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Episode 59: The Power of Habit Stacking for Busy Moms

Updated: 2 days ago

         


Journal with pen and leafy plant on top


Intro: 

This is Episode 59.

Welcome to the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast, where we embark on a transformative journey towards achieving total wellness, even in the midst of overwhelming moments. I'm your host, Autumn Carter, and I'm thrilled to have you here.


This podcast is a sanctuary for all mothers out there, and we extend a warm invitation to anyone seeking guidance and inspiration. We believe in fostering an inclusive community where we learn and grow together, supporting each other during life's challenging transitions.


Join us as we step out of survival mode and discover the path to thriving, embracing wellness in every season of motherhood. From sleepless nights to new beginnings, we'll explore practical strategies, share heartfelt stories, and uncover the transformative power of self-care and self-love.


Together, we'll unlock the wisdom, strength, and resilience within ourselves, reminding one another that we're never alone on this beautiful, yet demanding, journey. It's time to prioritize your well-being and reclaim your joy, one season at a time.


[Music]

EPISODE INTRO

Welcome to Episode 59 of "Wellness in Every Season,"From Chaos to Calm: The Power of Habit Stacking for Busy Moms“, brought to you by my Reclaim your time program. In this episode, we will embark on an enlightening journey through the world of habit stacking, morning and evening routines, and the effective use of block scheduling. Listeners will learn how to seamlessly integrate small, manageable habits into their existing routines to foster significant positive changes in their lives.


We will explore the power of a well-crafted morning routine, discussing strategies for waking up before the family to enjoy a serene start to the day. The episode will offer insights into creating a morning that not only aligns with your ideal vision but also addresses common challenges, setting a tone of calm and intentionality.


The focus will then shift to the importance of an effective evening routine. We’ll delve into practices that support unwinding and preparing for the next day, ensuring a restful night's sleep. Listeners will discover how to make small adjustments that have a substantial impact on their overall well-being.


Additionally, the episode will guide listeners through the concept of block scheduling, particularly its role in managing time for working moms. We’ll discuss balancing professional responsibilities with personal and family time, and how to optimize this balance to enhance daily productivity and satisfaction.


Listeners will also be encouraged to reflect on how their current routines align with their long-term goals and what habits might need to be developed or modified. Practical tips on how to carve out time for self-care within a busy schedule will be shared, emphasizing the importance of self-care in maintaining a healthy, balanced life.


This episode is designed not just to inform but also to inspire. Listeners will come away with practical tools and strategies to revamp their daily routines, making them more effective, fulfilling, and aligned with their personal and professional aspirations.



Key point #1

In the serene setting of her farmette, the mom's life was a rich tapestry of love, responsibility, and ambition. She was not only the heart of her home but also an entrepreneur, steering her online business amidst the endless demands of daily life. Her children, each a unique spirit, brought joy and a whirlwind of activity, their laughter and energy permeating the air. Her significant other, a pillar of strength, shared in the joys and trials of their rustic life, yet the bulk of managing the home and business often rested on her shoulders.


Her days were a delicate balancing act, juggling the needs of her children, the demands of her online business, and the countless chores of farmette living. The children, full of curiosity and boundless energy, required her attention and guidance, their schoolwork, play, and emotional needs weaving through her day. Her partner, though supportive, had commitments of their own, often leaving her to manage the bustling household.


The online business, her brainchild, was a source of pride but also of constant interruptions. Emails, orders, and customer inquiries flowed in at all hours, demanding her attention and pulling her away from other tasks. Each interruption, however minor, fragmented her focus, making it challenging to regain momentum. The mental energy required to remember where she had left off was draining, a puzzle of tasks and priorities that seemed to have no end.


This constant juggling act led her to discover the concept of block scheduling, a method that promised structure amidst chaos. She began to segment her day into dedicated blocks of time, each allocated to a specific type of task. Mornings were reserved for her children, helping them prepare for the day and attending to their needs. Once they were settled, she dedicated a block of time solely to her business, immersing herself in managing orders, responding to queries, and strategizing for growth.


Afternoons were a blend of family time and farmette chores, a rhythm of feeding animals, tending to the garden, and being present for her children's after-school activities. Evenings were for family, a sacred time for connection, dinner, and shared moments with her partner and children.


This structure brought a newfound sense of control and efficiency. By dedicating specific times to each aspect of her life, she minimized the disruptions that had once scattered her focus. It allowed her to be fully present in each task, whether nurturing her family, tending to her business, or caring for her farmette. The mental load lightened, replaced by a clarity of purpose and a sense of accomplishment.


Block scheduling became her ally, a tool that harmonized the various melodies of her life into a symphony of productivity and peace. It showed her that amidst the cacophony of daily demands, there can be a rhythm, a method to weave together the threads of family, work, and self-care into a beautiful, cohesive whole. For this mom, the journey was about finding balance in the beautiful chaos of life, a balance that allowed her to thrive in her many roles, each a cherished part of the intricate mosaic of her existence.


Key point #2

The story of the mom on the farmette not only illustrates the challenges of managing a multifaceted life, but it also highlights two powerful strategies for achieving greater productivity and balance: habit stacking and block scheduling. These two concepts, while distinct in their approach, both offer pathways to better manage time and responsibilities.


Habit stacking, as seen in the mom's journey, involves layering small, manageable habits on top of one another to create a cohesive routine. It's like building a tower, one block at a time, where each block represents a small, achievable task. The beauty of habit stacking lies in its simplicity and the gradual nature of change. For the mom, it started with something as straightforward as taking a moment to breathe in the new day, then gradually adding a short walk, and so on. This method relies on the power of cumulative effect – where small, individual habits may seem insignificant, but when combined, they create a substantial impact on one’s daily life. It's particularly effective for integrating new behaviors into an already busy schedule, making the process less daunting.


Block scheduling, on the other hand, is a different organizational tool. It involves dividing the day into larger, distinct blocks of time, each dedicated to a specific type of task or activity. This method is akin to sectioning a canvas into different parts, each designated for a particular element of the painting. In the case of the mom, it could mean dedicating specific hours solely for her business, other blocks for family time, and separate ones for farm chores. Block scheduling is about focus and compartmentalization, reducing the cognitive load of constantly switching between tasks. It allows for deep focus during each block, making one more productive and efficient.


The differences between these two methods are evident in their application. Habit stacking is about gradual change and adding small habits into your existing routine, often bridging activities or moments in your day. It’s subtle and grows with time. Block scheduling, conversely, requires a more significant overhaul of how one organizes their day, setting aside large chunks of time for specific activities. It demands discipline and a clear understanding of how much time different tasks require.


For many, like our mom on the farmette, a combination of both methods can be the key to a well-managed and fulfilling life. Habit stacking can bring structure and purpose to the smaller moments, weaving joy and mindfulness into the day. Block scheduling can bring order and focus to the larger picture, ensuring that each aspect of life – be it family, work, or personal care – receives the attention it deserves.


In essence, while both habit stacking and block scheduling serve the common goal of improving one’s lifestyle and productivity, they do so in different yet complementary ways. One layers small changes to create a bigger impact, while the other carves out dedicated spaces for each part of one's life, ensuring a more focused and disciplined approach to daily tasks.


We will work on these together in this episode so make sure to click the link in the description to get your worksheet bundle. If you are driving while listening, keep listening and circle back to this when you can. 



[Music]

Segment: Mindfulness Practice: 

In this mindfulness practice, we embark on a journey of self-awareness and gentle reflection. This practice is a safe space, a moment to pause and observe your life with loving judgment and understanding. As we go through it, remember that this is a process of discovery and kindness towards yourself, a recognition of your strengths and an acknowledgment of areas for growth.


Begin by finding a quiet, comfortable space where you can sit or lie down undisturbed for a few minutes. Allow yourself to disconnect from the immediate demands of your life, granting yourself this time for introspection and calm.


Close your eyes gently and start by focusing on your breath. Feel the air as it enters through your nostrils, fills your lungs, and then leaves your body. With each breath, imagine yourself sinking deeper into a state of relaxation and awareness. Let this breathing ground you, anchoring you in the present moment.


Now, in this state of calm and centeredness, envision your life as a series of interconnected circles, each representing a different aspect of your existence – your family, your work, your personal well-being, your friendships, and any other areas significant to you.


One by one, turn your attention to each of these circles. As you focus on each area, observe the emotions and thoughts that arise. Start with the areas that are working well for you. Maybe it's the relationship with your children, the success of a personal project, or a newfound hobby that brings you joy. Acknowledge these positive aspects, allowing yourself to feel gratitude and pride. Recognize the effort and love you've poured into these areas, celebrating these successes, big or small.


Next, gently shift your focus to the areas that feel less harmonious, those that may be sources of stress or dissatisfaction. Approach these areas not with criticism but with compassionate curiosity. What challenges are present? Why might these areas feel less fulfilling or more difficult? Understand that recognizing these areas is not an acknowledgment of failure, but an act of courage and the first step towards growth.


As you reflect on both the thriving and challenging aspects of your life, remind yourself to view these with loving judgment. Know that every journey has its peaks and valleys, and it's okay to be in either at any given time. The areas that need modification are not a reflection of your worth as a mom or as a person; they are simply parts of your life's ever-evolving narrative.


Take a few more deep breaths, infusing these thoughts with a sense of hope and possibility. Remind yourself that you have the power to make changes, however small they may be, and that each step forward is significant.


To conclude your practice, bring your focus back to your breath, feeling it as a lifeline connecting you to the present moment. Gently open your eyes, carrying with you the insights and feelings from this meditation. Remember, this practice is a tool, a companion on your journey as a mom, guiding you to nurture the areas that flourish and thoughtfully attend to those that need your care and attention.


[Music]


Key point #3

Consider a typical day in your life. It might start with the early morning routine – preparing breakfast, getting the kids ready, and perhaps some time for yourself. Here's where habit stacking comes in. Within this morning block, you could stack habits like a quick mindfulness exercise while the coffee brews or a brief moment of gratitude with your family at breakfast. These small habits, when consistently practiced, can set a positive tone for the rest of your day.


As we move into the mid-morning and afternoon, block scheduling becomes even more crucial, especially when juggling the demands of an online business and family life. By setting aside specific time blocks for focused work, you can minimize distractions and increase productivity. During these blocks, smaller habits can be stacked to ensure you stay energized and focused – like taking a five-minute break every hour to stretch or having a healthy snack.


Nap times for your children can be a golden opportunity for a block of deep work or self-care. This is the perfect time to focus on tasks that require your undivided attention or to indulge in a self-care habit like reading a book or practicing meditation.


Meal planning and preparation also benefit from block scheduling. Assigning specific times for meal prep ensures that you're not rushing at the last minute. Within this block, you could stack habits like involving your children in the cooking process, which can be both a learning experience for them and a way to spend quality time together.


Transitions, such as summer schedules and school routines, are smoother with block scheduling. It allows you to adjust your blocks of time according to the changing rhythms of your family's life, maintaining a sense of order and routine even during more hectic periods.


Remember to carve out blocks for personal time. This block is crucial for your well-being and can include habits like exercise, hobbies, or simply unwinding at the end of the day. It's about creating balance, ensuring that while you're taking care of your family and responsibilities, you're also taking care of yourself.


Using visual aids like a planner or a digital app can help in effectively implementing your block schedule. These tools not only keep you on track but also provide a visual representation of how your day is segmented, making it easier to stick to your schedule.


Finally, involving your family in this process is essential. Communicating your schedule and the importance of respecting these blocks of time helps in creating a supportive environment where everyone understands and contributes to the smooth functioning of daily life.


By combining the fluidity of habit stacking with the structure of block scheduling, you create a dynamic yet balanced approach to managing your day. This method acknowledges the complexities of a mom's life, providing a framework that supports both your needs and those of your family, enabling you to lead a more organized, productive, and fulfilling life.




[Music]

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This isn't your typical coaching program; it's a collective journey toward soulful, meaningful living. From day one, you'll dive deep, not just into your daily to-dos, but into your dreams, your desires, and the very essence of what makes you 'you.' We'll explore everything from color-coded time-blocking worksheets to meal planning with recipes that bring more than just food to the table—they bring joy. 


We'll guide you through decluttering your spaces, both physical and emotional, creating room for new growth. And let's not forget self-care; we'll delve into what that truly looks like for you, making it an unshakable pillar of your daily life. All of this unfolds in a nurturing community of like-minded moms, each on her own path to transformation.


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[Music]


Key point #4: 

As we delve into crafting your evening routine, it's essential to start from a fundamental question: How much sleep does your body specifically need? Understanding your unique sleep requirements is the cornerstone of building a routine that truly rejuvenates you. It's not about the average person's need, but about your personal rhythm and rest requirements. This understanding is our starting point, the foundation upon which we'll build.


With this in mind, let's work backwards from the family dinner, an invaluable part of your evening. If sitting down for a meal together isn't already a practice in your home, I encourage you to start. The statistics don't lie – this time is precious for family bonding and shared experiences. Consider this the kickoff point of your evening routine, a significant segment in your workbook.


From here, we'll examine each part of your evening, determining how long each activity takes. The goal is to find a balance, ensuring that you're not only completing necessary tasks but also dedicating time to unwinding and connecting with your family. If any part of the routine seems too time-consuming, we'll look at ways to streamline or rearrange activities. It's all about efficiency mixed with meaningful interactions.


For instance, if kitchen cleanup tends to drag on, think about how you can turn it into a more efficient, even enjoyable task. Maybe it involves turning on some music and making it a fun family activity or delegating specific tasks to each family member. The aim is to make these moments less about chore and more about togetherness and efficiency.


Remember, consistency in your evening routine is key. With a regular schedule, you'll find that the need to unplug and decompress for long periods at night reduces. Instead, you'll transition more smoothly into relaxation and sleep mode, thanks to a well-structured and familiar routine. Over time, this consistency will not only benefit your sleep quality but also enrich your family life, creating a harmonious balance between completing daily tasks and enjoying restful, quality time together.


So, let's begin this journey of structuring your evening, keeping in mind your unique sleep needs and the value of family time. It's about creating a routine that not only prepares you for the next day but also nurtures your and your family’s well-being every night.


Key point #5

Creating a morning routine that includes waking up before your family offers you a serene start to your day, a time to embrace the quiet and gradually awaken your senses. This early start is less about gaining a head start on your to-do list and more about gifting yourself moments of peace. In these precious minutes, the stillness of the morning becomes your sanctuary, allowing you to greet the day with calm and clarity.


Having a consistent wake-up time plays a crucial role in this process. This isn't just about discipline; it's about syncing with your body's natural rhythm, honoring its need for a regular sleep pattern. A consistent wake-up time can leave you feeling more refreshed and prepared to face the day. It's a gentle nod to self-care, acknowledging how vital rest is to your overall well-being.


Keeping your phone out of this sacred morning time is a transformative practice. It’s easy to fall into the habit of starting the day inundated with notifications and news, but by giving yourself a phone-free start, you're choosing to set a tone of tranquility over chaos. This time can be used to engage in a quiet activity that nourishes your mind, like reading, meditating, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in silence. This habit helps cultivate a mindset of presence and intentionality, allowing you to start your day grounded and focused.


A nutritious breakfast is the final touch to this morning ritual. It’s more than just the first meal; it’s a chance to treat your body with care and respect. A wholesome, balanced breakfast provides the necessary fuel to energize your morning, supporting both your physical and mental well-being. It’s a daily act of kindness to yourself, acknowledging the importance of your health.


This morning routine — a quiet awakening before your family, a consistent wake-up time, a phone-free start, and a nutritious breakfast — sets a powerful tone for your day. Each element of the routine builds upon the others, creating a cascade of positive impacts. It’s a way of claiming your morning, transforming it from a rushed and reactive time to a period of peace and empowerment, fully preparing you for the day ahead.


Key point #6:

Creating blocks of time using natural breaks in your day, such as meal times, can be a highly effective way to structure your schedule, especially when managing the dynamic and often unpredictable life of a mom. By aligning your tasks with these natural breakpoints, you create a rhythm that feels more organic and less forced, allowing for a smoother flow throughout the day.


Start by identifying the fixed points in your day - typically, these are meal times. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner create natural divisions in your schedule, serving as anchor points around which you can organize other activities. For instance, the block of time between breakfast and lunch can be dedicated to specific tasks like work-related activities or household chores, while the post-lunch period might focus more on family time or personal projects.


Once you've identified these natural breaks, the next step is to categorize your tasks. This is where the worksheet comes in handy. Divide your tasks into four categories: 'Love to Do', 'Want to Do', 'Need to Do', and 'Thankless Tasks'. 


- 'Love to Do' tasks are those that bring you joy or satisfaction. These might include hobbies, exercise, or spending quality time with your children.

- 'Want to Do' tasks are important but perhaps not as urgent or fulfilling. These could be things like organizing a part of your home or planning a family outing.

- 'Need to Do' tasks are the essentials that keep your daily life running smoothly - think paying bills, grocery shopping, or attending meetings.

- 'Thankless Tasks' are necessary but often unenjoyable chores like doing laundry or cleaning bathrooms.


By categorizing your tasks this way, you gain clarity on where your time and energy are going, allowing you to balance your day more effectively.


The next sheet helps you determine the frequency of these tasks. Some, like 'Need to Do' tasks, might be daily necessities, while 'Love to Do' tasks could be fitted in a few times a week. Assigning a frequency to each task helps you prioritize and schedule them more effectively.


Finally, with all this information, approach your weekly calendar. Start by filling in the fixed points (meal times, school drop-offs, etc.) and then layer in your tasks based on their category and frequency. For instance, a 'Love to Do' task like yoga might fit best in a morning block after breakfast, while a 'Need to Do' task like checking emails could be scheduled for a mid-morning block.


This approach to scheduling ensures that your day is not only productive but also balanced and fulfilling. It allows you to manage the necessities while also making time for what brings you joy and relaxation. As you fill in your typical week on the calendar, keep in mind that flexibility is key. Life as a mom can be unpredictable, so be prepared to adjust and shift things around as needed, always remembering to find time for those tasks that nourish your soul.



[Music]

Segment: Coaching Questions

Reflecting on habit stacking, what small, manageable habits could you integrate into your existing routine that might lead to significant positive changes in your life? Think about the daily activities or habits that make you feel most fulfilled and grounded, and consider how you can ensure these are incorporated regularly into your routine. 


Consider your ideal morning and how it differs from your current morning routine. What changes can you make to align the two? What are the biggest challenges you face in your morning routine, and what steps could you take to address these challenges?


In terms of your evening routine, explore how your current practice supports or hinders your ability to unwind and prepare for the next day. What one change could you make to your evening routine that might have the most significant impact on your sleep quality and overall well-being?


Examine how effectively you are using block scheduling to manage your time. Are there areas where this could be improved? As a working mom, balancing professional responsibilities with personal and family time is crucial. Are there ways you can optimize this balance through block scheduling?


Think about where you can carve out time for self-care within your existing schedule and how habit stacking or block scheduling can support this. Finally, consider how your current daily routines align with your long-term goals. What habits do you need to develop or modify to support these goals?


These questions are meant to guide deep reflection and inspire actionable steps toward more effective and fulfilling daily routines. They can be revisited periodically to assess progress and make adjustments to your habits and schedules, ensuring they continually align with your evolving needs and aspirations.



CLOSING REMARKS & EPISODE SUMMARY

Episode summary:

In Episode 59, titled "From Chaos to Calm: The Power of Habit Stacking for Busy Moms," we delved deep into the transformative world of habit stacking and its remarkable impact on the lives of busy moms. We explored how integrating small, manageable habits into daily routines can lead to significant positive changes, creating a sense of order and calm in what can often be a chaotic existence.

Listeners were guided through the art of crafting effective morning routines, learning strategies for starting the day with serenity and intention. We discussed the importance of waking up before the family, not just to get a jump on the day's tasks but to enjoy moments of peace and preparation. The episode also focused on the pivotal role of evening routines in unwinding and setting the stage for a good night's sleep, emphasizing how these practices collectively contribute to overall well-being.

The concept of block scheduling was another key topic, especially its relevance and application for working moms. We examined ways to balance professional responsibilities with personal and family time, demonstrating how strategic scheduling can enhance daily productivity and satisfaction.


Looking ahead to next week, we have an exciting episode in store. I will be interviewing myself, sharing my personal journey to becoming a coach. This reflective conversation will delve into some of my life lessons and the pivotal moments that led to the creation of 'Reclaim Your Time' and 'Dream Job Mom'. This intimate episode promises to be both insightful and inspiring, offering a glimpse into the experiences that shape the advice and strategies shared in our podcast.

So, be sure to join us next week for this unique episode. Don't forget to subscribe to our podcast, ensuring you don't miss out on this intimate exploration of a coach's journey. See you next week!


[Music]

Outro: 

Thank you for joining us on this week's refreshing wellness discussion. I'm Autumn Carter, your guide through the seasons of motherhood, and I hope you found inspiration and valuable insights during our time together.


If you resonate with the topics we explored today and want to continue your wellness journey, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at Moms Wellness in Every Season. There, you'll discover a wealth of ongoing wellness tips specifically curated for moms like you.


Sharing our podcast with others is an act of caring, and I invite you to spread the word by sharing, subscribing, and leaving a review wherever you enjoy your podcasts. Your support is deeply valuable to us and enables us to reach more mothers who are seeking transformation and empowerment.


If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in more detail or if you're interested in a free coaching consultation, don't hesitate to reach out. You can send me a direct message on Instagram or visit my website, wellnessineveryseason.com, to send an email. I'm here to support you on your wellness journey.


Thank you again for being a part of our vibrant community. I'm genuinely excited to connect with you, hear your stories, and continue this important discussion in the weeks to come.


Until next time, remember to prioritize your well-being, embrace every season with grace, and always strive for wellness in every aspect of your motherhood journey. Take care, and I can't wait to catch up with you soon.

[Music]




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