great.

I wasn't alone for my morning on Monday. My little guy was up bright and early as well. He sat at the table coloring as I went through my video and my worksheet. He fills my heart with so much happiness it spills over. I began my morning this morning by writing about him and his sweetness in my gratitude journal.

I began by reading the Early to Rise book on my kindle, and came across this great quote;

"If you want to control the starting line of tomorrow morning, then get control of the finish line tonight." I love how the books tie in together. One of the first things I remember from beginning this challenge is Crystal letting us know that a good morning begins the night before. I love how he emphasized on this in his book as well! The key to getting up early is getting to bed on time. Absolutely.

The next note in the book that really stood out to be was about simplification. "One solution to missing out on so much is to do less." Also, "We can experience rest all day by simplifying our tasks and being present in every moment." That was awesome to me! I'm the person who tries to do everything at once. I noticed this the other day, when the internet connection on my computer was being hit or miss. Each time the computer would kick me offline, I instinctly grabbed my phone that was lying next to me and flipped through it until the computer came back on. I didn't even realize I was doing it, but once I did I realized that I do it all the time! Mindlessly scrolling through pinterest and news feeds and the weather app. Notably, my automatic go-to phone usage has decreased significantly since I stopped using social media.. yet its still so accessible. Sometimes we just need to be intentional with our down time as well. The book also mentioned that you must force yourself to do one thing at a time. It doesn't come naturally.. being busy comes naturally. you must force yourself to do one thing, one computer program at at time... one app at a time.

I really truthfully love how these studies are all pulling together. See, I prayed specifically for tools to equip me to better serve Him, and these are the ones that he gave me. I'm thankful! And I know these are the tools, because they flow together too well to be happenstance. :)

Day 12 on Makeover your Mornings was about decision fatigue. Again, it was about doing too much at one time. We do this all the time.. . one decision after another, without even thinking about it. However, Crystal points out in this session that you make so many decisions each day, and by making several decisions, it can lead to making poor decisions, just out of what she terms as "decisions fatigue". She suggested writing down some stressful areas in your life that require making a lot of decisions, and make a plan to eliminate those decisions.

By far, my most stressful decisions are about food. I absolutely despise stopping in the middle of the day and wondering what I am going to make for our meals. A meal plan is something that does take time and effort, but at the same time simply planning it can eliminate a lot of stress for me, and take away that one decision day after day and placing it on one day alone. It seems like something small, but I know that I end up making worse decisions about meal planning when I don't plan ahead. I throw something together or go out to eat. So making that decision a planning period rather than something I have to decide on every day will eliminate a lot of stress for me!

Another area was directly with our homeschooling. I made the decision a few years ago to start doing a History lesson on my own, and then this year I landed on two options for history that I really enjoyed! So rather than trying so hard to put together something on my own, I've made the decision to go with the set curriculum that I have found. I'm excited about it, and I won't go into details because I have a blog post coming up specifically about the wonderful things we are changing in our homeschool and I'm excited to share! But that was another area in my life that required decisions that I can change and alter to meet our needs.

She used this quote, "The last thing I want to do is make poor decisions simply because I'm so exhausted by so many choices." The choices about what I feed my children and what I chose to use to educate them is a big decision! Not something I should make a poor choice about out of fatigue.

Day 13 was all about failure. I needed this one! As I mentioned, day 12 was on Monday. By Tuesday, I had gotten the cold that my little guy had this week, and I was out for the count. Monday night and Tuesday were really hard, and yesterday I was miserable. I haven't felt like working out, and we have also eaten out for several days. It has been hard to be a sick Mama. Today I do feel a lot better but not 100% just yet. But still, it taught me a lot about allowing yourself some grace.

Now even though I've been sick and have been getting up later, its still a good one and a half to two hours earlier than I was getting up when I started this journey, so that is still an accomplishment, especially. So as much as I don't consider it an actual failure, this lesson played into this. She mentioned that failure is simply evidence that you are trying. Also, that failure may be a sign that you need to stop and tweak your goals to better fit what is going on in your life. Sometimes when you are sick, you require more sleep, so you either have to go to bed a little earlier or sleep a little later. Also if you're not working out, you can afford the extra sleep. That was my cause this week. I am congested and coughing so working out would be so difficult.. yet the extra thirty minutes of sleep from not working out is good for my body and helps me to rest and recover better.

A really great portion of this lesson was her two action steps to take when you fail. The first one was, evaluate why you failed. Was it because your goals were unrealistic, or because of an unplanned circumstance? The second was, are you getting stuck in the comparison trap? Are you failing because you are trying to emulate someone else, and trying to use their routine instead of making your own? I'm afraid this is a trap that I fall into more than once in my life. Homeschooling, weight loss, and even this... sometimes we hold ourselves up to others and want our plan to look exactly like theirs. Like in the beginning of the video it shows her alarm clock going off at 5:30, so my initial thought was that I was going to get up up at 5:30! After struggling with that, I realized she also said her kids were small and she was in bed by 9:30 each night. That is never going to happen at my house lol. Maybe when my kids were younger, but now that they are older they are sometimes in bed by 9:30 but rarely asleep. Also, with my husbands work, school and ministry schedule, sometimes the later hours in the evening after the younger kids are asleep are the only times that we can spend together. It's precious and our time, and I love it. So I had to tweak my schedule. I can get up around 6 and still accomplish what I need too in the two hours before school. Also, she works out about 20 minutes a day. That would be great for some people, especially if you are in the 'maintaining' area of your goals, but I'm in the weight loss area. I'm also trying to control my blood pressure.. so I need more than 20 minutes each day. I'm also not a huge money-maker blogger the way that she is, so there doesn't need to be specific amounts of time dedicated to that each morning. So my routine can't be exactly like hers... or like anyone elses. It has to be my own, work for me, and replenish me.

I credit the fact that I slept in and still got up early to God first and foremost, but secondly, to the fact that by now I've made it a habit. Crystal also mentions that, "Sometimes just sticking to your goals and your routine will make getting up and ready easier. It can change your attitude." I began this by saying I could stick to it for 21 days, because I've been told thats when it becomes a habit. It has been close to that, but my next goal is just to stick it out another 21 days, and make sure that its a solid habit in my life.

I leave you to my needful kiddos with this quote;

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

Jim Ryun -long distance runner

Also, visit this blogpost by Anne Voskamp about new habits...

Hummin Along- Cultivating New Habits

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