Living Life: One Tantrum and Green Smoothie at a Time!
Posts to help stress less and relieve overwhelm!! Stay organized and productive! And, keep your sanity when the kids are around!
I totally get it. Right now as I write this my two girls are running around me…placing stickers who knows where, all over the house. Life can get chaotic sometimes. But, we can do this….and keep our sanity while doing so.
Us moms are pretty awesome people.
We raise tiny humans into adults. We shape how they learn, react to different situations, their habits, and what they eat. They mimic us when they’re little, and they keep some of our habits for themselves when they grow up! Let’s stress less so that they can do the same when they’re adults!
How to Prepare to Meal Prep: How to Meal Prep for Beginners
So, you want to start meal prepping because you know all the benefits you can get from doing so, but where do you even begin? After reading this guide on how to meal prep for beginners, you’ll understand, not only how to meal prep, but how to do it in record time so you can spend less time in the kitchen, and more time doing what you love!
Before starting to go through this guide you’ll want to have your meal plan in front of you and all filled out, have gotten your groceries, and have a nice clean kitchen to start off with!
So, if you haven’t done those things yet, pin this post, go do those things, and then come back.
Or, go ahead and skim through this post to get an idea of what you’ll have to do, then come back to it once you’re ready to start meal prepping, or planning to meal prep!
Yes, there are a few things that need to happen before you even start to meal prepping.
You need to prep to meal prep. If you don’t then it will either be frustrating, or impossible, to meal prep properly, or even at all!
Have a meal plan
The first thing you need to make sure you have completed before meal prepping is a meal plan.
If you don’t have a meal plan all set up, then how do you know what you need to meal prep?
And, how do you even know what groceries you need to buy if you don’t have a meal plan?
I know some people who will go grocery shopping without even a meal plan in mind, let alone a written grocery list. These people tend to spend their whole grocery budget in that one trip, too! Then they run out of food before the week is over and simply eat out for the rest of the week so they don’t have to get more groceries; or, they’ll pick up a few things at the store everyday, just to get by.
Honestly, these people frustrate me!
How can they do this?
Do they even know how much money they could save by spending 10 or 15 minutes writing out a meal plan and a grocery list before going to the store?
But, enough about those people. And, don’t feel bad right now if you are one of those people. You’re reading this right now, which means you want to improve; and that’s the first step!
Buy Your Groceries
The next thing you have to do before meal prepping is actually buy your groceries. You know, the ingredients that you’ll need to make the food you’re going to make!
USE YOUR MEAL PLAN, WRITE A GROCERY LIST, THEN GET YOUR GROCERIES.
That must happen in that order, or you won’t be prepared to meal prep. You’ll end up having to go back out to the store. Spend more money, and waste more time. So, make sure you do those things in that order!
Have a Clean, or somewhat clean, Kitchen
Having a clean kitchen before starting to meal prep is my own preference.
But, it sure does make things easier when you don’t have to stop in the middle of meal prepping to wash measuring cups that should already be clean. Sure, you may have to wash them a few times on meal prep day, anyways. It’s just nice to start off with no mess in the kitchen to get in your way or slow you down.
I’d also recommend for you to clean while you prep to avoid any frustration that could come about from a messy kitchen.
Though, I say this while having a very tiny kitchen with very limited counter space. Maybe if you have a larger kitchen, a small mess wouldn’t be as big of a deal. So, this one is up to you.
Now that you have a plan, your groceries, and hopefully a clean kitchen; we can now start to actually prepare to meal prep!
Know What Cooking Tools You’ll Need
First, you’ll need to know what equipment you’ll need while meal prepping.
Make a mental note or write it down.
Or, better yet, get all the equipment you’ll need out.
For me, I usually need (at least) a medium sized pot with lid, a larger pot with lid, my food processor, my blender, and then all of the small tools. Small tools include: measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, etc.
Don’t forget to get out your meal prep containers, as well. This way you can see what you have to work with and decide which prepped meal or snack will go in which container.
Have Recipes Handy
The next thing you’ll want to do is get out all the recipes for the meals and snacks you’ll be making. Unless of course, you have an awesome memory and know all the recipes by heart!
However, I do not have that great of a memory, even for the recipes that I make up. If I don’t write them down, then they’re lost forever.
So, I need to get out every single recipe (while I make my grocery list and) when I am meal prepping.
Decide the Order You Will Complete Each Meal (or Snack)
Once you have your recipes, look at how much time, both active and idle, that it will take to complete each meal or snack.
This will help you decide which recipe to start with.
If you have a recipe that takes 5 minutes to start and then an hour in the oven or on the stove; start with that one. That way you can work on the quicker recipes while that one bakes or cooks and doesn’t need much attention.
Other things to consider when deciding the order for your recipes:
which pieces of equipment or small tools you’ll need for each recipe
if you need to prep ingredients before starting a recipe (ex. soaking/cooking beans)
Once you know the order you’ll start each recipe; you’re ready to start meal prepping!
Now You’re Ready to Start Your Meal Prep!
In this guide you learned:
the importance of meal planning
then writing out your grocery list
then getting groceries
that starting with a clean kitchen is best
then getting out everything you will need (including recipes)
the importance of deciding the order in which you meal prep
and that the order you do these things in actually matters!
I hope this guide helped you learn how to meal prep for beginners! Leave a comment below if you think I missed anything. Otherwise I hope you’ll sign up for this FREE E-course to simplify mealtime!
Let’s start on a positive note and take a look at all the pros for meal prepping as a busy mom.
Food is all ready to eat besides needing to be heated
Having food in the fridge, ready to heat up and serve, can be a life sanity saver sometimes. Actually, more often than not, it’s a really great feeling to know you have food all read in the fridge, or freezer.
This pro of meal prepping will help you forget about the times when you used to stand in the kitchen with little ones at your feet asking what’s for dinner, or when will it be done!
This pro alone is enough to help many moms decide to meal prep once a week.
Don’t have to cook while hungry
Have you ever had to cook while starving?
It’s not fun.
It’s hard enough to cook with little ones asking you for food, but when you’re the one who’s famished; you may end up trying to rush the food and destroying it in the process. Or, simply making a quick and unhealthy meal because you can’t focus enough to eat right.
Meal prepping helps you avoid all of this by having you cook once a week, and you can make sure you’re not hungry during this time, because it will all be planned!
Kids don’t have to wait for food to be made, less hangry kids
Not only will you be less hangry, and not have to cook while hungry; your kids will be less hangry, too!
And, believe me, no one likes dealing with hangry kids; so go heat up an already made meal and avoid the ‘mom, I’m hungry’s and the bad behavior that comes with kids not eating when they get hungry!
Less likely to eat out
When you have ready to eat meals in your fridge, you’re much less likely to eat out.
What’s the point of eating out when it’d be quicker, and healthier, to simply warm up what you have in the fridge?
It’s less hassle, and you could even have your kids get in their pj’s before dinner. Or, be able to change when they end up getting their clothes dirty with food; it’s bound to happen once in awhile!
Meals a generally healthier
When you meal prep you have to plan for it.
When you take the time to plan out your meals, you’re more likely to choose healthy ones. Unless of course, if you’re trying to meal plan while hungry; I wouldn’t recommend that!
So long as you meal plan and focus on health, it’s impossible to not eat well if you meal prep!
Helps you follow your meal plan
Meal prepping will also help you follow that healthy meal plan you created.
When you have the food you planned out all ready for you, it’s almost harder not to follow your meal plan directly!
Less mess during the week
This is a big pro!
No one I know likes doing dishes, well, besides my kids, but they mostly just like to play with the bubbles!
But, I sure don’t like having to do tons of dishes everyday of the week; I have better things to do than stand in the kitchen and clean up a big mess from cooking every night of the week.
Meal prepping allows you to have minimal dishes to wash everyday, except for meal prep day!
Only have to cook once a week
Do you hate cooking? Or, not have time to cook everyday?
Then, it wouldn’t make sense for you to not meal prep.
Meal prepping allows you to cook only once a week. Even if you don’t like cooking, I think you can handle being in the kitchen for a few hours once a week; it sure beats having to cook for an hour or two everyday!
Meal prepping also helps you save money, by helping you follow your meal plan.
If you make the food you planned out, you won’t be tempted to eat out or have to go to the store several times during the week because your forgot something you needed for dinner that night. Which reduces the number of times you have to go into a grocery store, which is set up to tempt you to buy more than you really need.
Helps you not waste food
If you prep the meals you planned out, then you’ll be more likely to eat it and stick with the meal plan you set up.
Sticking with your meal plan means you won’t waste the food that you put on your grocery list for that weeks meal plan!
Being an already busy mom, it may be hard to find a couple hours on the weekend to meal prep all your families meals for the week.
But, the alternative to meal prepping is either spending more time making food every single day, or spending time going out to eat.
So, would you rather spend 2 to 3 hours one day a week meal prepping, or 1 to 2 hours (at the least) making meals 7 days a week.
Let me save you from having to do the math; it’s a lot less time to meal prep!
By now, meal prepping probably sounds great! But, there are a few downsides to it, as well.
You have to find time to meal prep once a week
The toughest part of meal prepping is actually finding a few solid hours to get your food prepped for the week.
As a mom who’s already busy, you may not have (or at least don’t think you have) a few hours to prep your families meals.
You’ll have a lot of dishes to do while you meal prep
The worst part of cooking, or baking, or making anything in the kitchen, is having to clean up afterwards.
Prepping multiple meals at once will mean you will have to wash all the dishes for that meal in the same day, possibly multiple times in a very short period of time. Because maybe you’ll need the half a cup measuring up for oats, and then again for soy milk, and again for rice. It’ll need to be washed in between each use (most of the time).
If you don’t like what you prepped, it’s a lot of wasted food
Not liking what you prepped can be one of the worst case scenarios when it comes to meal prepping.
But, that’s a whole lot of wasted food if no one in your family ends up liking it.
So, be sure to meal prep meals you know your family likes and know will stay good in the fridge or freezer; leave trying new foods for the weekend or a day when you’re not so busy!
Can get bored of the meals
If you meal prep the same meal for everyday of the week, then someone in your family is bound to get bored of it; it may even be you who gets bored of it after eating it day after day.
If you decide to eat out anyways, you could be wasting the food you prepped
To go along with getting bored of the food you prepped, there’s always the temptation to eat out, anyways. Which will make some of the food you prepped for the week go to waste.
The food could go bad if you prep it wrong, or sits too long in the fridge
If you don’t eat what you prepped for specific days, then the food could be in the fridge longer than it’ll stay good for. Which will then force you to throw it out and eat out, or spend more money on groceries than you had planned to.
You have to plan ahead
If you don’t plan ahead, then you won’t know which foods you prep will need to be consumed first.
You won’t have what you need if you don’t plan ahead. So, if you hate planning then maybe meal prepping isn’t for you!
You have to have a little bit of discipline
To not waste the food you prepped; you’ll have to have some discipline to follow through with your meal plan and not just eat out anyways or try to find something else in your home to eat instead.
You’ll need containers to keep the food in
If you meal prep, you’ll have to have food containers big enough for meals for the whole family, or a lot of pre-portioned sized containers for each person.
Getting high quality meal prep containers isn’t cheap, just the savings in food in the long run is (and will more than make up for the price of the containers).
But, even so, you’ll also need a place to store the containers when not in use. If you have a small kitchen, like I do, then this could be slightly troublesome. If it’s important enough, though, you’ll find the room.
You have to be really organized to save time on meal prep day
If you’re not an organized person, or like to plan ahead, then you may not end up saving a lot of time meal prepping.
To save the most time meal prepping, you’ll have to figure out which meal takes the longest (and has the most non-hands on time) and start with that meal. And then, figure out how the timing of each meal can fit into the longest one, so you’re not spending all day in the kitchen cooking and cleaning!
The Bottom Line for Meal Prepping
You’ll have to decide for yourself if meal prepping is right for you; whether you want to prep all your meals for the week, just some of the meals, or nothing at all!
If you’re a very organized person who loves to plan ahead, save time and money in every way possible, and hates doing tons of dishes everyday; then go start your meal plan so you can start meal prepping for the week! Because that will be the best for you and your family, especially if you already feel too busy with all your other daily mom tasks. You might as well take one task off the table to make things a bit easier for you!
However, if you’re not very organized, hate to plan, and have no intention of changing; meal prepping may be a bit frustrating for you. Not impossible, and you could certainly still do it to save time and money; you may just end up throwing out leftovers that you didn’t eat (because they went bad) at the end of the week.
After reading these pros and cons of meal prep, what are you going to do? Meal prep all your meals, not meal prep at all, or something in between? Let me know in the comments!
Sometimes, it feels like you’re just better off throwing out whatever it was that they ruined, or replacing it entirely.
But, I’ve got to tell you, that’s not very productive, or cost effective.
You can’t go replacing your carpets or furniture every time you think your child has destroyed it!
And, I’m not expert when it comes to cleaning things; I can declutter like crazy, and can somewhat organize, but I still have to look things up to clean basic household things.
When I have a cleaning issue that I don’t know how to solve, google and Pinterest become my best friends! But, I’ve taken the time to gather together some of the best cleaning hacks for keeping your home, and other items, looking and smelling like new; even after you think your kids have destroyed them.
Dealing with Common Kid Messes: Infants and Toddlers
Babies make huge messes, for as little as they are.
And, it’s not their fault!
Maybe their diaper exploded, or someone else watched them and didn’t know not to put milk in their sippy cup. Whatever the mess, there is probably a way to clean it up like new, instead of throwing out whatever you thought was ruined.
Don’t feel bad if you’ve thrown out items because you didn’t know how to clean them, you’re not alone. Hopefully the posts below will help you learn how to clean up tough messes, and save you money from having to buy new items!
Ever try to clean a little kids sippy cup? It’s not fun. It’s a pain in the butt; I’ve actually thrown several away from when my girls were infants, simply because I didn’t know how to clean them properly back then.
Luckily, there’s a pretty simple way to get them clean like new again!
The picture above is from after cleaning the baby clothes….after a diaper blow out! The way to remove baby stains in this post is different from the 4 ways in the previous post; so be sure to check this one out, too.
How to Keep Your Clothes Clean with KIDS
It’s not a myth that it’s hard to keep your clothes clean when you have kids!
It starts when they’re babies; you can find some solutions to those messes above.
But, it doesn’t stop…not even when they’re teenagers. (Ha, I still make a mess of my clothes sometimes; eating pasta with sauce while wearing white is never a good idea, no matter how old you are!)
Luckily, there are a few ways to get rid of stains, and other things, from our clothing. Check out the posts below to find out how!
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try as parents, we’ll end up having to deal with stinky shoes. Either that, or constantly buying new shoes for our children before they outgrow the size they’re currently in!
I’m no pro at cleaning shoes, or really cleaning at all; I’m great at organizing, but I still have to looks up how to clean things all the time.
Luckily, there are other people who are pros at getting the stench out of shoes, and other items; check out the posts below to see how they do it!
Kids, whether infants who unintentionally make messes, toddlers who are testing their limits, or even older kids who think they can get away with eating on the couch or in their beds; they all make messes and some can be quite a challenge to clean.
But, you can’t just toss out furniture and buy new all the time, there needs to be a way to clean them and get them like new again.
And, there is; check out the posts below to see how!
Your Carpet isn’t Destroyed…and neither are your Walls (that are covered in crayon)!!
Ever try to clean gum, or other items, out of your carpet?
Or, crayon off, or other stuff, off of your walls?
It can feel like it’s impossible, almost not even worth it!
But, you can’t go replacing carpets every time you think it might be ruined. And, repainting your walls, with little ones around, tends to be a lot of work.
Luckily, there are some moms out there who understand our struggle of keeping carpets clean with kids around; they’ve come up with some amazing solutions to keep our carpets looking new after some of the most devastating messes! Check out how they do it below.
I’m sure there are more types of messes kids make that I have missed here, some are probably hilarious…until you go to clean them up!
But, the cleaning hacks above should help out with many issues you may run into living with kids.
And, yes, there are plenty of different ways to clean one thing; it all depends on what you have on hand, and the directions that you can find to get what ever it is clean.
Be sure to follow my cleaning board on Pinterest to get even more ideas on how to clean up tough messes, and keep a cleaning schedule if you don’t already. Don’t feel bad, I’m still working on that myself!
What are your favorite cleaning hacks? Share in the comments so everyone can benefit from it! We can appreciate all the help we can get when it comes to cleaning up kid messes!
Habits are hard to break. And, the longer you’ve had a habit, the harder it seems to be to let it go. Whether it’s heading towards the coffee pot first thing when you get up, when what you really want, and need, is water; or if you simply want to stop biting your nails. It’s difficult; I can attest to that!
What I’m going to share with you, is some ways to help you out on your journey to breaking your old bad habits! And, you won’t only learn what the top layer of the tip is, like ‘find a new habit to replace the old one’; but I’ll also be having you understanding why each tip is useful to breaking a bad habit.
I’m not going to guarantee that every single one of these tips will work for you; everyone is different, gets motivated, and changes their habits in their own way. But, if you go through each one of these tips whole-heartily, you’ll surely be on your way to breaking that bad habit of yours!!
1. Find a New Good Habit to Replace the Old Bad One
Breaking an old habit is hard! But, when you try to give it up all at once and with nothing to replace it with; it’s about ten times harder! Let’s take the coffee habit for example. So, you wake up and you head straight for the coffee pot, pour it in your mug, add some creamer, then start drinking it. You’re doing this before you even know what you’re doing in the morning; that’s what makes it a habit. Now, say you deliberately did not do that one morning. You’d be craving that coffee, that warm delicious drink, within minutes of waking up; you’ll most likely give in and just get some, even if it takes a little extra work.
But, what if you started drinking warm water with lemon in it, or some type of tea, instead. You would have that same feeling you get with your warm coffee; that warmth from a drink that you crave when you awake in the morning. The only real difference is going to be the taste. But hey, taste buds change. So, after deliberately doing this for a few weeks you’ll get used to the taste change. And, after not too long, you’ll automatically pour hot water into a mug and add a lemon slice, or a tea bag, and drink that instead!
It sounds really simple, right? That’s because it is. The hardest part is to have enough control over yourself to start the change. After the first few days, it’ll get easier, I promise. And, this works with more than just coffee. Just find a similar good habit you can replace the bad habit with. Like taking a deep breath and counting to 10 before responding to your child’s misbehavior, instead of automatically reacting to their behavior and yelling at them.
2. Understand Why you Want to Cut it Out
Yes, metacognition! Or, in other words ‘thinking about thinking’.
Start with the straight forward here; why do you want to end this specific habit? You’re reading this because you want to get rid of bad habits, so on some level the habit is bad and you know this.
But, what makes it bad? Is it that you would rather have another habit replace it, or does it cause you stress or anxiety? Does it make you gain weight, or harm you or someone else on some level? Will breaking the habit make you a better person? Healthier? Wealthier? Or, happier?
Answer some of those questions above that may apply. Then figure out why you think like that. Don’t think about what will make you healthier or happier; you already know the what, if you didn’t then you probably wouldn’t be trying to change the habit. Rather, think about what makes you think it will be healthier or help you become happier.
For example, what makes you think that drinking warm water with lemon in it first thing in the morning is healthier than drinking coffee? (Because you already believe that it will make you healthier.) For me, I know that citrus fruits help with the immune system and that the first thing we put in our bodies in the morning should be water, then maybe some fruit. So, boosting my immune system and providing my body with the water it needs first thing in the morning is a no-brainer habit change. I also know that drinking coffee first thing in the morning prevents our body from naturally waking us up.
Now, why do you think the way you do about the habit you want to break? Knowing this answer will help strengthen your motivation and get you started with breaking that bad habit. Writing your answer down will also benefit you when you’re feeling weak and ready to give into the habit again. Remind yourself of the reasons behind changing your habit as often as you need!
3.Understand Why you Formed the Bad Habit in the First Place
Let’s do a little more thinking. Think back to when this habit just started. There’s a good chance that it didn’t start as a bad habit, or a habit at all. Maybe it helped you in some way or you enjoyed it and told yourself you’d only do it once in awhile. Like, enjoying a piece of cake after a hard day at work, or with the kids. Then, somewhere along the way you noticed that you were baking a cake at least once a week and having a slice every single night! And, you know this isn’t good for you, or your waistline. But, it’s become a habit and you feel like you can’t stop.
Well, there you go. You now know how it all started; you had a stressful day and needed a way to relax. Knowing why you formed the habit will help you determine if you need a replacement habit or what you can do to break the bad habit. Now, what do you think you could do at the end of a hard day to relax? Maybe; read a book, watch a show, take a shower and listen to music to unwind. All of those examples are going to be much better alternatives than eating cake everyday, much cheaper, too!
You can go back in time in your mind and do this with any habit, and then figure out how you can change it! For my coffee example, I started drinking coffee in the morning to feel more awake and to give me more energy, but by doing so I have been inhibiting my own body from being able to wake itself up naturally. So, instead of replacing coffee with another caffeinated drink (because I want my body to wake itself up), I want to choose a warm drink in the morning, instead.
4. Picture a Perfect Day
If you’re losing focus, or motivation, to break your bad habit; try imagining what a perfect day in your life would look like. What would you be doing? Do you see yourself practicing your bad habits, or are they non-existent? Are there any new habits that you see yourself doing? What are you eating through out the day? What’s different in that day than how you’re living now? What’s the same?
This mental image of your perfect day will help motivate you to break your bad habits; so you can get closer to the life you imagine for yourself! It may even show you what habits to instill to get rid of your bad habits, or what you should be doing through out the day to get closer to your goals in life. Use this as some extra inspiration to break your bad habits.
5. Focus on One Habit at a Time
…unless that one habit is triggered by another habit (more on this in the next tip); but even then, try breaking the trigger habit first.
I know, if you’re anything like me then you may have this long list of habits that you have that you may not be a fan of and want to break ASAP. Unfortunately, it’s not very realistic to try to break as many habits as possible all at the same time. You could try, but you may not get that far. In fact, it’s actually counter productive to do that; it’s hard to break a habit, so just try imagining breaking more than one at a time. It takes will power to break a bad habit, or start a new one to replace it with; we only have so much will power in a single day.
So, keep it simple and only try to break one habit at a time. Be sure not to move on to breaking another habit til the first one is completely out of your life. This may take longer than you’d like, but if you don’t want to relapse and allow the habit back into your life, then this is the way to go!
6. Know What Triggers the Bad Habit
So, we discussed that you should understand where a habit comes from and why you have it. This tip is somewhat part of that, but it deserves to be a tip all by itself because of it’s importance in breaking a habit.
You need to know what triggers a habit. Because, even if you understand where your habit came from; the specific reasons behind forming the habit may be long gone and lost somewhere in your memory where you can’t retrieve it, but the trigger to keep you practicing it isn’t.
One very common trigger to a lot of different bad habits is stress. If this is the case for you, then you need to find a healthy way to deal with your stress and relax. Read a book, watch a show, take a nap, or do something productive to relieve the stress in your life, instead of practicing your bad habit. I know, it’s much easier said than done; but it’s important to try. There are other triggers as well, so be on the look out for what triggers your bad habits so you can catch yourself before you partake in it again.
Your trigger could be as simple as grabbing a ton of food to binge on before sitting down to watch TV so you can mindlessly eat; next time just grab some water. Or, to go along with my coffee example above; the trigger could be just waking up. You wake up, the coffee is already made because you set the coffee to brew itself, then you grab a cup, pour it, and start drinking. In this case, don’t preset the coffee, or make getting warm lemon water just as easy in the mornings so you’re not as tempted to get the coffee. Whatever way you look at it; knowing what triggers your bad habit will help you break it; it will serve as a warning sign that the bad habit is about to start.
7. Tell Others that You Want to Break it
Sometimes trying to break a habit yourself is too hard and you need some outside motivation, or you’re a people pleaser and don’t want others knowing that you don’t have enough will power to break a bad habit. Either way, telling others that you’re trying to break a habit will surely help you break it! (Unless you’re rebellious!)
Telling someone else that you want to break a bad habit is like telling them it’s alright for them to watch you to make sure you don’t continue that habit. If you practice the habit in front of them, then they can call you out on it. If it’s the coffee example from above then it’s helpful in multiple ways; they can keep you accountable and help you avoid temptation, especially if you tell the people you live with. For example, if I told my husband that I wanted to stop drinking coffee as my first drink of the day (first, he would probably laugh at me); then he would take the coffee sitting next to me and put it in the kitchen so that I would have to get up if I wanted it back. He may even bring my water over to me instead, probably not, but he might if I asked him to.
8. Commit 100% to Breaking the Habit
Committing 100% to breaking your bad habit may sound like an obvious tip, but it’s earned it’s spot on this list because of it’s importance, and the fact that not many people fully commit! If you are not fully committed to breaking your habit then your habit will stay with you, no matter how hard you try to get rid of it. You need to be willing to give it up.
Breaking bad habits is a little like a mind game. You can try as hard as you want on the outside to get rid of your bad habit, but if you can’t convince yourself on the inside that you truly want to give it up, then good luck… You will be the hardest person to convince that you don’t need the habit anymore; that you can actually live or thrive without it. In other words; you won’t be able to break your bad habit until you are 100% fully committed to breaking it.
9. Be Truthful to Yourself
Along with being 100% committed to breaking your habit; you must also be truthful about your habit to yourself. If you are tracking the days that you can go without practicing your bad habit; don’t lie to yourself about it. Be honest if you practice the bad habit, if you tell a little white lie to yourself then you won’t ever break it.
For example, let’s go back to the coffee example; if you take a sip of coffee first thing in the morning then write it down on your tracking sheet. Don’t put down that you didn’t have a cup of coffee just because you only had a sip; if it makes you feel better write down that you just had a sip, or a few sips. Then you can start trying to decrease the amount of sips you have each day until you don’t have any at all. But, if you write down that you didn’t have a cup because you only had a few sips, then you’re lying to yourself and making yourself believe you can get away with having a few sips in the morning because you’re not going to write it down anyways.
If you lie to yourself and allow yourself to do a little bit of the habit and ‘get away with it’, then you’re sabotaging your chances of breaking that habit. This is why you need to be truthful to yourself about what you do and preferably write down how you are doing each day with breaking your habit to keep yourself accountable.
10. Don’t Move onto Breaking Another Bad Habit too Quickly
It takes time to break a habit, whether you believe in the 21 days or 66 days that it takes to make or break a habit. That’s why you can’t move onto breaking another habit too quickly. If you try to, it will backfire; you’ll slide right back into the previous bad habit you had, only to give yourself the will power to start breaking another habit. If this starts to happen then you have two choices; go back and finish breaking the first habit, or let that one go and focus on the second one til it’s broken. Either way, you just wasted all the time you spent on trying to break the first habit, and you can’t get that time back.
Don’t move on from the first habit immediately after it’s broken. Wait a few weeks after it’s broken to make sure it won’t come back. I know it’s hard to take your time; especially when you have quite a few other habits you want to break as well. But, it’s better to take your time now to make sure it’s really gone, than to move on too quickly and destroy all the progress you already made.
Breaking a habit is hard work and takes time, don’t make it be any harder or take any longer. Follow the tips above to make sure you’ll have an easier time breaking your bad habits. Make sure you’re not lying to yourself about breaking the habit. Find a person to help you stay accountable, or at least try to replace your bad habit with a good one.
There are far more tips than the list above, but the list above will give you a fighting chance at ridding your life of those habits you have and despise. Just don’t give up, or your habits will win, and we don’t want that!!
Share with someone having trouble breaking bad habits, or just share if you thought this was helpful!!
Do you stay home all day with your kids? Do you have a daily or weekly schedule…that you actually stick to?
I get it, it’s a struggle to create and stick to any type of schedule when you’re home all day. There’s no boss telling you to go on lunch, take a break, or tell you what you should be doing; and there’s no bell like there was in school to tell you to move onto the next class or activity, and no schedule to tell you where or what to do next.
To be honest, there isn’t really that much that absolutely needs to get done in a day.
If we need to, we could really just get by with making sure we eat and feed our kids 3 times a day; the rest of the day could be chaos, we can survive til the next day.
But, who wants to just survive?
I want to feel and be productive each and everyday.
What I don’t want is for my kids thinking I’m lazy or don’t care about things. Because I do care, and I don’t want to be thought of as lazy (don’t judge me that I’m writing this in my pj’s, it’s only 5am and my kids are still asleep).
Plus, I love making to do lists, scheduling out tasks in my planner, and checking off what I do. It brings me a sense of accomplishment to check things off, even if the task was as small as doing the dishes or filling out the meal plan part of my planner with the help of my kids. (Yes, I even write down the task of planning, just so I can check it off when I’m done!!)
I don’t know about you, but I actually find staying home with my kids all day long more stressful than when I worked full time at a call center. At least when I worked there, there was structure to my days and weeks; I knew when I had time to do things that needed to get done, whether at work or at home. I was able to get everything done that I believed I needed to, like meal prepping and other things us moms need to do. But, now that I’m home 24/7 and no one telling me what to do when, it’s actually quite frustrating at times.
All the meal prepping, and batching tasks together in order to get things done before my weekend was over, isn’t something I feel pressured to do anymore; I’ve got the time.
Because I’m just a stay at home mom and I’m home all day.
In order for me to be productive and get more things done everyday and every week (like I used to); I need to keep batching tasks together like I did before, and not stretch things out just because I think I can.
And, I’ve known for awhile now that creating a weekly schedule that I could actually stick to would be super beneficial.
Just scheduling out certain tasks for certain days, like meal planning, meal prepping, cleaning, or writing. I need to make sure that everything that absolutely ‘needs’ to get done, everything that ‘should’ get done and everything I ‘want’ to get done, actually gets done!
Like me, I’m going to assume that you’re probably in the same boat.
So, let’s get started on how to create a weekly schedule that will actually work!
Write Down All Your To Do’s
The first thing you need to do to create a weekly schedule is do a brain dump. If you don’t know what a brain dump is; it’s simply writing down everything that you need to do, anything that seems to be on your mind swirling around or stressing you out. It could be that you have to remember to pay a bill or how much that bill is, or what time your child’s dentist appointment is.
Whatever is on your mind; write it down!
This won’t only help you figure out what needs to get done, but it’ll also relieve the stress of trying to remember it all; it’ll give your mind some space to relax!
You may want to circle or highlight anything that you’re expecting to get done this week, so you can focus on those when creating your schedule.
Also, be as detailed or as vague as you want here! Just try not to forget anything, if you do, then it probably won’t get done.
(If you do this on a regular basis, like you should, make sure you refer to your old brain dumps to double check you didn’t miss anything. I have a notebook specifically for brain dumps, plus post its, and other random scrap paper!)
You might notice that some things on your list are appointments or things that must get done each week for your family to function properly (talking about laundry and buying/making food here), make sure you highlight or circle those! And, now onto the next step.
Once you feel confident you didn’t forget anything in your brain dump; determine all the must do’s, should do’s, and want to do’s. I’d even go as far as grabbing another piece of paper and dividing it up and rewriting the tasks for this week depending on their importance.
For example, doctor or dentist appointments are must do’s, meal prepping an entire weeks worth of meals could be a should do, and decluttering an entire room (or reading a book you’ve been trying to get to for the past 6 months) would be a want to do.
Your priorities may be different than mine so your to do’s may look different as well.
If you want to start spending more quality time with you kids, then maybe a must do for you would be spending 15 minutes with them doing what they want to do, or at least reading to them every night before bed.
Make sure when you schedule out your tasks for the week that you include this, and in the same way you would schedule in an appointment.
The more you schedule into your week, the more you can actually accomplish, and the less time you’ll fill your day, or week, with unproductive activities (like getting lost in facebook or pinterest)!
Of course, when you get to the next step, you’ll want to include all three categories (must do, should do, and want to do’s) into your schedule for each week. You’ll appreciate the balance, after all!
Schedule it Out!
This next step is what those of us who love planning live for; scheduling out tasks!! (Don’t give me that look, I know how ridiculous it may sound, but it’s totally true!)
So, get out your planner so we can start scheduling out our tasks!
Or, if you don’t have a planner (gasp!!) then use whatever it is you usually use for your schedule. Some people use the calendar in their phone or google calendar. I like to go old school here and use a physical planner and pen, just like back in school and college. And, you know what, not everything has to change now that I graduated college 4 years ago and have 2 kids. It worked back then, and it can still work today!
If you don’t own a planner, do yourself a favor and get one, even if it’s one on clearance at walmart, it’ll still work!
I can’t imagine not having a planner, especially as a mom. My memory hasn’t been the same since having my first child and I don’t want to use precious memory space trying to remember doctor appointments and what we’re having for dinner each night.
Believe it, or not, there are quite a few different ways to schedule tasks, your day, and your week to get the most done.
The way you decide to schedule is up to you, and if one way doesn’t work, go ahead and try a different one. It’ll depend a lot on the tasks you have, your personality type and how often you procrastinate!
I know I need a pretty strict schedule and I need to focus on sticking to it or it’ll all just fall apart. For me, I need to write everything down in my planner and schedule it out hour by hour. I don’t always stick to the specific hour, but if I don’t schedule it in like that then I know it’ll get pushed off to another day, week, or even month!
Whatever way you choose to schedule in tasks for the week; make sure you know approximately how long each will take you to do. Then, add in buffer time, or just double the time, especially for tasks you enjoy. Unless of course, you’re on a time constraint.
We tend to estimate too low on tasks we enjoy doing. For example, I thought it would only take me an hour to write this post and do everything I need to do for it, but I’m going on an hour and a half simply writing the first draft. It’s better to have extra time if you finish a task early, than not finishing the task in the allotted time!
And, don’t even get me started on if you’re trying to get some work done with kids around, you might as well just save yourself the frustration and stay up after their in bed to get it done, or else it may drive you insane! (Don’t ask me how I know.)
Let’s get into a few different types of scheduling…
Write down the tasks you want to accomplish each day
As a stay at home mom of two little girls, I never know what’s going to happen next; a tantrum, a much needed bath for my toddler who covered herself in applesauce, or my girls playing nicely together in the playroom (this rarely happens, but I appreciate when it does)!
The type of schedule I need has to be flexible. Sure, I write down tasks to get done at certain times during the day. But, it doesn’t mean that they always get done when they should.
The important thing is that they are written down. If I can’t get to a task I was supposed to do in the morning; I’ll get it done later in the day. My schedule is more like a to do list with some wishful thinking; writing down when I’d like to accomplish each task!
With this type of scheduling I’d suggest to tackle no more than 3 main tasks a day. If I can’t get something done when it’s scheduled in the morning; I quickly eat my lunch, put a show on for my girls, and get at least one task knocked out while my girls are eating and being entertained. Even if that just means I get to shower during that time. It’s worth it! And, yes, sometimes you do need to remember, and make time for, simple and necessary acts of self-care. It’s that important!
Why you should just assign certain tasks to each day of the week
You can’t get everything you want to get done for the week in a single day! You don’t need the extra stress that comes with inflexible schedules.
Being a mom, it’s hard trying to get everything done that needs to get done by the end of the day.
Spread out your tasks.
If you have 6 must do tasks for the week; don’t schedule them all in one or two days. Schedule 1 to 2 a day as a main task of the day instead!
On the other hand, if you like to procrastinate; I’d highly recommend not using this type of scheduling.This is for mom’s who strive to get things done but have little ones who are a little more demanding and expect your attention 24/7. For those who can fit tasks into small crevices of the day when discovered!
Schedule with Time Blocks
Time blocking isn’t new, or even difficult. Many productive people use time blocking as a time management technique in their everyday lives!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well for me.
It might for you!
But, as I see it, when you stay home all day with little ones; you’re on call 24/7, and may need to drop what you’re doing immediately because your kids need you. They need to cuddle, or they jumped on the couch and fell off, got a boo-boo, or want you to play with them, or whatever else.
On the contrary, if your kids are in school, or if you can get someone to watch them for you; this technique may work for you!
All you need to do is find all of the 60-90 minute blocks of time in your week that are free.
Then schedule in tasks where you can fit them. If you have tasks that need to get done that only take a few minutes each, schedule them together. For example, in one block you could throw in a load of laundry, do the dishes, and pick up around the house.
Remember to schedule in must do’s first, then try to balance the rest of your week out with the should do’s and want to do’s!
Make Yourself Deadlines
Yep, we’re going to treat our everyday life like we’re at work or school. Think of how much stuff you got done then; probably a lot more than now, and it’s not just because you didn’t have kids with you!
At least for the most important tasks, and especially if you don’t feel motivated to get anything done. Creating deadlines will create a healthy form of stress to help you be more productive and get much more done.
If you’re not up to creating deadlines; at least try out the pomodoro technique to get more done in a small amount of time. I use the tomato-timer to help me get a task completed quickly, it’s literally racing against the clock. With this technique you try to complete a task within 25 minutes, then you get a 5 minute break! If you’re able to do that 4 times in a row, then you get a 10 minute break. I’ve never made it that far, though. Actually, the only time I can successfully get through one pomodoro is when my kids are asleep.
Alright, so you’ve almost made it through all the steps to scheduling out your week! But, this final step is the most important one, so don’t forget it!
Now, you have to actually do your to do’s when you scheduled them for (or, at least sometime for the day you planned it for)!
If you skip this step, then all the planning you just did was a huge waste of time; the whole purpose of planning things out is to be more productive. Don’t waste your precious time by not following through.
You may, however, have to make yourself accountable for what you need to do during the week. There’s no one there who will fail, or fire, you if you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing. So, this step is up to you. You could always try finding an accountability partner if you’d like. But, at the end of the day it’s up to you whether you do it or not.
Another way to make it slightly easier, rather than getting an accountability partner; is to treat yourself at the end of the week if you accomplish all your tasks. Like, going to bed early, or making what you want for dinner instead of what your kids want. Just a little something that you can enjoy and appreciate for all that you do for your family and yourself. Cause, guess what, it’s not easy being the stay at home parent and you deserve to treat yourself!
I know, you were probably looking for some cookie cutter weekly schedule that would work for you as a stay at home mom; that schedule just doesn’t exist. We all have different chores, activities that we do, places we need to go. And once we get set in one schedule; our kids start growing up and then everything changes and we’re back at the drawing board trying to find another schedule that will work for us.
I wanted to give you a guide on how to make a schedule; rather than a weekly schedule you could print out and hope works. Because in reality, those won’t work. Our brains aren’t all wired the same way, and our lives are not all the same; nor will they stay the way they are now for very long, anyways! There’s no one size fits all for scheduling out your week. And, what works for you now may not work in a couple months. I want you to be able to do this on your own; you are more than capable!
It’s almost spring time and that means time for spring cleaning. Hopefully you know how to declutter your home, too. If not, that’s alright, you’ll learn how to in this post!
And, although I’m not a minimalist, I still know the befits of having less stuff.
I would honestly love to be fully committed to minimalism, but that’s a little out of my comfort zone (and my husbands)!
Plus, I have a family; 2 kids and a husband. It can be difficult to get everyone to go a long with getting rid of stuff! Even if they haven’t seen it or used it in over a year.
Once an item comes to the surface to leave the house; it suddenly has this huge sentimental value attached to it! No matter what it is!
However, even with those obstacles getting in my way; I was still able to get rid of about half of our belongings before we moved from one coast of the U.S. to the other! And, that is what I’m going to help you do (maybe not half, but a lot); declutter your home with a stuff-clingy family.
The simple-to-use decluttering processes below are meant for beginners; so don’t worry if you’ve never decluttered before! I wrote this for you!
There is also no better time to declutter than now!
Springtime is a time to start anew and do some spring cleaning. So, this year, why not do some spring decluttering!
It won’t only clear space in your home, but also your mind!
Before we got rid of half of our stuff I spent almost every minute I wasn’t at work, cleaning our stuff.
This was not OK.
I wanted to be able to spend more time with my kids when I wasn’t at work. My life went to getting up and cleaning, then going to work, then coming home and sleeping, then getting up and cleaning again and so on; I didn’t want that. I was also much more stressed before I started decluttering because we had too much stuff.
It’s such a relief to have a home for every item we own.
What you will want to consider before you even start the process of decluttering is why you want to declutter.
Do you feel like you are drowning in stuff?
Is your home always a mess?
Do you feel like you spend more time cleaning your home and your stuff than enjoying it?
Are you moving soon and need to down-size?
Finding out why you want to declutter can help give you a focus and help motivate you. So, spend a little time thinking about this first!
Get rid of the Obvious Clutter
If you’re a little intimidated by the whole decluttering process, that’s alright.
But, there’s no need to be intimidated by it.
It is a process.
Sometimes an everlasting process; since most people enjoy having new things.
The best way to resolve having more and more items in you home is; when bringing in new items, you get rid of something old. The one in, one out rule. (I talk more about this rule here.)
I’m not even done decluttering! Anyone who buys stuff or lives with people who buys stuff will never be done decluttering; it’ll always be an ongoing process.
The easiest way to physically start decluttering is by getting rid of the obvious things.
Go through each room in your home and find any garbage, broken items, or things you don’t even know why you brought them into your home to begin with.
Find a new home for these items, whether it’s the garbage, recycling, or some place you’re able to donate items. You’re home is no longer their home.
[clickToTweet tweet=” “Any garbage , broken items, or things you don’t even know why you brought them into your home to begin with… Your home is no longer their home.”” quote=” “Any garbage , broken items, or things you don’t even know why you brought them into your home to begin with… Your home is no longer their home.””]
Some examples of these items could be:
paper scraps, like sticky notes you wrote stuff down on and no longer need
wrapping paper scraps
old jewelry that is no longer the same color as when you bought it
expired items (make up, food, medication)
Clothing items that are ill-fitting, dingy, or ripped
They all need to go.
The list could go on and on, and it’s all going to depend on you and anything you feel that should be gotten rid of right away.
Now is the time!
There is no better time to do something than right now!
So, go ahead and start, if you need to start before you finish reading this, save or pin this, and then come back when you’re done with the obvious.
Estimate Time for Decluttering Tasks
I’m hoping you took my advice and went ahead with getting rid of the obvious; if not, that’s ok, you can fit that into the next step. Which is necessary for anyone who likes being organized and making a to-do list and checking off the items! (AKA ME!!)
Once you know what you need to do in the process of decluttering (which we’ll go over in a little bit) it’s best to estimate how long each task will take you.
It’s very satisfying being able to check something off the list, so it is beneficial to break larger tasks down into smaller ones.
This will also help if you feel you don’t have time to declutter, or have kids.
Some tasks can even take as little as a few minutes, such as going through your make up and throwing out ones that expired or that you just don’t like anymore.
If you have kids, try squeezing in some tasks while your kids are awake and behaving, if you’re lucky enough for that to happen!
Or, just start and they may want to join in.
When I went through all my clothes last year, my 15 month old, at the time, decided to come in my room with me and play with the few toys that were accidentally left in my room a few days earlier. Needless to say, I was actually able to go through all of my clothes!
Bagging up what I no longer liked and putting away winter items, such as coats and mittens. If I had tried to make her behave or play in her room, I probably would not have finished. The task would still be on my to-do list.
On the same note as the last step, you may want to start a to-do list if you don’t already have one.
If you already have one, add a task or two a day for decluttering. The more free time you have, the better.
By scheduling a little bit each day you’ll less likely become overwhelmed by it; trying to get it all done at once.
If you have enough motivation, few distractions, and want to get it all done at once, then be my guest!
It can sometimes take longer than you expect though, especially when coming across items that bring back memories.
Sometimes it’s best to apply the one touch rule. Where you minimize the amount of times you touch an item, since the more times you touch something the more you become attached to it. It has a psychological effect.
Taking some time to schedule out your tasks, even if just for a certain day, will help you get it done.
If it’s not in my planner to get done today, then there’s a good chance I’m going to put it off.
It makes a huge difference if you actually take a pen, and write down, and commit to accomplishing, or even starting, a task on a certain day.
Sometimes, this is even more important if you have less structure in your day. Scheduling out tasks is something I always did in school and it never failed me. So, if I start feeling overwhelmed by things that need to get done, I grab a pen, a piece of paper, and/or my planner. This alleviates the stress of not knowing when or how everything will get done.
Like a lot of things in life, there are so many ways to declutter and no one way is the best way!
This is going to depend on you, and what works for you.
I could tell you what works for me and tell you that the way I do it is the best way to do it. But, then you would miss out on all of the other processes people go through for decluttering. Other successful ways, that I just don’t want you to miss out on!
So, if one of the ways below doesn’t help you or seem to fit with you, just try out the next one.
Or, read through and pick which one, or few, will work best for you.
Sometimes, the one you think will work, won’t; and one you think won’t work, will. So, don’t be concerned if you need to try them all.
Who knows, you may even end up making up your very own way to declutter!
Room by Room
Going room by room has helped many people declutter their home.
This process involves starting in one room of your home and not starting another until the first room is finished.
You could start this process before or after you get rid of the obvious. I would recommend after, that way each room still looks decent while you work on your focus room.
If you have guests over often, work at home, or spend most of your time in just a few rooms of your house; then this process may be for you.
It may be more important for you to have a decluttered kitchen, if you spend most of your time there, or if you never eat out and make all meals at home. The kitchen is the heart of the home. I know, personally, how frustrating it is to have a messy or cluttered kitchen. If I were to declutter room by room, I would start in the kitchen; you may start somewhere else. And, maybe do a room a day, or a room a week.
Or, you could start in the smallest or least cluttered room to build up motivation.
Knowing you already have one room done and checked off the list will motivate you to move onto a larger or more cluttered room; just like a game, you finished one level now you’re ready for the next!
Or, you could do the opposite; start with the largest or most cluttered first. This way you feel like you can accomplish anything, if you can declutter that one room.
Try a Challenge
Decluttering has become an obsession for some people, and this can certainly be a good thing! We can learn a lot from people who obsess and learn everything there is know about a topic!
Plus, it feels good to not have a lot of stuff, like I said before, it can help reduce stress.
Some people have even created challenges for themselves and others for decluttering.
Some of these challenges are intriguing, I haven’t done any of the challenges, yet, myself, but I have started to consider a few. Like project 333, where you take 33 articles of clothing and wear only those for 3 months. (Ha, if I think about it, I’ve probably done this before, like whenever I’m pregnant.)
Decluttering with challenges can help you appreciate more of what you have and help you determine what items you truly love and which you can rid your home of.
Other challenges include:
40 bags in 40 days by Ann Marie (click the link for more detail, this is definitely one to check out)
So, this process is the one I used most of the time while decluttering.
And, this process is just what it sounds like; write down a list of everything that needs decluttering.
Every little space, category, and drawer that needs to be organized and clutter free, goes on this list. Things like clothes, make up, medicine cabinet, miscellaneous drawer in the kitchen, kids toys. All of these things should be on your list, if you have them, and some will absolutely take longer than others, especially when it comes to stuff that isn’t your own.
[clickToTweet tweet=”“You’re much more likely to start, and finish, a task when it takes you only a few minutes, instead of a few hours.”” quote=”“You’re much more likely to start, and finish, a task when it takes you only a few minutes, instead of a few hours.””]
When you write your list, break down tasks as much as you can.
You’re much more likely to start, and finish, a task when it takes you only a few minutes, instead of a few hours.
For example, instead of writing down go through everything in the kitchen, you could write:
clean out fridge
go through miscellaneous drawer
weed out unused utensils
and so on.
Before I moved and decluttered my whole home; it probably would’ve taken me at least 6 full hours to declutter my kitchen if I did it all at once and had no distractions. (Which is a joke, since I’m a mom!) This is why I broke rooms down into smaller tasks that didn’t take a long time.
This way, I do what makes the most sense, not caring what room I was working in. I could check something off my list without finishing a full room!
This process option allowed me to work quietly in my bedroom while my baby was asleep. Or, declutter something in the kitchen while my girls ate a snack. I highly recommend this way if you have little children you stay home with them all day.
Some days it can feel impossible to get anything done with kids around; don’t be harsh on yourself if you can’t get done what’s planned for the day.
Just Start Decluttering!
There are many processes for decluttering, and not one is right for everyone. So, explore what you see in this post, try some options out, maybe even start a challenge!
Whatever steps you take are going to get you closer to the end result. And, once you get there, you’ll see it doesn’t take too much effort to maintain it, and you may even have more mental clarity!!
I’m going to end this guide with a list of a few helpful tips.
start with your own personal items
don’t double up on items
scan receipts into your computer if you need to keep them (this will let you get rid of paper clutter, and preserve the receipt better)
check for non-food expired items every month or so to get rid of
declutter your fridge, freezer, and pantry every week or so (this will also help you if you meal plan)
throw out or demote old towels into cleaning rags
get rid of those old textbooks you haven’t looked at since college (if you’re not able to sell them, try giving them away; it’ll save you space, and your back if you’re planning on moving)
only have enough dishes/silverware/cups/mugs for your family (and guests if you have others over often)
don’t forget to go through digital clutter and organize what you want to keep on your phone and computer, and uninstall/delete what you don’t
write down all of the clutter in your mind, as well, you need to clear your head along with your space to help reduce the stress of clutter
[clickToTweet tweet=”“Keep only what you love and use.”” quote=”“Keep only what you love and use.””]
I know the process of decluttering can be overwhelming, physically and emotionally, especially at first and when you’re not used to it.
But, don’t let that keep you from overcoming the clutter in your home to give yourself some peace in your mind and life!
It may take some time, some convincing of others in your home, and some emotional effort to lesson the items in you home. But, what it will provide you with is more quality time with the ones you love, and a home you love and don’t mind showing off to others!
Let’s declutter your home and keep a clutter free, stop wasting time caring for items you don’t care about and start focusing on what truly matters!!
Now, I’m not saying that you have to do a huge declutter session every single day, or even every month to keep your house looking nice and avoiding those clutter-induced headaches (which suck by the way, making you feel super unproductive and possibly even mentally stuck).
There are a few things that you can do, however, to make sure the clutter doesn’t creep it’s way back into your home!
I know you’ve probably heard of this rule before, but maybe you didn’t think it applied to you. Or, maybe you thought that it defeated the purpose of buying new things. But, forgetting this rule is the reason most people have to spend hours decluttering in the first place.
Logically, it’s not even that difficult; before you buy something new, choose something old to get rid of. Simple, right?
But in reality, logic doesn’t always beat out sentiment like that.
Sure, older items might lose monetary value if you ever try to sell it (until it becomes an antique), but the sentimental value you place on it increases with time and with every touch.
So, I get it. It’s hard to get rid of one thing to bring in a new thing. If this happens, which it will, think about how useful the older item is, or whether or not the new item is absolutely necessary. And, be picky with everything you bring into your home!
Can you find a home for the new item without making your home look cluttered?
What will you use it for?
Is it replacing an old item that broke? (Get rid of that broken belonging- it does not belong in your home anymore!)
And speaking of having a home for every item….
Each item in your home should have it’s own little place where it belongs!
If you can’t find a place for it to go that feels and looks right; determine whether or not it’s worth keeping. This is something that should be done during the decluttering phase, but it needs to be kept up!
You can’t organize your home once and expect it to stay that way forever!
Many items you keep should be useful, and with being useful, those things get used. Meaning you need to put them back in their little home after each use.
Or, for new things coming into your home, like mail/paperwork, groceries, etc. have a system in place to get them put away in their newhome right away. And, have a dedicated place where they should go if you can’t get to filing the paperwork, or going through the mail as soon as it’s brought in. Maybe a folder or wall file. Just make sure to actually go through the the paperwork; the folder or wall file is not their new home!
Take Care of Your Stuff ASAP
Better yet, instead of finding places for things to go before you can get to them; simply schedule in some time for you to take care of them right away!
Do you always get the mail after work, or picking up the kids from school?
Tell your family to give you 10 minutes to go through the mail when you get home before they can bug you for anything else. Set a timer if need be!
Put away coats and shoes as soon as you get home. Don’t wait!
Do the dishes, or put them in the dishwasher, as soon as the meal or snack is over! Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter. That may just be a pet peeve of mine, though!
An exception to this rule; your kid brings you a broken toy. Either fix it, throw it out, or dedicate a place for broken toys to go while waiting to be fixed! If your kids are little, tell them they’re going in the ‘waiting room’. Don’t forget to give them an appointment for their ‘surgery’, so it actually gets fixed. I do this for all the stuffed animals that need to be sewn. I actually just finished up 4 ‘appointments’ one day this past week! Fixing one toy every other day is not as productive as fixing 4 or 5 toys all at the same time. And, I hate using time unwisely, it’s hard enough for us to find the time do what needs to get done, as it is!
Have an OUT Basket To Get the Clutter Out
On the same grounds as having a ‘waiting room’ for broken toys, have a basket or a bin for items to be, while waiting to be taken out of your home.
You know, for those things that are in good condition that shouldn’t be thrown out, but you know they need to leave your home. You don’t love it, or don’t have a use for it anymore.
This could be for things like gently used clothes that you don’t like anymore, clothes/toys your kids outgrew, a decorative piece that you don’t love anymore that’s just taking up space.
Use it for pretty much anything that someone else might find a use for, so you can get it out of your home.
You may even want to keep this in the coat closet so you see it before you leave the house each day, to remind you to get the items out of your home. This step in keeping your home decluttered is a pretty important one, but it only works if everyone in the home is on the same page.
Get Your Family On Board to Be Clutter Free
There is nothing harder than trying to keep a clean and decluttered home when everyone in the home is not on the same page!
Seriously, it’s almost impossible.
Unless you live alone, you can’t be the only one trying to keep your home organized, clutter free, and a peaceful place to live. It takes everyone living there being on the same page.
Set rules in place that everyone can agree on and follow. Maybe even hang a sign with the rules in the rooms that seem to acquire clutter the fastest (like the kitchen or your childrens play room).
Explain the expectations that are set to your children in a way they can understand. If necessary, have consequences in place for breaking the rules (be lenient in the beginning, this could be a difficult change of pace for some people).
One of the final steps in keeping a home clutter free is by checking in every once in awhile.
Once a month should be sufficient.
If you live a lone you may be able to get away with doing this less often. Whereas if you have a larger family, you may have to do this more often.
Just make sure you schedule in some time every once in awhile to go through your home and make sure everything you own is worth keeping; get rid of any clutter piles, and take things out of your home that you don’t need anymore.
If necessary, take some time to fix broken items, as well. You don’t want to be keeping broken items that you’ll ‘some day’ fix, and never actually end up fixing them!
This mini declutter session will help you so you won’t have to spend hours upon hours again; trying to declutter your home only when it’s so overwhelming that you just can’t put up with the clutter anymore. Be proactive about keeping clutter out, so it won’t feel invited in anymore!
It’ll get Easier with Time To Keep A Clutter Free Home
It may take a little work at first, but what doesn’t?
Keeping the same number of items in your home, and giving them all places to live, will certainly help keep the overwhelm of clutter away. As will having a dedicated space for things that need to leave your home, and making sure your family understands the rules about clutter and bringing new stuff into the home.
Keeping a home decluttered is not a one person job, unless you live alone.
Everyone needs to help with this.
If they have stuff then they need to be responsible for their stuff, be respectful, and not let it cause stress for other people in the home.
I know how frustrating it can be when you’re the only one trying to keep up with the clutter (I’ve been there, its quite a challenge sometimes).
Little kids may be an exception, and will need lots of extra help.
But keeping your home clutter free, and checking in on your items once a month will be so much less stressful than having to fully declutter for hours on end every few months.
It takes time to declutter, and it’s worth it to do a few simple and small things everyday to keep it up, than to have to declutter all over again and feel like you just wasted your time the first time you decluttered your home.
If you have any other suggestions for keeping clutter free home, please share them in the comments!
(Let me fill you in on a few New Year’s Resolution Tips that I’ve learned over the years; as a goal setter, someone who graduated with a psychology degree, and as a mom.)
The New Year motivates pretty much everyone to create resolutions; whether it be to eat better, finally lose the baby weight, or simply to be a better person.
This is a time when you, and I, can dream a little and make ridiculous resolutions that everyone, except us, believe we will fail at within a month or so.
And guess what, they may not be wrong.
What happened to the New Year’s resolutions that you made last year?
Have you ever stayed with your resolutions for an entire year?
Even just once?
I don’t think I have.
I honestly can’t remember a single year where I made a resolution and then was proud of myself at the end of the year for keeping it up. Though, I never tend to write them down in a place I’ll see them in a year.
We have to face the facts; most people fail at their New Year’s resolutions.
Not on purpose, but it happens; we forget, life gets in the way, we get too busy. There are so many excuses we use when we keep failing our resolutions, year after year!
But, not this year!
I’m going to shed the light on some of the reasons we fail at keeping our New Year’s resolutions; so that maybe you can get a better understanding of why we seem to always fail!
And maybe, if you understand the reasoning behind giving up on resolutions, you’ll be less likely to give them up and more likely to succeed and accomplish your goals for the year!!
5 Powerful New Year’s Resolution Tips
1. Write Them Down
The worst thing you could do to sabotage your New Year’s resolutions, or any goal for that matter, is not writing them down!
Writing down your goals can benefit you in many ways; one of which is actually remembering what they are!
When I was little I daydreamed about what I wanted to accomplish every year at the new year; you probably did, too. But, I never wrote them down. I can’t really remember what any of them are now; I never wrote them down.
Take my advice: write down your goals and daydreams before you forget them forever.
Both you and your child will be amazed at how their goals and dreams mature over the years. It might even be fun for them!
When you have some time, or when you’re done writing down your goals; grab them a special notebook to write down their goals, wishes for life, and daydreams. Help them succeed; start them off at a young age!
Though, it’s never too late to start making a difference in your life with New Year’s resolutions or goals, so go grab one for yourself, as well!!
Don’t sabotage your New Year by not writing out your resolutions!!
I know, it can be hard sometimes to share your resolutions, or goals, with others.
You may not want them to know that you wish you could lose some weight this year, or cut out sugar, or whatever resolution you may have.
But, if you let someone else in your life know what you want to accomplish this year; it could do wonders for you actually achieving it!
Sure, when you keep your goals to yourself then you won’t feel all that embarrassed if you don’t accomplish them.
But, what if you actually succeed?
You don’t want to keep that all to yourself now, do you?
Probably not, right?
And, with telling others in your life about your goal, like your friends and family, then they may even help you succeed. Or, at the very least, won’t make your goals harder to achieve by tempting you to break them because they don’t know any better.
You’ll have a support system to go to if you’re feeling unmotivated; people to talk to, to help you stick with it. And, when you finally succeed, they get to be even more happy for you because they were right there with you; they knew how hard it was for you.
They knew the ups and downs you had when trying to keep your resolutions, or accomplish your goals!
So, if you really want to succeed this year, then gain some accountability and get a support system in place!
Tell others so they can help you stay on track all year long! If you set your goals, or resolutions, high enough then you will certainly need some help getting there.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a little help and you’re much less likely to give up if you actually have that little bit of extra help or encouragement along the way!
3. Do Everything You Can to Keep Them in Mind
When you don’t tell others, and you don’t write down your resolutions, it can be really easy to just forget about them.
If you don’t tell anyone else then you won’t really feel accountable for accomplishing them; you’re the only one who knows, so if you don’t accomplish them then no one will be nagging you about trying harder. And, if you don’t write them down, then you’ll probably forget about them anyways, especially if you have a memory like mine!
To overcome this obstacle you must have some self discipline, a plan to succeed, and then actually follow through to succeed!
I’m not going to tell you it’s easy, especially if you’re lacking in the self discipline area. It’s hard, and I get that, like the saying goes “if it were easy, then everyone would be doing it”.
If your resolution is to eat healthy all year long; I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy.
You need to meal plan, meal prep, and then actually eat what you planned for and prepped. It is far too easy to just forget about it and order out.
Same thing goes with saving money, or practically any other resolution you can come up with! And, sure, you can cut corners and cheat on your New Year’s Resolution without others knowing; you’re an adult and I can’t tell you what to do. But, it’s not going to help you get any closer to your goal; it may even derail you or take you longer to accomplish.
And sure, it is far too easy to simply forget about your resolutions and do the complete opposite of them.
Sometimes your body may even feel like it’s craving to do so, especially in the beginning; like it’s working against you in some way. That’s just because change is hard; that is why accomplishing goals and sticking with resolutions is so much of a challenge.
Now, you could fall in line with everyone else and fail your resolutions, or you can work hard and accomplish your goals and know how it feels to actually stick with a resolution all year long.
Now, you know it’s not going to be easy, but like the saying goes, it will be worth it!
Use a habit tracker, sticky notes or a white board on the fridge, write it in your planner. Do what you have to, to stand out and accomplish your goals!
4. Stop Trying to Blend In!
I get it, sometimes you don’t want to be the one to stand out in a crowd; you want to fit in and be like everyone else. It’s natural to want others to like you, and one way to do that tends to be to act like everyone else, even when it means giving up on your resolutions.
Who do you know who has actually stuck with their resolutions all year long?
Probably no one…
…maybe one or two people.
It’s not the norm to stick with resolutions, or succeed.
It’s hard and most people aren’t willing to put in the extra effort and do what needs to be done to accomplish their goals. You may think that no one likes that person who actually succeeds on what they set out to accomplish.
But, reality is that they are just jealous. Jealous that they don’t have the self discipline to follow through on their own goals and do what they know they should be doing. So, they are really just mad at themselves for not being able to do what you’re doing!
Don’t give up on your goals or resolutions to try to fit in.
The only thing you’re doing is hurting yourself and your dreams when you give up; you’re not making people like you less. Others may even admire the hard work you’re putting in to accomplish your goals. Who knows, you may even be inspiring others.
If they don’t like you for succeeding, then ask yourself if you really want to fit in with them.
Another reason you may be failing at sticking with your resolutions is that you don’t have the self discipline you need to actually stick with them!
Maybe you’re relying on the newness of the New Year, or other outside sources for your motivation; when really, it needs to come from within you.
I totally understand that it’s easier to wait til the New Year, or Monday, to start working towards a goal; it’s a fresh start, a new beginning.
But, what do you think happens when it’s not new anymore? Your motivation probably starts to fade and you don’t have the discipline you need to stick with your resolution.
And then, there goes that dream, or goal!
That’s why you can’t always just rely on motivation; you need to strengthen your self discipline!
Generally speaking, a resolution isn’t going to be easy; at times you may find it too difficult and just want to give up on it. You’re not going to feel motivated all the time.
It’s like being an adult sometimes; it’s not always easy to do what needs to be done, but at the end of the day it still needs to get done, so you do it. That is what self discipline is all about! Doing what needs to get done even if you don’t want to! Most people just won’t do it; be different, stand out, and succeed this year!
Stick With Your Resolutions All Year Long
Now, there are more reasons why people don’t stick with their resolutions all year long.
But, if you can use these 5 tips to your advantage, then you’ll be much more likely to succeed.
Give yourself a fighting chance at accomplishing your goals this year and take my advice!
Use this as a little bit of motivation, learn from all the mistakes you’ve made in the past when failing your resolutions year after year.
Be stronger, starting now, and strengthen your self discipline; do what needs to get done!
Tell others your plans and let them hold you accountable for following through, but hold yourself accountable as well. Many times it can be an internal struggle to accomplish your goals.
Don’t let anything stand in your way, this isn’t a time for excuses.
You’ve got this!!
Pin this on Pinterest or save it for when you need a little bit of motivation to keep you going or for when you feel weak.
And, don’t forget to grab this printable and hang it somewhere to avoid these New Year Resolution pitfalls!
Why You Need to Start Your New Year’s Resolution Early
Are you one of those people who signs up for a gym membership at the beginning of a new year?
Or, someone who will plan on starting to eat healthy, goes to the grocery stores and buys all of the beautiful produce; just to let it go to waste because your cravings kick in?
You may plan on getting in shape or eating well this new year. But, if the ‘New Year’ is the only motivation you have to become and stay healthy; then you’re not going to have an easy time sticking with it.
Our country’s weight is growing; and it’s not from a lack of new gym memberships at the beginning of every New Year. It could be from the lack of actually using those memberships all year round, though.
If you need the New Year to help keep you motivated to stay healthy, then go ahead and enjoy the extra motivation; but, that shouldn’t be your only motivation.
You need more than just motivation to keep healthy and fit; you also need self discipline, for when you lack motivation. Go here if you need help with finding or strengthening your self discipline. If you’re self discipline is not the problem and you’re just looking for some better reasons to start your healthy lifestyle New Year’s Resolution NOW, then keep reading.
To Feel Ahead of the Game Before it Even Begins
Even if you can just get all of the planning done and prepare for your New Year’s Resolutions now; you’ll be ahead of everyone else. And, yes, you’re not supposed to compare yourself to others. But, wouldn’t it make you feel good if you know you have a plan and know how you can succeed this next year before this next year even starts?
It would feel awesome!
So, get out a pretty notebook and start a plan of action for everything you want to accomplish this next year. And, once you’re done with that; start.
Don’t wait for the New Year, start when you have the momentum and your plan. Do what you can before the next year starts. Get ahead, and then stay ahead as long as you can; it’ll help keep you moving forward simply to know how far you have come. Plus, if you slip up for a few days, or even a month, you’ll be much more likely to get right back to it, knowing you had some built in buffer time from starting early!
If new beginnings and fresh starts are what motivates you at the New Year; think of how each and every day can be a fresh start for you.
Start working towards a goal, and if you have a bad day and feel like you can’t get back into the groove of things; remember, it’s just one day. Simply go to bed and then wake up the next morning knowing that it’s a new day; start fresh and get back into the groove of things.
There’s no mistake so big that you have to wait a whole year for a fresh start. Take everything day by day. Or, hour by hour or moment by moment; depending on what you want accomplished. (Moment by moment may work well with a goal of becoming a better parent or person.)
This is also your reminder to not let one bad day ruin a streak of good days. Life can get rough sometimes; remembering that everyday is a fresh start can help ease the rough times. There’s always a better, brighter future ahead!
You’re More Likely to Keep on Track
If you start working towards your New Year’s resolutions now instead of waiting for the new year; you’ll be more likely to actually stick with it and stay on track. Starting before hand usually means that you’re not making up excuses or waiting for motivation to come to you.
You have more self discipline, and you strengthen your discipline by not using a motivator, like the New Year, to start working on your goals. This is why you will be one of the very few people to keep on track all year round, instead of giving in and quitting when the new-ness of the New Year wears out.
Plus, if you’re able to start now, that really shows some self discipline. It can be tough to start working towards new goals this time of year with the holidays; especially if those goals pertain to becoming healthy.
Set Realistic Goals
Many people set unrealistic goals and resolutions for the new year; thinking that anything and everything is possible because of this new start.
Unfortunately, not everything is possible to do in a single year. And, using the fresh start of a New Year as the motivator to accomplish these unrealistic goals; you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Starting now can help you set goals without the pressure of having to share your goals, or New Year’s resolutions with anyone else. There’s no pressure setting goals now; if you try them out for this week and decide you want to change your goals, then go ahead. No one is going to be nagging you about keeping your New Year’s resolution at this time of year.
Feeling extra motivated? Check out The 12 Week Year and get more done in 3 months than most people do in a whole year!
Think of How much closer you will be to your goal
On the same note about setting realistic goals before the New Year; you will also be that much closer to your goal even by the time the New Year rolls around!
If you want to become fit this next year, an extra week can make a huge difference in your progress.
Or, if your goal is eat healthier, even if you don’t start eating healthier til the New Year; you can still find healthy meals, recipes, and snacks to make. You can start meal planning and prepping so that the transition to eating healthier goes a lot smoother.
Or, if you want to start being a better person this next year; there is no better time to start than Right Now!! There is so much good that can be done during the Holiday Season.
Just imagine how much you can accomplish between now and the New Year if you get to work on your resolutions NOW!! You may even impress yourself!
And, Adjust the Goals when the New Year comes (if need be)
If you start now and realize that your goal, or resolution, is a lot harder to do than you thought; adjust your goals so that they’re more realistic. That way when people ask you what your New Year’s resolution is and you tell them, you’ll feel more confident that you’ll actually accomplish it.
And, that’s pretty impressive; to actually stay strong and hold onto your New Year’s resolution.
It will show other’s just how disciplined you are and that you actually do what you say you will. It’s a win-win.
Or, on the other side of things; if you try out your resolution now and it’s too easy then go ahead and adjust your goal to challenge yourself. You need to make a resolution that’s challenging enough to change you and motivate you to change, but not too challenging that you simply won’t stick with it.
This balance is hard to find, and the sooner you start, the easier it will be to find the balance and adjust your goals accordingly. Maybe make smaller goals that lead up to a large one and reward yourself along the way. Use some positive reinforcements as motivation!
If NOW isn’t the Best Time, what Makes the New Year the Best Time?
One of the biggest reasons to start now instead of waiting is because there will never be the ‘right time’ or ‘best time’ to start. If you can’t motivate yourself to start now, or even prepare to start now; what’s going to make it so you start at the New Year and actually stick with it the whole year?
If you don’t have the self discipline to start now; will you have the self discipline to start the first day of the year?
Sure, it may seem like it would be easier to start working towards your resolutions at the New Year, when everyone else does. But remember, everyone else does not stick with their resolutions for the year and do not accomplish their goals.
Only the people who have enough self discipline will actually stay with their New Year’s resolutions. And, those people with enough self discipline are probably still working on their resolutions from last year and adjusting their goals for this next year; and getting a head start on them right now!
Don’t you want to be one of those people, who actually gets things done and accomplished? Don’t you want to be where they are now, next year at this time; and not feeling like you failed last year’s resolutions? Start now, and show yourself who’s boss and in charge of your life!
So, the New Year is right around the corner and I don’t know about you; but I need a kick in the butt right now to find my self discipline!
At the beginning of last year I had a ton of self discipline, and possibly encouraged it in those around me as well. I was working full time outside the home, in a call center and with horrible hours (3pm to midnight). But, I wanted to get in shape. So, I joined a gym and, with a friend from work, went to that gym as often as we could; after we got out of work. I lived about an hour away from work, so on nights I went to the gym, I wouldn’t get home til around two in the morning.
Now, as a stay at home mom, and a basically structure-less schedule; I feel like I have less time and less self discipline.
My motivation and discipline to try to stay in shape withered away as the months did this year. And, every once in awhile I would try again; working out at home. Trying to do what I can to work out, whether it be giving my daughters piggy back rides or putting on a work out dvd.
But, these last few months have been the hardest. I don’t know if you are feeling this way as well, but I feel the closer it is to the end of the year; the less self discipline I have, maybe even in hopes that it’ll magically appear again at New Year’s.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to leave things up to chance. So, let’s go through a few steps to get our self discipline back now, and not just wait for the New Year.
Step One: What’s Holding You Back?
The first step to gaining our self discipline back is figuring out how or why we lost it in the first place.
For myself, this past year has been pretty chaotic and some pretty big life events occurred that flipped my life upside down. To quickly explain; my family and I moved from one coast of the U.S. to the other and I went from working full time at a call center to being a stay at home mom for my two children.
And, I could spit out about 5 or so other excuses as to why my self discipline has been drained from me this past year; along with why I’ve been lacking motivation. But, that’s simply another thing that has been holding me back; excuses. And, I have a good feeling that you have quite a few excuses holding you back, as well.
We need to dig through those excuses and find our way out of them. I’ve heard that a good way to stop making excuses is to stop saying “I can’t do this because..” and start phrasing it “It’s not important to me”. This little psychological trick is really useful. Let’s try it out.
Now, I try to find the time to workout and exercise, but “I can’t find the time because… I have two very demanding children who don’t give me the time of day to do anything I want”.
Instead of saying that last sentence, I need to find a way through my excuse of feeling like I don’t have enough time; so I should be saying;
Now, I try to find the time to workout and exercise, but “it’s not important to me.”
With wording it this way, I think to myself how untrue that sentence is. Getting in enough exercise is important to me, so I need to start treating it like it is. Instead of trying to find the time, I need to make the time.
Now, you go ahead and try this exercise. See how much of an impact it can really make on you and your habits!
Step Two: Set Goals
The next step in getting a hold of your self discipline is to find out what you actually want to accomplish by using it.
Do you want to eat healthy, get fit, become a better parent, or something else?
It’s important to know what you want to do when you gain your self discipline back, and to actually set goals. Without goals and expectations, we can lose our motivation and self discipline pretty quickly; because, what’s the point. What’s the point of having self discipline if we’re not trying to get somewhere in our life with it. There needs to be an end goal, and then more goals after that; to keep us going, to keep pushing ourselves to be better, and to keep our self discipline strong.
I’m the type of person who thrives on goals and having deadlines; it’s what kept me going through out college. It’s also what kept me motivated my last year of college when I gave birth to my first daughter during the fall semester and stayed strong and kept my grades up the entire year to graduate on time and not even skip a beat. (All while pumping bottles, making homemade baby food, and learning to care for a helpless newborn.)
Unfortunately, what I need my self discipline for now isn’t given a deadline or a specific desired result from a professor, or even another person. The deadline, the goal, and the desired result has to come from me, and your’s has to come from you. We create what we want for ourselves. And, if we don’t, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.
So, set your goals. Give yourself deadlines. And, be a little realistic with what can get done by the deadline. We do, after all, have quite a bit of responsibility. But, then again, don’t be too easy on yourself; you have to push yourself to get better.
Remember, a diamond is made under pressure.
Step Three: Schedule It
The third step is to schedule in the activities, or tasks, that need to be completed for you to reach your goal. As silly as it may sound, I’m serious. Go ahead, grab your planner, or the calendar on your phone, and schedule in what needs to get done. Don’t blow this step off, and don’t blow off your schedule.
If you want to become fit; schedule in time to exercise everyday, or at least a couple days a week. If you want to eat healthier; schedule in time to meal plan and meal prep so you can actually stick with it. If you want to start becoming a better parent; schedule in time to spend time with each child individually, or time to come up with ways to handle difficult situations. (That way, when the difficult situation with your child arises, you’ll already know what to do and you won’t simply react to their behavior.)
Depending on what your goal is, will determine how much time your need to dedicate to accomplish it. It could be 2 hours once a week, or 2 hours a day. It’s up to you.
Step Four: Do it
Once you schedule what needs to get done; do it.
There’s no way around this one. This step is what strengthens our self discipline.
The more you stick to your schedule and do what you planned in the last step; the stronger your self discipline will become, and the closer to your goal you will get!!
This is not the step to slack off in. You slack here and you will know it, and you will probably become disappointed in yourself. This is the time to rid yourself of all of those excuses. Excuses can not exist when you get this far. If they try to peek out at you, find a way to not let them.
You have kids and you don’t think that they will leave you alone for enough time to reach your goals; include them.
Include them and help them find their self discipline if they’re old enough. If they aren’t old enough to understand that, then include them by letting them exercise with you, or meal plan/ prep with you. Can’t get to the gym because you have kids; have a dance party with them for half an hour. (Chances are you’ll have twice as much fun and burn almost, if not more, calories. It’s a win-win.)
Step Five: Be patient and don’t lose motivation!
Sometimes goals don’t get accomplished as soon as we would wish, and not from lack of trying or effort, but from something else out of our control. Maybe we wanted to be able to fit into one of our Christmas dresses that we bought a few years ago, and we don’t fit in it by Christmas, or New Years. We shouldn’t lose hope, and we shouldn’t lose our motivation or self discipline because of this. In fact, we should use this set back to strengthen our self discipline and maybe even work harder.
We can’t always control how, or where, our body loses weight or gains muscle. A lot of that is dependent on genetics, completely out of our control. But, if we continue to work hard, be patient, and accept ourselves; then we can finally get to our goals, or get to know our bodies well enough to know what a realistic, and healthy, goal would be for ourselves.
This step is so important for many other goals that require self discipline, as well.
Think of becoming a better parent; if you’re a parent then you already know how patient you might have to be, and not just with your kids, but with yourself, too.
Or, say your goal is to finally keep your home clean. Not only do you have to reign in your self discipline, but you also have to encourage everyone else in your home to have some discipline, as well. This requires you to be on the top of your game when it comes to picking up after yourself, enough grace to go around, and patience for when you have to constantly repeat yourself to get your children to take care of their toys that they brought out of the play room…again, too. (Or, for getting your husband to put his dirty clothes in the hamper…not on the floor next to it.)
Step Six: Reap the rewards
Finally, after losing the excuses, setting goals, scheduling goal smashing activities/ tasks, actually completing those tasks, and being patient with yourself; you can finally start reaping the rewards of your hard work and self discipline. Depending on your goals, this may take days, weeks, months, or even a few years. However long it takes, you should be proud of yourself for actually sticking with it to the end.
Use this motivation of completing your goal to encourage more goals to sprout up and strengthen your self discipline. Don’t let these rewards slip, either. Many things that require your discipline to accomplish can quickly disappear if you stop working at them. If you work at them long enough, though, they will become habits and you won’t even have to think about them anymore. What needs to get done to keep your hard earned results in place will just become a part of your life, your everyday routine.
These steps can work with any goal you have in mind; the overall goal of this step by step guide is to help you find and strengthen your self discipline so you can accomplish whatever goal you decide on!