Our Purpose

Welcome to our Healthy Habits forum, sponsored by Relishing Motherhood. We are kicking off our New for 2009 Challenge on January 12th. Leave a comment to join us.

And special thanks to our contributing bloggers, whose profiles and links appear in the sidebar.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Feedback. I Need Some.

One down, one to go. Holidays, that is. We made it through Christmas and have a few days until the New Year.

I don't know about you girls, but I have found it to be more challenging than I anticipated to stay focused on my goals in December. I am, however, really getting geared up for goal achieving in the New Year. I know it is cliche, but I am all about a fresh start, and especially after the overindulgence/ lack of routine/ general sloth of the holiday season, I am never more ready to change my ways than I am in January.

So, here's my real question for you: What should our New Year Healthy Habit Challenge look like? This one hasn't worked out so great--most of our participants haven't checked in in weeks. But maybe the holiday was the problem. Do we need to charge $20 up front to join and promise that you'll get your money back if you achieve your goals? Do we need to set up a penalty for not meeting a weekly or daily goal (but have it be free to join?) What would help motivate you? The point is to help you achieve your goals . . . So ponder on that question and then leave a comment with your input. PLEASE!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Thoughts and Goals

Friday--my turn to post again. Wasn't last Friday like...yesterday?

I swear, during the holidays the time speeds up uncontrollably.

Well, I'm happy to report that my scripture reading has improved significantly.

I'm unhappy to report that my exercise hasn't happened. With our family getting the stomach flu and my morning sickness on top of it, jumping up and down hasn't been a top priority! I think I may change my exercise goal to whenever I feel up to moving around for a few minutes. Can I count getting the dishwasher loaded and laundry in the washer as exercise?

I knew it was bad when my three-year-old actually got excited at seeing me fill the dishwasher. ("You're cleaning them? For us?!")

My weekly goal is coming along nicely. I have nearly all the presents wrapped. I started on Tuesday, figuring if I left it until the weekend I would get overwhelmed. The kids have had so much fun choosing and wrapping presents for each other. It feels so good to accomplish something.

So, my goals for this weekend are partially the same as last weekend. I'm planning on cooking two meals, (lasagna tonight, anyone?) and having all the clothes ready for Sunday. It's "Christmas Sunday", so this is extra important! I also have the goal to have Sharing Time (I work with kids in church) ready before bedtime tomorrow night. It's nearly done, I just have to add a few touches. And to get 5 loads of laundry done. (Told you there was a lot!) My goals right now aren't so much personal ones, but these goals will help me retain some sanity.

I've been doing some thinking about what I'm supposed to learn from the latest family challenges. I think I'm supposed to be looking for the positive, and celebrating seemingly small accomplishments. I get so frustrated when I can't get massive amounts of things done, and I feel like the Lord is telling me that small and steady does really win the race. A hard lesson, but one I need to learn.

During this last weekend before Christmas, I'm going to make sure to enjoy time with my family. Although there is always so much to do, they're the most important reason for me to celebrate the holidays. Jesus Christ is the reason for Christmas, and what better way to spend this time than family togetherness? If I don't get cookies made it's ok, that's why I've squirreled away Andes mints on top of the refrigerator. We'll watch Christmas movies and use our new stovetop popcorn popper. If our big tree doesn't get put up downstairs we'll make do with the tiny one on top of the piano. I won't let it ruin my Christmas. The kids would love a big tree, but they're more excited about giving and receiving presents. I love the fact that my kids are excited about giving to each other.

My expectations are so high for this time of year, and then I get depressed when they're not even within the same hemisphere of what I wished for. And I don't wish for a Norman Rockwell kind of Christmas. Part of me yearns for that, but it's not reasonable. And I am a reasonable person. So I can either choose to enjoy Christmas for what it is for us, messy-turned-upside-down-house and all, or I can choose to be sad that it's not even close to what I had hoped.

And you know what? I choose to be happy.

I know that this post isn't what anyone might expect on a healthy habits blog. But I think the purpose of our goals is to help us change, bit by bit. Become better people. And as we make small changes on the outside, we change on the inside. Bit by bit.

Here's to change, slow and steady.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First things First

Hi everyone. Rebecca just made a great post about her weekend. And I realize that by posting right after her, I may be upstaging her. Which I don't want to do. So, if you haven't read her post yet, go do it. Now! Get going!

Back already? Did you leave her a comment? No?? Well go back over there and leave her one. Then come back. (please, come back! don't forget about me!)

Ok, back again? Well, then let's get started, shall we?

Let me introduce myself.
I'm Aubrey. I'm a friend of Michal's. We actually know each other IRL, but haven't seen each other in about 6 years.
I am mom to three girls, wife to one boy, and busy as all get out, as I imagine everyone else on here is.

And I have goals. Many, many goals.

And Michal is letting me join the blogging fun about these goals. So if you don't like my posts, blame her. Just kidding. You can blame me of course, just don't tell me about it.

Today is a gray, chilly, rainy day 'round these parts. It's actually a refreshing change as it rarely gets below 65 here and rains, well, almost never. (I live in Arizona. Or, more accurately, Arid-zona)

So it is a slow, tired kind of day. Days like these make it hard to stay on top of my goals. They make me sleepy and droopy and much less motivated.

I have goals to eat healthily--and lose the rest of that stubborn baby weight.

I have goals to live within my budget. (I recently switched to using cash for everything. It's been helpful!)

I have goals to exercise more often and more intensely.

I have goals to speak more kindly and lovingly to my children. Patience is not one of my innate virtues. I am constantly trying to improve that.

And, most importantly, I have goals to study my scriptures and make meaningful prayer a real part of my life.

As I am going about my life and goal making and keeping, and generally running around like a chicken without a head trying to keep up with everything, I often think of the scripture in Mosiah chapter 4:27

"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order
for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has
strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby
he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Wisdom and order. I know for me, I need to concentrate on putting the spiritual before the physical.

My goal to pray and study the scriptures should probably come before my goal to lose weight. Not that losing weight for me is not a worthy goal. It just isn't as important as putting the Lord first in my life. And if I am running faster than I have strength (or running somewhat like a headless chicken), maybe I need to remember the order of importance for the things I want to accomplish.

And if the day is gray and droopy and I really don't want to do anything, then even more the reason to keep the order of things.

Because everything seems to fall into place when first things are put first.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Week, New Goal

My weekend went ok. Actually, I'm happy that I did in fact get some things accomplished.

I learned that if for some reason I go to bed later than my husband, that I need to have scriptures out of my room so I can read before I go to sleep. It's too easy for me to crawl into bed and not turn on the light so I don't disturb him.

I read scriptures once, (yikes!) only partially made that goal.

I got one good meal made for my family. I count that as a goal met even though I didn't do two, because I came down with the lovely illness my kids have had. Only, I had it worse. I tell you, I haven't had to sit on the throne holding a bucket at the same time in years! Sorry if that's TMI. Otherwise, I would have had two meals made. Thankfully my 8-year-old son made grilled cheese for his siblings for dinner last night since daddy had to do some work on the computer. *sigh* I love those pocket sandwich griller machines!

I did meet my exercise goal. I exercised Saturday night and burned 100 calories. Happy about that!

I did pretty much have the kids' clothes ready for church. I knew where they all were. My problem was that I couldn't find my shoes Sunday morning! I finally made it to church just after the third hour started, not because of my shoes but because I thought I was dealing with just morning sickness. My husband was sick, so he stayed home.

I'm writing about all this because it seems that some of us are having similar trouble. We meet part of our goals, but not all of them. It can be easy to beat ourselves up over this. Either we can reduce our goals (if we've made too many to be realistic) or we can regroup and try again. Sure, we could have possibly done better. Maybe not. We've all been there. Celebrating our successes will help us to feel lighter and like we can accomplish more. Keeping it positive is something I struggle with, but when I do it helps so much!

Think of this: Is it better to have our goals partially attained, or to have accomplished nothing at all? Why is it that we feel the need to beat ourselves up over not being *perfect* at something? I'm going to take the chance this week to look at my goals as supporting beams for my life, not as millstones to drag me down. Each little goal I accomplish brings me that much closer to what I want for myself and my family.

Before setting my past weekend goals, I might have looked on the whole weekend as a failure. I wouldn't have exercised. I wouldn't have pushed myself just a little more to make that yummy meal my family so appreciated. Now I can look back with the knowledge that just a few little things made a difference. Where do I go from here?

Onward and upward, my friends. Onward and upward.

I'm going to attempt something new. Other than my usual goals, I'm going to try to have a special "goal of the week". This gives me all week to tackle something that I've been putting off.

My special goal of the week: Get all Christmas presents wrapped! I don't want to be up late Christmas Eve, which is my husband's birthday, wrapping presents. I'm sure he'd rather spend that time some other way. Watching a Christmas movie sounds a whole lot more appealing!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Well Hello, Weekend!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Rebecca. I'm married with three kids ages 8,6, and 3. We just found out several weeks ago that we're expecting number 4. This is my first post here at Healthy Habits, and I'm excited about contributing. (Thanks, Michal!) I don't know about the rest of you, but I love this blog and sooo need accountability!

It's Friday, and we're heading into the weekend. For our family, that means no set schedule. My husband James has just finished up his finals, so maybe he will get to relax and sleep. I try to catch up on other things when James is home. But nothing is routine on the weekends.

I don't tend to cook regular meals, it's kind of a "grab whatever you can" kind of thing. I also let the kids stay up late (hoping they'll sleep late the next morning!), then watch a movie with James. It's easy to let my goals of scripture reading and exercising go. I mean, why do that when I can spend time with my husband?

But if I tried to organize my weekend a little better, maybe I'd enjoy it more. Maybe I'd get my regular goals to fit into the weekend as well. So, here are my goals for this weekend:

Cook at least two decent dinners instead of slapped-together sandwiches
Read my scriptures before I go to sleep no matter how late I stay up (and try to get to bed before midnight!)
Have the children's church clothes ready on Saturday so that I'm not running around insane Sunday morning
Exercise at least once, morning sickness permitting.

There. I've said it, now I have to do it.

What are your weekend goals? Since I'm posting here on the weekend and on Monday, I have motivation to accomplish them. Anyone want to join me?

Feel free to comment on how you're doing. If you're accomplishing your goals, great! We're proud of you! If you need encouragement, that's what we're all here for! I know I need lots of encouragement. :)

Ready for the weekend? Ready, set, go!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Still Here

Sorry about not providing a forum lately for reporting. I have been busy, not doing very well on the exercise portion of my goals, and putting off blogging in general.

So, the good news is that I have been doing better at eating fruits and veggies daily and scripture study was great last week. I only missed Saturday, which was an absolutely crazy day (not that that makes it okay.)

Is anyone interested in helping me with this blog by doing some of the posts? I'd be happy to share with you. It doesn't need to be long. You can talk about what helps or hinders your ability to accomplish your goals, share an inspiring quote, or whatever you like. I think we'd be better off having a new post every couple of days at least, and that just seems to be beyond my bandwidth right now. If not, we'll just deal with a weekly post and then we can leave comments all week on that one post.

Take a moment to report on your goals. We need to hear from you!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A New Week, A New Chance

Many of us (including me) did not meet our goals last week. Even more haven't checked in with us to report yet. I hope you stop in and share your successes and trip-ups with the rest of our group.

As much as I enjoyed last week, with the never-ending food, guests, and games to be played, I am ready to get back into the swing of things this week. I am ready to not look at pie again for at least a few days:), to exercise more, and to read my scriptures EVERY SINGLE DAY. With that being said, that will require me breaking the bad habit that I got into this last week of sleeping until 7:30 each morning. Yikes! Here's hoping that I can do it. Kimball and I have a math date at 6:15 am tomorrow on the living room couch. If I blow that off, the whole day will go downhill.

What are your goals for this week? Are they different from the general goals that you've set? Have you decided to increase them or ease them up a little so that they fit your life better? Fill us in!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Participant Updates

I'd like to welcome Erin, aka Prudy, to our Healthy Habits challenge and remind you that if you know someone who wants to join us it's not too late. I love seeing everyone's various goals and am so glad that I decided to leave the goal setting part up to each of you, rather than trying to pick a goal for all of us to achieve.

If you get a chance, stop by Rebecca's blog for an update on why she's been in the hospital. We love you, Rebecca, and hope you are back at full speed soon. And remember that the sidebar pictures link to blogs. A few of them are private, but most are not, so you can get to know the other participants better.

I've noticed that some of our participants very rarely(or never) check in. Are you there? You don't need to report daily if that is overkill for you, but let us know how you are doing. Since there aren't any real penalties here except for not achieving your goals, the sense of accountability to the group and to the goal in your sidebar is critical to your success! Okay, enough nagging. Get out there and reach your goals, girls!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Week of Weekends

For some people this may be a week with a long weekend. For me and many other moms out there, this entire week is like a weekend. I have family here from out of town, the kids and I are taking the week off of school, and we'll be doing things like playing with cousins, baking pies, playing board games, etc. It will be great except for the fact that my healthy habits really fall apart when there is extra fun to be had. Somehow my scripture study and exercise get crammed out all the time. I need to commit to get up early this week even if I don't have to teach Kimball math at 6:00 AM so that I can get in those two very important things before I become the mommy at 7:00ish.

How will you keep up your habits this week? Are you adjusting your goals, or sticking to them like glue? Fill us in on your plan.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Days 5-7 The Weekend

We are now entering the weekend. I'll admit that my weekend starts earlier than most because my husband closes his office on Fridays. Sometimes he still sees patients, participates in Chamber of Commerce activities, or markets himself, but lots of times he's around. It's also not a routine school day for us. Jared usually teaches "Science Friday" and then we try to get done anything that I had planned for the week that hasn't happened yet. (Today we are making "silver" Persian plates and etching them with toothpicks, for instance. I wish we could visit Christine in Istanbul for a little field trip.) The point is that my Fridays and Saturdays are not very routine. And that makes it harder for me to stick to my goals and habits.

Does anyone else struggle with their habits on the weekends? Any thoughts on how we can get through this? I mean, since the weekend comes up every seven days, it would be handy if we figured out how to be masters over it, rather than letting the lack-of-routine days ruin our healthy selves week after week. Fill me in on strategies that you use. And let us know how the week is going for you if you haven't been updating us daily.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 4--Thursday

As most of us struggle with temperance (and it's companion, patience,) I decided to study the topic a bit on GospeLink.com. I loved these words on developing temperance in our lives:

Christ's life was one of inner discipline. He said, "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." ( Matt. 7:14) A loose, meandering life, that drifts along with easy social habits of intemperance is no way to an abundant life-it leads to ruin. "Â…Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." ( Matt. 7:13)

Self-discipline is the price of character, and it is the price of nearly everything worthwhile — our democracy, a lovely home, vocational success, worthwhile friends, and devotion to the Church.

Christ would therefore say something like this to us: "If you are going to enter the gate that leadeth unto life, you can't follow every vagrant impulse. You will have to organize your values and then you will have to discipline yourself."

--Obert C. Tanner, from Christ's Ideals for Living

So just remember that the work required in achieving our goals is worth it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 3-- Wednesday

Quote for the day:
We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. --Jim Rone

Let's pay the price to be more self-disciplined. It feels so much better than the alternative!

Be sure that you subscribe to the posts with comments so that you can see when anyone in our group reports in. That will allow us to support each other better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 2- Tuesday

"Early to bed, early to rise
Makes a man healthy, weathy and wise"
--old proverb

Your goal may not be to get to bed early, but I know that early to bed and early to rise makes me much more likely to achieve my goals. If I'm up too late, I'm much more likely to sleep in, rather than starting the day off with scripture study, or to take a nap instead of a walk mid-day. So although I don't mention bedtime in my official goals for this challenge, it will be a supporting goal for me to be in bed before 10pm on weeknights.

Be sure to leave a comment, reporting on how your day went. You can go to yesterday's post to leave an update on Monday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day One--Monday

Rather than have you all wait each day until I have time to post my results, I am going to set up daily posts and schedule them ahead. Then, each day, come to this blog and leave a comment to share how your goals went that day. Take the time to read each other's comments so that we can offer support to each other. Be sure to subscribe or "follow" this blog in the sidebar so that you get all the updates. (By the way, if you don't like the picture I used of you, feel free to send me another one. My email is sleepymumATgmailDOTcom.)

I will get everyone up in the sidebar as soon as possible. If you left a comment here, I know you are in. I'll be using people's profile pictures if they have one and linking to your blog (although if it's private, that doesn't matter much.) If you wish to be more anonymous than that, let me know, but I think it is fun for the participants to get to know each other a little.

Good luck, everyone! I am looking forward to this accountability. Apparently, I need it.

Now leave a comment and tell us how you did on the first day of our challenge: Monday, November 17th.