No Thanks

The first time I heard it, I almost broke out in hives.  Not actual hives, but it sent my mind reeling and my stress level to 100. 

I was listening to a self-help style podcast when the quote, if you’re not growing you’re dying, came onto my radar.  I don’t know about you, but the idea of constantly pushing and climbing the ladder, always trying to be better and more, well it’s wearing me out just thinking about it.  And although this gal’s got some big dreams, living a life where you’re always trying to outdo what you’ve already done, it sounds exhausting and not my idea of rewarding. 

What about living for today, soaking in the morning breeze, filling our cup with things we love and then pouring into others?  These are the things that help us grow into the best version of ourselves.  And that kind of growth IS always evolving even though it can’t always be measured by numbers. 

But for those of us working on some some tangible life or business goals, don’t worry.  There’s a way to live for today and still get stuff done to keep us growing towards those big goals. 

Here’s some of my favorite tips on how to do it:

1.  Create a routine that works for you.  I know I talk about routines all the time.  But the truth is, routines are amazing for time management.  And no, I’m not taking about scheduling out every second of your day.  If you’re anything like me, that will leave you in a stressed out mess of half completed projects with zero sense of accomplishment and a total sense of overwhelm.  No, thank you.  I’m talking about the kind of routine that encourages you to look at what you really would like to accomplish for the week.  This includes work, wellness, and personal goals.  And come up with a rhythm that makes sense for the season you’re in.  Routines are a great tool to stop you from hyper-focusing on only one aspect of your life.  They can help you be more mindful about what you accomplish so you can celebrate the little victories.

2. Start the morning off with something you love. This is one of my favorite tips because it’s so fun and works so well.  Start by brainstorming what areas of your hectic morning routine you could get done at night?  Some easy ones are making lunches, laying out what you’ll wear the next day, having your bag already packed.  Just by shifting a few things to your evening routine, I bet you can carve out 15-20 of free time in the morning to spend doing something you love.  For me this looks like reading, journaling, or doing some morning stretches to my favorite playlist.  It’s amazing how starting my days with something I love makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning and makes me more productive during the day. 

3. Get dressed.  Like, really get dressed.  I’m not talking about the same shirt you slept in and a pair sweatpants.  But believe me, I’ve been there.  What we wear helps set the tone for the day.  When we’re showing up comfortably and confidently, we’re in the right head-space and heart-space to tackle some big goals.  I’ve turned getting dressed into it’s own self-care ritual by only having pieces that I love to wear in my closet.  Every morning is a chance to celebrate my body and that celebration carries on into the rest of the day.  Talk about confidence!

4.  Only put half of the things on your to-do list.  Here’s the thing about growth, it’s not only about what we check off of our to-do list.  And if our goal is to spend the day operating basically as a machine, accomplishing tasks and checking them off our list, well, first of all, you’ll probably disappoint yourself.  And second of all, that strategy isn’t leaving any space for character growth, friendship growth, faith growth, creativity growth, or any other capacity in which you hope to grow.  A simple solution is to only put half of the things you feel like you ‘have to’ on your list.  You’ll work smarter knowing that you actually have a chance to get them all done.  And you’ll have a sense of accomplishment to end your day instead of a bunch of things rolling over into tomorrow, bogging down that already full list.  The cycle of over-scheduling is vicious.

5. Move your body. This can be a walk, a 30 minute at-home workout, heck, maybe you’re fancy and you take a spin class.  The point is that you’re moving your body.  It’s so helpful in keeping your brain stimulated though out the day and makes you feel good about what you’re doing for your body.  It’s so easy to get lost in that overly packed to-do list we talked about above and to forget the simple things that are so good for us.  If we’re going to enjoy every day and keep working towards our goals, we have to make time for our health and things that we feel good about. 

Want more lifestyle tips inspired by my simple life in the rural midwest? Join our tribe of homebodies, work-from-home-warriors, and slowness seekers :)

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