Truth

Discover Life Balance & Time for Yourself

So today, I really thought there was going to be a knock down drag out fight between all of the voices in my head who all wear different hats. The hat of mom, wellness and life purpose coach, teacher, student, homemaker, family cook, and oh, let's not forget wanna be "hottie wife". Trying to balance all of them and find time for myself with a little exercise is mentally and physically exhausting. Can I hear an amen? I mean really, is it even possible? I've come to learn that it is; however, it may be different than what some think. 

I am passionate for each role that I have, but to keep it together and stay healthy, I had to learn (and still learning) a couple of things. 

  1. My day must start with quiet time with the Lord. It's a must!
  2. I need to honestly answer a few questions and be real with myself.
    • What are my priorities? 
    • What season of life am I in right now? 
    • Have I made allowance or changes with my "yes's", schedules, and individual pursuits?
    • Does my time really go toward what I say is important?
    • Is what I am doing today going to make the biggest difference 1, 5, 20 years from now?

What about you?

As seasons of life change, have you made adjustments to your routine, schedule, and priorities? Have you taken the time to write down your priorities? You see, not everything can be a priority. If we try to give everything equal time, we are left feeling overwhelmed and too busy, yet never feeling successful at anything

By identifying our priorities in the current season, we can better manage our time around them giving us a sense of peace and balance. Ah! Doesn't peace and balance sound so refreshing?

Take a moment to think about a few things to ensure your time is organized and directed to what is important to you.

Evaluate Wasted Time

Try this courageous challenge. Spend a day, noting everything that takes up your time. Be brave enough to list things such as Facebook, Pinterest, favorite TV shows, even sleep, etc. How much of your time is given toward what you say is a priority? Sometimes, it seems we are so busy, but we can waste time on things that really do not matter. They may seem little, but small pockets of wasted time, add up to a lot of wasted time, which leads to a long list of things that were forgotten at the end of the day.

Evaluate Busy Time

Okay, so you might be saying, "I do not waste time. All of my time is spent on important things." The question then becomes, "Are they things that need to be a priority right now?" Just because it was given attention at one stage in your life, does not mean it needs to be now. Look at your list again and ask:

  • Is there something that you could put down for a while?
  • Is there someone else who could grow and/or learn if you delegated a specific task or responsibility?

The truth is, how we spend our time reflects what is really important to us. For example, if we say our health is important, but we are on the fast food diet with no exercise, it may not be as important as we think. If we say God and our family is everything, yet lack in quality time with God or too exhausted at the end of the day to spend time with family, they may be on the back burner. 

And now, one final step that can help us pull it all together to stay organized and get things done.

Focus

Oh man, a word I say to my 8-year-old say daily over and over. But honestly, don't we busy women struggle to stay focused? We can text, email, talk on the phone, and work on a project all at one time. But does it really produce a good outcome? To shut down all of the voices in my head, I have to consciously remember to work wearing one hat a time. Focus means, "Giving attention to one thing at a time." Yikes! Is that possible? Yes, and here is how. 

  • Begin your day by writing down what needs to be accomplished for that day. I do not encourage procrastination, but don't fill your day with tasks/projects that can be attended to another day or even another week. They are not a priority for today.
  • Schedule a specific amount of time for each task. That would include projects, phone calls, text messages, emails, and even Facebook (yes, give Facebook a certain amount of designated time).
  • While working on tasks, avoid answering text, emails or phone calls which interrupt your focus. Remember, you have given it a designated time, you will come back to it.

Part of being healthy is taking charge of our time and focusing on what is really important, which brings a sense of balance. Once we are healthy on the inside mentally and emotionally, then finding time to exercise will be the next natural step. 

Ephesians 5:15-16 says,

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." (NIV)

Let's be wise with our time and get healthy and fit on the inside and out.

Your Body Image….It is not all about you.

There are many physical benefits to regular exercise including higher self-esteem and positive body image. When a woman makes the decision to exercise for herself and no one else, there is a confidence that is created within her and is reflected to those around her.  However, women who have a poor body image are sometimes unable to see how it may be affecting other areas of their life, especially their relationships. They may become busy with life and unable to evaluate what it is costing them. Being a size two or twenty two is not the point. It is about feeling good with who you are as a woman and taking control of your health and fitness.   It is easy to say, how you feel about your body does not affect anyone else, but it could be affecting your relationship without you realizing it.

For example:

  1. Your Relationship with Your Spouse

Your relationship with your spouse is greatly affected when being intimate with him   or     participating in his favorite outdoor activities become uncomfortable for you because you do not feel good about your body. The truth is your looks may just be your issue, not his.  He just longs to have his wife do the things she once did with him.

  1. Your Relationship with your Children

Staying physically active can give you the energy to participate in those activities that your children may be begging you to do WITH THEM. Regular exercise gives you the energy and strength you need for them and is a healthy example to pass down to your children.

  1. Your Relationship with Others

I have seen so many women shy away from participating in social activities with others or avoid putting themselves in situations to meet new people because of a poor body image.  It is very sad to think relationships and a deep connection with others are being missed because of a lack of security in oneself.

God wants you to know that you are wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).  It is not about being a certain size.  It is about feeling confident in who you are so that you are able to be the woman God intended you to be. Make a decision today to take control of your health and fitness by making exercise a part of your life. Don’t allow your feelings of self-doubt and poor body image affect other areas of your life, especially your relationships. If you would like to discover how to be in control of the choices you make with your health and be confident with your body, click here to go to my website.

 

Fashionably Single

Singleness comes with so much welcomed freedom!  Freedom to go where you want; freedom to hang out with who you choose; freedom to sleep in; freedom to date; freedom to shop!  That was one of my favorites!  I could shop and not have to answer to anyone!  Being single, fashionable and carefree is a great life and to be enjoyed to the fullest.  Just flick on the TV and take a look at all fashionable single ladies wearing all the best labels so fabulously and you’ll see that life is good for a single lady.  I mean, don’t they seem to have it all?  The clothes, the men, the careers, the best friends and somehow they seem to balance life so well!  You have girls like Carrie on Sex and the City to our current go to fashion girls on Gossip Girl or Real Housewives. I can get wrapped up in the characters I must admit as a way of ‘relaxing’ at the end of the day just to clear my brain of the ever-pressing to-do lists.  It’s so easy to think if we act, dress or become like “so and so” then I’ll have those men, their career and that status.  The truth is, everything we do does in fact dictate what we get, but the outcome is not at all like what we see on TV.  If you really did walk out the door in a see-through shirt with coordinating bra underneath or cute runway dress that really fits like a shirt, the good – looking business man with the good intentions isn’t the one that’s going to ask you for a cup of coffee!

If you don’t already know it, you have a lot of power over the men around you through the way you dress.  What are you using it for?  Are you using it to try and get something or are you making sure your protecting someone’s future husband and your own dignity at the same time?  The clothes you wear, even fashionable ones, may not be the best choice in proving you’re a lady and hopefully, your goal is to be a lady and one who is pursued vs. just a one night conquer!

Men by nature have engrained in them the need to hunt; to conquer.  That’s why they talk about the winning team they bet on, the game they played and conquered, the hunt of a fish or deer they waiting on for hours on end until finally after a long day, they conquered.   Men are conquerors and in this day and age, our need to be equal in every single area including conquering the dating game has taking the hunt out for men as we pursue them ourselves.  Most importantly, the challenge has seemed to be non-existent when we let ourselves be on complete display by the way of our clothing!  We can take away the mystery of ourselves by putting too much of ourselves on display.

Clothes tell a story, they say who we are and what we think about ourselves.  We become walking art for all to view.  What story do you want to tell about yourself?  I encourage you this fall as you go out shopping for the latest trends and coolest fashions, think about what story you want to tell about yourself!  Choose clothes that display who you were created to be both inside and out!  Simply said, be fashionably single.

 Win a free book, "Now, While You are Single" by re-tweeting our tweet of this article.

Single Ladies Living Like Gold

While all of my friends grew up watching Nickelodeon, BET, and ESPN my brother and I were left to enjoy reruns of shows like The Wonder Years, The Cosby Show, and one of my all time favorites The Golden Girls. My mom never understood my fascination with “The Girls” she would pause in front of our TV and ask “What do you have in common with four old white women?” HA! Truth is that I didn’t have anything in common with them, but they sure did intrigue me. I mean, who didn’t love Sophia’s spunk, Dorothy’s sarcasm, and Rose’s lack of common sense (we’ve all had at least one “Rose Moment”). I loved all the ladies, but in my humble opinion, Blanche stole the show. Her swag was undeniable! Not only was she beautiful, confident and charming, but she was FABULOUS! She was what I would describe as a “Serial Dater,” on screen she was either coming in from a date or, on her way out to capture the heart of some fine rich man! This may be a stretch, but I believe that if Blanche’s character was saved and lived in biblical times she would’ve have been named Ruth… could totally see her showing up in Boaz’s room!

As a kid, I remember thinking that Blanche was the only one who had a real shot at finding true love, and actually living a “happy” life. Four older SINGLE women living together in a house badly decorated with tropical décor, even as a child I was determined that that life would not be my testimony!

Living Like Gold

At the age of 25, I still have a fear of being old and alone. Most of my friends in their mid 20’s or early 30’s have this same fear! We don’t want to be the “Golden Girls”! So, in an effort to “help” God out, to expedite this magical meeting between us and our chocolate prince charming we often times compromise ourselves or just flat out settle for men who we know are NOT our husbands! We create these timelines in our heads: Dream job at 22, Married at 25, kids at 28, and when our plans don’t pan out we get desperate!

Some of us constantly complain about being alone and make references to our biological clocks to anyone who will listen. Others of us become impatient and like Blanche we decide to date as many men as possible in hopes to eventually find “him.” Then, there are the other single woman who suffer in silence, they constantly obsess about “the one” and are so distracted in getting that they fail to pursue their dreams and passions.

If we were honest, most of us have fallen into one of those three categories at some point during our single season. Can you blame us?! HA! Think about all the fabulous women you know who are beautiful, intelligent, funny, anointed, and ALONE! What’s a fabulous woman with a fabulous career, living in a fabulous house without a fabulous man?

Truth is nobody really knows why there are so many single women out there who are waiting to meet Mr. Right! In the mean time, I have made the choice to enjoy my singleness, trust God, and wait on for Him to bring my man!

In hindsight Blanche and the rest of “The Girls” did live “happy” lives, but their “happy” included being single! The morning I heard that Rue McClanahan died I sang an impromptu gospel version of “Thank You for being a Friend” the entire drive to work. RIP Rue/Blanche my favorite Golden Girl!

Learn more from Tamra & how to live single with purpose at Elevate 10 June 18th & 19th.

Guest Contributor, Tamra Cobbins