Ep. 81: 9 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading

Ep. 81: 9 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading

Ep. 81: 9 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading 1
Hey friends, welcome to today’s show. I am really excited about today’s topic. We’re going to talk about how to make reading happen more with your kids.

This is something I am very passionate about, and I’m really excited to talk about. So I’m going to start off with a quote. And this is by Sarah Mackenzie. She is the author of “The Read Aloud Family.”

And here’s what she says.

“Home is the only place in which our children have a fighting chance of falling in love with books

I’m gonna read that again, “Home is the only place in which our children have a fighting chance of falling in love with books.”

Now I want you to think about, do you think this is true? Did that statement, kind of hit you in a different way than you expected?

I know when I read it, I initially I was like, huh, that is interesting. I wonder if that is true. And I started looking back at my own life and in my own education and thinking about did school make me love reading? No, probably not.

What made me love reading?

So I want you to do that for yourself. Look at back at your own education. Did school make you want to read, or did it feel more like homework or something you were obligated and you had to do?

Last week’s episode, that’s episode 80. I talked all about how to read more as an adult. We talked about looking back at your own timeline for reading what it looks like for you growing up and and what was the foundation for you to love reading or to not love it?

It’s really important to think about what kind of timeline are we setting our kids up for? I know for me, I talked a lot about how my parents made reading part of our daily life. And it was something that I loved. That foundation was why I love reading today.

I don’t think my love of reading came from going to school or taking classes in college about education or things like that. That wasn’t the thing that made me love reading. It was that foundation that my parents gave me.

As a parent, we have a huge opportunity to show our kids what reading is all about and to make it something that they will enjoy for us to their lives.

So this book, I just recently read “The Read Aloud Family” where I referred to that quote. Really has changed a lot of my perspectives on reading to my kids. I’ve read a lot of books about how to increase reading in your family and ways to make this happen and practical things to do. But this book really is amazing and it gave me some, some ideas that just hit in different place. I think sometimes you’re like, you know this, but hearing it, it’s just like, oh, it’s good.

One of the things that she talked about as a parent, we want to prepare our kids for their future and the life ahead of them.

But there’s no way to prepare them for all the challenges that they are going to undertake. Yet when we read books to our kids, they get to experience lifetimes of perspectives, of adventures that they don’t personally have to go through. They can live a thousand lifetimes before they leave our homes through the books we read to them.

Isn’t that amazing when you think of it that way. Like us reading to our children will help prepare them for whatever comes their way.

This is a quote from Sarah Mackenzie from the book. She says:

“When we read aloud, we give our kids practice living as heroes. Practice dealing with life and death situations, practice living with virtue, practice, failing at virtue.

As the characters in our favorite books struggle with through hardships, we struggle with them. We consider whether we would be as brave, as bold, as fully human as our favorite heroes. And then we grasp on a deeper, more meaningful level the story we are living ourselves, as well as the kind of character we will become as that story unfolds.”

Isn’t that powerful. I just love that. And I think that’s so true right now I’m reading to our kids, the little “House on the Prairie” series. This is the second time we’ve done this as a family. We did it two years ago and I think it’s going to be something we do every two years, because it’s so good.

Right now we’re close to being done with “The Long Winter.” And in that book, I don’t know if you’ve read the series, laura and their family they have hardly any food there’s blizzard after blizzard, they don’t have any, any wood in their home they’re having to use hay to create their own little like logs of wood made out of hay and they’re having to mill their own wheat with a little coffee grinder and their hands are cramping because they can’t keep on doing it. They have to do it at all times so that way they have some foods to eat for bread in the day. And they’re losing weight and all this stuff. And it’s like, oh my goodness. Their life is really challenging.

It gives you perspective on your own life how blessed we are to have food in our fridge and in our freezer and our pantry is full. We don’t even have to think about the heat and all these things that we just take for granted. It gives us perspective and our children perspective of what life looks like for other people. It helps us be grateful for what we have, and it helps us to have conversations with our kids of what would you do in this.

We’ve talked about, would you rather live in Almonzo’s home, which is Laura’s feature husband. Or live in Laura’s home. Why, why not? What things would you do in this situation? It gives us opportunities to talk with our kids about really important things. Preparing them for their future.

Today, what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about nine ways to help your kids love reading.

The first one is to make reading a priority.

This is key. If you don’t make it a priority, your kids are not going to make it a priority because there’s a ton of other things that are more exciting probably for your kids.

Be an example. If your kids see you reading that shows them that reading is important to you. Read in front of your kids, read to your kids, be an example, show them that it is a priority to you, and it should be a priority for them.

You can make reading be something that you do as a family, create reading routines. Like maybe after lunch, everyone reads on their own.

That’s one of the things that she suggests in “The Read Aloud Family” book, which is amazing book I highly recommended. She also has a podcast, which is the “Read Aloud Revival.” If you like listening to episodes, that’s a great resource. How can you make reading happen on a daily basis?

The second thing to do is to read aloud as a family.

We do this a lot when our kids are really little, but the older our kids get, we kind of think, well, that’s something we don’t need to do anymore. Like they can read on their own. Why would I read as a family out loud? It is so powerful. Even when your kids are older and they can read on their own, it is so important to read out loud.

I look back at my own childhood, my parents read to us out loud for so long. I can’t even remember when that stopped. They read to us the “Lord of the Rings” books. We weren’t super tiny at that point. We had books read to us and it was something that connected us as a family. And there’s so much power in reading out loud as a family. It’s so good.

Here’s some ideas to do this. Read at the end of meals. This is something I’ve been doing with my kids, especially at lunchtime. I don’t know about you, but my kids take a long time to eat at the dinner table. I’m homeschooling my kids as well and I want to get reading in, in the pockets of time that we can.

So while they’re still finishing their meal and I’m done, I pull out books and I read to the kids until they’re finished eating. And a lot of times that’s maybe 10 minutes, but that’s better than nothing. It’s something.

We also do devotional readings at breakfast and at bedtime. That’s something that we just make part of our day.

I have an episode about the devotions that we love. If you are wanting to get some ideas on how to incorporate reading and adding devotionals into your day-to-day life, that’s a really good one to listen to it’s episode 47, and it’s called “Devotions for Kids that We Love.” And there are some amazing, amazing devotions I talk about in there, I would highly recommend checking those out.

A lot of times, if you’re going to just start devotion, you’re like, I don’t know which one I should do with my kids. What’s the best one? What would be good? Take a look at that and that’ll give you some really good ideas to go off of.

We also like to make sure that we read books to the whole family that we would all enjoy. Maybe not reading little picture books might not be the most exciting thing to do as a whole family.

These are the books you typically think of are, are longer. And maybe they don’t have as many pictures. These are more like the chapter books. I love reading classics to our kids. I feel like I don’t have to edit as much or be worried about are there going to be bad behaviors in it. Is there something bad in it?

So I really like reading classics because they are ones that are just tried and true. We love “Charlotte’s Web.” We’ve read that twice. We go through “The Little House” series, which I’ve already talked about, “The Secret Garden, “Ann of Green Gables,” “The Trumpet of the Swan.” There’s a bunch of different classic books that we’ve read. I don’t even know, probably close to like 15-20 of them.

And I really liked doing the abridged versions. There’s a lot of different abridged versions. There’s ones. I think they’re called the Lady Bug collection or “Lady Bird collection“, something like that. They’re really small and you can read “The Wind in the Willows” in less than a day.” Like really short.

If you want to get, even when your kids are really young, have them have some experience with these classics, they don’t have to be the full blown regular book, you can do some abridged ones and then work your way towards having the full regular classics.

So that can give you some, some ideas that there’s a lot of classics out there, and you can talk to the librarians and ask what they would recommend, but there’s a lot of really good ones out there.

The third tip I have for you is to let your kids do stuff as you read to them.

This is something that has really changed my perspective in the last several months. I never thought about letting my kids do anything besides just sit on my lap or sit next to me and we cuddle up and I read to them.

And I realized from the book, the read-aloud family, why don’t I let my kids do different things while I read to them? So, this has been really amazing for me because I have my kids draw or paint or they’ll use kinetic sand. They’ll do all kinds of different things while I read to them.

And this helps them pay attention a lot of times more and you could fit reading in because they’re able to do more than one thing at a time. They could do this while they’re sewing or crocheting, or knitting, all kinds of different things, things that they don’t have to really think about.

Just yesterday, I read to my kids while they clean their room and their playroom. I just read and that way I was still able to monitor to make sure that they’re getting their stuff done, but it made it a lot more enjoyable that they got their stuff done, and I got to read to them while they’re cleaning up. There’s a lot of ways that you can make this happen.

When we had our hot tub, I would bring books and I would read to my kids in the hot tub. That was something that we did on a regular basis. And I just made sure that there was no splashing and kept the books dry. You can make this happen in so many different ways.

Tip number four is to go to the library.

One of my pet peeves is going to the library and I hear this almost every single time I go. “You could only get two books.” Some parent is telling their kids. Only get a certain amount. You can only choose three books. That’s it. And I feel like it’s so important to not limit our kids with reading.

The library is a free resource. Why limit your kids with how many books that they can get? I let my kids check out as many books as they want. I give them each their own bag. We have a roller duffel bag that I normally use. And then each of the kids have their own reusable bag and they fill them.

And we go to the library typically every week, sometimes every other week. And we fill them up and whatever their bag holds that is their limit.

So that is a great way to just make reading happen. And I love that when we go to the library, my kids get to choose whatever books they want and if they don’t like it, it’s okay. We’re going to return the many ways.

My kids, they each have their own library card. They get a check out their own books. They get to keep the receipt.

They are all in. They return the books, you know, we’ve got the returner. They’re like beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, and it goes through and picks it up and like, they love it. They do all of it and they are fully invested in it. And I think the more we let our kids just be part of the process, it makes it really exciting for them.

And letting them just be able to choose whatever they want has been great. And so that’s one of the things that I really recommend, like you use this free resource. It’s amazing libraries are so much better than when I was a kid. They have so many resources out there available. Go to them and let your kids check out books.

We have a designated area in our house where we put all of our library books and then in the kids rooms. They have their little section where they put their library books. We don’t have any issues with them being lost or anything like that.

Figure out some kind of system and let your kids check out a ton of books. The more books they have, the more they’re going to want to read.

All right here is the next tip.

So this is tip number five. Join reading programs that have rewards.

It’s been really helpful for our kids to have a reading program where they’re being kept accountable. They have to record how long they’re reading to be able to go to a water park or a theme park.

Even libraries have systems where they give rewards for reading a certain amount.

Our library had a reading reward and Jonathan won his age group of reading. He got a $20 gift card to Lake Shore Learning and he picked out a helicopter and he was so excited that his reading got him the ability to get this helicopter. It was a drawing, so it was random, but it was amazing. He actually won it. But they also got a free book and they got coupons and a bunch of other things.

Right now, our kids are working on two different passes, one for a water park and a theme park near our home.

My daughter read for an hour yesterday on her own. And then the day before she read for two and a half hours on her own. She’s seven and I’m like, this is amazing. She’s having this amazing time, like where she is like, I’m so excited. I get to read and she goes into her room and she puts a timer on and she reads. And even if I go in there, she’s like, I’m on a timer I need to read and she’s just on a roll reading, all of these books that she wants to for her time.

And she has to read I think, 10 hours. So she’s going to get it really quick. But those kinds of reward programs can really help your kids have an extra incentive to read.

Even if you’re homeschooling, like we’re homeschooling, they still have those rewards for kids that are not in regular public school. If you are homeschooling ask around homeschooling co-ops, if there’s Facebook groups ask if there’s anything going on.

Typically they have those kinds of rewards for waterparks and theme parks and things like that. Look into those.

My sixth tip is to talk positively about reading.

Don’t let negative talk, come out of your mouth. When you talk about reading. This is so key. You have to be the example.

If you talk poorly about reading your kids will too. They catch on. If you think reading is challenging, if you think reading is not fun, your kids are going to have the same thought as you.

You need to make sure that what you’re saying is good and positive. Especially going to the library and hearing parents say, “Oh, you only can get two books.” You’re telling your kids limit how much you can read. And maybe I’m stepping on toes here, but that’s just something I really am passionate about. You want to let your kids have the opportunity to read as much as they can.

Be an example, talk good things about books that you’re reading. Make it something that is enjoyable, what you say matters and how you say it matters.

When your kids finish a book, when they’re starting to read, be excited, show them that this is a huge deal. Like you’re reading a book. This is so exciting. You know, this is.

This is awesome. We need to be an example.

My seventh tip is don’t be so busy.

Reading helps you slow down. Our kids want us to be present. They want us to be there. And if we are consistently on the go, you’re going to have a hard time making time for reading. You need to make sure you are prioritizing it, and maybe you need to make some cuts.

You can add reading into all these little pockets of your day. You can make it something that’s really part of your life. But we also need to make sure that we leave some white space for our kids to be able to be imaginative, have time to read and be on their own for that. It’s really, really helpful.

Here is my tip number eight: Give your kids opportunities to read to each other when they get older.

This has been powerful. When I am recording, like I’m recording right now, I have a list that I give my kids to do while I am in here. My husband’s in the house so it’s not like they’re totally unintended or anything.

But I have a list of what they need to do and every time I’m recording, one of the things I have them do is I have my daughter be to my son.

I write down that she needs to read three books to him. It’s really good for both of them. My daughter gets to practice reading out loud to someone else.

There’s a lot less pressure when you’re reading to a kid younger than you than reading to a parent. Even if you feel like there shouldn’t be pressure for her reading to me, but there is. It’s different when you’re reading to someone who’s younger than you.

Then for my son to see, “Wow, my sister is able to read this book.” He’s learning new things and it’s just so good for both of them. Have your kids connect and use this as an opportunity.

Our neighbor would have our kids come over and have their youngest kids practice reading on our children. You can do this with neighborhood kids if your kids are really young. It’s a great way to have both kids get a lot out of it.

My last tip for you today. Is to make reading time cozy and inviting.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of Hygge, but it’s H Y G G E. It was pretty popular a couple of years ago. I don’t see it as much anymore, but it’s a whole way of being, and, and it’s, it’s really, it’s.

It talks all about how to make your life cozy. And. And inviting and it’s, it’s a Danish word and it’s what people in. What the.

So Hygge is a Danish word and it really means to be cozy and just work on the environment to make it something very inviting. Like they light candles, they have mood lighting, like the lights actually matter. All of these little things that you don’t even think about having really comfy blankets, just make this something really cozy, especially in winter time.

Think about how you can make reading Hygge. How can you make it something that is just so inviting that you just like, Ugh, it feels so good. How can you cuddle up with your kids and snuggle up with a blanket and read to them?

I have a designated spot in our house. We’ve got this Pillow Sack. It’s a Love Sack thing that I sit there and my kids are on both sides of me and I have this really furry blanket and I sit there and I read to my kids and it is just amazing.

A lot of times when we’re at the table and I read to my kids, I have a candle lit and we even do that for doing schoolwork. We have a candle on a lot, and it’s just this way to make it more cozy and inviting and make the environment more exciting for reading. A place where we just really feel like, oh, this is a way to connect.

My kids love reading so much. We do date night with our kids every Wednesday night. And my husband, I just switch off with each of our kids and almost every single week, whoever I have as the kid that I have a date with, they asked for me to read to them.

That is one of the things that they long for, even though I do it every day, like they want to do one-on-one time on their date with me reading to them, which I think is amazing because that’s something that they feel so connected to us when we read.

When I look at my own life, when I feel the most connected with my kids, it’s when I read to them. Hands down. That is when I feel so connected with them because I’m not doing anything else. I’m not distracted. I have them on my lap. And it is just them and me and we’re reading and we’re doing a story together and I talked to them through it and it’s just magical.

My hope is that you have that experience, that the time where you feel most connected with your kids is when you read to them. It is something that connects more than anything else. It is so powerful.

And I really hope that that gives you some ideas and makes you want to read to your kids more because it is amazing and I want you to taste that for yourself.

I have a podcast episode all about how to create a family culture that loves to read that’s episode 23. If you want to get some more ideas, that’s a great resource to look into.

And if you are trying to figure out, well, I don’t know what books to read to my kids. And if your kids are younger, I have created a list of books that we love. I was trying to think about how many kids’ books. I’ve read. And I don’t even know. I’m guessing it’s probably thousands upon thousands. I have no idea really. I can’t even try to figure that out.

Like we’re at the point that the transportation section in the library. I’m like, we’ve checked out a lot of these books, like three to four times we have read the whole section from front to back. It’s kind of crazy. My son is just all about the transportation stuff.

But there are a ton of books out there. And if you want to get some ideas of what books we love. You can go to richlivingonless.com/books. And I have created a list of books. It’s a free download. And that can be a starting point for you because we’ve read a ton and these are our favorite favorites.

And that can give you some ideas of what to start with. Let’s start reading.

I wanted to end today’s episode with two quotes. From Sarah Mackenzie from the “Read Aloud Family.”

” We read with our children, because it gives both them and us and education of the heart and mind of intellect and empathy. We read together and learn because stories teach us how to love.”

It’s so true. I just feel like that is just so powerful.

And another quote from her just to end this and give you some ideas and encourage you to read to your kids more. Here it goes:

“A book, can’t change the world on its own, but a book can change readers and readers, they can change the world.”

So, go, read to your kids, and enjoy this week.

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Ep. 81: 9 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading 2

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This year, one of the habits I’m trying to improve upon and track is my reading. I started outlining this episode and then I woke up in the middle of the night with some clarity and I’ve figured out what I needed to talk about.

So it’s almost 4:00 AM and here are my thoughts.

I love reading. It’s one of my favorite past times, it fills me up more than most activities I’m drawn to reading.

It feels like books are calling to me, which may sound totally weird. I can’t think of a day when I don’t read it’s it’s who I am. I know my love of reading is not held by a lot of people. Many people don’t read a book unless they have to for school. Or they feel like they have to for obligations sake. I started thinking back to my own reading story, the history of my reading life.

And when I look back at my childhood reading was part of my everyday life. Even my name came from a book my parents were reading together. It was a, a fantasy book and I ended up turning into a tree at the end.

Anyways, I remember my mom reading to me before bed and she would use different voices for every character. I still don’t know how she did it. I try to do a little bit of character voices for my kids and oh, man. It is hard. And she would do this, not just for the little picture books. When I was really little, she would do this for a lot larger books, like the Red Wall series, Lord of the Rings, the Little House on the Prairie series.

And she would just read these books to us out loud before bed. I remember we read the little house books. And Halloween was coming up and we dressed up as the Ingles family for Halloween. My dad wrote Christian children’s Sci Fi books, and my parents would read those to us before bed. And now my parents are reading those books to my own kids, and it’s fun to see that my kids get to experience the same books that I did as a child.

You know, I have so many fond memories of my family being together, reading it’s like going on an adventure that we all get to share.

And when we would go on road trips, we would listen to audio books. I remember listening to “Bud, Not Buddy,” which if you have not read that book, it is so good. And we stayed in our van to hear the rest of the story, even though we were already at our destination.

I remember going to the library frequently and doing the summer reading challenges. You know, looking back, I’m incredibly grateful for the reading foundation my parents gave me. Yet, I believe for a good portion of my life, that I wasn’t a great reader. I compared myself to my siblings who could read with ease.

My sister can reach twice as fast as I can and could devour multiple giant novels in a week when growing up. I on the other hand didn’t I would read some but nothing worth bragging about.

I can’t pinpoint the moment when there was a switch.

I went off to college and I started reading books on faith that interested me and about my personality and dating and all kinds of subjects that I had never read anything about before. And I think that was the key. I started reading books that gave me new perspectives. And they were interesting to me.

I realized that all this time I was trying to read books like the people, my family.

My family was all about scifi and fantasy books. But that never intrigued me. My guess is if you are not a huge fan of reading I think it’s probably because you just haven’t discovered the kind of books you love yet.

And maybe you believe that you aren’t a great reader. Yeah. I believe this about myself for years and it was all because I compared myself to my siblings and I don’t know, I just did it. Yet now reading is a huge part of my life. It’s a big priority and it’s something I do every day. So things can change. Even if you think that you’re a bad reader right now.

It’s also really easy to put reading on the back burner when you have kids. But I just wanna encourage you to not do that. I actually read more books now since having kids than I ever did before having kids. And I’m not just talking about picture books that I’m reading to my own children.

So today what I’m going to do is I’m going to talk about some ways to that have helped me read on a regular basis.

And I hope this will give you some ideas on how to make reading part of your everyday life. This is one of the questions I get asked pretty frequently is how do I have time to read? How do I make this happen?

So I have seven ways. On how to make reading happen in your home, as an adult.

The first one is to make it a priority.

If you don’t make it a priority, it’s not going to happen. And the reason I make it a priority is because I know how life-giving it is for me to read. Reading gives me the opportunity to gain the wisdom of people. Way smarter than me, that I would never likely meet. It gives me the ability to go back in time and experience a life very different than my own.

There’s a whole new world that reading opens up to me and I want to say yes to those adventures. That is why I want to read. It’s a priority.

Why do you want to read more? What do you want to gain from it? Are there topics you want to learn more about? Are you wanting to read a fun storyline? Do you wanna do this for relaxation?

Why do you want to read right now and think about it, and that will help you make it a priority when you know why you’re doing it in the first place.

My second tip is to make sure that you’re not too busy…

…because one of the easiest ways to not read is because we’re have too full schedules.

Think about the things that distract you from reading. It’s probably a lot of things. You might have a whole laundry list of to-dos and reading just doesn’t seem to make the cut. How can you make it, make the cut? How can you get distracted less?

Here are some things that I think are really common ways of why people don’t read as much.

For one, the TV. A lot of times people have a TV going on all the time. You don’t have to do that. You can have the TV off. You can only watch TV when you are sitting down and actually enjoying it.

Another reason is social media. It’s really easy to scroll aimlessly. You can actually even see how much time you spend on social media on a day. And it’s crazy if you spent that amount of time reading. How different would your life look how. How much better would it be?

Social media encourages comparison. It makes us feel. Like we are lacking in some ways. And it can really increase our feeling of being alone. Yet reading books can fill us up in ways that social media will never fill us up.

One of the things that I do to help me with this is where I normally sit down to relax because normally watching TV and social media are ways that people relax. Where I tend to sit down to relax. I always have a book sitting on an end table, so I will more likely reach out for that because it’s easy access.

So, think about where are the places that you go and sit down and just unwind. Instead of having your phone right there. How can you have a good book? Maybe it’s on your nightstand. Where can you put these books to make you want to read? Because it’s something you can easily pick up and in turn to.

You want to make reading really easy? I’ve been talking about habits and making things easy and changing your environment. This is one way to do this.

Another thing that I do is I try to plug in my phone and have it in the cupboard, in our kitchen. So that way I’m not on social media as much, there’s a lot of ways to make your environment work for you. So that way reading becomes a go-to instead of other things.

All right, here’s the third idea.

You want to think about how do you like to read.

And there’s no right or wrong here. There are some people that love listening to books. They’re all about the audio books. There’s people that love reading on a tablet or a Kindle. There are people who love to just read from an actual book and smell the pages. I am that person, but I also like reading from an audio book. I do not like reading on a tablet. If it’s on a screen, I am not reading it that way. But there are a lot of people that, that is just something that really helps them read consistently.

So figure out how do you like to read. I like to check out library books. And the reason for that is that I have a due date and I feel like I need to read them. There are some books that I have bought and I still have not finished them yet, or I haven’t even started them because I don’t really have that incentive to read it as quickly as other books, because I need to go and return them soon.

So I check out books from the library. I also put them on hold and when I have them on hold, it’s nice that they just come whenever they are returned. And so I don’t really have a specific time frame of when I’m going to read it. That has really helped me is having a due date, knowing that I need to read this and there’s a deadline there.

I also like to listen to audio books.

I feel like I’m doing a combination of the two really helps me to be able to read more often. And so if you like to read and listen, don’t feel like you have to choose one over the other, use them in different ways. So that way you can read more often.

I like to read two to three books at a time, and that might feel really overwhelming to you.

But the reason that I do it that way is it gives me the opportunity to read whatever I’m feeling like at any given time. And they’re typically on different topics. So there’s not really a whole lot of overlap. And they’re not a bunch of different storylines and so it, it’s not like I’m getting confused about which story is, which.

So I’m just going to give you an example. These are the three books I’m reading at the moment. So I’m reading “Dream Big” by Bob Goff. Right now I’m reading the “Gift of Dyslexia,” and I’m reading to my kids “The Long Winter,” and it’s by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Ep. 80: 7 Ways to Create Time to Read 4
Ep. 80: 7 Ways to Create Time to Read 5
Ep. 80: 7 Ways to Create Time to Read 6

So that’s the three things I’m reading right now. So they’re very different books. You know, the storyline book is for sure the “Long Winter,” but “Dream Big” and the “Gift of Dyslexia,” They both are not books that have a real storyline. And so it’s been really good.

I’m normally reading those kinds of books, and then I read classics to my kids.

Maybe for you reading multiple books at a time might be something really beneficial. And I only figured this out probably, eight years ago that this is how I really do well is by reading multiple books at a time.

Figure out what works for you. Maybe you want to read one book at a time, or maybe you want to do multiples. The nice thing with multiples, if there’s a book that is not interesting. I don’t feel like I have to finish it and that’s okay.

I’ve talked about I’m reading a book about dyslexia and I’ve been learning a lot about that. If you have dyslexia and you struggle with reading, try listening to audio books, the audio version still counts. You can also change the speed of the reading to fit how you like. A lot of people with dyslexia, like to increase the speed, it helps them to focus and listen to it more. That can be really helpful to you.

Also, if you look at the YouVersion Bible app and you like to read the Bible, they actually have a dyslexia font to make it easier to read. So that is a really good option. I don’t know if they have it on Kindles and things like that, where they can have a font that makes it easier to read, but that might be something to look into. If you deal with dyslexia, or a loved one that you know, has that issue.

Here’s the fourth way to help increase your reading. This is to find books that interest you.

This is what held me up for years. There are so many books to choose from. It can be really overwhelming. And a lot of times you feel like, well, I don’t want to go all the way into reading a book and then find out, “oh, it has stuff that I’m not okay with” or “it’s just not something I’m interested. I wasted all this time.”

I have a couple of suggestions for you for that. Think about what genres of movies you like to watch. That can give you some ideas of what kind of books you would be interested in. If you are really into the scifi movies, maybe start reading books that are scifi and fantasy.

You know, think about the genres that you typically are like, oh, that sounds really interesting. Or if you see that, you know, there’s a lot of movies that are based off of books, read the book and then watch the movie and compare them. Typically the book is always better.

But that can give you some ideas that something that you can start with, if you don’t know where to go.

You can also ask friends for suggestions. You probably know people that read frequently. And ask them what books that they would suggest you could post it on Facebook. There’s a lot of places where you can go and find some ideas of what books you might love. And if you don’t love the book, Don’t feel obligated to finish it. It’s okay to read something and then say you, not that’s not great. And just let it go. It’s fine.

My fifth tip is to read in the in-between spaces.

As a mom, this is so key. It’s really hard to designate a certain time to reading. I don’t have a set time that, you know, from one o’clock to two o’clock I read every day, I don’t do it that way. What I do is I just fit it into my schedule wherever I can.

So if you like to listen to audio books, there are so many ways to increase your listening. I also do this for listening to podcasts. So this could still apply to listening to this even.

You can listen to this when you are taking a shower, getting ready in the morning, putting on your makeup, doing your hair. All of those things, you can listen to an audio book or a podcast. You can do this while you’re cooking. I love listening to books while I cook. It gives me something to, to think about. And, you know, these activities that you do that you don’t really have to put a lot of mental effort into, you can always add in reading.

When you’re driving to and from places, listen to an audio book when you’re folding laundry, when you garden. That’s one things I, I do when I weed. I mean, right now, it’s not the time to do a whole lot of, of yard work, but I love listening to books when I garden. I do this when I weed.

I love being outdoors, but I love reading books. And so it’s like, I combine the two activities that I really love and it makes it so rewarding, I feel like I’m accomplishing more.

Also do this when you’re doing housework, when you’re, you know, scrubbing toilets, you’re doing all of the things that are not always that exciting listening to a book while you do it can really give you the incentive to get things done faster and just enjoy it.

I’ve read books that are about like decluttering and minimalism while I’m decluttering. Like you can do those things while you’re listening. And that is really encouraging and I love doing that, like going through and purging stuff while I’m listening to someone talk about it. You can work things together to really make it work really well for you.

You can also do this when you have a physical book, maybe you’re waiting in the carpool lane to pick up your kids. One of the things that I do is when my husband is driving, like on the way to church on the way back, I’ve been reading “Little House on the Prairie” to my kids and my husband listens too. But I read on those drives.

When we drive to go to his parents’ house, it’s an hour drive. I read typically on the drive and on the way back. And that’s two hours of, of reading that I get in when we could just be sitting there listening to the music or talking or whatever, but it’s been one thing that we really do as a family. You could also do that with an audio book. But I do that a lot bringing books on the drive.

You can also do this while you’re cooking. Like I put stuff in the instant pot when things are in the oven, I’ll read for, you know, seven minutes, then I go and check on something and I read a little bit more and it’s just, it’s a little bit choppier but that’s okay.

Make this work in whatever your schedule looks like. You can find little pockets of time to read if you really want to.

The sixth idea I have for you is to start a book club or join one.

This is something I just started doing. I started my first book club with a few of my friends and it has been amazing. This isn’t like a rigorous book club. All I did is I invited two of my really close friends, and I know that they both loved to read and I wanted us to get together more often and have some accountability to read some books.

What we do is each month, one of us chooses a book. We all read the book. We get together at a restaurant without our kids. And without our husbands and we just spend time talking about the book connecting, and then we decide which book we’re going to do next.

Each of us get to choose, and it’s been really fun because I’ve been reading books that I would never have chosen on my own. And I get to be exposed to things that I went typically read, and it broadens my horizons. And it connects us in a different way than we’ve ever had before. It’s been a really fun thing.

So you could start your own book club. You could join a book club. I mean, I’ve done Bible studies where we go over a book and that’s been really fun, but it’s more like you, you read like a chapter and then you discuss, and then you go the next week and you did it on a weekly basis. You can make this work however you want.

But feel free to start a book club. And I’m guessing your friends would be like, “Yes, we’re totally on board. We would love to do that with you.”

This gives you an opportunity to meet with friends. And I think that’s a great thing.

All right, here is my last tip for you. Is to set a reading goal.

Now I have never done this until this year. And it has been incredibly motivating for me. Because I’ve read a lot and I have never had any idea how many books I read in a year.

I had the idea this year, since it’s beginning of 2022, to track how many books I read in a year. And so instead of just tracking them, I thought, well, I should probably have a goal, an idea of what I would like to read.

And so my goal for this year is to read 52 books. That’s a book a week. I’ve been writing it down. I even have it on just like a sheet of paper. Isn’t just regular lined paper. It’s nothing fabulous at all. And once I read a book, I’ve been writing down what the book title is, who the author is, and I just started writing the date so I can track how many I’m doing.

Ep. 80: 7 Ways to Create Time to Read 7

So far, I’ve read seven books this year. Which I’m pretty proud of myself because that’s more than one a week. But I’ve been surprised on how exciting it is for me to finish a book. And even my kids are like, you’ve finished a book. Write it down on your list. How many do you have on your list? And they’ve been interested in doing that with me. So that’s been kind of fun that it’s been kind of like a family thing a little bit.

Maybe what you can do too, is, is write down how many books you read in a year, maybe set a goal. It doesn’t have to be 52 books. It could be, “I want to read 10 books this year.” Or three books this year that that’s more than most people do. So. Maybe set a goal like that, or maybe a goal could be something like I read twice a week. It doesn’t have to be a number of books to accomplish, or maybe I read 10 minutes a day having a goal like that will help you reach your bigger goals of reading more frequently. So whatever that is, go and do that.

Maybe you want to set a goal that might help you read more frequently.

Wherever you are right now, I want you to look back at your own reading timeline. I never thought about my own reading timeline until I woke up at four in the morning and had this like, Download.

I want you to look back at your own reading timeline. Did you read much as a kid? Think about what it was like. Was there ever a time that when you loved to read? What books were encouraging and what books did you feel like you couldn’t put down?

And when you do this, you may recall some negative things. It could be things that your teachers have said, parents , siblings, other people that have maybe said your reading ability isn’t up to par. Maybe you’ve believed yourself that you’re just not a good reader. You’ve just made that your crutch where you just feel like, well, I’m not a good reader. I just don’t read. I just don’t do that.

You don’t have to be like that for the rest of your life. You get to choose what the rest of your timeline looks like. You can be a reader and a lifelong learner.

I believed for decades that I was not a good reader. Yet, I read more than a lot of people they know. And so you can completely change the trajectory of your of your timeline.

I want to encourage you to say yes to going on an adventure in a book. It has been transformational in my life and I’m sure it will be for you. Don’t put it off, take some time for yourself and read it is so important and it is so good for you.

Thank you so much for being here today. I hope this episode leaves you feeling really filled and encouraged and ready to read a book. I really hope that you get to experience how wonderful reading is and that you can experience it for yourself.

Spend some time on your own to read it will make a world of difference.

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Ep. 78: Habit Stacking

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Hey friend, welcome to today's show. This whole year, we have been going through a lot of information, helping us create change in our lives without using a typical New Year's resolution. In my podcast, episode 75, we talked about why resolutions typically fail. And a...

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Ep. 80: 7 Ways to Create Time to Read 8

Ep. 78: Habit Stacking

Ep. 78: Habit Stacking

Ep. 78: Habit Stacking 9

Hey friend, welcome to today’s show. This whole year, we have been going through a lot of information, helping us create change in our lives without using a typical New Year’s resolution.

In my podcast, episode 75, we talked about why resolutions typically fail. And a lot of it is because we’re trying to do something that seems big and daunting. We just don’t know how to do it or how to stick with it.

And we’ve been really going through a lot of information based off of the book, Atomic Habits, by James Clear, helping us figure out what are the mindset blocks we have, how do we change our environment?

And today we’re going to talk about habit stacking. So we’re going to start this off and I’m going to just tell you the story of a typical morning in my life.

So I wake up. Not to an alarm. And just when my body naturally wakes up. And one of the things that I do in the morning is we say to Echo, the Alexa device, we say

“Echo, good morning.”

And that queues Echo to tell us the weather for the day, it then reads to us, our devotion. Our church has a podcast that has a daily devotion on weekdays. And so we listened to that devotion. And so we’re starting our day praying, reading the Bible, hearing that devotion. During that time, it turns on the lights in our bedroom automatically.

And it’s not like the overhead lights, just the ones on the side, like our table lights and it’s, it’s just like, it helps me wake up in the morning. It’s it’s a really good start of the day.

So once that is done. My husband and I are talking to each other in bed and then I get my robe on and we make the bed together and I open up the blinds. So that is our morning routine. And that’s an example of habit stacking.

All of us wake up in the morning. We get to choose what we do next. And when you start creating habits, you think about the things that just automatically seem normal.

For example, when you go to the bathroom, this is something we all do. Hopefully you have a routine where you flush the toilet. You wash your hands and then you dry them. You don’t have to think about, “Oh, I just went to the bathroom. Maybe I should flush the toilet or I might just skip washing my hands.”

These are things that we just do so frequently and repetitively that one action of needing to go to the bathroom causes a chain of reactions.

So habit stack is when you take a habit you already have, and you tie it to new habits you want to have.

This is really powerful. You can intentionally stack habits with something that you already have on autopilot. Something that you do automatically, you don’t have to think about and you just add a new habit to what you already have as a regular habit in place.

Looking back at the example of our morning routine. James and I, we talked about what we want our morning routine to look like, because we wanted to start off our day well.

We want it to be relaxing. We don’t have an alarm. We typically wake up at the same time. Every day, we wake up at seven.

We realized we wanted to do a devotion together daily. And so we wanted to make it easy, something that would be taking all the reasons why we shouldn’t do it and all the reasons that hold us back out of the way. Having it just automatically have Alexa read it to us and listen to it without having to do anything was a game-changer for us.

And that’s been really helpful. And, we would get out of bed before we had this, this routine and I would always have to go look at my phone and check what the weather was because I wanted to dress according to the weather, and know what to look for for the day and be prepared.

And now I don’t have to have my phone in the room. I can have my phone charging in the living room. We have it underneath the kitchen cabinet, so it’s closed and it’s something that I don’t go and look at. And I know what the weather is, so I don’t have to use my phone right away.

There’s a lot of studies out there that show that when you use your phone in the morning, it starts you off on the wrong foot.

So that was hitting two things when we say Alexa, good morning. It tells us the weather and then it goes through that devotion for us.

We really liked adding the light to our room because it gently wakes us up. And it brought us to this more relaxed morning routine.

Another thing with our morning routine is we used to not make our bed. We probably have been making our bed for the last five years, maybe five or six. We used to feel like it was just a waste of time. But then we realized that it was much more inviting and our bedroom looks so much nicer with having a bed made, which is like an obvious.

And we noticed that when we were getting into bed, we’d have to make our bed so we could get into it because it would be all screwed up. So it would be making our bed anyways. So instead of waiting till the end of the day, We can enjoy it because we make the bed in the morning and it looks nice all day.

And then the last thing about our routine in the morning. Is that we put a plant in our bedroom. And so now. I open up the blinds each morning, because I want to make sure the plant has enough sunshine and it won’t die. I’ve realized that it makes a room much more cheery and bright.

All of these things were tied to a routine waking up in the morning. And what we did is we habit stacked all these different habits we wanted to have in the morning, like do a devotion in the morning. And not look at our phones right away, but we still wanted to know that the weather. All these different things. So we habit stacked in making our bed like making things routine, opening up the blinds. It becomes this thing that we do automatically now. And we don’t even have to think about it. It has simplified the process.

One of the things that James Clear says is,

“No matter how you use this strategy, the secret to creating a successful habit stack is selecting the right cue to kick things off.”

And I think that’s really important. So if you are wanting to change something in your life, you need to figure out what habit you already have that would be a good place to fit that new habit and stack it.

So if you want to create a, a daily habit, but you tie it to something that you don’t do on a daily basis. Maybe you drive your kids to school, but that’s only Monday through Friday and you want to tie something to that event on a daily basis, you’re not going to be doing it on the weekends. What kind of thing do you do every day that you could tie those habits to.

Think also about the timing of when you want that habit to occur and tie to something during that time of the day. Like, if you want to do it in the morning, maybe you sit down and eat breakfast in the same spot every day. We are creatures of habit to begin with so If you can start tying what you are currently doing to that it makes your life so much easier.

The last thing you need to make sure you do is you make it easy.

Us saying ” Alexa, good morning,” and it just tells us everything. We just lay there and we don’t have to do anything. It’s not like we are actively reading our Bible, we’re listening to it. We’re just absorbing it.

What things could you do to break down all of those barriers to make it really simple and easy?

Another thing that James Clear says is that:

“goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”

Creating habits and stacking them is the system to get to the goals you want to have. It’s all those little tiny actions that create the success that you’ll eventually get.

What habits do you already have?

You probably don’t even have to think about them because they are so ingrained in your daily life, but try to think about how you could stack something new that you want to add into your routine.

So I want to give you some more examples. And most of these are from my own life.

For us, our breakfast, we have a lot of routines in our morning. When we sit down for breakfast, I have a bin that has all of our vitamins in it. It has our devotions. We do an M and M for each person. When say our breakfast benediction. I talked about on a previous episode.

What we do is we just pull that thing down and it has all the things that we need for the morning.

Once we have finished eating breakfast we do our morning devotion. And then we hand out the vitamins, to their kids and to us. And then we do our breakfast benediction. We recite that together and we give each other one M&M and then we’re done with our breakfast routine.

I was wanting to take vitamins on a daily basis and I wasn’t tying it to an event until we started tying it to breakfast.

Then we realized, we just make sure that when we are sitting down for breakfast, we do vitamins at the same time.

We started off doing devotions just with our kids in the evening time before bed. And then we started talking about it would be really nice to do devotions in the morning and at night. And so we started adding devotions into it.

Then we started adding in the breakfast benediction. It’s just been one habit stack on top of the other to, really figure out what type of morning routine we wanted to have.

Here’s another example, one thing that you hopefully should do at least twice a day is brushing your teeth. When you brush your teeth, you could use that time to get like a little bit of exercise, you could do squats during that time. You could pray, you could be silent and present and just brush your teeth and pay attention to it.

If you’re wanting to add just a little bit of workout in your day. Add it to your brushing of your teeth, or if you want to make sure that you are spending time with God and praying more frequently. Tie it to brushing your teeth. I mean, there’s things that you can do to really help you.

I’ve even noticed driving to certain locations, I’ll talk to the kids about different things. Like we’ll do some different homeschooling things while we drive, I’ll ask the kids, how many eggs are in a dozen.

Well, my daughter just figured out how many feet are in a mile. And what temperature is boiling and asking these questions. And we do that on our way to church.

We volunteered at the food bank and so we do that on the way there, and it’s tied to that routine. We do that once a week going there. That has become a routine for us because it’s a habit stack where we do this on Wednesdays. We don’t do it on the typical days because we’re not driving anywhere. We’re normally at home.

But you can tie things to different things that you do.

One of the things, when my daughter was going to public school, I was riding my bike and we have a cargo bike. And so I would ride our kids to school each day and I would pray out loud over both of our kids on the drive there. That was something that I created into this routine because I was going there every day and I tied that to something I was already doing.

One thing you could do too, is think about you go to the bathroom frequently. Maybe at the beginning of the day, you wipe the counters with the Lysol wipe, and then you wash your hands after it making sure your bathroom was a little bit cleaner.

It’s just these little things that once you start doing them, it compounds.

Maybe when you wake up and you turn off the alarm, you go and you make your bed right away. And then you open the blinds.

For cleaning, this is something I’ve really tried, figuring out different routines and habit stacking to make things easier.

Like when I am making a meal, instead of waiting till the end of the meal to put things away, putting things away as I go. When I take something out, I put away afterwards, even if I might have to pull it out again it’s worth it for me to just continually be putting things back into the original place. And That has become a routine that I don’t even have to think about anymore.

Another thing is when we have the dishwasher unloaded, we try to unload it as quickly as possible, and then just fill it up with all of the dirty dishes. So there’s not dirty dishes hanging out in the sink. Because I’ve realized that when I have dirty dishes in the sink, then we have pots and pans that are dirty and I don’t have room to wash them. And it just becomes this cycle of having a really messy house.

And so doing some little things right at the beginning, creating some habits and then stacking them with things that you already are doing, just makes life a lot easier.

One thing, when you go into your house, having a routine where you hang up your keys in the same place, you put your shoes away, all of these things, it sounds like common sense, but how can you tie things to what you already are doing?

Maybe you don’t have those routines in place. How can you start doing that? And a lot of it is just putting things in place to really help you be successful and just doing one little thing at a time.

These habits are really small. But those small habits make a huge impact on your life. When you look at it for the rest of your life because they become routine. And then you can add more of these little habits that help you get into the direction you want to go.

Okay. I have one more example for you.

So when you’re making a meal and you’re plating your food, maybe your goal is to always put vegetables on your plate first, because you want to eat more vegetables. Doing those little things will help you get healthier. And that’s just a little tiny habit that you can stack onto what you already do.

You already are putting food on your plate. Why not just start putting things in your favor and stacking those habits.

So, the homework that I have for you today. I want you to come up with some ideas on how you can create a habit stack that will get you closer to becoming the person you want to become.

Think about a routine that you already have. Maybe it’s your morning routine or your evening routine. If you have kids, these are the routines I would go and look at first.

Try to figure out how you can automate a lot of these things.

Our evening routine. When people come to our house, they probably think we’re like the craziest people in the world because what we do in our house, like James has made our house very tech savvy and everything’s automated.

One of the things that we do is at 7:42, the lights flicker in our house. And so they just like pulsate. And when people come to our house, they’re like, what on earth is going on? Because the lights just start going a little crazy.

And then that’s just the warning that an announcement is coming. And then Alexa, through our whole house goes and says,

It’s time to get ready for bed. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.

And then there’s a six minute timer and our kids know that when the lights flicker, they’re already bolting out going and getting ready for bed and they wanna beat that six minute timer.

We don’t have to be the ones telling them, okay, it’s time for bed. Bedtime’s getting close. We don’t have do any of those warnings. We’re automating it. We’re stacking these different habits to help them get their stuff done and putting it on this timer and we’re making those routines just simplified.

Most people who are parents they really struggle with the morning and the evening routines.

Think about which one is bugging you the most. What is just driving you crazy? What could you tweak on your morning or your evening routine that will really help your family? It will help you feel more sane, more fulfilled.

How can you stack some new habits that you want to create? Maybe you want to make sure that you have devotion time with your kids, but you just haven’t set it up and it doesn’t seem like you can be consistent. How can you tie it with your bedtime prayers or even maybe you don’t have a bedtime prayers and you want to start implementing it.

How can you start creating a routine that will work for your family?

And it’s going to look different than mine, and it’s going to look different than your friends.

Come up with something that will really work for you and hopefully today’s episode has given you some ideas.

This is endless. You can do so many different things when you start stacking these habits and those little things will make a world of difference in your life.

Thank you so much for listening to today’s show. I’m so glad that you’re here and make sure you tune in to next week’s show.

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Ep. 75: Why New Year’s Resolutions Typically Fail

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Ep. 75: Why New Year's Resolutions Typically Fail 10

Hey friends. Thank you so much for tuning into today’s show. We are so close to 2022. I know for the majority of the human population, we just view this new year, every new year as just a fresh start. And I think that’s such an amazing thing. I think we sometimes put off all these things we want to work on until the New Year.

We’re just trying to, you know, like Just enjoy our lives and then like, oh, we’re just going to start working out. We’re going to start eating healthier. We’re going to start doing X, Y, and Z when it hits the New Year, like there’s just this magical button by changing the calendar over to the next year that, that something’s going to just change. Think about the New Year’s resolutions you have set in the past.

Maybe the ones that you want to have this upcoming year. Like we all have these ideas of what we want to become. During the new year season, we start really thinking about like who we want to be and what our identity is. And I think that’s something that’s really powerful and a wonderful time to really start reflecting on who we are and what we want to become, because most of us are not fully satisfied with where we’re at in life. We want to be better in different ways, but we don’t know how to actually get there. A lot of times we just focus so much on who we want to become, and we don’t actually take the time to think about the wins that we had this past year.

And so I want you to just not try to fast forward into 2022, but also rewind and look back at the wins and the failures you had this past year in 2021. And I think this is a really important practice to do every year, because it’s really easy to just always feel like, oh, I’m just not good enough.

I needed to do this, this and this. And you don’t realize how far you’ve come. When you look back, you can just see things that you might not have noticed. When it comes to even prayer we ask God for all these different things. And then when he gives it to us, we just keep moving on and we don’t remember the promises and how he fulfilled the prayers that we asked.

And I think that’s how we, how we live our lives is that we have such a short term memory. We’re just trying to move forward and we forget about the good things that we’ve had.

So, I want you to imagine what you want this upcoming year to look like. And I want you to think of this in all the realms of your life, not just with your finances.

With your finances maybe you want to start saving more, investing, paying off debt. Maybe you want to start eating less refined sugar. Maybe you want to be a person who tells people positive things when you think about it in your head, instead of just keeping it to yourself, you want to actually say it out loud. Maybe you want to make sure you don’t overdraft this year.

Maybe you want to be a person who runs a couple times a week. Someone who budgets and has a plan for their money. Maybe you want to be a person who plays board games with their kids every Sunday night. Maybe you want to be a person who watches less TV, who reads a book every month, who goes and hangs out with their friends.

There’s so many different things you can think of, but I want you to just imagine what you want this upcoming year to look like.

I know I’ve looked back at my own new year’s resolutions and the things that I write down, there’s a lot of times that I just go through and I just type out every single thing I want to change in my life.

And I look at that and it’s just absolutely overwhelming.

You hear so many people that they don’t even reach their new year’s resolutions. Like maybe they do it for a week or two and they just give up. But why, why do resolutions typically not work?

If we want to be a person that changes and progresses and turns out to be a better version of ourselves, if we follow the regular new year’s resolutions, how can we actually avoid the pitfalls?

So that’s what we’re going to be talking about.

One of the things that really makes it challenging with doing a New Year’s resolution is that a lot of times they aren’t sustainable. We’re just saying like a blanket thing. Like I want to be healthy or I want to lose 30 pounds this year. We can say those things, but like, how do you actually put that into practice?

There are a lot of little things that we need to do to change our identity and change who we are to be able to meet those goals and not just give up because we have our own habits and the ways that we live our life and normally new year’s resolutions are doing something counter to what we’ve done in the past. And so it’s hard to make big changes.

Then one other reason why resolutions rarely work is that we have this mentality. It’s like go big or go home. We have all these things we want to change. And when we don’t make them or becomes too challenging we just give up. It’s really easy that it’s like, if we fail or we screw up and we eat a piece of cheesecake when we’re not supposed to that, we just want to say like, okay, well I’m done.

I, I’m not good at this. And just live your life as normal. And you don’t reach that resolution, that goal that you had for yourself.

And another reason why resolutions rarely work is that they don’t change our identity. We are trying to become someone we’re not, but we don’t actually believe what we’re trying to do.

And let me just give you an example. So, my husband and I have been reading Atomic Habits. It’s a really good book for helping you figure out how to make small changes in your life that actually are sustainable. And to change the way that you go about setting goals and actually reaching them.

It’s a great read so I would highly recommend reading it if you haven’t done so already as Atomic Habits by James Clear.

I want to give you, a little snippet from his book, Atomic Habits, and I love the name atomic habits, because you think of an Adam, it’s something that’s really tight. And what we’re doing is we’re just changing our habits in a very small level.

And so when you do it at this micro level, it helps you to completely transform who you are instead of just being totally overwhelmed and just giving up.

So here it is:

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

I really love this quote because I can think of things that I believe about myself. And I’m guessing you do too, that you just feel like this is who I am. And then when you try to do something different from that, you have to just have some wins that you see like, oh, I actually am able to do this.

For me, I really struggle with being a person who works out consistently. And I wouldn’t say that I’m great at it. And one thing that I’ve always felt like, oh, I’m just not athletic. I have these mindsets inside me that like, well, I’m not athletic, so I can’t do sports. And then I’m becoming like this negative Nancy that is becoming this self- fulfilling prophecy, because I feel like, well, I’m not athletic. I just, I can’t do this.

What I’ve started to do is at night time after the kids go to bed, I do some pushups and I do some stretches and I use like resistant bands. It’s nothing like super crazy, but I just do a little bit every day and I’m been trying to add like one more pushup a week, something that’s like, oh, I can go and do this faster than I used to. Like, I I’m feeling like I’m getting stronger, not by a ton, but by a little, and I’m making these small changes. And so I’m now starting to work on transforming my viewpoints of, well, I actually do work out sometimes and I’m trying to do this every day. So I’m doing at least something, even if it’s a short bit of time to make me stronger each day.

Taking those little actions helps me change my identity. It gives me evidence that maybe I’m not this completely unathletic person and I can work on changing. It’s not like I have this fixed person that I am just unathletic, I’ll never be able to throw a ball in my life kind of thing.

And I’m sure you can probably come up with some ideas for yourself of like, are there things that about yourself that you feel like this is who I am and you want to change it, but you need to have some little wins that shows you that you actually can be this person you want to be.

Another reason why resolutions rarely work is that we, we don’t know how to put the resolutions into practice. Like a lot of times we’ll say like, well, I want to lose 30 pounds or whatever it is, but then there’s a lot of different ways you can go about doing that and actually going through the details, like how do I make this work on a, on a weekly basis, daily basis?

How does that affect my grocery shopping? What I have in my pantry, my fridge, my freezer, working out all of those things, like it, it has a lot of little pieces. And I think a lot of times we don’t just go into the details of like, how do I actually put this into practice?

How do you eat an elephant is like this giant thing you feel like you don’t even know how to do it. But it’s one bite at a time. Like you need to figure out how you can make this into a bite sized piece to actually be able to change who you are.

Another reason why resolutions rarely work is that we run out of motivation.

We feel like we need to have this crazy amount of self control to be able to do it. Like for me, I went, I remember I was like, I think three months without having sweets. And I love sweets and it was such a challenge for me. I was surprised that at the end of it, I didn’t even feel like I wanted sweets anymore.

You get changed when your motivation is strong. But a lot of times we just run out of motivation. We’re trying to do this maybe for the wrong reasons. Maybe we are doing this by ourselves and we don’t have any support. There’s a lot of reasons why we just become unmotivated.

It’s just not fun anymore.

And another reason is that we get bored. If we’re trying to do something. It’s just like, Ugh, this isn’t fun anymore. This isn’t enjoyable. It’s boring. We just want to give up.

James Clear who wrote the Atomic Habits. He talks about this and he says,

“the greatest threat to success is not failure, but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stopped delighting us. The outcomes become expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.”

We think about that. Like, we want something new. We want something that seems exciting and it’s really easy to just get bored with things.

They’ve done tests of how we have the attention span of less than a goldfish now. Our attention spans are so puny from what they were decades in the past. And I think a lot of it is like, we just are being bombarded by so many things all the time and we’re in this go, go, go, go, go mentality.

And it’s hard to not get bored with what we’re doing, especially if it’s not something that’s easy.

So in the next several episodes, we’re going to go in- depth on how to make lifestyle changes that will actually stick.

We’ve been going through this mini series, helping you set up your finances, and this is part of it.

If you want to actually create habits that will sustain you so that way you can actually get out of debt, you can work on saving and having an emergency fund and investing.

All of these things take some time and intentionality. And we need to have these set up. So that way we can actually have financial freedom.

We are doing the Debt Dump Challenge. It’s coming up really soon, January 10th through the 14th. It’s a free challenge. It’s five days and it’s really actionable content. So there’s one a day for five days in a row. And I’m just going to be giving you some really important information that will help you go through and actually do something about it and set yourself up so you can get out of debt.

That’s helping you change your identity. Help you create a resolution that you actually will be able to do, setting you up for success.

if you would love to be part of this challenge, I really hope you are. Please go to debtdumpchallenge.com and you can sign up. Tell your friends, your relatives, anyone, you know, that really wants to get out of debt.

This is amazing challenge to really set you up for success. And if you have more people joining you like that is companionship, and it helps you to actually go and show up and do this. Okay. And so it’s five days, so it’s not going to be something that’s just totally overwhelming. It’s absolutely doable.

Going back to what we talked about today, I want to leave you with some actual ideas and some tips to help you set yourself up for this upcoming year. Instead of setting some new year’s resolutions that you write down. And then two weeks later, you abandon and forget. And then you think about it at the end of December of 2022. And you’re like, oh, I never reached that. Instead of having all these lofty goals and not ever attaining them. How can we actually make them? This week, I want you to reflect on this past year. Because if you don’t pay attention to what has happened in the past, you’re not going to set yourself up for success in your future.

Reflect on the highs and lows. This year has been a pretty crazy year. I know for us, it has been a lot of ups and downs. For so many people with COVID and everything, it has been a very challenging year in itself. Really two years that it’s been just a lot.

And I think it’s easy to try to forget about it, but I want you to pay attention.

Instead of just rushing into your resolutions, let’s, let’s figure out like, what were you successful with this past year? Because when you see how you are successful, that will help you to see how you are actually able to reach the goals that you want to reach.

Also look at where have you been, so you know, where you want to go in the future.

What happened this year. What stood out to you?

For me, there were a lot of big things that happened. My daughter had MIS-C. We were in the hospital.

For five days during Christmas last year. Being able to be home this Christmas was just a breath of fresh air and I am so grateful for it compared to what I’ve had in the past. And I think when, when you go through trials, you are able to experience different things than you ever have before.

And there’s good things that come out of it. When I look at what we went through and we had to be quarantined for eight weeks and weren’t able to leave our home and, and how we were able to have, just a lot of really strong relationships and friendships grow this past year, how we’ve had changes in job situations and changes in all kinds of different things.

Like I’m homeschooling my kids that started in January of last year. Our life has changed a lot in a short amount of time and looking back at what were the wins, what were the things that we really struggled with? How can we learn from the mistakes we made this past year? So we don’t make them again.

Think about your wins, your losses. And then I want you to also think about what are some things you want to continue that you started this year.

For us, one of the things that we started this year was really working on practicing a Sabbath. That’s really just focusing on having a 24 hour set of time each week, where we just really slow down and we’re trying to connect with God with our family.

We unplug from movies, from TV, from our phones, and really just work on connection. And that has been a huge, amazing thing that we started this year that we’re going to continue. And so looking back at the things that really went well.

How are you going to, to make that work for this upcoming year?

And then also, I want you to think about what didn’t work well this past year that you don’t want to carry on to this, this upcoming year. Maybe you are so busy and overwhelmed that it’s too much. What can you do and say no to so that way that doesn’t happen, this upcoming year.

Reflect on this past year and it takes some time to do this, and I would recommend doing this through a conversation with your spouse if you’re married.

If you’re not married, talk to a friend or a sibling or a parent or someone who you’re close with that, you can really just have a conversation. You don’t have to write all of this down, but I think a lot of people, it helps to just verbally process it. And when you talk about these highs and the lows of this past year, you’re going to be able to have a grateful heart. It will bring up a lot of things that you might not like and some things that you really are like, man, this was amazing. Those things can really help.

You could even go through and look at your photos from this past year.

I normally make a calendar every year using our photos, like a personalized one, and going through and looking at the pictures of the past year is just such a, a reminder of all the good things that happened. And it helps me to remember, oh these little small insignificant moments, at least I, I thought that they were insignificant and looking back, I’m like, oh, this is such a good memory.

And it helps you to just revisit those things. So maybe you want to do something like that, that you, you really just go through and start looking at those photos and using that as a way to remember the good things that you had this past year.

Overall, I just want you to really pay attention to what happened this past year and what you want to continue for 2022 and what you want to just say no to. Use that as your measure to figure out what you want your next year to look like.

The next several episodes are going to really help you put those into practice. So thank you so much for tuning in, and I will see you next week.

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