We have all hit the place of frustration in life where we know that something (anything!) needs to change. It feels like nothing is working. Usually it starts out with just one area. Maybe you get really frustrated about consistency in your routines. Maybe your marriage is on the rocks. Or maybe you struggle with actually doing the things you want to do. Whatever it is, it usually starts with one or two small areas that just aren’t working and you grow in your frustration. Then, the overwhelming thoughts begin. You feel like your life is a mess and you need a complete overhaul.
We all need a reset every once in a while; a fresh start. And I am here to help with that! I have done it many times before and I am sure I will do it many times again. So, when it just feels like your whole life's in ruins, you’re really frustrated, and it feels like nothing is working know that it is time (and it is ok!) to hit the reset button.
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
Why it is important to realize it is ok to feel frustration and overwhelm.
Practical things you can do to give yourself a break and start fresh.
How you can focus in on what the key domino pieces are that are affecting everything around you.
The power of starting with one thing (even if it is small) to see big changes happen in your life.
Mentioned in this Episode:
The holiday season is almost here! Oh my gosh, it can feel super overwhelming but it doesn't have to be that way this year. What if this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids? My course, Merry Little Christmas, will do that for you! It is just $15 and I know that it will help guide you through a simple, yet fun holiday season!
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hey you! I'm so excited to talk to you today. I'm actually in a hotel room right now and it's so quiet compared to my house. Even in my office, it's just loud cause I kind of hear the kids playing and doing things inside the house when I'm recording. And I have a big AC unit out there because it gets really hot and it just is loud and rumbling in the background all the time.
It's so quiet in here, I feel like I'm screaming. I feel like the people in the room next to me are going to start banging on the wall or something just because it's so quiet. I don't know how to talk in this much quiet. It's very weird for me.
And my sound editor is going to have an easy time doing this episode. So that's nice.
We started booking a day in a hotel room once a month so I can get my episodes recorded away from all the chaos and the noise. Away from the kids. And I can just focus and really zoom in on the issues that I want to talk to you about in each episode and just feel at peace, calm and focused and kind of in that mindset just all at once record the month’s episodes.
I'm actually in the hotel room right now recording this episode and November's episodes. So, it's really nice and I just feel…I've been feeling kinda lonely today just in here by myself writing and outlining these episodes and it's really nice to talk to you. So, I feel like I'm just with a friend having coffee.
Anyway, this episode is in October, but it's actually not a part of Allie Reads October. If you're listening to this and you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about, for all the rest of the month of October we did what we called Allie Reads October, and it was basically a month that was meant to inspire you to read more books, grow and dive into a book on a topic that you want to stretch yourself in and grow yourself in.
We introduced a bunch of really cool authors and had some really big names on the show and some not so big names, but people who have a lot to bring to the table and have really cool books out. And it was just really, really fun. I think we'll probably do it every year, but don't quote me on that.
But even though this episode is in October, it's actually not a part of Allie Reads October. I wanted to do just one normal episode for this month and this is something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while and it just hasn't really fit in anywhere, so I'm excited to dive into it today.
But before I do that I wanted to give you guys a little bit of an update on The Purpose Show and kind of an announcement for how things are going moving forward.
I've been talking about this this week on social media, so you may already know, but I've decided to go down to one episode per week on The Purpose Show.
I think a lot of people when they hear this are going to assume that maybe it's all been too much for me and my team, or I'm running out of content or something. I’ve quit a podcast before that I co-hosted with my friend, Kelsey, and even though we came on and we just kind of explained where we were at, what our plans were and that it just wasn't really working anymore and we were going to separate, people love to put drama on any kind of changes like this, I think. But that's actually not the reason that all.
Two episodes a week has been great. It's been really good and it's been really nice to be able to have a lot of time slots to go over the topics I want to go over. I kind of feel like I have this well of unending content in me and I never feel like, “Oh, how do I fill all these spaces?” I never feel like that and I'm grateful for that because I feel like with motherhood there's just unending ideas and things to talk about.
But the real reason that I'm going down to one episode is not something that I'm afraid to share with you at all. There are actually a few reasons, but the main ones are firstly that I have been evolving as a content creator, as a public influencer or whatever annoying title you want to choose to call it. I feel like all the titles that go for what I do are kind of self-involved and irritating and I hate using all of them, but whatever it is you want to call me, I've evolved in that role and just kind of found my footing in podcasting. I really like it.
I really liked that it's me talking. It's my voice. My sarcasm, sense of humor and just my tone and the way that I mean things shows up really well here. It's hard to do that sometimes in writing. I just really enjoy podcasting.
As I've evolved over this last almost year and hosting my own show, I've realized that what I tend to do is give really pointed actionable episodes. It's not really just me sitting down and talking and kind of inspiring you and then walking away. I'm really a blunt and logical person, so when I write episodes, they tend to be really to the point and actionable. I say all the time that I want you to leave here with action steps that are clear to you, that you know exactly what to go and do to kind of get the ball rolling if you're wanting to change this area of your life.
It's really neat because as I've been watching the reviews on my show on itunes...by the way if you love the show, you should leave a review because they're everything for podcasters. And once a month we pick someone who left a review and give them a free course. So, you should go do that on itunes.
Anyway, when I have been searching through the reviews looking for feedback, content ideas and things like that, I noticed a theme. Pretty much everybody says exactly what I just described, that the episodes are really pointed and they give a lot of action steps. People listen to them and then they go and they take action on them. That they're all so great and they love them. They feel like they know exactly what to do to change this area of their life after each episode. And that's so great. But I've been feeling like having an episode come out on Monday and having it be really pointed and actionable, then having another episode just a day later is just a lot.
And you guys know I'm all about being intentional and purposeful and I really would rather have one episode a week that you guys can wait for, be excited about, take in and then have a full week to take real action before the next episode comes out.
I want to provide quality content, not a quantity of content. So I know it's kind of a bummer and a lot of you are going to be sad that there's less episodes, but I promise you with one a week you're going to have more change in your life and you're going to see more of a difference in what I'm saying to you because you're going to have time to go and act on it. You're going to also see a lot more quality in the content itself because my team and I are going to be able to kind of just hone in on one episode a week and really give it our all.
And that's definitely not to say that there won't be bonus episodes. I've been doing bonus episodes all year and maybe there'll be more of them now that there's less regular content. So every once in a while there will be two episodes a week, but just the core content is going down to one episode a week.
We’re sticking to Wednesdays and I think it'll be a really fun way to make your hump day a little bit brighter and I think it's going to be really, really good. I don't want to overwhelm you. I want you to take action.
There are a few other smaller reasons, but that's really been the main drive for me. I really just want to simplify things. For those of you who are business owners, on the business side of it and kind of the back end of running all of this…I mean if you guys aren't super familiar with me, we don't only have the podcast, there's an active blog. I’m working on writing a book next year.
We've got a lot going on in the business. It's very much not just me sitting at a microphone behind, you know, doing the podcast. There's a lot of moving parts and a lot to manage. So, on the back end of things, simplifying down to one episode a week really, really helps streamline our process. Now we can send one email a week letting you know, “Here's the new episode, this is what we're talking about this week. Click here to listen.” We can hone in on everything and just be really, really simplified and easier to manage.
I've been looking for and praying about ways to streamline and simplify all my processes in the business as I close out 2018 and get ready to go into 2019, and all the new and huge things that are coming. Plus, our personal life stuff like our adoption is going to happen, hopefully geez, in 2019. There's just a lot coming. A lot of it is really good and I want to make sure I have space for it.
So, those are all the little reasons that we're going down to one episode a week. It's kind of a unique thing that I'm seeing right now because all I'm seeing everywhere else is people increasing, adding episodes, adding more blog posts, taking a second book deal even though their first book just came out a week ago, and all of these things.
I love growth and I'm always seeking to meet my goals, up level, get better, know better/do better and that whole thing. But, you know, I'm human and I know that I can't up level in every area at the same time. I'm choosing to focus on what I know I'm good at, on what I know works and do my best work in my best places. Then whatever extra room I have for other things, that's fine. So, I think that this is going to make The Purpose Show even more potent and powerful and I hope you agree with me.
Hey friend, can you even believe it? The holiday season is almost here. It's coming! It's crazy that it's already here!
Oh my gosh, this season can so easily feel super overwhelming, not very fun, really stressful, and it just doesn't have to be that way this year. What if, imagine with me for a second, this year the holiday season was just as fun, just as magical and just as exciting for you as a parent, as you’re trying to make it for your kids?
I've put together a little mini course called A Merry Little Christmas and it does just this for you. I created this last year and it's been enrolled in by thousands of moms all over the world and they are loving it. It's coming back this year and here's what it does for you.
It basically will simplify everything about Christmas and the holiday season for you as a mom. You get an aerial view over what you want your Christmas season to look like.
We talk about what your intent is, what's important to you, what your focus will be. We talk about decorating your house with a simplicity mindset and prepping your house for the holidays.
What if your husband wants to go super overboard and doesn't want to simplify the holidays? How do you handle that? How do you transition your kids to a simpler Christmas when they're used to you just going all out? How to make new traditions. How to handle buying your kids presents in the minimalist way? What about relatives and all of their gift giving? How do you handle after Christmas? And a bonus for me is all about decluttering the toys for purposeful play.
This is a really awesome little course. It really packs a punch and it's only $15. So, head to alliecasazza.com/jolly and you can enroll for just $15 and get your holidays started off on the right foot.
Okay. Having said all of that, 10 minutes into this episode, let's dive into the content for today.
So this episode, the whole idea for this was kind of born out of something that I do all the time, which of course a lot of my episodes are, but this is something that I do when I get to a place where it just kind of feels like nothing is working. It's usually not really true, but it kind of feels that way. I think at some point or another we all get there.
Usually it starts out with just one area. Maybe you get really frustrated that you keep not doing what you need to do to change your fitness level. Or maybe you keep not doing what you need to do to stay in your routine. Or maybe it just feels like you're never, ever, ever caught up on the laundry so you kind of have a lack of a laundry routine. Maybe it's that and your marriage is on the rocks. It’s one or two little areas that are just really not working and making you really frustrated.
Then the thoughts start flooding in with all of the areas in your life that are a mess. You feel like you need to change your entire life, like you need a complete overhaul. You need to get away from the kids for like three days and just revamp everything.
Because you feel that stress, you're snappy with the people that are closest to you. You're super frustrated with everyone and everything. This is just the place we get in every once in a while. I would say I probably get there, I don't know, maybe once a year. It's just kind of a part of life, which is why I want to talk about what to do when that happens.
I think it's important to take action and get yourself out of that, use that frustration to leverage yourself out of it.
This, what I'm describing right now, is actually why I created Unburdened. Unburdened is one of my ecourses. It's the one that I talk about way less than Your Uncluttered Home, but it's basically my philosophy of simplicity and minimalism for your life, not just your home, although home is definitely part of it and it's a section in that course.
This is like when you get here, you do kind of need an overhaul. It feels like every single thing is going terribly. It's not. It's usually a few key areas though, so you need to look at your routine. Look at your schedule. Look at how you're spending your time. Look at how your home is functioning. Look at what you're committed to. Look at how your house feels. Look at what is taking up space there, if it's affecting you. It's kind of everything.
The other stuff I talk about in my course Your Uncluttered Home is all just for home. The A-Z of getting minimalistic in your physical space.
But what about when everything else gets like that? What about when you just feel like you have no routine? Everything's a mess. Life just feels like this massive hurricane that you're surviving, gripping onto something and holding on through instead of enjoying, living and thriving in.
What about when everything else needs minimalism, everything else in your life?
I'll link to Unburdened, by the way, if you guys are wanting to get in there. It's a smaller course and it's a lower price than Your Uncluttered Home.
But let's dive into a little bit about what to do when you get to a place like this.
So, when it just feels like your whole life needs an overhaul, you're really frustrated and it feels like nothing is working, the first thing you need to do, step one, is you need to realize that it's not all true.
You're doing a lot of things right. Okay? I need you to focus on the grace and on the good. If you're listening to this and you're in this season right now, (even if you're not, you should do this anyway) I want you to just take a second and think right now of three things that you're doing right.
Maybe everything kind of feels messy and your marriage is not on the rocks, like your marriage is going well. Maybe you've been really connecting with one of your kids lately and that feels really good to you. You've been doing a really good job of understanding them and responding better to their behavior instead of what you normally do.
Maybe you're super caught up on the dishes or the laundry and that is going well. Maybe you've been being more intentional with how often you're on your phone.
Think about something that's going right. Even if it's small. Even if this morning you ate a healthy breakfast instead of your usual bagel and cream cheese. Even if it's small, just think about some of the things that you're doing right. Because there are things.
It's not totally true that everything is a giant frigging mess. It's just a feeling of total frustration and overwhelm.
And I like to describe it like this. The things that are going on in your life are all domino pieces, so your life is like dominoes, and when one or two or a few dominoes get knocked over, it affects all the rest of the pieces and they all fall, right?
So, if you feel like you have a lack of routine in one area, you've been making poor choices in another area and one of your relationships feels really sloppy, those three things are key things that are going to affect everything else.
Imagine this. Have you ever noticed that maybe if you feel like you're really behind in one area, and you kind of feel gross, overweight and blah because you've been making poor diet choices lately, like those two things - you feeling kind of gross and a part of your life really lacking routine - will affect your marriage or your intimacy with your husband. That's because of the domino effect. Okay?
So, realize that it's not totally true. Not everything is messy. It just feels that way. There are a lot of things you’re doing right and you’re feeling the effects of a few dominoes falling over and affecting all the other ones. You feel totally frustrated and overwhelmed. I think that can help put that into perspective. So that's step one.
Step two is get out a journal, or my favorite way to do this is the notes app in my iphone. I use my notes app for all brain dump things. I just did this recently. I made a list of what's not working.
After you address the things that are working, the things that you're doing right, and you get a little bit positive, go ahead and go to that frustrating place and focus on what's not working. What are the key domino pieces that are affecting everything else? Now remember not to get super hard on yourself and make a list of every single thing ever. Like, “Oh I don't floss. I don't dress well enough. I hate everything in my closet. I hate my hair color.” Just focus on the key things that are affecting everything.
For example, you’re not feeling good. You don't feel good because you've been eating really bad. You've been eating a lot of takeout. You haven't been cooking as much because your family has been busy. Your skin is broken out. Your jeans are tight and it's just making you feel like crap. So there's one.
Maybe the second one is your kitchen is always a mess and you just feel like there's no routine around doing the dishes, sweeping up and just getting your house to feel put together. So, you're lacking a home routine.
Maybe one of your kids is just really acting out and you feel super distant from them and their behavior is really affecting your day. So maybe that's one.
And then maybe you've got like 17 loads of laundry to do and it's just really overwhelming and you feel like you're never caught up.
Those are some key domino pieces that are affecting your life. So just make a list. What's not working?
Then after you make that list, go in and underneath each thing you put on your list, put some possible solutions. Here's the key with this: You're not writing down, “Here's my solution. Here's what I'm going to do.” You're not doing that. You're writing down possible solutions.
So, let's just say that you have no routine when it comes to meals, when it comes to serving your family, and this is one of your key domino pieces. Some possible solutions would be checking out a meal service like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. Maybe you decide that you work at home and you always seem to skip lunch, get really cranky, feel really sick and then you binge eat later. So maybe you'll set up having lunch delivered by Uber Eats or Seamless or you know, get a college kid that's wanting to be a personal assistant and deliver your lunch for you. I'm just being creative. But you have solutions. You're just throwing out possible solutions.
Again, this doesn't mean you're going to do this. It doesn’t mean you're immediately going to do all this. You might, that would be great, but you're just throwing out possible solutions. When you do this, it gets your brain going and you leave frustrated-victim mode and you get into problem solving-awesome-be-a-mom mode. And that's where we want to be, right?
Maybe another thing that you brainstorm is not stressing out less about the content of a dinner, like how Paleo it is or how Keto it is, and just get Blue Apron, get Hello Fresh, and just start making something. Just see if I can make cooking happen in the middle of this busy season that we're in.
So yeah, you're just brainstorming solutions. I'm out of brainstorming solutions for this specific problem because it's not my actual problem right now. But you can see where I'm going with this.
Let's get back to the health example just because this is on my mind right now. I was just talking to a friend about it yesterday. Let's say that you’re feeling unhappy. You feel blah. You have no energy. Your jeans are feeling a little snug. You just don't feel good. You’re not yourself. So, let’s brainstorm solutions for that, if that's one of your key domino pieces.
Maybe you can say, okay, let's look at my schedule. I want to do some form of movement or exercise for 30 minutes, four days a week. I need to start work at 9:00, so I'm going to get up at 6:45 every morning. Instead of just waking up to the noise of my kids and starting my day accidentally, I'm going to set my alarm for 6:45 and take a walk, do Pilates or yoga, or go to the gym or whatever for 30 minutes, four mornings a week, and we're going to make it Monday through Thursday. And that's that.
Let's say you have some plans. So, Monday you're going to use your Nike App and go for a run. Tuesday, you're going to do yoga from YouTube. Wednesday you're going to go for a brisk walk. Thursdays you're going to go to the gym or do Pilates in your living room or whatever it is. You come up with a detailed plan. You're just brainstorming solutions
Remember we're exiting frustrated-victim-mode and entering problem solving-be a-mom mode. Just keep brainstorming. Don't let perfectionism or little hurdles get in the way of getting out of this place.
Let's say another thing you brainstorm is “I'm going to download an app and start keeping track of what I'm putting into my body each day.” So, you brainstorm that and you download My Fitness Pal or something similar and you start tracking your food, just getting more intentional and mindful about watching what you're eating.
Maybe you set an alarm on your phone for 7:30 and you say, “7:30 p.m. This is when I cut off. I'm not gonna just graze and eat mindlessly at night anymore after the kids go to bed.”
Maybe you try something new, like a certain diet or something that's been attractive to you that you want to just try and see how you feel. Maybe you set some alerts in your phone to go off that remind you to drink water. Maybe you cut the cream out of your coffee. Maybe you do Whole 30 for a month. Whatever it is.
Sometimes when I'm identifying the problems, they'll get more specific. Like, I’ll identify, “Okay, well I'm not feeling good and I'm not eating well, but really the main problem is my nighttime snacking problem.” So what are some solutions for that. Stop. Thank. Write down what you're feeling. What might be the reason that I want to eat right now? Because the kids went to bed. It's quiet. I'm bored. I'm downloading the emotions of the day and I'm reaching for food.
Maybe you set a strict bedtime, you're going to go to bed at 10:00 every night. Maybe you're going to make sure that you eat more dinner and have more protein in your dinner so you're not actually hungry. Maybe you have a big thing of lemon water at night or make yourself a turmeric latte at night so that you're enjoying something and you're not feeling like you need something.
Maybe you go for a walk at night instead of eating. Maybe you ditch the junk food in your house. Maybe you decided I'm not going to have any alcohol in the house. I'm going to only have alcohol on date night with my husband. Things like that.
You're brainstorming out the problems. I'm sorry if that was way too many examples. I'm just trying to get as specific as I can and brainstorm out all the possible solutions in my example so that you see what I'm doing. You're just listing this all on your notes app on your iphone, or your journal, or your Google Doc, or whatever it is. It doesn't matter.
You're brainstorming it all out. What am I going to do? What could possibly help me with this? This is not your to do list. It's just, “Okay, here's one of the key dominoes that's a problem. It's affecting all the other dominoes in my life. What are the possible solutions here?” And you're just brain dumping that all out.
So next, after you've done all that, you kind of get out like what could possibly help me here, you're going to start with one thing. You're going to look at your notes on the changes that might help you and you're going to pick one thing.
Like…okay, it is really bothering me that I am never caught up on the laundry so I'm going to minimize or get rid of the stuff that we don't really need. The clothes that are just unnecessary and just getting into the laundry because they exist. We're going to narrow things down to a simplified wardrobe for each member of my family. And then I'm going to do one load of laundry every morning after I do five loads of laundry tonight. So, I'm going to stay up a little late. I'm going to watch The Office, do a few loads of laundry, fold them and put them away. And thereafter I'm going to do one load of laundry every morning while I have my morning coffee.
That's a small, simple change that’s going to get you out of this frustration mode and into some action.
Or going back to the health analogy, I just set an alarm to stop eating at 7:30 at night and a reminder to take a walk. I got all the ingredients to make a yummy turmeric latte so that I feel like I'm enjoying something and I'm not needing to have a snack.
Side note, the turmeric latte thing is a real idea that I did for myself. It really helped me. I've shared my struggles with overeating and emotional binge eating and this was something that's really helped me. I go back to it often. I don't have it every single night all the time, but it's something that I really enjoy and it really helped me with my late night snacking. I will link to that recipe for you guys. It's from Nutrition Stripped and it's really yummy. So, I’ll link to that for you guys since I've mentioned it so much in this episode.
So, you just start with one thing and you go from there. Okay? The key to taking action is to set reminders. Where are you during your day? Do you use Google calendar? Do you look at your fridge, your mirror? Put a Post-it Note, set a reminder, or make your phone go off to remind you, whatever it is to do the thing that you're setting out to do.
And I want you to take this last little thing from me in this episode and I really want you to say it over and over and over again to yourself, and I want you to really feel the power, the freedom, and truth in this: This new day, this brand new day - even if it's nighttime right now - this day, this new day, can really be the first day of the rest of your life. The beginning of the new you.
It's only a mundane day. It's only like, “Um, another episode. Yeah, I could totally change that. Whatever,” it's only mundane and pointless if you let it be. That choice is in your hands. You can make this day exactly what you want it to be and that is really a powerful truth.
Today can be the day that you remember was the first day that you started acting different. That you started making changes. That you pulled yourself out of the ditch and started acting like the new version of yourself. The one that takes action, that isn't perfect, but they see the problems, they see their frustration, and they exit victim mode and enter problem-solving mode. That choice is in your hand every single day and that is so amazing and incredible. Really soak that up and take the freedom in that. You can make this whatever you want it to be. It's only mundane if you allow it to be.
So, I hope this was encouraging. I hope this was actionable and that you can go and start to problem solve, take action and remember that you don't have to be the victim. You really don’t. It's all up to you. It doesn't matter who did what or who is currently doing what. You don't have to be the victim unless you choose to be, so go! Take this new day, take action and let this be the first day of the new you of the rest of your life. Go problem-solve what is weighing you down.
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!