Monthly Ventures: Yoga & Hydration

If you follow me in instagram, you know that I am finishing up the February challenge #30DaysNewBraids: an entire month of different ways to braid my hair. I went from being nervous about doing a French braid to trying crazy things like a 3D Pull-Through braid. I now have a hairstyle repertoire up my sleeve - take that, messy mom bun! (I'll be doing a wrap-up post on that challenge later this week if you want some of the tutorials for yourself.)

Having a challenge each month is a great way to see specific progress. And if you're like me, you'll know that personal goals are the best type of motivation. If you want to hone skills that you'll have for a lifetime, you're going to have to practice for more than just thirty days. However, a month is a nice neat segment to start with.

I wanted to let y'all know my plans for the month of March, so that hopefully you can join me! This is basically a chance to challenge yourself to a little bit of discipline and a little bit of change. I dare you to try these things with me and see how much you notice change in yourself.

Of course, you know how plans tend to go...
proverbs 16:9
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
proverbs 19:21
There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

But until He shows me differently, I am going to step out in faith and see how He uses these plans I believe He has put on my heart. Therefore, I proceed with hope and many prayers to cover these exciting intentions!
#1: Drink 80 oz. of water per day. Water has the ability to boost your metabolism, cut your snacking habits (if you're dehydrated, your body can interpret it as hunger), can increase your overall energy, and flush out toxins in your body. I spend most of my time slightly dehydrated, and I'm ready to change that. Choose your amount of water and measure it out into a pitcher or some water bottles each morning. That way, you don't have to try to remember how much water you've already drank.

The average person should drink about 64 oz. of water per day. A breastfeeding mom should drink something more like 80-100 oz. of water per day. And, as usual, always drink a little extra if you're in extreme temperatures and/or being more active (workouts, etc.). Don't push yourself to drink till you're bloated; trust how your body feels!

#2: Conquer One Yoga Pose. If you've never done yoga before, no worries. This challenge is about choosing one pose that is a bit hard for you to do and doing it every day for an entire month until you have perfected it. Yoga is best done when you do multiple poses to warm up your muscles before doing your "target" pose, but you may not have time in your busy day for a full sequence. THAT'S OKAY. What I really would like you to do is focus on doing your pose of choice 2-5 times per day. It only takes a few minutes. Try to hold the pose for one full, deep breath - and then lengthen it to more breaths as you progress. I have chosen to do the Crow pose.

If you're looking for some videos, I highly recommend Caroline Williams. Her stuff is fantastic (right now I'm working through her "Hot Mess" series). 

If you want to participate in these challenges with me on IG, use the hashtags #DrinkMoreWaterDare and #ConquerThatPose so I can follow along with your progress! Feel free to tag me as well!

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Your challenges for this month may not be ones that are written down - they may be curveballs thrown at you, things you never imagined would happen. Things you wish would never have happened. That's okay. God gives us strength to face whatever is before us...whether we create those problems, or not. 

I'm creating these challenges for myself because I crave that extra motivation to act. I love seeing progress, being able to document change, and having specific things to do each day. That being said, I have absolutely no idea what this next month will bring for me.

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Because I like being a busy bee, here are a few of my other focuses this month (and I'd love some support and encouragement with these if you have any to offer!):

Post on the blog once a week. I want y'all to have only my best work here on the blog. As easy as it is to throw words at you every day, most of them would end up being filler. So while I am never short on things to say, I need to discipline myself to follow through on a thought and take time presenting it. One post, one thought fleshed out, one idea for you to mull over for the week.

Upping my blog game...By starting a newsletter! This newsletter will begin later this month and will be available for any and all of you, not just moms! I'm so excited for this new development - even if my mother is the only one who reads it. Over the years many of my friends have told me what an encouragement my words - verbal and otherwise - have been to them, and I want to hone this gift that God has given me.

Early Potty Training. There's this thing where babies are a bit more manageable than toddlers when it comes to plunking them on the potty and making them sit still till they pee. I am more than willing to get a head start on this! Learn more about it here and here.

Sign language. Babies have a hard time communicating their wants and needs (which is why they cry all the time). I've chosen to give my baby some communication help by teaching her some simple signs. A lot of signs are similar, so I'm sticking with a few that I know I can be consistent with: milk, more, potty (to go along with the potty training), mommy and daddy, all done, and sleep. One thing to remember with this is to always say out loud the word that you're signing, so that their speech development isn't hindered.

Baby-Led Weaning. This is another "jump the gun" approach, but I love being prepared and planning ahead. Baby girl is nearing 6 months (which is ridiculous) and instead of making my own pureed baby food, I'm going to feed her whole food straightaway. I'm actually really excited about this because it means that I can give her tidbits of the food we're already eating, instead of making special things just for her.

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What would you like to see more of on my blog? Is there a post of mine that stands out to you, and if so, what was the topic? What did you like about it?

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