One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I find the time and motivation to do all of the things I do on a regular basis.
Like most moms, I too struggle with keeping activities, meetings, practices, etc. straight - but I do have a little secret that has allowed me to manage my time better, show up for myself and my family consistently AND also say no to what I can’t or won’t do!
Keep a YES Journal
So, what is a YES journal? I don’t know if it is really called that, but it’s what I’ve been calling it since I decided to start doing it! Essentially, I sit down on Sunday nights and write out all of the things I am a YES for for the week ahead.
For example, a Monday might look something like this:
By listing out of all of my social, family, and work obligations I am creating space for them in my mind and in my calendar. (Yes, I do write out work every day because it is an obligation I have to say YES to!) By physically doing this, I am creating a commitment for and with myself to complete these tasks. It’s also a lot less overwhelming when you see your day to day written out instead of just all jumbled up in your mind, which in my experience only leads to confusion and anxiety, especially when you are dealing with multiple family member’s schedules. I even like to put what we are having for dinner which keeps me on budget!Chaos in my household usually ends in a pizza delivery!
“But, Nuggs! My friend Jenny called on Tuesday and asked me to do happy hour on Thursday, but it’s not on my YES list! What do I do?”
Simple, I always leave a little room at the bottom of each day to write in and adapt my plans to whatever comes up during the course of the week. It also allows me to look at my schedule for the day, written right there above it, and make a truly good decision about whether or not I really can meet up for a happy hour on any given day and provides me with a visual of better days/times should Thursday not work for me. I can say yes, guilt free, and really mean it. Once it is in the book, though, it becomes a commitment. No more flaking out!
BUT WAIT! This is the true BEST part:
I am someone who has struggled with saying NO in my life. I feel guilty, I resent the pressure, it gives me anxiety, and I HATE disappointing people, even when saying YES to something I don’t want to do or do not have time for means that I’m ultimately hurting myself and doing a disservice to my abilities.
Using your YES journal gives you absolute permission to say NO to anything not on the list and anything you are not willing to add to the bottom on any given day. Being a NO is just as important as showing up and being a YES. This has helped me IMMENSELY in my life to keep myself from overdoing it, suffering from unnecessary anxiety or guilt, and feeling good about my choices. By saying NO, you are able to focus all of your available time and energy into the things you are already a YES for. Granted, work might not be your most favorite YES, but it is an obligation never the less, and if you are truly unhappy in your position, that little space at the bottom gives you plenty of opportunity to find the time to figure out and pursue a career or profession that aligns with your spirit and your goals.
Over time, this notebook has helped me stay committed to not only my health and fitness goals, but also has helped me cultivate the necessary discipline to keep me motivated and showing up for myself and for the people who matter.
TRY IT OUT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU!
Good morning and happy Monday! Monday morning seems like the best time to post about how to recover from your weekend and get back in the game, am I right?
Whether you went all out at a concert, festival, family gathering, or sporting event - or even just didn’t get much sleep (hi! It’s me!) - Monday mornings can come quickly and hit hard, especially for those of us in a nine-to-five or earlier work schedule.
I think we have all been there at some point or another. Maybe we didn’t get in the workouts, maybe we drank too much alcohol, maybe we didn’t get enough sleep…but one thing is for sure: You are sipping your morning coffee thinking, “Ok, today is the day.”
just thinking that; however, isn’t enough to actually get you “back on the horse” so I created this top list to help you not only survive your Monday morning reset, but to attack it!
1. HYDRATE FOR YOUR LIFE
I can’t stress this enough, without proper hydration, you are really just spinning your wheels. Once you are sufficiently caffeinated, pour yourself a nice big glass of water and keep it going all day.
If you are someone who can house a bottle of wine with no problem, but struggles with getting in adequate water throughout the day, here are two products I love to keep me well-saturated all day long:
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
This is it! The perfect time to get moving! It’s right now! Make an appointment with yourself to get to the gym or get out for a run/walk and then don’t break the commitment. You wouldn’t bail on a work commitment or a meeting with a boss or colleague, so don’t bail on yourself. You don’t have to go BIG, especially if you are just getting back into it, but you do have to GO. I usually start each morning with some type of fasted cardio, whether it be a run, a brisk walk outdoors, or time on the elliptical. Trust me when I say that sweating out the weekend is a wonderful way to release toxins and release endorphins before you get your Monday morning shower in for the day, burning calories and boosting your mood!
3. GET TO BED EARLY TONIGHT
If you have been keeping late hours, not sleeping well, and waking up feeling like poo - make tonight the night you get your shut eye a little earlier than usual. Sleep is essential for high functioning days! Need some help to wind down:
There you have it! Try incorporating one, two, or all three of these tips into your day today and see how you feel! Feel free to leave me a comment letting me know how it worked out, or I’d love to hear some of your own tips!
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What an intense summer! Adjusting to becoming a family four has been so much more difficult than I imagined. Even typing that just now, I felt almost forced to add: “but so rewarding!” - and it has been, but in the interest of full transparency, I don’t want anyone to see the highlight reel and think that any of this has been a walk in the park (although there have been MANY walks in parks).
I struggled immensely in the weeks following the birth of my son. Asking for help was difficult. Not having enough help was difficult. Bonding was difficult. Recovering from a second cesarean section was difficult. Being home with two children for most of the day was difficult. The constant and often ridiculous worry was difficult. The lack of sleep was (IS) difficult.
Does that mean I love my children any less? Absolutely not. Does that mean I am not eternally and completely grateful for my two beautiful blessings? Absolutely not.
I just felt like I would have been more prepared for number two, but in all the ways I was prepared, there were so many other things that blindsided me: particularly my toddler’s immediate jealousy (which has thankfully mostly calmed to quiet acceptance and even some brotherly love) and how I would feel sad for him not understanding that now there was another who needed mommy just as much, if not more.
So, looking back over the past five months and what were the most helpful things I did to help myself through the initial
postpartum period and adjust to life with a toddler and an infant?
1. LEARN TO BE OK WITH THE MESSINESS OF IT ALL
I’ll be the first to admit - I hate mess. I clean my floors (mopping AND vacuuming) daily because I can’t stand even the tiniest bit of dirt under my feet in the house. I make my bed every day. I Marie Kondo my dresser drawers. My closet is organized by color. Having children? Expect the mess to be constant. Literally as I’m picking up a toy, another is being dropped. Acceptance here is key. It’s not going to last forever, and the laundry can wait. Better yet, let hubbs do it. (I do.) And remember, the mess isn’t always physical. Sometimes, we have to let each minute of the day be what it is instead of what we wanted it to be.
2. ASK FOR HELP (AND DON’T FEEL GUILTY)
One of my biggest struggles was trying to ask for help. I felt guilty about it…like there were all these things I should be capable of doing and I just wasn’t. There is nothing wrong with letting your support people know how you are struggling and let them know that you need them. It doesn’t make you any less of a great parent. You don’t have to do it all. You just have to survive because that’s exactly what the first several months are: survival.
3. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
I cannot stress this one enough. TAKE THE TIME. Whether it’s a walk, a nap, reading, working out - whatever you are into - remember that you still exist as a whole person outside of your children and that person deserves to have some time to themselves. Set boundaries for disturbances and embrace that hour just for you. I would not have kept it together if it weren’t for my daily workouts in the gym. Just leaving the house alone and driving there felt like a vacation some days. I feel absolutely wonderful when I’m working out. Earbuds in. World tuned out. Stress relieved. Endorphins pumped. It helps me to see some of my physical appearance starting to return after birth - for me, that is incredibly motivating and it makes me want to keep going and not give up. It’s ok to have personal goals and take the time and the steps to reach them. A happy mama is a good mama.
You’ve got this! What are some of your favorite tips for adjusting to life with baby(ies)? Leave me a comment!
Hi! I'm Nugget. I am wife to my awesome husband, Fran, and mama to our toddler son, Remington. We also have another baby on the way (due very soon!) and our pup, Fiona. I am body positive fitness instructor, teacher, and health/wellness advocate. I believe in the potential of EVERY body to be happy and healthy.