How to Adult: Making Sundays Count

There are a few things I need to do Sundays or the rest of my week is a hot mess.

Sundays in the Ruesink household are one of two things: very busy or very lazy. There is no in between. Lately, we’ve been more busy than lazy, though, and I’m finding myself struggling to get through the week productively while still getting to spend precious time with my sweet husband. Once we get into the swing of the work week, if I don’t have my life figured out already, it’s very difficult for me to improvise in the little things like what to cook, wear, or clean after a long day at work.

Funny story – I’ve always been the weirdo who sets out her clothes in advance. My college roommate used to make fun of me because every Sunday night I would pull out my clothes not just for the next day but for the entire week.

To this day, this is still part of my Sunday routine that I have to do to be able to function. You may not be as weird as I am, but I can’t tell you how much it helps me to have a plan – even if it’s just a plan of what to wear this week.

That being said, I thought I’d share some of my Sunday even routines that I just can’t live without. Seriously, you might think they’re small and silly, but I can’t tell you how much less stress I have on weeks when I commit to getting these things done before Monday morning hits.

#1. Meal Prepping

Now, I don’t actually cook and prep meals for the entire week like the crazy (awesome) Pinterest moms do. I tried that once and spent the entire day in the kitchen and it just wasn’t realistic for my life. However, I do make sure that I have at least two large recipes picked out and all of the necessary ingredients in stock. If I already have lunches made (which sometimes happens when I make larger recipes), I make sure to throw a meal in my lunchbox and stick it in the fridge. Along the same lines, I fill a few mason jars with the ingredients for my morning smoothies so I can just dump, blend, and go, healthy, delicious breakfast in hand.

 

#2. Wardrobe Planning

Ok, so you already know I’m kind of crazy about this. I start by looking at the forecast for the week and planning my outfits accordingly. I have a capsule wardrobe so once I have a general idea of the weather for the week, it’s quick and easy to pull clothing to the front of my closet. If I’m really in a planning mood, I also pull out my jewelry and accessories to go with the outfits. This saves me time and energy on early weekday mornings and I’ve actually used the time saved by not worrying about clothes to have an awesome morning time with Jesus. Cannot recommend enough.

 

#3. Actual Life Planning

There are a couple different places in my life that I keep everything planned and organized. I have a calendar in my kitchen, google calendar on my phone, and of course my wonderful and necessary Erin Condren Life Planner. You definitely don’t have to be a calendar/planner nerd like me, but I totally recommend sitting down and going over your week before it starts. It’s really helpful to remember appointments you might have forgotten or tasks you still need to accomplish before the craziness of Monday morning hits. This has been super beneficial for Jake and I in our marriage because we do as much individually as we do together. Knowing each other’s schedules and making sure we haven’t double booked each other or not prioritized time together makes busy weeks so much better.

 

And that’s my Sunday night! In an ideal world, I’d also straighten the house and clean out my purse but, to be honest, ain’t nobody got time for those. But really, once I have these three things taken care of, I can tackle anything the week throws at me.

What about you? Are there things you HAVE to do before Monday if you’re going to walk into the week with energy and confidence? How do you make your weekday time more productive? I’d love to chat in the comments!

How to Adult: Goal Setting – A Breakdown

So you set some ambitious goals for 2018… Now what?

ICYMI: I mentioned in my previous post that while I don’t like the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, I’m always game for setting new goals for myself. The start of the year is the perfect time to reflect on where you are in your life and dream about where you’d like to go. I’ve never considered myself very ambitious or really even much of a dreamer, though, so setting realistic goals that I actually wanted to achieve took me some time to figure out. And getting started can be so overwhelming! My keys to success: planning, people, and baby steps.

Now, please realize that what works for me, may not work for everybody. I’m an ISTJ on the Myer’s Briggs chart so I’m all about black and white, concrete details and lists. ALL THE LISTS. This is just how my brain functions.

But if you’re like Jake, you probably just have all these ideas and goals rolling around in your brain and sometimes writing them down makes them more real but basically, you’re good with them in your head. If that’s you, I think you’re awesome but I just can’t live like you.

Long story short, take this and run with it – you do you.

Step 1: Dream Big

There are no rules to Step 1 which is probably what I struggle with most. This is just creative brainstorming of things you’d like to see in your life – people you’d like to meet, places to go, things to do, what kind of person you’d like to see yourself become. Think in ideals for this step, no restrictions, no “buts” or “ifs” or conditions of any kind. Once you have a few good ideas, prioritize. What all can you realistically accomplish? What is most important that you accomplish? Remember, it’s crazy-hard to reach a goal that you don’t care about reaching. The best way to set a goal you can actually accomplish is if it’s something that’s really meaningful to you. Otherwise motivating yourself will to do something you’re not interested in will not be fun at all.

Step 2: Write It Out

There’s something unique about writing things down that solidifies things in our brains. When you see your goal on paper, it becomes real – it’s out there in the world, not just in your head. But to really make this step worthwhile, it helps to get specific. You did your big dreaming to come up with your goal, now narrow it down a little. Give it parameters, a time frame. What is it specifically you’d like to accomplish and how long will you give yourself to get there?

For instance, I mentioned that one of my goals in 2018 is to memorize more scripture. My specific goal when I wrote it out is to have Ephesians 1 memorized by my birthday (end of February). I got specific about what piece of the Bible I wanted to memorize and I set a realistic deadline for myself.

Step 3: Find Your Accountabilibuddy

Now that you’ve written out your goal, the next step is to speak it out loud. Tell a friend, tell your significant other, tell your parents, tell anyone, really. Talking about your goal will make it even more solidified in your brain, but the important part in this step is to ask someone to join you on this journey as your accountability partner.

We as humans are not meant to do things alone. We will fail every time we try to accomplish things in our own efforts because that’s just not how God designed us (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). We were designed for community and part of that is spurring each other on (Hebrews 10:24), carrying each other’s burdens (Galations 6:2), and holding each other accountable (Ephesians 4:25). Partner with someone who will not only hold you to your goal but walk with you on the journey to achieving it.

Step 4: It’s All About Baby Steps

Here’s where my ISTJ starts showing but this is super important! You have a big goal that you’ve written out and told everyone about… Now how do you get started? My answer: plan out some baby steps. Start thinking concretely – what needs to happen for this goal to be accomplished? What do I need to get started? What will I need along the way?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better sense of direction and how to start. From there, you can make a plan to tackle your goal. I’ve found it easiest to make it part of my daily routine and keep my goal at the front of my mind, but depending on your goal, you might want to have weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with yourself to see your progress.

Continuing my scripture memorization example, there are several ways I could go about memorizing Ephesians 1, but I know from past experiences that a method that’s worked really well for me is the app Fighter Verses which has all sorts of quizzes, like games, specifically designed to help people memorize scripture in ways that work for them. My first baby step was downloading this app to my new phone. From there, I planned out smaller milestones I want to hit (specific verses memorized by specific calendar dates) and made it part of my daily routine to spend at least five minutes a day in the fighter verses app. Now my ambitious goal of memorizing an entire chapter of the Bible looks a lot smaller when it’s just five minutes a day!

 

Whatever your goal for 2018 might be, I hope this breakdown helps you tackle it. Just don’t forget to bring someone along with you. Sometimes goals can be harder to achieve than we think and we need the support, encouragement, and prayer of the people we’ve asked to join us on our journey. Don’t be afraid to reach out when you need help.

And remember, you’re only baby steps away 🙂

You Are More Than Your Cat-Eye

There’s so much more to girls than our ability to get the perfect cat-eye…although that’s an awesome skill.

You Are More Than Your Cat-EyeConfession: I’m a girly girl who never got into makeup.

I’m not really sure how that happened. I was a cheerleader and a drama kid so I learned those kinds of heavy-duty makeup skills early on. But day-to-day makeup never really stuck with me. I have friends and family who do amazing things with concealer and eyeliner, contouring and cat-eye but I’ve just never been interested. Not because I’m not fascinated by the whole process but because I’ve never felt like makeup-me was actually me.

I remember having a conversation in high school with my friend and her mom in the car and they asked why I didn’t wear makeup and I responded “because I don’t think I need it.” And then immediately regretted coming off so full of myself.

But it’s not that I think I’m a supermodel or anything. I just don’t feel like anything about my face or skin needs to be hidden or highlighted or concealed. I think the real me, with a clean face and sunscreen, is so much more comfortable than makeup-me. And I wish more girls felt the same way in their skin.

I have nothing against makeup. I wear it on special occasions and I totally think it makes women look extra-stunning. What I don’t like is that there are girls who see makeup as a necessity for beauty. Like they can’t be pretty without putting their face on in the morning. This ideology makes my heart so sad.

I hope that if I’m lucky enough to have a daughter she would measure beauty not by makeup and beauty products, but by people’s character, confidence, and loving actions. I think this is an important part of improving this world we live in because enforcing the idea that girls can’t be pretty without makeup is a harmful, deceitful, unnecessary, ugly lie. And girls already face so many patronizing, demeaning lies in this world.

If you are a girl who rocks a killer contour, I envy you. But I also hope you rock days without makeup just as confidently. Take a page from Alicia Key’s book and learn to be comfortable in your own skin, just as God created you. And let’s start working together to create a world where girls see the beauty in health, confidence, and caring for others.