Month: November 2014

Where do You Find Motivation?

 MotivationSquare

Let’s get honest people. How many of us are on a journey to improve our health? I truly feel like the majority of people out there are. From the fittest of fit to the laziest of lazy, most of us have a desire, however so small, to get healthy. So where do the fittest of fit find their motivation?

I’m one of those people who has struggled with her weight her entire life. Even as a kid I was always chubby. In middle school I dubbed myself as my hot friend’s DUFF. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this lovely little acronym it means “Dumb Ugly Fat Friend.” How’s that for self-loathing? I’m a little more grown up now and don’t consider myself as anyone’s DUFF but I still have a hard time believing I’ll ever be much better than I am right now.

Last Saturday I went to the Pinners Conference in Salt Lake City and attended a class given by Sadie Sabin from Simply Sadie Jane. While talking about her fitness journey she mentioned a post she had recently written on her blog about where to find motivation. Then she said something that totally struck me, like to the core. She said, “You can look for motivation all around you but the only place you’re going to find it is in you. You’re the only one who can do it.”

I’m so good at making excuses. The truth is, the fittest people are there because they stopped with the excuses. Nobody’s body is overweight because of any other reason other than that person hasn’t made the commitment to take care of it. That may sound harsh, and believe me, I am totally one of those people…but it’s the truth! We all have the ability to become fit and healthy and yet so many of us don’t do it.

So, I am making a public commitment. I’m done with the excuses. I’m done with the “I’ll do it someday” excuse, the “I’m not mentally prepared yet” excuse, the “I don’t have time” excuse. I’m done with the belief that I can’t do it, that even if I try I’ll never look like I think I want to. I’m done thinking that it’s vain because really it’s more about feeling good than looking good. I’m done thinking that it’s a lower priority than my kids or my desire to fulfill any other dream I have because it’s not. My health should be one of my very top priorities because it makes me more effective in all my other roles.

28385558_sSadie also talked about talking to yourself in the mirror. I’ve tried this folks. You really do feel different when you’re looking at yourself and talking to yourself as if you were your best friend. Why is it that we treat everybody else better than we treat ourselves? Would you tell your kids the horrible things you tell yourself? Would you ever tell them they’ll never be able to do something? Then why do we tell ourselves those destructive things?

So try it. Try it for a week straight and see the difference. Tell yourself, out loud, and while looking at yourself in the mirror, that you can do this. That you deserve this. Tell yourself you have every right and ability to accomplish what so many other people accomplish and you will do it. Tell yourself you have every resource you need and you know how to do it. Then just do it. Without dropping excuse bombs every time you go to do it. Make it work. Then let me know how it goes 🙂

After a life of struggling with my weight I feel like I already know what I need to do. I need to eat cleaner and move more. If you honestly don’t feel like you know enough about getting healthy then talk to your doctor, search some credible websites, buy a book, do whatever you need to get yourself up to date on what you need to do. Then just do it.

I look forward to hearing stories and working on my own journey. Remember, this body is taking us through this life. There will never come a day when we can say, “Awww, I’ve finally made it” and we can stop worrying about our health. It will always be a struggle. It will always be important. It should and will always be a priority. So embrace the journey and make it happen. You’re the only one who can.

motivation

 

7 Steps to Magical Family Meetings

Magical Family Meetings SquareSometimes I feel like life is getting away from me. Like all my good intentions to raise healthy, happy, responsible kids falls victim to the mundane of everyday living. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the time I need to teach my children important values and life lessons. Whenever I feel like this, I know it’s because we’ve been slacking on our Family Night.

While reading the book Duct Tape Parenting by Vicki Hoefle a while back, I was surprised to see a section about Family Meetings. In the church I attend we talk a lot about something similar that I was struggling to implement with small children. Our primary goal was to teach our kids about Jesus Christ and his gospel and it seemed futile to try to teach my then two-year-old boy anything, much less about something so abstract.

After I read that book, (which I seriously LOVED) I decided to tweak our family meetings to be a little more meaningful for everyone involved and accomplish more than just our spiritual family goals. We still talk about spiritual things and try to teach our kids those important value lessons, but we are also working on fleshing those meetings out just a little bit more.

Here are the important things you should know about Family Meetings:

MeetingsCalendar1. Hold them weekly

Just pick a day (ours is Monday) and set aside the amount of time you will need to accomplish what you want to with your unique family situation. With younger kids it probably won’t take as long as with older kids or larger families. We plan on about 30 minutes, which is as long as we can get our three-year-old to focus. Pick a time and commit to it.

2. Give appreciations

In Vicki’s book she talks about how each family member should say something they appreciate about each other family member. At first I thought, yeah, that’s nice on paper but my macho husband is never going to submit to such an open display of feelings. So I randomly started asking the question most men hate. When he would say, “I love you” I would say, “Why?” I’m smiling just thinking about how uncomfortable he was the first few times. He would say, “I don’t know” and get all annoyed that I was asking these deep, probing questions. So I would be the example and tell him why I loved him. After a while, he caught on. He’s still totally macho, but he now knows how to verbalize his “why” for loving someone and I think he gets that it’s important to me and his kids to know the “why.” So if you have a husband or a teenager that isn’t particularly fond of this part, just go with it and they’ll catch on. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY likes to hear why people appreciate them. Vicki swears this will produce siblings that get along for the most part and are there for each other. I totally believe that.

3. Schedule huddle

I am sort of dreading the day when my kids are all involved in different things and I am running around in a daze trying to keep up with the different schedules and car trips. Even now, we have lots of things that happen or scheduled events that we have to somehow inform each other on. So many times this happens last-minute and my husband will say, “I wish you would have told me about this a long time ago.” So family meetings are a perfect place to talk about the week’s schedule and any other big events happening in the near future. We write stuff on the calendar and make sure we’re all aware of the things we have to look forward to.

chores4. Agree on contributions

Contributions is a euphemism for chores. Vicki explains that they decide on contributions and kids are able to barter and trade as they like until all are more or less satisfied. This accomplishes two things: a) everybody has to pitch in and you don’t have to be the maid anymore and b) virtually eliminates arguments about whose turn it is to do what. Voila! This just saved you probably hours of bickering. Don’t skip this step even when your kids are small. Most kids, above age two, are totally capable of cleaning up their toys and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper.

5. Teach a value

I have found that some of my most precious moments as a mother is when I am able to teach my son something spiritual and see him apply it in his small circle of influence. When I brought his baby sister home from the hospital I was able to peek at him in her nursery, standing on his step stool, singing her a song about being a child of God. I was amazed he knew the words so well since it actually wasn’t one of the songs we sang over and over. But it obviously stuck with him and it absolutely melted my heart. Teach your children values in the home. Whatever is important to you is probably something you consider important for your children. I believe our greatest sub-calling as parents is to be teachers.

money6. Give out allowance

There is another post in the workings about children and allowance. Suffice it to say, allowance is one of the best ways I have read about to help your children learn financial responsibility. I realize that some people don’t agree with this statement but in my mind, it totally makes sense. If kids are allowed to have money, that they’ve earned, from the time they are little, they have plenty of time to make small mistakes before they are older and capable of much larger mistakes. Family meeting night is the best time to hand out this allowance.

7. Have some fun

If there’s still time, play a game. Watch a movie. Go bowling. Go outside and look at the stars together. Do whatever fancies you and counts as quality, uninterrupted time with your kids. They will only be this age for a very short time and you don’t want to miss it. Fun as a family is one of the greatest ways to bond and to ensure you always have things to talk about and memories to relive.

It’s so easy to resort to survival mode and constantly be putting fires out all day, every day. I hope you’ll try family meetings because I know that when we make them a priority, we add a little more intention to our parenting and to our lives.

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