52 weeks of self care

09 | exercise routines for self care

When I planned my year of self care I thought that I would surely have my workout routine down by now…but when this week approached and I realized that I didn’t I thought about switching it out for a week later in the year…and that’s when I knew it was best to keep it where it was.

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Exercise has always been something I’ve struggled with. I’m such an all or nothing person and when I find something to try I go all in…until I’m all out. I’ve tried so many different things, even participated in a couple sprint triathlons…crazy, huh? I’ve done all of the aerobics, lifting, personal trainer, home workouts and anything else you might be able to think of. But nothing that I’ve tried has been able to keep me motivated long enough to create a lasting habit.

I didn’t grow up working out or exercising on a daily basis…I was involved in basketball as a little kid and briefly in high school. I hated PE - especially those runs that we would have to go on in class. I love the idea of working out…but the time it takes, the sweating that’s involved and the energy…not really my thing. But getting strong, being strong and being able to move, that I love. But never really enough to keep going. It’s just not ever a priority to my life. But as I get older (and less able to move freely or lose weight as easy as I’d like) I know that a good exercise routine is vital to my self care and well being. My struggles with exercise is one of the biggest reasons that I love that my kids are so involved in sports and physical activity. They love it and struggle when they aren’t doing at least one sport at a time. I’m grateful that they have created that habit already.

MY PLAN GOING FORWARD

I have some health and fitness goals that I’ve been working on, trying to find the footing that best suits my life at the moment. Trying and hoping to get the habits solidified so that I can keep going even when life throws me a curve ball…because exercise is typically the first thing to go for me.

  1. rowing - I’m lucky enough to have a great rowing machine in my garage (alongside other exercise equipment)…it’s time to start using it again. Rowing is great for overall fitness and strength. It’s gentle enough on my knees and makes me feel stronger quickly after just a few days in. I’m planning on starting slow - 3 days a week and building up.

  2. yoga - one of my biggest struggles as I age is my inability to move as quickly or as easily as when I was younger. My flexibility is not great and that effects me in my work as a photographer. If I could slowly improve this it would make many areas of my life much easier. I’m going to be using Yoga with Adriene that has some amazing videos for all levels. And I’m at the lowest level there is here. But instead of giving up like I usually would, I’m taking note of where I am now and looking forward to where I will be with some consistent work. I’m starting with some general videos of hers and starting her March calendar of daily yoga on Friday.

  3. water - I know this isn’t exactly exercise but drinking more water and less coffee (which is the only other thing I’m drinking right now other than NingXia) helps me stay focused on my goal…and keeps me walking in the house more often :)

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What have been your successes with sticking to an exercise routine? What do you find helps you and what roadblocks do you often face? I know that a consistent exercise routine - that I will stick to - is vital to my self care. And feel free to ask me how it’s going if you see me…I’m going to need the encouragement!

xo,
c



08 | water intake for self care

This one is simple and so very basic. Water.

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You must get enough water every day to feel your very best. And self care is all about feeling your very best, setting yourself up for success every day. How much water do you think you need? More than you’re currently getting, I would bet. Take your body weight in pounds and divide in half…that’s the number of ounces that you should be targeting every day.

5 BENEFITS OF DRINKING WATER EVERY DAY

  1. Eliminates the toxins in your body - flush all that gunk out of your body…all those trips to the restroom are good for you.

  2. Hydrates your brain and wakes you up - no more foggy morning brain when you get a glass in just as you wake up every day.

  3. Hydrates your skin from the inside - plump that skin up, keep it smooth and soft, thank me later.

  4. Give yourself that feeling of being full - often when you think you’re hungry you’re just thirsty. Drink those glasses of water and start walking away from the cookies.

  5. Amazing for your joints, aches and pains - keep your fluid intake up and give your insides the best chance at being its healthy self.

What do you love about the days when you get all of your water in? Do you o it every day? Can you tell the difference? I know that I can. I feel fuller longer, my skin feels softer and clearer and I have more energy - also more steps from all of the trips to the restroom.

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5 TIPS TO GET YOUR WATER IN EVERY DAY

  1. Drink one glass as soon as you get up in the morning - before your brain even knows what’s going on, you’re a good 8 ounces in. Side benefit is that it gets your body moving and wakes you up right away. Win win.

  2. Drink a glass - large glass - with every meal or snack (also, drink a glass before your meal, helps you slow down with the food intake). Helps with digestion and it’s really the only thing you need to be drinking. Say no to the soda - it doesn’t count.

  3. Set reminders on your phone for various times every day - don’t let “busy” get in your way of getting hydrated. Put a checklist in your planner every day or tally marks on your bottle - figure out what works the best for you and stick to it.

  4. Add a drop or two of a food safe essential oil or some fresh fruits to your water for a little bit of variety.

  5. Find a water bottle that you love and carry it with you everywhere you go. We’re a big fans of hydroflasks here, but I also love my plastic tumbler for plain ice water. Whatever makes it easier for you to get those ounces.

What’s your biggest tip to make sure you get your water in every day? Do you struggle getting in the ounces? Do you tell yourself that the CokeZero counts as water too? You’re wrong, my dear. Get the pure basic water into your system every day. Your body will thank you.

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


06 | fueling your body with love

One of the best things that you can do for your self care is to take care of your physical body…what you eat and how you move. These are both areas that I’ve struggled with my entire life. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve felt like I have it under control and I’m on the right path and others where I’ve made choices that weren’t really in my best interest.

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I’ve tried all of the different diet fads. Really…all of them I would imagine. I have finally I’ve come to a point in my life where I’ve realized that I know what I need to do and it’s really up to me to decide to choose to actually do what I need to do. This past summer I attempted the Whole30 for my second time (first time was more of a Whole17) and this time I completed the challenge…and I loved it. I lost weight and that was my goal, but the best thing that happened was that I realized that I can be in control of what I eat. It was the first time in my life that my relationship with food became more about fueling my body than eating because I wanted to (for stress, emotion or out of spite when I was upset with myself). I was able to order Dairy Queen Blizzards for my family and easily pass on one for myself. And not feel deprived. Not feel as though I was wishing for the day when I could have one again. Just proud of myself for making the choice that best suited me and my goals for right now.

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Do you struggle with what to eat, how to eat, when to eat? Here are my five best tips on finding what works the best for you.

5 best tips for fueling your body with love

  1. Drink lots of water…take your body weight and divide by half and that’s how many ounces of water you should be drinking EVERY DAY.

  2. Fill your plate with mostly fruits and vegetables.

  3. Choose foods without added sugar.

  4. Choose foods with ingredient lists you can understand. I try and keep the foods that I eat to fewer than 5 ingredients per item when I’m not on the whole30 (as most all whole30 foods I eat are whole foods). Better yet - choose foods without ingredients. Whole foods. Foods that only have things in them that your body knows how to handle.

  5. Keep healthy food options on hand (at home, in your car, in your bag) so you don’t end up in a situation where a drive thru is your only option…and if it is, remember your goals. Remember how your body feels when you fill it with fake foods.

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Some of my favorite books to keep me motivated are shown above and linked below. At this point, I’m not 100% following any of them but am taking bits and pieces from each. Learning about the science behind the foods and the way that the different foods make me feel and effect my body. The main thing that I am trying to focus on in my world right now is making sure that the foods that I eat are as real as possible (aside from my morning coffee…because I’m just not prepared to drink black coffee at this point, and that’s just ok) and have ingredients that I understand. With things like the coffee…I’m making the choice to drink that as it is currently the better choice than what I might want. You can’t always make the perfect choice, be 100% clean and healthy all of the time. Sometimes the lesser of two evils to keep you on track is what works best. Finding what works for you may not be what works for someone else.



MY PINTEREST BOARD FOR EAT TO LIVE

I try to pin recipes and quotes that inspire me to make choices that are in line with my overall health goals. I’m often an “all of nothing” type of person and I need to be careful of giving myself a “treat” or taking a detour “just this once” until I’m fully committed (and seeing results…I need results). For me, counting points or calories or things along that line don’t really work. I need guidelines. But I also know that sometimes the best things for me is the “unhealthy” choice. Restrictions aren’t healthy and finding a way to live where I am giving my body the best chance at being healthy is my goal. Maybe, just maybe I’m finally figuring some of this health thing out.

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Reminding myself daily that eating well is one of the greatest forms of self respect. What tips do you have to keep your body healthy with the foods that you eat?

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

04 | creating a bedtime routine for self care

We’ve talked about creating a morning routine for self care and part of that process is ensuring you get enough sleep the night before to be able to get up early enough to not feel rushed and out of control in the mornings.

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WHY IS A BEDTIME ROUTINE GOOD FOR SELF CARE?

  1. Creating a solid bedtime routine helps you fall asleep faster to allow your self enough sleep to start your following day with intention and strength.

  2. It gives you the opportunity to devote some time to yourself to reflect on your day.

  3. It gives you the opportunity to take care of your skin, teeth and body.

  4. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on your day.

  5. It gives you the opportunity to create a habit that is beneficial for your mind and body…the more good habits you create in your life the more momentum you build towards your goals and dreams.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE

  1. Set a bedtime - one that allows you enough sleep with your routine and try to stick to it.

  2. Gratitude reflection - take time every night to reflect on your day and the things that you are grateful for…small things and big things. You can journal this in a book or simply think through them. I do this as I’m in bed preparing to fall asleep. If you pray, make sure to allow time for this as well.

  3. Dim lighting - when you are going through your bedtime routine, make sure that the lights aren’t overly bright to keep you awake. This is time to wind down and relax your eyes and body.

  4. Stretch your body - include deep breathing and stretch your muscles to relax. There are also some great nighttime yoga routines that can help with this, google or pinterest will bring up lots of options.

  5. Pamper yourself - take enough time to wash the day off of your face. Take care of your teeth, shower in the evening if it helps relax you. Take care of your skin and hair.

  6. Set your alarm for the morning - be realistic and make sure that you are allowing for enough quality sleep. Make sure that when that alarm goes off in the morning you are not hitting snooze…not even once.

  7. Prepare clothing for following day - are you working out in the morning? Make sure your clothes are ready and waiting. Don’t waste time in the morning or give yourself an excuse to not follow through with your intentions.

  8. Think through the following day - anything big coming up tomorrow? I try to make sure that I go through my planner at the end of each work day. I don’t want those unfinished tasks floating in my mind and keeping me awake at night. Get them down on paper and rest easy in knowing that you’ve set yourself up for success the following day.

  9. Essential oil sleep blend - I am a huge believer in essential oils for sleep. The blend that I use has given me the best sleep of my life and keeps me asleep. Falling asleep was always a huge problem for me and finding something to help me was life changing…really. Look for the recipe below.

  10. Calm spa like music - the diffuser that I use in my bedroom also plays different music. I choose a tune that is simple with no pattern so that I can fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. This has made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep every night.

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WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE

  1. Your phone

  2. Social media

  3. Too much food or drink too close to bedtime

  4. Bright lights

  5. Excuses - just do it. I know you’re tired, you might think it’s ok to skip a night. But the habits that you are creating are so very beneficial to your overall health and wellness.

HOW TO STICK TO YOUR BEDTIME ROUTINE

  1. See number 5 above. Don’t give yourself an out. No matter how tired you are or how “just this once” you’re going to skip washing your face…don’t. Take the time to take care of yourself.

  2. Have everything that you need for your nighttime routine stocked and ready. Don’t make yourself go looking for the things that you need.

  3. Make sure that you have properly closed out your work day - having unfinished tasks swirling through your mind at bedtime makes it very difficult to unwind and relax.

  4. Have a set routine. Use the worksheets that you can download at the end of this post to create a routine that you can stick to.

  5. Make sure that you love your routine. Give yourself something to look forward to, create a relaxing routine that you want to follow each night for better sleep and wellness.

HOW I SET MYSELF UP FOR SUCCESS AT BEDTIME

  1. I set up my diffuser first thing when I go to my room at night - the sounds and the smells get me relaxed and keep me on track with the habits I am creating for myself.

  2. My skincare routine is one that I love and see results from so I don’t feel as though I’m wasting my time. I see the benefits and love the way the products help my skin and add to the relaxed feeling I am trying to create for myself.

  3. I properly closed out my workday earlier and know what tomorrow holds for myself. I’m not trying to remember the things that I need to do the next day. I think through what I need to wear and I get my clothes ready for my workout (which is still in progress for me…but I’m working on creating this habit).

  4. I try not to eat or drink too close to bedtime.

  5. I have created a process where I don’t have to think about the next step. Like putting on your seat belt in the car, it’s a habit and I know what is expected of me every night.

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What kinds of things do you want to include in your bedtime routine? What are the possible things that might throw you off track? Are your nights all going to be the same or will you have varying bedtimes and routines? What can you do to keep yourself disciplined long enough to see the benefits of this self care practice?

xo,
c


03 | creating a morning routine for self care

One of the greatest things that you can do for your self care is to create a morning routine that sets the rest of your day up for success. There are many people out there that would agree and they all have ideas on the very best way to do it…my opinion? The best morning routine is the one that you look forward to…the one you’re excited to wake up to and the one that you can stick with. Make sure to download the worksheet at the end of this post to create your own morning routine!

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why is a morning routine good for self care?

  1. You give yourself something that you love to wake up to in the morning…if you dread getting up to a thousand things on your to do list - you need some “me time” first to ease into your day and prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

  2. You have some time in the morning before everyone is pulling you in different directions just for yourself and it gives you the opportunity to set yourself up for success for the day with zero distractions.

  3. You give yourself the opportunity to self reflect on your goals and dreams.

  4. You know what to expect from yourself everyday, a consistent routine is key to success.

  5. You give yourself a few wins before the world is even awake and moving…keep up that streak of successes going throughout your day,

what to include in your morning routine

  1. Goal setting/reflecting - if you take time every day to reflect on your goals you have the ability to look closer at those goals and your to do list and make sure that they are in alignment as much as possible.

  2. Gratitude journaling - write down 3-5 things that you’re grateful for every day, big or small things, but make sure you find something.

  3. Water - you can have your coffee or your tea or whatever you need - but make sure to get in some water as well asap! And keep drinking it throughout the day.

  4. Personal growth - reading is the best, just try and get 10 minutes in every morning or listen to a great podcast while you’re getting number 5 crossed off your list.

  5. Exercise - this is lacking in my morning routine right now…but I’m working on it. It is so vital to get your blood pumping. You can do something strenuous, something calming and centering like yoga, go for a walk or a run - anything that you can stick with and that you enjoy. And if you crave variety make sure to mix it up so you don’t get bored and give up.

  6. Open the curtains and make your bed. Another great and easy win for the day. It’s simple and often forgotten, but it makes a huge difference. Let in the light.

  7. A good healthy breakfast. If you have the time (or make the time), make yourself a breakfast that can carry you through your morning and refuel you without making you sluggish.

  8. Take care of your skin and teeth, shower and get dressed in something that makes you walk tall and feel great. Even if you’re working from home…even if you’re not “working”. Make the effort every day to take care of your face and body.

  9. Attack your to do list. What needs to get done? However you work best - either do those hard things first or tackle all the little things. Write it down, get it out of your mind and get the work done. (revisit this list throughout your day and especially at the end of your day to set your agenda for the following morning so nothing is looming over you with a chance of being forgotten)

  10. Smile, know that you’re giving yourself the best start to your day and working towards relieving stress in your life. Be proud of the wins that you’ve already accomplished today.

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WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR MORNING ROUTINE

  1. The snooze button

  2. Email

  3. Social media

  4. Distractions

  5. Unhealthy foods

how to stick to your morning routine

  1. Get enough sleep the night before - whenever possible. I know that sometimes this is beyond your control, but do the best you can to get to bed at the same time each night to allow for enough sleep. Create a nighttime routine that will help with this as well.

  2. Make sure that the clothes that you need in the morning are right there for when you wake up and that you don’t have any excuses for just staying in bed. Take away the decision making process.

  3. No snooze. Seriously. Don’t break the promises to yourself that you made when you went to sleep the night before. If you’re tired and don’t want to get up, tell yourself you can sneak in a nap later, or that you’ll go to sleep earlier tonight (if you can). Just get up. Put your alarm clock in the other room or as far away from you as possible to make sure you have to get out of bed. (Read Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule)

  4. Have a set routine. Take the guesswork out. Make it known that this is just what you do. You are a person that gets up early and works through a list of things that are good for your mind, body and soul. This is just who you are. Stand firm in that belief.

  5. Make sure that you love your routine, give yourself something in your morning routine that you really love and can look forward to.

great resources to make your mornings amazing

  1. the miracle morning book - a great book by Hal Elrod that talks all about morning routines and what he believes you should be including in yours.

  2. 5 second rule book - a great book by Mel Robbins on getting yourself unstuck and willing to go after what you want.

  3. leuchtturm 1917 book for journaling - I use one of these books daily for my morning journaling of gratitude and goal setting.

  4. keurig - quick and easy, one cup and a little pod is all I need and I make sure that the water is full the night before.

  5. girl wash your face - a great book to start off your personal development reading if you haven’t already read it.

how i set myself up for success in the morning

  1. I ensure that I fall asleep quickly by creating a spa like atmosphere with my nighttime routine…even when I’m feeling too tried to do it. I have found that the nights that I have skipped I’m far less likely to get up when my alarm goes off in the morning.

  2. I set my alarm for the same time every morning - and try my very best not to hit snooze.

  3. My workout clothes for the morning are set out - just need to get myself back into the habit of actually working out :) this has been an on and off again struggle for me and finding a way to incorporate it in a simple and seamless way is the best for me. I need to work out at home and have everything readily accessible otherwise I find myself making excuses and putting it off.

  4. My oils for my diffuser are ready with my wake up blend (joy + orange + grapefruit), the ritual of doing this helps me remember to slow down and enjoy the moment a little longer and move through my mornings with purpose.

  5. My notebook is ready, my book to read is ready, my coffee and water cups are ready. I gather all of my things and sit at my desk and get to work. I know my routine every day and because I don’t have to stop and think or look for anything I don’t get distracted...usually.

What are you going to make sure to include in your morning routine? Will your weekends look different than your weekdays? How can you best set yourself up for success and create little wins for yourself everyday? I would love to hear all about your morning routine, drop a note in the comments about what works well for you and where you might be struggling.

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