If you caught my Facebook Live Video last week, I mentioned that this is a really busy and chaotic season in my life. This time of year, every year, is stuffed full of events and outings that we don’t typically do the rest of the year. The feeling of go-go-go and very little rest can make me feel pretty defeated. While I’m constantly doing things, I’m not really getting ahead on anything. It’s as if my whole life moves forward at lightning speed without my permission while I attempt to cling to time with my family.
Often towards the end of a busy season, my personal care, consistent exercise and even goals I had for my business have fallen to the wayside for the sake of “business”. It leaves me with a really frustrated feeling that I’ve let everything on my schedule rule the way I do my day to day life. It can feel exhausting when I’m in the middle of this conflict between “doing all the things” and keeping my life simple and grounded. How can I keep going at this pace? How can I fit all of these things into 24 hours?!
I’m sure you know that feeling all to well yourself. But as I am faced with this tiring, overwhelmed feeling, I know that what I need is to persist and continue working towards what my goals are.
Sometimes goals take a back seat. Sometimes we have to take a step back and focus on all of the other things going on in our lives. But even when this is the case, the best thing I’ve realized is that I don’t have to hit “pause” on these dreams and goals. Instead, we can move forward, even if it’s a fraction of what you wanted to accomplish, you’re still moving forward.
I’ve had seasons where my clean house took a back seat to everything else going on. But I didn’t neglect it completely. I did what I could with the time I had to clean the bare minimum. The same goes for personal care. At this season of my life, personal care is about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night. A few years ago it was half of that and in a few years, it may be different again. Even if it’s not what I planned, I can still take care of myself with what I do have.
All of these examples have one thing in common: persistence. Being persistent has two meanings, one being continuing your course of action even though it’s difficult. And the other meaning is a prolonged existence of something. Either of these definitions mean the same thing to me: Doing what it takes and moving forward, even if slowly.
It is SO okay to do things more slowly than you want. My opinion is that sometimes, there are benefits to this. When I pray for God to grant me something on my time table and it doesn’t happen, I get frustrated. It’s a natural human reaction I suppose. But this frustration either makes me work harder, rethink how I’m going about something or it makes me sit back and say, “You’ve got this, God. I trust you.” In that last scenario I may learn to be patient.
But all the while, I keep persisting. I don’t sit back and do nothing. I’m always moving forward, even if at snail’s pace. God persists with us too. He is our “prolonged or continued existence.” He’s always there, constantly listening, constantly guiding.
Examples and scripture about being persistent is all over His Word too. He’s given us such a great tool and such a great opportunity to learn through His Word. Perseverance is what many of Jesus’ disciples had while the spread the Word. They were doing something despite it being difficult. They were moving forward, even if not at their pace.
The definition of perseverance is being persistent in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Notice it doesn’t mean giving up on success, just that there is a delay in achieving it.
As I’m headed in to my busy season, I’m keeping this arsenal of Bible Verses about perseverance and persistence handy to remind myself that even though I’m chronically “busy” this season, I will still move forward. I will continue to grow, evolve and accomplish my goals even when I’m out of time for the day. I will continue to be persistent as I slowly move forward in this season.
If you were at my house in the morning, you’d see me organizing and sorting supplements into piles for myself and my kids. It looks like a pharmacy on my kitchen counter in the midst of breakfast. And if we go out of town for a few days, you’d better believe I’m packing these little gems and sorting them into containers for each of us.
For me, I try to make sure I’m getting a majority of my nutrition and vitamins from my food. But sometimes, it doesn’t happen to the level I want, or I know I could benefit from a little bit more in a particular area. For me personally, calcium is a big area I miss out on as a lot of my diary is limited. I get calcium from other sources, but a supplement really helps if I go through a period of eating little to no dairy. Supplements are a great way to fill in a few of the missing nutrients that you may not be getting on a regular basis.
Plus as we age, our bodies may need a bit more of different vitamins or minerals. There are also some added lifestyle benefits to many of these as well. Some supplements will aid in your sleep health as well as the health and appearance of your skin.
The important thing to remember is that not all supplements are created equal. There are a lot of vitamins and minerals on the market and some contain more fillers and less of the good stuff. Do your research before you buy, and even consult a nutritionist, naturopath or doctor if you’re having trouble knowing what to look for.
Below are some of the best supplements you can take to enhance an already healthy lifestyle:
Probiotics were added to our daily routine a few years ago after a nasty winter of antibiotics for my then two year old. We needed to rebuild the good bacteria in her gut and we never stopped using them after that.
Probiotics are important for the health of the gut and the immune system in general (Study about Probiotics). They keep the good bacteria flourishing, which prevents the intestines from digestive problems as well.
There have also been links to probiotic supplements and the link between gut health to our mood and mental health. (Probiotics affects on mood and mental health)
While probiotics is widely used for improving the health of our internal digestion, it is also being used more in athletes to promote endurance during training (Probiotics and athletics).
Eating fermented foods and yogurts can help increase your natural intake of probiotics, but you can also find high quality supplements as well.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are pretty well known around the health world. They’re known to be a great addition to your daily supplements as most of us probably don’t eat enough foods that contain these Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
There are so many benefits to taking these supplements for both your body and brain. In fact many of the benefits have been studied and researched, so the evidence is backed by science.
Look for a high quality Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplement, which can make call the difference.
But if you’re looking to add a bit more to improve sleep or reduce inflammation, finding a high quality supplement can really help.
There are several different types of vitamin B complexes out there. B12 is naturally found in animal products and so many of us don’t get this vitamin enough in our diet. Our bodies also does not produce this vitamin on its own, which is one of the reasons it is supplemented.
Vitamin B12 is great for bone health, especially for women. It may even prevent osteoporosis. (Vitamin B12 for bone health) (Vitamin B12 for Osteoporosis) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12612156) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15619681).
It’s also an excellent way to support your hair, skin and nails. (Vitamin B12 for Skin) And let’s be honest, who can’t use that!? Studies have shown, however that if you already eat a well-balanced, nourishing diet, you’re unlikely to see any improvement to your skin, nail strength or hair health when taking Vitamin B12. (Vitamin B12 for Hair & Nails)
Another added benefit is that VitaminB12 is great for a boost of energy in the morning. (Vitamin B12 for Energy) B12 doesn’t necessarily give you prolonged energy, but a burst of energy as it’s ingested. It doesn’t store any energy in your body and is water soluble, so it travels rather quickly. But it may be good to give you a morning boost.
And how about a mood boost? Vitamin B12 plays a very important role in metabolizing and disbursing serotonin throughout your body. Typically, decreased serotonin production is correlated with a depressed mood. By increasing production with the help of B12, it can improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression. (Vitamin B12 for Depression)
But it’s important to remember that if you are on a strict vegan diet or eat little to no animal products, you may be missing out on this important vitamin. That’s when supplementing is a great idea.
Good old Vitamin D -- it’s nature’s cure for everything, right? As a Minnesotan, we definitely supplement Vitamin D in the winter. While we still get outside in the cold and snowy months, I want to make sure that the lack of sunlight and more time indoors isn’t affecting our bodies.
During cold and flu season is when our bodies need Vitamin D the most in order to support a healthy immune function. A study showed that just supplementing Vitamin D in children for 4 months during the winter reduced their risk of Influenza A by over 40 percent (Vitamin D for Influenza).
That reason alone is enough for me to supplement it for the whole family. But Vitamin D has other benefits as well. It’s also important for healthy bones (when paired with calcium). It can prevent osteoporosis.
Another reason you might want to add Vitamin D to your mix is that it helps regulate emotions and mood and can help with anxiety and depression. (Vitamin D for Anxiety).
Finally, it’s also been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Multiple Sclerosis (Vitamin D for Multiple Sclerosis) and heart disease (Vitamin D for Heart Disease) are two in particular.
While a healthy diet is really the most important, it may be worth it to add a few supplements into your routine to fill in the gaps. What supplements do you take?
If you’re family is like mine in spring time we are at a stale spot with our meals. It seems like we’ve exhausted all of our winter meals to no end and yet we aren’t QUITE ready for the fresh food of summer.
This is often the time of year our menu needs a refresh. It’s also the time of year we seem to the busiest. Between school activities, extra work opportunities and family obligations, we seem to be running from place to place with little time to plan out a healthy meal. Not to mention the longer days and nicer weather, which leaves us outside longer with less time to cook.
These circumstances make a perfect excuse to use the InstantPot. If you haven’t used one, they are kind of amazing. Essentially it’s a pressure cooker with many options that make cooking really quick and clean up really simple.
I wanted to share with you a round-up of some of my favorite healthy recipes that use the InstantPot.
1. Instant Pot Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Shared from Cheryl at 40 Aprons
This one is Paleo and Whole 30 approved! Plus it's gluten free and dairy free. Cheryl at 40 Aprons shares that this soup is comforting and creamy. Great comfort food. It takes just 30 minutes to put together.
3. Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
Shared from Ashley at Healthy Little Peach.
This one can be cooked in just 20 minutes and is also Whole 30 approved and Paleo. If you don't want to use the instant pot, you can also use a crockpot with her variation at the end of the recipe.
3. Instant Pot Balsamic Chicken
Shared from Kelly at Life Made Sweeter
This one is Whole30 Approved, low carb, Keto Friendly and Paleo Friendly. This is a perfect fuss free meal and you can easily swap out the veggies for any other veggies you want. This is just 10 minute prep and 20 minutes in the Instant Pot.
4. Instant Pot Ginger Lime Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Shared from Randa at The Bewitchin Kitchen
This one can be made in the crockpot or in the slow cooker. If you're following the Whole30 plan, this one fits in to those requirements. She even has ideas to add more veggies to spice it up a bit.
5. Instant Pot Pumpkin Oatmeal
Shared by Justine at The Typical Mom
Did you know you could make oatmeal in a snap with the instant pot? Adding pumpkin can add extra fiber and protein to your breakfast. This one is perfect for kiddos in the morning.
6. Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Shared from Lindsey at All the Nourishing Things
This is a quick and easy, super flavorful Indian-inspired dish. Serve it with brown rice or cauli-rice. This meal has lots of anti-inflammatory spices and is Whole 30 Approved and keto-friendly.
7. Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
Shared from Megan at Detoxinista
Who doesn't love a tasty burrito bowl? You can make these with cauliflower rice for a great low-carb option. You can make this in just 30 minutes and it's Whole30 approved. Mix it up by changing veggies for a different twist.
8. Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Shared from Sandy at Simply Happy Foodie
I love this spring time lemon soup. It's dairy free and low carb. You can make this one in just 20 minutes prep time and 13 minutes cook time. Perfect for a spring time dinner.
9. Instant Pot Egg Bites
Shared from Sarah at Sustainable Cooks
Have you heard of Egg Bites? They're a copycat recipe from Starbucks breakfast menu. They're perfect for a quick morning breakfast and they are Whole30 Approved, paleo and dairy free. YES! Make these during your food prep for the week and you're set on breakfasts.
10. Instant Pot Cashew Chicken
Shared from Bailey at Whole Kitchen Sink
Take out inspired and de-licious. This one is gluten free, paleo friendly and Whole30 Approved. In just 30 minutes you can have a delicious meal served over rice or cauliflower rice.
What are your favorite ways to cook quick and cook healthy?
From a young age I grew up in a house where goal setting was just an everyday occurrence. As an adult, I now realize what a beneficial tool this has been throughout my own life. Almost everything I want to accomplish or anything I want to achieve can be categorized as a goal. And goals are not the same as resolutions or wishes. No, goals should be looked at as something that WILL be attained. The first step to setting and achieving the goals you want is to change that small, yet powerful, mindset.
Looking at goals as something that you will have (and something you’re close to getting) can help push yourself forward. When you talk to yourself like your in the process of achieving these goals, or better yet, that you HAVE achieved these goals, your brain hears this. Our brains can work for us when we’re choosing the right language and positivity. It propels us forward and keeps us on the fast track to achieving our dreams.
There are some other really important things to keep in mind when setting goals. Whether it’s goals for the day, the week or for this next year, you can make sure that you’re hitting your mark every time by following these ideas:
1. Be Specific
2. Answer the "How?"
3. Five Steps or Less
Five Steps or Less: Some dreams are really big and they have to be broken down into a few steps. These really big dreams might be more long term and require several steps. But for a more short term, attainable goal, it’s best to keep it to five steps or less. This makes it easier for our brains to digest and accomplish.
For example, if your goal is to pay off debt it might include a step of starting a budget, another step of reducing spending and yet another step of increasing your income coming in. These are all small steps to break down your end goal. By breaking it down into these small, attainable steps, you not only sort it out for your brain, but you also keep momentum as you knock out “mini goals” on the way to the big one.
It’s like a weight loss goal. If you’re looking to drop a particular amount of weight, each pound you lose is likely to give you another push forward. When you see yourself accomplishing parts of what you set out to do, it feels good! You’re basically validating yourself and the hard work you’re doing.
4. Being Realistic is Key
Don’t make your goals so big they’re out of reach. If your goal is to run a marathon by the end of summer and you’re not a runner at all, you may want to rethink that goal. This isn’t meant to sound harsh or sound negative at all. But we have to be realistic about our bodies, our schedule and our current circumstances. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t set goals that are maybe a LITTLE too big. If a goal is too small, you won’t be pushing yourself to get there. If a goal is too big, you’ll likely be bummed when you don’t hit it and won’t continue setting more goals in this area.
The key is to make that goal JUST the right size. This might take a little planning and thinking on your part, but it’s completely doable. Just analyze your life and where you are currently. Make sure you’re working forward and at the right pace. Reverse engineering a goal is a great way to put in perspective the work involved to get there.
If you’ve already gone through your steps to get to the goal, start by checking in on those. Are they attainable? If the steps need to be tweaked and changed slightly, you can change your end goal based on those. It’s a really good way to double check and make sure you’re expectations are in line with your lifestyle and circumstances.
5. Work it into Your Daily Routine or Schedule
I use a to-do list app every day where I have my steps for my goals listed out. One big dream we have is to pay off our house. That means every day I have a to do list item to check in on our budget app, look at where money is going and check on what’s coming in. It literally takes me five minutes of my morning routine, but I make sure I do it to stay on track.
You can even add a calendar appointment to your phone if you need help remembering it or staying committed. This works especially well if your goal is fitness related. Scheduling that time to work out or that time to meal prep can be key. If it’s on a calendar, you’re more likely to do it.
6. Is Your WHY Big Enough?
This is going to be completely personal to each individual. But, looking at your why is HUGE. Most often I hear people say that their “Why” (or the reason they want to make this goal SO bad) is because of their kids. They want their kids to see a healthy example, or they want to provide for their kids in a particular way. Whatever the reason, just know that understanding why you want something can help you achieve your goals and stick with them.
Often if our “why” is a more surface reason, or a shallow reason, we won’t stick with it. If you’re eating healthier to look more toned for the beach this summer, you might not stick with your habits come September. If you’re wanting to get more organized for tax time, you may not stick with it after that.
When your reasoning for achieving these goals is bigger and a deeper level, you will not only stick with these goals, but you’ll probably make these habits and changes to your life permanent.
You might have to dig deep with this one. Is the reason you want to change your exercise habits to make life less cumbersome? Is it so that you feel more comfortable in your own skin? Is it to break a family cycle and stop it dead in its tracks? Whatever it is really think about it and make sure it’s deep enough that you’ll stick with it for the long haul.
7. Focus on One Goal at a Time
But really planning out one goal at a time is the key. Once you’ve got it planned out and you’ve got those steps as part of your daily habits and routines, you can move on to the next goal and start moving forward. Stagger those goals a bit and make sure you’re not overwhelming yourself or taking on too much at once.
My morning routine is something that ends up setting my whole day in motion, either positively or negatively. Over the years, my routine has changed numerous times, depending on what was going on in my life. When my kids were babies the routine was chaotic at best as every day started off a bit different. But even as my kids have grown and we have a pretty solid routine, it changes from season to season.
What I know about my routine now is that there are a few small things I do just about EVERY SINGLE morning to help me set my day in a positive direction. I find that if I decide to skip these small but positive acts, I have a hard time getting into my groove the rest of the day. Some days it requires a little bit of finagling to get it all in, but I know that if I can squeeze these things in, my day seems to be more on track.
When I set my intention for the day and really ground myself at the very start, it seems like most things throughout the day end up bringing me joy. I attribute this to the fact that I have my long term goals in mind. I also have in the back of my mind any challenge is merely a season and I will grow and learn from it in the end.
Below are some of the habits I’ve formed for my morning routine that help me throughout my entire day.
SKIP SOCIAL MEDIA & EMAIL
One of the best choices I’ve made is to charge my phone in my Master Bathroom and NOT on my nightstand. I have not only slept better, but I’ve also gotten out of the habit of scrolling through social media accounts FIRST thing in the morning.
To be honest, this practice brought me absolutely no joy. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Not only was I starting my day completely not present in my own life, I was beginning my day comparing myself to others’ highlight reels.
As an entrepreneur I use social media for connecting with others quite a bit, but there is a time and place for this, and first thing in the morning wasn’t for me.
I also made it a habit to not even look at my email until after I had my day started. If someone emailed me over night, it could wait until “business hours.” I don’t need to start my day responding to other people, right? I can start my day how I want and by doing what’s best for my and my family.
GET READY FOR THE DAY
I know this might sound like a no-brainer, but when you have kids at home, it makes a HUGE difference in how the day goes. I know for me if I showered, took time to put on at least a little makeup and fix my hair, it made a world of difference in how I felt the rest of the day.
Sometimes I just threw my hair in a bun and other days I had time to dry my hair. It’s all about being flexible with your routine, but at least doing what makes you feel good. In the summer my makeup routine seems to be a lot less than in the winter, but I always take care to nourish my skin with healthy products.
When I take care of myself I feel like I’m ready to take care of the rest of my family. And feeling put together and ready for the day, makes me feel like I’m ready to do anything and go anywhere.
While puting on my makeup and doing my hair doesn’t necessarily give me incredible joy, it does help me feel confident, which helps me the rest of the day.
Every morning I set time aside for me and for God. I make sure I have a quiet space without distractions and I focus my mind on Him. Sometimes my devotion has been reading a chapter of an uplifting book and sometimes it’s been a Bible Study I’m working on with friends. Either way, I make sure that I have time that is fully devoted to Him.
I take this time and pray, asking God to please help me and guide me throughout the day. I ask Him to show me where He wants me this day and I ask him to open my mind and my heart.
I have found that this truly helps me set the intention for the whole day. With this practice I help myself by keeping in mind all day long that He is with me and He has my best interest at heart. It reminds me I don’t need to sweat the small stuff and I can 100% rely on Him throughout my day.
When I start the day by asking Him to guide me, I feel like my mind is more open and more receptive to His voice.
Whether you read a self-help book in the morning, pray or read a devotion, I highly recommend it to set your intention for the day.
WRITE OUT THOSE GOALS
Another thing I do in the morning, is I start my day with essential oils that provide emotional support. I started using oils about two years ago and I honestly cannot imagine my life without them at this point.
I started using them to promote health in our constantly sick home, and over time I’ve continued using them for emotional support. I love the uplifting feeling they provide and I love the support they offer my kids (who have the biggest emotions of all of us).
These oils have really enhanced my devotion time and my journaling time to keep me grounded and present. I use them throughout the day to lift my mood and provide peace and joy at the same time.
One of my favorite blends to diffuse is Abundance while I’m journaling. And sometimes, I need a big pick me up when I go to En-R-Gee with Peppermint. Below are some of my favorite blends for my morning routine:
Seeking a balanced life through healthy living and a healthy environment
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