#MomLife

Fall Rhythms and Routines

Fall Rythms and Routines.png

The house is quiet this morning. I showered and put on mascara without a tiny interrupter asking if she could have second breakfast yet. Anyone else have kids with Hobbit-like stomachs? 

But not today. Today we launched our two girls into the world after their favorite breakfast, a quick prayer and extra hugs. The prep work of getting them back into school is mostly done. We bought the notebooks, extra folders, a new lunchbox and non-itchy socks. They are ready! Mission accomplished, right?

In years past, this is where I’ve missed a step. I’ve focused so hard on the launching, I haven’t considered the questions around re-entry. What’s the plan for when they get home? And I don’t just mean questions about snacks and screen time, but what kind of mood and spirit do I want the afternoons and evenings to look like? And how can I teach them more autonomy this year? How can I get them on board with packing healthy lunches for themselves and not leaving their water bottles and shoes strewn all over the house?!

We need new rhythms. Ones for each point in the day that build on themselves as the kids find their new normal routine. I don’t expect them to have it all together the first week (or month!) but I do want to teach them more skills and responsibility with each school year as they grow.

Here are some preliminary thoughts as we kick off Fall. Maybe it will be helpful for you as you launch and prepare for re-entry with your own kiddos.


The 3 R’s of Establishing a Fall Rhythm


  1. Retraining - This started before the first day of school, but I know it will take several weeks to implement. Getting up, dressed, breakfast, brush teeth, get meds, etc. It’s a lot of small steps to get done, and I don’t want to have to repeat it everyday for the rest of my days. But they still need these reminders. What tools or strategies can I implement to help retrain my kids this Fall? Do we need a checklist? A dry erase board? Alarm clocks? Or just more practice and grace? Yes, always more grace.


  1. Resetting - This is a huge struggle in our house. Prepping for the next day tends to get forgotten between dinner cleanup and bath time. Then the next morning, we’re scrabbling to find notebooks and that favorite sweatshirt. Making this an evening rhythm will take some effort on my part, but habits don’t happen overnight. It’s worth the extra time and energy for a peaceful morning.


  1. Reflecting - Sitting down each Sunday and taking a look at the past week is so helpful. What went smooth? What could be changed or adjusted? What do we need to pay attention to? What can we let go? Getting my kids into this habit will hopefully be a skill they use and implement often. Reflection is too often overlooked, but so valuable for moving forward.


This is where I’m putting my energy this Fall when it comes to establishing new rhythms. If you’re curious how I implement them, be sure to follow along on Instagram. I’ll start a highlight there for Fall routines and rhythms. We’re in this together!


Happy September, friends!

xo

Erin

The Guilt-Free Guide for Back-to-School

back-to-school, mom guilt


Well, it’s that time of year again. The hot and steamy wasteland of August is finally coming to an end. My kids are sufficiently packed, prepped and waiting anxiously for their meet-the-teacher Open House.


It’s also that time where I take stock of our Summer. Did we do everything we talked about? Did we connect, rest and have fun? I hope so. I experience every emotion the week before my kids go back to school. I have butterflies, (will they have friends in their class?) anxieties, (will Amelia be okay at the peanut-free lunch table?) and hopeful anticipation (will the teacher get her?).


And all of this is mixed with my own feelings of inadequacy and a sufficient dose of Mom guilt. Can you relate? If this sounds like you at all, here are five steps I’ve been using to shed that guilt. We could all use less guilt and more grace this school year.

5 Steps for Easing Back into School with Less Guilt and More Grace:


Step 1: LEAVE IT UNFINISHED.

Lots of things are left undone on the Bucket List we diligently crafted in June. June Mom was do-all-the-things! But August Mom.Is.Tired. And that’s okay. 

Circle one or two things from that big, dreamy bucket list and shelf them for next year. OR, better yet, let’s work them into our Fall or Winter Break calendar. If you didn’t make it to the water park, maybe head to the carnival when it’s in town. Swap that Summer specific item for something that can work in a later season.

We are not machines, we cannot (and should not) make EVERYTHING happen when we want it to happen. Give yourself grace on what’s left undone. 


Step 2:  LET IT BE A MESS. OR DON’T.

There’s a strong chance at this point of Summer Vacation that your house looks like a bomb went off. Repeat after me: It’s fine. It’s all going to be fine.

Eventually, the legos will be cleared off the dining room table and your kitchen will smell like citrus cleaning spray instead of moldy pool towels.

You’ll get there. Let the mess linger for just a bit longer. If it’s really making you crazy, then mandate Summer-Clean-Up day with the kids. Reward with popsicles, screen time or a pool afternoon. 

Ultimately, do whatever you need to do to feel like a person. It’s going to be fine.

back-to-school, mom guilt


Step 3: FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.

You may feel simultaneously gleeful and broken-hearted about another Summer ending. We have the capacity to feel both. Do not be shamed by the threat-like reminder of “We only have 18 Summers with our kids!”. Don’t let that guilt determine how you go through your days. We can be excited for the space and time again, but also wish we could hold on to that freedom and fun a bit longer. Motherhood is full of grey space and randomly crying for no reason. If you start to get worked up, see Step 1.


Step 4: DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.

If you’re staring down a shopping or to-do list a mile long (been there), fear not. It’ll all get done…eventually. It just might not happen this week. Some of these loose ends might not be figured out until September. If at all. 

Buy the notebooks, do the things, but let go of everything being perfectly ready for school on day one. Inevitably, they’ll come home with another list or assignment that you missed or couldn’t anticipate. Do what you can do and let go of the rest. Remember, done is better than perfect.


Step 5: PLAN YOUR DAY ONE.

Plan your Day One now. Nope, not for the kids. You. How will you mark the the first day of school? Will you park it in front of Netflix for an hour or swing thru the Starbucks lane? It’s a big deal for the kids, but also for you. It’s the ending of a season and the start of something new. Take a moment to notice your feelings, mark the day and treat yourself.


I’m cheering you on! Happy First Day, Momma.


 

P.S. Looking for community this Fall? Join our Limitless Motherhood group! We share our weekly goals, dinner tips and lots of encouragement. See you there!

mom-guilt-back-to-school

My Top Apps for Real, Meaningful Connection

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Okay, I promise this is not a social media blast post where I tell you all about the evils of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. About how they are actually doing the opposite of what they set out to do. I certainly love me some IG stories and sending random GIFS and hearts to all my online pals. I see the good that has come from social media, and I still want to champion it as a means of bringing people together.


Besides, you probably already know all the negative side effects of too much social media. The comparison. The self doubt. The proverbial highlight reel. The constant scrolling. The she-went-on-another-vacation-and-I’m-here-scrubbing-toilets moment. Okay, maybe that last one is just me?


In his latest book, Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport unpacks how as social creatures, we have hit a tipping point with our consumption of media apps. He states, “the key issue is that using social media tends to take people away from the real-world socializing that’s massively more valuable…the more you use social media, the less time you tend to devote to offline interaction, and therefore the worse this value deficit becomes-leaving the heaviest social media users much more likely to be lonely and miserable.” Essentially, the more we click, the emptier we can feel.


I’m raising my hand here, because I have witnessed this first hand in my own life. This past year, I have been pretty vulnerable in sharing how lonely I have felt. Not because my relationships have suffered, but because when your work is predominately in front of a screen at home, it can feel isolating.

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Extrovert, introvert, we all need more time face-to-face. But what happens when schedules are busy and we can’t always make that happen? Or our closest friends live half a world away? How can we move past the quick Instagram like/comment habit into a more authentic way of connecting with those we love?


Let’s talk about what apps on your phone actually foster REAL and meaningful friendship. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re hungry for authentic conversation. I want face-to-face or voice-to-voice camaraderie, support and growth. People being people-y together. I’m so here for it.

  1. Voxer:

    If you’re a business owner, this one is probably nothing new. Voxer is essentially an app that allows you to walkie-talkie with friends. You can check it when it’s convenient for you. There’s something really lovely in hearing the voice of a friend after a particularly hard day of mothering. The intonation of her voice when she tells you something important. The laughter that makes it feel she’s right there beside you. This has been a gift to me in more ways than I can express. If you’re missing girlfriends or relatives, have them download this app with you! Set a weekly Vox date and make it happen.

  2. Marco Polo:

    This is another helpful app when you’re craving some face-to-face time. It’s a video chat service that allows for group chats and shares, so you can essentially get all your college besties in the same “room”. One of my closest friends lives in Hawaii, so she often sends me Polos of her kids and their daily life. We’ve had some real heart to heart chats and prayed through events in our lives together via that app. There is no replacement for seeing someone’s face. Download this app for better connection with people you value and want more face time with!

  3. Actual Phone

    I know, this is revolutionary, but stay with me. I am trying to be better about keeping actual phone conversations with certain friends. Not everyone I love wants to keep these apps, and taking the time to connect over a phone call means I care about growing that friendship. In high school, I’d talk for HOURS and now I can barely be bothered to pick up. I don’t want to be that way. When was the last time you had a good, lengthy phone conversation?

The key is not to prioritize your schedule but to schedule your priorities.
— Steven Covey

I challenge you to set aside time for these other ways of connecting. If you can’t meet over coffee this week (or month!) then get creative with how you cultivate friendships. I don’t think there’s ever been a more difficult time to keep adult friendships. Even with ALL the media and apps and methods at our disposable, we still struggle to prioritize our relationships. If you’re craving real connection and not only surface small talk, it will take some intention. But it’s so worth the extra effort. Promise.

xo

Erin

 

Enneagram 102 | Dive Deeper!

enneagram-basics

If you are new to the Enneagram, I highly recommend reading the 101 version of this blog post! Once you have a basic understanding of your number and potential wings, come back here to dive deeper.


Source: The Enneagram Institute

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The 3 Triads

If you notice, the Enneagram symbol has 3 different sections. These are called the Triads. Your Triad tells you what your center of intelligence, or body connection is. Basically, how you see, process and respond to the world. There are three types under each Triad and knowing yours, could help you better understand your tendencies and behaviors. It could also help you understand your loved ones and why they function similarly or different from you.

 Remember, one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others. We don’t use this information to excuse poor behavior or vindicate our choices. It’s simply a tool to help us learn more about ourselves and others. You might grow to understand….

  • Why your brother might always seem to pick a fight.

  • Why your bestie stuffs her own feelings, but validates everyone else’s.

  • Why your co-worker appears self absorbed all the time, but you know she’s got more to offer.

one of the goals of the Enneagram is for us to have more compassion for others...

The 3 Triads

Head (fear-based) 5s, 6s, 7s

These types are driven by fear. They tend to think and plan carefully before they act. 

Type 5 - externalize fear by searching for more knowledge: “I need to do more research first.”

Type 6 - internalize fear by considering worse-case scenarios: “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

Type 7 - forget fear by avoiding and chasing new adventures: “What’s next?!”

Heart (feeling based) 2s, 3s, 4s

These types relate to life from their heart. They are typically more aware of appearances and very image-conscious. 

Type 2 - focus outwardly on the feelings of others: “Let’s talk about you first.”

Type 3 - have trouble recognizing their own and others feelings: “Those aren’t tears, I have allergies.”

Type 4 - concentrate on their own feelings: “I am unique snowflake.”


Gut (anger-based) 8s, 9s, 1s

These types are honest, blunt and direct. They react instinctually or from their gut. 

Type 8 - externalize their anger physically and powerfully: “I’m so mad about this!”

Type 9 - forget or deny anger to avoid pain: “No really, it’s fine.”

Type 1 - internalize or repress their anger: “I’m in control.”


The Enneagram is so much more than just a simple personality test! When we dive deeper, we learn more about our tendencies, core fears and inner narrative. The things we tell ourselves has a strong hold on the lives we lead. If this felt uncomfortable to read, I get it! As a 7, I know that I am skilled at jumping from fun event to fun event to avoid pain and boredom. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth. Knowing is half the battle, right?

I’d love to know how you’re using the Enneagram in your everyday life. Have you shared the quiz with your spouse or family yet? If not, let me encourage you to take that step. I can’t wait to hear about what you learn!

Best,

Erin

Enneagram 101 | Learn the Basics!

Enneagram

The Enneagram has reached a level of boy-band popularity lately with no end in sight. Maybe you’ve heard of it on social media or online, but have been confused by what all the fuss is about?! Well, the Enneagram is definitely not new. In fact, it’s been around for centuries!

 The word Enneagram stems from the Greek words ennea (nine) and gram (drawing).

The Enneagram is so much more than a simplified personality test. It dives deep and explains why we do what we do, how we struggle and how we can grow as individuals. This is not a one size fits all system and gets more complex the more you research. I’ve been diving deeper lately and it continues to amaze me! Please know I’m NOT an expert and am only driven by my curiosity and desire to understand more about myself and the people I love! #type7problems

Also, me. LOL!

Also, me. LOL!


I love how the book, The Road Back to You, describes it:

The point of it is self-understanding and growing beyond the self-defeating dimensions of our personality, as well as improving relationships and growing in compassion for others.
— Ian Morgan Cron

Compassion - something we all need more of today, right?

So, what is the Enneagram?

Source: The Enneagram Institute

Source: The Enneagram Institute

The Enneagram is a simple, yet complex personality typing system. It uses a 9-point geometric symbol to reflect the nine types, or personalities.

From one point of view, the Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. This is your basic personality type.
— The Enneagram Institute

I love how the Enneagram recognizes that people can’t be put in a box. We are multi-dimensional. But even though we can change and grow, we still have an inherent or dominant number.


How do I find out my type?


Gurus of the Enneagram believe that a test isn’t always the best way to type yourself. They tend to agree that reading about each type and seeing where you relate is the best approach. However, I believe getting a baseline from a quiz can be really helpful. You can take a free assessment here: Your Enneagram Coach

If after you take the test you feel like it’s not accurate, do more research about types and wings. Understanding your core fears and motivations takes deep soul work. If reading about your type makes you feel a bit ashamed or embarrassed, then you’re probably on the right track! We don’t always love to hear the hard stuff about ourselves, but that’s when growth is possible.

It’s important to remember there are no bad numbers. There are pros and cons to every type! We need to understand both to grow into our best possible selves.

What are the Types?

Keep in mind this is just a short highlight reel, each type is much more complex. Which one do you most connect with?

Type 1: The Reformer or Perfectionist - ethical, reliable, self-controlled, and perfectionistic.

Type 2: The Helper - generous, warm, people-pleasing, and possessive.

Type 3: The Achiever or Performer - success-oriented, adaptable, productive, and image-conscious.

Type 4: The Romantic - expressive, creative, sensitive, and moody.

Type 5: The Investigator - perceptive, analytical, secretive, and isolated.

Type 6: The Loyalist - engaging, committed, witty, and suspicious.

Type 7: The Enthusiast - spontaneous, versatile, fun and scattered.

Type 8: The Challenger - self-confident, decisive, intense, and confrontational.

Type 9: The Peacemaker - pleasant, laid back, complacent, and resigned.

What are the Stress and Security Numbers?

If you noticed on the Enneagram’s symbol, the arrows are connected and cross at certain points. These are the stress and security numbers.

When you are under stress, the arrow that is leading away from your number is your stress number. This means you’ll reflect some of the more negative aspects of that type. For example, as a seven, I stress towards a type one. I can become more perfectionistic and less easygoing when I’m feeling overwhelmed, trapped or stressed out.

The line that is moving towards your number is your security number. When you are feeling secure and healthy, you will reflect the more positive aspects of that number. Mine is a type five, so when I’m doing well I let go of excess and become more orderly. Ironically, I’m married to a type five, so he is always thrilled when this happens!

What are wings?

In your reading you might see types listed as 3w4 or 8w7. What does this mean? The w stands for wings. Some types, or numbers, lean heavily to another number directly beside their base number. This means there are two possible wings for each number. 

For example, there is a marked difference in a person who is a 1w9 versus a 1w2. Read about the differences and nuances for your type’s wings and see if anything rings true.

Craving more? Check out these resources:

The Enneagram Institute

https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/

Iam Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You

http://ianmorgancron.com/assessment

Beth McCord, Your Enneagram Coach

https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/

I hope this was a helpful starting point for you to understand more about the Enneagram! Come find me on Instagram, @erinammons, I’ll be sharing more of my favorite Enneagram accounts to follow. Chat soon!

xo

Erin

P.S. Want something fun and completely non-scientific?! Take my quiz!

Meal Planning Mindsets | #MomLife | Limitless Motherhood

meal-planning-moms

We can’t talk about meal planning without first talking about perfectionism.

Stay with me.


If we aim to plan our family dinners in a perfectly Pinterest way - we set ourselves up to fail.


If I’m only satisfied when my meal resembles some famous blogger’s Tuesday night dinner - I will crash and burn every time.


Because it turns out, I am not a food blogger. Or an expert chef. Or baker. Or food photographer. I’m clearly none of these things.



But, do I love to serve my family well? Absolutely.

Do I want dinner to be less about prepping and more about connecting? Yep.


Here’s the thing:

Meal planning is less about culinary skill and more about who’s around the table.


If any of that rings true for you, know you’re in good company. I think most of us just want to do this whole meal planning thing better. We’ve got no energy for the 5pm What’s for Dinner?! stress. And the internet and our friends all have solutions. We try their tips for awhile, but then quickly fizzle out. I have so been there. Multiple times.


Anytime I try to emulate somebody else’s meal planning protocol, I fail a few weeks in. Because their life is not my life. We all have different needs, tastes and budgets.


Although we can certainly glean advice from others, (and should!) meal planning feels impossible because we have to tweak it and create it ourselves. That’s the hard truth, because it would be so much easier if the deciding was done for us. Right? I get it.


We’re continuing this conversation over in the Limitless Motherhood Facebook group and newsletter! Don’t worry, there are ZERO pretty PDFs involved telling you how to meal plan. Just practical advice and a dose or reality around dinner time.

We all have different needs, tastes and budgets.


I can’t wait to hear what works for you and what doesn’t. Let’s tackle meal planning together!

Best,

Erin

Limitless Motherhood Facebook Community!

Motherhood Facebook Community

I believe that social media should be just that…social! I’m so tired of ads, political rants and people yelling at the internet. One way I’ve found the fun on social media is through Facebook groups. I’m in a variety of amazing groups where the focus is connection, collaboration and growth. Okay, and there’s usually some pretty epic GIF threads happening as well LOL.


Twice a month I send out the Limitless Motherhood newsletter to readers, but I’ve been missing connecting with them every day. So, we carried the conversation over into a Facebook group and we’re having so much fun getting to know one another!

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much
— Helen Keller

Our topics have ranged from favorite podcasts on motherhood to morning routines. It’s my hope to use this group as an encouragement and not just add to the noise of Facebook. If you’re looking for a group with a more positive and uplifting atmosphere, then I hope you’ll join us!

And if you’re not on the email list yet, start there! I promise nothing spammy, just two short emails a month from yours truly. Hint: Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day topic is about the 5 Love Languages!

P.S. If you’re still reading, I’m sending you all the non-creepy internet hugs! I have some BIG writing goals over the next several months. Would you help hold me accountable? I’ll be sharing more of my process over on Instagram. AND there is a super fun giveaway starting todaaaay! So hop on over - you can find me @erinammons there.

See you soon!

Erin

The Latest from Instagram…

There's Nothing Magical About January | Limitless Motherhood

motherhood

Doesn’t this month feel approximately 537 days long? Clearly we’ve been January-ing for at least 2 months now.


You know what January feels like to me at this point? It feels like striving. Striving to stay on course with our sunny New Years resolutions and try-harder-next-times. 


January feels like homework.

January feels like a budget.


It’s freezing outside, but not snowing.

Everyone has raw noses.

We checked so many boxes, but not that one.

We’re having the best start to the year EVER…or we’re nowhere close.


Wherever you find yourself at the end of January, know this:

There is nothing magical about January.

But there is something magical in letting go of all the striving. Silencing the voice that reminds you that you’re not quite where you wanted to be. It whispers about how your aim faltered or shattered way off course. 

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Or maybe your January has been incredible and you feel extra pressure to make February even better. Worried you’ll slip off track next time, convinced that your bubble will burst. Am I the only one who worries about being too happy?


But if your January looked imperfect, you’re in good company. 

Let’s remember that we can change our minds. 

We can decide something isn’t working. 

We can choose to sit and wait. 

We can get up and go. 

We can try again or not.

It’s only a month and there are eleven more just like it.


Focus that attention on what you did right or where you witnessed kindness. Things that made you smile and look up from your to-do list. 


Thank January for what it taught you and carry along any good habits it brought. Forgive all the rest.


P.S. If you’re a Mom in the middle of striving, I have a community just for us. Hop over to the Facebook group and introduce yourself. I can’t wait to meet you!

Best,

Erin

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The Latest From Instagram:

2018 Book Roundup! | #EAPREADS

reading-challenge-favorite-books

It has been way too long since I shared a rundown of my recent favorite books! Let’s do a 2018 roundup. My hope is you’ll glean a couple of suggestions and find a new book bestie.


You can check out more details on some of my Winter and Spring 2018 reads below:

WINTER

SPRING

One thing I do to keep reading a priority is sign up for the GoodReads annual Reading Challenge. Every year I choose a goal to reach towards and track my books in the GoodReads app. Last year I read 33 from my goal of 30 books! Woohoo! 

This year, my goal is to read 50 books - eek! I almost reached this back in 2017, so I’m willing to give it a try again. The idea is that even if I don’t reach it, I’ll be motivated to always have good books in rotation.


Wondering what to read? Never underestimate the power of asking friends on social media or checking out those ‘what other customers bought’ sections on Amazon. Choose a book you already love and google similar books as a place to start!

I tried to categorize the best I could, but some books seem to cover several genres:

Non-Fiction

What To Do When It’s Your Turn by Seth Godin

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

Everybody, Always by Bob Goff

The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst

The Wondering Years by Knox McCoy

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

Preach to Yourself by Haley Morgan

Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner

Personal Growth

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life by Susan David

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Fierce Faith by All Worthington

reading-challenge-favorite-books

Fiction

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Superfudge by Judy Blume

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Memoir

The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer

Educated by Tara Westover

Becoming by Michelle Obama


Home/Simple Living

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay

Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

A Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living by Emily Ley

Overall, I’m happy with the variety I reached in 2018. But my big goal is to read more Fiction in 2019! 

Do you keep reading goals? I’d love to know what’s on your literal or digital bookshelf!

Comment on this thread with your 2018 favorite or tag me on IG :) The hashtag #EAPreads also has lots of my favorites!

Best,

Erin

Come Hang Out on Instagram!

My Word of the Year + Social Media Break(thru)

word-of-the-year

Happy 2019, friends! I hope you had a restful and joy-filled holiday. I know the other parents out there are probably relieved the kids are back to school, but also sad because holiday break is officially over. I’m definitely in that bittersweet camp. I’m ready for our routine to return, but I so loved our pajamas-till-noon-Christmas-movie-marathon week of cookies and snuggles. My soul needed it!

There’s lots of chatter around the start of January about choosing a word for the year. One word that acts as an anchor for your intentions in the coming seasons. I have been doing this for several years now and find it really helps me prepare for the months ahead.

In the past few years, my words have been:

2016 - Brave

2017 - Intentional

2018 - Patient

I thought my word for 2019 was going to be clarity. But, as I mined through my powersheets, the word ‘keep’ came to the front of my mind. Keep is a small, seemingly inconsequential word. What could it possibly do for me? It didn’t feel weighty or important enough.

But that word just wouldn’t leave me alone. I considered all the different uses and meanings. There’s a lot for such a little word! And many of them apply to where my heart is right now.

as in:

…keep going

…keep pursuing

…keep the faith

…keep it up

…keep staying open

…keep showing up


Once I dove into
thesarus.com and began to unpack ALL the meanings and sub-meanings around this word, I was blown away.

Synonyms: carry, enjoy, manage, preserve, save, direct, grasp, retain

In many ways, all these synonyms feel like behaviors that would bring me more clarity. In this keeping, I’ll unlock certainty in different areas of my life. I’m ready to ‘keep’ 2019.

Keep.jpg

Since November, I’d been planning on taking a more extended social media sabbatical. When you run a business, Facebook and Instagram are (like it or not) necessary tools to grow and reach an audience. It had been on my heart though that it was time to put the phone down over Christmas break and be present with the people I love best.

Even though my decision felt resolute, I was worried that the temptation to check my notifications would still be there. Would the habit be too strong to shake? 

Welp, it’s been over 10 days and I’m so proud of myself for keeping the commitment. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of taking a longer break, do it!

Here are a few takeaways from my social media sabbatical:

  • Feeling more even-keeled and less quick to anger over small frustrations.

  • I can leave my phone behind sometimes. I did forget it on a quick grocery store run, and embraced how free it felt.

  • Taking pictures for the joy of my family and not just to share online.

  • Less FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and feeling truly content.

  • I slowed down and made room to just do nothing.

My best breakthrough? It was way easier and painless than I had anticipated. I’d envisioned it being so much harder, but truthfully…I was ready for the break.

The week between Christmas and New Year feels like a sort of time warp. It goes quickly but seems to stretch and linger. Can you relate?

I hope you got a chance to breath and reset for the new year. If you have a word for 2019, drop it in the comments below - I’d love to hear!

Best,

Erin

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