Month: January 2020

6 Ways To Keep Yourself Motivated To Achieve Your Goals

Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or set goals to become a better person, it will take some amount of work to reach the point of success. A lot of people find it hard to make new habits and wonder why they just can’t make themselves do things they want to do. When you are used to living a certain way, it takes time to create new habits that become your new way of life.

Formerly, it was believed that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Jamesclear.com states,

“Phillippa Lally is a health psychology researcher at University College London. In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Lally and her research team decided to figure out just how long it takes to form a habit.

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt.

Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.” At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it.

The answer?

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.”

-https://jamesclear.com/new-habit

In the first few days of starting a new routine or habit, there may be a motivation you have because it’s exciting that you are starting something new. It’s natural to lose that motivation when the newness of the routine wears off. You may be tempted to go back to your old, toxic habits. I’ve been there. I’m pretty sure if you’re reading this, you’ve been there too.

There are ways to get over the slump and keep the motivation going so that the temptation to revert to former habits wanes. Here are 6 ways to keep yourself motivated while you’re creating those new, great habits you’re forming to reach the goals you have to succeed.

Write down your goals and map out a plan to achieve them

Some people make goals or resolutions and plan on keeping them without taking much action. The act of writing your goals down will help you cement what you want to do in your brain and make it a part of you. Don’t just write down your goals in one or two lines either. Map out a plan on paper of what you are going to do every day to crush the goals and change your life.

Read your goals to yourself every day

Get in the mirror and affirm your resolutions or goals to yourself. Every day for as long as you need to. Either read through your whole plan you are intending to execute or go ahead and write out a separate statement of affirmation to yourself. Write positive statements about yourself and your life that align with who you are becoming. For example, if you have a goal to change your diet, one of your affirmations may be something like, “I eat to fuel my body and I reject unhealthy food choices that pollute my body.” Soon, these statements will become a part of you, you will start to believe these statements as truth and identify with your new positive, healthy self.

Get your life organized

Bad habits that we have sort of pile up on each other. When you have a habit for a long time, it’s apart of a routine that has other habits or characteristics of yourself that support it. For example, if you have a bad habit of sleeping late, you may have your alarm clock or phone in your bed or beside your bed. Or you may keep your bedroom door or windows closed to keep the light out. Or you may hit snooze time after time to stay in bed a few minutes later. Habit after habit pile up to support that bad habit of sleeping in later than you’d like to to have a productive morning. Organize your clothes, your paperwork and every room in your house little by little until you have your whole house in order. This will help make you a well-rounded person to support the steps you are taking to succeed in other areas of your life.

Workout

Even if your goal is not to workout, have a routine that incorporates exercise regularly to discipline your body. This will give you more energy, mental clarity, and focus. In turn, your other goals will fall into place because you have already made it a point to become healthy and discipline your body and mind.

Keep a motivated circle

We all need a good friend or two. Especially if you want to become someone you’ve never been before and do things you never have done before. Having a support circle will help keep you motivated. We usually become like those we hang out with, so make sure the immediate people you are around every day are positive people who support the success of your goals and who may even have the same goals as you. If you don’t know anyone like that, it may be beneficial for you to sign up for a class or join a support group. If you’re having a rough day, you’ll have someone to call or text who will be able to remind you of why you made your goal in the first place.

Be consistent

To reach success, consistency is key. Get up and do the same thing every day. Keep up with the plan you mapped out and soon, you will have formed a new habit or two that will just be second nature. Never give up on reaching your point of success, whatever that looks like for you. Even if you slip up or forget for a while, get back on track. You are worth it!

 

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Starting A Weight Loss Diet Plan After Baby

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

 

My youngest is 6 months. So I am 6 months postpartum. With my first two kids, I didn’t gain much weight. I actually lost more weight than I gained. I was so sick during those pregnancies and I threw up the whole nine months. This time around, I was already about twenty pounds overweight when I got pregnant and I gained thirty pounds throughout the pregnancy.

Furthermore, I developed a late-night snacking habit that lasted for months after I gave birth. My husband works third shift as well, so I’d stay up late and eat. I love food anyway, so this was not a hard habit for me to develop.

Right after I gave birth to my son, I told myself that I was going to start working out after my six-week postpartum appointment. The six weeks came and went and I did nothing. I started eating more and more. Instead of losing baby weight, I was gaining weight. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I actually lost about five pounds because I started throwing up. I went down to 225 pounds. In the first couple of months after delivery, I gained that back.

I have never really had the best eating habits. I just have good genes and my family stays slim, but I also take medicine for a mental illness that I have (Read more about it here.) The medicine has always made my weight fluctuate. So for years, my weight has gone up and down from time to time without me really doing anything to affect it but change medications.

Now, I am at my heaviest, and I made a decision. I made the decision to get healthy. I don’t want to look overweight and out of shape. Also, I want to feel good and be healthy for my kids and husband. I want to lift my confidence, improve my mental clarity and be at my best. So I started with a diet plan to lose the weight I’ve gained. I also have a workout plan, but I am starting with the diet. I will implement the exercise later. Though, I have started a few simple exercises already.

So, what is my diet plan, you may ask. I saw a woman on YouTube who said that she lost forty pounds in two months by eating a bowl of fruit per day with mixed nuts, a plate of vegetables per day and a whole bunch of water. So, I took that plan and tweaked it. Here is the video that inspired me, by the way:

In the video, she did talk a lot about exercise; And I am going to exercise. I will start a running regimen that I will update you on later. In addition to the eating plan she implemented in the video, I have a plant-based protein shake for breakfast. I use a couple of different plant-based protein powders that I already had in the house. I am using the brands SunWarrior and Kura. You can purchase them both here on Amazon:

Sunwarrior Plant-based Protein Powder

Detox Organics Vanilla Plant Based Protein powder

 

I have been on this diet for close to two weeks now. Here is what a day of eating looks like for me:

Breakfast

One scoop of protein powder

Almond Milk

Cold coffee

A banana

All blended together into a protein shake.

Lunch

A bowl of fruit!

I thoroughly enjoy this meal. I throw different fruits into my bowl from day to day. So far, I have included banana, oranges, apples, grapes, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries. So, I have eaten a good variety. Here is one of my fruit bowls:

This one had an apple, a banana, a handful of grapes, and some cherries.

After my fruit bowl, I will have about a half cup of mixed nuts. I have used the Great Value brand from Wal Mart, but right now, I am eating the Planters NUTrition Heart-Healthy Snack Nut Mix. They can be purchased here on Amazon.


Dinner

A bowl of vegetables!

My bowls have included zucchini, broccoli, red peppers, peas, baked potatoes, cauliflower, okra, and cucumbers. So, I have had some good variety in there. I am falling in love with veggies! I never have eaten so many vegetables in my life. And enjoyed them! Here is one of my vegetable bowls:

 

This bowl was okra, zucchini and onions sauteed in olive oil with garlic powder to season them, then cucumbers on the side.

I stop eating after eight o clock. I have totally nixed late-night eating. If I get hungry a couple of hours after dinner, I will eat an apple with peanut butter or a handful of nuts with some raisins. But never after eight.

My mission is to lose 50 pounds by my daughter’s birthday on April 18. I believe I can do it! I am fitting a pair of jeans that were a size too small, so I know I have downsized some. I haven’t weighed myself because my scale needs a new battery and won’t work. I will get it soon, but for now, I am not obsessing about how much I am losing.

I am eating this way for the month of January, then I will continue a plant-based diet, adding grains and such. I will also incorporate intermittent fasting. Yeah, I am very serious about reaching my goal weight. So please follow me here on my blog as well as my YouTube channel!

Also, you can subscribe to my email list and receive a free 5 day devotional here:

What is a goal that you have made this year that you are already crushing?

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Everywhere Holy By Kara Lawler Book Review

Links are Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase through one of my links, I will get a small commission, but you will pay the same price. All opinions/statements are my own.

What a magical but somehow practical book!

Everywhere Holy by Kara Lawler is a book about the unique and special moments of everyday moments in life. In the book, Kara at times talks about how life’s moments, colors, sounds and people are connected. She also talks about the seasons of life and how change is transient as well as constant.

Connecting these moments to the holiness of the presence of God, Kara writes from the perspective of a woman who has learned to live in prayer. Reading her experiences as a teacher, wife, mother, and writer, I too gleaned a sense of the perspective she has of living life day to day, finding the Lord in the everyday moments of my life.

Beautifully written, this book is one I will read again. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I also am using it as a prompt for my own writing, as well as a guide to self-assessing my thoughts, attitudes and perspectives on my own life’s situations.

The book is poetic, but I like how amid the beautiful prose, Kara asks questions to help the reader to see the beauty of life’s ordinary happenings and the changes every life is deemed.

A noted passage from the book:

“Writing, while hard, is who I am now. I’m not sure if it’s how I’m to work in the world forever, but I’m willing to find out. Are you willing to find out where your passion will take you? Are you ready to see where it leads? Be brave if you can, or walk scared if it’s all you can do. (Sometimes, it’s all we can do.) I’ve walked scared so many times. But just take the steps. Breathing, blessing and releasing helps us to find out about our life’s paths. Of course, it’s easier to walk away when things are hard or if we don’t like where we are, but here’s the thing I’ve learned: even when we walk away from places or things or people we love, we don’t stop loving them, and it doesn’t mean we are unhappy. It’s just that we’re walking down another path to another person, place, thing or person for a time.” – Pages 77 and 78

I really liked this book and recommend it to those who may be looking for inspiration in their everyday life.

You can find the book here, on Amazon.

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From The Pages Of My Mind 1/1/2020 – Diary Entry

So, 2020 is here. It seems like a mountain to me. Yes, I have goals and I want to keep them.

I am not perfect and I mess up pretty frequently.

Crawling out of a hole is hard. But it’s better that you catch yourself before that hole gets deep. I am glad that I am able to do that now. Spiraling into a depression that I need psychiatric attention for is the last thing I want to do in the first few days of a new year. I started taking my multivitamin again, as well as a B-Complex vitamin.

Today, I got up and cleaned. The house was trashed from the holidays and when I woke up, I had the gumption to get it in order. I felt like I was getting my mind in order again.

I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Sometimes I get an attitude that causes me to stray from the Lord’s presence. I praise Him though because now, I am able to catch myself (with His help!) before I go so far, I need someone else to come in and pull me from the darkness that looks so near.

I’ve said before that devotionals are like a snack and it’s much better to open your Bible and read the Word. Word for word.  But now, I thank God for devotionals. When I’m in a state that I am straying from the Lord’s presence with my attitude, I can just grab a devotional book or my phone (and open the YouVersion app) and get a quick Word that starts to reshape my mind closer to the mind of Christ.

Each of us has things we can improve on as human beings. These past few days, I am looking at myself more and more; Examining myself and realizing how much more I want to be a better human. I have babies relying on me. Their future will be better if I’m better.

They are my reason and I thank God for motherhood. I love being a mommy. Sometimes I look at my oldest and tell him how much he means to me. But I keep my thoughts to myself. I don’t think I even have the words to say. Yes, Jesus is my ultimate savior; But I believe He uses motherhood to me focused.

I can’t let myself go. Especially with a 3-year-old and a newborn! They need me constantly and my daughter especially notices when I’m slipping.

All that being said…

I want this year to be big. Even monumental!

I already posted my goals. So I won’t go down a list. But I want 2020 to be a year of growth.

I think that grief from my Dad’s death creeps up on me. I can’t explain why I’m feeling what I feel, so I internalize. Then I start acting up.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept the Lord’s grace. Or to even believe that His grace can cover my moods. That is a fallacy in my reasoning that I need to nix ASAP. Either the cross is enough, or it’s not.

Those testimonies of people going to hell for hating someone scare me. I don’t hate anyone, but I do dislike a couple of people because of the inherent traits I see in them. I ask the Lord to help me with that.

The Bible says, “Be perfect. therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) In the context of the scripture, I believe Jesus was saying to perfect the way you love others. I could be more kind, accepting and compassionate. If I can conquer myself this year, I believe I will uproot some strongholds that have held me back for some time. Only with the Lord’s help can I do this.

 

 

 

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Reaffirming My Beliefs And Reaching High In The New Year

I took a long break over Christmas vacation. No, I didn’t go away. I stayed in town, but I thoroughly enjoyed my family! Great, corny Christmas movies, awesome food, a lot of downtime; It was a beautiful Christmas.

During the break, I wrote some goals and decided on some ways that I want to change. I am not an awful person, but I don’t have it all together. I have room for improvement, like all of us. Knowing that, I put together a plan to discipline myself to change some things in areas of my life I want to be better in.

In 2019, I learned to love myself. It was a pretty good year, but I am reaching higher in 2020. I want it to be my family’s best year yet. To get better results, I can’t stay the same as a person. Yes, I love myself, but a part of that is not letting the okay parts stay okay, but pushing myself to be great!

I look at my family and they are my reason. My husband and kids. Sometimes, I have to pull motivation out of nowhere on days that I just ‘don’t feel like it’, but my why never changes. I want a great life for my babies. Here are some of my rough goals for the new year.



My Faith

I mentioned before some of how I’ve grown in my faith in 2019. I want to grow even closer to the Lord in 2020. I believe a relationship with my creator never ends. There’s always room to grow with Him. I still haven’t made it all the way through the New Testament, so I will be opening my Bible every day. I am in the book of Proverbs now. So I’ve read most of the Bible! I will make sure that I spend at least ten to fifteen minutes in prayer each morning and night. There are personal areas I want to totally surrender to Jesus. I don’t want to hang on to familiar sins and old pain that comes between me and Jesus. I won’t allow myself to slip backward into darkness.

My Personal Goals

Before I got pregnant with my youngest, I was about 20 pounds overweight. Then I gained 30 pounds during the pregnancy. Now, I have about 50 extra pounds of weight on me. I’d like to be thin again. None of my clothes fit me and I’d like to wear skinny jeans and nice tops without extra fat showing. So my goal is to lose 50 pounds by my daughter’s birthday. I found someone on YouTube who said she lost 40 pounds in two months by eating nothing but a huge bowl of fruit with nuts and a huge plate of vegetables every day, then exercising 45 minutes five days per week. I am going to follow that diet for one month, then move into a plant-based diet long term. As far as exercise goals, I will start running. At least three times per week.

I don’t have a driver’s license. I will get one this year. This has been a goal of mine for the past couple of years and I am determined to just do it. I made a driver’s test appointment in September 2019, but I had car problems, so I never went and took the test. By the end of February, I want to have my driver’s license.

Another important personal goal I have is to read at least 30 minutes per day of personal development books. I don’t have a goal of how many books I want to get through in 202, but it will be several, being that I’ll be reading that much every day.

Business and Financial Goals

I have set up a daily schedule for my blog, which I won’t share here, but I have a daily action plan to drive traffic to my blog and open doors for sponsorships and affiliate marketing sales. In 2019, I got some exposure, but I am expanding in 2020. I will look for more guest post opportunities, as well as opportunities to write for magazines and newspapers. Financially, by the end of 2020, I want to be making at least $5,000 per month with my blog. And that’s being conservative. Once I reach that goal, I will set it higher!

As far as saving and investing, my husband and I will decide on those goals together.

My husband brought something to my attention that I didn’t think of before he said it: 20/20 is perfect vision! So to me, the year 2020 is for clarity. We all only get one life and I believe we should review and go over goals regularly. A new year is the perfect time to do that. If you want to grow, you can’t keep doing the same things, right? Well, I don’t want to be complacent. Growth is vital for progress. That is why I have set these goals. To progress and move forward.

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