Something to Look Forward To

It’s Sunday evening, and tomorrow another week begins.

Have you given yourself something to look forward to throughout your week?

We can have a tendency to value productivity over fun.

The list of things we have to do is always on our mind as we try to “fit it all in” and feel like supermom.

In the process, we can forget about the fun.

Sometimes, we can forget about it for so long we’re not even sure what would be fun for us anymore.

If you find yourself not knowing how to have fun, know that the best way to find out is to start trying different things with a mind open to having fun.

What can you plan on doing this week that would be fun for you?

Each day, give yourself something to look forward to (and know that you can do this with your kids, too!)

Allow yourself to have a little more fun this week.

💕 Deise

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Maybe You’re Not Doing It Wrong

This week, I started reading a book called “Better Than Perfect,” by Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo.

Here’s a quote that I read from this book recently that has been on my mind:

Perfectionists are more motivated by fear than they are motivated by the prospect of fun, especially fear of failure and being seen negatively by others. Their focus tends to be on how not to fail. The result is an internal concentration on self-judgments, like “What am I doing wrong?” and “What should I be doing?” rather than “What am I doing right?” and “What do I want to be doing?”

From “Better Than Perfect,” by Dr. Eliazbeth Lombardo

SO good.

As I read this, I couldn’t help but think about how much of my life has been run by those first two questions.

And I love thinking about this, because with coaching, their is an emphasis on the importance of paying attention to the questions we are asking ourselves (because the brain loves to find an answer to whatever question we are asking, whether the answers serve us or not!), and then making sure we are asking ourselves useful, powerful questions.

Next time you find yourself spinning out in feeling like you did something wrong or wondering if you should be doing something differently than you are…

I invite you to consider that maybe there is no “best” way.

That maybe there are lots of right answers.

That maybe no particular answer is inherently right or wrong.

That maybe you just get to decide what’s best for you.

What are you doing right?

And what do you want to be doing?

💕 Deise

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I Can Do It Later

I can do it later.

How often do you tell yourself this?

I used to tell myself this all the time. I didn’t feel like doing something in the moment, and so I would tell myself, “No big deal. I can do it later. I’m more productive at night anyways.”

And then I would stay up later than initially intended, dread waking up, have to get up earlier than I would have liked, and repeat the cycle again the next day.

It was insanity. Ha!

Only when I told myself sleep was the priority and “later” was no longer an option did I really start to make progress with actually going to bed when I said I wanted to. Only then did I start getting more sleep at night on a more consistent basis.

Knowing we will give ourselves more time “later” to get something done is a recipe for disaster when it comes to spending our time in a way that honors our priorities.

We end up sacrificing our own health and self-care in the name of getting things done. And that always catches up to us at some point.

Can you relate to this?

If so, consider…

Is going to bed earlier and waking up earlier something that is important to you?

What would happen if you made sleep your priority and no longer allowed giving yourself more time to “do it later”?

These are questions worth considering.

For me, making sleep a priority has required me to step up my game. To more consciously prioritize my time and energy. To make sure tasks that really matter to me get done earlier in the day – before bedtime.

Prioritizing sleep has also helped me get more sleep, increase my trust in myself, and increase my ability to plan and follow through.

How would your life change if sleep was your priority? If you wanted to go to bed more than you wanted to stay up late?

What if you couldn’t do that thing later?

Would you do it now?

Procrastination breeds more procrastination.

What if you weren’t allowed to procrastinate?

💕 Deise

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Better Than Perfect

If you’ve been following my blog, you may be aware that I haven’t been feeling my best this past week.

I’ve been bedridden for the better part of the past three days.

Each day, more “mess” has accumulated in my house.

My brain defaults to thoughts like…

My house is a disaster.

I’m so behind on everything.

It’s going to take forever to get caught up.

I’ve spent some time reminding myself of a few things.

1) My brain is over-dramatizing things. And I have the power to neutralize it.

My house is not actually a disaster.

How do I know?

Because, a house hit by a tornado is a disaster. (Though, I suppose even that is a thought!)

My house is far from the level of tornado destruction.

So, I neutralize it by stating the facts.

There are dishes in the sink and on the counter.

There is food on the counters, table, and floor.

There is laundry in laundry baskets (clean and dirty).

There are toys on the floor.

You get the idea.

Stating it this way feels so much less stressful and overwhelming.

2) I remind myself that the reason I want things to be clean and back “in order” is because of the feeling I associate with that.

I love feeling clean and organized and put together. 🙂

My brain loves to be efficient, so it has connected that when my house is clean, I feel those things.

But, it’s important to know that I’m not feeling those things because things are clean, but rather, because of what I am THINKING about things being clean.

And here’s the really beautiful thing that I have learned from coaching…

My external world doesn’t have to be perfect for me to feel the way I want to feel.

And, in fact, because of this, my life can be better than perfect – because I can generate the feelings I want to feel without having to control what is happening outside of me.

I felt well enough today to spend more time out of bed than I spent in it.

And, rather than feeling the need to push myself to get as much clean as possible…rather than feeling the need to spend the whole day cleaning trying to “catch up”…

I listened to my body and settled on wiping down the table and doing a couple loads of dishes.

And then, I spent the rest of the time taking it easy, connecting with my boys, and making time for other things that are important to me – like a coaching call (first one I didn’t have to cancel this week – yay!), this blog post, and time in the spa with my hubby.

Even more magically than that is that I’m not letting everything that isn’t done bother me.

Now, I’m not saying that this is always how it goes down in my brain.

It’s not.

Sometimes I get caught up in the “need to clean” – and I totally give into the cleaning marathon urge.

But, it happens less and less often.

If this is something you struggle with, consider building rest time into your cleaning time. For example, clean for 20 minutes, and then rest for 10 minutes.

And know that everything doesn’t have to be clean for you to feel better about it.

You don’t have to get it all done.

You’re amazing, no matter what your house looks like.

💕 Deise

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When It Rains, It Pours

When it rains, it pours.

I’ve been thinking about this saying a lot today.

The meaning behind it?

When something good or bad occurs, it usually occurs more than once and often within a short period of time. (Thanks Dictionary.com!)

I’ve been “under the weather” since this weekend.

I’m typically fairly optimistic when I don’t feel well, but this time has been different.

Today especially, I’ve totally been spinning in the world of the hopeless. Ha!

I feel worse today than I did yesterday.

I have no idea when this is going to end.

I’m totally in survival mode.

My house is a disaster.

I can barely function.

And, I’ve started to notice my brain focusing more and more on the negative.

How I’ve had to cancel 7 coaching calls in the past 3 days. (It’s the first time I’ve ever had to cancel any coaching calls.)

How my plan to go to bed early was foiled last night because it took me upwards of two hours to get baby to bed. And then, right after I feel asleep, he was up again and I was in and out of sleep feeding him, desperately trying to get him to go to bed so I could just sleep.

How one of my other kids seems to have come down with croup in the past 24 hours.

How I just don’t feel like doing anything at all.

How unfair it is that a mom can’t just have a day off when she is sick.

And it has me thinking about this saying, “When it rains, it pours.” Because, my brain very much wants to believe this. That one “bad thing” happened and now all these other less than ideal things are happening.

But, it wouldn’t be true.

Things happen, but my experience of them depends on where I focus my thinking.

I’m totally focusing on all the things that are happening that I think are less than ideal. Which creates that “when it rains, it pours” experience. Cause all of a sudden my brain is on high alert for everything else that isn’t “working” and wanting to make sure I notice. And not only notice, but dramatize the heck out if it.

So my work today has been allowing myself just to feel terrible.

The goal of thought work isn’t to be happy all the time.

Life is 50/50.

The goal of thought work is to raise our awareness around how WE are creating our own experience, with our thoughts.

There is real physical pain and discomfort. Like the pressure in my head, the swaying sensation when I’m walking, feeling nauseous at times, vomiting at times, lack of appetite, how my body may sweat if I stand too long, ringing in my ears, physical tiredness, etc.

And then, there is also emotional pain. That is, the pain that comes from our thoughts about our physical pain.

Did you know we can make physical pain better or worse by how we choose to think about it?

One of my coaches, Brooke Castillo, has said, “Pain is required. Suffering is optional.”

“…there’s our pain and then there’s thoughts about our pain, and then there’s the thoughts that cause our pain. So the bottom line is physical pain is made worse by our thinking about it and emotional pain is always caused by our thinking.”

I want you to think about it this way: the sensation of pain is being triggered in your body and the message is being sent to your brain that there is pain in your body. And emotional pain is when you have a thought that creates pain in the body, so it travels the opposite direction. So there’s the sensation of pain that’s letting your brain know that you’re in pain and then there’s the thought of pain that travels through that – what they call the limbic system that creates the pain for us.”

Brooke Castillo (The Life Coach School Podcast #239)

We add suffering to pain when we think about pain in a way that doesn’t serve us.

I have for sure been adding suffering to physical pain today. But, rather than judging myself for that, I’ve sought to be curious.

So curious how my brain wants to focus on how terrible I feel and over dramatize everything that is happening in my life right now.

I’m doing what I can to eliminate the cause of my physical pain and discomfort. For me, this includes giving myself lots of time to do tasks I decide to do, lying down as much as possible, and giving myself a lot of grace in terms of how I entertain my boys. It also means finding others to help me out when I can.

Then, on top of this, is the work of accepting the physical pain, rather than resisting it. As humans, we seem to default to resistance, thinking that pushing it away or avoiding it will somehow help. But, the opposite is usually true. In my experience, resistance actually makes the pain worse, and doesn’t allow it to process through my body.

I notice myself in resistance when I’m in a general energy of…

This shouldn’t be happening.

I should be over this by now.

This is taking too long.

I don’t want to feel this way anymore.

I can’t do this.

“If you think about the Model, the physical pain that we’re experiencing, the sensation of pain would be in our C line, and then we’re going to have a thought about that physical pain that is either going to make us feel a negative emotion on top of the physical pain or it’ll make us feel something neutral, or it’ll make us feel something positive that will help us negate the pain.”

Brooke Castillo (The Life Coach School Podcast #239)

So, what does it look like to accept physical pain?

For me, this is actively noticing my thoughts about my pain and then practicing managing my mind around that.

This should be happening, because it is.

I’m in pain, and that’s okay.

I feel terrible, and that’s okay.

I’m sick, and that’s okay.

I can handle it. I am handling it.

I won’t feel sick forever.

And then as often as I notice myself tightening up and resisting it, I seek to open up to it and notice what is happening in my body – sort of relaxing into it, breathing into it, and just noticing the physical sensations that are there.

It still doesn’t feel good. But actively accepting the pain actually feels better than resisting it. Just trying to be present with the pain without needing to change it or fix it or make it feel better can be so powerful.

“…one of the conversations that I’ve had with myself is this: I’ll say,’If I will be in pain either way, my choice of what to do now is mine alone.’ I can choose to complain, I can choose to rail against, I can choose to resist, and those are all valid choices. But what I have found is that it’s important to pay attention to what my choice is and then to notice how it affects the pain. Notice what happens when I avoid it, notice what happens when I medicate it, notice what happens when I resist it, and notice what happens when I accept it.

“And I want to offer this: when I practice accepting pain and being present with pain before I ever try and change it, I get better at processing pain. I don’t want to get better at being in pain and then always being in pain, but I want to get better at processing and digesting pain so I’m not constantly resisting it and making it worse. I can accept pain. I can accept that I’m in pain right now and that’s okay. This won’t harm me permanently. This is temporary. This is emotional pain. Or this is physical pain. And then breathe. I can handle pain. It’s okay.”

And when we can do this on all levels, I’ve practiced this when I’m fasting and I do it with hunger, I’ve practiced this when I’m working out, I’ve practiced this when I’m holding a pose in yoga. I’ve practiced this when someone’s telling me something that feels super painful. I’ve practiced just being in the space of experiencing pain in my brain and knowing that I won’t be harmed by it.”

“The harm from pain is what we do with it emotionally. How we turn it against ourselves in thinking negative thoughts about it and feeling like we can’t escape and that it’s harming us and that we’re in danger. We breathe in, it’s okay, we’re going to be fine.”

Brooke Castillo (The Life Coach School Podcast #239)

We can make peace with pain.

Pain is required. Suffering is optional.

Is there any pain in your life you’d like to make peace with?

💕 Deise

P.S. If you’d like to explore this topic more, I invite you to check out Brooke Castillo’s podcast on Accepting Pain. Find it at https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/238/ . #AMAZING

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When History Repeats Itself

I have a problem with my ears that repeats itself every 2-3 years since my early 20s.

This past weekend I had to deal with it again, and when I checked in at the Urgent Care, the guy helping me commented that it was the same issue I was there for in 2017.

Yes, I know. This isn’t the first time it’s happened.

In fact, it’s at least the third or possibly the fourth time.

My thought about it is that it’s “totally embarrassing.” That “it shouldn’t be a problem.” And that “maybe it won’t happen again.”

These thoughts leaving me feeling embarrassed and ashamed.

Can you guess what these feelings make me want to do?

Let me tell you.

I want to pretend it’s not a problem and that it doesn’t happen. I want to pretend it won’t happen again. I want to forget about it. And when it starts to look like it might be a problem again, I put off getting it taken care for as long as possible. I wait til the last possible minute. Til I just can’t put it off any longer.

Of course, the result is that it is a problem for me (and almost certainly a much bigger problem than it would be if I were thinking differently about it). And, it keeps happening again. Every 2-3 years.

Last time this happened, in 2017, I asked the doctor what I could do to prevent the issue from happening in the future.

I did two of the three things suggested. But, I didn’t do all three.

Why didn’t I do the third thing?

Because I had thoughts like, “That will take too long.” “I don’t have time for that.” “There’s no guarantee that will help.” And “It probably won’t make that much of a difference anyway.”

I think it is also helpful to note here that the two things I did do were actually things to STOP doing. Easy. (At least in my mind, ha!)

But the third thing? The third thing was something to START doing. On a regular, consistent basis. Which was a huge problem for me, because back then, I identified as someone who had a hard time with consistency. Someone who struggled to build health habits that last. Which meant I usually took actions (or rather, lack of actions) that proved that true for myself.

Now, there’s no way to know if it would have made a difference or not, because I didn’t do it.

All I know is that here I am again, with this problem, that actually became a worse problem because I ended feeling very sick the couple of days after visiting the Urgent Care. Best guess is my ears were damaged somehow through all of this, resulting in an awful case of vertigo. And it has not been fun. I’m still very much suffering from it as I am writing this post.

In my mind, this whole experience could be labeled as a “failure,” because it is something that did not turn out the way I would have liked.

But no matter. Cause what I care about most now is learning from it.

Whenever we notice a pattern in our lives, it’s useful to pause and consider how we are creating the associated result for ourselves.

To find all the ways we are fully responsible for that result we have created.

I created this ear problem for myself, as well as the associated vertigo I’m dealing with now.

I’m not blaming myself. It happened. It’s okay.

But, I am taking responsibility for all of it. Because as long as the responsibility is mine, I have all the power to change it going forward.

I asked the doctor, again, what I could do to prevent this issue from happening again.

He suggested some of the things I had already stopped doing, as well as one new thing that hadn’t been mentioned before.

That new thing is also a thing to START doing. A habit to develop.

Whether or not I do this thing going forward depends on how I think about it.

I no longer identify as someone who struggles with consistency / building habits and routines that last. So, that’s good.

But, that doesn’t mean I am home free.

I actually took time last night, while feeling absolutely miserable, to self coach on this and really take a hard look at all the thoughts, feelings, and actions that created my current results. It’s hard to get to where we want to go if we don’t know where we currently are.

Instead of thinking this action will “take too much time” or focusing on how “results might not be guaranteed” – instead of telling myself “I don’t have time for that” – I’m telling myself “this is important.” That “it matters” – even in the moments when I don’t think it does. I’m reminding myself that it actually takes less than 10 minutes. That it’s NOT too much time. And I’m choosing to make sure it happens.

What does that look like?

I’m deciding right now when I will do this action each week, and putting a reminder in my calendar.

I’m not thinking that “I will fit it in” or that “I’ll get to it” or that “I’ll figure it out later.” Cause I know that creates a result, for me, of NOT doing it.

I’m giving it time and space now. I’m deciding now so I don’t have to decide later or spend any more time thinking about it.

I can tell you I won’t do this perfectly, and that’s okay. It’s not about doing it every single time it’s on my calendar.

It’s about doing it most of the time it’s on my calendar. Which means letting go of any days I don’t do it…not making them mean anything about me or my ability to follow through…and then staying focused on what I AM doing once a week on that specified day at that approximate time.

Do you have a pattern in your life that periodically repeats itself and creates an unwanted result for you?

If you were to take full responsibility for that pattern and associated result, without blaming yourself, how is it that you created this result for yourself?

What actions did you take that led to that result?

What were you feeling that caused you to take those actions?

What were you thinking that had you feeling that way?

What result would you like to create? And how would you need to think, feel, and act differently to create that result?

If you feel stuck with any of these questions, comment below or message me in the sidebar on the right. Happy to help!!

💕 Deise

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Check Your Reason

There’s a lot of talk in the self-help world about “finding your why” and having a “compelling reason.”

This is something that used to hang me up, because I felt like my “why” and my “compelling reasons” were pretty important to me, and yet, they didn’t seem to be helping me make the changes I wanted to make.

Do you ever feel like this?!

And then I learned that we actually always have a compelling reason.

When we are unable to make the changes we seek, it is simply because our current reason for the actions we are taking is more compelling to us than our reason for change.

Why is this important to know?

First, we don’t pause to understand what our current compelling reason is.

And second, we don’t question whether or not our reason for change is actually compelling to us.

These are two separate topics, so purposes of this post, let’s focus on the second one.

Earlier this year, in a coaching session I had with another coach, I was asked about my reasons for becoming a certified life coach and building a life coaching business.

My response was because life coaching makes me a better wife and mom.

My coach challenged me on this. She asked me how it FELT.

I paused to think about this.

Honestly…NOT that great. Which totally surprised me. It was not that compelling for me, for sure. It felt like lack for me. Like I needed to be better than I was.

And, the pattern I noticed when I told myself this was why I was doing it was that I would see myself taking actions that left me thinking, even more so than before, that I needed to be better than I was.

Curious.

So my coach explored my reasons with me some more.

Why did I become a certified life coach? Why did I want to build a life coaching business?

And I discovered my reason was actually quite simple.

My reason?

My reason was, and is, because I want to coach.

Now, immediately, my brain wanted to think that this is selfish… that I needed to have a “better reason” or that somehow my reason needed to be more “noble” or in some way be about my family or the people I’m serving.

But this reason – that I want to coach – this reason FELT freeing. It felt like clarity. It felt inspiring. It came from a place of “enough.” Of abundance. And it made we want to TAKE ACTION that would move me FORWARD.

Telling myself I was doing it so I could be a better wife and mom wasn’t serving me. It was coming from a place of “not enough.” And it wasn’t helping me create the result I wanted.

It is also interesting to note that this reason of coaching simply because I want to serves my family so much more than the reason that sounded like it was about my family, because I’m no longer trying to be “better” and I’m no longer trying to prove something or feeling like I need a “good reason” (or rather, a reason that sounds good) to do what I want to do.

I’m enough as I am as a wife and as a mom. Exactly as I am. “Flaws” and all. And I can go after things I want to do just because I want to do them. I don’t need a “better” or more “noble” sounding reason. How it feels is what matters most. And thinking in this way actually makes it easier for me to show up as the wife and mom and woman that I want to be.

Whatever reason you are giving yourself for change, if it isn’t compelling you to take action that moves you forward toward that goal, I invite you to check your reason.

Ask yourself what your reason is. And then ask yourself how it feels.

If it doesn’t feel great…if it isn’t compelling you to take action…explore that more…and consider if maybe that’s not actually your reason.

What’s a reason to do it that feels truly compelling to you?

💕 Deise

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It’s Never Working Until the Moment It Is

This isn’t working.

It’s never going to work.

What’s the point? (AKA, There’s no point.)

This is hopeless.

I can’t do this.

Do you ever have apathetic or hopeless feeling thoughts such as these when it comes to your current goals?

I sure have. And still do. And likely always will so long as I continue to grow and push myself to new levels.

I loved a recent coaching call I was on where one of my coaches, Brooke Castillo, coached a lady on dating and finding a mate.

The sweet woman being coached was having the sorts of thoughts listed above, and doubting that she would find someone.

Brooke pointed out that things are never working until the moment they are. That IS how it works. We are always failing until we are succeeding. Nothing has gone wrong just because we aren’t there YET.

It doesn’t mean we won’t get there.

Brooke shared an analogy related to this – the analogy of graduating high school (or college).

We spend a LOT of years in school before we finally graduate. And yet, most of us didn’t spend a lot of time during those years being worried about not graduating. We believed hard that it would happen. That it was as good as done and it was just a matter of time.

Similarly, when we fly somewhere, we don’t arrive in an instant. We aren’t at our destination until we are. When we are still en route, it doesn’t mean we aren’t going to arrive at our destination. It just means we aren’t there yet. And, interestingly, even if we have a layover or something that technically takes us farther away from where we want to go while on the journey, we still believe that we are on our way, that we’re getting closer to where we want to be, and that we’ll be there soon.

What if we chose to think this way about our goals, no matter what happened?

Getting to the airport, and waiting at the airport, riding on the plane for several hours, getting off the plane, collecting luggage, finding other transportation…it’s not all enjoyable or what we would choose, but it is all part of the journey to a new destination via plane. At no point in that process would we make it mean that we are not going to get to where we want to go, or that we are going to end up somewhere we didn’t intend to be.

Similarly, with our goals, even when we think we are failing or that things aren’t going the way we want them to, we could still choose to frame it as being part of the journey. Things that happen help us learn what we need to learn to get to where we want to be. It helps us move forward. Failure, too, can mean that we are on our way, that we’re getting closer to where we want to be, and that we’ll be there soon.

This is something I have to remind myself of CONSTANTLY it seems. Especially with building a business while being a mom to my littles. I care a lot about take the “AND” road.

I’m not choosing the road where I take care of myself OR I’m a good mom OR I’m an entrepreneur.

I’m choosing the road where I am thriving in all three. The road where I am creating my best life now instead of trading now for later.

I’m choosing the road where I take good care of myself AND I’m a great mom AND I’m a successful entrepreneur. And knowing that I get to define what all of that means for me.

My definition may be different than someone else’s. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s a beautiful thing. How amazing is it that we all have the power to create a life on our own terms, defined by what we deem to be most meaningful and important to us?

But I digress. 🙂 Here is where I like to direct my brain when I find it is in the apathetic / hopeless space described above…

Let’s just say that hypothetically I could give you a magic wand and you get to wave it and get exactly the results you want. No doubt. No confusion. No overwhelm. What would you do? What outcome would you choose?

And oh my goodness friends. This can bring me right back to clarity in an instant. Like, wow, if I really believed anything is possible, [THIS] would 100% be what I would go after.

And then, magically, I can find myself in this place of…

Maybe it’s possible.

Maybe I can do this.

And possibly even…

I am doing this.

I can make this happen.

This is exactly how I moved forward with some of the requirements in the Entrepreneur track I’m in with The Life Coach School. I was paralyzed to move forward for a few months earlier this year because I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to coach 5-10 people per week AND not fall into my old pattern where I stay up too late and sacrifice relationships that are important to me in the name of getting things done.

I realized in a consult call with another coach that I truly just wasn’t believing it was possible.

But, when she got me to consider the POSSIBILITY…instantly I was transformed in my own mind.

And, because I started believing in the possibility, I started making it possible.

So fascinating how that works.

Circumstances don’t have to change, and yet we can have an entirely different experience of them.

Are you currently is this apathetic or hopeless place?

What if you really believed you could do it? That the outcome was inevitable?

What if the only reason it’s not working is because you stopped working?

What if you CAN do it?

How would you show up differently than you are right now?

💕 Deise

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To the Night Owl

Do you identify as a night owl?

According to my Google search, a night owl is “a person who is habitually active or wakeful at night.” Someone who “keeps late hours at night” or who “tends to stay up late into the night.”

This has been me for most of my life. Ha!

I felt like I got a second wind at night and that I was more focused and productive.

More recently, though, while reading a book called, “Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life,” I have learned about what is actually happening for the majority of us who identify as night owls. And, as this is something I wish I would have know even as far back as high school…it’s worthy of it’s own blog post. Especially because it has helped me deepen my own compelling reason for changing to an earlier sleep time.

This book recommends getting to sleep by 10:30 PM, because this is the time when our bodies are naturally a little bit heavy and sleepy. Our bodies start preparing for sleep between 6 and 10 PM, as the sun goes down. Our digestive tract slows down, and our energy becomes more steady. It can be easy to overwork our minds during this time and make it impossible to sleep later.

After 10:30, we are likely to feel more hungry and awake. “Ten PM to 2 AM is predominated by pitta energy. The body is certainly on fire, but in a very different way than it was during the day. Now, the brain wants to generate even deeper sleep cycles in an effort to rest and cleanse itself.”

“If you go to sleep early in this cycle, you can get that pitta energy working for your body. But many people stay awake working until midnight or later. They say they get a second wind, and feel suddenly more alert after 10:30 PM. They don’t know why, but I know it’s that they like to ride that pitta wave.”

“Staying awake late at night doesn’t mean you are a natural night owl. It just means that the urge to sleep is a little bit like a train. It pulls in and then leaves the station at a predictable time. Many so-called night owls would cure themselves of insomnia (as well as many other health problems) if they would just get on the train by 10:30 PM. If you do this, your body will thank you in countless ways.”

The book also talks about how we need at least three REM and non-REM cycles of sleep per night, but that four or five is better. It talks about how when we stay up late, we are getting a late start on this important brain activity, and it is likely that we then end up hitting our deepest and most restorative levels of sleep when the alarm goes off in the morning.

“You’ll know that you are doing this if your alarm goes off and you wake up feeling groggy and disoriented. You may think it’s because you are not a morning person, but really it’s because you’ve cheated your brain and body out of the restorative sleep it needs.”

“Everything you do all day is either helping the master circadian clock to synchronize the body’s functions, or it’s getting in the way. Setting a daily schedule that reinforces your body’s natural rhythm is the most powerful health habit you can adopt. Getting to bed at the right time is the best way to take advantage of sleep’s essential benefits.”

My take-aways to date?

Me identifying as a night owl all those years wasn’t what I thought it was. And it was just that: an identity.

Over the past several months I’ve been working on that 10:30 PM bedtime, and I can personally attest, as a former “night owl,” that going to bed earlier feels a million times better.

I’ve still got work to do on sleep…but I’m no longer identifying as a night owl…nor do I want to. 😉

💕 Deise

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It’s Bedtime, But There Are Still Things That Have To Be Done…

Do you stay up later than you would like because you still have things that need to be done when bedtime rolls around?

This was a huge problem for me for a long LONG time.

I wanted to go to bed earlier, but I could never seem to get everything done that needed to be done in time to go to bed earlier.

I identified as a night owl.

I told myself I was more productive at night.

I felt I need to get XYZ done in that moment, because if I didn’t do it then, it wouldn’t get done.

I was convinced that getting it done right then would save me time the next day.

And I told myself I could function on less sleep.

So I would go about doing all the things, whatever they may be.

And then, without fail, I would almost always regret it on the back end.

Because I would work way longer than intended. (Just one more thing!!)

Or kids would be up more at night.

Or kids would wake up earlier than usual.

And then I would spend time the next day spinning in how tired I was and how I couldn’t function and how I needed more sleep…

Only to repeat the whole cycle again the next night.

Why did I do this to myself?!

It took me literally years to figure this out.

And here’s the one key thing that hung me up…

That is, believing that things had to be done by bedtime. Or that they had to be done at all.

You see, this is something that can very much feel like a fact to us.

But it’s NOT a fact!

It’s a thought. And thoughts are always optional.

We think things have to be done, but there is nothing that ever has to be done. Those thoughts are just chatter in our brains that we choose to believe.

Everything we do, we do from choice…even if it feels like we don’t have a choice.

Our minds are relentless in coming up with things that we “have” to do or that we “should” do.

Our job is to use our pre-frontal cortex to make deliberate decisions about what we will do…and then own that.

This includes going to bed at a particular time.

We choose a bedtime with our thoughts.

If getting more sleep is something that is a priority for us, then we can decide that indulging in anxiety over all the things on our list is not an option for us.

We can make our sleep the priority and let all the other things go.

The only time commitment to ourselves doesn’t work is when we choose not to keep it.

If you have chosen a bedtime that you are not following through on, I encourage you to be curious about that.

What is higher priority to you? Getting the sleep you want or staying up to get more things done?

Remember there is no right or wrong answer.

Consider: If it’s true that there is nothing that ever has to be done, would you choose to prioritize sleep?

What if prioritizing sleep actually helped you get the things you really care about done earlier in the day? Because you would know staying up late isn’t an option for you?

What if it wasn’t an option?!

I have found for myself that the only way I get to bed “on time” is by making sleep the priority. By being willing to let everything else go.

And, interestingly, when I draw that hard line for myself…

When I KNOW I won’t give myself more time at night to get something done…

When I KNOW sacrificing sleep is no longer an option for me…

I get the things I really want to get done completed earlier in the day, and I don’t save them until the end of the day any more.

With that, I’m also so much more productive today than I was a year ago when this was such a huge problem for me.

So fascinating, right?!

This just goes to show that staying up late didn’t actually make me more productive. I just thought it did. And because I thought it did, I continued to stay up late.

What if you are actually less productive when you don’t give your body the sleep it needs?

What if you would actually get more of your important tasks done if you prioritized your sleep time? If you knew you wouldn’t give yourself more time at night to get it done?

And, what if you getting the sleep you say you want every night is 100% within your control?

It is, my friends.

You just have to really decide THAT is in fact your priority. And know that if you are NOT going to bed when you say you want to…sleep is NOT currently your priority.

What do you want to prioritize?

💕 Deise

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