I just recently posted my “What I Love” post and talked about starting my morning off with my devotional, Pressing Pause. It’s a quick way I find myself entering each day and centering myself before the sun even rises. I haven’t made it through the entire book yet, but I can guarantee I’ll be going back to read it a second time once I’m done. And maybe a third time, too.
As a busy mom of two, I realize how vital taking these quiet moments and getting control of ourselves, before we need to control the day, really are. But this isn’t something I really learned until just recently. Prior to about a month ago, I had no real morning routine. I would enter into the day grouchy and frazzled because I just “wasn’t ready.” What a disservice I was doing to myself, to my husband, and to my kids. How can I be there for them when I’m stuck in my own negative head space?
So I made a plan. I wanted to start being more intentional about my mornings first, then my days, and then branch out to my weeks. Could I do it for the whole month? Nah. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 🙂
Here’s how I’ve stopped being so chaotic and started to become more intentional in my day.
Write Out Your Intentions
I’m a planner. I write lists on the regular. And not lists on my iPhone. I write real lists on adorable notebook pages with bright, cheerful colors.Like Pretty Simple Planners. They have the CUTEST planners around! All the heart eyes for these!
I like the sense of scratching something off my list and seeing its completion in front of me. An iPhone backspace just doesn’t do enough for me. I need a check mark and a solid scribble to make me feel the full sense of completion. 🙂
So each Sunday I dedicate 20-30 minutes to write out my intentions for the week. I start with workouts because I’ve learned that those are the things that I quickly disregard when my time seems thin. I write out what days and what time I will workout that week. Then it goes to what my daily plans with the kids will be. What days do we have school? On our off-days, what adventure are we going to take? Next is what I’d like to accomplish for the house that week. Am I going grocery shopping a certain day? When will I clean the house or take the dogs to the groomers? Finally, it’s time to plan out blog posts and goals for the week. When I can see how busy certain days are, I have a clearer view of when I want to take on larger projects and what days I will need to focus more on learning more or tidying aspects up on Growing Up Kemper.
Mapping out your week sets clear goals for what you want to accomplish. If a week is just too difficult to do at this time, start daily. Before you go to sleep at night, think through your next day. What is it you’d like to accomplish for yourself? For your family? For your work? Be logical and know that there is only so much time in a day and that you have more days to follow.
Knowing what you have ahead of you can clear your mind of the constant “to do list.” When you have a plan, you can ease into each day knowing that you’ve got this!!
Organize Before Bedtime
I am one of those people that need to have a clean kitchen before I go to bed at night. I know, I know. Sometimes it pains me to pry myself off the couch just to walk upstairs to go to bed at night. Add in scrubbing a countertop? Ugh. The worst! BUT I wake up the next morning, walk downstairs, and instantly feel more on top of the day because I did it the night before.
After I put the kids down for bed, I do a quick walk through of our house and pick up as I walk. I pick up toys and put them back in the bins, put clothes in laundry baskets, push in chairs, and replace pillows. I run the dishwasher and wipe down counters. I lock doors and turn off most lights. I get the house almost entirely ready to be closed down for the night before I even plop myself down on the couch. This way, I have pieces put back together before I even zombie out in front of the TV. When it’s time to go to bed, everything is already put away and I can walk upstairs without a single to do left in my mind.
And when I wake? Everything is as it should be. There are still no to dos left. I can workout. I can shower (woohoo! Sometimes that’s my biggest accomplishment:)). I can enter into the morning ready for the unexpected in a calm manner because nothing will stop me from getting the house clean. It’s already done. Ahhh…let the crazy start because I’m ready for it!
Take Time for Yourself
I’m a huge advocate for working out in the mornings. Probably not what everyone likes to hear, but let me get on my soapbox for a second and speak my truth here. As I said earlier, I have to plan my workouts (and write them out in pen!) because the second my day gets busy, I cancel my workout class. And by doing that, I cancel the one hour of my day that is just for me. Every other moment of my day is for someone, something, somebody else…which I love! I wouldn’t have it any other way! HOWEVER, I have to love myself and be happy with myself before I can spread love to those around me. If you are unhappy with you, you will not be able to give your very best to the ones you love. Self-love is powerful!
The major question is always, “How could I possibly take an hour during my day? There’s no time!” Wake up earlier. That’s it. That’s literally the answer. Wake up before the world does and do what makes you happy. Workout. Meditate. Pray. Online shop. It doesn’t matter. JUST TAKE. Do for you what will make you happy and focused for the day. Take that glimpse of time to center yourself and focus on you.
Sit in Silence
My final thought on making each day less chaotic is one that I’m currently working on. And truth be told, there are two parts to this one. 1. Sitting. 2. Being Silent. I’m a constant mover. I always have things that I want to be doing and preparing and to sit can sometimes feel daunting because there’s so much else I could be doing right then at that moment. Imagine my struggle then with adding in the additional aspect of being silent. Geesh!
But here’s my reasoning behind it and why I’m really working on this one. I so rarely am in my car by myself. I’m constantly toting along two babes in the backseat or riding beside my hubs. Not long ago, I was in my car and found myself completely alone with the radio off. I heard birds chirping while I was at a red light and had a realization that this was the first bird I had really heard this spring….on April 15th. :/ Something wasn’t right there. I know birds have been out singing each morning, but I’ve been “too busy” to stop and appreciate them. The days have been getting longer and God has been giving the most beautiful sunsets, but I haven’t noticed. I’ve just seen then posted on Instagram.
I’m finding myself losing touch with all of the beauty that He provides us with daily, and am finding myself so lost in my own thoughts that I’m not appreciating them. How can we center our thoughts and focus on what’s truly important in a less chaotic way, if we aren’t enjoying the beautiful moments that are handed to us regularly? If we aren’t letting beauty and the slow pace calm us?
Take just a moment each day to be thankful for what has been given to us. Listen and breath in the beauty that is around us. The chaos will slowly begin to slip away. Because sometimes that chaos is what is the most beautiful part.