personal growth

07 | creating time for friends

Something that is so important to your self care is ensuring that you have time with your friends and loved ones. Going through daily life we get so “busy” that this often slips to the wayside. It’s important to have time to get our things done, to spend time alone and to make sure you have time with your friends doing things that you enjoy.

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This is an interesting topic for me and something that I often don’t make a priority in my life for various reasons. I grew up an only child and I’m a bit of an introvert and because of those two things, I don’t mind spending time alone. In fact, I like it. I spend a lot of time with my children and family and with work related things so adding in time for friends (that’s not sitting beside a basketball court or on a pool deck or in the stands at the football stadium) is often fairly low on my list. Not because I don’t love my friends or because I don’t enjoy doing things with them…but because not everything fits in a day.

Going through my photos looking for an image to use in this post showed me two things. One…I don’t take enough (or hardly any) photos of myself with my friends (gotta work on that asap) and two…I don’t do nearly enough things with my friends. Those two things need to change.

HOW TO CREATE TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDS

  1. Use the opportunity while at practices or games to get to know people or to go enjoy time with friends. Every afternoon while your kids have swim practice go enjoy some alone time with a bestie and talk and laugh and have fun. Need to use most of that time for catching up on errands? Invite a friend along or set aside one of those practices a week for a designated coffee date with a buddy. Have a far away game or event that your kids are going to? Carpool together and enjoy the ride catching up with each other.

  2. Take a class together - is there a subject you’re interested in? Look into taking a class or a workshop with some friends. Something that’s purely for fun or something educational. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we should stop learning. Always wanted to become a florist? Look into your local shop and see if they offer classes. Looking to become a healthier cook at home? There’s a class for that somewhere.

  3. Go get your hair or nails done together. It might sound silly, but if you choose to do those things anyway, bring a friend along. Going to pick out new glasses? Bring a friend. Need a new couch for the living room? Take a friend and go sit on a thousand of them before bringing your family along.

  4. Workout together - either in a class or out walking/running etc. These things that you need for yourself, they probably need too. Get out there together and work on improving yourselves. Also great for keeping you accountable to your goals!

  5. Try something new. Ask your friends about something that they’ve always wanted to try or to learn or somewhere they’ve always wanted to go. Go exploring your city or your state together. Chances are your friends have interests that are similar to yours but they might have ideas that you’ve never thought about before.

Why is time with friends so important?

If you’re an extrovert it may never occur to you that you need to create time with your friends. This may be something that you do all of the time and you love it (and maybe you might need to work on finding time for yourself). But if you’re someone that loves their alone time you may think you don’t need to worry about creating time for your friends. But this quality time with friends - either in person, over the phone or even via text - is vital to your self care. You learn more about yourself when you’re spending time with your friends. You get to explore and try new things. You have an ear that can help you when you’re down or needing input on decisions in your life. And you get the opportunity to help others when they are in need. Be a help to your friends, give them the love and support that they need.

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So I challenge you (and myself) to set up some time with friends this week. What can you go out and do together? And…get a photo or two. It’s important to your children for them to see you out enjoying life.

xo,
c


my 10 best monthly planning tips

Happy February! I love a new month and all of the possibility that it brings.

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At the end of each month I go through and look back over my calendar from the previous month to see where I was successful and where I struggled. I then develop my strategy for the new month and look for as many areas that I can be successful and what potential roadblocks I can move before they even become an issue. Read on for my best monthly planning tips.

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HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR BEST MONTH

  1. Find some quiet time without distractions to work out your month…taking the time to plan out your month well allows for you to give yourself the best shot at being as successful and productive as you can be.

  2. Take some time to review your previous month…look for wins and areas of struggle. Were you hoping to get up early every morning and work out? How did that go? Is there a better time in your day for some of the things that you want to do but can’t figure out how to fit them in? What can - or should - you let go of?

  3. Make note of all of the “must do” items for the month - birthdays, sporting events, school obligations, appointments, bills or other deadlines. These need to go in your planner first.

  4. Think about recurring items, note these and make sure these have time to get done - think working out, work obligations, time for yourself etc…

  5. Take some time to meal plan - you don’t have to figure it all out if that isn’t your style, but take note of the days that will be late nights (practices or mom-taxi time) that make figuring out dinner a pain. If you can schedule some of those meals ahead of time, you will thank yourself later!

  6. Look at your finances, what big expenses are coming up? A birthday to plan for? Perhaps a vacation or extra sports expenses? Taking these things into consideration at the beginning of the month helps ensure you’ve got the funds to finish out the month as well.

  7. Are there any house projects that you need to consider? Spring cleaning or prepping the pipes for the colder temps? What about furnace filter replacements and other little tasks that often get pushed aside. Thinking about these items and making time for them helps your house run smoothly. While you’re at it - check on your vehicles as well. Oil changes and other routine maintenance.

  8. Your personal growth, self care and wellness. Like working out, hair cuts, reading, learning and other things that help you become your best you…see #9 as well.

  9. Review your goals for the year and really think about your big goals…the big scary ones that you dream about. What are you doing to make those reality? What little steps do you need to be taking every day to get yourself closer? I don’t know what your big dreams are…but write them down and start making progress. Time passes by so don’t just wait for these dreams, you need to do the work.

  10. Plan for some fun - just for you and for the entire family and friends. Make an effort to reach out to friends and family. This time is so important so that you don’t get worn down.

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What do you do to ensure that your month is set up for success and that you aren’t letting things fall through the cracks? Are you a paper planner person or a digital planner expert? Paper all the way here with my Get To Work Book planner. It’s really the best planner

xo,
c

05 | creating time for you

I’ve touched on this in previous weeks, but one of the best things that you can do for your self care is ensure that you have created time for just you. In order to be your best self, you need to take care of yourself first and foremost. You cannot give to others if you are empty.

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In today’s world we are all busy. Whether you’re a parent, a business owner, have a full time job - or more than one, or any of the many other things that keep you busy it is so easy to put yourself on the back burner. You tell yourself “I’ll get to that later” or “the kids need me” or any of the other things that we tell ourselves as to why we don’t have the time to take care of ourselves. But what happens if something or someone goes uncared-for for too long? Imagine if we pushed our children’s needs or our boss’s needs to the side? We can’t - we wouldn’t. Yet we are so often very comfortable in pushing our own needs to the side. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. In fact, it is necessary.

WHAT DOES TIME FOR MYSELF LOOK LIKE?

It may be so long since you’ve done something just for you that you might be a little stuck here. Why do I really need this time for myself? If I can actually create it, what on earth am I going to do? You need this time so that you can learn more about yourself. So that you can dive deeper into your interests. So that you can spend time with friends that you don’t get to see very often. You can go to a class…to the library or out exploring your city. Or you can simply sit on the couch in a quiet home (or room) and read or listen to music or listen to silence and think.

But a word of caution…don’t go looking for time in your calendar to give yourself a little “me time”. I can almost guarantee you won’t find it. If you have a busy schedule it’s going to take some effort. You’re going to have to create the time. And you may even need to schedule it like an appointment for a while. Most importantly…do not cancel on yourself.

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FIVE WAYS TO CREATE TIME FOR YOURSELF

  1. Get up an hour earlier - How To Get Up An Hour Earlier

  2. Stay up an hour later after your family has gone to bed - but be careful here. You don’t want this late night me time to make you sluggish in the morning or have you struggling to get up on time. Balance.

  3. Sign up for a class either with a friend or by yourself (make sure it’s something that you are genuinely interested in so that it does not become a chore).

  4. Create time around your lunch break for things you love.

  5. Become more efficient with your time. Take a hard look at your days and weeks. Don’t spin your wheels with different tasks and you’ll be surprised at the time you might be able to find in your day. Multi tasking might feel like you’re getting more done, but I promise you’re just taking longer to do one thing and likely aren’t doing as well of a job with it as you would hope. Focus and you’ll create pockets of time for yourself.

What are you going to do with your “me time”? It doesn’t have to be the same thing…it doesn’t have to be everyday (as long as you’re getting some time for you during your morning routine and bedtime routines) but it does need to happen if you want to feel your best.

xo,
c

how to get up an hour earlier

Part of my morning routine calls for getting up an hour earlier that I used to…so that I have time to get all of the things done that contribute to me being more successful…and not rushing around all morning and falling behind.

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I’ve never considered myself a morning person and I’ve always loved to sleep in. But now that I’m getting quality sleep I’m finding that it’s easier to get up in the mornings…most of the time. The following are some tips that I use daily to get myself up and out of bed at a reasonable hour…even if I might not want to.

disclaimer…I don’t have babies that don’t sleep through the night or other things that might make it unreasonable to get up early…I often simply don’t want to (sleep is amazing, but attacking your dreams is so much more rewarding). These are the things that I have found that help me outsmart myself.

5 TIPS TO GET UP AN HOUR EARLIER

  1. Give yourself a reason. I often used to dread getting out of bed because I knew that as soon as I did I would have a house full of people needing me for this or that. Once I realized that getting up before everyone else gave me time to ease into the day (not everyone hops out of bed singing You Are My Sunshine) then I understood the value of getting myself up when I might rather stay curled up in bed. And I for sure regret it on the days I let the snooze button get the best of me.

  2. Create a bedtime and morning routine that you love. Getting enough sleep is KEY to getting your butt out of bed in the morning. And having a set routine for yourself that you love only makes that process a bit easier. Figure out what it is that you need and want to do and do it. Read the posts on Creating a Morning Routine for Self Care and Creating a Bedtime Routine for Self Care on the blog and print out the planning PDFs.

  3. When you’re falling asleep at night don’t play the “if I fall asleep NOW I’ll get x hours of sleep” game. It’s horrible for getting you to actually fall asleep and shouldn’t play into what time you get up in the morning.

  4. Get up at the same time every day. Weekends too. If you didn’t get very much sleep the night before, don’t give yourself the “out” of allowing you to sleep in the next morning. However tempting this might be, it makes it brutal to fall asleep the next night and so the cycle begins.

  5. Plain and simple. Just do it. It’s really not that hard in the grand scheme of things.

COMMON ROADBLOCKS FOR GETTING UP ON TIME

  1. That snooze button - just don’t touch it. Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room if you have to so that you ensure that you actually get up when your alarm goes off.

  2. Not getting enough sleep - see mentions of your bedtime and morning routines above. I promise that these really help.

  3. Freezing cold room vs cozy warm bed. I’m pretty sure that warm bed is amazing, but you need to develop an easy system to beat the “it’s too cold to get out of bed” excuse.

  4. Not having something to look forward to in the morning. Work on creating that Morning Routine. It makes a difference.

  5. Your partner or roommates or children like to sleep in and you don’t want to wake them is a great excuse to catch a few more z’s. But that is all it is. If you need to be loud - get out of the house. Otherwise create a quiet peaceful morning routine that gets you jumping out of bed and attacking your goals and dreams!

What do you do to get up on time? Are you someone who hits snooze or do you wake before your alarm clock even sounds? What tips and tricks have you employed in your life if you’ve never been a morning person before but are trying to make yourself one? Do you see the benefits of getting up an hour earlier?

xo,
c

girl wash your face | review

I had noticed a lot of the people that I looked up to in business and social media had posted photos of this book…how they were so happy that they had grabbed a copy and how it was life changing. I’m all about life changing books -it’s what I’m always looking for when I grab a new book to read. I want something that is going to change me, allow me to see something differently than I had in the past, speak to me in a way I hadn’t been ready to hear before…

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And this book delivered. And not only that…Rachel Hollis speaks to me and encourages me in a way that I need to hear. So I listen and I read and I watch all of the things that she puts out there.

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When I read a personal development/self help/business book I often do it with highlighter in hand and notebook nearby. I read these types of books quickly, often skimming though the parts that might leave me less than inspired but making sure that I get all the good stuff down so I can revisit those thoughts that really resonated with me.

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Have your read the book? Maybe listened to her podcast? Watched her Made For More documentary? I’d love to hear your thoughts…and have you pre-ordered her next book? I’m so ready to read it.

xo,
c

how to create a vision board

Many people (myself included) believe that a great way to help you visualize your dreams daily and work towards making them a reality is to create a vision board. These can be done in several ways and can be beneficial to working some of the things that you want in your life.

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This is the second year in a row that I’ve made a physical vision board. I love having it out in the open and in a spot that I can see every day.

Why to create a vision board

  1. Creates a visual reminder of the goals + dreams that you have set for yourself

  2. A creative way to express yourself

  3. Selecting the images and arranging them helps solidify your goals

  4. Consistent visualization of your goals realized

  5. It’s just fun…trust me

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how to create a vision board

  1. Use your Pinterest account and make a secret or public board and start saving images you love (you can check mine out here: 2019 vision board on pinterest)

  2. Go grab a bunch of your favorite magazine and start cutting out images that speak to your dreams

  3. Use some of your own photos that you’ve taken for more inspiration

  4. Use drawings or sketches or handwritten/hand drawn quotes

  5. Create your board using a combination of all of the above

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what to do with your vision board

  1. Hang it somewhere in your office so that you can see it everyday

  2. Hang it in your walk in closet so you see it every morning + night

  3. Take a photo of it and use it as your wallpaper on your phone

  4. Hang it in a spot in your home that you pass by often

  5. Revisit it throughout the year, don’t just walk by it everyday. Take a moment and look closely at these images that meant something to you when you created the vision board…getting closer to your dreams yet? If not, step up your game.

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HOW I MADE MINE

For my vision board I started compiling images on a pinterest board late last year - things that went along with my One Little Word, anything that struck me as visually appealing. Clothing that I liked, hair cuts that I love, food that I enjoy, quotes and other visual reminders of some of my big goals. I added all of these to a board in pinterest and then started weeding through them. I saved the images (some of them are mine from my instagram account) and printed them out on photo paper in varying sizes. I accidentally printed the photos on the back of the photo paper and I loved the matte finish, so I kept going with that - happy accident :) After I printed them out I laid them all out and sorted into categories and started arranging. Once I was mostly happy I started securing them to a poster board and hung it up in my office to see every day.

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Have you thought about creating your own vision board? I would love to see it! Most importantly have fun - there’s no wrong way to do this!

xo,
c

02 | choosing your word for the year

Resolutions are great - goals and plans and dreams are awesome. But the practice of selecting one word to carry throughout the year that encompasses the many things that are meaningful to you for the year is one of my favorite things.

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I first learned of this idea from an old scrapbooking friend Ali Edwards. She has a huge amount of information about the practice on her blog (going back several years, in fact) and it’s definitely worth the read if you’re interested in this idea.

WHY I CHOOSE A WORD each year

I love goals and dreaming big and planning things, so picking a word that can help me do those things has always seemed like a great fit. I’ve been doing this for several years although I don’t always finish strong with the word. I try…and in my opinion that’s better than nothing…for me. I’ve taken Ali’s class before and the content is amazing at keeping your word close to you all year long. Other years (like this one) I’ve purchased an item like this key necklace from The Giving Keys that can help remind me of the word that I have selected and why it is important to me.

HOW DOES THE WORD [CHOOSE] TRANSLATE FOR ME?

There are a ton of cute quotes on pinterest all about choosing joy or today I choose to be happy…those are simple, easy to remember and sometimes simple is the best. I wanted a word that put me in control. I wanted a word that reminded me every day that I could choose the way I saw the world and reacted to it. I could choose the things that I can control (like how often I exercise, what I eat, how much water I drink, how hard I work and how often I let my responsibilities slide). And I can choose how I respond to the things that I cannot control.

discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most
— abraham lincoln

how to select your word

Every year towards the end of the year I start thinking about my current year and how things have gone for me and I start thinking about what’s coming up. What are the things that I want to go after? Who do I want to be, what do I need to stop doing? What do I need to do more of? Sometimes a word will just jump out at me, sometimes I will read through past OLW posts on Ali’s blog to see if something speaks to me. There really isn’t a wrong way to choose a word (or a wrong word).

  1. Reflect on your past year

  2. Look at areas in your life that you’re struggling with

  3. Look at areas in your life that you want to create a change

  4. Look towards a subject that interests you

  5. Think about where you would like to be, how you would like to feel a year from now

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ways to live your word throughout the year

The biggest thing about choosing a word for your year is not to forget all about it by the 3rd week in January. You took the time and selected a word that you felt was going to help you be the best version of yourself - don’t give up on it. (Now…if the word isn’t working for you in the way that you thought or a new word all of a sudden feels better for you there is no shame in changing lanes…you do you.)

  1. Share your word with others and if you feel comfortable, let them in on why you selected that word

  2. Take a class (ali’s class is amazing) and join a community of like minded people working on their word monthly

  3. Purchase or create something that keeps your word visible daily

  4. Create a pinterest board that celebrates your word with quotes and other things that relate to how you want your word to work for you in the coming year

  5. Read the definition of your word and look for synonyms that you can also use to keep your word close.

  6. Revisit your word every month if not more often. Set a reoccurring event on your calendar with a reminder to take some time to think back on why you selected your word and how you have been incorporating it into you life and how you can make improvements.

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how this relates to your self care

Self care is all about making sure that you are taking the time to ensure that you are working towards being the best version of yourself. Sometimes this means working hard towards something and sometimes it means taking time to relax, reflect and refresh. You need to do what is best for you and if you select a word to carry with you throughout the year, make sure that you choose one that is in line with your goals for the year. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be but find something that pushes you a bit (whether it’s pushing you to work harder or pushing you to slow down) and brings you joy.

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Have you picked a word for your year? I would love to hear about it - what it is and why you selected it.

xo,
c




01 | all about self care

What does self care mean to you?

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Everyone is talking about it these days, self care is all the rage. But everyone is right. It’s the same as when you’re on an airplane for the safety speech and they tell you to secure your mask before you try and help others. You’re really no use to help others succeed if you aren’t taking care of yourself. As mothers we often feel like there are so many things that must get done (and there are) and that we’re the only ones who can do it all (and we’re not). Taking care of yourself and making time to make YOU a priority is vital to your own long term success in life.

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Today marks the first week in a series here on the blog that’s all about self care and the different ways that you can incorporate it into your life. Not every idea will resonate with you but the hope is that over time you will begin to create or enhance your own routines and methods of self care.

For me, self care comes in three areas: mind + body + soul/spirit. I tend to get tunnel focused in my life and will focus heavily in one area while letting the other areas slide. This year my goal is to work slow and steady and try and elevate each area while attacking my goals and dreams to continue towards being the person that I desire to be. Over the following weeks each topic will play into one or more of these areas but for now, here are some thoughts on each one.

Self care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.
— Katie Reed

MIND

The following are some of the ways that you can incorporate self care for your mind into your life:

  1. reading fiction or non fiction books without distraction

  2. learning something new

  3. limiting screen time

  4. creating time for goal setting/planning

  5. social media detox

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BODY

The following are some of the ways that you can incorporate self care for your body into your life:

  1. being conscious of the food and drinks that you allow into your body

  2. giving yourself adequate outdoor time

  3. moving your body more with exercise or other activities that you enjoy

  4. ensuring that you allow yourself time to get adequate sleep

  5. taking excellent care of your skin

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SOUL/SPIRIT

The following are some of the ways that you can incorporate self care for your soul or spirit into your life:

  1. finding time for something that you love to do

  2. making the time for a gratitude journal every day

  3. surrounding yourself with like minded and positive people

  4. creating time in your day to focus on you (there’s time somewhere, you just need to find it)

  5. listening to music that you enjoy

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Now what? Now it’s time to think about you…what do you love about where you are and what areas do you think you want to make some changes? Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to make a thousand changes all at once, but do get a clear picture on where you want to be and start making small and meaningful changes daily.

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What areas of self care do you need to focus on in your life? Is there a particular element that is lacking in your life? What are some topics that you would like to see explored deeper in this series? Drop a note in the comments and we’ll make sure that it’s addressed in the coming year.

xo,
c




what I'm reading | business

Business books and self improvement books are my very favorite kinds of books. I used to be a huge fiction reader - especially mysteries - but the last several years have me reaching for goal driven books that give me something to work towards. Some of the latest books on my shelf...

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The You Are a Badass books are next up on my reading list - there's both the regular one and You Are a Badass at Making Money - how could I pass that one up?? I've loved The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and The 5 Sencond Rule by Mel Robbins...perhaps two of my very favorites. Have you read Elise Cripe's book on 100 Pep Talks - a book she wrote from an instagram series she did a while back. It's a great quick read with a ton of really awesome nuggets of goal driven advice.

What business and goal books are your favorite? Are you a physical book reader, a kindle reader or do you love the audio books?

Happy Reading!
xo,
c

on my shelf

I'm a bit of an information junkie. I love to learn and I also really love books. Especially if they're pretty.

When I was younger and all through college and before kids I was a big fiction reader. Usually mysteries or crime stories, but once kids came along my reading time seemed to go away. I found other ways to fill my time and usually didn't need a book to put me to sleep at night - the kids tired me out enough!

These days my shelves have business books, home books and pretty books. I don't get to read everyday so I need something that can sit on the shelf for a while and I can easily pick up where I left off. Are you a reader? What kind of books do you like to read? Any great suggestions to pass along?

xo, c