Put In More

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I currently have one full week until my first ever half marathon. Am I scared? No am I prepared? Kinda. Not really. In all honesty, my goal is just to finish. I’ve been running the entire year since I’ve changed my mindset on how I look at life. I’ve told my myself this year forward, is to focus on my and making myself a healthier and happier me. Basically, like everyone in the beginning of the new year, I decided to put more happy in my year, in which I created my JourneyTo30. But unlike others, who make healthier and better resolutions for the new year, I’ve actually stuck with it. Every day of the year, I’ve treated each morning like it was the first of the year. Brand new day, a new set of a fresh 24 hours to make yourself a better you, than what you were yesterday. #LevelingUp

There’s a reason only 8% percent of folks who make New Years Resolutions actually achieve them. There are some alternatives that have all the pay off but one of the punishment.

#1 Make A Bucket List

If you reframe goals as fun, can’t miss activities, you’re going to want to cross them off. Instead of “Exercise more,” write down “Do the Disney Princess Half Marathon. or Wear a bikini while celebrating at the pool.”

My bucket list was a list of marathon runs I wanted to accomplish within each years season. During the Spring I focused on 5Ks, all Summer were 10Ks, and now Fall/Winter my focus is Half Marathons. That so the years worth of races and training has prepared me for the hardest and longest races. As each year passes, my goals will obviously grow into deeper and serious races such as Triathlons, and running a full marathon. Which is my ULTIMATE GOAL for reaching WHOLE 30.

#2 Do One Thing Each Month

A yearlong project is daunting. Just fix some part of your delivery/approach. Change your diet every 30 days – cook at home more in November, eat slower in December, fill in on extra greens in January. That’s 12 opportunities not just to “lose weight, but to get healthier too!

Along with diet, focus in on core muscles and other aspects of health. In the start of working out, I noticed each month as I got into heavy serious work-outs, pain in my knees and back, and other aches and problems would appear. Of course, I can blame the high intensity of my health regimen  but I wasn’t foam rolling, getting in the right massages, and also ALSO I was not taking in the right vitamins. (I hate pills. Horse pills too!) But I needed to treat my body right, if I was going to treat my body like an athlete. Slowly, I learned and adjusted to my health regimen. Sports massages, foam rolling everyday, getting enough sleep, and taking my vitamins. It’s a lot of work, on top of exercise and dieting. But it is worth it!!

#3 Try A Yogi Trick

Rather than goals, set one – or two-word intentions. To get more sleep, you could focus on calm mind (not “go to bed earlier every night.”) Then take the steps – sip tea, listen to soft tunes, do some gentle stretches – to get there.

In getting healthier and happier, its all lifestyle changes. Little aspects such as calm mind, playing soft tunes are all things that can help contribute to a better and happier you. As simple as it is, being a mom rushing myself and the boys never turns out great for any of us. I want to avoid the “witching hour” of rushing from school to homework, so I have relaxing recess it a 30 minute rest period winding down form school, freshening up, and getting ready to do homework.

Have you stuck with your New Years resolution goals the entire year? Or are you approaching the big 3-O and have a goal you’d like to accomplish before then? Let me know! I’d love to hear your stories and cheer you on!!

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Happier Mornings

The holiday season is slowly approaching, but until then it’s the crazy and most busiest season for most families. Before the boys wake up for school, I stand in my kitchen analyzing our family white board. Schedules are so crazy right now, especially with birthdays every weekend, appointment visits, and early dismissals, it’s hard to keep track of all of it. Every morning feels like a Monday morning. Getting the kids ready for school until I drop them off is a precious time for me schedule and get organize. It’s a time for me to process our day/week/month and so forth.

Too boot out the crazy season, crazy mornings are evidently to happen. Rushing my children to get, change, eat breakfast, up brush their teeth, pack homework its an insane tornado every morning. Develop new behaviors and practices for yourself. Here are a few secrets to happier mornings:

 

Challenge Them

Instead of rushing them, challenge them. As your child is slowly packing their backpack, tell your kids that you doubt they can do it. Naturally we as parents feel we have to explain every single thing to our children. But actually, of you say, ‘I bet you can’t get dressed all by yourself,’ your child will most likely respond, ‘Oh yes I can! Watch!’ Once your child completes the task, praise him!! This will encourage an encore performance.

Practice

Self-sufficiency requires some repetition. The good news: About two weeks of dedication is all parents need to get kids with the program. During that time, help your child get through each task until he can do it entirely without you. Then fade out those prompts and you’re done.

Do Some Prep

A bit of advance legwork, like laying out the next day’s outfit or putting out the cereal the night before, can save a lot of hand-holding during the a.m rush. Growing up (in a Filipino household) I’ve witnessed my mom cook dinner in the wee hours of the night. She would be cooking loads of food for the week to feed our family. My mom would also prep my dad’s lunch the same night. It was what we say ‘baon’ (pronounced “bah-own”) in Tagalog.  She’d pack two tupperware for him, one filled with rice, the other with the specialty dish, usually a soup meat based dish with boil veggies. I saw my mom do this ever since I was a little girl, until the day I moved out later in my early twenties.

Now, as a mother, I need the efficiency in her methods. My dad still this day grabs his lunch every morning, as I do the same for my young boys with their breakfast and school lunches.

Set A Fast Pace

One morning I left the kids for a moment as they were eating their breakfast, to do the rest of my make-up (yes, if I have a few minutes to spare I apply some make-up as a refresher) When the kids linger, just this week I caught the boys playing checkers as they were waiting. Try to beat the clock!! Pick a series of related tasks (think: brushing teeth, putting on socks and shoes), set a timer for a few minutes, and ask your kid if he can do them before the buzzer sounds. Every time he wins, he gets a point to be used for a treat.

Raising boys: They love games. Create a game for anything. That brings us back to challenging them.

Calm Yourself

The more stressed you get, the less likely kids will do what you ask. To decompress, walk to the end of the house and back. Remember you can always try again tomorrow. Something I’ve been practicing is openly apologizing for rushed and late days when things were clearly at my fault. In the car as I drop my son off school a few minutes late “I’m sorry we were late today. Tomorrow we will wake up earlier, and get it right tomorrow.”

You can’t go wrong with apologies, and being accountable when you are at fault. We learn from our mistakes, and make better choices next time and get better the following day. Admitting to minor faults, and practicing them to your children will teach them honesty, and liable to their own actions.

Follow the above steps to create happier mornings in your household and I promise you, just developing new behaviors will produce not just happier morning within a home, but happier family.

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Alternately Edited by Jennifer O’Neil Scholastic.com/ParentAndChild