A Matter of Priority

Cindy Gunter RushtonOh! Why can’t I get around to working out? And, planning my meals? And, resting? Why is there such a battle?

Sure, I INTEND to get around to it. Boy, do I INTEND. But, how does it get from an idea, an intention and get ait into my lifestyle?

Well, looks like there is one big key–it is a matter of priority!

I know how to stick to my priorities. I know how to get things done. I am really good at it. But what do you do when you have neglected something as vital as getting fit and healthy? And, neglected it for over 18 years? How do you get going again? How do you make it happen? How do you get out of your comfort zone? How do you get out of the “default setting” that keeps you stuck? Those have been my questions the past few months.

Relate?

Boy, this is the story of my life! A story that I want to change. A story that needs a new dialogue…a new background…a new plot!

I really don’t think that is possible without some hard, deep, and relentless work! It is going to take uprooting those deep roots that take me back to default. It is going to take more than another resolution–it is going to take transformation! Transformation from the old-Cindy to the new-Cindy. Transformation spirit, soul AND body!

Where does that even begin? Well, for me, I think that begins with getting real with myself and asking (and answering honestly), “Is THIS a priority?” Yup! That is a perfect place to begin!

I can SAY that I want to get fit and healthy. I can also add my goal to my big list of things to do. I can plan my healthy meals. I can set my bed-time at a decent hour. BUT, none of this is going to happen if this is not a real priority–a non-negotiable priority!

Let’s face it, I DO what I really believe in.
I MAKE it happen.
It gets done.
It is non-negotiable.
I am intentional.
It gets on the agenda.
It happens regardless of anything going on around me.
There are NO EXCUSES that can derail it!

So, if I am going through day after day or week after week or month after month or year after year and I NEVER make time to get fit and healthy, what is really going on? You know, don’t you? It is NOT a priority for me. It is still an option. It is a “nice” thing to do…some day. It is a wish. It is a fluttery feeling in my stomach. But it is NOT a priority for me.

If it has not made it to the to-do list…
If it hasn’t made it to the schedule…
If it has just taunted me..
If it has made me feel guilty, condemned, and full of shame…
If it is just another failed resolution…
Is it REALLY a priority?

Do you see it? I imagine that you can answer that one very easily. I imagine that you can see the problem clearly. By now, you are probably screaming out–DO IT GIRL! The answer is clear. The plan looks obvious. But…

How about you?
Do you relate?
Have you been wanting to do it but there is always SOMETHING else?
Or, maybe YOUR THING is something completely different…

…Writing that book
…Getting out of debt
…Stepping out with that business
…Dating again
…Getting back in church
…Reading your Bible daily
…Getting your education
…Remodeling your home
…Reaching for that goal…that dream…that resolution
…AND, YOUR THING!!

It is June. One of those resolutions still not a reality? Nagging at you? Got that sick feeling in your gut? Feeling like all of the sudden I am picking on you?

Well, take a few moments and ask yourself, “Is THIS a priority?”

Ready to step it up? Ready to make it happen? Ready to finally crush it? Today is the day of NEW beginnings. No more settling for default. No more letting the days…weeks…months…and years slip by. No more regret. Today is the day to step up and step out. Today is the day to make that thing a priority, a non-negotiable priority. After all, sit is all as simple as a matter of priority.

Let’s rock it!

Sleep to Succeed: A Lesson in Productivity

Cindy2015Ever feel that there are not enough hours in the day? Oh! I do! There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day sometimes. With your schedule, something always gets put off until tomorrow. In order to catch up, you might be tempted to work longer but that will have the opposite effect.

When your schedule runs long or you have a pressing project at work, the first thing that enters your mind is that you can come in early or stay late to get it done. The problem with that idea is that the rest of your routine will suffer. There will be less, if any, time for your family. From the point that you steal time from one area to benefit another, you will be playing catch up.

Over time, your body will respond to the added demands. It won’t be pretty. Stress of any kind that is prolonged can cause health problems. You are more likely to develop illnesses because of a depressed immune system. You won’t be your kind and cheery self anymore as you become short tempered and bite everyone’s head off.

What about your goals? Whether work-related or personal, your goals never seem to get met. The laws of nature are a funny thing. In our society, we have the idea that to get more done you have to speed up and sacrifice. While that may be true in some situations, the part that we choose to sacrifice makes a big difference.

To get ahead and get more done you need to slow down. Sleep is a part of your daily routine. It’s a part that we don’t pay much attention to. After all, if you are tired, you will eventually fall asleep, right? That’s not how sleep is supposed to work.

The human body is like a beautiful machine. All machines need maintenance to continue working. The body does its repair jobs while you sleep. There are several sleep cycles. During the deepest sleep, the body can go about restoration and repair because you are not keeping it occupied with movement and thought. It’s sort of like a short hibernation period.

Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough restorative sleep for it to matter. You wake up tired and that leads to concentration problems. It’s hard to think of new ways to increase your productivity when you can’t keep your eyes open. Burning the candle at both ends will leave you with nothing.

Do yourself a favor. Get your 7-8 hours of sleep a night. As a result you will wake up refreshed and your focus will be clear. You’ll find you have more energy and get more accomplished in all areas of your life. There is less downtime needed during the day because you got all of the rest you needed when you slept.

Healthier Options for Traditional Lunch Items

Does your child love traditional lunch dishes like bologna sandwiches with a side of chips? Or maybe he’s a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches and a can of Spaghetti Os® and enjoys a few cookies for dessert. Not all of these traditional lunch dishes are especially healthy for your child, but with a few changes and substitutions you can create healthier options for traditional lunch items such as these.

Instead of a bologna, or even worse, fried bologna sandwich with mayonnaise, fix a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and a little mustard for a much healthier version. If your child really loves bologna sandwiches, pick up a turkey version instead or splurge on the original one occasionally, substituting lean sandwich meats like turkey or chicken the rest of the time.

Potato chips have quite a few calories and a lot of fat, not to mention they are covered in salt which makes them a rather unhealthy side dish for lunch. In place of unhealthy chips, pack pretzels or baked tortilla chips in your child’s lunch. Now, there are also “baked” options for many of your kids’ favorite brand-name chips. At home, you can also prepare raw veggies and dip.  You could also replace them with a pasta salad dressed with a bit of light Italian dressing and plenty of veggies tossed in. Pita or bagel chips are another option that’s healthier than traditional potato chips. Mix things up by providing different dips to go along with these healthy alternatives. Bean dips, salsa and hummus are all great options as well.

If you are preparing a warm lunch for your child at home, don’t just open a can of Spaghetti Os® or ravioli. Instead boil up some whole wheat angel hair pasta and topped with tomato sauce for a healthier option with a lot less salt. Keep cooked ground turkey in the fridge and add it for an even more filling lunch.

Instead of a grilled cheese sandwich that’s made with processed cheese and fried in butter, prepare some cheese toast instead. (Just cut up some cheese, set it on pieces of bread, and toast it in the toaster oven or in the broiler.) Add some lean ham or turkey to add healthy flavor. For another healthy version of the usual grilled cheese sandwich, use whole wheat bread, slices of cheddar cheese and cook the sandwich with cooking spray.

Take a look at what you and your kids are drinking with lunch as well. Sodas and soft drinks are obviously not the healthiest options, but pay attention to how much juice your child drinks as well. A glass of orange juice a day is fine, drinking it by the gallon isn’t. Dilute fruit juices with water and offer your child plenty of plain water with a little ice or lemon throughout the day.  Don’t forget cold herbal teas, as these are another great drink choice.