I saved 1500 calories by going to bed on time. At this rate, I could lose 100 pounds in 233 days. Finishing my day well made all the difference! My focus on finishing well started two days ago when I realized that I do a fabulous job of starting things but tend to fizzle out after a few days.
When I visited a new primary care doctor at the beginning of December 2019, I was inspired to live differently in hopes of impressing the socks off her by taking charge of my health and wellness. In just the first week, I lost weight every single day. I know that a healthier body will help me LIVE ABUNDANTLY so this year is my year to shine! Unfortunately by day 8 in my Year of Living Abundantly, I had started gaining weight. In order to finish a year well, I needed to get beyond day 8. I decided to focus on finishing each day well. By taking it one day at a time, I could practice finishing well in 24 hour chunks. I set 9:00pm at my bedtime and pictured finishing my day but drifting off to sleep with happy thoughts.
In order to get to bed on time, I had to be incredibly strategic throughout my whole day. Beginning with the end in mind sounds very 90s and I’ve never considered starting my day with the end of day in mind. I HAVE started my day thinking it’d be nice to stay in bed all day. My finishing well routine started when I rolled out of bed.
When I woke up, I made my bed and cleared my nightstand. A made bed is so much easier to crawl into at the end of a day. A nightstand (aka charging station) with space for necessary stuff reduces nighttime noises caused by avalanches of electronics.
Morning Routine-I swapped out my American for a triple espresso with whipped cream (35 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar). I sip coffee throughout the day so I’m still enjoying my beverage at 3:00pm. By enjoying caffeine earlier in the day, I thought it might be easier to get to sleep at bedtime.
MidDay Routines-In order to be prepared to think happy thoughts, I was intentional to recognize things I was grateful for throughout
5:00-9:00pm-After Dinner Routine-Since I read Clutter-Free by Kathi Lipp I’ve been intentional about having mini-routines. I’ve used the following 5 steps two days in a row with favorable outcomes.
Step 1-Clean my kitchen after dinner and set out everything I’ll need for a successful start to Sunday.
Step 2-Go to my bedroom at 9:00pm.
Step 3-Brush my teeth and wash my face.
Step 4-Cuddle with my husband for 10 minutes.
Step 5-Think happy thoughts and things I’m grateful for until I drift off to sleep.
Thinking happy thoughts has been the most difficult part of this routine. On day 33 I set the stage for success. I informed my bedmate that he could not talk once he entered the bedroom. He LOVES to keep me updates on winning teams but he agreed that sports talk would be off limits. I set up my battery operated candles, turned on my favorite smooth jazz and limited screen time a full 60 minutes before bedtime. I read (in a real paper book) about the beaches of Spain and when I turned out the lights, I pictured myself sitting by a pool in the Mediterranean enjoying the breeze. The experience was BLISS and I woke up on Day 34 refreshed.
My attempt to replicate the drifting off routine on Day 34 wasn’t as successful. Step 4 overlapped with step 5 and the results were messy. In hindsight, I need to fill my mind with positive images and words so I can meditate on these as I drift to sleep. I also need to figure out how to set a sleep timer on my music. The Spanish guitar instrumental set on Spotify was barely audible until the furnace stopped blowing well after we’d gone to sleep. Luckily, my husband was bothered by it more than I was so my sleep wasn’t disrupted.
As I look at my food journal for the past two days, I realize that going to bed and staying in bed has kept me from eating a lot of food. I make my worst food choices after 8:00pm and it’s no wonder that I’m at my current weight if I eat like this every night. A little bit of ice cream (followed by a little more then a little more), hot cocoa, tortilla chips with cheese, sour cream and guacamole, chocolate chips, peanut butter, some cereal, wine, a granola bar, hummus and carrots, or left overs really add up! These things leave dishes in the sink (making me wake up feeling discouraged) and make me feel sluggish and overtired in the morning.
Because I start well and it’s only been two days with my new bedtime routine, I don’t want to claim that I’ve mastered finishing a day well yet. I’m going to keep practicing because I like how it feels to be rested and to wake up ready for a new day.
Happy thoughts tonight will include my beautiful granddog. He recently had an allergic reaction to a spider bite perhaps and his face was swollen yet he still had a positive attitude and a smile. I can learn from him!
Today I’m grateful for Hello Fresh and great books so as I drift off to sleep, those will be happy thoughts to ponder as well.
My husband has always done well with pancakes and boxed macaroni and cheese but the easy to follow steps Hello Fresh provides with all of the ingredients has expanded his repoirtoire. When we cook together, our communication skills are improving too.
I’m reading The Night Tiger by Yangsz Choo right now so I’m thinking about the storyline. Kathi Lipp has a new book coming out soon and I got my hands on an early release copy of The Clutter Free Home. Knowing that the actual book won’t be in my home until February, I feel like I need to treat myself to just a few pages of the book each day. It’s really good and I’m enjoying the actionable steps I can take to make my home support my mission. The Sugar Fast by Wendy Speake has 40 short devotionals that will stretch out over 40 days too so between the two books, I’m learning to limit my daily reading treats too.
My evening stretching routine has reminded me that small actions DO make a difference so I’ll also count the other small steps I’m taking to make 2020 the best year yet.