Mini-Lessons Set 2: Healthier Habits

When Emma went back to school last fall, I decided I needed to get serious about exercise again. From September through December I walked at least 4 days a week, usually doing three to five miles. Either friends joined me or I went alone with an audio book to keep me occupied. Around the holidays, I got a bad cold and by the time I felt better, winter had set in, dropping snow on a weekly basis. Since then I’ve managed to get in a few sporadic workouts but haven’t re-established my old habit. This morning, knowing more snow was coming, I squeezed in a walk after Emma went to school. I felt energized when I got home, and it made me think about healthy habits. Trying to get my life organized takes a lot of mental energy, so I think I need to make some changes to improve my physical energy. Here’s my plan:


At the risk of sounding like one of those people who doesn’t like anything, I must confess I don’t like to exercise. I have a small collection of exercise DVD’s but I prefer to be outside. I love walking, especially since I live near a paved trail with lots of beautiful scenery, and I love hiking, but that’s about it.

This morning I thought about walking around my neighborhood, where the snow is mostly gone. But my neighborhood’s very hilly and I was feeling puny. So I headed over to the trail, assuming it would be in decent shape. I was wrong.


There’s a trail under there somewhere!

After 37 minutes and 18 seconds of feeling impressed with myself for not face-planting, I gave up. But if this new round of snow isn’t too bad I’ll try walking around the neighborhood next week. My goal for next week is to walk at least three days, which I’ll choose when I have a better idea about the forecast. I’ve seen two elderly neighbors out walking in 20 degree temps so I won’t allow myself to wimp out if it’s cold.


I have definite night owl tendencies, though at this point it means I stay up until midnight and not 3 a.m., which was my pre-parenthood norm on non-work days. My goal is to be out of bed by 6:30 because I enjoy the quiet before Emma gets up. For so many years I’d be running almost as soon as my feet hit the floor, because if I missed the 5:55 train I’d be late for work. Now, I drag myself up around 7, which still gives me plenty of time to help Emma get ready for school. But I want to consistently get up earlier and be more purposeful. When I’m able to do a few chores before she leaves it sets a better tone for the day.

I don’t really know how much sleep I need beyond thinking that seven hours doesn’t cut it. This article was helpful and worth a read if you’re having similar challenges.


  • Decluttering: I donated some more stuff yesterday. I rescued those chairs a few years ago from a neighbor’s trash, gave them a coat of spray paint and swapped out the avocado vinyl for fabric. I loved them but no longer had any use for them so it was time to get them go.


    Getting back into my donation groove.

  • Laundry: This post, which I shared on our Facebook page, was helpful. I’m not doing a good job with our ‘all in a day’ approach but having one designated laundry day was one of the tips shared here. I decided to make Sunday my folding day. By then everything will be washed and Emma can begin learning to fold her clothes. When she and I are done with her clothes I will motivate myself by watching some Dr. Who on Netflix while I fold the rest.
  • Meals: I’m all planned for next week. I’m not obsessing like I usually do which made it much faster. I’m also going to use the slow cooker which will get us two nights of dinners, and I froze half the shepherd’s pie I made for St. Patrick’s Day, which we’ll also have next week.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

8 Responses to Mini-Lessons Set 2: Healthier Habits

  1. It sounds like you are making great strides! I admit, I’m a do a load of laundry a day kind of girl. I used to have one day that I did all my laundry, but then it literally took the WHOLE day. And I don’t have an entire day to devote to laundry. Plus, I have been minimizing and simplifying our household to the point that I now only have one week’s worth of clothing for the spring/summer season, and one week’s worth of clothing for he fall/winter season. So, if I only do laundry once a week, I’m going to be walking around in my birthday suit for at least one day, lol!

    It sounds like you are living life intentionally, and making some pretty good strides in getting your household and yourself organized! Good for you!!!

    • Thank you! I really do like the idea of a load a day. Doing it all in a day isn’t so bad because my husband does all the washing & drying. On Saturdays I usually have to take Emma around to her assorted activities and I think he enjoys doing laundry in his quiet house!

  2. Tracy, I love your chairs. If I didn’t live so far away (MD) I’d drive over and snag them! I had a similar thing happen re your exercise regimen. I was doing really well last Oct., walking a lot, losing weight, then got a stress fracture in my foot which really set me back. I’m now waiting for real spring to arrive – today, on the first day of spring, we had wet snow – to get back into a routine again. I’ll continue to check in with you to receive inspiration both for exercise and for simplifying/organizing your lif. I think you’re doing great!

    • Thank you! I would have loved to give you the chairs, part of why I held on to them so long was that I hated to just put them out for the truck but I didn’t know anyone who wanted them.

  3. That’s supposed to be “organizing your life.” Something screwy happened at the bottom of the comment box and I couldn’t see what I was typing!

  4. I like to do our laundry all on one day, generally Saturday or Sunday, when I’m making a week’s worth of meals for the freezer and I’m stuck inside anyway. I don’t bother folding my 15- or 10-year-olds’ clothes–I just put them in a pile and let them put them away however they see fit–which makes the process go faster. Hate it no matter what, though. Seriously thinking I’ve erred in not making my teenager do her own clothes by now.

    I’ve been getting up at 6:15 in order to do yoga before the house wakes up for a couple of months now, and that’s made a very positive start to my day. I’m traditionally an night owl too, but since consistently getting up so early, I’ve started going to bed by 10 p.m.–simply because I can’t keep my eyes open anymore!

    Really enjoy your posts. Here in Oregon, our weather has been absolutely gorgeous–warm and sunny and springlike. It’s weird seeing the rest of the country and the snow. We desperately need it… we’re in for a drought this year, which, living in an agricultural area (apples, pears, and blueberries, mainly) takes the joy out of the sun a little….

  5. When I was single i usually did all my clothes and cleaning on Saturday, kept myself busy the whole day and the following day on Sunday, usually I do outdoors, meet friends and hangout. It is a good idea actually. The same habit still continues when I am married with some exceptions on some weeks. 😀

  6. Walking is good if you keep it as a daily habit. And especially where you live (hilly area), a walk a day is definitely going to keep your metabolism boosted. I can related because we kinda stay on a hilltop too.. so.. 😛 I have myself started walking in the evening these days. Not much of a morning person.

    Also, the fact that you have mentioned donation as a part of decluttering your space is really nice too I must say. Not everyone brings that up in posts where they talk of organizing or cleaning the room/home.
    It was nice reading your post. 🙂

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