Squeeee!!! We’re partnering with Kohl’s for their Make Your Move campaign and couldn’t be more excited to be working with a brand that aligns well with our goals and beliefs! Kohl’s wants us to move more, stress less, and eat and sleep better. It’s amazing how such a simple concept can make a significant impact in our lives, and they’re on a mission to remind us to get moving! And however you begin, there’s no better time to make your move with Kohl’s than now. As I take you through my journey of how I make my move, I encourage you to join us! This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl's.
Stress less, seems easy enough; but as much as I want life to flow seamlessly, it doesn't always go according to plan. Between the cooking and baking, entertaining in our home, kids' after school activities and still having to manage my career and blog, there was definitely no time left for myself! My body was so stressed out and tired, yet I still kept pushing myself and telling myself that I am supposed to be this superhero that can do it all. I thought I was invincible. I wasn't.
My body’s defense system became weak from doing too much and from lack of sleep (I was getting 4 hours of sleep each night). I didn't listen to body screaming “GET SOME REST!”. So, the obvious happened…I got sick…REALLY sick. My blood pressure was extremely high and I was admitted into the hospital for stroke symptoms. I was on bed rest for a week, and began seeing a Cardiologist. Although they are running tests to find the root cause of this, the Cardiologist explained that stress and lack of sleep can trigger these symptoms and told me to take it easy…literally, because my health depended on it. For those of you in the same boat, the best eye opener for me was getting a fitness tracker from Kohl’s like a Fitbit Charge HR or Jawbone UP 24 that can assess a multitude of activities (including sleep, heart rate, and distance).
The truth is (even though it sounds like the same old record playing over and over again), we need to balance our everyday lives for less stress. When I got sick, it forced me to slow down and learn to appreciate how feeling good could make such a difference in how you truly live life! I realized that all those little things that took up time weren’t necessary and I eliminated them from my list of tasks. It was also a reminder to enjoy life and to take a moment to stop and smell the roses; bask in gratitude for all we have. Being sick was my epiphany to being well and to be healthy mentally and physically. They say every disappointment is a learning opportunity, and that’s what I took it as. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the mess of busyness in 2015. There are lots of ways to live with less stress in 2015.
The key to stress management is simple: be organized enough to know where you're heading and live purposefully for a stressless 2015.
Please take it from me — as someone with too much to do, and not enough time to do it; you need a plan of action. You’re probably thinking it’s easier said than done (especially when you've fallen completely off the organization bandwagon). I was in that same position six weeks ago, and I’m giving you the exact same process I took to get a grasp on life. I made a decision to take control of my life and to no longer let my life take control of me. Finish reading this post, and you’ll get to see the update of how things are going with me now.
Here’s the steps I took to live purposefully :
- The very first step I took was making organization and goal planning my priority by carving out 90-minutes on my calendar to brainstorm in a quiet room free from distractions. By actually scheduling it on my calendar, it forced me to stop what I was doing to focus on the bigger picture. You may feel like your life is too busy to take 90-minutes out of your day, but I promise it is well worth the investment. Imagine the ability to live a more joyful and less stressful life and the opportunities that it can bring you.
- I walked away from my desk, pulled out my journal and began to write. Notice that I did NOT sit at my desk, pull out my tablet or laptop or smartphone…all electronic gadgets were completely removed from view to keep me laser focused, on me. I needed a quiet place to find my zen, and being in my office only made my mind race with all the things I needed to do. I went into my bedroom and huddled up in my bed with my super soft Apt. 9 Gray Trellis Comforter from Kohl’s (TIP: make sure your blinds are all open and you’re sitting up when you write so that you don’t fall asleep!). I decided I was going to determine my “word for the year” and use that one word to visually inspire me, and light a fire under my booty to be a better me. I chose my one word by writing a paragraph between 4-5 sentences long of my overall goals for 2015. They were specific and descriptive. I then took that whole paragraph and summed it up into one sentence. I read that one sentence over and over and thought about words that would make me want to take action. The words I came up with were: purposeful, strategic, wisdom, and consistency. I imagined myself procrastinating and asked myself which of these words would make me take action and the word I kept seeing over and over was…PURPOSEFUL. I decided that I want everything I do in 2015 to have purpose towards the bigger picture. Being purposeful will lead me towards being well-planned, strategic, and consistent. My actions and decisions must be purposeful and authentic, and so it began…
- Once I had an understanding of the “why”, I put together a list of my top five priorities in life. I wrote down the five most important things in life and put them in order of importance. Mine are health, family, ministry, career, and finances.
- Next, I set yearly goals on what I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2015 by adding 2-big goals for each priority (totaling 10 goals for the year).
- Finally, I got a good sense of where I was heading for 2015. I pulled out my tablet and used Evernote to jot down ideas and things I needed to do to accomplish those goals. Writing them down will make you feel the legitimate need to take action to get them done. I decided that I can’t do it all by myself and began delegating tasks to others in our family and to others on my team with TheItMom.com.
TIP: I also took to heart a lesson I learned from my boss about the value of time. She told me that she calculated her hourly rate and what her time was worth when it came time to making decisions on a project or task. For example: Our 3,100 square foot home needs a cleaning and would take approximately 3 hours to clean. The cost to hire a cleaning company for 3 hours is $150. Let’s say my hourly rate is worth $100 per hour. If I clean our home myself, the value for 3-hours of cleaning would be $300. It would be worth my time to hire a cleaning company or buy productive cleaning gadgets from Kohl’s like the iRobot Roomba 620 Vacuuming Robot that does the vacuuming for you and docks itself after cleaning to recharge. I’d then be able to utilize the 3-hours of my time to do more productive tasks towards a purposeful 2015.
Living purposefully would mean I now had to set some goals. Goals are important in accomplishing big things in any stage of life. Be sure they’re SMART GOALS (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) to your current situation.
If you have yet to start goal-setting for 2015, here are 21 sample SMART goals to get you brainstorming for new goals for yourself:
Save 20% of my income of (specific amount) by goal date:
Get rid of (specific amount) of my debt by goal date:
Pay off my car (specific amount of loan balance) by goal date:
Purchase a new home in (city name) with (number of bedrooms and number of baths) by goal date:
Take a vacation to (city name and country name) with my significant other on goal date:
Take a family vacation to (city name and country name) on goal date:
Travel to these four places (name them) each quarter on goal dates:
Improve my current credit scores of (reach out to your financial institution on how to obtain these scores) by 50-points higher.
Reduce my expenses to (specific amount) by goal date:
Increase my income each quarter to (specific percentage amount) by goal date:
Serve in my community by volunteering time at (name the charity or charities) on these dates:
Receive a promotion to a (specific title) by goal date:
Give 10% of my income to those in need such as (name organizations you plan to give monetary donations to).
I will allocate (specific amount) to each charity by goal date:
Continue my education by taking a course or certification in (name the type of education you plan to receive) by goal date:
Exercise (specific number of days) each week for (specific number of minutes each day).
Eat healthier by eating (number of servings each week) and (name healthy foods you will eat more of) each week.
Be more stylish in the way I dress by investing (specific amount of money) in new (types of outfits appropriate for your life) by goal date:
Teach my children how to (name what you will teach them) by goal date:
Do something special for your significant other that you know they've been wanting by goal date:
Clean out and organize your closet by goal dates (I recommend doing this every quarter):
Organize and file all your important paperwork by goal dates (I recommend doing this every quarter):
Update: Things are going really, REALLY well! At times, I’m a little freaked out that things are going smoothly! It’s been six weeks since I created my goals and began planning my purposeful life and I have never felt more at peace than now. My health has improved and my levels of stress have decreased significantly. It’s amazing what organization and good planning can do to one’s overall well-being. I’ve also made an effort to keep up the good health by exercising regularly and eating clean. We’ve started meal planning too, which saves a ton of time!
I’ve made my move in making 2015 kick-butt! Time management has improved, I’m accomplishing goals, I’ve become more productive, and am so much more organized than when I began. Having the right tools and gadgets in place is a major lifesaver, and I’m excited to be working with Kohl’s towards a better me! #MakeYourMove is the hashtag and you’ll want to follow along myself and eleven other bloggers through our journeys to live a better and healthier lifestyle!
How will you make your move in 2015? Be sure to share your aspirations by leaving a comment below!*
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This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl's.