OMGosh! New Year’s Resolutions!!

 

 

YES!!!! It’s that time again, time to make our New Year’s Resolutions (NYR).

I love beginnings. I admit I like starting projects on Mondays, and the first day of the month, and I get downright giddy when the first of the month falls on a Monday. Sadly, the new year and the new month fall on a Sunday, but it doesn’t change the fact that I love the first day of a new month, and the beginning of a new year is just a bonus.My excitement for the new year is less about the year and more about the month.

That said, my NYRs include completing half my 101/1001 list, and going Paleo/Primal (and at least getting my kids gluten-free since from what I read, GF can help children with difficulties focusing). And, ok, I admit it, my other NYR is also the number one NYR in the country, lose weight (about 10 lbs, and I will be talking about it here, yay for you LOL!). Oh, and finish decluttering and getting organized (Christmas didn’t set back my progress as much as I feared).

I just bought the book The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, as well as his cookbook The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, but my real first step will be throwing out the processed stuff and only eating real food. Processed stuff masquerades as “healthy” with its low-fat and low-calorie label, so don’t think that just because you cut out your Chips Ahoy and switched to organic low-fat cookies that you’re really doing your self a favor, it’s still junk.

As for the fitness aspect, of course I plan on teaching Turbo Kick (and I’m going to get certified to teach PiYo as well), and even though it goes against Mark’s teachings, I also have a half marathon lined up a couple months from now (I don’t expect to lose a pound while training for that). What Mark DOES suggest is sprinting, or some other High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which my favorite DVD series, Turbo Fire, has. I plan on using the shorter HIIT workouts when I don’t feel like sprinting outside (it gets really, REALLY HOT in the summer here).

So what are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions?

 

Building My Routines Part Three

I try not to write on Sunday’s unless it’s something fast and fun. I like blogging, but I like hanging out with my husband and kids more 🙂

So last time I wrote about my routines up through picking up the big kids from school. And here is where I think my successful days start.

After school, my oldest does his homework right away and my five year old and two year old play while I feed the baby. My oldest is usually done by the time I finish feeding the baby and then I check his work.

Now here’s what I believe has been crucial to my routine building during the day, getting ready the night before. I can’t stress this enough. Fly Lady actually recommends this too, but I don’t go so far as to lay clothes out, unless I’m getting up REALLY early and don’t want to wake my husband. But I do have the big kids make their lunches either after school or after dinner, and I get my younger two’s lunches made and in the fridge and diaper bags restocked and by the door before I go to bed. If I’m foldomg laundry that night, I’ll set out clothes for the younger two at the changing area the night before, and this makes convincing my husband to get the younger two ready while I get dressed that much easier.

Also before bed, I make sure my sink is empty and run the dishwasher as needed, and do a quick pickup around my house. Seriously, stumbling in the dark at 2 a.m. to get the crying baby is much safer when your floor is at least clear of toys (and you parents know how painful Legos are when you’re barefooted!). Plus, waking up to a somewhat neat house puts me in a good mood at 6 a.m. when I reluctantly get out of bed to prepare breakfast for a very loud two year old. I keep telling myself that someday I will go to bed early enough that I can get up at 5, before the children, so I can get my computer stuff done and not cut into any time with my children or husband.

One more thing I do before I go to bed, is I write out my to-do list, the one to further my business on my Ipod (awesome note app is the best for this!) and any cleaning on the wihite board on my refrigerator (I also write out reminders to take my vitamins on this board). I recommend taking a look at Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Challenge for more info on to-do lists.

My routine building, in a nutshell:

  • I do as much as I can the night before to make my morning easier
  • I started with a couple cleaning items, not going for a whole routine at once
  • I included my children in the process so that they learn responsibility and keep me accountable
  • I plan my day the night before (To-do list discussion in a future post)

Ok, so not so glamorous, pretty common sense, but it has been journey for me starting as a messy, barely an adult child living off frozen burritos to a somewhat neat, somewhat organized mom and business woman, and I am very much still learning and expanding my routines.

What is something you have been working on improving in your life?

Building My Routines Part Two

Yesterday I talked about why I wanted to start building daily routines both for myself and for my children. Today, I want to give you a rough idea of how I’ve been building. Please note that I am using both Fly Lady‘s system, and www.titus2.com‘s “Manager’s Of Their Chores” book, and I did not come up with all of this on my own.

First thing Fly Lady asks us to do is shine our sinks. I admit I didn’t start doing that until last week, and I found Fly Lady several years ago! I’m not just building my routines, I’m training my children, so shining my sink became a priority. Here’s why: My oldest son’s job is to empty the dishwasher. When he would give me attitude (he has since adjusted it) I would point out that I can’t do my job (washing dishes, loading dishwasher) if he doesn’t do his. It hit me about a week ago, that by not keeping my sink cleaned out, I’m not showing my son that I do mean it when I say that we are a team. I’m not doing my part if I’m not keeping up on the dishes. I have since committed to (and following through with) washing dishes/loading the dishwasher as dishes are dirtied. A bonus to this is by keeping my sink clear, dishes don’t pile up on my counters, helping keep those clear, which helps my kitchen at least *look* neater.

Another thing Fly Lady asks is that we “swish and swipe,” doing a quick wipe down of the bathroom every morning. Fast wipe of the counter and sink, swift swirl of the toilet brush in the bowl (I also wipe the rest of the toilet). This is not a deep cleaning, this is a literally for me a two minute job. And I do it after I get dressed for the gym first thing in the morning, or at the latest, after I get out of the shower and I’m dressed and made up and still in the bathroom. I have started having my five-year-old do the same in the front bathroom, and it was easier to get him to do it without complaint when I explained that I do this every morning too. Because I strive to always tell my children the truth (even if it is the kid-friendly, sanitized version), I realized I just made myself accountable.

And it’s this accountability that has spurred more effort in keeping up the house. If I’m going to tell my children that they need to help out around the house, well, I better be helping out around the house too. So I also set aside time in the morning, after everyone is at school and I’m home from the gym to do a quick pickup of the house. As simplistic as this sounds, I have found that if I continually pick up items that are not in their correct places, the bigger cleaning tasks, such as vacuuming or mopping, aren’t so overwhelming (having to stop vacuuming before you start because of toys, random papers, etc makes a relatively simple task that much bigger. Much easier to take care of things as you see them).

So I have my morning “swish and swipe,” check Facebook over breakfast, dress the little boys, check on the older two’s chores, and then we’re out the door.

After I get home from the gym and shower, it’s really fast pick up the house #1, feed everyone at home, and during nap time I catch up on FB (I like to offer up advice on fitness, ESPECIALLY to pregnant women, and weight loss, preaching the good word of clean eating and weight lifting, smacking down the idea that 1,200 calories a day is enough to fuel the exercising person desiring weight loss), listen to or view business motivational calls and webinars, and do laundry.

The only change to this is on the days that the younger two are at our church’s “Mother’s Day Out” program, where I get four hours to do vacuuming, mopping, and my ongoing declutter project in the baby’s room.

I just realized how long this is! I guess I’m going to turn this into a three part series! Join me tomorrow for the “exciting” (ha ha!) conclusion of where I am now, and where I want to be!

But real quick, what are some of the things that you MUST do every day (besides shower and brush your teeth!)?

Building Routines Part One

Several years ago, while researching organizing tips, I found flylady.net. I admit I have not kept up with the routines and the routine building all this time. But lately, with my focus on accomplishing goals, I’ve discovered that I’m wasting a lot of time not doing the things that need to be done on a daily/weekly basis in a timely manner, at a set time of day. I’m a stay at home mom, so it’s easy for me to put off some chores until later, but many times later is after the kids go to bed, which is my prime work time. Also, when I am not working with my automatic routines and my to-do list, I find myself going into a mental lock and ending up on the internet.

Something that I have also been working on is making a chore chart/list for my kids. “You make your kids WORK!? Oh, the horror! Kids should be kids!!” I tell you now, I had very few responsibilities growing up, which was cool at the time, but then I grew up, moved out, and got married. When I met my husband, I was living with a friend who lived his life separate from mine, so I often cooked for myself. Since I didn’t really know how to cook, I ate a lot of Easy Mac and frozen burritos (so healthy!). Well, when my husband and I got married, obviously I couldn’t serve mac n cheese or burritos all the time, so I struggled to learn how to cook (I thank God for Rachel Ray and her 30 Minute Meals show. I wouldn’t have learned to cook without her!).

Growing up, I wasn’t expected to do any real housekeeping, and my room was a mess frequently. You can imagine what my house looked like shortly after having my first baby! I was too embarrassed to have anyone over ever (Fly Lady calls it Can’t Have Anyone Over syndrome, or CHAOS). It has really only been the last couple years that the picking up I go and regularly decluttering really sunk in.

I do not want my kids to move out without knowing how to plan/shop/prepare/cook several HEALTHY meals, run a load of laundry from wash to dried/folded/PUT AWAY, and how to keep their homes tidy. I’m telling you right now, from personal experience, kids do not just learn this stuff magically on their 18th birthdays. We need to teach them while they are still young, starting with keeping their toys picked up and building on until they could easily run the house by themselves as they grow in age, ability and maturity. A side bonus is when EVERYONE does a little bit, even if it’s just pick up after themselves, it eases the burden of the one who usually runs everything in the house (usually mom, whether she stays at home or works full-time).

Anyway, in the process of building my own routines (I’ll get there, I promise!) I have also started building the routines of my older children, which re-enforces my routines because I want to be the good example.

Now that you know a little of the “Why,” go to flylady.net to see where I got the inspiration for my own routines (no, I do not get paid for sending traffic her way! I just want everyone to know that she has good ideas for home maintenance!), and I will go into the “How.”