I’ve been in a little bit of a funk lately. But lulls always inspire me to look for ways to create a bit of change and spark some new excitement in my life. I love the start of a new year because it allows me to set new goals. But I also love new months, weeks and even just celebrating a new day to start over.
What are some things you to to make your day go more smoothly? Between homeschooling, working full-time hours, and making time for my marriage, things have felt a bit chaotic. I’ve been shifting some things around in my routine to see how it affects my mood and my day and I’ve landed on some things that are really helping.
I’ve realized the more I organize my day the night before, or immediately when I get up in the morning, the better the day seems to go. I’m just starting out but I’m hoping to make these things a habit for the whole month.
1. Make a to-do list
Before I go to bed, or the very first thing in the morning, I make a list of all my assignments, meetings, and tasks for the day ahead. I start by organizing my phone calls and meetings by time. From there, I fill in any free hours with the day’s assignments in order of priority.
2. Plan breakfast
I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why is it always so hard for me to eat? I’m not usually hungry in the morning, and I’m not a fan of big breakfasts. The problem is, if I skip breakfast, and then I’m rushing through lunch, I may not eat anything until close to dinnertime. If I plan my breakfast the night before I am more likely to eat the next morning. The quicker yet heartier the better. Quaker sent me some of the new Overnight Oats to try. Is a quick and easy breakfast packed with 100% whole grain oats, quinoa, flaxseed, and other real, simple ingredients. To prepare the night before all I had to do was add my favorite milk and put in the fridge to cold-steep overnight. I’ve been eating the Raisin Honey and Walnut Heaven and I have my eye on the Blueberry Banana and Vanilla Bliss to try next.
While I’m at it I should go ahead and plan our other meals too. I’ll be choosing from this 30 day challenge list.
Starting the day off with breakfast, (and a big cup of water) is one way I’m starting off my days off better.
3. Create pleasantly proficient routines
Combining things I don’t like to do with things I do like to do is my saving grace lately. For instance, doing the dishes is annoying. Doing the dishes while listening to a new audiobook is bearable. Look for more ways to combine something you love with something you loathe. Watch a guilty-pleasure show while you fold laundry. Enjoy a sweet snack while you work on your taxes. Listen to Hamilton while you work out. You get the idea.
4. Get to bed early
This is probably the most challenging task for me. I am up late almost every night catching up on work or trying to get ahead. It feels so good when I get to bed by midnight and know I’m going to enjoy a full-nights rest. It feels even better when I’m able to wake up early the next day and have a productive morning before everyone else wakes up. My new years goal to wake up early 2-3 times a week hasn’t worked out consistently, but I’m working on that.
I have a “breathe” app on my Apple Watch to remind me to take a minute or two a day to stop, breathe and meditate. Know how often I’ve used it this year? Almost never. It’s really sad. Just a few minutes a day I’m taking a time out to re-focus, pray, meditate, or just breathe and sit thoughtless. It only takes a few moments and it can really set the tone for my day. Especially when I start it out that way. Add in an inspirational thought, or a chapter from a Berne Brown book and you can’t lose.
Ok, so these may all seem like super simple habits, but sometimes you’ve just gotta go back to the basics. It’s October but it’s the start of a new month, and a great time to start over on some goals. I’m taking a 30 day challenge all month to start my day off with some fresh overnight oats. And along with breakfast I’m hoping to start my days off early with meditation, and a productivity plan. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll feel out of this funk and full of a handful of good habits.
Do you have any other ideas? What helps gets your day started off right?
Get a jumpstart on tomorrows meals by doing some meal prep tonight! Here are 30 no-stress ideas from Parents to get you started. I’m that mom you see at the store and say “my, you look like you have your hands full!” I’m always hunting for ways to make my life a little easier. That’s why I’ve partnered with Quaker, to share my adventures of making things a little less complicated. Quaker Overnight Oats are a hassle-free breakfast choice to help start your day. Just add your favorite milk, cover and pop in the fridge overnight. When you wake up, you’ll have a delicious, cool & hearty breakfast option. You can learn more about this product here.