Welcome! I decided that my first post in 2018 (and ever) should be something to motivate myself to have a better year. SO here we go…Instead of coming up with some new (or old) resolutions that I will ditch pretty quickly, I decided to choose 5 things that I wanted to do “more than” others. So basically this allows me to “re-calibrate” my habits and work more of the positive elements into my life without just expecting myself to completely cut out things that are probably not realistic, based on my free time & energy levels with a four year old & a 10 month old! “Bringing Up” Joy is not always simple, but maybe these things can help!
Here are the five I came up with in no particular order of importance:
1. Encourage more than Criticize
I spend a lot of time criticizing others and myself. A lot of times it is in my head only, if I can keep my mouth shut. I tend to be kind of pessimistic sometimes (Thank you God for an idealist/optimist husband) and I often will see the negatives in a situation, or a person, yikes, before I recognize the positives. However, when I take the time to encourage the people in my life, I feel more relaxed, and more encouraged myself! The people in my life (husband, children, friends) also feel better about themselves. Creating an environment in our home where my husband & kids have a positive self-image builds up their confidence & willingness to try new things, and to be the best version of themselves. They also encourage me back! For example, the more of an effort I make to compliment my daughter on the little things, the more she compliments me.
2. Cook more than Eat Out
Okay, so this one might sound SUPER easy, but the real idea behind this in my head is that if I could make a meal in the same amount of time(or less) than it would take me to drive out and buy something, then I need to suck it up and just cook. It is frustrating to me that this is even difficult because I actually really enjoy cooking, but when I want junk food, I WANT it. Now. This is kind of a way for me to justify NOT going to get the food because I can slowly begin to see how simple it is to just cook something at home. This “more than” also encourages me to meal plan because then I don’t allow for the opportunity to get sucked into those cravings. One extra tip – I’ve been working one “take-out” meal into my meal plan each week so that in my head I can say okay, just wait until Wednesday, then you can get that food you want, but tonight, cook what you ALREADY paid for that is sitting in your fridge.
3. Exercise more than Watch TV
Exercise was becoming really difficult for me to accomplish because I either had to go workout really early in the morning before my husband left for work, or really late at night after the kids were in bed. Option A: Too tired, Option B: Too tired. Fail. SO I broke down and joined the YMCA even though it costs more than a normal gym membership. BUT when you have kids it is SO WORTH IT because you get TWO HOURS of FREE childcare every day! What?! I’m not going to lie, after my friend Sarah told me about this brilliant system, I took her advice, and a couple of times, I just dropped off my kids, went and sat in the sauna, hot tub, sauna, etc. and then went and took a shower and blow-dried my hair. No exercise. Oops. Anyways, the point of this one should be obvious. Exercise is better for you than binge-watching TV. However – again the reason this says “more than” and not “instead of” – I’m TIRED at night and sometimes I just need to relax my brain and watch something funny. Or emotional, like This Is Us, and then I cry my eyes out and get a good night’s sleep and feel less tired! Win-win. Probably. But when I watch TV I think okay, I really need to keep this under an hour so I don’t have to exercise for MORE than an hour tomorrow. Make sense?
4. Pray more than Worry
My #momlife is actually my #worrylife. Anyone else? Ugh. There are so many things to worry about! This is pretty much a daily struggle. I over-think, over-analyze, and over-criticize every decision I make. I also imagine every possible negative outcome of anything I do. I envy my husband on the daily as he walks through life seeing all the good in everyone and everything. Anything can be scary if you think about it too much. On the flip-side (do people still say that?) you can also pray about anything, and God will give you peace about it! I used to not really believe that and just start worrying about why I didn’t pray about it and worry that if I tried it might not help ETC… but if you are willing to really give over your anxieties to Him there is so much peace and confidence in knowing that you are going to be ok. (This could be a long aside – summary – obviously bad and terrible things can and will happen, but I can be confident in my relationship with Christ and eternally I will be with Him, and that is what matters.) I have a really amazing friend named Holly, and every time I tell her about a situation that brings me anxiety she says “did you pray about it?” and I’m like NO, LEAVE ME ALONE, I’m trying to complain here! …but then I do pray and I’m like what was my fear again? (Side note – I have suffered from post-partum anxiety in the past, this section is NOT talking about that intense level of anxiety, please seek the help of a medical professional in that situation! Yes, obviously pray also, but chemical imbalances are real and can be treated in different ways as well!)
5. Cuddle more than Nag
My husband is a cuddler. I am not. So honestly this is not the easiest for me, but I have found that I can bring up my “to-do list” as many times as I want, write it on the wall, etc. and it just causes frustration. However, in those moments when I want to remind my husband of all the things he is NOT doing, if I go cuddle with him (connect, talk, check in with him etc.-find what works for you), I remember all of the things he IS doing, and HAS done, and CONSISTENTLY does for me and our family that make our lives wonderful. Again, I’m not saying don’t ever remind your guy what needs to be done, I’m just saying that maybe meeting him where he’s at sometimes and appreciating him will go a lot further in your own heart and mind and lead to more understanding (and maybe more getting done on your list) than nagging would.
Okay that’s it! Hopefully some part of this was helpful to you! The point here is doing the one thing MORE THAN the other and it will slowly (hopefully) become an integral part of your life.
What things do you think might be good to do more than others this year! Please share in the comments!