Let’s face it, we are complicated creatures. Full of genius ideas, incredible multi-taskers, and ready to give of ourselves to the last drop. So what holds us back?…raging hormones! We are our own worst enemies and it all begins in our head.
Filtering my thoughts has been a long learned process (more to come on this later). It basically takes reprogramming your brain in how you respond to situations and experiences. To get to the root of reprogramming your thoughts, it often takes a deep journey back into childhood. But without getting too deep at the moment, here are some daily habits to monitor.
For me, these 3 areas are critical to my balanced lifestyle of living in red. When one is neglected, everything about me becomes unbalanced. I’ve listed these 3 areas in priority order. If number one suffers, then everything else will too.
We all know it, but we don’t do it. Something always seems to get in the way. Late night tasks, sleepless kids, or that constant list repeating itself in your brain as you try to lay down. Just as you have to discipline yourself to maintain a healthy diet and exercise, you have to discipline yourself to get the sleep your body needs.
Research shows that most women need 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. This kind of sleep impacts everything from our health, aging skin, mental focus, and regulated hormones. During my twenties, I could easily get by with 4-5 hours of sleep. However, the big difference was I didn’t spend my days working 8-10 hours on one full time job and then raising kids during my 2nd full time job. I can also see now that I wasn’t nearly as healthy with my diet and exercise in my 20’s as I am now.
The keys to making sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night are: (1) set a regular bedtime, (2) turn off social media and devices, and for me (3) read. I love to read at night and it is also like a sleeping aid that helps my mind to relax from the day and begin to unwind. I find it difficult to read anything but fiction at night only because I don’t want to think too hard. More often than not, if I get engaged in a business or self-help book at night I don’t have the chance to unwind like I do when reading for pleasure.
The foods we eat literally affect every part of our body. From too much sugar and carbs to even too little protein, lack of a balanced and healthy diet will throw off our hormones and result in major moodswings. For some, it looks like depression and lack of energy. Others may become easily agitated and annoyed.
This is a huge daily habit for me to monitor. I have found that when I reduce sugar and carbs and increase my protein throughout the day, I have more energy, am better focused, and maintain a consistent happy mood.
My rule of thumb is to maintain 6 small meals a day. Each meal has to consistent of protein, healthy carbs and a small amount of healthy fat. The hard part for me is making sure I stop and eat during the daily grind of work or being with the girls. For this reason, I have to create a weekly menu and prep food on the weekends. Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t happen every week. If my weekends are busy and I don’t find time to prep than you can bet my diet the following week will suffer.
When I do find the time to cook and prep on the weekends I often reference my endless collection of cookbooks, meal prep books and magazines. All of which come with great suggestions, but nothing has laid it out as simple and easy as my favorite Tone It Up girls. For daily suggestions, check out their plan here.
I can’t say enough about this habit! Women need an outlet and this is where it’s at. It is the deal breaker on the start of our day. I’m not just talking about a slow walk down the sidewalk at 5 AM when you take the dog out. I’m talking about an increased heart rate, blood pumping, and sweat pouring workout that can’t be compromised.
With discipline, I have made it a habit to be up by 4 AM each weekday morning to get my workout in. While I do want a toned body and have vain motives in it, my main goal is to make sure my mind is alert, focused, and ready for the day.
By 5 AM you can either find me at the gym warming up on the treadmill or beginning my yoga practice in my quiet living room. No matter what, my goal is an increased heart rate and strength training. If you are new to fitness or sometimes just don’t know what to do, follow some trainers on Instagram. There are great ideas out there daily to keep you motivated and working hard. Here are some of my favorites to keep up with: jessicaolie, fitgurlmel, and kirastokesfit.
The Real Deal
Note to self: Life has ups and downs and you won’t nail these 3 habits everyday. However, keep in mind that discipline and practice will cause these areas to become a part of your lifestyle. On the days when you jump off the bandwagon (or in more cases than not, get THROWN off the bandwagon) reassess your priorities and discipline and start again the following day. A balanced lifestyle is never perfect. It’s all about putting the red dress on each day to make the most of what life hands you!
Pajamas: Victoria’s Secret, gift (similar)
Candle: Bath and Body Works, Marshmallow Fireside, $8
Book: Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers, $13
Dinner: Blue Apron Meal
Running Pants: Target, $25
Running Shoes: Nike, $75
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