THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
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What you do on Sunday can determine the week ahead of you. If you spend your Sunday prepping for the following week, you can set yourself up for success. And it doesn’t need to take more than an hour.
Over the past few years, I have realised that the way I spend my Sunday greatly affects the rest of my week.
“Spend your Sunday wisely, and you’ll set yourself up for success in the upcoming week”.
But what does that mean, and isn’t Sundays for relaxing?
Yes, Sundays are for relaxing. But I find that if I spend all of Sunday relaxing, I feel unprepared for the week when I wake up on Monday.
And so, spending just one, maybe two hours out of the whole day, in order to prepare for the upcoming week is what helps me.
What to do, the breakdown
What you need to do to feel prepared for the week may differ from person to person. But I like to break it down in categories: making the house feel fresh and ready, going through papers and digital clutter, making a game plan, and making myself feel fresh and ready.
Making the house feel fresh and ready
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When preparing for the upcoming week, I like to start with the house. This is usually what is most time consuming and labour intensive, so I like getting it out of the way.
What I do depends on a few factors, but I always make sure to take the rubbish out and clean the kitchen. Which means, I’ll start by emptying and reloading the dishwasher and wash any dishes that needs washing by hand.
I then continue on to scrubbing the sink and wiping down the counters.
The rest depends on what needs doing. I might tidy up things that are out of order or fold and put away clean laundry. Because we all know laundry takes 4-5 days, right? 1 day to wash and dry and then 3-4 business days to get folded and put away, haha!
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By doing these little things, the house feels fresh and ready for the week.
Going through my papers and digital clutter
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Papers and digital clutter have a tendency of sneaking up on us. That’s why I like to spend a little time just going through them to see what I need to do with them.
Papers are easy enough, you know: checking my notes, checking if there is a bill that needs paying, is there any junk mail that I haven’t thrown out yet?
Cleaning up digital clutter may take a little bit longer, depending on how much there is, but I strongly recommend you take 10-15 minutes to go through it.
I like to go through the screenshots on my phone to note down what’s important and delete what’s not.
I also sort and delete e-mails and unsubscribe from newsletters. And I’m quite hard on newsletters, I unsubscribe from both the ones I don’t want, but also the ones I signed up for because I wanted them, but never end up reading.
Making a game plan
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After cleaning, tidying, and going through my papers, I sit down to make a game plan for the upcoming week. And when I do, I ask myself these questions:
- What are the chores I need to get done?
- Do I have any appointments I need to remember?
- What will I be making for dinner?
- Is there any particular workout I want to get done?
I plan these things out, because it takes the decision making out of the day-to-day. When I have written down what needs doing, I can spend my energy on different things.
Usually, I also try to not have any more than 3 items on my day-to-day to-do lists. Any more than that, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
I also prioritize the list, so I have one important task every day. The rest are “nice to do” if I have the time. If not, they can be done some other day.
Making myself feel fresh and ready
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As I touched upon earlier, Sundays are for resting. Which is an important part of feeling fresh and ready for the upcoming week.
It depends a bit on my mood, but on Sundays, I actually prefer having a quiet morning and mid-day, before doing the prep-tasks in the afternoon.
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Usually I prefer doing tasks and chores before relaxing, but there is something special about a quiet Sunday morning with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
After completing my prep-tasks in the afternoon, I like having a shower or a bath to relax, and spend the evening reading or watching a movie or a tv-show.
It may seem daunting, but do it anyways
Doing all of this may seem daunting, but it really doesn’t take as long as you think it will. I usually spend less than an hour on tidying, cleaning, sorting papers and planning.
And when everything is done, I get to relax more.
Spending ONE hour on Sunday preparing for the upcoming week, just makes everything run more smoothly.
I hope this article was of value to you! If so, I hope you'll follow my blog and also share the article with someone else who may be interested.
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HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT THE HEALTHY WAY
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For the last decade or two I've been struggling with overweight. It's been frustrating, and even depressing at times, because I've felt that the person looking back at me in the mirror has been kind of a stranger. It's not been me. Not the real me. Because I've always been lean and strong and fit, and that just hasn't been the case for the last 10-20 years. My overweight hasn't been extreme, but it's definitly not been healty.
Sometimes I've wondered "What the heck happened!?" - and I've tried everything to get back in shape, - but I actually do know what happened: It's been health issues that have prevented me from being active the way I used to, and stress and worries around that have just added to the equation. I've been struggling with fatigue, and also dizziness, and this has made it hard for me to exercise the way I used to. I've also had a few periods where I've been through some difficult times emotionally concerning other areas of my life, and this has also added to the stress, - and it's actually been scientifically proved that stress has a tendency to add to the weight gain, especially around the waist.
I haven't really been obese, but I'm not so tall (I'm 163 cm), so going from being a person who never weighed over 60 kilos up until the age of 40, to then gaining almost 20 kilos extra over a very short time, - was definitly not good for me. I didn't really notice it at first, but going from always having been an active person to suddenly - almost over-night - not being able to do much exercise due to (among other things) fatigue and dizziness (caused by a blow to the head which resulted in Post Concussion Syndrome) - it soon got me into a state of overweight and a negative development healthwise. My BMI (Body Mass Index) has been around 28 (the BMI of obesity is around 30), so I've not been happy with the situation. (You can read more about BMI and obesity on WHO's website.)
I don't want to get too scientific in this article, because my main focus is going to be on what you can actually DO to lose weight in a healthy way, and which is the way I myself am slowly but steadily getting back into shape now. Let's just look at a few facts first to get this topic into perspective and why I find it so important to address it:
According to WHO (World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Let's look at some key facts published on WHO's official website - and I quote:
Until now, obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels within a short period of time.
And here's the thing, and the reason why I decided to write an article on this, for you and me both:
One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.
So education on this topic is very important, and I've decided to get as much knowledge about it as possible, because I want to help myself and other people to heal from overweight and obesity and get our health - and our lives! - back.
Not to scare you, but here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:
1. heart disease
Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.
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Let me just make it clear right away:
The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplements or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary. It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.
Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:
1. Do not starve yourself.
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The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet. You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up everyday.
If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you
just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. thighs, buttocks, hips).
2. Start your day right.
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Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.
Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.
3. Eat small, healthy meals frequently.
Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent overeating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.
4. Decide on how much weight you want to lose.
Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life. Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.
5. Drink lots of water.
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Your body needs sufficient water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.
6. Avoid too much sugar.
Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein-rich foods.
Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.
7. Watch your fat intake.
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Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.
There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which is good for the heart.
Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities. It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is
that you set realistic goals for yourself.
Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.
Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result in a new, healthier you.
I also suggest that you take advantage of my other FREE resource on this matter, which is my brand new Year of Activity Calendar 2022. Each month has a beautiful and inspiring picture of people doing some kind of activity and tips on what you could try that month. It's downloadable and printable and completely FREE! Get it now!
I hope you have found this article to be of value to you. If so, please feel free to share it with others and also follow my blog.
Other articles you might like: 12 Ways You Can Get Chic And Fit Like A French Woman Without Even Breaking A Sweat, 8 Reasons Why The French Don't Diet, And Why You Don't Have To Either, and How To Put Togehter A Meal Plan And Eat Your Stress Away
HOW TO RESET YOUR WEEK
It’s easy to let one bad day ruin the rest of our week. But you know what? We get to start fresh EACH and EVERY day! If you reset your week instead of letting your bad days bring you down, you will see such a difference in your life over time. And this is how to do it.
I know that in the past, if I didn’t meet my goals of a certain week, I would think “I’ll start again on Monday”. But with that mindset, we let one bad day, maybe even just one bad HOUR, dictate the rest of our week.
And we all know that Monday rolls around, and then suddenly it’s “I’ll start next Monday”. But by letting each and every day be a fresh start we can change our lives and see so much more progress on the projects we’re working on.
Why you need a reset
It’s so easy getting stuck in that mindset of not doing enough, not managing or just failing. Because I think a lot of us spiral.
So, when we don’t achieve our first task of the day, it’s easy to drop the ball on the next task too, and the next one, and next one. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Most of us may let a bad morning affect the rest of our day. Because when we fail to do something, we feel it’s useless to continue with the rest of the tasks too.
Don’t let one bad moment or hour ruin the rest of your day and week.
What to do when you’re having a bad day
If you feel like you’re having a bad day and you’re not achieving your goals, take a time-out.
OK, so maybe you didn’t finish that project for work, or you didn’t work out this morning. Whatever it is that you feel you didn’t get done, take a small time-out.
Tell yourself this “I have not ruined my progress just because I didn’t reach my goal today”. Have a cup of tea, go for a short walk. Do something that gets you out of your own head.
By taking a step back and removing ourselves from the situation we can look at it with fresh eyes.
Why resets are helpful
When you complete a mid-week reset, rather than waiting to start again on Monday, you help yourself realise that it’s not all black and white. It’s not all-or-nothing.
“One small detour isn’t going to ruin everything you’ve been working on.”
In the long run, this way of thinking will help you achieve more of the things you want to achieve.
Why the all-or-nothing mindset is unproductive
Let’s use changing your diet as an example (because I think that’s something many of us can relate to):
So, Monday morning rolls around, and you have a goal of what to eat in order to change your diet and make it healthier.
And you may do well for three days, but because you maybe made your new diet plan too restrictive, you then crack. You eat something that’s not in your “plan”. And with an all-or-nothing mindset this will, more often than not, lead to you eating more of those things that are “not in your plan”, and abandon the new way of eating.
Then you think “Oh shit, I’ve ruined it. It’s no point, I’ll start again on Monday”. Maybe you even feel guilty for having abandoned your new eating plan so soon.
This is why we need to reset.
Anyone working with bettering people’s health, will tell you that what matters is what you do 80 % of the time.
So instead of having an all-or-nothing mindset, allow yourself to reset, and just try to make small changes at a time.
How to reset
Do the laundry...
So far I’ve told you why you may need a reset, and why they are helpful. But how do you actually do it? How do you reset when you’re having a bad day?
When I need to reset my week, I start by completing a small task. Usually, I pick something off my to-do list that I haven’t gotten around to doing yet.
My first task of any reset may be running a load of laundry, watering my plants, or planning out dinners for the rest of the week. You know, just something small to get you started.
It’s all about creating momentum. When you are successful at completing one task, it will motivate and inspire you to keep going.
It’s kind of like when people recommend for you to start your day by making your bed. By doing so, you start your day with a small achievement.
Give yourself a fresh start
Make a coffee or tea and take it with you outside... (picture by Keira Burton from Pexels)
I think a mid-week (or even a mid-day) reset is helpful because they give us a fresh start.
And fresh starts mean more motivation and higher spirits.
Just remember that my reset may differ from your reset. Maybe you want to do something completely different from what I’m doing.
If you want, you can even make a reset-routine. Because you might not want to do chores in order to reset. Maybe you just want to take a step back and take a break.
There isn’t one right way to do a reset, you just have to find what works for you, and what helps you getting out of a rut when you’re having a bad day.
For me that might be tackling my to-do list, for you it might be to make a coffee or tea and take it with you outside for 5 minutes.
It doesn’t matter. But I will highly recommend you to implement resets in your life, so you have a way of tackling bad days, and not have those bad days ruin the rest of your week.
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