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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 12

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 2 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 12

Congratulations! You’ve reached the final day of the Getting Your Shit Together Challenge! Do you have your shit together by now? Probably not. Listen, ladies–this is an ongoing journey. You’d be bored if you already had it together. But today, I want to help set you up for having more balance when it comes to the chaos in your life. There’s something that helps people have their shit together no matter what. Beyond measure. Day in, day out. What is that thing? It’s ritual. Let Me Explain Something About Ritual When we hear the word ritual, our minds often fall to some elaborate, time-consuming procedure. That’s not what ritual is about. You don’t have to drink lemon water or take off your clothes and howl at the moon to get your shit together. But you’ll never get your shit together if you don’t create some aspect of ritual. Ritual Is Something Consistent And consistency is key to getting your shit together. The stuff that makes you feel chaotic, overwhelmed, and off track are the things that aren’t part of your ritual yet. If you took the quiz at the beginning of this challenge, you might have found out that you fall right in the middle. You’re not a planner, but you’re not total chaos. Was that a surprise for you? Most people DO fall somewhere in the middle. Why? Because of ritual. Everyone has some rituals. Those rituals make you feel like you have your shit together. When you lose your rituals, or when something new comes into the picture that you haven’t ritualized {that’s actually a word?} you feel the chaos. Case In Point I’m posting the final blog for this 12-day challenge 3 days late. Why? Because I haven’t ritualized blog posting yet. But I’m working on it. What Is a Ritual? Just to show you that you don’t have to go overboard establishing rituals, I’m going to give you some examples of rituals that I follow in my own life. These are all rituals: Brushing my teeth Prepping and drinking my morning coffee Practicing deep breathing in the car driving the kids to and from school Making the kids lunches when I’m making myself lunch and dinner the day before Moving my body on a regular basis Rubbing my body down with a sugar scrub when I shower Zoning out in front of the TV or a book in the evenings See? None of these are mind-blowing or extravagant. These are the things that help me feel like I have my shit together. Rituals are flexible. They can change over time. However, it can feel difficult to change them. Removing rituals can make you feel like you don’t have your shit together, and making new activities into rituals can make you feel like you don’t have your shit together. There was a time when I tried so hard to force myself to shed the evening zone-out ritual. You guys, come 7:30pm, I am D.O.N.E. I can’t process a single thought anymore. {Shit, that means that I only have 5 minutes to finish this blog post.} But I go to bed between 9 and 12. {Obvs, bedtime is NOT one of my rituals.} That means that I have up to 4.5 hours that I could use to...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 11

Posted by on Dec 31, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 11

We’re almost at the end of getting your shit together. And it’s also New Year’s Eve. This is a great day to reflect. Take some time today to reflect on the past year. Be honest with yourself. Here are some questions to think about as you reflect. Journaling may help you get your thoughts out. On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for you to have your shit together? What would a 1 look like? What would a 10 look like? Where would you like to fall on the scale? Where did you fall on the scale in 2016? What would you like to change about that reality in 2017? Now go have fun. (Or sleep, whatever.) It’s New Year’s...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 10

Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 2 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 10

Today, you are going to pull out that planner that you didn’t really use in 2016. Or the planner that you bought for the new year. Or your Google calendar. Or a notebook. But you’re not going to use it to plan for the future. You’re going to use it to build awareness. Every day, write in your planner about 3 times: Around 11am, Around 3pm, Before bed What you’re going to write is what you did that day. That’s it. Break it down by hour if your planner breaks it down by hour. Add in your goals (after the fact–looking back–in hindsight) if there is a “goals” section in your planner. Basically, you’re going to be using the planner in the way that you eventually want to use it. But you’re going to use it to enter in the concrete things that have already happened. What’s the point? Using your planner to keep track of what has already happened has several purposes: You become aware of your day. Sure, you probably have an idea of how your day goes. You know you spend too much time staring aimlessly at your phone. You know that you could make time for self-care. But unless you are writing it down and quantifying what you do, you also probably have no idea of the extent of all of this. When you write it down, you  may be surprised that your Facebook scrolling literally takes up 2 hours of your day. Quantifying your time in an honest way makes it impossible to lie to yourself. You see where changes can be made. If you just have a vague idea of your life, it’s hard to note where real changes could be made. Sure, you tell yourself about the generic changes you want to make: Less guilt, more exercise. However, once you see it all in front of you, you’ll see where the guilt is coming from. Or maybe you’ll notice that you have no reason to feel it in the first place. You’ll see where the real changes can be made–the ones that will actually improve your life instead of the ones that will waste your time. You practice keeping up with the routine. Keeping a planner can be a hard routine to implement, especially if you’ve never been able to stick to it before. Starting by writing down what you’ve already done is a foolproof way to get into the habit of writing in it. It’s also a great way to determine if that’s the right kind of planner for you. You change your behavior. You can change your mindset all you want, but if you don’t change your actions, you’ll never change your life. Doing this is probably something you’ve never done before. That means that you’re creating new neural pathways by doing it. You’ll learn. You’ll grow. You’ll change. So go grab something to write with, and start keeping track of your day. Join the MYP Powerhouse Collective –a real mom’s group, where you can talk about yourself and get support for getting your shit together. Share with us what you’ve noticed about your life as it is right now. This post is part of a 12-day challenge. If you want to start getting your shit together from the beginning,...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 9

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 9

Do you have your shit together yet? At the very least, by this point in the challenge, you should have an understanding that adding more to your plate isn’t the way to get your shit together. Clarity = Getting your shit together More on your to-do list does not = Getting your shit together. If you’re still sitting there thinking I’m crazy, telling yourself that you can’t function without planning in the way that you know it, think about this: Why are you here? You wouldn’t be looking to get your shit together if your version of planning worked for you. You wouldn’t be struggling with overwhelm if the way you’ve always done it was effective for you. It’s obviously not working. So why do you keep pushing it? Sameness is not going to bring about change. Change Can Be Big or Small Sometimes, big changes are too hard to make, to implement and to stick with. However, sometimes small changes are too insignificant to motivate you. Going back and forth is good. It’s how a scale works. It’s how you achieve balance. What Needs to Change? So if you’re serious about getting your shit together, what needs to change? It can be big or it can be little. Pull from the previous days of this challenge to come up with the answer: How has letting go of planning changed your days? What have you become more aware of in the past several days? What decisions have you made this week? What have you done to enjoy yourself? What did you write down on your brain dump? How has breathing helped you feel more organized and clear? How can your communication with your partner improve? Think about the answers to these questions. Better yet, journal about them. The path that you’ve taken while going through this challenge will help you think about what really needs to change and what might be able to stay the same. The answer may surprise you. This post is part of a 12-day challenge. If you want to start getting your shit together from the beginning, check out the previous days of the challenge: 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 1 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 2 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 3 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 4 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 5 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 6 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 7 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 8...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 8

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Blog, Relationships, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 8

How often have you had this conversation with your partner? You: You have to go pick up the kids from soccer in 15 minutes. Partner: Me? I thought you were doing it. You: {Sighing} I drove the kids to school. Then I came home and did laundry. Then I picked them up from school. Came home and did snack. Then I drove them to soccer and back. Partner: Well I worked all day! I don’t want to have to go back out now. This Is How That Convo Goes In My World: I just had this conversation. Well, the first part of it. Fortunately, my husband is fairly agreeable, so our convo went like this: Me: You have to pick up the kid from theater in 15 minutes. Husband: Me? I thought you were doing it. Me: Smiles. Husband: Smiles back {possibly with a slight eye roll}. If he weren’t so agreeable, this would become an issue. I could feel my frustration mounting deep down inside when he even so much as hinted that he hadn’t expected to do it. After all, I had just spent 1.5 hours driving the kids to school this morning. Then, I spent 1.5 hours picking them up at noon (early dismissal… ugh). I had even texted him at one point suggesting that he stick around town after work so he wouldn’t have to leave the house again to go pick up the kids. I thought he knew that he was the one to go get them. Again, we’re pretty cool with this shit. But if he were a less agreeable husband, like so many are, this would have caused yet another resentment-filled conversation. Or no conversation, just resentment. Does this sound familiar? Even in my scenario, I could have eliminated all frustration by doing some planning the night before. It would have looked like this: Me: Tomorrow is a crazy day because the kids have early dismissal. Husband: They’re starting winter break already? Ugh. Me: I know. Husband: So you get to come home and chill. Me: {scowling} No I don’t. I get to come home and finish up some writing deadlines, and then I have to drive the kid to theater at 3:30. Husband: {nodding knowingly} Oh, right. Me: Since I’m going to have to come into town and go back home twice tomorrow already, can you pick the kid up from theater at 5? Husband: Sure!  {smiles, winks, and proceeds to make out with me} Ok, not so much that last part—well, depending on the situation. But the rest of it would’ve happened. And there would have been no hard feelings, no simmering frustration and no harboring resentment. That’s called planning. Lack Of Planning Is Why You Hate Your Husband Well, I mean, there could be other reasons. But hear me out. You think you’re a planner, right? I mean, you plan all the shit. Down to the time you’re going to take a shit. Ok, maybe not that far, but you plan out your meals. Your appointments. Which errands you’re going to run and when. Your kid’s soccer tournaments. And then you don’t plan shit when it comes to communicating with your husband. How’s that working out for you? The “Who Does More In The Relationship” Scenario It’s probably leaving...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 7

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 7

You’re a little more than halfway through the Getting Your Shit Together challenge. {Scroll to the bottom of this post to see some of the other days in the challenge or to join in from the beginning.} How’s it going? Do you feel more peaceful? Has a weight been lifted, even ever so slightly? Have you really committed to stopping the planning insanity, becoming more aware, and controlling your life by making decisions instead of letting the world control you? Have you taken some time to enjoy yourself more? Tomorrow we have a big day set forth in this challenge, so I want you to sit with what you have achieved so far before we get into that. Today, I want you to breathe. Right now. Stop what you’re doing, and take a deep breath in. The first thought that I usually have when I do that is: Holy shit, have I not been breathing this whole time? Because taking a deep breath feels like chugging a refreshing glass of water. It makes me realize that I was not getting the oxygen than I needed. People don’t breathe enough. We often take these short, shallow breaths, and it’s not enough to keep our systems functioning properly. According to Stress.org, breathing is one of the best ways to relieve anxiety and stress. Breathing deeply: brings more oxygen to the brain stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which encourages calmness connects you with your body quiets your mind. Sometimes, it’s really hard to remember to breathe. Here are some ways to remember: Put a note on your nightstand so that you remember to breathe deeply every time you look at the clock. Set an alarm on your phone to go off three times a day. Take 10 deep breaths every time you hear it. Play game with yourself. Every time you want to react to your kids, take 3 deep breaths before talking. Keep being aware, keep breathing, and get ready for a big day tomorrow. This post is part of a 12-day challenge. If you want to start getting your shit together from the beginning, check out the previous days of the challenge: 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 1 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 2 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 3 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 4 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 5 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 6

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 6

On the 6th Day of Getting Your Shit Together, your life coach said to you…get it off your chest. Today, you’re going to write it down. All of it. Note: You are NOT writing a to-do list. You are writing down the things that are in your mind just to get them out of your brain. I repeat: Do NOT attempt to do all the things. But write them down. Getting your shit together involves finding clarity, and you can’t get that with all of that junk stuck in your head. Do it now. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, your journal, a receipt from your Christmas shopping, a page from your kid’s coloring book… just something to write with. Close your eyes and take a deep breath while counting to 5. Hold your breath for one count, then blow it slowly out your mouth to the count of 6. Do this 5 times. Begin to write. Don’t censor yourself, don’t make it pretty. Do a brain dump and get out all of the things that are jamming up your mind. What to do after you write down all the things? Tuck the list away somewhere. You can refer back to it at some point, or you can simply let it waste away in the depth of your journal. You didn’t write this with the intention of doing any of it. Writing down all of the stuff that swirls around in your brain like a tornado simply makes you feel clearer. Sure, at some point, you could maybe set a goal of getting it all done. But now is not the time for that. This post is part of a 12-day challenge. If you want to start getting your shit together from the beginning, check out the previous days of the challenge: 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 1 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 2 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 3 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 4 12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 5...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 5

Posted by on Dec 25, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 5

Hey mama, how about enjoying yourself for a change? Do you spend so much time getting your shit together that you forget to enjoy life?  The Three Obstacles to Enjoyment Obstacle #1: Completing the “Must-do’s” First I fall into this trap all the time. There’s just so much to do. There’s money to make. There are hungry mouths to feed. So in order to feel like I have my shit together, I tell myself that I have to do those things before I can enjoy myself. The problem with this is that if you prioritize your “must-do’s,” you’re never going to get to the fun stuff. It has been proven. In her book Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has The Time, Brigid Schulte writes about how time researchers have actually pinpointed this phenomenon. Obstacle #2: Planning out Your Leisure Time So the obvious solution would be to simply plan for fun, leisure time then, right? That’s what a lot of coaches and authors suggest. If you’re a planner, just pencil in some leisure time between yoga classes, grocery store runs and shuttling the kids around. The problem with this is that it still doesn’t allow you to let go. It still doesn’t let enjoyment become second nature. And to really ditch the overwhelm and find balance, enjoying life should be part of the everyday. It should be like brushing your teeth. Of course, you aren’t going to enjoy everything you do every second of the day. You don’t have to. But if you’re not finding time to let loose and enjoy a little something, you’re going to crash and burn. {Lucky you: I’m launching a challenge in the new year that will help you find more time to enjoy yourself. Rejoice!} Obstacle #3: Guilt Then there’s the whole guilt about hanging out with my kids thing. I really don’t enjoy playing with my kids. When they hand me a LEGO minifigure and say, “Mom, you’re this guy,” I pretty much want to gouge my eyes out. So then the guilt comes in. And instead of just letting go and enjoying myself, I start planning what we can do together that’s fun. This usually involves Pinterest, art supplies, and more overwhelm. And it pretty much leads to no one enjoying themselves. When I let go of the guilt, things seem to fall into place better. Sometimes letting go of the guilt means that I don’t hang out with my kids and I sit them in front of the TV while I go outside to hoop dance by myself. Sometimes letting go of the guilt means that I devote just 15-20 minutes to my kids first thing in the morning, doing whatever they want to do. I know that it makes everyone feel more fulfilled, and for the rest of the day, my schedule is more free to do what I want to do, and I don’t feel guilty about it. How Can You Use This Challenge to Enjoy Yourself More? Let’s think back to the previous days of the challenge. Day 2 – Stop planning: At least for the next 7 days, stop planning so much. Allow yourself to enjoy the extra time this affords you. And if you can, enjoy the spontaneity. Day 3 – Be...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 4

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 4

On the 4th day of getting your shit together, your life coach said to you… Make a Decision Do you wonder why you so often fail at the things that you plan? Maybe you can never stick to your diet, or you resort to yelling at the kids after a long day. Part of it is because you haven’t spent time creating awareness of what you’re actually doing. But the other reason that you fail at planning is because you’re not making a decision. Let me explain. We so often hear people throw around terms like intention and goals. It’s important to set intentions. Goals are great, too. But if you haven’t made a decision to commit, you might as well have just set an intention to transform yourself into a unicorn. It ain’t gonna happen. If you want your plans to succeed, you have to make a decision to do those plans. Do you ever find yourself saying any of the following? I’m going to try to stop yelling at my kids. I’m going to try not to drink wine this week. I’m probably going to go to that yoga class tomorrow. I’m going to try to save money every week. Is it any wonder that you’re not following through on your plans? Research shows that there are many different ways to succeed at achieving your goals. Some techniques involve using visualization or affirmations. How to Be Getting Your Shit Together 91% of the Time Visualization and affirmations are effective. However, you have to take one step back. What is the decision that you’re actually making? Studies show that people who make a decision to do something succeed 91% of the time, compared with people who simply try to motivate themselves with information or with nothing at all. You don’t need more planning. You don’t need more motivation. You simply need to make a decision. I distinguish the word decision from the word intention, just because I know that for some people, intention sounds more woo-woo and open ended. It doesn’t have the connotations of concrete commitment that the word decision has. Let me give you a little example of how this all works. I have been on a weight-loss program for the past few months. A diet, if you will. The date of the annual family Christmas party was coming up. I knew that if I cheated on my diet, I would probably not lose any weight in the following week, and I’d be bummed. I had already decided to cheat on my diet on Christmas weekend, but this party was a few weekends before. Did I really want to sabotage my weight-loss success? I woke up on the day of the party, and I still didn’t know. I hadn’t decided what I was going to do. All week I had told myself: I don’t want to cheat at the party. I’m going to try not to drink at the party. I’m probably going to stick to my diet at the party. All of these statements ended with a little voice in my head saying, “But I might change my mind when I get there.” That is NOT a decision. That is a weak attempt at a goal. I needed to decide. The beauty is that I...

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12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 3

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

12 Days of Getting Your Shit Together – Day 3

Awareness: The First Obstacle To Planning On the third day of getting my shit together, I gave to myself…. awareness. Whether you’re a planner, wishy-washy, or total chaos, you’ve felt it: FAILURE. Big and blaring, harsh and painful. You might have your daily routine under your belt, but trying something new, like: saving money losing weight getting more organized {is that a vicious cycle or what?} exercising more yelling less finding more time for yourself just never seems to stick. You fail, you shame yourself, and the cycle begins again. What is wrong with you? Nothing. You can plan your life out all you want. You can have the best planner in the world. You can be absolutely clear on what needs to happen and when for the next week, or month, or year. But if you don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, then you are never going to plan efficiently. Planning is never going to help you reach your goals. Planning is never going to make you feel less overwhelmed. You are always going to feel guilty about those things. Be Aware of the NOW If you want to plan for something, then you need to know what’s going on at the present moment first. That helps you make decisions (which we’ll talk about in tomorrow’s post). In order to plan effectively, you need to know what’s working and not working in great detail. You may have a vague idea of what’s not working, so what do you do? You put all your energy into PLANNING to take measures to change it. You don’t take the time to really dig into the problem. Why? Because it seem easier to plan for the good instead of opening your eyes up to the current situation–which might bring up some flaws or some areas in which you’re falling behind. We don’t want to look at the faults. We just want to fix them. Well, that’s never going to work. It hasn’t worked so far, has it? So why do you keep doing the same thing? Planning and failing, planning and failing. You can do that all you want. You can put all your gumption and commitment behind it. But if you just keep planning, you’ll just keep failing. Plan to notice For the record, I don’t consider it failing. I’m just using that word to get your emotions into it. Do something different for the rest of 2016. Instead of planning, plan to notice. For the planners: This gives you something to do so you don’t get anxious about not planning. For the wishy-washy: This is a great way to transition between feeling chaotic and feeling organized.For the total chaos: This is a great way to get more organized without compromising your spontaneous nature. This is what to do: For the next 9 days, plan to notice what is going on in your life now. You don’t have to notice everything, but focus on the aspects of your life surrounding what you want to change. For example: If you want to save money, notice what you’re spending money on now, when you spend it, how you feel when you spend it. If you want to lose weight, notice how you feel in your body now, what you...

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