Lately, I've been thinking about what makes me feel most productive and like I can accomplish my goals and everything on my to do list all at once. I'm not including spending time with my husband and children because that's a given, but these seven things give me the energy I need to feel like I can take on whatever is thrown at me each day.
1. Time in the Word. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that like me, if you're not spending regular time with God, you know it. One of the best resources available is the First 5 App from Proverbs31 Ministries. I love being served up a quick devotions as I wake up each morning. It starts my day thinking about God and puts me in a good mindset. In addition to a devotional, I also read my Bible each day. Due to the way the morning usually works for me, I do this at night on weekdays, which makes it even nicer to have something like the First 5 App to use every morning.
2. Sweating in the Morning. It should come as no surprise that I like to sweat in the morning. I don't always have time for a long run or gym workout on weekdays, especially if I'm dropping the boys off at school (Kevin and I have mastered the trade off of cooking or dropping off this year!), but I like to squeeze in a quick workout most mornings and always run on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I'd rather sweat it out early and get ready for the day than doing it twice. Of course, it doesn't always happen, and that's ok too, but when I have the option to work out in the morning or after work, morning usually wins.
3. Taking a few minutes for "me" time. I'm not a huge "I need my own time!" person, but I do like being about to have a few minutes of quiet each morning. On an ideal day, I'd wake up before every one else and sit on my favorite couch in our front room and read or prayer journal. There's just something about this time that makes this closet introvert happy.
4. A Fresh Breakfast and Healthy Foods All Day. I have to tell you, Kevin and I have been swapping off taking the kids to school and cooking breakfast this year, and my goodness, has it been nice! He is a great breakfast cook and makes us "special breakfast" when he cooks which consists of bacon or sausage with slightly cooked eggs and homemade grits. I love being able to eat a nutritious breakfast (maybe the grits aren't good for me) before work. I also like to keep healthy foods to snack on throughout the day. Belvita Breakfast Bars and KIND Bars are my favorite.
5. Making Time to Read/Relax/Breathe. One thing that I let slide that I really love is reading. This year, I've made a concerted effort to read more. In fact, I've probably read 15-20 books for fun so far this year. It may not sound like a lot or be as many as I'd like to read, but it sure has been nice. The days I'm able to, I'll sit in my car beneath my favorite shade tree and dig into a book during lunch. I've also tried to read a little bit at home most nights. My current read:
6. Laughter. I love to laugh. I smile all the time and laughing just makes it better. When I'm having fun, I feel good. Who doesn't?
7. Feeling "Put Together" When I Get Ready. Some days, it's easy to just grab a dress that doesn't need ironing and some cute shoes when I get ready, but other days, it's a challenge. (Check out my post on No Repeat November if you haven't read it yet.) I am most productive when I feel best about myself. That means those days I try to squeeze in a few miles on the treadmill, get ready for work, and leave my house in the huge time frame of about 45 minutes are not always my most productive. I try to plan ahead and make sure my clothes are ironed and ready, lunch is packed, and everything I need to take with me is on the counter so when I do run those few miles, I can quickly shower, dry my hair, put on makeup and run (literally) out the door.
What are some things that empower you and make you feel like you can take on the world? I'm always looking for inspiration, so be sure to share!