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A Day In My Life + my #Choose30 Challenge for February

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My good friend and neighbor, Tam, is running a #Choose30 Challenge on her site this month, encouraging people to choose one thing to do differently that will make an impact in their lives.

I wanted to join in, but I was a little scared to commit to what I really wanted to commit to. Because, well, it seemed a little dorky.

Also, I knew that if I “put it out there” it would mean that I’d have to, you know, follow through. And while I can be the Queen of Great Intentions, following through is not always my forte.

I’m working hard on that and have made some big strides, but I still fall off the bandwagon more often than I’d like to admit to.

But anyway, since I’m all about public accountability, I might as well tell you what my #Choose30 commitment is, however quirky it might seem to some of you.

Drumroll…

Here goes: I’m committing to get up and exercise, take a shower, get dressed in something that makes me feel great, and read my Bible first thing every single morning this month.

Before I hop onto the computer.

Before I get distracted with washing a sink full of dirty dishes that I should have done the night before. Ahem. (Yes, don’t ask me why I’d rather wash dishes than exercise and take a shower, but it’s true!)

Before distracting myself with the 432 other things I can come up with to do first before exercising and taking a shower.

I seem to find all sorts of “important” reasons to stall and wait until the last minute to get ready for the day… every.single.morning.

And some mornings, gulp, I realize that it’s not even morning and I’m still sporting my comfy pj pants and a t-shirt and bed hair. Because I’m classy like that.

I dislike this habit of mine a lot. I want to break it. I really do.

I’m more productive when I have exercised, showered, and dressed. I feel better about myself. And I don’t have to avoid answering the door or rush around like a mad woman trying to get myself looking presentable during the last 15 minutes before we need to be out the door.

Plus, my day just seems to go smoother and better when I start it out by getting ready for the day. Not to mention, I want to set a good example for my kids.

So that’s my commitment for February. That’s my #Choose30 Challenge. Here’s to hoping I can change this habit of mine for good!

{If you need some accountability to develop a new habit or jump out and be brave and try something different, head on over Tam’s blog to read all about the #Choose30 Challenge and to sign up to join the journey!}

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So after starting my day at 5 a.m. with exercise, showering, and Bible reading, I had my blogging time and then it was time to jump into my day.

I tried this new hot cereal for breakfast. It was so-so.

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During breakfast, I read from our current devotional: Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing. And then we all got busy on our morning chores.

I am trying out Sarah’s idea to use Daily Lists to help my kids stay on task. The kids were fairly resistant to the idea at first, but after a little convincing and encouragement, they seemed to have a complete change of heart. And then, they’ve ended up loving it and it really has seemed to help them stay motivated and focused!

As a bonus, they’ve needed a lot fewer reminders from me on what they are supposed to be doing or encouragement to steer them back on course. We’ll see how it plays out long-term, but I’m really loving the idea so far!

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While the kids were working on their morning chores, I cleaned up the kitchen, started the dishwasher, and cleaned out this cupboard that has been screaming for attention for quite some time.

I pulled most everything out of it, wiped it down, refilled the oats and flour canisters, and then re-organized everything.

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You can’t tell that big of a difference, but I can. And every time I open up this cupboard, I will be glad it’s now clean and organized again!

I also wiped out the cupboard underneath our kitchen island — where we keep our trash can and some other miscellaneous items.

And then while the kids finished up their chores and got started on their morning independent work, I ran upstairs to have a Google Hangout with Lisa-Jo, Joy, and the folks from Help One Now. We’re working on project for South Africa that we’re going to be encouraging you all to join in with us and we needed to discuss some details for that.

I usually don’t schedule any phone calls in the morning, but this was the only time we could find that would work for all of us before next week (when we’re launching this project — stay tuned!) so I just made an exception to that policy and went with it. Because the kids had their Daily Lists, they stayed very focused and on task while I was in the meeting — which was such a blessing!

When I got off the call, Jesse was just walking in the door so we sat and talked for a bit to catch up on his morning and I brought him up to speed on how the kids did while he was gone. We also chatted about a few decisions we needed to make. And then we all headed to the kitchen table while we did our Morning Time (this idea has been revolutionary for our homeschool and we are just LOVING it!!). While we read, sang, reviewed our memory verses, worked on handwriting, and read some more, Jesse made lunch for us.

We ate lunch and did our family devotions and then Jesse took over homeschooling and I headed up to my office upstairs to get in a few hours of work. This afternoon, I worked on scheduling some blog posts and social media, responded to comments and emails, scheduled a few things for the rest of the week, and then had a phone call.

We got the kids ready to go around 5 p.m. and headed to have dinner with a few families who live in our area. We love this small group of families — some of our dearest friends here — and always look forward to when we get to hang out!

We made it back home a little after 8 p.m. and Jesse read to the kids while I wrote this post and finished up a few projects that had looming deadlines. (I try to be completely offline after 6 p.m. every night, but we make the occasional exception when I have a deadline.) And now it’s off to bed for me…

How was YOUR day?

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22 Comments

  • marty says:

    I took understand the follow through problem its something I have struggled with for years. That and procrastination but I think by making it public your making yourself accountable even if you have to use peer pressure ( or shaming) to do it. I might have to try that just to get my own bum in gear good luck on keeping on track!

  • Vickie says:

    Such as good thing to do because I found once I’m on the computer it’s very hard to get off. You managed to get a lot of work done yesterday.
    We had a lot of snow yesterday and that made fir a perfect day to cook and clean. Funny thing I also made a commitment. You can read about it here.
    http://vickieskitchenandgarden.blogspot.com/2015/02/my-snowy-monday-projects.html

  • Chelsea says:

    I’m always so encouraged by everything you’re able to get accomplished in a day. Can’t wait to hear more about the South Africa project!

  • Leah says:

    I don’t get why committing to wake up, exercise, eat and shower is dorky?

    Didn’t you do a similar (Early to Rise Challenge, or something like that) challenge on here at one point?

    You have good ideas; you should be more confident about them!

  • Leslie says:

    You got SO MUCH accomplished. I am in awe over here. What a day! I completely agree with Leah, I think your Choose30 for February is not dorky at all. It’s whatever makes YOU a better version of yourself, so have at it!

    I am also doing Tam’s Choose30. I wrote several draft posts for a blog I’ve started and edited/published several. It is inspiring to have some public accountability and I’m so glad I chose to join in. Now I just need to hit *publish* on the post ABOUT Choose30. LOL. I also worked my ‘day job’, picked up kids from preschool, made dinner, washed 2 loads of laundry, read a few chapters in a book, and caught up on 2 episodes of a show I DVR.

  • Tam says:

    i am stealing you choose30 for March. I have to. Like you, I know it’s something I’ve needed to change as well. It’s not dorky, girl!

    Thanks for the inspiration. You always inspire. I love you big.

  • Misty Nicole Roberts says:

    I have an issue with getting myself prepped for the day, when there are others who seem to need it in my home before I do! My hubby, no matter how lunch I prep and lay out for him the night before, always seems discombobulated in the morning! I’m with you Crystal, and may join in having the same goal. Since transitioning to working from my home office each day, sometimes I find myself slacking in the morning! Lately, the only thing I find myself seeking out in the morning, is the largest coffee mug I can find. However, just because I work 40 hours behind a screen, doesn’t mean I can’t dress up for myself! As for yesterday, I finished my deep cleaning challenge, too! Thanks for another timely post!

    http://theladyprefers2save.com/?p=11235

  • Uma @ Centsible Indian says:

    It’s a great challenge. I need to sit and think about what I can change this month (I have a whole lot 🙂 ).

    I actually cleaned the pantry last week and cleaned the fridge this week. Glad at least few areas in the house look clean. Yay!

  • Maura says:

    I think your challenge idea is a great idea and not dorky at all.

    I also wanted to comment on the daily lists for your kids. I looked at the original post that you linked and I know she said that handwritten is better, but you may want to give computer generated a try if you haven’t before. I make weekly assignment sheets on Excel for my kids. If I’m really together, I have a month’s worth saved at a time. They are really easy to alter if you need to and you can add in chores, showers, or other things. My kids just cross out the box when they finish and if they want to work ahead, they can. I tape their assignment sheets to the homeschool cabinet which makes it easier for me to keep up with their progress throughout the day. (I think that computer generated sheets are faster and easier to keep up with.)

  • Laura says:

    I think I’m with you on the Bible & exercise every morning before anything else. I don’t do that anymore and my day suffers for it. It is remembering what is really important.

  • Terri says:

    I loved this post. You are so real in your blog. I love that. I am also inspired by your schedule for the day. I am working on being more efficient with my time as well. I have a 2 year old boy and 4 year old girl and work full time away from home. From my perspective my evenings are a very precious time to spend with my kids but I need to balance that with getting chores done for the evening and preparing for the next day. No matter where we are in our lives there is always room to grow.

  • Guest says:

    I’m curious if I’m the only one who has the opposite experience getting ready first thing in the morning. I work from home full-time so have the luxury of staying in yoga pants and a tee shirt if I’d like. My experience when I’ve gotten up and gotten ready in a “normal” outfit, etc. is that it makes our mornings more stressful because it’s taking away from time to help my kids, check emails, etc. and it also ends up making me less productive because I don’t want to do chores in between meetings if I’m dressed “nicely”. I’m also less likely to exercise because I’ve already taken a shower which means I’d have to shower again which feels like a waste of time.

    Not at all knocking your goal and I hope it works for you. But genuinely curious if others feel the way I do about getting ready first thing in the morning.

  • Danielle says:

    That would be a great challenge for me as well. Unfortunately I am having a lot of trouble with the get up early part. I have a 4 yr old and a 15 month old who wakes up in the middle of the night or very early. For example, this morning I had my alarm set for 5 am and baby woke up at 4:59 am! makes it very hard to geet a jump on the day with his unpredictable motn schedule and early wakings.

  • Amy says:

    I like how practical and helpful your challenge goal is. Good luck with it!

  • Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life says:

    I’m with you on being great about intentions and not always on the follow-through! I’m learning to temper my eagerness to try things and offer help to people with moderation and understanding that I just can’t do everything. Your goals are really reasonable and practical though. And yeah, there’s a pretty long list of things I’d rather do than exercise (washing dishes is one of them) but I know it makes my day go better too. I’m just really ready for warmer weather and the return of going on walks with my kids!

  • Melissa Kaiserman says:

    I love this. I had a conversation with my husband yesterday that was almost exactly this content. During Christmas break I got out of the habit of going to bed at a decent time and getting up well before my kids, and it has resulted in me staying in pj’s far too long and being on edge and easily irritated during the day. Our ongoing gloomy weather is affecting me as well. I told him I need to be an adult and change the things I can control, so last night I went to bed at a good time, got up this morning an hour before my kids and read my Bible, exercised after breakfast, and was showered and dressed while it was still morning. 😉 It really affects my work productivity as well when I feel put together.

    I didn’t know about the #Choose30 Challenge until now, but I think I’ll join in. And my February commitment looks a lot like yours!

  • Melissa says:

    I too tend to procrastinate and lately have gotten into this bad habit of spending too much time in my p.j.s and then I just feel yucky and have no energy or motivation all morning. I really should take your advice and get up early and exercise before the kids wake up, shower, and get dressed! I know I would feel so much better! The problem is that I tend to stay up too late because I enjoy the quiet time at the end of the day and then I let my 1 and 1/2 year old daughter be my alarm clock in the morning. It’s fun reading your blog because you and I have a lot of similarities and I like to read about your goals because they give me ideas on how to improve myself. Thanks for sharing! By the way I just painted my nails a pretty purple last night in hopes that I’ll stop biting them for an upcoming Disney trip because I want them to look nice!

    • Laurel says:

      O my goodness; this is how I am, too! I stay up too late, because I love the quiet and solitude of late night, and so I get up late in the morning, and get my day started waaaaaaaay too late. So, our day ends up being a reactive, not proactive, one. I really need to do this challenge. And, thank you to all who shared that they struggle with this, as well. It helps to know I am not alone.

  • Vee says:

    I am in a similar challenge like your #Choose30 Challenge. I already slipped couple of times in meeting my challenge. Usually by this time, I would have given up. But this year I am determined to stick to it. It is good to read here that I am not alone:-)

  • Vee says:

    I am in a similar challenge like your #Choose30 Challenge. I already slipped couple of times in meeting my challenge. Usually by this time, I would have given up. But this year I am determined to stick to it:-)

  • Kim says:

    We are currently in the middle of packing up our condo and closing on a house this week. Super excited as I have challenged myself to get into a good routine once we are settled in. I did start yesterday by rising at 5:45 and I feel better already just getting a head start on the day. I do actually need that time before dropping my son off at school around 8:45.

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