A few nights ago I had the pleasure of listening to a group of incredibly talented and inspirational women speak on a panel. They were all mothers, entrepreneurs, and women who are juggling a million things but still going after their dreams. Full speed ahead.
There were so many great nuggets of inspiration I took away with that evening. But the one that stood out for me the most was that none of these women were “waiting” for their moment. Waiting for the right season of their life to go after their dreams. They didn’t say “in the fall when the kids are back in school”, or “when things slow down for my husband at work”.
Instead, they worked hard, every day, going after what they wanted. They created habits and routines and practices that helped set them up for success and stay focused on their goals; regardless of the season of life they were in.
And it got me thinking about some of my own habits. Some of my own routines. Especially during these summer months.
The summer can be a tricky season, for a lot of us. The lack of structure, longer days with the kids at home lingering in their pajamas, more chips, quac, and rose than my eyes can see; all add up. It’s by far my favorite season of the year to parent, but in that same breath, can be my hardest season of the year to feel productive and focused.
So in an effort to seize the “now” and not wait for the next season of life to be focused and productive, I’m making a conscious effort to set myself up for success, starting today. Setting goals and intentions that I can put into practice, now.
My hope is that some of these intentions help me to feel like I can find a little bit of a balance this summer. To show up fully, and presently for my kids and be able to enjoy these special moments this summer. While at the same time, carve out time and practices that help me nurture my goals and passions outside of motherhood. To find balance in both, starting today.
So starting today, here are a few of the summer intentions I’m working on…
1. early to bed, early to rise
As a momma of four, there is NOTHING better than waking up to a quiet house and getting a little bit of work done before my crew rises. I live for a quiet house. So that means getting up earlier than I have been – which also means going to bed earlier than I have been too. A small shift that I think may produce some big change.
I notice that my best work is done early in the morning. It’s when my thinking is clearest and most focused. So I’m taking a cue from the sun, and rising a little earlier these days. (Now exactly how early, is yet to be determined ;))
2. Mindful movement EVERY day
A little bit of movement, every day, ALWAYS makes me feel better. It clears out the cobwebs. And while I’d like to think that I could work out, or make it to a yoga class, every day, the reality is that in the summer months my little people are almost always around. So I need to be flexible with my workout routines. But there is no excuse for not being able to fit in 30 minutes of mindful movement every day. Whether that’s yoga at home on my mat, a walk to the beach before the kids get up, or chasing my little guys around on their bikes. I need to plan and be mindful of getting 30 minutes of movement daily.
3. 10-minute morning “brain dump”
I always joke with JP that everything that happens to make our little family run, both big and little, lives in some imaginary file folder in my brain. I literally store it all in my head – and it’s not good. I think it’s actually starting to give me headaches. I can’t store any more random info up there (you mommas know what I’m talking about). My mind is officially out of storage space.
I try to be good about making lists and keeping my calendar up to date, but with six schedules to juggle it feels next to impossible. And while I may never get a system down that works perfectly, I know I can do better than my imaginary file cabinet inside my head.
So I’m starting each morning with a “brain dump”. I’m setting a 10-minute timer for myself every morning to write out all the random “to-do” lists (both personal and blog related), my calendar for the day, my priorities, phone calls, groceries we need, etc. It’s all getting “dumped”.
My hope is that by getting all of this “out of my head” and onto paper, I have room for bigger ideas. Bigger thinking, creativity, and inspiration.
4. Being ok saying “no”
I am a girl who loves to say “yes”, to pretty much everything. I will pack my calendar as tightly as I can, and then still try to squeeze in just one more thing. I never want to miss out on the fun. I want to do it ALL, ALWAYS.
But I’m starting to wear myself out. I need to be better about preserving my time. Treating it like the precious commodity that it is, and being ok with saying no. Even if it’s to something I want to say “yes” to.
5. Finding a few moments of “quiet” every day
If you’ve been following Grace in the Crumbs for a while, you probably know I have a meditation practice that ebbs and flows. Lately, it’s been a little more of the later than I’d like. And while I don’t know that I can realistically recommit to a daily meditation practice today, I know that I can do better than what I’m currently doing. My mind seems to be racing just as fast as my kids these days.
Carving out even just a few moments of true peace and quiet throughout my day will help me stay focused and grounded and present. Which is exactly what I need during these busier summer months where we always seem to be on the go.
7. Setting realistic goals, daily
This is a big one for me. I tend to always have a million things I want to accomplish every day, both personally and professionally. And if I’m really being honest, most of the time, those goals are unrealistic. They were unattainable. Which leaves me feeling frustrated and deflated by the end of the day. But in reality, I never set myself up for success.
So I’m starting a new practice of mindfully setting realistic goals for my myself, every day, of what I HAVE to accomplish, and then having a separate fluid list of longer-term goals. Being ok knowing that some of “daily” tasks may have to move from one list to the other during these more unstructured summer months. And more importantly trusting myself that they WILL get done, in time.
I don’t know how these next few summer months are going to go. But I’m excited to see where some of the new intentions lead. I’m truly hoping that some of these changes allow me to enjoy ALL the beauty and joy that these warm summer days hold – while still feeling focused and driven. Working to find a little bit of balance, and grace, in both worlds