To wrap up this month’s theme of balance and its role in lifestyle change, I thought I’d share what I wanted to work on, what I learned, what I accomplished, and what didn’t go so well. Many things are easier said than done, but remember, progress is progress! Be kind to yourself and celebrate the wins no matter the size. Each day is an opportunity to grow.  By the way, when Chase saw this picture he said, “no feet on the couch!!!”  Whoopsie.

Ok, here goes –

Get More Sleep

I have always struggled with sleep (it takes me forever to fall asleep and I’m a pretty light sleeper…boo!) but thanks to some changes in my schedule, which resulted in fewer early mornings, I was able to prioritize sleep a bit more and oh baby it feels good. I’m still like a kid when it comes to bedtime because I just don’t want the evening to end, but Chase is a good influence because he is early to bed, early to rise. So, overall I’ve felt much more alert and productive and less drowsy during the day. A win…but it’s a daily struggle and battle I fight with myself!

Schedule My Workouts

I took my own advice from a recent blog post on this topic and actually scheduled my workouts in my planner. In the past I’ve typically had an idea of when in the day I would try to hit the gym, but I must admit that scheduling precise times is helpful. There are still situations where I need to be flexible because something comes up, but for the most part, the days of “I’ll get to the gym sometime between 4:30 and 6:00” are long past. Win!

Meditate

Since I can be a little tightly-wound and (sometimes!) anxious, I decided to finally give meditation a try after reading about it for so long. So what the heck does meditation involve? There are so many different types of meditation, but I’ve been trying to practice a guided 10 minute mindfulness meditation that focuses on the breath and being present. Here are a few links to try if you’re interested. I’ll admit that it seems weird at first but afterwards I feel much more calm and relaxed.  Think about it, when was the last time you did absolutely nothing….no phone, no laptop, no TV, no talking, no reading, no working out, no planning, no multi-tasking, no trying to fall asleep…just sitting there, focusing on yourself and your breath? I couldn’t even think of the last time I did that for more than just a few minutes. I’m not good about meditating daily, but I’m trying to work it in. I’ll say that’s a win!

Try More Recipes

Chase and I cook pretty much daily, but we often cycle through the same recipes. Between our growing collection of cookbooks and the endless resources online, we’ve been trying to implement some new recipes (might I add, the results have been delicious!). The trick is figuring out which evening works best, choosing the right recipe for the amount of time and effort you can commit to, and approaching it with an easygoing attitude. We don’t do this daily, but it’s been fun to switch it up more than usual. Use your weekends if you can. Win!

Practice Gratitude

This is a deeper topic that deserves its own post at some point, but in the past few months I’ve been wanting to truly appreciate my life and not take things for granted. I ordered a guided gratitude journal that only takes a few minutes each morning and night to fill out. To be honest, I still feel negative at times and have skipped a few entries, but it’s been pretty awesome to take a moment twice a day to think about all the good things in life. Not a homerun, but I’ll still pat myself on the back and chalk it up as a win.

Use a Planner

I used to be the girl who took her planner everywhere, but the way I used it changed over the years. Initially I used it to keep track of appointments and assignments, then it became more of a ‘diary’ to write down what I did. In the past year I fell off the wagon and only used my iCal to keep track of appointments. I stopped planning which projects needed to be accomplished and goal-setting, while still getting things done, but realized I was feeling kind of lost. I recently got the Productivity Planner so that I could establish a method to my madness! When I use the planner and its productivity techniques, my days are fruitful. To be honest, I’m not the best at committing. Why? I guess I’m just having a hard time breaking my old subpar productivity habits. This is a tough one for me but I’m determined to continue my quest of disciplined productivity! Ok, this is a kind of win. 🙂

What have you learned about your balance and lifestyle changes over the past month? What has worked, what hasn’t, and how do you plan to continue growing and evolving?

Laissez les bons temps roulez et bonne santé,

Claire

{Renewal.Balance.Power}

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Photo by: Rashod Harris, http://therebelsociety.com/

PS By the way always check with your primary healthcare provider to make sure that any of the above suggestions don’t interfere negatively with your healthcare program!