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Friday, December 5, 2014

Authentic Self Care

In the fourth component of my five-part plan I want to focus on taking care of myself. Given my health issues, my hectic career, and the myriad of other responsibilities and commitments that I have, this is incredibly important. If I don't take care of myself, then I can't possibly take care of everything and everyone else. And so in 2015 I'm going to spend more time focusing on the care of Ashley!


Quarter 1:
   - Get a massage once per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath once per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun once a week.

Quarter 2:
   - Get a massage twice per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath once per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun twice a week.

Quarter 3:
   - Get a massage twice per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath twice per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun twice a week.

Quarter 4:
   - Get a massage twice per month.
   - Take a relaxing bubble bath twice per week.
   - Spend time every morning and night tending to my skin, teeth, hair, and nails.
   - Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
   - Do something fun at least twice a week.

What will you do to tend to yourself?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Authentically Mindful

In part three of my five-component plan, I'm focusing on taking care of my mind. This is a multi-faceted approach. I didn't want to just focus on stress-reduction or being more centered, I wanted to take a more holistic approach. So you'll see in this plan I'm focusing on growing my mind, calming my mind, and trying to give my mind some love. Just like the other parts of my plan for 2015, I'm taking this plan in quarters with the caveat that I'll adjust it as needed.


Quarter 1:
   - 15 minutes of yoga daily
   - 15 minutes of meditation daily
   - Read/watch/listen to something weekly that will foster my self improvement
   - Blog twice per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal

Quarter 2:
   - 20 minutes of yoga daily
   - 20 minutes of meditation daily
   - Read/watch/listen to something twice a week that will foster my self improvement
   - Blog twice per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal

Quarter 3:
   - 25 minutes of yoga daily 
   - 25 minutes of meditation daily 
   - Read/watch/listen to something four times a week that will foster my self improvement 
   - Blog three times per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal 

Quarter 4:
   - 30 minutes of yoga daily 
   - 30 minutes of meditation daily
   - Read/watch/listen to something five times per week that will foster my self improvement 
   - Blog three times per week
   - Keep a daily gratitude journal 

Are you ready to make your plan for 2015? How can you begin living your life more authentically?


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Authentically Nutritious


Facet two of my five part plan for 2015 involves eating well. Yes, the dreaded approach to nutrition. But in this approach, I want to take a simple, easy to follow approach. Perhaps that way I won't find myself falling off the wagon!



Quarter 1:
   - 64 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 2 times per week
   - Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

Quarter 2:
   - 70 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 1 time per week
   - Eat 7 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

Quarter 3:
   - 74 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 1 time every two weeks
   - Eat 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

Quarter 4:
   - 80 oz of water per day
   - Only eat junk food 1 time per month
   - Eat 10 servings of fruits and veggies per day
   - Eat breakfast every day
   - Cut out all dairy

What healthy eating goals do you have for the New Year?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Authentically Exercising

The first facet of my five part plan is EXERCISE. I usually dread this part so much. As someone who truly dislikes sweating, exercise has never been something that I enjoy. Ever. But I decided that this time I could make my goals a bit more in line with the types of exercise that I don't mind doing. And since my treadmill is collecting dust, I better put it to use...



Quarter 1:
   - 20+ minute walk
   - 10 minutes of strength training 3x per week
   - 10,000 steps per day (measured on my FitBit)

Quarter 2:
   - 20+ minute walk
   - 15 minutes of strength training 3x per week
   - 12,500 steps per day (measured on my FitBit)
   - Go on a bike ride once per week

Quarter 3:
   - 20+ minute walk/jog
   - 15 minutes of strength training 3x per week
   - 15,000 steps per day (measured on my FitBit)
   - Go on a bike ride once per week
   - Go for a hike once per week

Quarter 4:
   - 20+ minute walk/jog
   - 20 minutes of strength training 3x per week
   - 15,000 steps per day (measured on my FitBit)
   - Go on a bike ride once per week
   - Go for a hike once per week

Of course, these may get modified along the way, but it's my plan to begin with. I know my husband will be happy to accompany me on the bike rides and hikes. And some of the time it will be glorious alone time for me! Anyone ready to join me?


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Being Authentic

At this time of year I always find myself looking forward to the New Year. I look forward to fresh starts and new chances. It's an optimistic feeling. This year is no different. Well, perhaps it is a little different. This year I'm really putting a lot of thought into my resolutions, and for once my resolutions don't focus on my standards - lose weight, look better, be more organized. While there may be pieces of that interwoven into my thoughts, this year I seem to be focusing on living differently. Being more authentic to who I am. Crafting the best version of Ashley that I can be.

This new approach may have something to do with getting older. Or perhaps it's related to the realization that my rheumatoid arthritis isn't going anywhere. Or maybe it's just an internal force telling me it's time to re-examine some things. Nonetheless, I have crafted a vision for the next year - my year of being authentic.

In this vision I'm seeking to enhance my life in five core areas: exercise, nutrition, mind, self-care, and connections. In each core area I'm setting a series of goals. I'm breaking these goals into three month segments. So I'll seek to challenge myself in each area for three months. Hopefully I will have accomplished those goals (or at least made strides towards accomplishing them). Then I'll build upon those goals in the next three months.

Yes, this is a seriously involved set of resolutions! But as I evaluate my life, my health, and my future I realize that it is necessary if I am to live a life that fulfills me. Join me over the next month and a half as a carefully craft my plan. And then stay tuned over the next year to see how it all unfolds.

Namaste.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Parenting Peace

Are you one of the perfect parents out there? Me neither. Almost six years in to this and I still feel like a novice most days. I've got to believe that there are many other moms out there who feel the same way. Every day I learn so much more about my children, how to parent them, how not to parent them, what I've done right and what I've done wrong. 

I'm trying to let go of the need to be perfect - the need to try to be supermom. We are all supermoms. We each do the best that we can. Each day we head out into the world trying to do the best that we can. None of us wake up saying, "You know what? I'm going to really be a crappy person, a crappy parent today."

So can we quit beating up on each other? Breastfeed, don't breastfeed. Cover up or not. Homeschool or public school. Stay at home mom or work outside the home mom. We are all doing the best we can. Beating up on each other doesn't help anyone. We need to be a team because we need each other. We need to be a united front. We need to teach our children to be united with each other too and they will learn that from us. We must be the people we want them to become.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tap This

NaBloPoMo May 2014
 
My water consumption (and resulting hiatus from society) continues. Before I began my life as a camel, I tested out a bunch of different water bottles to tote my water around in (since my usual coffee mug doesn't really work here). I have avoided plastic since I'm not a huge fan of plastic both in terms of the chemicals involved and its impact on the environment. I tried stainless steel but couldn't find one that made me happy. I hate the sports tops. The open tops were all too big and resulted in me slopping water down the front of my shirt (very classy).
 
I took a chance on some glass ones on Amazon and angels sang, confetti rained down, the sun came out...

 
Maybe it wasn't quite that dramatic, but I did find the perfect water bottle. I LOVE it. And since we're spending so much time together now, I'm glad I found one that I truly love. Pick one up for yourself. Bottoms up!