Life Update: Summer to Thrive

June 5, 2017 in Stories

You are probably wondering, what the heck lady? Where is your deck reveal at…it’s been TWO MONTHS!?! Yeah, I know it. I feel like we bought a season pass on the struggle bus these past few weeks. It’s gone so far as the fact that I wanted to print this guide out and I couldn’t even get my printer to work. So I figured I would just post it here and give you all a little insight on our summer plans and goals.

If you aren’t familiar with Jess Connolly, her book, or her company All Good Things Collective hop on over to these two sites and check her out! I have this shirt and this hat and LOVE them! Her Instagram is the best and is a great motivator and inspiration throughout the day. I highly recommend you follow her!

She recently sent out a guide on her No Filter Newsletter on “chilling out and enjoying summer.” She is a reformed summer hater and her intro had my name all over it. I used to hate summer: the 100 degree heat, the humidity, lack of structure, fitting into my old summer clothes and feeling a little (usually a lot) less than about my body and wanting to make the most of it all. September would roll around and scarves would start popping up on each and every neck and before you know it you are prepping to combat the winter blues! I have been struggling with routines lately and with our summer plans quickly approaching this guide is exactly what I need.

A quick little life update so you know what I’m working with. I started working for my mom’s company remotely from KC – so I work from home everyday. JR and I are currently on day 7 of Whole30. We are renovating our deck/our entire house. I’m trying to ramp up my blog and start earning a side income. We are trying to find a new church. We are trying to pay off all our student loans.

Who has two thumbs and is feeling super overwhelmed? This girl.

Enter the Summer to Thrive guide. To get it just sign up for the No Filter Newsletter here! The number one rule of the guide is to “CHILL OUT, INTENTIONALLY.” So here goes nothing!

The first question asks how you want to feel at the end of summer. Jess’ example was that she wanted her kids to be kind of sad to go back to school. Some common themes on my list were to feel rested, stronger, settled in our home, nostalgic, anchored in my routines, and momentum in our finances. It also asks how you want those around you to feel. I marked that I wanted JR to feel rested, encouraged, and underwhelmed by house projects and that we wanted our friends to feel more welcome and at home in our house.

Question two asks to form three specific ways you can work towards accomplishing all your “feels” at the end of summer. I sort of tied this in with question five (establishing rhythms) and sorted my goals into 4 categories: Health, Home, Work, and Fun. If it doesn’t fit into one of those it’s out!

Questions three and four go into what you HAVE to do versus what you SHOULD/DON’T HAVE to do. After the deck renovation we really need to give ourselves (and our wallet) a renovation break so I mentally moved the house from the HAVE to do list onto the DON’T have to. She had a lot of examples for moms so if you’ve got kiddos I would definitely check this out.

Once you get all the things you keep telling yourself you HAVE to do OFF your plate you have a ton of space and time to fill with things you want to accomplish or mark out times to do absolutely nothing at all. Question five is about establishing rhythms – which I suck at. Like a LOT! So I decided to write them all out and post them here so I have a tad bit more accountability and somewhere I can go to read them every day! Here they are:

Health Rhythms

  • lay out workout clothes the night before
  • leave to go to the gym before JR leaves for work so I don’t have to pen up Camp (he is the king of the sad puppy eyes and I seriously avoid leaving the house because of it)
  • take Camp for 20 minute walks in the afternoons
  • find something to replace our nightly ice cream dessert in the evening (i.e. sitting on the back deck, making a healthy dessert, playing a game)
  • establish a bedtime so we quit falling asleep in front of the tv!
  • get a spray tan every Thursday (this sounds so dumb but a spray tan can improve your mood by like 97% – it’s a fact! ha!)

Work Rhythms

  • catch up on emails in the morning and clear out my inbox every day by 5
  • plan coffeeshop “dates” to work on big or lengthy design projects and to get out of the house
  • clean up the office area and get my better printer to work
  • leave the computer and any other work related stuff in the office
  • schedule each to do list item with a specific time during the day
  • call my mom everyday at 10AM to do a daily tasks call and get updates

House Rhythms

  • meal plan and grocery shop on Sundays
  • make extra and meal prep on Mondays during lunch
  • catch up on laundry and The Bachelor simultaneously on Tuesdays
  • pick up and have a “clean house” on Wednesdays so we are ready to enjoy the weekend
  • clean off the counters and have an empty sink every evening before bed

*I am going to see if it helps to only have one “to do” each day and attempt to mentally start our weekends on Thursdays by having friends over!

Fun Rhythms

  • schedule a weekly grill out and basketball with our friends, invite everyone! Thursdays sound like a good night!
  • blog when I feel like it instead of feeling like I have to
  • go on an unplanned roadtrip
  • give up social media for a week
  • make fun videos of our trips (get a waterproof iPhone case!)
  • take Camp to the beach
  • read my bible in the hammock on the deck on Sunday afternoons
  • finish my She Reads Truth bible study
  • develop pauses throughout the day to pray and praise
  • call one of my friends to catch up on Wednesday afternoons
  • catch up on Omaha book club and make a monthly date with Libby

I’m pretty excited about all of these and hope we can get into more of a routine and feel more rested. I think cutting myself some slack in the blogging arena will help me feel a little bit more creative and less pressured to post for the sake of posting. I also feel like I fall into the social media spiral and end up on Insta way too much – taking a week off would probably be good for my mental health!

The last page of the guide has a great little mantra and a prayer at the end so I think I’m going to print it out and stick it on the fridge. Again, to do your own you can access the worksheet by signing up for her newsletter here.

I’m ready to take on summer, how about you?

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