I am joining in on a new Link-up at Ben and Me called Blogging Through the Alphabet. Each week I will have a post with the assigned letter of the week. I think I will post mine on Wednesdays, because that's hump day and I could use something to get my mind moving at mid-week. Maybe I'll even inspire myself!
This week's letter is "A". And the first word I thought of was "Attitude". Of course my immediate thought was about how a school day goes more smoothly when your kids have good attitudes and thought maybe I would list the Top 10 ways to instill good attitudes in your students. And then it hit me ... maybe I am the one who needs the good attitude. Who, me???
So, here are my Top 10 Ways to Instill a Good Attitude in
1. Start your day with you and the Lord. Grab your cup of coffee (or morning beverage of choice), your Bible, your devotional, your journal and head to your favorite chair. Spend the first moments of your day reading the Word, meditating on it, journaling and praying. When I do this for just 15 minutes in the morning, my day starts out with my priorities in check.
2. Get ahead of your day. For me, this means getting up much earlier in the morning than I would really prefer. For me to make it all work, I have to get up by 6 a.m. It would be even better if I got up at 5:30 a.m., but let's not push things. Every .. single .. time .. I .. convince .. myself .. that .. the .. extra .. half-hour .. to .. hour .. of .. sleep .. is .. needed ...... I REGRET IT! Because then I am behind all day and feel so sluggish and agitated. And I only have myself to blame.
3. Create a workable schedule. And then try not to become a slave to it, Nicole! Oh, sorry, I was screaming at myself in the mirror. Anyway. I cannot operate without my schedule. Yours may be completely different than mine. It may be more lax, it may be more strict (though I doubt it). Without my schedule, my day is a free-for-all, and that's not good. A schedule just assures that you get everything done that NEEDS to be done, and in a timely and workable manner.
4. Get some exercise. Again, this means I have to get up early in the morning. Because, for me, if I do not exercise first thing (after my time with the Lord), it doesn't get done. So at 6:30 a.m., I head out the door for a walk and/or run with my dog. I have gotten so bad about making this a priority and I have suffered for it. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS feel so much better all day when I exercise. I get more done, I feel productive, and my body and mind just feel good.
5. Eat healthy. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. It has taken me years of tweaking my daily diet, but I have a system that works good for me. It consists of, primarily (surprise, surprise), whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy and lean meats. I use MyFitnessPal as my accountability partner. It helps me stay within my healthy calorie goals, and keeps track of all my carbs, sugars, protein levels, fiber levels, etc., so I can make healthier food choices all day.
6. Stay hydrated, especially in the afternoons. I drink coffee all morning. Then around 1:00 p.m. or so I feel those afternoon sluggies. Man, I want to lay down and take a nap. If I will just stop and fill my 32 oz. cup with cold ice water, with a 1/4 lemon squeezed in, and drink it all day (having another 32 oz. in the early evening), I get a HUGE boost of energy and am ready for the second half of my day. I also try to fix myself a cup of hot green tea to sip while I am fixing dinner. It helps me cut down on my urge to snack and hydrates me even further.
7. Include your husband in your day. If you are the primary educator in your home, you know that you can start to feel distant from your husband. I know that, for me, it becomes easy for the kids to start to take his place of priority. The squeaky wheel(s) get the most oil, right? Although I am not as good at this as I would like to be, I try to include Rick in our day. This can be by way of texts, e-mails, phone calls, maybe meeting every once in a while for lunch. I try to fill him in on what we are doing, when he gets home, so he can share in our journey with us and, hopefully, share in my excitement. I want this to be OUR adventure, not just my job.
8. Be flexible. Get over the idea that you have to get everything you have planned to get done in a day, week, month, or school-year. It rarely happens! And, the easiest way to have a stinky attitude is to expect too much of yourself and then be disappointed when life happens and not everything gets accomplished. Coming to this realization has saved my attitude in the past couple of years. I am a list-checker. And I make grandiose plans. So, giving myself permission to just let life be our education sometimes has made a huge difference. That way, if someone gets sick, or a pet needs care, or a car breaks down, or an activity gets cancelled, or if another one gets scheduled on short notice, I get my wisdom teeth extracted and I am down and out for several days, or we are all just in a crabby mood and need a day off, then we can just mark some things off our to-do list and it's okay!
9. Build a homeschool day that both you and your students ENJOY! My theory has certainly become: If we can't have fun doing it, then why the heck are we? Dang, my kids can be miserable at school, and then I'd have the days to do whatever I wanted. So if we are going to do this thing, let's do it in ways that we all enjoy it. This means I have had to allow my kids to teach me how they learn best, how they enjoy learning, and have adapted my ways to their ways. And, you know what, just seeing them enjoy learning makes it all worth it to me. There is no question in my mind that they are learning plenty. So, if they are happy doing it, so am I!
10. Remember that even though some days are hard and the sacrifices are great, you have the most honorable profession in the world with the most precious rewards. Some days are poopy. Many days do NOT go according to the 9 steps above. On some days I do all of the steps above and we STILL have a poopy day. But those are rare. I would do anything and sacrifice anything to keep my children safe, maintain close relationships with them, have a few extra hours to hug them each day, and be a part of them experiencing a love of learning. It is an honor and privilege and I must not forget that!
These 10 Easy(ish) steps make my attitude bearable for my