2 routines to master your day, feel good and achieve your goals

I often get asked "How do you fit everything in?" "You must be so busy" My reply is always the same "routine, routine,routine" For as long as I can remember I have had daily routines, blame it on my Mum. She had us in routines right from day one, and well I did the same with my kiddies, maybe that's why they started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, both of them. Anyway back to the point, routines can have some real benefits, like giving you more precious time to do what you love to do, achieving your goals and you feel good because you are getting things done!

morning_yoga.png

 

It`s probably fair to say that everyone has some type of routine in their life. Most of us just see a routine as a function or a need, like brushing your teeth, having a shower or doing #2's at the same time everyday!!!!! however not everyone uses routines as a way to save time and achieve your goals. Initially, that's how I saw routines too, however over the years I have noticed some benefits of my routines and worked on making a more conscious effort to develop really effective routines.

When the kids were little and we were in that morning madness phase of getting everyone out the door, that was when I really kicked routine into top gear. Having routines meant that we all knew what we had to do and everything was sorted and ready to go, no running around madly trying to find things and do last minute homework or assignments in the car, or dashing into the shop for lunches. The biggest benefit for everyone was that day always started pretty calm and on time. Ok we were human and sometimes things did go to the dogs!! but not that often.

So now as a midlifer and emptynester my routines are different and the same. I still have to get up and get ready and still have to clean the house!!! However I have more me time so I have been able to add some self care and development routines into my life that is really paying off and certainly helping me to achieve my goals and "fit everything in".

Achieving your goals is actually done by taking small steps regularly, action this, done , on to the next action. A good example is a goal to get fit and lose weight, achieved by taking small actions everyday , like 30 minute exercise and a morning smoothie. So in reality, to achieve your goals you need to "master your day", well that's what I think. By mastering your day everyday you achieve your goals! And that's where the routines come in.  Developing useful and effective routines in the morning and evening can help you to achieve these goals. The best way to illustrate this is for me to take you through my morning and evening routines.

My Morning Routine

Alarm goes off at 5am, weekdays and 7am in the weekends. This is an hour earlier than I need to be up because I use this time to focus my mind, exercise and learn. Some of you may be familiar with the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod . I follow a very similar approach, so my first 60 minutes of the day looks like this;

  • Meditation - 10 mins
  • Affirmations and visualisation - 20 mins
  • Exercise (yoga) - 10 mins
  • Readings and journal - 20 mins

I use a couple of really good apps that have free programmes plus paid subscriber programmes. I just access the free ones which are just perfect for me at this stage.  Calm is a great meditation app and has got great reviews and awards. There is a really good 7 day course for free that introduces you to meditation, totally recommend you doing it.  I now just us the "timed meditation", 10 mins and it always ends with a lovely quote to get your day started.   

ottoman_mediation.png

 

Exercise has always been a big part of my life. I ran for a number of years, however being a long lanky thing I am not really designed for it and after a number of calf muscle blow outs, had to stop. Mrs B (awesome yoga guru) put me onto Yoga and I have not looked back, now incorporating it into my daily routine, both morning and evening. I use Asana Rebel app again as with Calm I use the free programmes which I find great. I did pay for a subscription which gives you the ability to build your own exercise programme and even gives you a coach. If you need help with motivation, I would recommend getting the paid subscription, it's a nominal monthly fee. The other point of note is that I actually took a 10 week Yoga beginners course which I again would strongly recommend. I think that without knowledge of Yoga poses you may not get the full benefit.  

So by 5:40am, I am warmed up and energised with a clear and calm mind and good focus for the day. I then go and make myself a cup of tea and do my readings and journal which actually is my learning time. I listen to podcasts of Webinars that are relevant to what I want to learn more about. Spotify has great podcasts, currently listening to Simple Pin Media which has fantastic tips and information for bloggers on how to use Pinterest to grow your blog business. I also have the Library app called Libby where I loan audio books from our local Auckland library, Getting Things Done by David Allen is on my playlist at present. (Totally buy the book, there is a reason it's a top seller). I always get some gems of learnings and actions to take from my "readings" in the morning which I follow through on and ensure that I action. 

Books_learnings.png

 

At 6am I'm good to go and start to get ready for the day and at 7am am out the door with Smoothie in hand and jump on the bus.

Now I really need to be honest here, I was never one that thought a lot about meditation, affirmations etc, in fact always thought it was a bit tree huggish!. However after doing some research into personal development I started to look into this more and I have been absolutely blown away by what a difference this has made for me. So for me the big benefits are the ability for me to be really focused on what I need and want to achieve, the commitment level and motivation I need to achieve it, the energy and passion and how important looking after myself is in order to achieve my goals. I do also feel a lot calmer and focused on what I have to do today, my mind is not a muddle of "to do's". I certainly feel fresh and alive in the mornings than being half asleep!

My evening routine

Unlike my morning routine, my evening one is spread out over the evening and some have time frames and others are more tasks/actions that I need to do every night. Here is my evening routine;

  • Yoga - 30 mins 
  • Tea together at the table
  • Tidying with Tania work - 1-2hours
  • Zone Cleaning - 15 mins
  • Kitchen cleaning  - 15 mins 
  • Lunch preparation
  • Clothes out for morning
  • Reflection and planning

The first thing I do when I get home...well after me and Pete have our wee hello hug and kiss, I get my yoga gear on and do a 30 min session.  It is normally a pretty sweat inducing session and really gives me great energy to get going again at the end of the day. 

Pete and I also always sit down at the table and have tea together and catch on the day and ourselves and family. That's probably one the most important routines that we have always done, before we have kids, while the kids were at home and again now they are gone. 

My cleaning routine is easy as I have a regular one that I use which is based on zone cleaning. I am just modifying it as the completed renovations have changed what I need to be cleaning. If you want to get an idea of my cleaning routine check it out here . I would also recommend that you check out my Home Cleaning Pinterest board which has lots of great information on home made cleaners and cleaning routines. 

kitchen_diffusor.png

My kitchen cleaning just means that the last thing I do at night is clean down the counter tops and make sure everything is cleared away. I also give the floor a quick once over with the microfibre cloth. As I do this every night it means I do not need to  big weekly clean of the kitchen as it is always clean. I also like to put my essential oil diffusers on, one in the kitchen to get rid of the cooking smells and one in the lounge.....Pete calls them "stink pots" yep he is a Southern man, so does not always appreciate the way of lovely smells from essential oils. 

Making my lunch and getting my clothes out the night before just takes away the rush and hassle of making decisions in the morning. You need to do this, it makes such a difference to the morning. 

Once in bed I review my day, checking what I have achieved and plan out my actions for the next day, and just like the start of the day, I do this with a cup of tea....ohhh bliss. then my head hits the pillow and I`m out for the count.

nighttime_reflection.png

 

Reflecting on achievements, no matter how small are motivational, for me any way, even if it's that huge pile of washing that's been sitting on the couch forever! Sometimes things occur during the day and you don't get everything done so it's a good time to plan and work out realistically when you can do it.  By just taking a few minutes to do this makes a huge difference to the mind and how rested it feels. I find it does really help me in getting a good sleep.

Making it a Habit

My routines are now habits so I don't really think of them as anything other than a part of my day. However I do know that it's because I have these routines that I can achieve so much in my day. So like the saying goes...I am what I repeatedly do.

So how do you get into a habit of doing your routine everyday, morning and night? Well I think it just comes down to commitment. How committed do you want to be?  What do you really want to achieve or change? 

Something that I do find helpful and it might seem a bit silly, but it does work, is a habit tracker.  I use these when I am adding or changing routines. The research says that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so tracking the routine everyday for at least 21 day gives you a good chance at turning your routine into a habit.  

morning_readings.png

 

To help you with tracking your morning and evening routines I have created a habit tracker. Yep no excuses now. Just pop your details below and the Free Habit tracker printable will be winging it's way to you.

Free Habit Tracker

Habit tracker convertkit

A simple and easy to use tracker to help you turn your routines into habits

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

 

Master my day

So by simply doing my routines every day I am actually achieving my goals, because every day I take another action and another step closer to my goals. This makes me the Master of my day and not the day being the master of me! 

I'd love to hear from you, are you trying to achieve some goals, or simple wanting a less chaotic day. Think about trying a routine, even a few small actions, list them in the habit tracker and give it a go, remember it only takes 21 days!

Happy habit making everyone

email signature mock up.png

Follow me on social media for more tips, ideas and talk from Tania, just click the links below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mum letting go

8:55pm , 17th November 1996 I am holding her in my arms, just staring at her, she's mine, she's mine, she's mine. Am I really a Mum? Look at her she is soooo beautiful, her smell oh her smell, I can not get enough of her, wanting to never let her go. 

 

20 years later, I hold her hand and let her go. She is all grown up now and has left home. We raised our kids to leave us and they are.

He is my little boy, my youngest, my sweet wee man. He is 18 now and getting on a jet plane to join the Air Force, bye my son, bye my wee man, who I used to hold in my arms.

I am crying, sobbing I know they have to leave us and we want them to but they are my babies. They have to go, they want to go. I see them with excitement and adventures in their eyes, mine just fighting back the tears that I can't show. My heart hurts and sings at the same time. 

My emotions are all over the place, anticipation and excitement for them, and for us for our new adventures but it's a struggle to see the rooms empty out. 

Apparently this is called empty nest syndrome!  

I look at all the blogs, social media, magazine, TV shows, You tube channels focused on raising children. There is so much support and information out there now, it's great, especially for new Mums as it can be a lonely job. However there is not a lot when it comes to the other end of parenting, letting them go. Apparently the average age of children at home in New Zealand is 27!.  I could not believe that, a fully grown adult still living with parents at 27. 

So why at the age of 20 and 18 are our children leaving. It's simple really because they are adults and they need to be their own people have their own lives and most importantly take responsibility for it. When they were young we decided what sort of adults we wanted them to be and some of the characteristics they would need was independence and resilience. They had to learn skills to run their own lives, and it's sooo easy to run it for them and they will let you too. As a parent saying no and making tough decisions is very hard and often it is easier to fall back to doing it for them, or as Mr Dad would say, "you are enabling them"

Ms 20 left home to go flatting at the start of her second year at University, she was actually 19. We live in the same city so she could stay at home as most students do. However she needs her own space and place to spread her wings. She worked hard and saved all her money to have a cushion behind her to go flatting. She is a full time student as well as working to cover all her expenses, she is not financially dependant on us. 

Mr 18 is the same, having worked in school holidays since he was 15. He brought his first car and covered all running costs at the age of 17. The last 18 months have been dedicated to getting accepted into the Air Force, the goal which he achieved. He is also independent and not financially dependant on us and can't wait to get on that plane.

As parents this is the type of adult we wanted our children to be, we love to see them succeed on their own and not need us, no matter how painful that is because that is our job, to be parents. To show them the way to the door and watch them run out it into the sunshine!

 

 

 

 

 

Valentines Dinner meal planning on a budget

Pete and I always make sure that we take the time to do something nice on our Wedding Anniversary, and because it falls in February we have our very own Valentine celebration. Every year we make sure that we celebrate in style. The last two years, we have had lovely holidays away to celebrate. So, this year it was going to be at home. None the less, it was still going to be special. I love having a genuine experience with the person who rocks my world.  So this year we decided that we would indulge in a big feast.

2017-02-04 02.50.12.jpg

 

We both love to cook together, however we don`t get much quality time during the normal weekly madness to do this.  So to have an excuse to stop and enjoy was perfect. It also helped that eating at home was going to be cheaper as we have some financial goals this year and need to stay on budget.

First things first, decide on the menu, which had to be three courses...because we were going all out. We got all our recipes from a beautiful cook book given to us by our dear friends (you know who you are) called "Feast, Our Food out east". It's filled with delicious recipes from eateries and local people from Gisbourne and the East coast.  I just love the illustrations of the magic that is the East coast and their bounty of cuisine.

After a bit of discussion (like any good marriage)  we came up with the following menu:

The Menu

Entree - Mussel and Bacon soup

Main - The Grill Room's Beef Fillet with Parsnip Puree and Mushroom Dressing

Dessert- Home made Passionfruit Ice Cream and Donuts East Coast style

 

The planning

Now that the menu was sorted, it was just a matter of working out what we needed to buy and when. The fresher the better, so we shopped for most of the fresh produce on the day. We shopped at our local food market, Simply Fresh, it's an excellent local community hub and has fabulous variety of fresh produce from vegetables, fruit to meat, poultry and almost everything in between......and if you spend over $40 you get a free coffee (and the coffees good). 

The rest of the planning was just ensuring that we had everything sorted in the kitchen and pantry all ready to go for the big cooking session. Also, just working through how long it would take to make each course.......you don`t want to still be cooking at 2am !

We actually prepared a couple of dishes, Ice cream and donuts before the evening. Its good to make as much as you can beforehand to reduce the amount of work to do on the night.

The Table Setting

I love decorating the table and making a lovely setting. It took all of my will power to resist going out and buying up a storm on lovely new dinning accessories, glassware, cutlery and so on. The rule was to shop the house. Confession time, I did however manage to find two beautiful big soup bowls from Nest and two gorgeous dark blue dinner plates at our local thrift shop for $2 each. However everything else from the home. 

I layered up the plates so we had a clean plate already for each course and the same for the glasses. The best part was that I got to use my beautiful antique cutlery service (Wedding gift from my Nana). Oh a hint: it's the 'outside in' if you were wondering!  When I was setting them up I realised that I really need to use these a lot more as it seems a shame just to keep such beautiful objects housed away for the occasional use.....I think I have found another goal for the year.! Like I need another one.

As I am not really a fan of Valentine themed decor...., I used the exisiting table runners and placemats as I really like them and the colours went well together.  I was really happy with the end look, not over the top, functional, cheap and my style ...hmm feeling good. 

A bit of splurging was done on some nice flowers from the local florist, she made up a bunch for me for $34. The bunch was a mix of me and Petes favourites.

 

The cooking

This is the part that Pete and I love, sharing the cooking experience, and then sitting down together to enjoy what you have just made together. 

We work to our strengths, Pete's good on the actual cooking part, especially the meat and I am good at getting the all ingredients chopped and ready and making salads. So if you are venturing into the kitchen to cook together it's helpful to work out what each of you will do, best to do what you are good at.......and if you both good at the same thing......well your stuffed!!!! My advise here would be just try not to argue too much and get in each others way.

 

The soup was first up and it was sooo yummy. It was very easy to cook, and the dish meant that we could cook it a bit early and eat it when we were ready, which we did.

And so it continued for each course, taking it slow to allow time to digest, enjoy and cook. I have to say we did consume a bit of wine. It's amazing how much you get through while cooking as well as eating...be warned!!!

Is was about 11pm when we finished up with the dessert and coffee and the homemade Ice cream which was to die for!

Okay, so what about the dishes? We actually cleaned and cleared as we cooked, so there was not a lot left at the end of he night. So it wasn't an issue....and there was no way either of us could face a big mess of dishes at the end of the night. 

It was a fabulous night, lots of fun and it only cost $83, pretty cheap I think for a great night! 

So if you are looking for a low key, romantic and cheap Valentines night I would totally recommend this. 

Enjoy my little love bird!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting ready for the new year - My Planner set up for 2017

I can not exactly tell you when I first started using planners, or what I called diaries, I think it was at High school or Varsity. It was always on my Christmas wish list and I loved filling it all out for the new year......a bit like starting over, a fresh new year ...well I think that's why I loved it...thinking of all the possibilities and adventures that were coming that year.  Now we have "life planners", "goal planners" basically whatever planner you want. They are ohhhh so much more than just the basic yearly diary, they are great for getting you and your life organised. And the choice.... oh the choice, its endless plus there is the fun of making them all pretty by jazzing them up with stickers and custom tabs and washi tap.....limited only by your imagination. 

kikki k-planner.jpg

 

As it is January and my traditional time of the year for my new year planner , I thought I would take you through my personal planner set up for 2017....excited cos I am!

The planner itself is from Kikki k which I got as a Christmas present at the end of 2015. I absolutely love using it. It's not only functional but allows me to personalise it. I alway starts with the functional aspect then jazz it up, making it all pretttttyyyy ...so every time I open it I am filled with joy....wiggle bum!!!! Guys this is probably your equivalent to getting all the sports settings set up properly on your TV/Streaming device ..one stop shop for everything. 

Planner set up

For the inserts you can get the pre printed packs from Kikki K, however I can never find ones that has exactly what I want, so I go online. As there are soooo many planning choices out there on line, I'd suggest to use Pinterest to narrow the search.

This year I have purchased some planning printable bundles from the website Strange & Charmed. Aka 'Miss Trenchcoat' , she provides tools and resources to help online entrepreneurs succeed and she has great functional planning resources. 

As I purchased and downloaded the inserts I was able to use them for both my personal and business planner, so it is certainly a cheaper option (even including the printing). The great thing this year was that she provided them in A5 and A4 size, perfect for me.

Once I got all the inserts downloaded and printed, I was able to set up my planner in the following categories;

  • Monthly 
  • Weekly 
  • Daily 
  • Task list 
  • Budget 
  • Reflection

Each category is in its own section and separated by a divider, which I have personalised...sooo much fun.....and I love the look I achieved this year.

My monthly and weekly view are on two pages, this just means when I open it out it is over two pages. This gives me plenty of space to write.

The rest are all on one page with the exception of the reflection pages, which are actually from Kikki K.

 

Planning process

If you are a planner then you know that it takes a while to get the right system that works for you. 

The way I use my planner, essentially is based on a month by month view. All events, birthdays and appointments are noted firstly in the monthly view. Therefore at the start of each month I review what is coming up for the month, add in any additional appointments, events etc.

Every Sunday morning I plan up the week ahead, this means that I can see easily what is planned for the week and what I need to get done. I also run a task list, or a "to do" list, so I review this list at the same time and essentially divide up the tasks over the week depending on the priority and the time.  One thing that I do slightly differently is that I have a daily view for the weekends, one day on a page where I can time block . I actually find these really helpful for planning out things to get done in the weekend. I don`t know about you but I always have 101 things to get done in the weekend, so this works perfectly for me and ensures I get the important things done. 

Last year I started doing a weekly reflection, it is not really something that I thought I would get into ... a bit fluffy for me...however I actually found it really useful. So this year I am continuing do this.

Prettize the planner

Is there such a word? No suspect not but hey I have made it one now. This is where I have fun with my planner, as an FYI, planner embellishment is big business as is Planners in general. In short this is Scrapbooking for diaries. And yes I am a Scrapbooker from way back so it's a given that I got into planners. 

I actually make my own dividers. I take the original dividers that came with the planner and each year I cover them with updated card stock. My colour theme is gold and teal/turquoise or acqua or whatever colour you call it.  Each divider has a tab , this year I have gone all out and tried something different, just used a gold letter rather than the word on the tab, i.e m for monthly (actually it was an w upside down as I didn`t have any m`s left). I have to say I am in love with the look!!

 

So there you have it my planner for 2017. I hope this has inspired you to consider starting to use a planner....you never know it might change your life.  

If you are keen to learn more about using a planner and functional planning let me know, am happy to share the love!

Have a fantastic and productive week

tidyingwithtania-signature

Mum and Career, the 4 things you need to do to succeed in both

It was a conversation with one of my staff that lead me to this week's blog. With two young ones at school and working full time, she had a challenging week. Like a lot of women, she chose to work full time and have a career, and why not? However it can be a tough road being a Mum, whether working full time or at home, it can be a hard but rewarding road. Surprisingly enough we are not superwomen and we need to recognize this and give ourselves a break.

 

Having raised my kids and worked full time in my career I have learnt a few things on the way, so I thought I'd share some of these with you and, hopefully, you can take something from it to make your life a bit less chaotic.

You are not the only parent

Ok, so you’re the Mum and you think that because of this you should be the authority on your children……well, that is true, but there is another parent, so make sure you let them be the parent too.

One of the most frustrating things I hear is “hubby's babysitting the kids” or Dad saying “I'm babysitting the kids”. No you are not! They are your children, so you are actually simply doing what a parent should do - parenting.

I learnt this really early on with our daughter, first born. Within our first day back at home with her, Pete was bathing her and I was hovering over him…..”do it like this…..don't do it like that.. blah blah” He turned around and said to me “she is my child too and I`ll do this my way”. It really made me stop and realise that I didn't know any more about bathing, dressing, changing nappies etc than he did , we were both new at this. So yeah, I totally let go of feeling that I had to be the authority on our kids. From that day on I never had to plan or organize anything when Pete was with the kids, he did it his way and he did it well.

So as women we need to stop feeling precious about that and let go sometimes.

Let it out of your head and share

I don't know about you but I carry lots of crap in my head, you know the usual stuff, school stuff, dates, appointments, birthdays, sports… it goes on. You need to get this information out of your head and get the family aware of these things and involved in helping with them.

There are great ideas and tools that can really help with this

  • calendar
  • diary
  • to do list
  • family home folder

Whatever you chose to use, make sure you keep it for everyone to use and see.

We always had a big calendar that had everyone’s name on it, so you could easily see what was coming up for the family weekly and monthly. We found this kikki-k one worked really well.

Flexible work options

Ok, so we may not all be in a position to have flexibility in our work, but I strongly suggest that you do try and achieve this. If your present work environment doesn't support this, think about finding one that does.  I know this is easier said than done, but think about the difference it would make to your life and parenting ability.

One of the reasons I remained with my employer was because they are so supportive of work-life balance. I always made the effort to attend all the important events in my kids' lives - at school, on the sportsground, etc. It wasn't always easy, but I did it.  My husband did the same, between us we were always there.

I recall once at a parents' event at the school, a group of mums talking to me about how hard it must be working full time and raising a family. This was about fifteen years ago and a full time working Mum was still not that common. Obviously I talked about the challenge, but I did ask them if they had asked my husband the same question? And do they ask other fathers this question? I didn`t meant to be rude, but it’s important to change some perceptions and expectations that we place on ourselves.

Create the Social hub

My final word on this topic is, as far as I am concerned, the most important. No matter what else is going on in the world, your home must be the social hub for your family. It has to be the place from which their values, and their skills to get through life successfully, are developed . Yes, school and sports friends and other external factors help to broaden their skills and can influence them, but don't ever underestimate the importance of the home. Its one of the things you can actually control and achieve as parent, is to make your home a strong social hub. Always keep your kids close, and never, ever, stop communicating with them, especially in the teenage years.

I know we all have our own family experiences , but I hope this has helped in some way towards making your life easier.

I will be sharing a lot more practical ideas for organizing and planning in my upcoming blogs, so please “stay tuned”. Look forward to talking to you again soon.

Hugs and smiles

Tania