“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Day 4 and 5)

Day 4 (Friday)- Gain an extra 15 minutes. The first part of the challenge is to write down a list of things I want to get done in list of priority. Then, set a timer for 15 minutes, turn off all distractions and focus on chipping away at goals. Here is what I came up with. (I tried to stick to goals that I could actually do in 15 minutes)

  • Plan next blog post
  • Write two discussion board posts for class
  • Post in learning team forum
  • Read one chapter of any book

I picked “any book” because I have four or five lying around that I’ve been meaning to read. It took two 15 minute sessions, but I got the first three done. Hey, can’t win ’em all! I wasn’t distraction-free either since my daughter refuses to take naps. It was refreshing to have my homework completed before dinner time. I’m usually up late trying to get my thoughts together for those posts. Focusing on nothing but them for a period of time helped me to get them knocked out.

Day 5 (Saturday)- De-clutter one area of your home. It can be a closet, cabinet, or drawer. I’ve followed several clutter related challenges from Crystal’s blog, Money Saving Mom, and they have helped me tremendously. Just ask my mom what my very first apartment (after getting married) looked like. I guess the older I get, the more open I am to getting rid of things I’ve had since high school or college.

For this challenge, I had the perfect place in mind: the dining room table. I admit, we don’t eat at our table unless there is a gathering at our home. Since we had an early Thanksgiving  on Sunday you’d think that my table would still be clear. HAH! You, my friend, are sorely mistaken.

PicMonkey Collage

My messy table. I either need less stuff or a bigger house. I’m gonna go with option 2. 

I’m going to be honest; there aren’t many places to put stuff in our house. For a family of four with three dogs, our barely 1000 sq. ft. house just isn’t cutting it. Anyway, since I have company coming over for a crochet date (Hi, Erika!) I decided this was the area to tackle.

PicMonkey Collage2

My clean-ish table. I don’t have a desk so I use the table as my work space (when I’m not on the couch). I also didn’t put my yarn bag away since I’ll be crocheting tonight.

Y’all, it took me less than 15 minutes to put everything in its place and I feel so much better. It’s just a table, but it’s no longer in my line of sight and adding to my stress.

Are you taking the 7-day challenge? I’d love to hear how you are doing! Comment below or send me a tweet!

 

 

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“Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” 7-Day Challenge (Days 1-3)

Y’all, I am so excited. I was chosen, along with others, to be on the launch team for Crystal Paine’s new book, “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”. If you don’t know who Crystal Paine is then you really need to check out  her site, Money Saving Mom. I absolutely adore Crystal and the work that she does. She’s pretty much my idol! Being a part of the launch team means that I get to read an advance copy of the book and I just have to say that this book is a God send. One of the things that I’ve always liked about Crystal is her ability to take what seems impossible possible once more. She does this by helping her readers to break goals and dreams into small, manageable pieces. Once you know where you are going, you have to break down the steps needed to get there!

For the last year I have felt that I am barely surviving while things I want to do have fallen by the wayside. One of those things is this blog. I always tell myself that I will make time to write and then end up forgetting about it. I don’t even have the goal to make money off of my writing anymore. I just want to reach people.

Anyway, part of the roll out for her new book is a free 7-day challenge that you can sign up for. The challenges for each day are taken right from the book. I strongly encourage all of you to sign up.

Here are the challenges that I have completed so far:

Day 1 (Tuesday): Make a list of everything that I need to do for Wednesday. The twist is that I had to automatically decide which two I would cross off. The entire exercise is to teach you that you have to say “No” to somethings if you want to lead a balanced life. Here is a picture of my to-do list (It’s kind of blurry so I also added a typed list under the picture):

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  • Wake up, read bible, pray
  • Wash dishes
  • Mop floors
  • Put out recycling
  • Write blog post
  • Write ROW post- PW Scones
  • Finish “Survival Mode”
  • Exercise
  • Clean out the car
  • Get familiar with curriculum for Sunday
  • Start crochet project
  • Homework
  • Post Office
  • Trash dump
  • Library

I forgot to take the picture until after I had already started completing items on the list. The two items I crossed off automatically were “start crochet project” and “clean out car”. Those were things that I would love to get knocked out but that I didn’t need to kill myself to get done.

Day 2 (Wednesday): Take ten minutes and come up with a list of innate gifts, talents and abilities. Then take ten minutes and write down what I like, admire, and appreciate about myself. Here is what I came up with:

  • Writing
  • Working with kids
  • Singing (not like star quality, but I’m not too shabby)
  • Leadership
  • Team player
  • Dedicated
  • Hardworking

It feels weird to sit and think about the good when I’m usually focused on things I don’t do well.

Day 3 (Thursday): Create my ideal morning routine.

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If it’s blurry to you it says:

  • Wake up NLT (no later than) 6:15 a.m.
  • Exercise- 30 mins
  • Shower- 15 mins
  • Coffee/Bible- 30 mins

I know that I’m more productive when I can get up before the kiddos wake. My problem is that I can never seem to get in bed at a decent time. Justin also still wakes up anywhere from 1 to 2 times a night so I don’t get much non-interrupted sleep. I also sometimes feel like I neglect one of the most important things and that’s my physical and spiritual health. I need to start taking care of me so that I’m not so burnt out all of the time.

In a few days I’ll post again with days 4 & 5 of the challenge along with an update on how I’m doing with getting up earlier.

Do you plan to sign up for the challenge? Let me know how you do and what you think by commenting below or sending me a tweet!

Keeping Calm

sunset simcoe lake evening

© Vladimir Kindrachov | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I was involved in an incident a few weeks ago in which I didn’t react in the most Christian-like manner. Long story short? I got heated and opened my mouth when I normally would have kept my thoughts to myself. Talk about embarrassing! Getting my point across or showing someone that they are wrong isn’t worth the negative emotions that come after.

When I finally calmed down I thought to myself, “Why did I let that person get to me. They weren’t worth my time or energy at all!” I let that person mess with my calm, which is something I am struggling to keep from day to day. Why did I expend so much effort on someone I’ve never even met before? Someone that, in hindsight, probably didn’t have any ill will or inclination to argue at all! Let me tell ya, this incident has not only helped me get back to staying calm, it has also helped me realize that social media is too prominent in my life.

I have always been a bit short tempered, but I have been making a big effort to stay calm lately. With two kids, three dogs, and a million other things going on, I can forget myself sometimes.

I started reading a book called Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst. (Y’all know I love her!) It has helped me to see that losing my temper takes away from God and gives power to Satan.

Favorite line so far? “I can face things out of my control without acting out of control.” (p. 28)

That’s the root of the problem for me. I can’t stand to lose control of a situation. But I’m never really in control, am I? God is. The more I learn that simple truth, the more at peace I feel.

I refused to just forget about the incident and instead, use it as motivation on my calm journey. After all, those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it!