Showing posts with label mom life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mom life. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 11, 2020



How to Build a New Habit ... and Make It Stick... for Good! 

By: Kel Amstutz
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

I have tried... time and time again... building a lot of new and different habits over the years.  Good habits, obviously.  Habits that I had hoped would help me strengthen my business, improve my health, and enjoy a more rewarding day-to-day experience.

A few of those daily habits I have worked on to develop and expand include:

  • Stretching
  • Creative writing
  • Taking walks after dinner
  • Writing poetry
  • Keeping up with the house work
  • Blogging
  • Networking
  • Journaling
  • Crafting
I could probably double that list if I have it some more thought.

Some of these habits have stuck.  And, let's be honest... some haven't.

One of the most obvious reasons they haven't all stuck is that there are too many of them.  I have about five hours of daily habits listed there. Add in a four- to six- hour work day and then time to eat, and... well.. you can see that things start to get pretty crowded.

But it's interesting to see which habits have stuck and how long they have stuck around for.

For example. I've kept a daily journal for a full month - multiple times - and I enjoy doing it when I am in the zone... but not enough to stick with it indefinitely. Journaling, for me, is a short-term experiment that I engage in periodically, usually when life has got me down, more so than taking it on as a full-fledged habit.

I also spend a half-an-hour stretching each and every morning... and I have been doing that every day for about two years now. (We won't say it's because I am getting old and my bones need adjusting in the morning! LOL)

Writing poetry has always been a passion of mine and when I think about writing a poem a day... well, it sounds great, but have I ever been able to do this... sadly, no. 

However, I do try to creatively write every day for at least 45 minutes to an hour. I'm not quite as reliable with this as I am with stretching... but I do okay.

So, what makes a habit stick?

Having tried on a variety of habits for size with different degrees of success, I have a pretty good idea or assumption of why some habits take... and others just don't.


If you want to turn something into a long-term habit, you need to have a compelling purpose behind WHY you're doing it. And because someone recommended it in their blog... well, it just doesn't cut it.

It does help to have a handle on what compels your purpose before you actually decide to implement a habit, but it isn't a requirement.  Sometimes the compelling purpose becomes clear after you have done something for a while.

That is how stretching has been for me. I didn't set out to make a habit out of stretching daily. Instead I fell and the result of being hurt, the stretching was ordered by the doctor to ease the aches and pains, and turned into a daily habit to keep those aches and pains at bay. Beyond that, my morning stretches started to help me feel more alert... helped me feel like I was starting my day off with a little more pep in my step... and I just really liked it.

And then, the kicker.  For a week, I decided I could use that block of time for getting things done around the house before getting kids up for school and running out the door to work. So I started to skip my morning stretches.  In no time at all, I was tired, cranky and not to mention so sore I could barely move.  I immediately went back to my morning stretches and once again found myself in a better mood... and with a happier body. 

That was my compelling purpose.  Stretching is a habit that has stuck, because I feel better and work better when I do it.

Journaling, on the other hand, is something that I just simply enjoy.  But, unlike many people who find journaling to be life-changing in a positive way... I really can't say that I notice that much of a difference when I journal versus when I don't.  My purpose behind journaling (when I sit down and do it) is usually that I read something recently about how amazing it is for creativity and mental health.  So I do it for a bit, and it's all fine... but there's not enough impact in it for me to form a compelling purpose.

So, when you start out to build a new habit, think about your purpose behind why you are doing it.

Ask yourself:
  •  What benefit do you hope to gain? 
Then pay attention to whether or not it's fulfilling that intended purpose and delivering the desired benefit.

If it is and you recognize that it is, keeping it as a habit will become easy.  If it's not - and you have honestly given it time to deliver - then consider dropping it to make room for a different habit that may have a better result.


A clear purpose and an obvious benefit will go a long way towards helping you stick to your new habit.

But what really cements it is the cost of not doing it.

A habit that is going to stick has a definite, noticeable impact when you don't do it.

For me, creative writing is like that.  If I don't make time to write creatively almost daily, my self-esteem takes a direct hit - I like myself better when I am diving into my writing as opposed to when I am not writing.  My creativity slips.  And I feel out of sorts. I don't get depressed... or sad.  I just feel like something if off.

But, when I'm writing every day - or even every other day - my work goes so much better, I get into the flow of my projects easier, I come up with ideas faster, I feel more energetic, and comfortable in my own skin. 

The cost of not writing is high. And it doesn't take long for me to notice when I am neglecting that habit.

On the other hand, another creative outlet - crafting, or mostly painting - just doesn't have quite the same effect on me.  I enjoy crafting, and I never regret having made time to do it. But, if I don't make the time for it... well, I don't feel any kind of negative impact.  So it doesn't stick as a habit in the same way daily writing does for me. 


So far, we have been talking about what makes a habit.... STICK.

But even if everything is in place for a new behavior to become a habit, you still need to get it to the point of being an actual habit.

I've found a few things that make the biggest difference when it comes to giving a new habit the best chance of sticking.  The first is to be realistic about the time commitment.

Maybe the new habit you're looking at forming will only take 10 minutes out of your morning.  That doesn't sound like a big deal. But if your mornings are already rushed, how likely are you to find that extra ten minutes?

This could mean that you will have to wake up even earlier... or cut out some of your other morning activities... or delegate something to someone else.  Is that something you'll be able to do and stick with?

If you can't clearly see how to make time for a new habit, chances are you won't stay with it long enough to realize the obvious benefit and feel the cost of not doing it.


Besides having enough time to dedicate to your new habit, the next obstacle is remembering to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

How many times have you decided to make something a habit, only to get to the end of the day and realize as you're falling asleep that... well... you forgot all about it, let alone doing it?

Setting a reminder on your Smartphone is one way around this, and it works really well for some people. For me... well, let's just say that I am really good at ignoring reminders on my phone!

What has worked well for me is connecting my desired new habit with an event to help me remember.  So, for stretching, my connection is breakfast. Right after breakfast, I transition into my morning stretches.  For creative writing, my connection is the end of my work day. After I complete all my work for the day, I sit down with my computer, or tablet, or sometimes even my notebook and I write.  For going for a walk, I connect this with when dinner is over.

Once you set these internal reminders up, you will have to be deliberate about it the first few times. But after a week or two, your brain will start to automatically transition into your new habit before you even realize what you're doing.

I have found that these habits are now ingrained in my subconscious.

Developing positive habits can have a huge impact on your business, your health, and your overall outlook on life.  When you choose the right habits - the ones that have a clear purpose and an obvious benefit - and then make the time to do them and tie them to a trigger, you will set yourself up for success.

What about you?

What strategies do you use to develop positive habits and make them stick?

I would love to hear more about it in the comments below!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The FOURTH of July...on the 6th! #betterlatethannever

By: Kel Amstutz

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sky, sunglasses, outdoor and nature

Hi ya'll!  

Here I am, sharing with you all on the 6th of July...SHOUTING from the ROOFTOPS - - - Happy 4th!  

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I am not crazy...well...maybe a little... but due to the activities that took place this past weekend...and just waking up (not really although I do wish...) I wanted to stop by and say HAPPY 4th to everyone and see how your holiday went....I mean with it being on a Tuesday and all this week. 

I have been referring to this week as The Wacky Week because...seriously...

  • work on Monday...
  • OFF on Tuesday....
  • then back Wednesday
  • Thursday 
  • and Friday.  

Crazy, right!  

And since the vacation time is not here...just yet...
I am going through the a zombie...but Hey Hey, I'm still here, on time...KILLING IT! #asif

So, let's get down to the WHAT'S UP... 

What did ya'll do?  

Here's our pictures:

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This is the face of my child who is mad as could be... to be sitting in timeout because she keeps stealing her sisters barbie. But...this makes NO SENSE she tells me... #add2 #timeout #thepout #soupset#barbiebrat 
Ps...her sister is sitting out with her...just because#bestlittlesis #support #justbecause

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, child, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, selfie and closeup

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting, outdoor and nature
Um... Kit Kat is clearly #marshmellowwasted 

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature
Snow...just just the weeds on the back two...

So, clearly you can see that we did a lot of:
  • SWIMMING....
  • a little Time-Out time...
  • Selfie's :) 
  • and got MarshmEllow Wasted...
I mean, who didn't?   

But, we also watched a heck of a firework display care of our awesome neighbors on Saturday evening and the Hubs and Oldest kiddo went to see our friends kick butt fireworks display last night....

so the question remains...

IS the 4th of JULY OVER? 


So, from our yours- we wish you a 
HAPPY 4th 
(sure it's a little late) and I encourage YOU to share you stories and pics!  

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Raising an Old Soul within your child

By: Kel Amstutz03/28/2017

Image result for eightIt's been eight years.  It's even hard for me to say, to admit that fact. Hard to face the reality that eight years has passed by already, in what seems like a blink of an eye, literally.  

She was born and my world, our world, has changed forever.  I remember looking at her little face, being amazed and enamored all in the same at this tiny human that join our world, that I was entrusted to take care of, to teach and help learn and grow.  

Trust me, it has not been a picnic, we have messed up royally in this short span of time, but it's no wonder.  

I mean, have you ever just looked at your child, really looked at them, past the cuteness that is on the surface and just knew that they had been here before, in some way, shape or form?  

An Old Soul. 
Image result for you tube clip artThis is my oldest.  She is sassy, to smart for her own good, opinionated, outspoken at times, stubborn as all get out, and by goodness, when she thinks that she is right, SHE IS RIGHT!

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, shoes, outdoor and natureI blame this on the fact that this world, to her, has already been experienced.  

She teaches me things on a regular basis.  She has bypassed the days of toys and wants to learn technology, science, words in books.  The things is, she has always been like this.  Never a true child, not really.  She has always been thirsty for knowledge but not surface knowledge, nope, not her, she wants to dig further, deeper into the more complex issues. 
Her purpose might not be known just yet, but I promise you this, that girl has purpose.  She was not put back on this planet to just be, she was put here to do. 
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, table and indoorRaising a child with an old soul, well, can be a humbling experience, to say the least.  I remember when she was little, maybe two or so, trying to hide something that I was feeling down and out about.  She kept looking at me.  I, of course, pretended to smile and act like everything was A-OK, as usual. She reached up, touched my cheek, looked into my eyes and told me it would be ok.  She was just a baby, but she looked at me like she understood, which I have no doubt that she did.  This has continued, she has always been my kid that will say, "Mom needs a break."  This is often followed with her taking her sister into the next room, to occupy her for a few minutes. 
It goes beyond just this, as the connection that she holds with her little sister is stronger than I could have ever imagined.  Sure, they don't get along all the time, but her sister will fall down and it is my oldest who runs to her, cries with her, comforts her, and is there for her, truly. 
Image may contain: textThe conversations that we have, although not always flowers and blue skies, because, let's face it people, this world is not an awesome place, are intense and deep, things that even today she stops to ask about, as she is still processing things that we discussed two years ago. 
Of course, she can be a pill sometimes, because at the end of the day, she is still a tiny human, after all.  She can be the bossiest of sisters and often tried to be the third parent in our household, which gets her into trouble!  And, she is messy, like messier than messy and can never find anything, like ever!  She rolls her eyes consistently, especially when I ask her to stop bossing, and her mouth talks back, and most recently, under her breath in most moments.  But, this is eight! 
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoorThen, she looks into my eyes when we are talking and I start to think about the world, life, souls, where we came from and where we are going.  She is a constant reminder, everyday, how lucky, how blessed I am that God put her in my care.  She is calm when chaos happens, she worries about the BIG things and the little things, she bears a hug at just the right moment and she is a mad loomer, even if this Mama finds tiny rubber bands of every color of the rainbow ALL OVER THE HOUSE! 

I worry about her old soul. 
I worry that her big heart will be broken, a lot.  She loves with her all.
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I worry that this world, this one that is so different from the one her old soul lived, will take away some of the uniqueness of my girl. 
I worry that she feels to much and this world, which is overwhelming and scary will swallow her up. 
And, I especially worry that I have absolutely no idea what in the world I am doing as a parent. I don't think my own soul is as old as hers. 
So, here I sit, doing my best to raise my old soul. She is many things, some still surprise me regularly.  
She tells me often that 'we all get two lives, one before and one after'. Maybe someday, I too will know what that means. 
For now, I will remain thankful that I was picked to be a part of this special girls life.  That I get to hug her, kiss her boo boos, love her with all I have and continue to guide her through this life the best that I can.  She is a kid that is a treat and one that makes me smile even when I feel like I am at my worst. 
I love you more, Kiddo

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Love ~ Mom

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