Battling Laziness

When my husband and I first got married, we had a pretty good routine going. We were eating healthy, meal planning, going to the gym, and we had a cleaning schedule for our apartment. A few months later, though, a series of unfortunate events happened that threw us off track and we never really recovered. What started out as actual reasons to neglect housework and whatnot, eventually just turned to laziness. After awhile, we decided something needed to change; this laziness wasn’t good for us in more than one way. Physically, we did not feel very well because we were not eating well and we were no longer exercising. Our apartment was also taking a toll as was our spiritual lives. I was no longer carving out time to spend with God, I was giving Him whatever time I had left over – if any.

Scripture is dense when it comes to the topic of laziness (seriously, if you don’t believe me, Google it); it’s even one of the 7 Deadly Sins! As I said, we decided that we needed to battle the laziness that was taking over our lives, and we decided to do it as a team. We knew that individually we didn’t stand a chance, but sometimes being a team is hard. It can be hard to encourage one another about something like this without it coming across as nagging. It’s hard to motivate someone else when you don’t want to motivate yourself to do the same thing.

Despite these things, we decided to give it a shot. Making lifestyle changes doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process that requires steps – and you have to remember that even baby steps are steps. So that is what we started doing – and are still doing – implementing baby steps to get our lives back on track to where we’d like them to be. We’re trying to avoid eating out when we can and to start meal planning again. We’ve started tag-teaming the housework.

A huge part of combatting laziness is effective time management. I’ve started using the planning app Cozi (it is AMAZING, check it out!) again. I have also created a quiet time basket full of everything I could possibly need during quiet time (Bible, highliter, pens,  Bible commentary, journals, lotion in case my hand get dry, etc). We are trying to work on getting up earlier so we can eat a good breakfast and have quiet time, but this has been our most difficult obstacle so far. I also use my 45 minute commute to sometimes listen to podcasts (my current favorites are the Read Scripture Podcast Series by Francis Chan and the Uniquely Woman podcast) – I can make the choice to wake up late and not have time for things, but I can’t make the choice to not drive all the way to work. Other times I listen to worship music, and, of course, other times I just have jam sessions.

Our current goal is to start going to the gym again. As I said, life change is made through baby steps and each baby step, no matter how small, is a victory that should be celebrated. Whether it’s laziness or some other obstacle that you are pushing to overcome, just remember that each day is a new day and a new chance – heck, each hour is a new chance – and to celebrate the victories along the way.

Health{ier} Living

I turn twenty in 72 days (what?! how is that possible?!) Since I started college nearly two years ago (again, what?!), I’ve grown up quite a bit. I work, I pay bills, I’m planning my wedding (again, I strongly emphasize WHAT?!), I make my own choices. I’m an adult and I have to make my own choices now. I have to be responsible with my money, my time, my life.

Now, this post is not about how I’m aiming to become a size x or how I want to only eat x amount of calories a day. This post is about making choices and how I’ve decided to aim for a healthier lifestyle all around.

First off, I joined a gym. Me. Yeah, I’m surprised too. But I figured I’m more motivated to use something if it’s taking money out of my bank account every month. So I’ve started going to the gym. I hop on the elliptical and watch Netflix for 30-45 minutes. It’s not so bad. I’ve also started watching what I’m eating. Notice I didn’t say calorie counting or eliminating carbs or whatever. Those things are fine, I’ve just decided to be more conscious about what I eat, choosing almonds over chips, water over soda.

Aside from the changes in my physical lifestyle, I’ve changed other aspects of my life, too. I’ve started watching what thoughts I let enter my head. I have a problem with blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault, with anger, with depression. So, when I have thoughts that are critical or negative or hurtful towards myself or others I stop them in their tracks; I choose to think differently. It was a difficult thing to do at first, I mean, I thought, how do I stop myself from thinking? But it starts with paying attention to what you think about and when something raises a red flag, don’t entertain it. Put an end to it then and there.

Additionally, a change I’ve made is starting and ending my day well. I start with a healthy breakfast – if I wake up in time to make one (I’m still struggling with waking up on time… 🙂 ) and I read my Bible. I will sacrifice doing my hair and makeup as long as I have time to read my Bible; if I don’t start my day in Scripture, it shows. I listen to worship on the way to work and I’m always looking for new songs so that they aren’t just becoming routine, but I can genuinely worship. I end my day, even if I don’t get home until midnight, with reading my Bible. I also journal at night. There’s a pretty famous quote by Flannery O’Connor that says, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I have to say.” It is so true. If I’m dealing with a particularly stressful issue, I write about it, and I can vent and be honest and a lot of times that’s where God reveals something to me or just brings me comfort. Sometimes I just write about my day, even if it was just an ordinary day; it gives me time to reflect.

So I haven’t set outrageous goals. I just want to be a healthier me. God didn’t create us to live miserable lives that are weighed down by an unhealthy physical or mental state. When you’re healthy physically, you feel better. When you’re healthy mentally, you feel better. The two go hand-in-hand. Since I’m nearly twenty and am adulting, with the freedom to make my own decisions, I’m doing my best to live at least a little bit of a healthier lifestyle.

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Photo Credit: Autumn Goodman

We’re Not in Neverland Anymore

Over the past several months I have been – as I put it – trying to adult.  I don’t think you turn 18 and suddenly you know how to be a successful adult.  When I turned 18, I was in the pseudo-real world that is college (for some – some people work full time and go to school, I don’t know how ya’ll do it).  A lot of college students start college with scholarships, loans, and/or family money.  You’re an adult, but you don’t do much adulting.  You go to class, eat cafeteria food, hang out on weekends, do homework.  The world calls you a grown up, but you’re really just a glorified teenager.  My freshman year really felt no different than high school except that I didn’t live at home and no one asked me if I had homework to do.

Fast forward to this year.  I live at home and commute 45 minutes to school.  All of a sudden I had to learn to budget for gas, snacks for school (I prefer to bring my own healthier options if possible), and some bills with an average income of $20 per week.  Through this, God has provided tremendously.  He has shown me nothing is impossible if I trust in Him and discipline myself.  By no means am I comparing myself to someone who is out on their own providing for themselves completely.  I live at home and receive occasional financial help from my parents, I don’t have to worry about having a roof over my head or food to eat, but God has blessed me with the opportunity of learning to manage money and start to take care of myself before I really have to when I’m out on my own.

This year I’ve also started to make my own decisions in other areas; being an adult isn’t like middle school where you had gym three times a week.  I’ve taken my health and lifestyle into my own hands, opting for better food choices and an active lifestyle.  I’ve started recycling and doing what I can to preserve the environment, not because someone is over my shoulder telling me to, but because I’m trying to take responsibility for the things I do and the impact I make.  My faith is in my own hands.  It’s on me to seek God and choose to live for Him everyday.

Again, I don’t think being an adult is just something you just know how to do, it’s something you have to learn how to do.  You have to learn to take responsibility for yourself and to manage your life physically, spiritually, and financially. I have been incredibly blessed to start to learn how to manage my life before being on my own supporting myself.  In the past several months, God has taught me so many lessons on being self-disciplined – like waking up on time so I can actually get things done and not skimping on a work out because I don’t feel like.  God has taught me how to trust Him more.  God has blessed me in a season of life that I did not imagine so much growth to come from.

The idea of growing up and being an adult used to sound so unappealing at times. No, I’m not in Neverland anymore, I’m growing up and it’s scary and not always easy, but I have to say, it’s not that bad.

Photo Credit: Andrew Ruiz