Today we are talking about little tweaks that you can make in your life that will make a big impact. Little things that over time will compound into big changes in your life.
Give Yourself A Bedtime
People talk A LOT about waking up early and morning routines, but I think an important thing many people miss is the importance of a bedtime and evening routine.
I’ve shared this with you guys before but one of the most important things I’ve done to my general life is I have a bedtime and a wake-up time. I keep it super consistent every day.
Our body is designed to follow a 24-hour cycle called the Circadian rhythm which carries out essential functions and processes in our body from things like digestion to energy, but most notably our sleep-wake cycle. During the day, exposure to sun and light triggers our internal clock to generate alertness and keep us active. As the sun sets, our internal clock triggers the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Our Circadian rhythm aligns our wakefulness with day and our sleep with night. The best thing we can do to support this is consistency.
If you’re going to bed at 9 pm some nights and midnight other nights and waking up at 7 am some mornings and sleeping until noon on other days, you’re making it really hard for your circadian rhythm to stay stable and do its thing. On the contrary, if you go to bed at approximately the same time each night and wake up at approximately the same time each morning, your circadian rhythm is going to be much more sturdy and balanced. I wake up at the SAME exact time every day, 5:15.
I know this might sound utterly insane to some people, like on Saturday and Sunday you’re up at 5:15? The answer is yes, I am. Unless I’m very sick or maybe it’s a vacation or something, I’m awake at 5:15 every single day. And because of this my circadian rhythm is pretty dang balanced, I may feel a little tired when I first wake up but within usually about 5 minutes I’m awake. And at night my body is naturally primed for sleep at 10 pm and I fall asleep quite quickly and sleep a full restorative sleep without waking much if any at night.
Pay It Forward
Pay it forward, and by this I just mean, go out of your way to do nice things for others. This doesn’t have to be monumental, just hold the door, look at someone and say hi when you pass them, chat with the cashier at the grocery store, drop off cookies for a neighbor, help a friend in need.
Here’s the thing, paying it forward makes you feel good, kind, and useful. And it makes others feel appreciative, special, and acknowledged. It’s a straight-up win/win for both parties. And, I can promise you as you focus on doing little random acts of kindness more throughout your day and week, you’ll find how it radiates into your life, you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll come in contact with more positive interactions with other people. Something I’ve been working on lately is when I think something nice of someone I tell them.
I recently read the book Everyday Ubuntu, which is such a good book, but it explains the philosophy of Ubuntu which means “I am because you are.”
It’s the idea that a person is a person through other people. That we are all deeply interconnected, and it asks you to look outward acknowledging the humanity in others, that every human is connected and equally valuable because of their humanity. By doing this you can really make a change in yourself and how you interact with people. When you respect others you are more likely to respect yourself.
Plan your meals for the week
Meal planning is such a game changer for me. I plan all our meals on Sunday, complete my grocery order, and never once during the week do I need to wonder what’s for dinner. By spending 15 minutes on a Sunday it takes such a HUGE mental load off of me for the week. I can check what we have in stock, plan my meals, and be ready for the week.
I have some free resources on Meal Planning so make sure you check those out.
Stop hitting snooze
When have you ever hit the snooze, dozed off again for those 8 or 12 minutes, and then woken up feeling so refreshed and recharged? No, never. Not once. So why on earth are you putting yourself through that? Instead of being shuddered awake by an alarm once, you’re forcing yourself to do it twice, three times, four times…are you hitting the snooze four times? Good lord knock it off.
Ok, all joking aside. I’m very serious, the snooze alarm is your worst enemy. Let me just let you in on a little secret. It is normal to feel awful when you first wake up.
That’s right. People who preach morning routines don’t just wake up, throw the covers off, say good morning to the birds perched on their window, sing a little love ballad and run off to make their mushroom tea and meditate. When you wake up, particularly from an alarm, your sleep cycle is being interrupted, you’re gonna feel groggy.
There’s not some magical moment when all of a sudden your alarm wakes up and you’re like WOW I’d really rather stand up in my cold room than stay snuggled up in my warm cozy bed. When that alarm goes off you’re essentially just choosing the lesser of two evils, ok? Either you wake up, feel tired hit the snooze, get 5 more minutes of sleep, alarm goes off again, you feel awful again, snooze it again, lay in bed, scroll your phone, and never actually feel more awake, and finally 30 minutes later drag yourself from bed having wasted the first half-hour of your day. OR, you open your eyes, feel tired, force yourself out of that bed and start your day.
The thing you really need to remember here is YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO FEEL LIKE GETTING OUT OF BED. 10 more minutes of sleep or 10 minutes of scrolling social media IS NOT GOING TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE GETTING UP. When that alarm goes off, pull it off like a bandaid, and force yourself up and out of bed. The best part of step one is it literally takes less than 60 seconds.
Put Your Phone Down
We’re all addicted to our phones, I mean, just face it, we are. And that’s because phones are addictive. They are literally designed for you to become addicted to them. And I think we can all agree there are big benefits in our lives to using our phones less. I know I’m 10000% more productive when I don’t have my phone distracting me. And, I am a more attentive listener to my husband without the distraction of a phone. I’m a better mom when I’m not on my phone because I am way more responsive and present in the moment. Overall I’m just better when my phone isn’t always competing for my attention.
Now, you don’t want to look at your phone as like “the devil.” Phones do a lot for us, they act as lifelines, both figuratively and literally. They can help us answer questions, connect us to others, build a community, aid in a creative outlet, and help us out when we’re lost.
I know personally, that phones have acted as a lifeline for me during some hard and isolating moments in motherhood, and they’ve been key in helping me build my business. Phones have done a lot to better our lives. And, while the makers and engineers behind many apps MAY be taking advantage of our reliance on them, you can’t put the blame on the phone itself.
The goal of learning to use your phone less is really just about learning to use it more intentionally and mindfully. It’s not about completely giving up your phone altogether. The biggest crux here like I said is that it’s NOT about NOT using your phone. It’s just about using your phone more intentionally and mindfully.
One simple way to do this is to get into the habit of asking yourself WHY every time you pick up your phone. ” Is the answer something mindful or intentional? Are you checking a recipe you’re cooking? Are you responding to an important email? Or, are you just opening it to see how many likes your last photo got or to mindlessly scroll through social media?
Just by simply having to answer why when you pick up your phone, you’re building a mindset about your phone that makes you accountable for what you’re doing with it.
Listen to upbeat music
Upbeat music can totally change your mood. I’ve created my own specific playlist for when I was going to go into labor with my second child. Then I ended up continuing to listen to that playlist as I was feeling overwhelmed as a new mom of two.
I had a newborn and a toddler and was stuck at home a lot during the pandemic. I started to play the playlist often when I was feeling down or overwhelmed and it made such a difference in our days.
During tough parts of the day, like when it’s time to prep dinner, upbeat music can really lift our moods and give us that push we need to get through the rest of the day.
Swap your coffee for tea. JUST KIDDING.
Seriously don’t do that. That’s going to be a hard pass for me.