Monthly Archives: January 2016

#BetterChoices2016 "E" is for eat and exercise

Four (4) Tickets to Start a Great Day – “E” is for Eat and Exercise

Four (4) Tickets to Start a Great Day – “E” is for Eat and Exercise

To eat and exercise right will benefit the rest of your day. Mornings begin by turning a light on. And what I do for the rest of the day can keep the light on or burn it out. Giving my morning a generous head start keeps my energy and attitude more positive for the rest of the day. I’m a morning person, but a LATE-morning person. I don’t do wondrous things first thing.

After I wake up, I make a sleepy, quiet trek across the house to the kitchen to start breakfast. I stay in my sleepy cloud for at least 45 minutes and I may not remember conversations during that time, but I love the quiet process of mornings.

In order to enjoy my mornings, I have created ways to stabilize and energize them.

First, I pull a smile out of the air to remind myself that today is going to be great, because in all honesty, it will be.

There are four more things that I do in order to create a day of solitude.

Here are Four (4) Tickets to Start a Great Day. Read about them in more detail below the image.

4 Tickets to a great day. "E" is for Eat and Exercise #BetterChoices2016

  1. Sleep - It’s not always possible, but a good night’s sleep is an obvious day starter. Moving through your day thinking about what the day will bring instead of thinking about taking a nap is a win. Go to sleep on time, avoid caffeine later day and have a relaxing bedtime routine.
  2. Exercise - I have a friend who goes to the gym every day at 4:00 a.m. I admire her for it, but I have embraced that it will never be for me. I prefer afternoon exercise and I like doing them at home. But when I do simple stretching in the morning, my attitude compass is set to “happy” for the rest of the day. It’s a brief amount of time in the morning that I truly thrive from. Sponge Bob Square pants isn’t very far off from reality. Our bodies are like sponges; porous and absorbent. We take in toxins through our skin and appetite, and it lurks in our organs. When we do things such as receive massages or do strenuous, stretching activities, the movements squish toxins out of our organs and bodies. Drinking lots of water afterwards helps wash them out of our system. Stretch, squish and flush! Find your thriving existence by finding the best time for your exercise, and do it every day. We need a day off from work, but not from blood circulation.
  3. Eat - What I eat in the morning is what I am, so if I eat pancakes, I lie flat and feel soggy. I’ve made berries and baby peppers a part of my mornings for the last year or so. I must also have protein in order to have a day that doesn’t include a migraine. I reserve my mornings for healthy. After that some days, anything goes, but I want my focus on healthy at the start of my day in order to equal a better day.
  4. Eat protein - If I skip protein, I’m guaranteed to have a migraine or headache later. Think about and feel what feeds your brain. You need it functioning at top form all day, not just in the morning, but from morning until night. Walnuts, eggs, avocados or salmon are some brain foods for breakfast. Imagine what your day will be like if you combine them!

There are plenty of ways to start your day “on your mark” style besides how you eat and exercise. Think of the ways that work for you in the morning and put them into your routine. Be your own cheerleader by giving yourself the power of a positive, focused day and then light it up.

This is Letter "E" in my ABC's Blog Series #BetterChoices2016, Eat and Exercise. I am blogging once a week for 26 weeks to help you make a better 2016 by the end of the year. You can read the previous letters on my blog. Signing up for my newsletter will invite me to send them directly to your email, as well as shower you with  other news, free printables and book excerpts. www.backtobeingawoman.com

Catch up on Letters A, B, C and D here!

http://www.backtobeingawoman.com/category/blog/ "D" is for DO

Eight (8) Reasons for Just Doing It – “D” is for DO

Eight (8) Reasons for Just Doing It - “D” is for Do

I put the pro in procrastinate. Ask my friends. Even with all of my quotes of inspiration and my anti-worry campaigning, I’m a very proficient procrastinator. I don’t look at it as a negative, though. It’s truly my personality and I can’t do a thing to change it. But meanwhile, there’s a lot that I can do! And there’s a lot that I continue to do. It doesn’t stop me from doing the things that I want to do, either. It just takes me longer to do them than you.

“Doing” the things that matter to me does my soul good. It accelerates me.

Definition of do: to bring to pass: carry out   (a.k.a. make shit happen)

How soon do ants begin to rebuild their ant hill after the rain or a spray of your hose takes it down? ASAP. They don’t stand around and wonder wtf just happened, or sit down to discuss how to fix it like roadside workers. They don’t even worry if it’s going to happen again after they take the time to rebuild. They know that in order to rebuild, they need to begin, and they do it instinctively and without a thought.

I can’t tell you how often I contemplate a project instead of just beginning it. There's nothing wrong with figuring it out as I go, instead. Planning is great, too, as long as you begin doing it.

So, for your and my purpose, here are eight (8) good reasons for Doing!

  • Meeting your passions

When you know the things that you LOVE to do and the things that you are passionate about, doing them will feed your soul and inspire you to feel what living is supposed to feel like. Living a passionate life will encourage more happiness in your life. Whatever it is that you LOVE doing, do it. I know that time doesn’t allow us to do those things all of the time, but make enough time throughout your week to spend on something that you’re passionate about, no matter what anybody else says about it.

  • Leads us to discovery

Doing what needs to be done and doing what we love leads us forward to more learning and more discovering. We’ve mastered so many things in our life, but perpetually mastering new things leads you to places of constant renewal (and away from boredom and monotony, yes, please).

  • Mastering more

Long ago I read a story about a homeless young woman who put herself through college. She didn’t let not having a real home limit her in the ways that she could control. She had hours and hours to spend somehow, so she chose to spend it at school and at jobs in order to pay for schooling. The more we do, the more we know, understand and become capable of.

  • Gets rid of the doubt

If you think that you’re not capable, if you think that you can’t do it, you only have to prove it to yourself that you can. Maybe it won’t be in the way that you had planned, but experiencing trial and error as you do it won’t be wasted efforts. Why waste your thoughts on thinking that you can’t, when you can just get to work doing it. Even one small step towards it is better than sitting in doubt.

  • Diss the fear

So there’s lots of things that we are hesitant or even afraid to do, so how do we become unafraid of doing them? By doing them. Sometimes it’s just the unknown that we’re afraid of. But if we plug along and knock out that dreaded fear, we get one step closer to mastering it, and we get to move it over from the “fear” column and over to the “tada!” column.

  • You’re the one who knows what it is that you need to do

Write a list, quickly and randomly, of all of the things that come to mind about what you need to do to take you from fear, hesitation and procrastination and get you to the making shit happen stage. Things that have bothered you for a really long time, or things that would make you super happy. And then start doing them and checking them off. When you are finished that list, make another one.

  • Do what makes change for the better (not worse!)

I will be the first to admit that I make choices each day that are not in my best interest, but once I’ve done them, I let them go and then start fresh again. So while you are doing your thing, make sure that for a large percentage of your time, you are making choices in your favor. If you score a 90% of good choices over bad choices by the end of the day, it’s still an “A.”  Just promise yourself that you will start doing good for yourself in the best way that you can.

  • It’s more instinctive than overthinking, and it cuts through the crap

Back to the example of the ants. Stop talking about what you want to do, and just start doing it. Turn, “I think I’ll wash the car today,” into “I’ll be back in an hour…the car needs a wash.” Or turn “I miss doing my art,” into “I’m going to the craft store…see you later!”

And this one is really important. Sometimes it’s just as important to do nothing. I’m a procrastinator, but I never feel bad about taking “down” time.

Do something amazing, do something fun, and do something that benefits yourself and others. Let it inspire you to do even more of those things that make you feel good and make you happy. Do what FUELS good.

Do What FUELS Good

Katherine A. Rayne is writing a blog series on the ABC’s of #BetterChoices2016. This is her fourth post, “D” is for DO. Find previous posts at her blog on www.backtobeingawoman.com. Grab a free print-out of her Bucket List How-To form here and make your own. Share this article with friends that you think might want to make better choices along with us in 2016.

"C" is for Create

“C” is for Create

"C" is for Create

What is the last thing that you created? I think my favorite thing in the world besides my kids and family is “creating” something. I love my job because as a preschool teacher, I create projects and crafts. I’m excited about seeing how my sample turns out, and then I get to see the nine different creations that my Littles create out of the same craft supplies. They all come out in nine different delicate adorable ways. It’s one of the many reasons to love art. You can never be wrong in art because it’s your own creation, like handwriting, and you don’t know how it will look until it’s finished.

I’d love to work as a paid artist, paint hidden under my fingernails and drips of it on my clothing. I’d shop at a thrift store for designer brand shirts to wear while I paint to inspire me to paint beautifully. The bigger the canvas, the better. Art projects throughout my house would excite me. A large canvas in a corner to paint when I have some extra time, an easel set up in the bedroom for sketching and drawing, and an engineer’s table in the family room for writing, writing and more writing. I’d get rid of my furniture to have art in every corner. When I’m creating, I feel I’m moving my life forward. Towards something, a renewal, something fresh, or a beginning of something more. Creation not only begins somewhere, but it always begins some thing.

I love how creating creates perpetual motion. It produces connections as one thing leads to another, connecting the past to the future.

I once tried (it didn't work) to lure my artist mom into condo living. I set up a rental condo we owned for her to live in, so that she could stop working and start doing the things that she loved doing full time and had uber talent for. Besides a bring-your-tooth-brush ready home, I had a sewing room set up for her in the condo’s guest bedroom, and an art easel set up with art supplies on the lanai. I wanted her to spend her time creating things that she loved to create.

We were created to create. Think of all that has been created since we were; clothing, the wheel, the light bulb. Every time the human race comes across a problem, someone somewhere creates a solution.

Your baby won’t go to sleep? Someone created a baby swing and white noise.

Too heavy of a load to carry? The wheel was invented, wheel-barrows, and strollers.

It takes too long to type on a smart phone? Voila, Siri.

It rains and you get wet? Umbrellas.

Creating doesn’t have to be limited to creating solutions, but solutions don’t happen unless we create.

There was a time none of these things existed. Until someone decided that they didn’t like settling for sitting in the dark or getting wet or carrying a cranky baby for hours. So they did something about it. Problems were fixed because one person chose to go one step further beyond being annoyed. They created a better way.

There are a lot of useful things created every day but creations don’t necessarily have to be useful. They can be tangible or you can even create a peaceful feeling, a peaceful situation or a peaceful room. You can even create calm in the chaos. Creating is an art form for any purpose, whether it’s for solutions or for entertainment. Create a meal that everyone loves. Create a room that is relaxing. Create a painting that you will see hanging on your wall every day, or create the space to hang a beautiful painting on, so that you can see it every day.

We start with so many questions first thing in the morning; what am I making for breakfast? Dinner? What time is my appointment? What’s on TV? What’s on the news? What’s on Facebook? But I like the idea of asking myself first thing each morning, what am I going to create today? What is going to exist because I made it? A good feeling in someone else? A great day? An organized closet? A drawing? A poem? A book? A new centerpiece? A photograph? If you wake up every day focused on creating, you won’t have to focus on any boring, dreadful, awful drama that exists. Thinking about creating keeps your brain in a forward motion, moving towards the future and excited about the results.

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Creating perpetuates and moves life forward.

My mom turned me down on the condo. She loved living in her house. She had created a million things and a family during her life there. Gifts for her grandchildren, artwork for friends, a yard full of beautiful plants, a garage full of supplies to help her continue creating, and she'd created a home out of her house. Living in a condo would have simplified her life, but even with all of the extra maintenance her house needed, it was another way for her to create.

This blog series is about better choices, and having something to be excited about when you wake up each morning gives you something to look forward to.

Ask yourself each morning: what am I going to create today, that wouldn’t be there by the end of the day, otherwise? Or plan it the night before.

Be excited about what the day will bring.

I have a Daily Planner that you can print out for free on my website. You take five minutes before bed each night to fill it out with the to-do’s of the next day. Using it will help you to get everything done without getting too distracted by the bright shiny objects, and you can also add ideas of what you might create the next day on it, too. Print it out HERE.

Katherine A. Rayne is doing The ABC’s Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016. Learn more about it at www.backtobeingawoman.com.

This is the third blog in a series of 26. The ABC’s of #BetterChoices2016 will continue for 26 weeks.

A is for accepting your present existence

B is for be you

And C is for Create

Be Yourself

“B” is for Be Yourself

"B" is for Be Yourself

(My ABC Blog series is about letting go of resolutions and replacing them with the simple vow of making better choices in order to be yourself. Resolutions stress me out...they feel like a huge wall that I have to scale and then I don’t like experiencing the failures that follow, so instead of staring down my big goals, I’m simply going to make better choices everyday. This is the second blog in the series. My letter “A” was last week. If you are just joining, go back and read Letter “A.” It’s an important one; A is for accepting your present existence. "B" is for Be Yourself #BetterChoices2016)

I'm making Letter “B” about becoming your truer self this year. One of my favorite quotes is, "think about who you want to be, and be her." If you're happy with the way your world is working and you have no interest in changing anything, you are already in a good place to be yourself, (and I'm jealous) but even so, there's always that something that could be better or different or improved. For instance, my gym closed. I've been doing small doses of exercise and walking since then, but I haven't replaced those 35-40 minute regular workouts. Being I'm way out of shape by now, a resolution to get back in the same shape for 2016 is a long way off. Overwhelm. Feeble efforts. That goal stares me down from afar. So I'm vowing to make better choices each day. I decide how much I want to move my butt into shape each day knowing that the more I do, the better.

Worrying about things (like weight loss, others opinions, exercise, problems) limit our truest self. The worries that we create might have some credibility or they might not, but either way they are fiction made out of our imagination. Most of our worries won't happen, but while we're waiting for them to happen, they become sludge that holds us back. There are intricate thoughts and great ideas that we should be having instead of worry. When we stop worrying, we stop limiting ourselves.

Go boldly in the direction of your dreams. Going feebly won't cut it. That means leaving behind worry and fear.

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"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler."  -Henry David Thoreau

If I wake up every day thinking like that, I don't have to think about a goal that's months down the road. I only have to think about what I need to do today. What are good choices that I can make today to go confidently towards my goals/dreams/ideas/desires? Doing them will literally make them happen. So whatever your fears are, go on in and wade in them knee deep until you are comfortable there. Then go deeper until you are up to your armpits in what you are afraid to do, or what you are holding back from doing. Before you know it, you're comfortable there and you're ready to go all in.

Go ahead and choose to make mistakes so that you can learn from them, and don't worry about the outcome. Bad things could happen, but good things could happen, too.

Choose to allow Intricate thoughts and feelings to rise out of your sub-consciousness instead of allowing the worry to.

Choose to weed out worry. It can grow out of proportion to the beautiful, delicate flowers that are waiting to bloom.

Maybe you’re not comfortable being you, and “be yourself” sounds too cliche. In order to un-cliché the saying, we should probably stop thinking that it’s okay to ignore our health or to keep exercise as a low priority. Making better choices one day at a time means that we choose who it is that we want to be, and can easily make the choices that will allow us to become her.

Answer these questions:

  1. What skin would you be more comfortable in to be yourself?
  2. What would enable you to be a more confident person?
  3. What would you be like?

Physically stronger? Leaner? Healthier? Less obnoxious? More caring? Would you socialize more? Change jobs? Start a hobby? Ask yourself what holds you back from being your ideal you. What changes do you want to make to be yourself for 2016?

Simply asked, what would make you happy right at this very moment?

“Be Yourself” no longer means that it’s okay to settle for being less than who you can be.

Making better choices each day aims you in that direction. In my Letter "A" blog I talk about tending to your life as if it's a garden that needs fertilizer and sunlight. Meet yourself in your garden at the end of each day and ask yourself how much you grew that day. How much sunlight did you reach for? How much did you let in? Flowers and leaves always direct and redirect themselves towards the sun while the sun crosses the sky. When it’s time to make a choice during each day, remember to choose the one that takes you into the light towards who you want to be.

What choices today will help you feel better, act better, relate better and sleep better tonight? Remember that no matter who you are or who you become, you're human. You get second chances. If you make a bad choice like pizza instead of salad or two Snickers Ice-cream bars instead of one (I really love those), it’s okay. You get to begin again tomorrow. So enjoy the pizza, eat every single bite, and thank your lucky stars that it was invented, because life is made to enjoy along the way.

You've planted a garden and you get to choose what fertilizer you use. What will help you grow into beauty? You will, one decision at a time.

Next week I'm blogging about "C" is for Creating. See you in the garden. Bring sunscreen!

If you haven’t printed out the free printable and very simple 2016Goal Worksheet yet, it’s here: 2016 Goal Worksheet It gives you simple direction to start your year off so that you know what to aim for.

Katherine A. Rayne is an author, preschool teacher and a mom to two perfections. Find her books on Amazon.com. She also freelances and founded the community Back to Being a Woman to support busy women and moms. Find her at www.Facebook.com/BackToBeingAWoman and www.BackToBeingAWoman.com.

Accepting

“A” is for Accepting your Present Existence

2016 can be your best year for anything you choose because of choices you make throughout the year. I'm beginning my weekly ABC's of Better Choices series with "A" is for Accepting Your Present Existence.

"A" is for Accepting your Present Existence 

This is the first post to begin the ABC's of Better Choices in 2016. I'm putting up a post once a week for each letter that will represent change and positive choices for a revolutionized 2016. The first step towards better choices in 2016 is accepting where you are in life right now, as we speak.

Write down what in your life is undesirable, as in your beast of burden. What brings you down, if anything? It can be something that you can’t fix, or one of those things that you could have complete control of, but you aren’t taking the initiative. It could be something like your home situation, work situation or an illness. In other words, what is driving you crazy?!

It’s something that didn’t quite go the way you had planned and there’s no easy solution. You’re going to have to deal because there’s no going around it. One day it’s going to get better but it doesn’t make it easier right now.

What I know anymore is that I’ve been planted in that undesirable spot in order to sprout, bloom and reach upwards for the sun. I have to figure out a way to turn it into a garden and acknowledge that I’m in that place in order to grow.

When I want to make myself feel better during those times, I think of inmates that are sentenced to prison that are actually innocent. How do they handle incarceration, knowing that they don’t belong there but still can’t leave? They don’t have many options. Maybe they spend time making friendships with those that they feel they can trust. They check-out books. They write letters. Think about all of the time that they must have to exercise. With their recreational hours they can paint, knit or learn an instrument. They can only make the best of it. And that’s what I remind myself to do during my undesirable times.

That’s what we can do to begin 2016. Owning our burdens and writing down the different ways that we could make them better puts us back in a garden mind frame. Imagine what could represent rich soil in your life right now while you experience growth, and start planting seeds in it. Both my garden and I need to be growing constantly, even in the dark of night. I don’t know about you but I’m planting tulips and roses, and I’m hanging orchids in the trees.

Accept that you are in a garden of abundance, regardless of your situation, and work on it while you’re there. The hoeing and weeding and planting are hard work, but it will be worth the beauty that grows from it. YOU can make it better, even while dealing.

You will hear from me next week with letter "B." B is for Be Yourself. That's an easy one. So until then, get your gloves on and pull your tools out of the shed and make your garden healthy. It'll be our meeting place from now on. Surprise me with what you can grow. xo

Katherine

"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them." -Liberty Hyde Bailey

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Get my Newsletter here. and share this email with friends that could do 2016 with us.Katherine A. Rayne is an author published on Amazon.com.