How I Do It Part 1: Sleep, Eat, Exercise, Helpful Apps

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How I Do It :

In the last 68 days I have had so much success that I thought it is time to share what I do and how I do it. Some things I learned from books, some from experimenting and some of these things come from friends who have shared what they do to make their days better.

This is my Monday to Friday routine. I still practice some routines on the weekends, but am not so strict about it.

Sleep:

Did you know that our bodies have a sleep cycle (all about sleep cycles) . On average it is about 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you wake up in the middle of one, you will be more groggy and tired the rest of the day. So, it is better to get 6 hours of sleep than 6.5 hours. My normal sleep time is 7 hours and 30 minutes, or 5 sleep cycles, perfect for me. The sleepy time app and website can help you to calculate your best times. Then, just figure out what works for you.

Waking up:

I like to think of the things I am thankful for. I am thankful to have this day, for my children, for a body that is getting healthier and still works. I think of how lucky I am to have a home, safety, and the means to live a pretty decent life. I also think of how lucky I am to have a job I love, good friends and family.

Thinking, like this, when I awake, really sets the tone for a good day.

I also run three days a week and try to lift weights on the other days. I am using the Couchto5K app. It really works.

So, before I even get in the shower to get ready for work, I have thought of what I am thankful for and gave my body a boost of energy and exercise. If you can do all of this at the beginning of your day, you will find the it hard not to have an awesome day.

What I eat. It’s pretty simple really.

1. Breakfast- Smoothies in the blender. Most days I have 2 bananas, an avocado, a small amount of plain yogurt, a small amount of spinach, rice milk and frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries,etc) This si for me and my kids. You obviously can make less.  The main point is that we stay away from sugars that aren’t from fruit. Did you know regular apple juice has more sugar than Coke? We also take Fish Oil and Vitamin D capsules in the morning, it’s Norway after all.

2. Lunch- Salad with whatever I have in the fridge. Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, pine nuts, corn… whatever is raw food. I make my own dressing of a half part plain yogurt and half taco sauce. I know, I am weird. I like the taste and it is better for me than any dressing I can buy.

Some lunches I take 2 or three bananas, apples or both instead. When I eat this way I find I am not tired after lunch, ever.

3. Dinner- Whatever I want, but healthy.  The girls and I try to eat vegetarian 2-3 days a week for dinner. We also eat fish once a week. On Fridays we make homemade pizzas. The trick is to not eat too late.

Late snack- I stay away from them. Most of the time, when you are hungry before bed, it is because you are thirsty. I try to stay with only water past 7. It took some will power at first, but now is easy and routine. If I break down and really really need something, I go with fruit only. It satisfies my sugar cravings.

All of this took about 2 weeks to get used to. I have 100 times more energy, sleep better, get sick less often, and have lost a decent amount of weight.

(Next week)Part II: Habits, what I do before bed, and books that really helped me.  

 

 

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Days 52,53,54: Organize

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I have a new goal for 100 Days of Awesome.

There was a time in my life, when I was finishing college, that I had very little. I rid myself of television, junk I barely used,  and most of my furniture. I had my bed, my books, and my kitchen with food. It was so damn simple! I loved it.Vacuuming was easy. Cleaning was easy. Everything took 30 minutes a week to maintain.

With two girls I know that isn’t possible anymore, but could be better. I am ridding myself of anything I no longer need or use. I am simplifying my home as much as I possibly can. As the saying goes, “The more you own, the more that owns you.”

Over the last 5 days I have read a book called, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”   It was on the New York Times best sellers list for a while. I must admit, I was intrigued. The author, who also has an endless stream of clients asking for help, states quite often, that her method was developed after years of research into how we clean and organize our lives. I was skeptical at first, but as I get further into it, I see that what she is saying makes a lot of sense. This is my weekend.

The first step is to go through everything, put it in your hand and ask, “Does this spark joy?” Seriously, she wants me to ask myself if it sparks joy. It’s quite a mind bending experience to sit with an old computer power cable, or an old t-shirt from college, and ask that.  If I feel it does, I keep it. If not, I get rid of it. I have a ton of garbage bags and am going through everything. According to her, I may end up having a lot of garbage. So far I have around 10 bags filled to the top.

We all know the feeling of having a really clean house. It feels like your mind is clean. The author’s selling point is that, when finished, your house will be easier to maintain.  I want that. Even as I give my daughters more and more responsibilities, I find I am spending way too much time trying to keep my house in order. I just don’t have the time to constantly go, from room-to-room, cleaning.

I thought it would be smart to do it with my kids as well. If they bring me joy, I will keep them. If not, they’re out the door.

Seriously, if it does end up being something that really works, I will teach them as well. My youngest loves to save every little thing she finds. I once found 20 empty toilet paper rolls in a drawer that she was using for her Littlest Pet Shops. It’s cute, but also just ends up being more crap to deal with.

I’m off to simplify my home! Joy!

I haven’t exactly loved the last few days, throwing stuff out, but I know I will be thankful for it soon.

I lived today.

 

 

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Day 9: Must Do; Money, POM, Continue on…

Screenshot 2015-03-17 10.32.39What can I do when most of my day is filled with stuff I just have to do? I work long hours on Tuesday. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, meetings… you know the drill.

I did light weight lifting, stretching, and … a little yoga (yes yoga) this morning.

I did my best to focus on the present. Mindfulness. If I have lots to do, I will be in the moment. I refused to be a robot and miss this day.

I also must add that I am currently reading a book called, “Awareness“. My mom recommended it. So far it is… interesting. I am about 50 pages in and will reserve judgement until I finish. The text at the top is from the first paragraph of the book.

I got a small break in between classes today.   I took some time to look at my finances and build a better plan. I feel confident this plan will improve my state of mind and perpetuate a more peaceful relationship with money. The trick for me is to automate everything. I automated a lot. I have automated emergency savings, investments, bills, and weekly costs-of-living money. Having two daughters, alone, in a country as expensive as Norway, is not easy on the pocketbook. Now, every week I will know what I can use and won’t see the other stuff. I got the idea from here.   I will keep you updated on how it is working out.

I also contacted a lawyer and am now in the process of making a will to make sure, if anything  terrible should happen, that my children will be taken care of. That’s a big one that I have avoided for some time. Who wants to think about those things? I want peace of mind.

I can say, after 9 days, I am seeing the habits forming. I am becoming a better person. I am more at peace.  Sleeping, eating, and exercising are improving. Reflection and mindfulness are becoming parts of my daily life. Planning a little for a less stressful future will breed peace within.

Mindfulness. Assessing my economy. Safety for my children.  Eating well. Light training. Living now. I was here today. 

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Where Do you Go? Comment

9be9a716837e815f942262a8602503cbThe internet provides a wealth of information. Some may argue that there is too much. Most just google something and pick the first search. I am trying to find blogs and online websites that focus on becoming a better, happier, more peaceful person. Where do you go?

Do you have a site you like? Is there a person who you read often that offers great advice and perspectives on life?

Share in the comments!

 

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Day 6 and 7

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“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos — the trees, the clouds, everything.” 

Thích Nhất Hạnh, Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living

#100daysofawesome

Day 6 was active enough that I didn’t get to post. I did some private journaling but didn’t get to the blog. I did have a great morning walk with my girls and a nice visit with a friend in the evening. I also bought a used bike. Bike to work now that the weather is nicer? You know it baby!

I am finding being more active has raised my mood and overall sense of well-being. Shocker right?!

I love my Nike Fuelband. (Bought in the US for $100, sells in Norway for $182.) I bought it last summer while I was in the States and it has been a wonderful addition to my life. It’s a simple tracker, there are no pulse readings or phone call apps on it. What it does do is track my movement throughout the day and estimates calories burned. There is also an app on my phone that I connect to see averages, and current averages for others my age. Nike uses a point system called Nike Fuel.  You can connect with friends and compete or just use it to set goals for yourself. I set my point system to 2500 per day.

Here is a visual of last week (not awesome) and this week (awesome). It is so nice to have a visual log of my movement and activity. It really motivates me.

Here’s last week. As you can see, it was not a week of awesome.

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And… Week #1 of 100 Days of Awesome:

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Big difference huh? Sunday, of course, has just started, so it is still red.

I am setting my goal points to 3000 for week 2.

This day, this Sunday, will be less active. That I know.  We all need a day to rest. What I will do today is focus on my goals for week #2, while staying consistent with the things I have done in week 1. Mindfulness and Meditation are playing a huge role, but are a more personal journey. I continue with it.

So far so good. I am here, I am alive, and I am getting better and better every day. Sucking the marrow is proving extremely rewarding. 

Loving these songs while I write.

Ben Howard- Promise     Spotify link     iTunes link

Jude in the Mountains     Spotify link    iTunes link

 

 

 

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Why This Piece of Zen Wisdom is Critical to Helping Your Relationships Thrive – Buddhaimonia

Fantastic Article. #100daysofweseome

If you love a person, you say to that person, “Look, I love you, whatever that may be. I’ve seen quite a bit of it and I know there’s lots that I haven’t seen, but still it’s you and I want you to be what you want to be. And I won’t be happy if I’ve got you in a cage. You’d be a bird without song.”

 

– Alan Watts

via Why This Piece of Zen Wisdom is Critical to Helping Your Relationships Thrive – Buddhaimonia.

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The Year Ahead

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I need to take stock in the past, and look towards the time ahead. I need an overview of what I have done and want to do. Living in the moment, as strange as it sounds, requires looking behind and ahead. If you walk through a forest without a map, you may end up getting lost. This week I am using some time to do a task called the The Year Ahead.  You can do it too.  Shouldn’t everyone stop, once-in-awhile, reflect, and look towards the future?

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