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Why Accountability Matters.

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You know this couldn’t be my blog without me talking about working out/healthy living in some form or another.

Here we go…

Moms need to workout.  They do.  I’m not saying to lose weight or look great in that bikini, because really, no one is looking.  (at least I’m not, I’m just trying to make sure my 3 littles have decided to not try to be sting rays at the bottom of the pool… not lying, it happened).  Moms need to workout the same reasons everyone else does.  It makes you feel better (endorphins?  I heard working out creates endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands… lol), it creates time for yourself, it helps you feel a sense of accomplishment, on top of all the other health benefits I’ll go into another time.

So how does a mom do it? I mean, we’re busy right?  We have to schlep kids around, attend all the meetings, go to work, cook the dinner, clean the house, meet the people… you get it. Working out needs to be a priority.  It’s never going to get easier than right now.

I’ve been in this profession for awhile now.  Teaching PE for 13 years, owning my own business for almost 3… I’ve seen a lot.  I’ve helped a ton of different clients, from students to busy moms, and they all share one common factor in their success in reaching their goals.  You guessed it, ACCOUNTABILITY.  It changes the game when you know someone else is watching out for your success.

People that know that other people are looking out for them to do their workouts are more likely to do them.  I wish I knew why.  Some people mean well, but their intrinsic motivation just isn’t there.  “Most” people are people-pleasers, and they, themselves, want to feel cared about… like they matter.  They don’t want to let someone down; especially someone that they respect or care about.  And creating accountability creates the sense that someone is looking out for you to do this- it will make them happy for you, which will make you happy for you!  Crazy how impactful human relationships can be!

I’m leading this online based run training right now.  We don’t meet up during the week.  We met in the beginning and we are all running a 5K together at the end.  We have this Facebook group though that we all check in after we complete our training runs, and guess what!  It’s working!!  These moms are teachers, work from home, work out of the home, stay at home and are all training at different levels, but they are all finding success.  Why?  Because they know the group is waiting for them to check in every day.  Every run.  So many of them have said they would have given up by now, but they know the group is there watching for them.  Accountability matters.

How do you find accountability?

  • Run Groups- you can find free and paid run groups all around.  Run Junkies, DNA, and FIT4MOM all offer great run programs for all levels of runners.
  • Find a partner- Regardless of how you want to workout (Zumba, HIIT, Boot Camp, running, pilates, etc). find a partner that the two of you will commit to go together and stick with it.  Text each other to check in and stay motivated together.
  • Find a Small Group Fitness place- If you are the person that can’t work out at home (it’s hard for me to!), find a gym or studio that is going to know you by name every time you walk in the door.  They will notice if you miss a few days or a week or two and should reach out to you.  Plus, you’ll end up seeing the same people in class and that, in and of itself, is a great form of accountability.  Find your tribe.  They will build you up.

It’s easy for moms these days to find workout plans online and try to set up a plan to follow them.  Some moms find great success in this.  Others (like me), have great intentions that don’t always last.  However, being part of a group- having a partner- having accountability is the key to making sustainable changes in your workout plan.

Who can you ask to be your accountability partner?  I’m sure they are looking for you, too.

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The Drop-Off/Pick-Up Line

I feel like I should add “Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun!”

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Ugh- the drop-off/pick-up line… is there anything with back-to-school more terrible and wonderful at the same time?

So great to be able to drive your kiddo to school (or pick them up) and not have to get out of your car, right?  The rainy days, the busy days, the running-late days… I mean really, it saves the day sometimes.

But it also is going to FILL the Facebook Mom-Pages soon with posts and comments and opinions.  Even the quiet, go-with-the-flow mom has opinions about the drop-off/pick-up line.  And yes, even Kale-blending Cynthia, in her pilates pants will let you know how she feels.

For the newbie moms- it can be the utmost terrifying part of her OWN back-to-school time.  Everyone knows the “new parent” when it comes to the line, amiright?

After 8 years of experience at multiple schools- I think I’ve seen it all.  (every year surprises me though).  I’d like to think I have some expertise to share.

So how do you navigate it?  How do you keep it upheld in all its intended glory?  Don’t worry- I’ve compiled a list.

  1. DON’T BE A JERK.  I said it.  I’m not kidding.  I’m really not sure if there is any other advice that needs to be given.  You don’t know what that mom in the mini-van with the messy bun and glasses on went through 20 minutes before getting in that line.  Have patience.  Have grace.  (I also tell you this for your own good because she may truly be at her tipping point and I would hate for you to be on the receiving end of a tired mama-bear in a mini-van… and two tired mama-bears in mini-vans is probably one of the most terrifying things ever when they come in contact with each other).
  2. Follow the rules.  This can go with #1.  I’ll make it separate.  Someone has taken time to go through the safest and most efficient ways to get our kids into a building from giant moving pieces of steel and metal.  If they tell you don’t pull a u-turn, don’t do it.  If they tell you that you shouldn’t travel a certain direction down a street, or you should only turn one way when leaving the lot… then do that.  So driving the long way around takes a whole extra 2 minutes.  Great.  2 more minutes to talk to your kid OR enjoy the quiet.  DON’T be the parent that thinks the rules don’t apply to them.  They do.  They were actually written JUST for the parents that think rules don’t apply to them.
  3. Go with the flow.  Seriously- just watch and take it in and note what the other cars are doing.  You’ll see the veterans right away.  You could probably time them like a pitstop at the NASCAR races.  Pull up-unload- and green light, go!!  If the other cars aren’t parking and getting out of their cars… don’t do it!  If people aren’t getting out of their car to have a quick smoke break before their kid gets in… don’t do it!! (I wish I was lying when I said I haven’t seen this before… and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal on school grounds).  Observe, and follow.  And go with the flow.
  4. Don’t take anything out on the teachers or crossing guards.  Are you out there doing what they’re doing?  Are you going to plan on doing it?  No?  Ok- so don’t complain.  Unless you want to get out and do what they’re doing- then you have every right to complain.  If you’re sitting in the comfort of your car- keep opinions to yourself and maybe give them a smile and a wave.
  5. Make sure your kid is ready to get out.  But if they’re not, it’s ok.  They’re kids.  Not machines.  And if the person behinds you honks… smile, wave, and then send them this blog and ask them to refer to #1.

Seriously- back to school is crazy enough.  Let’s not make it more difficult on each other by making the parent drop-off/pick-up line something more than it is.  No power battles,  no races, no creating new rules… just take a deep breath, take a sip of that (probably now cold) coffee, smile, and go with the flow.  And then be thankful that something as crazy as the parent drop-off/pick-up line does exist.

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5 Mom Must-Dos for Back-To-School

School starts here in about a week.

I have 5 kids entering 3 different schools- (note: next year I will have 5 in 4 different schools- eek!).  This is the twins first year in preschool and this is a whole new ball game.  Making sure all 5 kids have their health forms, and we have all the appointments scheduled we need to schedule, and I’m making sure I’m not missing a back-to-school meeting at any of their schools.  I seriously could use a personal assistant just to keep me on top of it all, and they would be busy all.the.time.  Which got me to thinking- we do some much for them during this time of year… what are we doing for us?

While it’s important to make sure your kiddos are set for their “best year ever”, it’s also just as important that you are taking care of YOU.  Back-to-school can be just as stressful (if not more!) for moms than it is for the kids!  Let’s be real- have you felt totally lost and overwhelmed in the Target back-to-school section finding the exact color of folders, highlighters, the right number of markers, and telling your kids “no” to all the “extras” they want!? Or keeping track of all the paperwork and emails from the schools, only to find out you still don’t have it right?  Plus, we’re at the end of summer- and while we all started out with great intentions about “the best summer yet”, most of us are probably secretly… or not so secretly… counting down the days.

The overwhelm is real.

So what does a mom do?  No worries- I’ve compiled a list of some Mom Must-Do’s to fight the back to school overwhelm.

  1. It’s ok to say no.  Seriously.  To your kid… to friends… to the HSO committee (sorry!).  A wise person once told me that every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else.  What are you gaining or sacrificing by saying yes to something?  Analyze what you are saying yes to!  It’s ok to say no.  (you can tell this to your kids too, they don’t have to sign up for everything under the sun)
  2. Move.  Whether it’s walking, running, working out, yoga, horse back riding, dancing, Zumba, whatever… just move.  There’s this whole science behind movement.  It can make you happier, relieve stress, help you sleep better… the list continues.  It doesn’t have to be long or intense- anything is better than nothing.  (and I mean, I may know a place that offers great classes with other moms… just saying)
  3. Take advantage of Sundays- they are a great way to reset for the week with your family.  Take the time to go over what is happening in the week ahead.  Practices, games, meetings, projects, big assignments… put it all out there and make sure everyone is on the same page.  This will help you prepare for events and not be caught off guard.  This can also help with meal planning!  Have games and meetings all afternoon Tuesday?  Sounds like a great night for a crockpot meal that can cook all day and people can eat as they come and go.
  4. Create a happy space… and go there.  Maybe it’s your kitchen, room, office.  Spend time there alone each day.  Maybe it’s waking up 30 minutes before your kids do and enjoying a cup of coffee or your favorite book or journal and spending time just being able to focus on you.  Maybe you’re more of a night person… spend time then focusing on you and setting your intentions for the next day.  Give your mind time to breathe.
  5. Drink water.  You think I’m kidding and I’m not.  It’s easy and it’s simple and the health benefits are abundant.  Half your body weight in ounces of water.  You’ll thank me.  Maybe not the first few days (or nights!), but eventually you will.  You’re future self will thank you as well.

The most important thing is to not forget about you.  Take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of you for your kiddos as they are about to start the next school year.  Don’t get lost in the overwhelm.  You got this, mama.

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