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You know I’ve started writing my goals for the month and sharing them with you, right? Then, you also know that last month, my fitness goal didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped it would. I wish I could tell you exactly why and what to do so you don’t fall into that same pattern, but I can’t. I can tell you I was tired and my sleep was off, I was busy, I was unmotivated, and many other things. Yet, somehow none of those reasons sit quite right with me. Not that they’re untrue, just that they don’t feel like the whole answer.
I do think that most of the problem lie in my routine. Last month I did have a routine, I practically can’t get through my day without one. I just think I need to take another look at my routine. I always want to achieve so much, yes, every.single.day and often I do. Sometimes though, I can be a bit unrealistic with the sheer volume of things I want to accomplish in a day, let alone a week or a month! But, I also know that when I revamp my routine and take a closer look at my goals and how I can reach them, I’m much more likely to not only be more realistic, but also to solidly meet more of my goals.
So, in that vain, I’m sharing my newest daily routine. This routine works much better for me. I end my days with a better sense of self, I’m overall more relaxed, and I’ve met most of my goals for the day!
I try to be up and out of bed by 6am, but it doesn’t happen too often, and I find I’m averaging about 6:30 or 7. Often, I’m nursing Turtle Boy around 6ish, so I don’t get up until closer to 7. I noticed with my old routine, I didn’t give myself much grace on the days that I wasn’t up at 5 or 6. Also, I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be in the morning. I also realize that I was packing entirely too much into my morning routine. In other words, I’m motivated to get up earlier get things done, but doing half my to-dos before the boys wake up, left me feeling entirely too tired by afternoon. This usually meant I was in a worse mood and had more parenting struggles.
I love drinking water first thing in the morning. Often I drink at least half a bottle and then fill it to the top again for drinking as I go about my tasks.
Right after I drink water, I pour a cup of cold brew coffee and sit down to start working. This typically consists of reviewing my to do list for the day, seeing what activities I need to batch and then I get crunching. Often, I also check my meal plan calendar for the day to see what’s for dinner. Dinner is the biggest meal and definitely takes planning. Having an idea at the start of the day helps me to prioritize and be realistic about what I can actually do before the meal prep/cooking alarm goes off in the afternoon.
Typically by about 8:30 or 9am, Turtle Boy is ready to have some more milk, so I do that. By then, I know I only have about an hour or so before both of the boys are up!
That’s when it’s time for food. (Sometimes I have a small snack or something while I’m working, but not often.) On occasion, I let Monkey Boy decide what to eat. Other times I just go with what makes the most sense. In other words, if the boys get up around 11 or a little after, I go ahead and make something more lunch-like (leftovers from a dinner that week, meat and cheese sandwich/crackers, and applesauce or yogurt with fruit). Otherwise, we eat something more breakfast like – usually eggs, sometimes cereal, occasionally Monkey Boy’s beloved peanut butter and jelly. Usually, I also need to nurse Turtle Boy, even if only briefly.
Before, during, or after eating, Monkey Boy and I do a few kitchen tasks. He helps put the dishes from the night before away. If there’s a sauce or some meat that needs cut for dinner, we’ll do that. Other times, we put things in the slow cooker for later. I take another look at both my to-do list and our meal plan calendar to ensure I’m not missing any kitchen related tasks for either that day or the next.
Then, it’s time for some fitness and spending time outside. Sometimes, I include the boys in doing a bit of fitness. Monkey Boy always thinks it’s funny, but he certainly tries to do some of what I do. I think it’s cute. Meanwhile, Turtle Boy sits and watches before trying to climb all over me. This is something I know I tried to avoid by doing everything in those early morning hours. Now that the boys are with me as I workout, it’s actually fun. Plus, I’m able to show them that taking care of their bodies is important. I also hope that I’m showing them that women’s physical health is also important.
Thankfully, I have found a couple resources who’s priority is to ensure Moms, especially, can workout and reach fitness goals. Both, I’ve mentioned before, but I really want to highlight Justin Cox of Kettlebell Burn. His programs are only 20 minutes and they tap into building strength and endurance.
If I know nothing else, I know that since becoming a Mom, my strength and endurance are more important than ever before! I love that Justin sends an email every morning with the days routine. Each email also has a link to his videos to demonstrate the routine. This makes it so easy to pull up on my phone or the computer and just get moving! Justin’s workouts are only 20 minutes. Yet, they still get my heart rate up. I feel so much better getting back into a routine of working out and focusing on my own health and wellness without feeling overwhelmed or burdened by yet another thing I need or want to fit into my already busy schedule.
Plus, there are tips and clean eating examples he sends. These emails can help with meal planning or as a reminder of something. There’s no expectation of perfection. Justin is not only dedicated to helping me get back into exercise after 3+ years of inconsistent or non-existent exercise, but he keeps things simple, checks in with me, and is kind instead of demanding or demeaning. Justin even understands that as a nursing Mom, my priorities and needs are different than a Mom who’s in a different life stage. As a mom, this is so important. I don’t know about you, but I’ve often heard unhelpful or simply wrong information in caring for my body in this life stage.
I also think it’s great I can participate in his facebook group. Here, I get more tips and can join in on conversations with him and others about healthy living. Being able to see and share with others helps to keep me both motivated and inspired to workout, too!
Once the boys and I finish working out, we often go outside for a walk/bike ride, or up to the park. This is where I usually get at least 2 more bottles of water in.
Once we’re hot and sweaty and tiring of being outside, we head back in and relax for a bit. Somewhere in here I nurse Turtle Boy again and even try to get him down for his (brief) afternoon nap. Monkey Boy and I may do a learning activity, read books, play on the floor, or just watch a movie and be (relatively) quiet and chill.
Around 3:30 or 4, I start working on whatever’s left to do for dinner. It all depends what’s for dinner. Often Monkey Boy will help with cooking, as well, but I don’t pressure him to help. He loves using the “roller thing” (rolling pin) when we make pizza or tortillas. His favorite thing, is to pouring ingredients together and mix them up.
Once Hun returns from work, we usually sit down and eat dinner as a family. Sometimes we hang out for a bit before eating if dinner’s not quite finished. This is when we all talk about our day. I always make sure to highlight some of the good or fun parts of the boys and I’s day. During dinner, I usually drink at least another half to whole bottle of water, as well.
After dinner, the kitchen gets cleaned and Turtle Boy goes down for a (longer) nap. Then we play or do some other activity either as a family in our separate realms. Monkey Boy and Hun might do some kind of fixing or building. There might be some playing in the yard or with water, or I may do a bit of art/creativity. Some days though, we have errands.
Around 8 or 8:30 I get Monkey Boy ready and in bed for sleep. Some nights this works better than others. On the days we go out and do errands, I might end up just going to bed with the boys when we return. Other times, Monkey Boy is highly resistant to bedtime, so I (sometimes) don’t fight him about it and he goes to bed later.
Once the bedtime routine is over, Hun and I either hang out or I get a little more work or creativity time before heading off to bed myself. I try to get in bed by 10 or 11. More often than I’d like to admit, I end up messing around (in bed) until 12 or 1am. I continue to work on this and it’s a struggle, though I find that I need at least a few minutes of no demands before I can actually fall asleep, so that’s what I do in bed.
So, my friends, this is what my newest routine looks like. Most days things flow relatively smoothly. Some days they don’t and that’s when I either call it a day of rest (link here) or I scale back on some of my tasks. Still, other times, I just go with the boys’ flow and put my stuff aside. I find in the latter part of the week, this happens more often. But, the more productive I’ve been during the first part of the week, the more I can and do relax later in the week. This is especially nice on the weeks that Hun actually has his one weekday off.
Furthermore, since I’ve been on this routine, I find I’m meeting multiple goals every day – water, fitness/exercise, play time, work/business, family togetherness, and food!
Tell me, what are some goals you have for your days? How do you accomplish your goals? What kind of routine have you put in place to meet your goals? Do you need help establishing a routine?