I spent time thinking about the things I wanted to change in early January and after some time with my own thoughts (usually in the shower because it’s quiet there and I don’t have children near me when I get ready in the mornings haha), I decided to create what I call a ‘monthly meeting’ with my husband. If you read my last post: Goals For 2019!, you’ll know that things weren’t going the way I had wanted them to during fall, and I knew I needed to make some changes. So on every 1st-ish of the month, my husband and I have now decided to carve out time in our calendars to sit down together, have a monthly meeting and create a plan for that upcoming month. We have a shared family calendar on our phones which works well for this because it allows to be aware of each other’s schedules, everyday, despite where we are. In a world where communicating with each other is easy (always have our phones, using texting vs. calling, etc.) it’s also extremely hard (because of the same digital distractions but also because the kids will likely amp up to get our attention when we attempt to talk, as they know the focus of their parents has shifted! Scheduling in a time together alone in our calendars, we knew would ensure us to keep on track and be accountable for it. At this point in the year, we have had two monthly meetings.
When we first sat together one evening in early January at our first monthly meeting, we looked at the entire month of January together and started with scheduling time in individually for ourselves. That meant time for me to blog and time for my husband to work at home; both for his job as well as on projects around our house (namely our unfinished/non-progressing basement!). Because I am currently (and temporarily) working full time, my usual blogging at home during the kid’s naps on my off days hasn’t been happening. The time I am at home with the kids is so little right now that I don’t want to spend any of it on my computer. Once they are in bed I find I have little time to prep for the next day, wash a bathroom or throw in a load of laundry, leaving not much time for me. For right now, I’ve worked in me time in terms of blogging/social media scheduling during my lunch hours at work. That gives me one hour each day, five days a week to do it, and to do it completely uninterrupted, which is an added bonus! This then leaves me more time at home with the kids during the evenings and weekends and ultimately more time for my husband to work on his projects (or the projects I make, I mean ask him to do, such as wallpaper :P) when I am at home.
The next thing we did was schedule a daddy-daughter date for my husband and daughter. We worked it into something he was already having to do. For example, in January my husband needed to take our vehicle for an oil change, so our daughter tagged along because she LOVES going to car dealerships. It’s such a fun thing for her to go do with her dad, who also loves cars and the benefit is, it costs us nothing! I take my daughter to dance every week so we didn’t think we needed to schedule a mommy-daughter date.
We scheduled a date night for ourselves mid-month and talked to our family about what time was best for them to come over to watch our kids. We did this to help ease our guilt and to ensure we were being accommodating to their needs. For example, did they want to do two bedtime routines? Or did they want to come when both the kids were already asleep, or would they prefer having to do just one of our child’s routine, etc? Giving them options alleviated our stress related to it. It was hard to ask them initially but ultimately we knew we needed to accept the offer from people who are willing to help us out. Something I’m trying to do over the past couple of years, since having kids, is accept more help. If people are offering to do things for you, I think it’s important to say yes to them. People wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to help out. I think we should all make this a goal: make ourselves more open to accepting help! Because at least I feel, that a lot of the time, especially as moms, we believe we NEED to do things on our own which isn’t the case. As we all know, it takes a village!
At our meeting, we also scheduled in grocery runs because eating well was something that really went to the wayside for us in the fall. Since I like to go grocery shopping as a family on Sundays but my husband HATES that, he offered to go alone during the weekday evenings, once the kids were asleep. In this weather, I couldn’t argue with that, so I let him have that one on his to-do list. We scheduled it in once a week on an evening that made sense for our family based on our family’s activities/schedules. With grocery shopping weekly in mind, we also committed to making longer term meal plans like we used to, instead of doing grab and go runs more frequently. What I mean by grab and go, is stopping at a nearby grocery store to pick up only what we need for one or two nights, which in the end costs us more due to the higher prices at a more conveniently located store, but also costing more because we aren’t looking at what’s on sale and rather just buying what we want that night. I also tend to earn a lot of points at Superstore if I shop there consistently which adds up and means getting more money back if I can go there more frequently.
In terms of a meal plan for the week, I used to always balance out my meals before having our daughter. Per week, I would plan out one pasta dish, one rice dish, one meatless dish, one meat/pot/veg dish etc. I would also plan out one chicken meal, one red meat meal, etc., just so we didn’t end up eating five chicken, pasta meals a week like we used to do (and I secretly love, but obviously isn’t the most healthy!).
I also started to schedule in work outs as well since Jan. 1. I wasn’t up for leaving the house to do them because I don’t think that’s practical for my life right now. In the past I had done a light work out video (one I used to do that worked for me pre-children and is only 12 minutes long) so I decided to start there again and see how it goes for now. I am open to changing that in the future, but I knew that I had to be realistic in my goals for the first bit as it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve worked out. Right now, I’ve set the goal to do the video 3 times a week.
Another tip I use in terms of health and eating is to time out my meals. I used to eat over the span of 15-20 minutes, rather than stuff my face in 5 minutes flat. I learned this back in 2014 and when I committed to it I found I ate a whole lot less. If I don’t rush to eat (which happens much more frequently with children present) I found I ate about a third less. That left me feeling lighter, not sickly full and made a HUGE difference in terms of managing my weight as well as increasing my energy levels. Being too full just left me feeling exhausted/gross. I lost quite a bit of weight a couple years ago when I did the videos I mentioned, cooked fresh balanced meals, cut out extra sugars from my diet (including pop), had a cheat night only once a week (with one pop allowed then because I LOVE cherry coke!), and timed out my meals. It was actually astonishing to me how easy the pounds fell off and how easy it was to maintain with this lifestyle, so this is what I am working towards again! Not sure it’ll have the same effect now since I am older and have given birth two times, but we shall give it a go!
That was all that we did for our first monthly meeting, which maybe doesn’t seem like a lot to some, but for us, it was HUGE! By putting all these plans and dates in the calendar, it has definitely made us more diligent and accountable. Scheduling things like dates ahead of time made sure they happened, as babysitters were scheduled well in advance.
One thing I have also always wanted to do (and I’m talking for years now since I first heard about it on Oprah lol) but have never actually done, is to make vision board for myself. I think having a visual reminder for all these goals would be an amazing way to stay focused and keep me on track. I have started to work on it as I figured now is the best time to start one since I am declaring all these changes publicly. I’ll be sure to share that once it’s complete!
Anyone else making similar changes to me? Anyone else set goals for 2019 and are trying to achieve them? Any suggestions that have worked for you or your family? Any things that you found didn’t help? Anyone make a vision board before and did it help you keep on track?
Leave your thoughts below or on my most recent IG post! I would love to hear your ideas!