Give Your To-Do List the Boot and Wake Up to Your Life

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Life is not found in long lists, but in the time we live awake to people, possibilities and the present moment.


It’s Sunday. There’s blue sky above, Fall swirling through the leaves and the smell of change in the air. It’s brisk but sunny enough to do anything. I love Autumn with its Orange happiness peeking from doorways, trees, shop windows and farm-stands. The crickets are chirping outside despite the fact that it’s afternoon. Perhaps they love the season as much as I do. I’m not sure, but either way both the crickets and I need rest sooner or later. I’ve just returned home from church… More

Your Social Media Diet (How’s That Working For You?)


If you’re like me (if you’re here- you are), you like your share of social media. However, if you really are like me (stop resisiting the admission), you will admit, that sometimes you overindulge.

The question is: how can we have our Social Media cake and eat it too?

Well, I have been contemplating this question, long and hard, between status updates, tweets, YouTube clips and Instagram moments, of course…and I think I have a few snippets of really useful  somewhat practical tips to share.

We must admit we are powerless….

Wait, no. What I mean is, we must take hold of our Social Media behavior by the only thing it understands and responds to: Self-Control. Wait, don’t click away…hear me out!

Grab your calendar, or the three of them if you have ADHD (like me). Now, write down the things that you know must ge done and the places you know you need to be. It’s Sunday or Monday, depending when this posts, so go ahead and look at the week ahead. Take that pencil and whatever needs to get done, at this point, gets written down. OK, I’m waiting.

Kids appointmenets, your haircut, the grocery shopping, dinner preparation, housework etc.

Now, those things that you also need to do concerning work, blogging, additional writing or creating.

Any other committments for church, friends and families birthdays, Sherlock etc. (or Downtown Abby, I suppose). If you’re like me it’s Sherlock, Baby!

OK, now…

Portion your allowable Time Blocks for Social Media and commit to ONLY partake of SM interaction at the designated times. Just as an exercise or nutrition plan has specific components and portions, so do our Social Media diets! But, let’s use a user friendly term, Social Media plan of action.

If you’re like me (give it up already, YOU ARE!), then you sometimes occasionally frequently get sidetracked by Social Media interaction. Remember, all things are acceptable (for legalists) but not always beneficial (all is filtered by grace and wisdom)…

So, what does one do?

Determine the details and  portion it out across the week. How often, How much, How long.
Ask yourself,  when will you allow yourself to use Social Media and the parimeters to which you want to adhere, just as if you were on a strict but wonderful (HA!) diet   Nutritional Plan. So, perhaps you want to be on Social Media twice a day. Choose the times, and add them into your calendar. If you have SM apps on your phone you will need an extra measure of self-contol or just elimate them until you are feeling empowered to “just say no!”

A Social Media diet, puts you in the driver’s seat. It is better than a complete fast if you want to continue sharing blog posts, pictures and also staying connected to certain friends and groups.

So, repeat after me, “My name is (your name in blank) __________________.”

Hi, __________________________.

In real life I am always trying to balance my in person, and online life. If you’re like me, you are too. I’m here for you. Well, in a portioned kind of way.

What do you think? Are you in need of a Social Media Diet? How can you plan your time in a way that helps you feel good about your choices with Social Media. Let’s encourage and support one another! Do you have an idea or tip that helped you use more self control with your SM interaction? Please share in the comments! 

For those of you who are like me, you proabably contemplate things a lot, and then come up with really snarky status updates and tweets while you are driving or in the shower. Sometimes you even dream in live streamed, edited video clips. Occasionally you come up with a ridiculous blog post masquerading as useful, when in reality is just one, incredibly silly endeavor. For no good reasun except…you can.

Happy Monday, Friends! May your week be full of tweet worthy moments, blessed status updates and picyure worthy instagram moments…of which you have the good sense to share or NOT share with discernment, sensitivity, and good humor.

Linking with:

Your Perfect Day (Weekend Writing Exercise)

 If you could write out your perfect day, what would it include?
Would your ideal itinerary include activity, or is taking care of your physical health and mental well being so far down the To Do List that it’s hard to imagine what that would even look like?
Well, I am here to support you along your journey to a balanced, healthy state of body and mind.

 First I want to say outright, if you are looking for any of the following: Insanity or P90X Training, The Biggest Loser, extreme diet methods and outrageously, sensational fitness “secrets”, please blog on somewhere else. 

I believe that many of the methods and modes most popular today are NOT for everybody, and are also not hitting the mark of reaching the inactive in a positive way for the long haul.
*Disclaimer/Run On sentence alert!
I have endured a torturous workout with Shaun T. at a Personal Trainers conference, love Tony Horton, have never watched an episode of The Biggest Loser, am still terrified of Susan Powter (and maybe Richard Simmons, too), have actually been called GI Jane and more recently: “Dawnian” , and have seen all else mentioned above -and beyond, in my 30 plus years of professional and personal pursuits in the world of fitness.
*Pause for breath, here.*
If you want to take realistic, steps towards a different reality
 than the one you are living right now…listen:
There is a gentle, consistent, balanced
approach to better health, fitness and well being.
 If you want to be thoughtful about your health, but not insane, compulsive, obsessive, hyper-focused, narcissistic, and downright boring (my personal opinion of conversations which revolve endlessly around diet, exercise, & training regimes) but instead would like some simple, basic steps to help you along the path to a fitter more fabulous you (could you even be more fabulous? Not sure, but heck, what have we to lose?), then join with me and let’s journey the path together.
*For now, imagine or write out (if you like to journal) how your perfect day would look.
Notice if it (ideally) includes a fitness activity or not…
it’s OK, if it does not; consider this a discovery exercise, where we will discover what we value most and what priorities are most important to us in this particular season of life. 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.”

I’ll see you tomorrow for check in! Enjoy your weekend…

This post is part of the series: 

Announcing: 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness in October (The Nester’s Challenge)

Heads up! If you have not heard the news yet, here it is: In October I will be joining in for my second year at the Nester’s place to link arms with Bloggers from around the world to share in a fabulous endeavor: The 31 Day Challenge is the chance to blog on anything that sets your little heart on fire!

Last year I shared 31 Days of Faith Life Preservers. I jumped in and just did it, so to speak. So pick a topic, check out the details and join in, or just come by and find a topic you want to grow in for the month of October. Since I have found blogging does nothing for my derriere, except increas my seat girth, I have decided to get myself, and anyone who cares to join in, MOVING a tad bit more.

A few things about the 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness:
You do not need special equipment. As a matter of fact you don’t need any equipment. Just your body. I am hoping to use an online sharing site for a nifty 31 Day printout. Wish me luck, say a prayer and we will see. 
2. There will be three “Challenges” to follow; you can do one, none, or all. I will also be randomly posting my thoughts on just about anything fitness. Maybe you will learn something new, maybe you will hate my guts. Either way, it will be an interesting 31 days. Disclaimer: I may randomly change my mind at any time about anything-you are warned.
3. I promise YOU CAN DO THIS. I will be sucking it up alongside you. I have been a big slacker since retiring from teaching Boot Camps at a local Martial Arts gym this past year. Combine this fact with a husband who likes to bake like Paula Deen loves butter and you see where I am going with this? 
PLUS- everything and I mean everything is modifiable! And I promise never to swear at you when you are working your pettutti off. I believe in you and that something is better than nothing, a little movement can go a long way. We an do this!
So, Are You Ready?

God willing I will have something posted September 30th, and we will start October 1. 
Lord have mercy. 
Stay Tuned….
To join in the challenge or see some of what is happening with other 31 Day challenges:

Linking with these fine communities:
Time Warp Wife, A Wise Woman

Jenny Penton on Planning and Purpose + E-Book Giveaway! (Inspiring Women Series)

This month I am kicking off a monthly series called “Inspiring Women” and I am very excited about the wonderful women who will be sharing here at my little place in the Blogosphere! 
My first inspiring Guest is Jenny Penton and I am so excited she is here because I love her vision for women as well as her inspiring posts! 
So, because I have asked her to give us a BIG portion, Real Life Tips and lots of inspiration to take us into the New Year, let’s get started! Oh, and be sure to enter at the end to win a free ebook, which Jenny has offered for one lucky winner! 
Here’s Jenny!

Hello! I’m Jenny Penton, author of the Planner Perfect, blog. I am a homeschooling mama of seven and have created the Planner Perfect, planner, to not only get women organized, but become visionaries and dreamers for their life; therefore creating a life on purpose.

I’m excited to share with you some insights on getting organized and what this Planner Perfect and its method is all about. And with the holidays already here; with a blink of an eye, it will be New Years. We need a plan!

Thank you, Dawn for asking me to share!

As women, we are always trying to stay organized. And if you’re a mother–you know exactly what I mean. Being organized and staying that way is not easy. I’ve come to know a lot of different women and how they plan. Take a look at some of these planning types:

The Task Manager Girl: Task manager girls love the tote-and-go planners. They work for a little while, but soon will find it unfulfilling. It gets boring just following just our mundane tasks in life. 

The Post-it Note Lady: The post-it note lady. We can see how this isn’t effective! Sticky notes stuck everywhere to remember things we must do, only to neglect the whole woman.

Calendar Girls: There are some who live by just a calendar and fill it all up until every square of their life is full. This is stressful!

List Lovers: Lists a mile long of all and only their to-dos…and then forget where they put them.

Do any of these describe you? 
Well, you’re not alone and do you know why these tools for organization never seem to work for long? Because we are created for much more than following mundane tasks and activities. Think about that for a moment… 
We are meant to live for so much more!
If you are a mother, I don’t mean that our mothering is not fulfilling in its own right, because it most definitely, is; and to survive, we make lists, run by our tasks and try to be super moms as best we can. What I’m talking about is taking, not only taking our motherhood to the next level, but our lives!
We should be organized, invigorated by our personal goals and dreams, and living life to the fullest. I am a homeschooling mother of 7 children and tasks could actually swallow me whole if I allowed it and let my days pull me around (and sometimes they do if I’m not in balance with my plans). We were meant for more and if we don’t take the time to slow down and script our lives we vision…we will always be unsatisfied. This will hinder our ability to be good wives, and mothers by feeling exhausted, pulled around all day and unfulfilled.
Planner Perfect isn’t just a planner but an idea. A fresh idea, on organizing your life! It is a tool and method that harnesses everyday basics of life, to our personal dreams and goals. Being a Planner Perfect, gal, means you are a life planner. You are living life, using your strengths and talents, setting monthly goals for you and your family, you are being stretched, personally–which means you are being pulled out of your comfort zone by the personal goals you set for yourself, and you are not just a dreamer, but a dreamer who takes action!

I’ve taken note of 3 different things I do in my day that create amazing results! When applied, I am in a fabulous mood, have cleanliness, order, and spiritual and mental renewal. Planner Perfect is set-up to keep me on top of my game by harnessing these pinnacle epiphanies in the days when I need them. Written statements of intent create personal growth…and  I need to make these 3 disciplines, habitual…as I have the propensity for scratching my planned days to blog with my pajamas on ’till noon. Of course, I have regret once I look at the aftermath of my neglect… messy dishes scattered throughout the kitchen from children helping themselves to breakfast, blaring music booming through speakers of an upstairs bedroom, and smaller children blissfully making snow angels out of packing peanuts on my living room floor. Where did they find these?
Was pursuing my interests at the expense of chaos worth it? Hardly. No matter what keeps you off track… heed these disciplines and make them a habit because these are 3 habits all Planner Perfect women must keep!
Get up before your children. If I can get some coffee in my system before my 2-year tells me his plans for the morning, I’m starting off well. It is important for moms to have alone time and it is important to plan for it. Also, as you all know, being a mother means you need to always adjust, as things usually never go as planned. Have a plan B such as planning the time for yourself at night when children are asleep.
My initial plan is to have my devotions, look over my planner, and have some coffee in the morning before all seven children come down and hit the ground running. Get it written down, your statement of intent for the day…it’s what sets apart the truly organized and the, not-so-much…
Plan a morning routine and stick to it! Make breakfast, take out the clean dishes out of the dishwasher, and clean up breakfast dishes…don’t forget to recruit your children to help if and when they can. The kitchen is the main hub of the home, keep this room functioning at it’s best and it will keep you feeling organized. Get dressed, make beds, and whatever else you want your family to get done in the morning. Make it a team effort and write these morning routines in your planner to show you’re serious. You’re half-way there when you write it down. Planner Perfect, harness life plans, beautifully and keeps you organized… it’s all in the details.  
Plan time in your day for your interests. Do you ever have that stressed out feeling in your busy days that you’ll never get to that project you’re working on? Feel that stress no more! When you plan your time slot for yourself…you know it is a saved slot just for you. Depending on where you put it in your day…you could plan to have it out at a coffee shop and arrange babysitting, you can dive in at home and have your kids watch their favorite movie (just make sure they don’t find a box of packing peanuts!), or wait until evening when they are in bed. Whatever energizes you, however you want to achieve it, you won’t be able to without a plan. Plan out in detail not just when in the day you’ll get it done, but how.
There you have it! 3 fundamental habits Planner Perfect women must keep. But remember, sometimes plans are to be broken and scratching all your plans will be just the right thing to do. Movie watching in the morning with hugs and kisses with your little ones or a special time with your teen just talking amidst a messy home trumps any plans you’ve made. Don’t be rigid with your own plans you’ve set; remember to be flexible if need be. If you are keeping to it most of the time, you will be set-up for success in your days.
For this week only, you can enter to win Planner Perfect’s eBook!
It takes you step-by-step on how to become a master at managing your home using the Planner Perfect Method, other goodies include: how to plan a party, how to be organized with your menu plans, how to plan for your Christmas and other holidays, and much, much, more!  You will also learn how to create your very own life planner. This 40 page plus eBook will inspire you!

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment telling us why you’d like to win Planner Perfect’s eBook.

For a double entry:

Follow Planner Perfect on Google Friend Connect, Facebook, Twitter, or Subscribe by Rss. and leave a comment on Dawn’s blog letting her know you did.

That’s it!

Contest will close at Midnight Friday. Entries will be drawn at random and Dawn will announce the Planner Perfect eBook winner!


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