This is my problem with blogging - I'm not always sure what to say, even with this being a blog to myself, I was stumped today which is why the post is late. Nevertheless... Can you believe we are already two weeks into the new year? Seems like it is flying by already and I don't want to miss anything and I need to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N! I find my days are better, smoother, and more memorable when I start my day first with devotions and then with a walk while listening to Christian music. It just starts my day off on the right foot....and this current week that hasn't happened. Time to reset and discipline myself to early mornings with God. Walks after the kids are at school and before work starts.
The next key in living a slower life - is to learn how to use the word NO or the phrase NOT AT THIS TIME. When an opportunity is given, don't automatically say yes or no based on your initial reaction. Listen, ask questions, then respond with "I need to think and pray about it before I give you an answer". Then talk with God, your spouse or significant other, or a mentor and discern if the opportunity is from God or someone else. Is it an add to your schedule right away, later, or is it to replace something you currently have? Make decisions on opportunities like you do when making a big purchase - like a house. Pray, research, understand the effects on different areas of your life and then make a decision.
Preparation is another key. I don't know how many times my mom told me while growing up (and still today, ha ha) to prepare for tomorrow, today. Meaning when your day is ending do your preparation work for tomorrow because it makes the day so much smoother. Hang the clothes you want to wear on the back of the door or the front of the closet. Gather up and package your lunch items. Have a meal plan in place. Look at the calendar and know what activities are scheduled for tomorrow - do you need help with them? Its a good idea to also do this on Sunday for a full week instead of just the night before. There may be adjustments through the week but having a head start on what you believe the week will hold is a good way to work in time for those crisis' that arise. Yes you should work in FREE time.
Tired of making or hearing the excuse of I don't have time to eat healthy or I don't have time to exercise or I never have time for myself? Why is that? Because we don't think these things important enough to either ADD to our schedule/calendars or if we do, we believe those are the things we can PUSH out when other items push in. Stop now! You are important! Spending time taking care of yourself is important! You are worthy! You are loved! Do you have to schedule a pampering bath soak every night? Of course not! But book yourself an hour at least once a week to do something just for you - massage, manicure, pedicure, relaxing bath, uninterrupted reading time - you get the picture. And schedule in that daily 30 minute exercise or walk - don't have a full 30 minutes at once (really - how long did that Starbucks line take?) - then do 10 or 15 minute intervals through out the day. Everyone can find 10 minutes multiple times in the day to take a short walk, do a Tabata workout, stretch, walk in place, etc. It all adds up. Plus you will rejuvenate yourself and increase your energy! And making that healthy dinner at home is actually quicker than the fast food or sit down dinner you just pulled up to - of course, if you worked it in to your schedule then by all means have a dinner out occassionally. But seriously, it takes little time to roast some chopped up potatoes, broccoli, carrots and add some beans or meat (if you eat animal protein) on the side. (I'm transitioning to a whole-foods plant-based no oil way of eating so you won't see me suggesting much meat in the diet).
And yes sometimes we fall off the wagon of organization. Yet we have to stop and reset our selves and get back to it. It really does help make a difference.