Being Conscious in the New Year

Today is a typical January 5th. It’s a few days after the New Year and I’m still wonderin’ what the heck am I going to work on for the new year!? But as much I love being a goal setter or no matter how much of a list maker I am, I’ve always hated the pressure I would put on myself to do this resolution or that resolution.

Cause let’s be honest. I’d get fed up too quickly and by February first, I had already burned out. Where is the growth in that? That’s why I don’t make New Year resolutions. I make Life Resolutions. At least for me, it’s too hard to be specific on what needs to happen for this new year to be good.

Last year I tried to keep it simple. Read more. Run more. That’s it! And ya know what? The more I made the conscious decision to pull out a book before bed rather than flip on the TV the more it became a habit. I tried to not let two or three days go by before I ran. And not just run. Run outside. Now that was the truly hard part. But again. It became a habit!

Which is why this year I decided to pick up a new habit. And if you thought I couldn’t get it any simpler than last year then you would be wrong, my friend. This year I plan to make more conscious decisions. Vague? Let me explain.

I get comfortable easily. I don’t like change, really. So much so that it can get me too comfortable. I don’t think too hard into the little decisions I make throughout the day. And I really mean the little ones. What I listen to. What I watch or read. What I eat. Who I talk to. When I pray. How I work.  I don’t want to go through life blindly and not realize until it’s too late how these “little” decisions have affected me.  Now I know it’s not a good habit to become too scrupulous, but I want to be able to think just a little more about what I put into my body (and my soul). Whether it be the music, the food, the entertainment… It’s time to become more thoughtful in all aspects of my life.

So although it’s not a huge change in my life, I know it could be the best habit I adopt into my life. Who knows, maybe I’ll learn to like change a little more! Yeah, not likley but worth a shot, I guess! On that note, glad to be with you this year once again.

Happy [belated] New Year!

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10 Things I Do to Make Me Feel Like I have My Life Under Control

Too long of a blog post title? Nahhhh.

I’ve only been at this new job for a week and a half. But already work is piling up to my earlobes. Not that I’m not used to being busy, because I am. But I have found in my life that I go through spurts of feeling like my life is a spiraling whirlwind that I have no control over. So I’ve taken up a few… practices, if you will, to make me feel like I have my life even just a teensy bit under control.

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  1. Talk it out. Give yourself a place and a someone to vent to. We’re human and we need interaction and we are certainly not meant to bottle things up. Just talk.With someone. Anyone. Husband. Friend. Therapist. Even if all you’re talking about is how you feel like you don’t have your life in control, TALKING about it helps. It allows you to mentally process and even get feedback, if needed. I’m quite the chatter box, but when it comes to putting my frustrations out in words, I have a much harder time. But once I’ve actually taken the time to talk with someone, I instantly feel better.
  2. Schedule Relaxing. Even if it’s only once a month. Schedule it. Now here’s the hard part. Don’t miss it. It’s very hard for me to relax. I’ve told David that even when we’re on vacation I have a hard time relaxing because I can’t stop thinking about everything I’ll have to do when I get back home. Bath it up. Add some salts. Grab a magazine. Join the pedi-mani life. Coffee on the front porch. Take a nap. Or just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. Whatever you can accomplish in terms of relaxing is a huge win in my book.524885_3436266105050_937293532_n
  3. Say What You Mean. This is always a big help in terms of taking some things off your plate. I’m a yes person. I don’t like to say no to people but I’m starting to learn it’s a way of taking care of yourself. Say No. Make use of that word. By saying it, you’re already in control of something. But as much as you may want to say yes all the time you’re body just may not be able to handle it. Do yourself a favor and don’t commit to everything. You certainly don’t want to burn out.
  4. Write It down. Courtesy of my mother, I am a list maker. So I write everything I need to do down. The big mistake I used to make was having a lot of little lists. Well what do you think is going to happen with a lot of lists? They are going to get lost. So put them in one spot. On an app in your phone (Clear is a great one to download). Post its. A notepad. Pick one. And stick to it.
  5. Keep What You Need. Toss the rest. It’s perfectly okay to keep things and hold on to sentimental items. But if you’re saving every little piece of clothing your child ever wore or every single A+ paper they ever got, you should probably consider downsizing. Being that I just moved I’ve found I am a PRO at throwing things away. Left and right I was tossing things out. And let me just say. It feels so good to do it!
  6. Find a Home for Everything. When you’re done using something, put it away right away And in the same spot every time. It’s basic kid stuff. But so basic that I apparently wasn’t good at it right away. But now I have a plce for everything. Digital things included. If you’re anything like me, you have albums and albums on your computer of photos.  Organize them. I don’t care how. You can decide that but I promise you’ll feel so accomplished once you go through and clean out your computer (and back it up). Also sign up for Dropbox.com. It is your friend.
  7. Get Dressed. Attempt to get dressed (hair and makeup) every day. Or at least the days you have to be ultra productive. When I was in college, I was always told by one of my professors that people who take the time to get ready in the morning tend to be more focused in class. And it was so true. Even if I had been scrubbed out all year for class, come test day I would always try and make myself more presentable. Subconciously you’re more alert and more confident. Two things I am a fan of. So when you have to get stuff done either at work or home, try to skip the sweatpants and head for the jeans.
  8. Put Away Your Watch. Or your iPhone. Just stop watching the time. Get done with what you can and don’t fret about the rest. Easier said than done, right? Everything now a days is timed and held down to the very minute. It makes life a little stressful sometimes. But I’ve found that I work better or am at least less stressed if I stop checking my watch all the time. Yes of course check it every now and then. But try and put it aside more and force yourself not to look at it for a bit. And then see how much you get done!
  9. Read this: Matt. 6:25-2725 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,[a] or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?[b]
  10. Pray. No explanation needed, really. I always feel like I’ve got my life together a little better when I start my day with prayer. Some days less than others, but I know He’s taking care of it, so why worry, right?!?

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