I have been researching goals and habits since we started setting them in 2015. You can hear Conor share his take on doing this work as a couple in this episode.
Over the years I have searched to the ends of Pinterest and tried a lot of strategies to create habits for myself.
I was doing this work fueled by the notion that I had to become a morning person now that I was a mom. I was thinking that habits would make me the optimal human, efficient and productive.
Four simple habits that make my momlife better
1. Having vegetables for breakfast.
This is part of my ‘food uniform’ that I try to have for breakfasts and lunches.
What I used to eat was sweet and carby and I was feeling crappy and shaky after breakfast. Then I did the Whole30 (here are 11 things I learned doing the Whole30) and weaned myself off this type of breakfast.
I’ve been gluten-free for a few years and had to put in the effort and planning to create new food habits I could have on autopilot.
The difference I notice in having vegetables for breakfast with how I feel about myself and my approach towards my health. I used to go days without eating vegetables, now I get it done first thing every day.
Why I love this habit: I feel proud about taking care of my health because of what I do first thing in the day.
2. Reading books instead of scrolling social media
Years back I swapped this habit in a personal challenge I called One Small Habit. I swapped scrolling social media for reading on the library app.
I have read so many books over the years since I did this.
There are nights I still find myself on social media, but I can give myself a little bit of time and then redirect it to a good book.
Why I love this habit: I want to be someone who reads a lot of books, this is the action that supports that
3. Pre-dinner clean up each day
When my husband is working his week on, I follow this routine almost every afternoon: I do the dishes, clear tables, sweep floors, and make dinner.
I used to be someone who avoided dishes and coached myself to become someone who can do the dishes without all the mental drama
Having clear spaces in my home is something I aspire to. It helps me feel empowered and peaceful. However, we live here and use this space so I need to do the work of clearing the table a ROUTINE.
This table clearing routine is something I ask the kids to do their part with too, so I don’t become a martyr about it.
I also have started looking forward to this time of day because I will put in headphones and listen to a podcast that I enjoy.
Why I love this habit: Fewer dishes for me later, and I get to listen to a podcast
4. Taking a day of rest (and social media break)
Sundays are our church and chill days. I have been working intentionally at taking a day of rest, as a mom I think this is so important (as I unpacked on this episode).
Taking a day of rest is something I crave but is also something that challenges me to sacrifice the need to be productive.
I make a point to choose activities that make me feel filled up (you know, hobbies!)
Screen time is something I limit on this day as well. I go off social media on Sundays. I have been noticing how automatic I can find myself jumping on social media, and taking this day of rest has helped me with becoming more mindful about my relationship with social media
Why I love this habit: I am making time for my hobbies, I am learning more about my relationship to my phone, I give myself the grace to rest and feel better about the week ahead.
Doing a check-in on my vision, goals, and habits
This process of making this episode allowed me to refresh myself on the habits I had written down for myself this year.
I plan to enjoy the rest of August then go back to the Life on Purpose Workbook and set out a game plan for the remainder of the year
Paying attention to the habits I have built over the years
I was also proud to see the habits I could add to my list of what I AM doing that does make my life better.
Meal planning (one of my core habits to functioning in my daily life)
Saturday morning chores (a routine we have worked to set up as a family)
Heading to bed earlier (something I worked on last year and have grown to love getting a good night sleep more than staying up late to be ‘alone’)
Do you want to work on your habits?
THE MAKING CHANGE CHALLENGE Sign up for the free four-week challenge of audio lessons and worksheets.
Week three, specifically, is on goals and habits.
Get the Simple Saturdays email.
Sign up here to join the Simple Saturdays email. It comes out twice a month.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
If you’ve read my simple Saturday’s email this past Saturday, you know that I’m trying to have more fun with my kids. I want to speak to them kinder, I want to have more fun, I want to show up for the fun. That was one of the goals I wrote for myself this year that I wanted in my parenting. And I’ve talked in the past that we sit down and we write out our vision and goals. Every year at New Year’s we did we started this in 2015. Actually, Connor has been on the podcast talking about doing it with me like being a husband who is being dragged along by his wife. No, I’m just joking, but not really. So if you want to listen to that episode, I’m gonna link that in the show notes as well. But 2015 I just like really got into goals and habits like I started researching it. I went to the ends of Pinterest, to look up all of the tips and all of the ways I could trick myself into becoming a morning person. Because I believed I had it in my mind that moms need to be morning people, they need to get up early, and they need to have a morning routine. And everything in my life had to be automated for productivity. So I can be the ultimate optimal human being in mom, and woman. So I’ve learned a lot over the years, I’ve let go of kind of that rigid mentality about habits and goals. And I’ve learned that they don’t need to be there for productivity sake, they need to be there on purpose, they need to serve a purpose. That’s taking me closer to the vision that I have for that area of my life. I’ve also learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I’ve tried a lot of different strategies over the years, to make habits and to set goals. And from all of that work, that hard work, that confusion that trial and error. I have created habits in my life that I think make me happier and healthier. And so I want to share four of them with you four of my favorite habits. And I wanted to pick things that I know happen regularly for me, I don’t have to think about them. It’s like brushing my teeth. They just happen consistently. Because there’s still a lot of things in my life that aren’t to habit like there’s no consistent schedule for them. I just do them as I remember or I do them as they’re needed. Like family meetings, we do them as we need them kind of or taking our kids on one on one. We do that as needed. Exercise some throughout the week. That’s something that I tell myself, I want to do it three times a week. And then I just kind of monitor my week as I go. And that’s something I do want to make a habit. But right now it’s just something that’s happening with inconsistency but still happening. So let’s talk about the four habits that are regularly happening for me. And the first one is having veggies for breakfast. I had my best friend’s daughter over for a sleepover the other night and in the morning, I was making my breakfast and she looked at me She’s like, you eat salad for breakfast. I know. And my kids were like, Yeah, she eats it every day. Because I have a food uniform.
I have default meals I go to most all breakfast and most of my lunch. Breakfast is always the same. It’s always yams, some kind of meat, like a sausage or something. greens, whatever greens we have on hand and cashew cream. There’s a recipe from Oh, she glows. I’ll link it in the show notes. But I have that every morning. What I used to have, what I want to really have is waffles all the time. I used to eat waffles for breakfast all the time. And then I transitioned over to toast but it was still something sweet like I was just having sweet breakfast. And I was feeling crappy after I was shaky. I was feeling gross kind of through the day and a few years back I did the whole 30 the whole 30 is a challenge where you take basically everything out of your diet, but vegetables, meats, nuts and oils. And it’s something you go all in on for 30 days, it’s It was hard, I’ll share a post also on that of the 11 things I learned doing the whole 30 I’ll share them in the shownotes. But as a result, I weaned myself off of those sweet carby breakfast, I had to do the work of learning a new habit of learning how to feed myself a different type of breakfast. And since the whole 30, I did go gluten free and I’ve been gluten free ever since. And I know from doing this in the past from from doing these extreme restrictions, like when my daughter was a baby, she had reflux, so I went gluten and dairy free. And I know it can be done. So when I decided to go gluten free A few years ago, and that was going to start switching up the breakfast that I would have, I knew that I needed to. to change my autopilot, I needed to put in the planning and putting the effort of learning these new foods that I was going to create a new habit for because all of our food is on autopilot like what you make all the time. What’s easy what you default to when people are hungry in your house. Over the years, we create this autopilot with food. So I knew that I needed to start substituting the foods in the autopilot. And that was going to take some effort. When I have vegetables for breakfast, I mentally feel so much different about myself about my day. This is why people say do the hard things first, not only because you have more willpower in the morning, but because you feel better. When I go through my day feeling like okay, I eat my vegetables, like I used to rarely eat vegetables through a whole day. And now I already did it first thing like check that box. It makes you feel like you’re taking care of yourself, you feel more successful in your day, versus feeling defeated. And showing up from this emotion of defeat. When you start your day feeling defeated, like well, I already screwed that up. So like why bother with everything else, we get stuck in that all or nothing mentality. And we throw in the towel very quickly. So veggies for breakfast. That is why it is one of my favorite personal habits because of how it makes me feel through the rest of the day. The next one I want to tell you about is reading a book at night. A few years back, I started this challenge for myself called one small habit. And I would spend the month swapping out a habit I had for a different one. And there was a month where I decided to stop scrolling social media at night and instead read on the library app on my phone. And I read so many books, it was amazing. Like I was like, Oh, this whole new world of book reading exists if I just turn off the social media. So I have tried to over the years to keep that habit. And now I still check social media most nights like I’ll check it for about 10 or 15 minutes, and then I’ll move to the book. And even there’s some months that I noticed like, Okay, I need to go and find a really good book that’s going to draw me in because I’m spending too long at night watching dance videos on Instagram. And I changed this habit I keep going back to it. Because I feel good. When I read a book, I want to be someone who reads a lot of books. I don’t want to be someone who watches a lot of Instagram reels, and nothing against Instagram. I love social media. I’ve learned so much from it. I have community there. I’m not mad, it’s in my life. But I do want to not let it take over my other goals and the other values I have for myself in my life. The next one is the pre dinner cleanup. Around 445. When my husband’s at work for that week, I put on the TV for the kids and I do the dishes, I make dinner and I get like the kitchen clean up the clear the table sweep the floors. And
yes, I know that we’re going to do it again in another two hours, we’re going to clean the kitchen, do the dishes, clear the table and sweep the floors. But just clearing from the day. And getting ready for all of that dinner and all of the dishes and the mess just makes me feel like dinner is a bit more peaceful. I used to be such a drama mama about doing the dishes. If you want to hear an episode on that Check, check out Episode 60 I would avoid the dishes and I would have so many piled up that in the morning. I just had like double the dishes to work through. The other thing I like about this habit is that I just focus on one surface, just the table. I love to have clear surfaces. I love how they make me feel in my space. But I know they don’t stay that way. I know that we still live here and the people use this space and I want them to use the space. And on the other hand, I still have that lingering side story of my own upbringing and how the dining room table was a dumping ground that was constantly full. So I want to always pay attention to this habit where I give myself The routine of giving things a home, because keeping a clear dining dining table is routine. It’s something you have to come back to throughout the day. And I will ask my kids to help me with this stuff, if they have stuff on the table, I asked them to clear it up, I don’t want to feel like a martyr of my space and my children and how they want to be creative and use the space in our day. So that is a team effort. I want to make it more enjoyable for me. I want to make it fun for me, even if possible. One of the ways that I make this whole experience a bit more fun for me is I put a podcast on I put in the headphones, and I listened to a podcast, well, I’m doing dinner. And that’s actually a time I look forward to in my day, if no one’s asked to come out and cook with me, if no one really needs me, I really look forward to that time in my day where I can put a podcast in and just make some food and you know, just clear the space. The last one I want to share with you is taking a day of rest. And I’m a Christian. So we call it taking a Sabbath on a Sunday. Sunday, I call it church and chill days in shirts looked a little bit different as a pandemic happen and easing back into things. But Sunday is the day that we watch church, go to church, whatever, and chill out for the rest of the day. I did a whole episode about this episode 77 about being a mom who takes a day of rest. Because if I don’t make myself take a day off of my life, my life is just gonna keep being something that I have to pour into and into working, doing the chores, keep doing, keep going. So taking this day of rest, not only is it something that feels like I crave it, I need it. But on the other hand, it feels like a sacrifice, to just stop, stop doing so much stop trying to be so productive. Stop worrying about the work that isn’t getting done. So part of me really craves this, it wants that blank space. It wants that like just slowing my body down. And just doing the little things that make me feel filled up, whether it’s doing some art with my kids, or playing the piano or going for a walk or watching a movie or reading a book I make that my day. And one of the most impactful things for me on this day is to go off social media for the day. I am personally working on monitoring my own screentime there’s an app on your iPhone that tells you how much time you spend on your phone, the apps, how much time you spend on each app, how much time you pick how many times you pick it up, it’s really fascinating and humbling right to see all that laid out and be like, Oh, I never have time in my day. And then look at your look at your screen time and see how much time you’re spending online. So I am personally setting limits for myself on how much I spent on my phone period and setting limits. Like you can actually set limits on the screen time for different apps. And as part of this, I challenge myself to take Sunday off. Of course I’m not perfect. You know what’s fascinating is some days, I’ll just find myself on Instagram, and be like, Oh, it’s Sunday, I can’t be on here. And I just it’s such an autopilot. Like it’s such a default. And that’s been really eye opening for me to pay attention to, as I’ve just tried to make social media something that I’m using really mindfully.
And it’s funny that a day of rest that a Sabbath would be the grounds where that practice for me becomes so much more evident. When I was making this episode this morning and writing all the notes for it, I went into the life on purpose workbook, where we write out each year what our vision and goals and habits and values are and all that kind of stuff. And I noticed in the book, some of the habits I wrote down that I actually didn’t haven’t been giving much attention to this year, like reviewing our finances in more detail more often. Taking the kids hiking this summer, I think I’ve we’ve done that maybe a couple times, memorizing scripture. So I’m using this kind of as a check in for myself, I’m getting to enjoy the rest of August. And then I’m going to go back to that live on purpose workbook. and refresh myself on all the things I wrote and plan some ways to bring those habits into the fall into the rest of the year. And I also noticed in thinking about all the habits I have, that there are habits I’m really proud of that there’s habits that I have grown and nurtured over the years like meal planning. I used to never meal plan. And now this is core to my personal functioning as a mom and someone who wants to eat healthy because I will default to a plate of nachos for every meal if there is no preplanning and no supplies on hand. Saturday morning chores that’s something I’m so glad that we brought into our routine. Episode 61 is all about that doing Saturday morning chores with our kids going to bed earlier I worked on this really hard last year when my husband is on his work shift for the week. I would want to stay up late I would just want that time for me but I challenged myself to go to bed earlier and make sleep a priority. So I would challenge you guys to think about this stop and consider All of the habits you do have, which ones are working for you. And I just want you to like, take a minute and pat yourself on the back. And if habits is something you want to work more on, the making change challenge is a audio and worksheets series that I have. And the third week in that challenge is all about goals and habits as a free challenge you can sign up for. I’m going to link that in the show notes, I definitely encourage you to jump into that. That challenge also talks about growth mindset, what we have control over, taking these small steps, habits and goals and motivations. It’s a really great challenge that I’m really proud of. So I would definitely encourage you to sign up for that. Just follow the link in the show notes. And if you can’t find the show notes, go to simple on purpose.ca my website, click Listen, you will find all the podcasts and all the show notes there. Alright friends, I hope that you’re enjoying the podcast if you are, I encourage you also to leave a rating and review in Apple podcasts. If that’s the place you’re listening, and if that’s the place you can access, please leave a rating and review there. They help the show so much they help me show up in the search results. They give me street cred essentially with the podcast players. Your reviews and ratings are greatly appreciated. Have a great week.