Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest Friday with Aimee!

I am excited to announce my Guest for "Invite A Guest Friday"! This is Aimee over at

Check her out. 
This is a super great post that she has written!

Adding Instead of Subtracting

I feel like so often in our culture we focus on what we're doing wrong and what we need to stop doing. We hear constantly "Get rid of those shoes from middle school!" "Stop eating Oreos!" "Watch less Wizards of Waverly Place!" It's always: stop this or get rid of that. I admit, I do see the merit in advice when it's given to help free you from bad habits but once you get rid of everything, then what? Let's take my life for example. If I were to simply stop watching Netflix, eating Twizzlers for lunch, and get rid of all my old ugly clothes, then I'd spent my day hungry, bored, and wearing the exact same thing as I did yesterday (and the day before that). 

So lately I've been taking a new approach to my life. Instead of getting rid of things, I've chosen to fill my life with good things. For example, I made a goal to eat 5 fruits/vegetables and drink 2 glasses of milk every day. As long as I get those in, then it doesn't mater how many Oreos I eat. Usually I'm eating Oreos because I don't know what else to eat. But when I know I'm trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, I buy more at the store and I go to those first when I'm hungry because I know I have them and I know I want to eat them. 

I also have a chore chart with just a few things each day that need to get done in the house. I can watch TV as much as I want, but the chores need to get done at some point. Sometimes I get them done first thing in the morning but sometimes I don't get to them until after Eliza is in bed. But always, every day I get at least something done.

 My mom has been helping me get a wardrobe I feel comfortable going out in public in (my body just isn't the same shape anymore, despite being back to my pre-pregnancy weight). So now I can get rid of old clothes that don't fit right or are just plain awful because I have good things in my closet. 

I've found that when I fill my life with good things, the bad habits naturally start to fade. I love that my focus is on what I chose to do to make my life better, instead of focusing on what I'm doing wrong. I'm not buying new clothes to fill the empty drawer after I get rid of old clothes, I'm trading the bad for the good. For me, it's much easier to let go of it all because I'm not giving it up or forcing myself to quit. I'm simply exchanging good for better. I still enjoy my Oreos and Twizzlers, but they aren't my staples for snacks and lunches. 

How I did it, and how you can too:

  • Don't ever think about what you're doing wrong in your life or what you need to stop. It's frustrating, disheartening, and rarely works. Just ask anyone who has ever gone on a diet. 
  • Remember the focus is NOT about what you need to stop doing
  • It's about what you need to START doing
  • Pick no more than 5 or 6 things you want to do every day. Just start with 1 and do it every day for a week to see how reasonable it is. (I once decided that every Tuesday I was going to vacuum my whole house and wash laundry. That never happened once. So now I vacuum the downstairs one day, the upstairs another, wash one day, fold the next, etc.)
  • If it's just not possible, reevaluate and adjust the goal so it fits in your life (some may think it's a little pathetic how small my daily chores are but over a 2 week period everything gets done. That's much better than before when I tried to do too much then gave up and nothing got done ever. But that's just me. Remember, this is for YOU. Do what works for YOU)
  • One by one add another item you want to start doing. Again, if you have more than 5, see if you're being too hard on yourself. 
  • Once one of those goals becomes natural/a part of your routine, you can take it off the list (keep doing it of course) and add another goal. 

These are my goals. Every day I need to:
  • Read my scriptures
  • Exercise 
  • Clean something in the house 
    • I have a a chart that breaks up my chores into daily tasks. SO reasonable.
  • Read a book to Little El
  • Clean up the kitchen/clutter before bed
  • Eat at least 5 fruits/veggies + 2 glasses of milk
See? Not a big deal and totally manageable for me right now. And I started with little things. After the baby, my goals were to read scriptures and shower every day. Showering is now a habit so I took it off the list and added in exercise. It's about small, gradual steps towards a better life. 8 months after the baby, my house is cleaner, my family happier, and I still get to enjoy my Alex Russo time with a few Oreos.

I love this quote: Always concentrate on how far you've come, rather than how far you have left to go


Blake and Lacy said...

This is great! Thanks for sharing

Jennie said...

Love it!

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