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!
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.