intentional living

Ep 042: The Importance of An Evening Routine

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What you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. I'm telling you, it's not about you personality type. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day, so you can handle what the rest of the day throws at you. So why wouldn't you want to set yourself up for success, right?

It's really important to make all your routines work for you and your life. What works for someone else may not work for you. I hope that through hearing what my (very flexible) evening routine looks like, you find what works for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How an evening routine will help ease your morning routine.

  • The importance of making your routine work for you and your life. Don’t feel pressured to copy what works for someone else, because it may not work for you!

  • What a general evening routine looks like in the Casazza house.

  • Simple decisions you can make during your evening routine that will help relieve stress for the next day (What to wear, how to do your hair, when to work out, etc.)

  • How to create your own evening routine.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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WANT TO SET YOUR MORNING UP FOR SUCCESS?

What you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. I'm telling you, it's not about you personality type. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. I created a FREE guide to help you figure out what you can get done during your evening routine so you can make the next day easier! And you know I am all about making my days easier! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! I am going to be talking about having an evening routine in this episode.

I personally think that the morning routine has the most impact. I guess I feel like it's the most important thing when it comes to your routines, because no matter what happens at night, you can always start over tomorrow. Also, for the current place I am in my life, a lot of the time evenings just don't go exactly as planned, and a lot of the time it’s because I'm exhausted. There was a lot going on. I'm running a company and homeschooling. I find that mornings are more in my control.

I've heard some people say the opposite and I used to feel the opposite, so I really think it's just about where you're at in your life. But what you do in the evening definitely affects how your morning goes. So why wouldn't you want to set yourself up for success, right?

It's not that I don't have an evening routine or anything; it's just that I'm really, really big and really rigid with my morning routine. My evening routine is becoming more rigid, but it's definitely something that will ebb and flow a little bit more than a morning routine.

But I've been asked about what our evening routine looks like a lot of times. We do have one, so I'm definitely going to open up and share what that will look like with you today. And then also I am going to get into a little bit at the end of what you can do to create your own evening routine.

This is one of those things where, depending on what type of learner you are, it really helps to look at this on paper and write it out for yourself. I put together a free download for you. You can fill it out on your computer or print it out, depending on your preference. It has a checklist of what an evening routine can do for you and also has some space with prompts to help you brainstorm out loud with yourself what your routine should be. Because everybody's life is different.

And that's the other thing I wanted to say before diving in. I think it's really important to make all your routines work for you and your life. You have a different schedule than I do. You have different things on your plate than I do. You're in a different season of life than I am most likely. But I think it can help to see what someone else is doing and then to copy some things and gain inspiration from other things. I always liked to learn this way, by hearing what someone else does, because it gets the wheels turning for me and helps me find a place, a jumping off point, of what to do for my own self.

Let's dive in. I am going to share what our families’ typical evening routine looks like.

Our evening routine starts after dinner. After we eat dinner - whether we got takeout, cooked a big meal from scratch, or we just ate leftovers, whatever it looks like - after we eat dinner, we start with meal cleanup and the evening routine keeps unfolding from there.

One thing that's important to note is that everybody in our family helps. When our kids were very, very small babies and really, really little toddlers it wasn't this way, but we also didn't really have a super rigid evening routine at that point. It was like survival mode. Now that we have a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old, a six-year-old and a three-year-old, things are different.

Our evening routine starts with cleanup. Everybody pitches in. Even Emmett, the youngest, helps pick things up. (For those of you with really little ones, it gets better and you're not always going to be the one doing everything.). So, like I said, we start with our meal cleanup - dishes (dishes are the kids’ job, I don’t do that anymore, which is amazing) or utensils or throwing away packages if we got takeout that night - whatever it is.

And then general pickup, wiping things down, going through the house and doing a general cleanup. I've shared before that we have a few different times in a day where we do a once-over of the house a 5/10-minute clean sweep because we're a home all the time.

Brian and I work from home and run the business from home. We have a home office. We even work out at home; we've got a gym in the garage. We homeschool the four kids. We're home all the time and there's a lot happening in our house.

For those of you who don't work at home, or homeschool, you don't realize how much mess and life is happening outside of your home when are doing the typical job and school thing. When everything is happening at home, it makes for a lot more mess, so we definitely have normal times of picking up throughout the day. I like to center those around meals, so pretty much every time we eat a meal or the kids will get a snack around 10:30 in the morning. Anytime there's food involved, we'll say, “Hey, I’m setting a timer for five minutes. Everybody pick up what you see,” and everyone picks up.

But at night it's a big, “Okay, let's get the house cleaned up for the next day.” It's mainly the kitchen, the floors, things that might have slipped under the couch, or been set down by Emmett that should have been put away, our entryway and our bathrooms.

It's not like we've got cleaning supplies out and we're wiping down the baseboards, detailing the bathrooms or anything. It's just a pick up. I'm straightening things up so that we're starting the next day with a clean slate. After the kitchen, the dishes are done, the kitchen is wiped down and general pickup is done, we also do the downstairs bathroom one more time.

That bathroom takes a hit, let me tell you. There's a man and three boys in this house and I'm singling them out because I don't care what you say, they are messier than girls. It's the main bathroom. It’s the only bathroom downstairs. If guests are over or if Emmett has to go potty, his little special potty seat that goes on top of the regular toilet seat is in there. There's a lot going on. I definitely, definitely give it a wipe down every time I'm in there because it's always taking a beating.

So, we give the downstairs bathroom a wipe down, switch out the hand towel with a fresh one, and give it another once over to make sure it looks good before we head upstairs.  

Once that's all done then we head upstairs and it's time to get the kids ready for bed with showers, baths, and brush their teeth. For showers and baths, Emmett in particular always needs a bath. He needs a bath every day. If we ever do skip it it’s because we were out and he fell asleep and it's past bedtime and he just goes in bed, but he pretty much needs a bath every single day. He's very dirty. He's just a really wild little guy. He's constantly climbing under things and getting into stuff and he's just a dirty little guy.

Usually, though, I have the older kids on an every other day rotation. Bella will shower while the younger two bathe. And then the next day, Leland will shower while Emmett bathes. Everyone's getting cleaned every other day and that works for us, for where we're at right now. We'll see what happens when they're teenagers and we’ve got all that going on.

The kids use my bathroom. Although we have two bathrooms upstairs, they use my bathroom because our tub is amazing and huge. I put them in there and then I can clean our bathroom. It doesn’t usually need it very much, but I'll run the Swiffer Vac and pick up any hairs that fall on the floor. That’s one of my pet peeves. It's super gross to me when there's hair on the bathroom floor. I'll wipe down the counters. Sometimes we'll get into the cabinets and do a little purge, make sure everything looks okay. It's something productive to do while the kids are getting clean.

If the bathroom is fine, I will fold that load of laundry that I started early that morning if I haven't gotten it done yet. Like I shared in the laundry episode (which I'll link to in the show notes) I start a load of laundry in the morning and then by the time I go to bed that night it is dried, folded and put away. That’s how I stay on top of the laundry.

After all the showering and bathing, laundry or bathroom cleanup is done, the kids get ready for bed. We do teeth and all that.

Then usually we choose tomorrow’s clothes so that it's one less decision in the morning. The kids like to get themselves dressed. I don't care if they match perfectly all the time unless we are going somewhere where it matters. I'll let them choose their outfits. Then we get ready to get tucked in. Story, prayers, conversation, catch up over the day.

Sometimes I'll feel like one kid in particular maybe had a rough day. Maybe they just couldn't get things right, were in trouble a lot, or felt a little disconnected. Then I'll go in there and specifically spend a few extra minutes with them and help get their hearts back where it belongs with me. Speak life over them, pray with them, and whatever's needed there.

Honestly a lot of the time this kind of gets skipped over. We always pray with them, but sometimes it's just been a day and I just need to be alone, so we'll skip the story and just pray together and talk about the day real quick. And then it's “good night” and lights out.

But usually we do spend time at bedtime and it's a really sweet time.

The younger kids go to bed at eight. The older kids go to bed at nine. We have that difference of time and usually, though, everyone's in their room. I'll say goodnight to the older two, even though they’re not going to sleep yet. They usually go together in Bella's room and read books, talk a little bit, or build Lego's quietly. They have this unwinding time for about 45 minutes to an hour before it's time for them to go to bed. Then Leland will go into the boys' room, with his brother already asleep, and climb up to the top bunk and go to bed at his bedtime and Bella will stay in her room and go to sleep at her bedtime too.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home, calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

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Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Once the kids are in bed, Brian and I will either finish anything that's lingering in the house if for some reason there's still something left over that needs to be done.

Every once in a while the workload will get really heavy, especially during launches. When there's a launch in our business, it means that we're releasing something new or something not new, but that's been closed. Some of my courses are not available all the time. Maybe they've been closed for months and then we'll reopen it. Different weeks like that in the business are a lot heavier workload. Sometimes the house just gets a little extra behind during those times because we're both working and balancing school, and things get behind for those 5-10 days, depending on the launch.

Sometimes we need to finish up some things in the house or the business. Sometimes we'll pull out our laptops and just sit on the couch together, have a glass of wine and talk, play music and wrap up any work.

But usually we're pretty done and all the stuff during the day has been done. Usually it's very rigid and the same, where we work in the morning and then we balance school. Brian does science, math and history, and I'll do language arts, reading and creative writing and all that with the kids in the afternoon.

Typically, we're all done with everything and we will sit and spend time together, watch Netflix. On Sunday nights, we have our weekly meeting where we go over everything together. So, it just depends on what night it is and what's going on in our lives during that month.

Before I go to bed I usually pick out what I'm going to wear the next day again, just because it's reducing morning decisions. I've shared before - and I feel like it always sounds a little dramatic, but I'm just being honest - I'm really, really an introvert. Dealing with decisions, people, and expelling energy, really has an effect on me. I have to be really, really careful with my energy levels and my emotional wellbeing. I've learned that I am kind of a sensitive person in that way. I have noticed since I turned 30 (I'm 31 now) I really started to just become “okay” with that about myself. I'm just careful with myself.

I try to make as many decisions as I can the night before, so that I start the morning out really well, not having to make a bunch of decisions and things like “What am I going to do with my hair? What am I going to wear? Am I going to work out this morning or not?”

They might seem trivial or like they don't matter, but they are decisions and those kinds of things just drain all my energy. The last thing I want is to make decisions, a bunch of decisions, in the morning and kind of dive into my day, and then before I even really start my work day, I'm already depleted. That's happened before and it's a bad feeling. So, I like to pick out what I'm going to wear the next day and sit it on top of my dresser.

I set my alarm. I make sure that my Bible, my journal, a pen and whatever book I'm currently reading is laid out for me downstairs in the area where I have my quiet time.

I also put my exercise clothes right by the toilet in my bathroom because when my alarm goes off I always get straight out of bed to avoid sleeping in. I go pee and then I will slip on my workout clothes before I head downstairs just because it helps wake me up a little bit more when I'm out of it.

Then I'm ready for Pilates later in the morning, which is a part of my morning ritual most days.

That's pretty much it. I usually go to bed around 10, but it just depends. This past week I have been extra tired. I don't know if you have your husband or kids around, so sorry if you do, but during PMS I am always really extra tired and I just listen to my body during those times. In the morning when I'm doing Pilates, I'll usually choose “stretch” workouts versus “feel the burn” workouts. I listen to my body and just stretch it out, do lots of breathing. It's definitely more like yoga than Pilates during that week. And then I'll go to bed really early.

Actually, as I'm recording this, last week was “that week” for me. I was really tired. I really listened to my body. I hydrated a ton. I didn't have a drink on date night. I'll usually have a drink on date night or a glass of wine here and there at home during the week. I didn't have anything extra. I loaded my body up with water and ate really healthy food choices, even though I wanted to eat junk because “PMS” and I just went to bed really early every night.

I was so tired. One night I went to bed at 7:30. I don't know what it was other than just that PMS time. I was just so exhausted. I've really learned to listen to my body. I'm definitely more of a night owl by nature. I've talked so much about that before. I still feel that tendency. To me, staying up till 10:00/10:30 when I get up so early, is staying up late. When I'm rhythmically getting up early, I can't stay up later than that. It's really hard for me. I don't enjoy it anymore.

I enjoy my quiet time when the kids are in bed. I still get that time with Brian. I can watch Netflix and be alone. If I want to get something done, I can. I can still get that time, but just every once in a while, I don't want it. I'm so tired and I just want to go to sleep.

So, that was last week for me. It just depends. I really believe in listening to your body if you can. If there's not stuff that you have to do, listen to what your body needs and just go to bed if you're tired.

But I will say my evening routine is huge for me because it helps me. It helps me want to wake up in the morning. That leads me into my next section of this episode, which is how you can create your evening routine.

I encourage you to get the free download that comes with this episode. It's Your Simplified Evening Routine. It's a free download. It's really straightforward and it's going to help spell this out for you so you can work through it on your own, instead of just listening to this.

But the biggest thing is to think about what's going to set you up for a successful morning. What do you need to get done before your day gets going? Is there anything that you could do at night instead of using your morning time for it?

I used to get up in the morning and find my workout clothes, get my workout shoes on, look for socks, put deodorant on, groggily go downstairs and then not really know where anything was. I didn't want to be fumbling through drawers trying to find my Bible or trying to find my headphones so I could listen to my audio book. I didn't want the kids to wake up. It made me not want to get out of bed.

To get out of bed at 5:00/5:45/6:00 in the morning, whatever time you wake up, it takes a lot. I do get up usually pretty early. I get up between 5:00-5:45 every morning, depending on the need, how much time I want in the morning and what time I go to bed. And that takes a lot.

And so, I need to want to get out of bed. What's going to do that for you? For me, waking up and making decisions, searching for things, scrambling, that's not going to make me want to get out of bed in the morning. I think that is the biggest misconception about waking up early, that people are not setting themselves up for a morning where they're excited to get up for what's going to get you up.

For me, it’s having that quiet time when the kids are asleep or at least they're upstairs, because we have that boundary set where they need to be in their room playing until it's time for breakfast. They don't decide when my day starts. I decide when my day starts. I decide when their breakfast is served too.

Having that parental boundary, I know that I'm going to get that quiet time. I know that I'm going to get to read. I'm going to be in the Word. I'm going to get time to pray. I'm going to be able to take a walk. I'm going to be able to read a book for 20 minutes uninterrupted. Are you kidding me? That's amazing. Of course, I'll get up for that.

So just write it all out. What would you love to do? What do you need to get done at night to give yourself that gift of a great morning? And again, like I said, what's going to help you look forward to the morning?

For me, another thing is knowing that I'm going to wake up to a clean house, an empty kitchen sink, a cozy space with a blanket, my books, and journal waiting for me to have alone time in the morning and that early morning “quiet” is huge. So, I set myself up for that.

I have a blanket that I got at Target, just like a throw blanket. It's my favorite blanket in the house. I have it slung over the arm of the couch downstairs in the front room where I sit and have my quiet time every morning. It's waiting for me.

I get my mug out and I set it next to my coffee machine. I put a fresh coffee pod in there as well. All I have to do is push the button in the morning. I lay out my workout clothes. I have the house picked up. The bathrooms are clean. Things are put away and picked up. The kitchen sink is empty. The kitchen is sparkling white, clean and ready for a fresh day.

There have definitely been times where I have skipped it and for some reason or another it didn't get done. Maybe people were sick or I was just too exhausted and I chose to go to bed and neglect that. Life happened. It really sucks and I totally, totally feel the difference in my entire day. It’s not just like, “Oh, what a bummer. I woke up to a dirty house.”

It's that my morning didn't get off to the right start and that affects my mood, my mentality and what I do in my morning time. It affects the whole day. It's like a domino effect.

This really matters. I'm telling you, it's not about being Type A because I am for sure Type B. It's about setting yourself up for success, for joy. It’s about giving yourself the gift of a good solid start to the day, so you can handle what the rest of the day throws at you.

If your kid throws up on the way to your doctor appointment. If a kid is playing baseball in the front yard and they break your window. If you get a call that changes everything. If you just end up having a crappy day and nothing really bad happens, at least you had a great morning.

At least you gave yourself that “center time.” And the evening is that catalyst for that great morning.

So, go to the show notes for this episode. It's alliecasazza.com/shownotes/42 and get yourself that free download.

Sit, knowing all of this, having listened to this episode and just work through that free download. Get your own simplified evening routine because it really does matter.

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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!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 041: 10 Things I've Done to Simplify My Life

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Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are. And once you decide what is most important, you will naturally experience a more simplified life. What matters most? What can you remove from your plate? What is no longer serving you and your family well? These are all great questions that you can think through to help simplify your life. I am excited to share with you the 10 things I have done to simplify my life and how they have impacted me, my family, and my business.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How prioritizing what is important to you brings simplicity to your life.

  • The power of saying “no” even when it is difficult.

  • How having boundaries in order is such an act of simplification.

  • Why alone time is healthy, no matter if you are extrovert or introvert.

  • The ways established routines encourage simplicity.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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WANT TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME?

You buy stuff with your time, not just your money. Less clutter equals less stress and more time. It's as simple as that! Your Uncluttered Home is my most popular, globally-praised decluttering course, designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they clean up after it. It's truly the A-Z of minimalism - every room, every area of your house, totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist mama who's able to be a lot more present for what matters most. This truly is the ultimate when it comes to my philosophy and implementing it into your own life. 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey, beautiful! Welcome to The Purpose Show.

I don't know if this is your first time listening or if you've been a faithful listener from the beginning, but either way I want to say that I'm really glad that you're here! I’m really glad you're listening and I believe you're listening for a reason. I'm happy to spend this time with you.

This episode is all about things that I've done to simplify my life. I sat down with the idea for this episode and I started to write what are some things that I've done, some things that I've put into practice that have simplified my life and really made a difference.

I'm all about asking the question: What can I remove from my plate in the different areas of my life? What has to be done by me? What do I want to be done by me? What's dragging me down? Is it necessary that it drags me down? Is it just a part of life?

Is there a way that I could learned to enjoy this more? Is there a way I could learn to do this more efficiently? Is this serving my family? Is this serving someone else in a positive way? What is going on with each area of my life?

I think that's how you really get intentional.

I sat down and wanted to come up with the list of the things that I've done to bring in simplicity. I ended up coming up with 10 things, which is perfect because all the articles that you see floating around out there, especially the ones that go viral are “10 things to do this, 10 things I've done that did this,” and I always wonder, “Do they sit down until they came up with 10 things or what?”

I always feel I come up with awkward numbers (8 Times That I Was A Great Mom) but this time I really did come up with 10. Perfect. Let's dive in. The first thing that I would say came to my mind about things that I've done to simplify my life is I decided what's most important to me. I would encourage you to do this and to keep your list to 5 or less things.

Life is crazy and chaotic. Sometimes you need to come back to what matters most, but you've got to know what those things are. For me, my list is broken down into relationships because really that's what each area of life breaks down to is your relationship with your priorities.

It's my relationship with God, my relationship with myself, my relationship with my husband, Brian, my relationship with my children and my relationship with my business.

And frankly that's about the order that it's in. The reason that I have it in that order is, well, first of all, God. Not to be cliché, but really He is my most important relationship. And I'll be honest and say sometimes my actions may not reflect that. But in my heart of hearts, that's what's most important to me. That's the relationship that deserves the top priority. And if I feel like my actions are not aligned with that statement, I know that I need to make some changes and some shifts. And I will and I do. That's a constant fine-tuning of sorts.

Controversially, I put myself next instead of my relationship with my husband. I don't know if that's right or wrong, perfect or flawed, or what, but that decision came out of a lot of reflection and a lot of learning in my twenties. I just recently turned 31, so, I’m no  old sage or anything, thankfully.

But I will say that in my almost 11 years of being married to Brian, being a mother and “growing up,” I've learned that if I don't prioritize myself first, I'm kind of a terrible wife, mother, person, friend, sister and daughter, and all the roles that I fall into because I'm an introvert. The way the Lord made me is beautiful and incredible. But it's human. It's flawed. And if I don't prioritize myself and take care of myself at least a little bit, I don't perform well. I don't feel good. I'm snappy. I'm cranky. I'm short-tempered.

Of course, there are times where I feel like that and I've got to suck it up and be a decent person. Do my job. Get through my day. Be a nice wife. Say nice things. Hold back from saying something rude, unhelpful or cutting. But my point is, after my relationship with the Lord, my relationship with myself is important in that I need to make sure that I'm taking care of myself.

I put my husband first in a lot of ways. But all in all, I will say that I will make sure that I carve out a little bit of “me time” before I carve out a little bit of “marriage time,” if that is what it comes down to, it often does not.

I hope I'm getting my point across that I have to take care of myself so that I can be a better wife, a better mom, more available, more patient, kinder, able to respond and be mindfully present for my husband and for my children.

The order doesn't matter as much as you saying what your priorities are.

Friends and family are very important to me, but they're definitely on the outer rings of my life. Not the center ring. They don't come before that other list.

That doesn't mean that I'm selfish. That doesn’t mean that I’m money hungry because my business is on the other list first or anything like that. It just means my relationship with God first, and I've got to take care of myself. I have to make sure that I'm having some quiet time. That I feel OK. That I have taken a shower. That I take a second to myself. That I’m not feeling anxious or like I am lacking something. That I am just not doing good and not able to function. That my marriage is healthy. That my relationship with my kids is going well, or at least it's been taken care of and that I put time into.

My relationship with my business is so important because my business is not just a business. It's my passion. It’s really a ministry of sorts. It is so important and it is my family's livelihood.

When it comes down to it sometimes (a lot of the time actually) I do have to prioritize my business and my work above having coffee with a friend who's going through a hard time. Every once in a while it just comes down to it.

But usually - because I'm an entrepreneur, I work from home and I've got an amazing team behind me to carry the load of the day-to-day stuff - I can say, “You know what, I'm not going to work today. I'm going to finish up school with the kids and I'm going to go ahead and have lunch with my friend because she needs me.” I do that all the time.

But when I'm writing out my priorities, when I am writing out what really matters, that's kind of where my list is. I think it can be really daunting to come up with that list, but I think you should do it. And they think it's important.

If my feelings about a relationship with my main people and my business are suffering, something's going to have to give, because those are my priorities. So that's one thing that I have done to simplify my life is: I called out and said “what is most important to me?” And I made that decision prayerfully and thoughtfully over time.

I've got that list. I know I can come back to it if I'm feeling a little lost, overwhelmed or burdened by all the things. I can come back and look and say, “OK, what are my priorities? What needs to be top of the heap here in this situation?”

Although it can be daunting at first, once I did it, once I decided what's most important to me in my life, it simplified my life. It simplified my decisions. And it simplified a lot of things because my calendar reflects those priorities. My heart reflects those priorities and the way that I make decisions and say “yes” and “no” to things reflect those priorities. So, simplified my life a lot.

Another thing that I did to simplify my life is I learned to say “No.” Learning to say “no” can be so difficult for some people. It is not super difficult for me. It depends on the circumstance. There are some things that I feel like, “Oh, my heart goes out to the situation. I want to say yes, I want to be there to help.”

I am really passionate about giving. I'm getting a little personal here, but in the first year of my business our family was America's version of poverty. It was really, really, really bad. (If you want to hear our story, you can listen to episode six of this podcast.) We came around to the other side. Our business was thriving and went as a business from zero to seven figures in 18 months. It was so exciting and crazy. I have always been passionate about giving and helping others and my difficult financial experiences in my life with my husband definitely fueled that fire.

I became even more passionate about giving and wanting to do good things with this money. I got a little bit too gung-ho about giving and gave away too much to where it was like, “Oh crap, now we don't really have a safety net here.” We probably should have put a little bit more away because that’s what you want to do. I have a hard time saying “no” when it seems good, when something seems charitable, when it seems like it's going to help somebody else.

I definitely think that sometimes self care and prioritizing your own family can turn selfish. I think sometimes it could turn into you're not really “looking outside of your own bubble.” I never want to get to that point. It's such a hard balance. I really think it's got to be some kind of gut check that you have with your own self and a “heart thing” that you're watching and prayerfully keeping watch over I guess, and asking the Lord to point out to you if you've gone too far one way or the other.

In this case, with the money thing, I had gone too far. Too much charity, not enough being careful, wise and a good steward. I wanted to give back after I felt like we had had to take so much and we weren't able to help at all.

I've since learned to say “no” and to be wise. I'm not talking about just with money - that was just in one small example - but in little things like volunteering for something or having coffee with a friend, sometimes you just need to say “no.”

Sometimes it's not a good idea. It's not wise. It's not a moment to be giving. It's a moment to be wise is in the way of, “I know what my family needs today and this isn't gonna work for us.”

There's a lot of talk, from me as well, about self-care and having time away, taking care of yourself, having girls’ nights, going to get a Mani-Pedi every once- in-a-while. That's so great. But sometimes it's the opposite and while this girl's night that I just got invited to is so fun and a great idea, it's a really bad week for me to leave my family and do that. It's going to end up not serving me and actually stressing me out. You may need to say “no.”

I've got a blog post about saying “no” and I'll link to it in the show notes for you guys. It has really simplified my life to have that skill to know how to graciously say “No, I can't do that right now.”

Unapologetically having your boundaries in order is such an act of simplification and it's a habit that will serve you well.

The third thing that I have done to simplify my life is I turned off the things that distract me from my life. I'm talking about Facebook, phone notifications, all those types of things. There's recently been a podcast episode about that and I'll link to that in show notes for you guys as well. It's literally called “Phone Settings For A Present Life” and that is exactly what it is. How to physically set up your phone to stop beeping to you and distracting you from your actual life. It’s so funny, especially being a blogger, there's this pull and this almost expectation to share every moment and to not actually enjoy very many of them.

I feel like I have struck a really great balance of sharing plenty, sharing the fun stuff, the silly stuff, the serious stuff, the family moments, the business moments, the processes behind the scenes, but also really not feeling like I always have my phone. I found that balance I feel like. And I'm really happy with the balance I've struck. I want you to feel like that too. Turn off the things that distract you from your life.

I do not have the Facebook app on my phone. Facebook is on my computer and I can log in and do what I need to do there for work or pleasure or whatever. And then I'm done. It's not carried around with me all day long. I don't think it should be.

Your texts, your phone calls, your social media app alerts. All those things are only in the way how much you let them be in the way. I decided to prioritize (back to #1) and turn off the things that distract me from living my actual life, from being present for my God, myself, my husband, my children, my business, my friends, my family, and all these other things.

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When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism. Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered. This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

To learn more about the course, go to alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out. Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.  alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

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The next thing I did to simplify my life is I started spending time alone. This was another thing that totally came out of my 20’s, of me figuring myself out.

I say this a lot, but I'll say it again. Extrovert and introvert is not being hyper or super high energy, or loud versus quiet and shy. It's actually where you get your energy from. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people and introverts get their energy from being alone. There's people that are both, and that's called ambiverts. I don't know many of those but I know they're out there.

I am an introvert, and learning to give myself alone time, oh my gosh, it just restores me in such an amazing way. It's unbelievable what less than 10 minutes of being alone will do for me.

Even if you're an extrovert, being alone is so good for the soul. Just being quiet for a second. Get the kids in bed, check in with your hubby and make sure he's good, and go for a 20-minute drive. Get a Chai latte and go for a drive with the windows down. Don't even turn music on, just be by yourself. It’s so nice to see what good company you are and where your thoughts go. What worries, fears, dreams or joys come to mind?

Another thing I did to simplify my life was I simplified my home. You know, obviously this is what I'm really known for, but my gosh, I had a hard time not putting this first. I simplified my home. I got rid of the clutter. I let go of the drawerfuls of junk and crap that was taking up all the nooks and crannies in the closets, under the bed, wedged in between couch cushions, crammed into nightstand drawers and kitchen drawers. Multiple spatulas, spoons, and bowls that were mismatched. Magazines and random clutter.

I got rid of all of it and I've kept it all away by ruthlessly being the editor of my home over the last six years. It has transformed my entire life more than almost anything. It's been huge.

You probably already know this is what I do. This is what I'm known for. This is where my signature course, my ecourse, “Your Uncluttered Home” came from - this has been my process and my journey and let me teach you how to do it. Simplify your home. Watch your life transform. You wouldn’t even believe it if I told you all the different areas of my life that have changed just from simplifying my home. My marriage improved. Relationships improved with myself, with my kids. I was a lighter person, much happier, less stressed out. I found it so much easier to stop yelling and stop reacting to my life because I wasn't living in this place of constant stress. My life no longer reflected the way that my home was cluttered. It reflected the way my home was uncluttered.

Studies show that the way that we have our homes is a reflection of the way we have our lives. And I really believe that. It's been true for me and true for the thousands of students who have gone through “Your Uncluttered Home.” I definitely, definitely would say that one of the biggest things I did to simplify my entire life was clearing my home of clutter.

The next thing I would say is I established routines, specifically my morning routine. That's also a podcast episode. I am not sure what number it is, but I'll link to it in the show notes. My morning ritual is very important to me. I like to call it a ritual because that's really what it is. I don't like to think of it as a routine. I don't know, it just feels like the word “ritual” is so much richer, better, more spiritual, important and beautiful. And that's how I feel about my mornings.

I hate when something is going on that causes me to miss my morning ritual. That happens very rarely because my morning ritual begins pretty early in the morning. It's only when we're traveling and I have to get up early to leave for the airport for a trip or something like that that gets in the way. I feel the difference in my spirit. I really do.

My morning ritual has transformed my life so much. It has simplified so many aspects of my life.

Another thing that I did to simplify my life is I downsized. Back before all of this, before I decluttered, before this part of my story began, we lived in a pretty large house. It was definitely pretty large for our family size at the time. We only had two of our kids and it was a lot.

It was so much maintenance. It was so much cleaning and it wasn't really worth it at the time because I was so overwhelmed. I was fighting depression and we only had two of our kids. I was pregnant with our third, Hudson, and it was so much extra work. It was so not worth it. We couldn't even afford to furnish all of it. It just felt empty, dull and high maintenance. Oh my gosh. I mean it was awful.

We ended up downsizing and started to live in smaller houses. Nothing super tiny or anything but just pretty small. Small enough to where the potential landlord would say something like, “Are you sure this house is big enough for you guys?”

Friends and family would comment regularly on the fact that we were living pretty small. It didn't feel too small to us but small enough to where it got comments for sure. It was a little bit against the norm, even now when we have four kids. Actually, this is the first time that I'm saying this on my podcast now that it's out, but we know we're going to be adopting and so our family is going to grow even more.

Our house is about 2300 -2400ish square feet. And it's three bedrooms. We work from home, we’ve got an office that's an extension of the garage. So even now our house really isn't that big for a family my size. It's definitely the biggest house that we've had since our big downsize.

I think the original house that I was talking about before was over 3000 square feet and it was just a lot for me, especially at the time. And you know with more space comes more cleaning, more maintenance.

But it's OK; I can handle it now. I've got less stress. I'm not depressed. My kids are older; they help. My husband's here to help. I have a housekeeper that comes once or twice a month and helps. My season is different.

We still live a little smaller than most people with our family size. And it's great. I love a small house. I think there's something really beautiful and there's something to be said for small living. And I love when people message me and they say, “You know, I've got two kids and we live in a thousand square feet and we just love it. We're outside all the time.”

It's so true, you get out and you start to live. You enjoy the outdoors. You really make your little home count, you know? It matters to you more. It's more important to you. It's cozier. I love a small house.

Another thing that I did to simplify my life was I started walking. This might sound silly and you might wonder what that has to do with simplifying, but it really does. I started walking as a way to simplify my health. I think that the health and wellness industry is a money hungry industry of unnecessary advice. And I got sick of it. I just wanted to feel better. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to feel like I had more energy.

I wanted to get moving, but I really don't like to exercise. I just started to walk. What I found was that, first of all, I love walking. I love taking walks, whether my kids come along or Brian's home and they stay with him and I go by myself. I love to walk. I started to let my thoughts wander. I started to get really grateful. Then I started to intentionally think of things that I was grateful for while I walked. I call those my “gratitude walks.”

Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I listen to a podcast or an audio book. Sometimes I listen to music. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I have absolutely no agenda and I just go for a walk and see where the Lord takes me. But walking simplified my health. I lost weight. I feel better.

I do more than just walking now, but I still walk. It's a simple practice that I am really fond of that's really changed my life, that I really love.

The ninth thing that I've done that I would say simplified my life is I implemented a “nothing day.” It used to be once a week. Now I guess I still have a “nothing day” once a week, but really a very intentional, absolutely zero things on my calendar day, once a month for sure.

Sundays I like to turn off social media, at least for the most part. I don't look at my phone much. There's no work, unless I really want to. I love what I do. Sometimes I getting inspired and want to jot down a blog post or something. It's just rest, whatever rest looks like that day for me.

“Nothing day” is when you feel pulled really thin and you just need a break. “Nothing day” is no phone alerts, no phone at all, maybe. No capturing things for social media. I just unwind. Maybe my family will go and do something fun. Maybe we'll just hang out and do nothing at home. That's usually what it is, but it's just a day of “vegging out” and just “being.”

It's something that is so overlooked and not very often scheduled and it needs to be. It's so good for the soul. I implemented a “nothing day” once a week, about 1 ½ - 2 years ago and it was so good.

Now I'm in a season where I don't really need a “nothing day” every single week. We have very restful family days on Sundays, but it's not technically a “nothing day” now because we're going to church, Costco and stuff.

I have a “nothing day” on my schedule about once a month, sometimes more depending on my need. Let the day take you. If you want to leave and go do something, great! But, it's OK to stay in with no bra and no makeup and just hang out on the couch with your hubby and let the kids play games. Just veg. Just be. It's good. It's good for the soul.

Number ten is I simplified my eating. This goes back to the whole thing about the health and wellness industry. But you know, it's overwhelming. We eat at least three times a day and making food can be so complicated. It can really take over your day.

A friend of mine, Amanda Wilson (I'll link to her Instagram account) because she is an incredible Instagram-er for the health and wellness industry. She taught me about food prepping instead of meal prepping. Food prepping is when you prep basic foods so that you can put plates together for meals, instead of deciding what you're going to eat way ahead of time, making the meal, and putting it in the fridge.

Because what was happening for me was I eat by mood, so I would make a meal and put it aside and I wouldn't want that later. What if I didn’t want leftover spaghetti or whatever it is?

Instead, I started prepping basic foods that I know I eat all the time, like grilling up some potatoes, grilling some chicken and seasoning it lightly with salt and pepper, so it can be used for any recipe. Making some cauliflower rice and putting that in the fridge. Things like that. Things that could be made as part of a meal but aren't already a designated meal.

That really helped me. I simplified my meal plans. Maybe we'll do a separate episode on this, but I just simplified my eating. I cut the crap. I stopped trying to be all specific. “Oh, is this exactly Paleo?” I just said, “You know what? I want to eat clean. I want to eat well, but I also want to eat real and not have this takeover my entire life. I want to cook because I want to enjoy the atmosphere that I create my kitchen when I'm cooking, not because I have to.” I wanted to bring some joy into my eating and I really simplified our food in our house and it was so good.

I would encourage you to find a way that you need to simplify your eating, if that's feeling like a point of stress for you. I have a really good friend who just absolutely loves food. She loves everything to do with the creation of food. She would never want to simplify this area of her life. She loves cooking from scratch. She is amazing at it. But that is not me.

While I do enjoy cooking from scratch, I don't want to do that for every single meal. This is an area of my life that it served me greatly to simplify. I found a way that worked for me and our family. I would encourage you to do that if that’s hitting home for you.

And there you have it. 10 things that I've done to simplify my life. I hope that this was inspiring in a different way than my episodes usually are because I'm really just telling you something that I've done and not really telling you exactly how to do it. Which I think can make you be creative apply this to your own life in a different way than usual. So, I hope that inspired you guys.

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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!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

BONUS 03: How "Enough" Lists Have Changed My Life

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An enough list outlines what is enough in your life so that you can focus on what is important and determine what is excess. It can be applied to every area of your life; from business to family, your health to your home. Enough lists cause you to ask yourself, what is “enough” in this area of my life? What is it that I'm called to do in this area of my life? When it comes to being a wife, what is it that I'm called to do here? When it comes to running my business, what am I really called to do here? Basically, these lists are a list of things that are the bare minimum. And as you focus on the “enough” in your life, you begin to see what is overwhelming you. Having my “enough list” has totally changed my life and empowered me to make solid decisions and I hope you find the same empowerment as you create your own enough lists!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What an enough list is.

  • How enough lists bring clarity to her life (and they can do the same for yours).

  • What areas of her life she uses enough lists for.

  • How you can create your own enough list.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Do you want to create your own enough list? I have created this FREE download to walk you through creating these lists in your own life. It will help you breakdown the areas of your life that you need to create enough lists for as well as help you determine what is enough for that area. I also share some encouraging statements and things that you can include in your “enough list” to look at when you're feeling like you need to! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey guys! I am super stoked for this bonus episode. I just couldn't wait to get this content out to you guys. I’m really excited!

I really feel like this is going to help a lot of you. This is something that I have done myself for a while. The other day I was looking at these lists that I have and had this light bulb moment, “Hello? Why haven't I ever talked about this on the podcast? Or ever shared that I do this? It’s one of those things that I made up for myself. It is a part of my life and I don't really think twice about it.

Sometimes it's hard for me to think outside of my own self, look at what I'm doing and think, “This could maybe help somebody.” But I was actually doing a podcast interview for Kat Lee’s Show and she asked me a question (I don’t even remember what it was). But whatever the question was, my answer was, “I have these lists.”  

And it was another reminder for me, “OK, I've got to get this out.” Then I looked at my editorial calendar. If I went along the normal flow of episodes, this wouldn't have come out until summer. I wanted to get it out to you right away.  

So, here we are with bonus episode #3 and we're talking about these little things that I made up for myself that I call “enough lists.”

First of all, what is an “enough list”? It's a little, very short list in my phone. I use my Notes APP on my iphone. I have one for all the different areas of my life. For running my business. Being a mom. Being a wife. For running my house, my health, fitness and wellness.

I have an “enough list” for every area of my life. Well, maybe not every single little area but, all the main parts of my life. Basically, these lists are a list of things that are the bare minimum.

What is “enough” in this area of my life? What is it that I'm called to do in this area of my life?When it comes to being a wife, what is it that I'm called to do here? When it comes to running my business, what am I really called to do here? I'm called to serve my fellow women by providing great content through my podcast and my courses and to change your life completely through that content, if you're willing to do the work. I am called to pray for you guys, not to fix all your problems. It's like a list of helpful reminders.

It serves as a guide for me whenever things start to get crazy. Maybe I start to feel the pull to say “yes” to everything or to try to do it all. Or maybe I feel overwhelmed by life and I just feel like it's all too much. I can reference these “enough lists” and ask myself, “OK, what am I doing that’s excess here?”

Why am I feeling overwhelmed? If I'm doing only the things that are on these “enough lists” in these areas of my life, I shouldn't be overwhelmed. But I am overwhelmed. Why am I overwhelmed? What am I doing that's outside of this list? What can I cut back on?

For business, maybe I've been taking a lot of speaking engagements that take me away from my family and outside of the house. It's really weighing on me, so I'm not going to do those anymore for a while.

Maybe it's that I'm trying to go above and beyond with homeschooling the kids. Trying to do all this extra stuff, provide them with all of these social experiences and other things that are outside of the “enough list” for homeschooling. And it's making me stretched way too thin and it's too much.

I can look at the “enough list” and be pulled back to reality. I can re-ground myself and say, “OK, this is what is “enough” in my life. What am I doing outside of this? It's too much. Something's got to go.” It's really a way for me to practice minimalism in my life.

Here’s a couple of examples. I actually shared this on the Kat Lee podcast. Have you heard that yet? I don’t know when it is coming out. It might be repetitive, but it is a great example.

I am a really competitive person. It has served me very well, especially in business. It served me well in lots of other areas of my life too. I am fiercely competitive. For those of you who watched Friends, Monica Geller, when people try to get her to do something (like jokes) and they're like, “Think of it as a competition with yourself. Make a Thanksgiving dinner this year that just blows last year's dinner out of the water.” She gets lit up and “Yeah! I'm going to mop the floor with myself last year!” She gets all amped up and competitive over nothing.

That is seriously how I am. I'm super competitive. It can also be a flaw where it is the driving force behind decisions when I really need to be, “Well, wait a second. Competitiveness is not the main goal here. I need to step back. Is this thing going to serve me? Is it going to be good for my family?”

I'm much better now. I think the Monica Geller example is hilarious because it really is like my natural nature, but I have matured so much in the last few years. I'm not actively like that anymore. It's just my natural tendency to be like that.

Here's an example. My social media manager is absolutely incredible. Jenny, if you're listening – Hello! Jenny and I have been working to get me the Blue Badge Verification on Facebook and Instagram. Have you guys seen that when a public figure or celebrity always has (if it's an official page), the little blue check mark verification badge on their page? Facebook owns Instagram. They have recently changed the rules and it's very weird, specific and difficult to get that.

We've been trying to get that because there have been a few people who have made fake accounts trying to be me. Or claiming that something that I have created was theirs, like the Declutter Like A Mother Challenge, even though it's copyrighted. People have been doing that. It hasn't happened a crazy amount of times, but it's happened enough that, “We should probably get that Blue Badge so people can know who the original is here, who is really the one running this challenge, created this course, talking about this, hosting The Purpose Show or whatever.” We had been working on getting that Blue Badge Verification and it's been a process. I've just been sitting back and letting Jenny handle it.

Recently in an email, Jenny said, “Hey, they're really having a hard time. They want you to send in this and this and this so you can get that Blue Badge; otherwise it might not happen.” I don't know what it was but, all of a sudden I got taken over by this competitive surge in myself. I started thinking, “I could think of three people who are similar to me, do similar things as me, that I know have that Blue Badge.” I got filled with this fire to conquer everything, do whatever I can to get that Blue Badge. I put aside my work tasks and I was going to get that Blue Badge.

I might as well have smeared war paint under my eyes and put my fists up high and yelled, “Let’s do it!”  because all of a sudden I got overcome by this competitive urge to beat everybody else and get that Blue Badge Verification on Facebook and Instagram.

And I just have to say that is super unlike me. I don't really care. I don't really care about my numbers. I don't even know how many people I have on Instagram or Facebook. I never look. I have no idea. But, this sparked that old immature competitive edge in me and I started to freak out. I was working on this and doing everything that Jenny said to do and really upset that I wasn't getting that Blue Badge, and “Why are they questioning me so much? Why can’t I just have that Blue Badge?”

I started to step back and think, “You know what? I have some really important tasks on my to-do list today. And they all serve my audience really well.” Having the Blue Badge verification on Facebook and Instagram doesn't really serve my audience very much. It serves me. I was weighing my own verification as a person, as an influencer on that Blue Badge. That Blue Badge is meaningless. All it does is let people know, “Hey, if there's other accounts and stuff, this is the real one.”

It was a badge of honor that I wanted to wear and I didn't like that. I saw that in myself. I'm just being super honest here, guys. It might sound silly or stupid, but this is just me being honest with an example. I had that moment where I was, “You know what? Let's take a step back. This doesn't matter. It would be nice and it would be helpful, but this is not an identity. This does not mean that I'm legit. This is definitely not my mission, my goal, or my purpose in what I'm doing in my business and in my ministry.

My business is to serve you. To provide incredible value in my courses that are life changing. To provide incredible free value through the podcast twice a week. If something is going to make me focus on something other than that and take away from that, then it is not a part of my purpose. It is a distraction. That is such a pride issue and that is not how I want to live my life and run my business. So, I stepped back and I left the email there. I didn't do anything about it.

I put it on my to do list for whenever I do have the time and I got back to the tasks that serve you guys. That serve my purpose. That are why I'm here. And that's because I have that “enough list.” My “enough list” when it comes to my business. says things like “it is enough to that I serve my audience, that I provide free and paid value for them that will help them and change their lives. It is enough that I do the podcast every week. It is enough that I share my heart openly and honestly and be vulnerable.” The Blue Badge of verification has nothing to do with that.

That’s a silly example from the business side of things where the “enough lists” can come in handy, how they can help redirect and put you back on the ground where you belong with what really matters and is worth your time in the different areas of your life.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Another example - in the homeschooling community it can be difficult to stay simplistic. A lot of people do a lot of extra things, engineering classes, all different kinds of sports and activities. I think the fact that our kids are not in school makes us feel like we have all the time in the world and we can do any activities because our kids are not away from us for six or seven hours a day and it's just a lie. We still get stretched way too thin, way over busy, and it's hard to know that boundary, know the fine line of what's too much. Looking at your “enough list” as a homeschooler - it is enough that I am doing language arts, math, history, science with my children for our school day. Anything outside of that is extra.

What a mind-blowing, simple but mind-blowing, realization about is for a homeschooling mom. This is what is enough. Anything outside of this is unnecessary and extra - art classes for my daughter, guitar lessons for my son, baseball for the boys, horseback for my daughter. All those things are great and they definitely have their place. They're important for sure, but they are extra. Having a list of the bare minimum can help bring you back.

If you're overwhelmed, let go of everything that isn't on that list. It can help bring clarity to your life. Look at your life. What are the areas of your life that you need an “enough list” for? I put together a free download, as usual, for you guys that you can get for this episode. Again, it's totally free and it's kind of a next step.

It will help you actually do this for your own life. It will help you breakdown what are the areas of my life, what is enough in every area, and then I give examples from my own “enough lists”. I give some encouraging statements and things that you can include in your “enough list” to look at when you're feeling like you need to.

I definitely encourage you to go and get that. You can just go to alliecasazza/shownotes/ bonus3. You can get that free worksheet.

I would encourage you to do this. This is a super short, quick episode to say that there are things that are “enough” in every area of your life and anything outside of that is excess. It is. It can be a distraction.

It can be a helpful addition. It can be great, wholesome, purposeful and helpful, but it can also be too much. I want to encourage you guys, have those “enough lists.” It doesn't necessarily mean that you're never going to do anything that's not on that list.   

Right now, we have a lot going on that’s not on the “enough list”. We willingly entered a little bit of a busier season right now because we know that towards the end of the year some things are going to be happening in our family that are going to make us have more home time, quiet time, less activities, and we're going to have a very quiet winter holiday season most likely.

Right now, we're OK with being a little busier. We do have horseback, baseball and guitar lessons. We have chosen not to do art lessons outside of the house but to make them online. That's something that we've simplified. We're still doing the art lessons.

It's OK to go into seasons of extra for sure, but when you need it, when you feel overwhelmed, when you feel like you're stretched too thin, when you feel like you're not sure if you should say “yes” to something or “no” to something, have your list of “what is the point?”

What is the purpose in this area of my life? What's my purpose as a business owner? What am I doing here? What's enough here? What's my purpose as a mom? What is enough here? Realizing that everything outside of that is extra can empower you to say “no” or “this is all great, but I do want to do this extra thing, so I'm going to say “yes” to it, can help you make decisions and bring incredible clarity to your life.

Having my “enough list” has totally changed my life and empowered me to make solid decisions. I encourage you guys to get that free download and start making “enough lists” for the different areas of your life.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

EP 031: An Uncluttered Life

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Living An Uncluttered Life goes beyond your physical possessions. It reaches out to other areas of your life such as your health, your calendar, your obligations, and even your friendships. Consider questions like: What is this event doing for me? Is this 3-days-a-week time commitment bringing me joy? Does this person bring positivity or negativity to my life? By letting go of excess and removing what's not serving you, you are giving yourself space to have a more joy-filled life!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • What minimalism looks like in the rest of your life, not just your home.

  • Practical questions you can use to evaluate how to simplify your calendar and obligations.

  • How setting boundaries in your relationships will help you determine who is serving you well and who is not.

  • The importance of not labeling yourself when it comes to your health.

  • The beauty that comes from experiencing minimalism outside your home.

Mentioned in this Episode:

I have created a guide that goes along with this episode. It is all the best resources that I have about uncluttering the different areas of your life. If this episode is making you come alive and get super excited about having a simplistic life, don't miss this download! It will help you take the next step and put this episode into action in your own life.

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends, I am so happy to be doing this episode! It's something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while. This is basically a surface scratch of what Unburdened is all about. Unburdened is one of my smaller courses. I'm really passionate about this. This is more what I love to talk about and more what I believe versus being a minimalist with your possessions.

While that is so important and definitely the best starting point, there's so much more to be said. There's so much more to learn. I'm about six years into my minimalist journey. At this point, sometimes it feels a little stale for me to talk about house stuff (and maybe that's too strong of a word), but I just get so much more excited talking about the other aspects of an uncluttered life, the other areas of life that you can declutter, not just your material possessions.

I'm really excited to talk about this. I've been talking about this a lot more recently in interviews that I've done for other people's podcasts, and other media. We just redid Unburdened and I got a chance to really pour into this topic and share everything that I know, everything that I've learned. I wanted to do an episode about it as well.

We are talking about having an uncluttered life outside of just your home and your material possessions. I think the real beauty of decluttering your physical possessions is that it is very therapeutic. It almost always leads to the same practice of letting go of the excess and other areas of your life because you realize just how much excess has been weighing you down.

You start to let go of the old photo albums. You let go of the old baby things. You let go of sentimental things that are very, very loaded with emotion. Maybe it’s a pregnancy test from a baby that you miscarried. Sometimes things can feel like they are all we have left of something. We hold on to them thinking that it's helping us when really it's just weighing us down and causing us a burden.

Even things that are less heavy than that. Extra lip glosses that are old and we never use. But we feel like, what if we want that color? What if we want that lipstick one day? Extra socks. Extra clothes. Extra shoes. Extra hair stuff. Extra dishes. Extra everything. It just adds up.

It's not that one area in particular is making or breaking your life. It's rather that all those things just accumulate to so much excess and so much extra burden.

As moms, that's the last thing we need. I think minimalism benefits everyone. It's always funny to me how a lot of famed minimalists are bachelors, or dudes, or they're not parents yet. It's funny because minimalism serves everyone.

We live in a society that says, “Give me more, more, more, more. I totally understand going against the flow in any capacity is amazing, but it is so much easier to say, “I'm going to have less” when you don't have a bunch of kids. When you're not raising a family. When you're not a mom with all this responsibility on your plate for the people in your home. I feel like it's so much easier to just let stuff accumulate both in your home and in your life when you are a parent and, specifically, a mother.

That's why I'm so passionate about speaking on this subject, specifically to mothers and women. I really want to dive into what this looks like. What minimalism looks like in the rest of your life, not just your home.

I noticed that minimalism started spilling over into the other aspects of my life as I was decluttering my home initially a few years ago. One of the first areas that I noticed was my calendar. When you're going through your physical possessions, you start to fall into this rhythm of asking yourself questions about why you would or would not keep an item. What is this doing for me? How is it serving me? Is it making my life easier? Is it really necessary? Is this a need item or a want item?

You start weighing out your options. It might sound silly, but really just getting real with yourself and gut-checking where you're at with each individual item. The process is very quick and subconscious.

You're not literally sitting there looking at the item, asking yourself these questions out loud. You might do that in the beginning, but not throughout the whole process because you fall into a flow.

As you do that, it is so therapeutic and you see how it's helping you simplify. You can't help but start to go about the rest of your life that way. For me, my calendar was one of the first things I did after my house (even during my house decluttering). You start to ask yourself, why am I letting this thing take up space on my calendar every week?

Why am I taking my kids to this thing every single week when honestly, I really hate it. It's at a terribly inconvenient time. It totally ruins the day every week. It makes me not able to get a good meal on the table. We always end up eating junk food. Everyone's cranky afterwards. We’re stretched way too thin and they don't have time to do their homework. Why are we even doing this?

Then you can weigh it out. You can say, “Well, it's a kid's Bible study, so that's worth it to me. I would rather be flexible in other areas and find a way to be creative. Maybe I can do a crock-pot meal. Maybe plan ahead a little bit better and really work this thing into our schedule because it is purposeful for us and it is worth it to me.”

Or you can say, “You know what, this really isn't worth it. It's not a priority. It's not really serving our family.” The ways that it might be serving your family don't outweigh the negatives of going to this thing every week, month or day or whatever it is.

Honestly, this is one of the biggest reasons that I pulled my kids out of public school halfway through the year this year. I've said this before, so I don't want to drone on and on about it (if it's repetitive for you who already know this), but we put our kids into the public school system after homeschooling because the business got too overwhelming and we needed to take a school year, take a beat and just focus on one thing.

We couldn't do both. We couldn't do it all. We couldn't do running an amazing business, growing and providing income for our family, and homeschooling the kids really well. Something was always falling to the wayside and we needed to take a break.

We put the kids in school to give ourselves more space to focus on the business and hire some people so that we would be working less. We ended up accomplishing that in just a few months rather than an entire school year.

I was thinking, “Well this is good though. We can just have time together. We can have time with just Emmett. The other kids will be in school. We can just simplify, catch up on housework, catch up on other work stuff and just enjoy the fact that we're not homeschooling this year. What ended up happening was that taking the kids to and from school every day, dealing with all the paperwork, all the homework, all the expectations of somebody else (not us) on our kids’ academics, it ended up just draining us and being a negative.

It was no longer helpful. It definitely wasn't in the beginning. It served its purpose. We did the right thing and it was great, but at a certain point it was no longer necessary. It started to become a drain and it was no longer serving us.

We assessed it this way: How is this serving us? OK, here are the ways that it's really helpful. Here are the ways that it's really not helpful. The ways that it is helpful do not outweigh the ways that it is not helpful for us. We decided that we were going to let winter break come. Then we're going to let everyone know that we're pulling the kids out of school and going back to homeschooling mid-year instead of waiting until the end of the school year and going another five months like this. I hope that's a helpful example, but that's kind of what I mean.

How can you bring in the idea of decluttering and minimalism to your calendar and your schedule? This is so huge and I would encourage you to take a look at what's taking up space in your calendar. What is excess? What is obligation? What is not serving you or your family? What feels like a drain?

Some things might be drain but they kind of have to be there. Maybe you're in a season where you work outside of the home. You absolutely hate going to work every single day, but you need the money. For now you have to go and show up.

But maybe you can come up with a three or five-year plan to change your lifestyle. That's not sustainable to hate your job, hate where spend the bulk of your time every single day. That’s not sustainable for an intentional joy-filled life.

Maybe you can start to pray, think or plan, and come up with a way to have that not be your end-all, be-all. Have there be an end to that eventually. I think getting real with ourselves and assessing how we're spending our time and our calendar is minimalism in this area of our life.

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Hey Mama, I just want to let you know I have put together an amazing free download for you guys that goes along with this episode. It is all the best resources that I have about uncluttering the different areas of your life. If this episode is making you come alive and get super excited about having a simplistic life, go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/31. The download is totally free. It will help you take the next step and put this episode into action in your own life.

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What is an obligation in your life? Is there somewhere that you go already, maybe every once a week or so?

Let's say you go to church once a week and while you're there, there's something obligatory. You are doing something to serve every single week when you're there and you're not able to really enjoy the message. Maybe it's starting to feel draining and maybe you're not happy with that. It's an obligation. What can you do?

Can you cut back on how much time you're spending serving? Can you change the way you're serving? Can you serve one service and then attend the next one? What can you do?

Let’s give ourselves space to analyze how we're spending our time, what's going on our calendar, and what we're doing with our lives.

Whether you make changes or not, you should give yourself space to look and get real with yourself. Stop avoiding the problems. Look at what's draining. Look at what is life-giving. Maybe you'll look and see that every single thing is life-giving.

You don’t need to change anything. Great. Don't you feel better? Acknowledging that and knowing that, so it's not about going in there with a machete and hacking at things that are not super, super fun. We don't want to be unrealistic. It's about giving yourself that space to look, analyze and ask yourself, “Is this how I want to be living my life?” Because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Right?

The other area in which minimalism is so helpful and not often talked about is toxic people. I love the term, “vampire people”, because they just drain the life out of you.

This is so often people that we are “forced” to spend time with, or at least we think we are. Very often it's family members.

We don't want to be jerks. We don't want to be selfish, but - boundaries. If you have not read the book Boundaries by Dr. Cloud and Townsend, go on Amazon right now and get yourself a copy. I will link to it in the show notes so you can make sure you're getting the right one. One of the best books I've ever read, top 10 list for sure. You need to get your hands on that book. If you haven't read it yet, it's so life changing.

Where are there people in your life that are draining you? That are causing you stress? That every time you are going to go somewhere where they are going to be, you are just full of dread? You're anxious. You're annoyed. You're irritable. You're snappy to your spouse and your kids. You don't want to go. You just feel like it's a part of life.

Maybe you don't stop seeing that person altogether, but you can give it some space. Again, give yourself some space to look at the relationship, look at the problem and come up with a plan to deal with it.

I've got people like that in my life for sure. There's been a couple of them where it was, “You know what? This is abusive. You're verbally so rude. You're not treating me and my family well and this is not OK. I don't want my kids around this. Until you can shape up your game, I’m going to be taking a step back.” It's a really hard, awkward conversation to have.

And I'm not saying this lightly. There was a situation that was incredibly wrong, incredibly, incredibly toxic and difficult where we had to have that conversation. The person kind of freaked out and now won't speak to us. It's out of our life, out of our hands. We're constantly just praying about it, making sure our boundaries are healthy. We're very willing to just forgive, talk and move on but the other person will not do that.

You may have an extreme situation like that. That's OK.

For me, having healthy boundaries is huge. Knowing that I am acting Godly and asking for forgiveness when I'm not. Knowing I have healthy boundaries that are protecting my spirit, myself, my husband and my family. For Brian the exact same thing - protecting me and protecting his family and having a godly lifestyle and forgiveness when we don't.

It may not be that extreme of a situation. It may be somebody that you have to be around. They are in your family and they're just kind of draining. They're just kind of rude. Maybe they're very forward and they say things that are kind of condescending. Maybe they're manipulative. There's lots of different types of toxicity in people, lots of different types of “vampires” out there, right?

Come at your relationships with a minimalistic mindset and think, “OK, where do I feel like I'm in a toxic environment? When is it that I'm seeing these people? Why am I seeing them? Is this something that I have to have in my life?” If it's “yes”, how can you come up with some solid boundaries? How can you respond in love, but with firm boundaries so that this person is no longer affecting you?

Again, read the book, Boundaries. Seriously, you have to read it. There are responses and examples that can help you in difficult situations. It's so important to have this.

My point in bringing this up is bringing the idea of letting go of excess, of removing what's not serving you and coming up with a plan to handle it better, to have a more joy-filled life. Bringing this idea of minimalism into the area of toxic people in your life.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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Another area where I've applied minimalism and it has so helped me is my health. I've written about this a few times, but really it comes down to health and wellness is such an over saturated industry in our culture.

I think I read somewhere it's a multiple billion dollar a year industry. People are buying products, reading books and purchasing things to help them lose weight and get healthy.

If you think about it, unless you've got some kind of ailment that makes it difficult, losing weight and getting healthy is very simplistic. Eat less junk, eat more of what is good for you and move more.

If you have a desk job, initiate nightly walks with your family. Do some squats while you are waiting for your lunch to heat up in the break room. There's never an excuse. You can always find a way.

With my health, I used to be about 50 pounds heavier. I still have some work to do. I definitely battled with emotional eating. I will do a podcast episode about that very soon.

I absolutely used food, and still struggle with this sometimes, as a coping mechanism. I definitely am an emotional eater.

To be frank, cutting the crap, not kidding myself anymore, getting real with myself and just thinking, “What do I want here? Do I want to feel awful every time I get dressed for the day and leave? Do I want to feel awful about myself every time I run into somebody that I know, but I haven't seen in awhile because I'm heavier and my skin's broken out and I don't feel good?” No, that’s not what I want.

It's not about my size. I'm a curvy person matter how healthy am, and I love that about myself. It's not about that. It's not about getting into a size two. It's about how do I feel and I just didn't feel good.

Bringing minimalism into my health looked like this: Cutting down on the excess. Not needing to have a label. “Oh, I'm going to eat Paleo. Oh, I'm going to do Whole 30. Oh, I'm gonna work out five times a week.” And you know, not going crazy. Just thinking, “You know, what? Where's the excess here? When I go in and hit the drive-through because it's convenient. That's excess. That's not serving me at all. It would be cheaper and easier for me if I just had some meals prepped in the fridge.

If I had some food prepped in the fridge, if I had something prepared so that I could have convenience but not destroy my goals and make myself feel awful, make my stomach upset. Simply stripping down and thinking, “OK, I'm going to no longer eat processed foods. I'm not going to eat refined sugar. I'm going to cut out soda. I'm going to cut out a cup of coffee per day. I'm going to drink three of these water bottles a day.”

Simplifying it, what's one thing you can focus on? Trim the excess. Stop over-complicating it because that's why we're never meeting our goals and making actual progress. We overcomplicate. We oversaturate and it's not serving us at all. Strip it down. What do you need to change? What is one bad habit you could do that you could cut out? That you could make a change and make a difference in your health?

Bringing minimalism into these areas of our lives is so important and so healing.

For a personal example on the health note, here's kind of what my health looks like, my routine and how I have minimalism as a part of my health and wellness. I don't like to over-complicate this. I definitely tend to struggle with that. I need labels. “Oh, I'm doing whole 30.” I have done whole 30 several times. Actually it’s a big part of how I lost 50 pounds, but not obsessing over that label and just doing it. If that's going to simplify it for you, do it. At that point in my life, Whole 30 simplified. I didn't want to think, “OK, wait, what's in this?” I just thought, “Is this Whole 30? OK, I'm going to eat it.” If it's not, “No, I'm not going to eat it.”

So that may simplify it for you, but you’ve got to do you. You’ve got to do what works for you.

Right now I try not to eat processed foods. I absolutely have grace if there's a day where I woke up feeling awful, we have baseball that night and I didn't get dinner on the table. Then, yes, we will drive through Del Taco and I will get the healthiest thing I can get there and it will be fine. I'm not going to die. It’s totally fine. There's grace there, but I try to make good decisions and not eat processed foods.

I don't drink soda anymore even though I love an ice cold Coke. I have my coffee black with usually a splash of raw organic cream. I drink a certain amount of water bottles.

I sit down when I'm homeschooling my kids and I usually am sitting down when I am recording the podcast and working, so I try and take a walk every single day. I try to get in about 15 minutes of exercise in the mornings as part of my morning ritual. That's it. That is enough.

I don't need to do more than that. I've stripped it down to the bare minimum. Those are the things that I know, “OK, if I'm doing this, I'm getting to maintain my weight.” I may even continue to lose weight. I'm happy with that. I'm happy with the way that I look and the way that I feel when I'm doing those things. That's minimalism in the area of health for me.

I hope that was helpful, but I just want you guys to understand the beauty of what it does for you as a mother to live an uncluttered life beyond just your home.

I do still think that your home is the best place to start and if you haven't already enrolled in Your Uncluttered Home, I'm telling you that is where everything is. It is my signature course. I worked my butt off on that for a long, long time. Just about a year of my life was poured into that course. I did research. I studied. I purged people's houses in person. I did so much for you guys in that course. It is everything if you want an uncluttered home.

But there's so much more beyond that. That's just the starting point. It's so therapeutic. You'll begin to see how you feel when you're letting go of physical items, letting go of emotional things in your life, your calendar obligations, toxic people, your health, your relationships. You start to see it and you can't help but let it spill over into those areas of your life. That's what I love about decluttering and minimalism.

I hope this was helpful for you guys. Please leave a review on itunes if you love this episode. I will talk to you guys later.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 030: How I Structure My Schedule

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One of the most commonly asked questions I receive is around how I structure my time. How I find balance in all that I have going on. Where the business fits in. Where homeschooling fits in. Where personal stuff fits in. Housework and cooking. All that kind of stuff. Simply put, my answer is a flexible, batch-style schedule. I believe in having a rigid schedule set up but also believe you should be gracious and allow yourself flexibility because that’s life. I am excited to share how I structure my schedule with you and hope that you find what works best for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How she plans her week using a flexible, batch-style schedule.

  • What her weekly batch schedule and monthly batch schedule look like.

  • How she finds balance between work-heavier days and school-heavier days.

  • Simple tips for fitting housework into your weekly schedule.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Blog to Business Resource Guide has all of my favorite books, websites, courses, and influencers who all helped me when I was growing my business. It’s basically anything that helped me in my entrepreneurial journey of starting my business and in running my business. 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey beautiful listeners! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show!

I am happy to be relaxed and chatting about what my week looks like. I get asked about this all of the time. I am finally sitting down and candidly sharing with you how I organize my life. Organize my months. Organize my week. Organize my days. How I find balance in all that I have going on. Where the business fits in. Where homeschooling fits in. Where personal stuff fits in. Housework and cooking. All that kind of stuff. What works for me in getting all of those things done.

It is a lot. I definitely have my days and weeks that are harder than others. Times where I feel like I am struggling and feel like I am not good enough. Not organized enough. I am definitely very normal and I have my days and my tough times. That is just going to happen no matter what you do. I will say that there is a lot going on in my life, but I definitely feel very present, focused, and like I am never really stretched too, too thin.

I am happy to answer your guys’ questions. I am happy to sit down with you and candidly talk about my weekly schedule and what that looks like.

Before we dive into that, I do want to say that I never want to give the impression that I do it all. Or that everything is perfect over here. I definitely need you guys to know that I have a team behind me now. It wasn’t always that way.

I do have about 10 or more people working for my incorporation. There is a lot of help. I work a lot less than I used to, especially at the start of my business. Back then my work was incredibly heavy and diligent. I definitely paid my dues. I woke at about 4 a.m. every day for nearly a year. I worked before Brian would go to his job. I worked in all the cracks of my day, naptime, and after bedtime. I feel like I barely slept during that time. I did that until I “made it” or whatever.

I am going into what my work schedule looks like now because I get questions about it all the time. I am assuming that there are other moms out there who can benefit from this.

This is just a really deep dive into my weekly routine and schedule. I have shared this before, but basically I was introduced to the idea of “batching” your work when I was researching how to get my work done and be productive. When entrepreneurship was new to me, I found myself being sporadic and jumping around from task to task. Feeling very frazzled because I had to do all my own social media, all my own writing, all my own promoting, writing my own emails, responding to comments. Doing everything by myself because it was new and I couldn’t afford to hire anyone else. That’s just what I was doing.

I was introduced to this idea of batching, which is a pretty common work method. Basically, you segment your work by type. If you are writing emails, you are writing emails. You are not writing your emails, then checking in on social media, then recording a podcast episode. You are “batching” your work.

So, you say, “OK I am going to work for two hours and I am going to write emails. When I am done writing emails, then I will go work on social media comments.” You are putting like tasks together.

Basically the idea behind this is that in terms of your psyche, it makes you more productive because you are already in that zone. You are already in the zone of writing emails or writing blog posts, or homeschooling kids. You are already in that mindset and in that zone of your brain, so you don’t have to switch tasks and re-gauge yourself. You’re already there.

If you get all of those tasks done at the same time, you fly through it. You work faster and better. You are more focused and more productive. This method really helped me in running my business. I decided to take it into my schedule. I carried this over and made this type of schedule up for myself because it worked for my life.

I have a “batch-style” schedule. It is very flexible and changes as needed. Right now, I am recording and it is almost 3:30 my time. I can’t even tell you the last time I was recording a podcast episode at this time. I almost never record at this time. I am never working at this time. This is like a 1% thing happening this week. This is just where I landed this week because I am recovering from losing my voice, and I am catching up on episodes. We have had kind of a weird week and I am just squeezing in an episode before I take the boys to their baseball game.

So, it is very flexible. I am not a super, super rigid person. I believe in having a rigid schedule set up but being gracious to yourself and allowing yourself flexibility because that’s life. It is much easier if you can ebb and flow as needed instead of trying to be perfectionistic and super, super rigid.

But I definitely plan my week and even my month in a batch style schedule. How that looks is I have Mondays for work tasks. Often these are the days where I am recording the podcast, interviewing guests for the podcasts, or getting my work tasks done.

I keep a running list of work tasks. My assistant, Hayley, helps me manage that. If something pops up that absolutely has to be done by me and can’t be delegated to another team member, then she will put it on my task list.

I know that on Mondays, I am pretty much always working. It is just a good day for me. I am in a good working mindset, after coming off of a restful weekend.

I like to start my day by feeling accomplished. On Mondays, I am always working. I pretty much start my day working and I work for a few hours – 2,3 hours; 4 at most – if there is a lot going on. I can’t remember the last time I worked that long in a day.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are definitely less work but more heavy homeschool days.

Fridays are my days of meetings. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you will see that on my story. Pretty much every Friday, I have batched meetings. It starts about 8 o’clock in the morning, my time, Pacific Time Zone. I have meetings about every half hour, back-to-back. I leave just enough margin to snag some breakfast and some lunch. I have meetings back-to-back until as early as 10:30 and sometimes as late as 12:30 or 1:00.  It just depends on the week.

I have a meeting with our CFOs. I have a meeting with our PR girl, Ashley, who is amazing. I have a weekly meeting with my assistant, Hayley. She is also my Chief of Staff, so we just check in with each other. Then we have a weekly team meeting. There are also meetings for the Print Shop that I run. There’s lots of different things going on.

If someone on the team needs a separate one-on-one with me, we will have a meeting for that. Sometimes that’s social media management, marketing, whatever. There are always different needs. Depending on the load and the need that week, I have at least a couple of hours of meetings on Fridays, sometimes more than that.

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Hey friends! Just wanted to let you know I have two freebies that are really going to help you out if this episode is relevant to your life.

The first one is the Blog to Business Resource Guide. It is a guide of my favorite books, websites, courses, and influencers who all helped me when I was growing my business. It’s basically anything that helped me in my entrepreneurial journey of starting my business and in running my business. That’s totally free. It is in the show notes, which I will link in one second.

I also have the Trello Training Video. There is a big blog post that I put together a while back that basically talks about why and how I use Trello, which is a free online platform as well as a mobile app, to organize my entire life. I keep everything in Trello. It really helps me function and keep my business and personal life running smoothly.

There is also a training video for those of you who are a bit more visual and want to go more in depth on how to use Trello. It’s all about how I use Trello, the labels that it has, all the different features of Trello, to keep my entire life and my business organized.

Those things are totally free and I think they will really be helpful if you are a mompreneur.

Visit alliecasazza.com/shownotes/30. Find the free downloads for both of those things.

I hope that helps you guys out and good luck with your businesses!

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So, if that makes sense, that’s kind of how I batch my week.

On Fridays, I can mentally and emotionally prepare for meetings because I know every Friday is the day of meetings. There are Fridays where I won’t be at the team meeting. I have things set up to where it is delegated.

I really believe that because I am a mom it is important for me to have my business set up, as early as I could afford it, to where I am replaceable. I don’t want everyone to have to come to me. I don’t want to be a control freak and have to have the final say on every single thing.

So, I have empowered my Chief of Staff, my Podcast Manager, everyone who has a significant role in the business, to make decisions whenever they can, whenever they feel comfortable and confident to do that. That is 87% of the time. That way, if I need to miss the team meeting, I can. If I need Hayley to step in and have a meeting with our CFOs she can do that. That’s been really great. And there have been weeks where that has happened.

I am there whenever I can be because I love what I do. I love my business and I love the people that work with me. But every once in a while life happens and I can’t be there, so I do have someone who can step in for me if I need them to.

In terms of my work tasks, I really am only doing what I need to and love to do. I write all my own emails. I do all my own writing. I plan my own podcast content. I am on my Instagram. I am in my Facebook groups. I do my own livestreams, obviously. I do all my own leading you guys, connecting with you guys, teaching you guys. I do all my own stuff like that.

I love to write, so I always write my own emails, content, and stuff like that. I just have people managing the other things that can easily be automated so that I am practicing what I preach and being present in my personal life and with my family whenever I am not doing those other tasks.

That’s kind of how I flexibly batch-style my schedule.

Then I also have monthly batching. By that I mean, typically the last week of every month and the first week of every month, I am recording the podcast for the following month. For example, the last week of February and the first week of March I was recording for April. We get a little behind sometimes. Right now it is the middle of March and I am recording an episode for April because I lost my voice and took two weeks off. Again, there is a huge benefit in having cushion and giving yourself space and time and that is why we do that.

Anyway, even my month is batched. Those two weeks of the month are focused on recording the podcast and Hayley will make sure that my other work tasks are very light. Just writing emails and maybe doing a couple of livestreams, but a lot less work because my weeks are full of recording during that time.

The other two weeks of the month are more heavily working. Writing emails, blog posts, connecting with you guys (my audience) and doing livestreams. Spending more time on Instagram. I use Instagram stories as a “vlog” so to speak, so I will spend more time on there during those weeks of the month. It is kind of back and forth that way.

Batching has really helped me. I think even if you are not an entrepreneur you can absolutely use the idea of batching with your schedule, even with housework and stuff like that.

Then like I said, I have work-heavier days and school-heavier days. I work and do school with my kids four days of the week. For example, on Mondays I know that I am going to be working. But I also will do school with the kids. I usually work first and then do school with the kids after. But Brian will help me out on Mondays with school for the kids. He will be doing some schooling while I am in my office recording, working or whatever.

Then after I am done, we will switch and he will come out here and do any editing that he has to do. In case you don’t know, Brian does all the media, videography, photos, editing, all that kind of stuff for the business. So, he will come out here and do that and I will do school with the kids. Then we will do whatever we need to do together, make diner, go to baseball, or whatever we have going on that night.

Tuesday through Thursday are more school-heavy days. I may work and come out here and knock out a couple of tasks, but those days are more school focused days. Usually, I don’t work those days, but it is hard to say that I never do. That’s really it.

My personal life and housework are definitely batched too. Again, if you follow me on Instagram you will see that Brian and I have a weekly date night. It is kind of religious for us. We only skip it if we have to. Even then, we will try to squeeze in some time alone together because we look forward to it.

We try to get in some one-on-one time with our kids whenever we can. With housework and stuff like that I try to look ahead. I am saying this humbly because right now this week has been really crazy and we had a lot of extra baseball and I have not done that this week.

But usually, I try to look ahead and see “we are going to need a crockpot meal on Monday because I have to work and the boys have a baseball game, so I am not going to have time to cook dinner.” Or, “we are going to get takeout on Thursday because it is crazy and we have horseback and then baseball or whatever”.

I look ahead and plan accordingly. I try to have my family eat at home whenever we can. We definitely do enjoy eating out, so if we need to, the night calls for it, and it is going to be a lot easier, we will definitely eat out together.

In terms of cleaning and maintaining my house, I am a big believer in not scheduling this per se and getting it all done as I go. So, let’s say that I am homeschooling the kids and I have to use the restroom. When I go into the restroom, I do my thing. Then I will grab a Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom wipe which they sell at Target (and probably anywhere else you can get cleaning stuff), and I will just do a wipe down. Wipe down the sink, the toilet – done. I will grab a paper towel from under the sink and the window spray and do the mirrors real quick.

I will have Bella run the vacuum while I switch the laundry upstairs. I will have my Robovac running while I am cooking dinner downstairs. I will have the kids pick up and straighten up the throw pillows and stuff while I am getting dinner on the table.

I have my kids do as many chores as they can for their ages, which is a lot more than I think we usually give our kids credit for. My kids unload and reload the dishwasher. I know it’s terrifying. I am always worried they are going to break a dish, but it is worth it for them to learn how to help out. And for you to be less stressed and have them grow up to be responsible adults.

Delegate to your kids. Bella can do laundry. The kids can vacuum and pick up. There are all kinds of things they can do. Take care of pets. De-weeding the front yard. Things like that.

I delegate to my employees whenever I can in the business and I delegate to my kids and my husband where I can at home.

I also have a housekeeping team that comes every other week to the do the deep cleaning stuff because I do work and I would rather have that time with my family and pay for that to be delegated.

Little things can be fit in between. When I wake up in the morning, part of my morning ritual, before I start to get dressed for the day, is to throw in a load of laundry. Before I go to bed at night, that load of laundry is dried, folded and put away at some point. Sometimes it is all done in the morning; other times it is not done until I go to bed. It just depends. One load a day keeps the mountain away. That’s my saying. Things like that.

I hope that answers your questions. I hope that is helpful and not too rambling. I know it is kind of hard to describe your schedule without being visual.

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Hey friends! Have you gotten the Time-Blocking Mom Workbook yet? If not, you need to check this out!

It is a workbook that I put together myself. It is all about time blocking, which I am big on. I help you navigate this in a flexible way, so you are not stuck to this unrealistic, rigid schedule.

Basically, think of this as a budget for your time. You are telling every hour of your day where to go before it comes. Because the fact is, we all have the same amount of hours in the day. We can complain that there is not enough time in the day and we can never get our stuff done, but the fact is we have the responsibility on our own selves to be intentional with our days and with our time and with what we are doing with that time.

So, you might as well own up to the fact that you have the same amount of hours in the day that everyone else has, and tell each hour where to go instead of playing the victim and complaining about the fact that there is just not enough time to do everything you need to do, right?

It is only $9.00. Go get it. The Time-Blocking Mom Workbook is very in-depth and is an easy download. You can do it on the computer and fill it out. Or print it out if you are a pen and paper kind of girl. For $9.00 you can take control of your time and your day.

Go check it out! Go to Alliecasazza.com/timeblocking  for more information about the workbook and to download for just $9.00.

Check it out. Let me help you get more intentional with your days.

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That’s how I do it! Batching has really helped me a lot. There are some weeks that are really, really heavy and busy. It just happens sometimes, even if we are intentional about what we allow to take up our time. Sometimes you just go through a busy season and that’s OK. There is grace for that. There’s takeout for that. There are crockpot meals for that. There are cereal nights for that.

I think this is where it comes in handy to have an early morning ritual to get my day started off on the right foot. If you want to know more about that, I will link to that podcast episode because that’s a good one and really is the key to me being able to having the energy to do all of these things.

That’s pretty much it. I hope that was helpful. If there is ever an episode on a topic that you want more in-depth information about, or you want a follow up because I didn’t answer enough, you can always send me an email, or message me on Instagram. Even if I don’t respond I will see it and maybe it will turn into another episode.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Ep 028: A Simplified Laundry Routine

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When it comes to simplifying my laundry routine, one load a day keeps Laundry Mountain away.  Laundry is such an integral chore and a part of our role as moms. It can feel endless and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! If we can really simplify core areas of our lives (like laundry!), it will make everything so much easier. Simplification should never be over-complicated. So, laundry shouldn’t be either!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How minimalism in your wardrobe will make your laundry routine simpler, but that doesn’t mean your closet is full of clothes you don’t love.

  • What her laundry routine looks like + how she got to this simplified routine.

  • Why she chooses to do one load a day versus having a set “laundry day.”

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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Laundry. It can be quite overwhelming! But it doesn't have to be! Do you want to simplify your laundry routine? I created a FREE guide for YOU all about simplifying your laundry + dishes routine. Don't miss out on this! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

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 The Purpose Show.

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Hey sweet friends! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show! This is episode 28 and I am talking about a simplified laundry routine.

 

I have been practicing what I am going to share with you today for months and months. It has been working well. So well that I haven’t felt the need to change anything up, fall off the wagon, regroup, or anything like that. A lot of the times when you try to create a new routine, that happens. You think something is going to work really well for you but then you start to actually live it out and it just doesn’t work.

This has not happened with this particular routine. With the laundry being such an integral chore and a part of our role as moms, I think this is really valuable and worth sharing. This is what worked really well for me and I wanted to share it. Because when you find something that works, you should share it, right?

First, before we get into the routine, I just want to say again that minimalism when it comes to the clothes in your routine is Step 1 when it comes to simplifying your life, simplifying your laundry routine, and making your role a whole lot lighter. I have shared before in a previous podcast episode, emails, and on my blog, that I do not have a capsule wardrobe for myself, per se. Apparently, a capsule wardrobe is 30 items or less and it follows a bunch of guidelines that just don’t work for me. I tried it for about a year and it just didn’t float my boat.

I don’t have a crazy amount of clothes, but I have what I love, what I need. I have options. I feel very set free in my wardrobe. I am not following a bunch of rules that were decided on for me.

For my kids, it is pretty much the same thing. They don’t have a ton of stuff. They definitely have extras so I don’t have so little that if I get sick, fall behind on the laundry for some reason, or life happens, that I am screwed. There is plenty.

Everyone has what they need. I am not really focused at all on the numbers of items in everyone’s closet.

I would say Brian probably has the smallest wardrobe. He is a guy. He doesn’t really care. He is super basic. That works for him.

Whenever someone asks me how many pieces of clothing someone has, I can tell you what I think is a good minimalist starting point, but I don’t know what we have. It ebbs and flows as the kids grow, as they outgrow certain things, as we add more to their wardrobe. I am not obsessed with the number side of things and I don’t think that you should be either. I don’t really talk about that.

I do think that making sure what you have in your wardrobe and what your family has in their wardrobe should be serving you and them. Everything should be in good condition, no stains or rips. There shouldn’t be anything in there that you wouldn’t want your kids taking a photo in.

I hear a lot of moms saying, “Oh, this is their play clothes,” and they are just destroyed. Those are not play clothes. Those are rags, junk. It is not serving anyone.

All of my kids’ clothes are simple, basic, kind of fashionable (cause I like to dress my kids like that). If they were to put on anything from their closet or dressers, I would be happy if we went out somewhere in that, or if I were to take a picture of them in that. That’s my guideline. If it fits really well, if it’s in season, it stays. That’s pretty much it. I am really mellow and simplistic about minimalism when it comes to my clothes. You have to find that balance too.

Having said that, less clothes equals less to wash. Period. A lot of people tell me that if they simplify their clothes they will have to wash more. That doesn’t make any sense. If you have less clothes, you will be washing less. In my opinion having gone through all different types of clothing amounts and laundry systems, washing clothes in a regular rhythm is far better than having a ton of options that you don’t even really like and having the ability to get so behind that you have a “laundry mountain” situation in your house.

Now, my laundry routine. This is what I have done and it has worked so, so well for me. I have had the base of this for almost a year now. A few months ago, Emily Ley, (who I just adore and who was one of our Purpose Society speakers) shared on her Instagram story a few months ago what her easy laundry routine was. I borrowed a few things from her, especially about the Shout Color Catchers that I am going to share in a second, and fine-tuned my laundry routine. It perfected it and made it so much easier.

Here it is: I do one load of laundry pretty much every day. There are a couple of days here and there where maybe there is a bit more work to be done that day, maybe we are behind in school, maybe someone is not feeling well, maybe we have a really busy day and we leave in the morning and we don’t come back until that evening, of course, every once in a while, there is a day where I don’t do it. I am a human being.

But 95% of the time I do a load of laundry every day. I start it in the morning. It is part of my morning routine. With the routine, at first you set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to get into that habit. After a few weeks, probably less, you are going to remember to do it. Now my morning routine always looks the same. I do the same 5-6 things of self-care in the mornings, and then start the housework for the day. It is really, really easy.

I start a load of laundry in the morning. I have a hamper in everyone’s room. My house is two stories and my laundry is on the second story. I have a hamper downstairs in the hallway closet because sometimes people take off their socks, kitchen rags, etc. Then there is hamper in my daughter’s room, a hamper in the boys’ room, and a hamper in our room. Everyone has a hamper and everyone knows it is part of our house routine to put their dirty clothes in their hamper.

In the morning I go through the rooms in the house and I collect the dirty clothes. I put them all in one hamper. Since I am doing laundry so often there is not a mass of laundry that it won’t fit in one hamper. I collect whatever is there.

I can’t have a lot of dust in my house because my daughter has allergies, so if there is not enough to do a big load, I will take the curtains off, or the bed linens, sheets, things like that. I collect whatever needs to be washed, whatever is in the hamper, dump it in my washer/dryer.

When we moved in our new house I invested in a really large barrel washer and dryer. My machines can fit three loads. I haven’t found the need for that, but it is just nice to know that with so many kids I have room. It comes in handy when I am doing the bedding.

I collect whatever I am going to wash, dump it in there, add a few of the Tide Pods. With the Tide Pods, apparently, you are supposed to add more Pods according to the size and soil level of your load. So, if I am doing a pretty big load, I will add two Tide Pods. Then I drop in a Shout Color Catcher. This way I don’t have to sort my clothes.

It is amazing. These things work. I kid you not. Just to test it, I terrifyingly washed a bright red, brand new, never-before-worn, baseball sock with one of their brand new pairs of stark-white baseball pants. I put a Shout Color Catcher in that load. There was a bunch of other stuff in there too, but I purposefully put something that was white with something that was red. I washed it together with a Shout Color Catcher and not a lick of red leaked anywhere. It was amazing. I have used these for months and months. They are amazing. I love them.

I do a quick wash cycle that way. Whatever is dirty goes in. I do my Tide Pods (or whatever laundry detergent you use) and then a Shout Color Catcher. I shut the lid and I start the quick wash cycle. If your laundry machine doesn’t have a quick wash, just do normal or whatever. I don’t put it on scalding hot and I don’t do it on freezing cold; it is just medium warm. The quick wash cycle on my machine is 33 minutes.

It does its thing and then at some point during that same day, whether it is later that morning, that evening, or later that night before I go to bed, I dry the load, fold it and put it away.  

Typically, what happens is I do that in the morning around 7 or 8. It’s the last thing I do in my morning routine because I wait for everyone to wake up before I go into their rooms and collect laundry. Later around 9 or 10, after breakfast and everyone is settled, I will change the load into the dryer. Then that afternoon when everyone is resting and it’s naptime for Emmett, I will make sure it’s dry (run it again if it needs it), pull it out and dump it on my bed. I usually fold that same load at the end of the day before I go to bed.

Usually I will do a facial mask, sit there watching I Love Lucy and letting my mask get hardened, and fold the load and put all the clothes away. I usually have everyone put their own laundry away, so if it is late at night and they are already asleep, I will leave it out in the hallway on the cabinet top where the towels go and then have them put it away in the morning. The kids are used to that.

Basically, it is just one load every single day. Remember, one load a day keeps the “mountain” away, right?  I do a quick wash, Shout Color Catcher, Tide Pods. Wash that load. At some point by the end of that same day, the load has gone through the drying process, the folding process, and is put away.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out. bit.ly/getunburdened

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That’s pretty much it. Super simple. I don’t feel things like this should be over-complicated.

There’s a lot of people, a lot of influencers, a lot of magazine articles out there, that tell you how to simplify your life and then the routine is so over-complicated because they are adding fluff to appear like they are an expert.  

We can really simplify these core areas of our lives and make our lives so much easier. Simplification should never be over-complicated.

This is what I do. I get so many questions about how I do my laundry, how I never have “mountain laundry” even with four kids. Even when my kids were babies, I started to figure this out.

Doing one load a day is so much better than having a set laundry day. In my opinion, there is no day of the week that is worth me spending the bulk of my time washing and folding clothes. If that is what you prefer, you do you.

But for me, I would rather just have it in my daily routine. Half an hour of putting the load in, folding and putting it away, once a day. It keeps the laundry at bay and I know that it is pretty impossible for me to get super behind.

That’s my simplified laundry routine. I hope it helps you and inspires you. I will link to Emily Ley in the show notes because she is the Simplification Queen. She is amazing and you need to follow her. I have definitely adapted the quick wash cycle and the Shout Color Catcher part of my routine from her. It has really, really helped me.

That’s it!  I hope this helps and inspires you!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Ep 027: What Happens When You Take the Toys Away?

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A big part of what I do and talk about is toys and their effects on children. This is something that I have become really passionate about as I have evolved in doing what it is that I do. I have gone through lots of different seasons with toys with my kids. When it comes down to it, kids play much better with less options. Scientifically, their little brains can’t handle all those options. We think we are doing them a favor by giving them all these options and providing them with all the toys we didn’t have as kids, but really it is harming them. It is super difficult for their little brains to process all that and to make a choice from all of those options.

There is nothing depriving to your kids about giving them the gift of less material things. Children thrive on less. And what a gift that is for us as parents, not only financially, but also knowing that you are not going to scar your kids by removing some of this excess or getting rid of some of the stuff, the toys!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The beautiful gift that you give your kids when they have less toys.

  • Scientific studies around less toys + boredom with kids.

  • Myths around limiting your kids’ toys.  

  • How to handle the detox period your kids’ may experience going from all the toys to less toys.

  • Boundaries that she has in her house when it comes to toys, technology, etc.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Do you want to give your kids the gift of less? Do you want more information on how to do that? I created How to Declutter Your Kids' Toys as a FREE resource guide just for you! It is made to be the natural next step for this episode for those of you who are taking action! 


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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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 The Purpose Show.

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Hi beautiful listeners! Welcome to Episode 27 which is all about what happens when you take the toys away from your kids.

Sounds super mean and serious, but it’s not. I promise. That’s what this and the next episode is all about. I am going to be talking about the beautiful gift of less toys for kids and going over some scientific studies that have been done on less toys, or even no toys. I will be addressing some of the myths about limiting your kids’ toys and talking about how to handle that detox period from your kids being entertained all hours of the day and then going the exact opposite and how to handle that. Also, we will be talking about some different things that Brian and I have done in our house with toys, technology and all that.

I am really excited to dive in.

DISCLAIMER: I have a terrible cold, bordering on a sinus infection, so I am a little stuffy. I am an “oils” girl, but I have been drugging myself with actual medicine, just for you guys. I also have a heater blowing next to me on my feet. In case you don’t know, my office is an extension of our garage, so it is not as insulated and taken care of as the house. It gets cold out here. At the time of recording this, California is having a weird, cold, winter blast. Usually at this time everyone is wearing shorts and flip-flops. It is almost March, so it’s weird. But I am happy to be acting like the rest of the states in the country during this time of year, and I am dealing with it. So, if you hear the buzzing of the heater or snot coming out of nose, or whatever, I apologize. But this episode is too good to skip. So, I am going to dive in despite my very serious illness.

A big part of what I do and talk about is toys and their effects on children. This is something that I have become really passionate about as I have evolved in doing what it is that I do. I have gone through lots of different seasons with toys with my kids.

“All the toys” is where we started. We have the first grandchildren on both sides of grandparents, so in the beginning and early days, our toy room was chocked full of toy bins that were overflowing with toys. We had an entire, large-sized room dedicated to toys and it was intense. It was really overwhelming. It took up a lot of my time. I wanted to keep it somewhat picked up and organized because you could see it from the entryway and the kitchen. I didn’t want it to look like a mess all of the time. It was ridiculous. I didn’t know any other way. This is just how you did things. That’s all I knew.

I had all of the toys and didn’t want to waste anything. I didn’t know if one day my kids would want to play with something that they weren’t playing with right now. I kept everything as organized as I could and had all the colorful bins and all of that. It was insane. If you have heard my story, which I am sure most of you have, the first thing that I tackled when I had my epiphany about all of this stuff in our house, was the toys.

I don’t think that was a coincidence. I was bothered by the amount of toys in our home. I saw it but I guess I didn’t consciously realize it until that day. They weren’t serving their purpose. We had all of these toys. We had a big room full of all these amazing toys that we had bought, grandparents had bought, the kids had gotten for birthdays and Christmas over the years. Honestly, the room was pointless.

I would tell the kids to go play. I would get annoyed that they were at my feet while I was trying to get the dishes done or whatever. They would go in there for five minutes, dump everything onto the floor, and then come out complaining that they were bored or hungry, although they had just eaten breakfast or whatever. It went in this pointless cycle for so long.

When I did have that epiphany moment, the first thing I did was the toys because it was just a pointless bother. A leak on my time and my focus. The kids’ time and focus too. I didn’t realize that at the time, but it was. I got rid of almost everything except for a few key constructive or imaginative play items.

After a bit of a detox period, which I will talk about a bit later in this episode, my kids never played better. They were so little at the time, so it is incredible that it had that effect on them during a very needy, clingy part of their toddlerhood.

Now, I have a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 3-year-old, and they play all day long with almost nothing. We have a decent amount of toys now, but I notice that they don’t always play with them; they only do sometimes.

Even right now as I am recording, I can hear them upstairs running around in the loft. They are being the characters from the Mario Brothers Games. Bella is Yoshi, Leland is Mario, Hudson is Luigi, and Emmett is Bowser. They are running around making up games, stories and scenarios being those characters. They have been doing that since about 8 a.m. and it is just about to turn 10 a.m.

So, after breakfast they are still playing. This is a normal day for us. It is not a rarity. It is not just because mom is recording. Brian is inside editing and working at the kitchen table. The kids have been playing for about two hours. This is totally normal. It is amazing. It is definitely what I expect on a regular basis.

We have a Nintendo Switch, a Super Nintendo system, two big screen TV’s - one in my and Brian’s room for Netflix and chill at night, and one in the living room. We are normal. We have technology. We have the latest and greatest game system because it was a Christmas gift and the kids loved Mario. We have a bin of toys in the boys’ room and a bin of toys in Bella’s room, and a bunch of Legos in the loft. It is just not excess. It is not out of control. It is very minimal. We have what the kids like and play with.

We do a regular purge every 2-3 months. My rule is seasonal. Whenever the seasons change, we reevaluate an area of the house that needs it. It is usually the toys and clothes. We do a big purge together. We have what we need. We have what the kids like. They play all of the time. It is very simple. Technology has its limits, but it isn’t anything super harsh or hard to enforce. Everything is calm, still, and settled into this rhythm. It is really a joy.

I am telling you this because I want you to feel empowered. I want you to feel like this could happen for you. Brian and I were definitely intentional about this stuff. It didn’t happen on accident. One of my sons definitely has a tendency to get obsessive. He will play with technology all day long and stay up all night. He is the kind of kid that if there is a movie playing, he will never fall asleep. If there is something on, he is awake. He definitely gets obsessive. He asks to play with technology more than anyone, but still not more than 1-2 times a day. When the answer is, “No, not right now” it is not a big meltdown.

Even with a kid who seems to be more obsessive and technology centered, this can happen for you.

Having laid the groundwork and explained why less toys is such a good gift to give your kids, and how it looks in our day-to-day life, I want to encourage you to look up some scientific studies (link in the show notes) that have really inspired me and helped to give me clarity on kids who have less toys or even no toys at all.

When it comes down to it, kids play much better with less options. Scientifically, their little brains can’t handle all those options. They get overwhelmed; that’s why they will have tantrums or their attitudes will get really crappy. Giving them an open-ended task like “go play” and have them walking into all of those options is seriously difficult for them.

We think we are doing them a favor by giving them all these options and providing them with all the toys we didn’t have as kids, but really it is harming them. It is super difficult for their little brains to process all that and to make a choice from all of those options.

You might notice that your kids have a lot of toys and they tend to play with the same 2-3 all of the time. Or you may notice that they play with all of them over time and you can’t differentiate the toys that they play with all of the time because they play with everything at different times of the year. Both of those actions are the result of being overwhelmed.

Google this. Seriously. It is so amazing. We have a guy on our team, also named Brian, whose sole job it is to stay up-to-date for me on research surrounding children and minimalism and the idea of less toys and the effects of toys on kids. He sends me research and links to studies that are currently being done or have recently finished. I am always up-to-date on that. Brian is a great researcher and that’s why he is in charge of doing that. There is a lot of stuff out there. Again, I will link to a couple of the really good ones.

Every time there is a new study done it is always the same result. Children thrive on less. What a gift that is for us as parents, not only financially, but also knowing that you are not going to scar your kids by removing some of this excess or getting rid of some of the stuff, the toys.

I want to address some of the myths surrounding this idea. I think I have heard it all. I get a lot of emails and messages. I don’t read them all myself, but my assistant always fills me in on some things. They are always the same – it’s sad, how dare you, your poor kids, they are deprived, it’s hard for them, they are crying when I want to take their stuff away, this isn’t right, this is too hard for me as the mom to remove things because they don’t want to get rid of anything, it’s adding stress to my life. I totally understand.

But you have to understand something too. There is nothing depriving to your kids about giving them the gift of less material things. This is such a good thing for them to learn. It is such a good thing for them to see. It doesn’t have to be hard for them or you.

I think the main problem with the women who are emailing and messaging me with things like this, is they are trying to get it all done right now. They don’t want to let it unfold, let it go slow, start to implement this idea of less stuff in your family and in your home. Have less in your own self, the way you schedule your calendar, the way you do other areas in your house. Kids learn by watching you, so practice what you preach. It will happen. Things will change.

Also, around the ages of 5-6, kids naturally get very collective. Everything takes on a personality. Pieces of trash, rocks, and twigs, have life and a personality. They become obsessed. The want to keep everything and collect things. This is normal.

Know your stuff. Do your research. Know where your kids are at. Know the studies backing up the idea of less. Make decisions out of what works for your family right now. Maybe you can do a good purge session. I am not going to get into how to purge toys with your kids because I have talked about that so many times (I will link to my blog in the show notes.)

In this episode, I really want to focus on what happens when you limit the toys.

I want you to be encouraged. It is not sad. You are not depriving your kids. You don’t have to take all the toys away, shut down the TV’s, and say, “go outside and play.” That’s not what I am saying at all. Be calm. Be confident. Come at this in a way that works for you and your family. Maybe it looks slower than it did for me because my kids were so little. They didn’t really have a say; they were all under 3.

It can be in a way that works for you and only you can judge that. I am here to encourage you with what is going to happen for your family and your children if you choose to pursue this idea of less when it comes to their stuff.

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Hey friends! I put together a free resource guide all about decluttering your kids’ stuff. It is really a resource guide for the mom who wants to give their kids the gift of less, but wants a little bit more information on how to do that and where to start. To get that for free, go to alliecassa.com/shownotes/27. You will get all the links that I talk about in this episode as well as the link to download this free resource guide. It is super helpful. It is made to be the natural next step for this episode for those of you who are taking action.

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A couple of the studies show something that I definitely have experienced. Back in the day, six years ago, when I only had three kids and they were really little, there wasn’t a detox period. But over the years we have accumulated stuff and had to re-purge. It’s not like I purged it one time and then every season I purged the toys. There was a period of time after I decluttered the toys, where I didn’t know what was I doing, and I went 1 ½ years before decluttering the toys again.

You bet your bottom they reaccumulated, the pile grew and it got overwhelming again. As I went through the process of toys coming in and going out, I experienced times that it was “time to do a really big purge again.” My kids were older than the initial purge. There is definitely a detox period. If your kids are used to having a lot of stuff, used to a lot of a technology, used to having a lot of toys that light up and make noise and don’t leave much to the imagination, there is definitely going to be a detox period.

That is normal. It is OK. There are things you can do to be prepared for that. One of the things is to pick a time that will work for you. Find a time in your schedule where nothing else big is going on. Don’t pick a time when you are moving, or something sad is happening in your family, or something really big is going on. Or maybe you disagree and timing this around a move would work really well for you. You do you.

But I would imagine that timing it around a time in your life that is normal and calm is a good idea. Make sure it is a time where you can handle it as best as possible. If your kids are at home all day, prepare yourself for it. Come up with an activity. Maybe you can plan a hike or a beach day. Maybe you can take a day off from housework and sit outside with your kids and watch them play. Maybe ease them into it. Don’t shut everything down and expect them to figure it out.

You have gone this far teaching your kids that their play is laid out for them by the toys that they have, the options they have, and the technology they have. You have taught them that this is how play looks. You can’t just shut everything off and expect their natural play instincts to kick in. It’s not going to work that way.

However, kids are naturals at play. It will happen. It is just that they haven’t been in that place at all, and they have been trained to be entertained. They have that subconscious entitlement, for lack of a better word. They need their imaginations to be re-born. They are just out of commission. That makes sense. You just need to have some grace and patience.

For me, I do a tech detox. I did this several times when we were re-purging and getting back to our roots. Whenever there is a season of heavier technology or heavier toys and we hadn’t purged in a while, I would do a detox. I would say, “We are going to do no technology this week. Let’s go purge the toys.” We would make the decisions together and get rid of stuff.

My kids have each other; it’s different if you have an only child. They would play and whine, bicker, and argue a little bit more than usual. I could make a choice. I could remove them from the area and have a change of scenery, maybe go on a hike. Or I could just let them push through it and gently correct them.

You have to understand there is going to be a detox period. My best piece of advice is to plan some kind of outdoor activity for the first day. You don’t need to make your kids feel entitled to entertainment by taking them somewhere amazing like Disneyland, but just go do something out of the norm. Go for a hike. Go for a walk. Go to the beach. Go to the forest. Have a picnic. Break up the usual routine. This helps kids see that this can be fun. It also helps to break up the day and distract a bit from their being bored.

There are plenty of articles on boredom and how good it is for kids to experience boredom. This is where ideas and imagination happen. The word “bored” really gets a bad rap. It’s kids experiencing boredom for the first time. Because they are not used to it, they are whiny, cranky, and hard to be around. You have to understand that this is what detox means. This is what it looks like. You can do some things to help break it up, but it is going to be a bit harder than usual for about a week or so.

We have done a lot of different things. We have done no TV in the house at all. We actually meant to do it for about a week, and it turned into six months. It was amazing. Not even for Brian and I. No TV at all. It was one of the best times in our family. It was so fun. So many good things happened and came from it, although it was hard at first.

We have done no toys at all. When we were living in the camper, there was a big chunk of time, months, where we had no toys at all, because we didn’t have room for a lot of them. The box we had set aside to bring a few toys into the camper, got left back in storage. We didn’t get our toys back until we came back to California. It was great. The kids figured it out. Their imaginations got even stronger.

We have done no TV at all and no toys at all. Our normal is monitored TV time. I don’t really have a specific amount of time per day. There are definitely days where it is a little bit more than usual, but it is typically really little. There are a lot of days where there is no TV or technology at all. That is very normal at our house to have a no-tech day.

We don’t wake up and decide we need to have a no-tech day. It just doesn’t happen that day. Technology is definitely not a part of every day for us. The toys are definitely at a minimum. It has been at a maintained place for a solid three years. One bin of toys. All the “free” toys for the boys and Legos being separate from that. Bella has her own box of personal toys that she doesn’t want the boys to play with. That’s it. I don’t count art supplies as toys, in case you were wondering.

That’s where we have landed. We have done it all. The more you limit, the more you remove the excess, it is so much better. Your kids play so much better. Your days are smoother.

Before I wrap it up, I want to make a quick note about people who have one child. I have done some studies of my own on students in Your Uncluttered Home, who have an only child. One woman in particular, I actually gifted her the course, if she would give me a good synopsis of how it goes with her having an only child. At that time, her daughter was an only child; she is not anymore.

She did all that I am talking about. She limited things. She went through her entire home and did Your Uncluttered Home. She had the same results as me, as did the other five women that I did this with. Hers was really detailed and I appreciated what she did so I am going to focus on her.

She had the same results that I did. Her daughter played for hours alone instead of just a couple of minutes. She didn’t need her mom to play with her so much. She grew her imagination. She became very creative. She took up coloring and art. She started to really thrive.

Don’t give me the excuse that it only works for me because I have four kids and they are really close in age. This can happen for anyone. With kids that are far apart. With only children. With families of 12 kids. Whatever your situation is I would encourage you to attempt to remove the excess when it comes to your kids’ toys. See how it goes for you. Give it a month. Give it some time. Let it sit. Let it breathe. I promise you will see some positive changes.

I will link to my story. I will link to my favorite studies that have been done. I will link to my post about how to declutter the kids’ toys. I also have put together a free download for you. It is my top resources for decluttering the kids’ toys. If you want that, go to the show notes. It is totally free. It will help you with the “how to” of all of this. I will also link to the articles on boredom and how good it is for your kids to be bored every now and then.

If this is really, really speaking to you, and you are game and you so want this, I would really encourage you to dive into my blog archives. Read my old posts. Consider enrolling in Your Uncluttered Home. There is nothing else like it. It is all in one place. It is all right there. It is so full, helpful, and valuable. I promise you will love it. It will change your entire life.

Take action in some way. Whether you get the course, whether you don’t get the course, whether you do it yourself, whatever. I just want you to experience the life changing, amazing effects of decluttering and simplifying your kids’ toys. It will change your whole family dynamic for the better.

The show notes can be found at alliecassa.com/shownotes/27. Get your free download. Look at those studies and check all that out. I encourage you to take action; don’t just listen to this and do nothing. That is my worst fear for you guys.

Take action. Be a doer. Make a positive change for your family.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

EP 24: Phone Settings For A Present Life

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I absolutely love technology. I have a business that is ran through technology. I can capture memories with my family through the camera on my phone. I can connect with people all around the world whenever I want. But it can get out of hand. It can become a distraction from what really matters and from what is actually going on. Our phones are playing a huge role in absent-minded motherhood (you know, where you get lost in the scrolling on Instagram and Facebook instead of playing with your kids). There are so many excuses to not be paying much attention to what’s going on around us in real life. The phone is a distraction from real life, plain and simple. And we are raising a generation that will joke around about whose mom was staring at the square in her hand more often. That’s not what I want. I know it’s not what you want either.

 

I want to empower you when it comes to setting boundaries with your phone so you can live a present life. You are the only one that can make this choice. You can make the choice to be different from everyone else. To go against the grain. To swim upstream. Protect your time. Choose to focus on what matters.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The role our phones play in how we “mom” today.

  • Tips for setting boundaries with your phone + social media.

  • Different phone settings you can utilize to help break interruptions from your phone always going off.

  • The benefits from doing a phone detox.

  • How looking at why you feel you need your phone attached to you, will help set you free from actually needing it attached to you.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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I have created a FREE + easy guide for you that lays out different phone settings that I use to help me stay present in my life + with my family. I encourage you to download it and change your settings. It has changed my life so much!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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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 The Purpose Show.

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Welcome back friends to The Purpose Show! This is episode 24. I am talking today all about having a present life when it comes to your phone, how you can handle time spent on your phone on social media, and what kind of permanent phone settings you can set up to have a present life and a present motherhood.

The fact is phones are a distraction from life. Our phones are absolutely playing a huge role in absent-minded motherhood, where you get lost in the scrolling on Instagram and Facebook.  There are all kinds of new apps popping up all the time. There are so many excuses to not be paying much attention to what’s going on around us in real life. The phone is a distraction from real life, plain and simple.

All of the sudden, today, anyone who has your number – anyone who has ever had your phone number – can get hold of you at any time of any day. And what really gets me is that these people not only can get hold of you any time they want, but most people actually expect a fairly quick response. That’s because of expectations laid out by society. I think it is completely ridiculous.

In my group of friends, my inner circle, I am known as the one who doesn’t text back, doesn’t respond back to everything. It’s kind of the running joke. Honestly, it makes me really happy because this has been a problem for me. I have been sucked into my phone. It’s a big part of my job.

It’s really easy for me to justify time on my phone. A lot of the time, I do need to be on my phone. I am not saying to never be on your phone.

I absolutely love technology. It has given me my business. It has given me freedom. It has given me so much. When we moved away from friends and family, I was never more grateful for technology and my iphone as I was then. It is an amazing, beautiful thing for sure.

But it can get out of hand. It can become a distraction from what really matters and from what is actually going on.

If you just take a minute to purposefully decide that the next time you are out and about with your family, notice how many people are on their phones. I did this the other day when we were at Legoland. I was preparing to record this episode. I decided I was going to mindful of two things: (1) how often I felt the need to reach for my phone, and (2) how many people were on their phones at Legoland. If you are going to Legoland, you are probably there to have some family time and enjoy some time with your kids, right?

It was really, really saddening. I noticed that I was reaching for my phone a lot. Immediately after that, I decided to do another social media detox and phone breakups, which we will talk about later in this episode.

While I was there, I also noticed that everywhere there was a bench, there was someone or a cluster of someone’s, sitting there on their phones. More than half the time, those people had kids sitting right next to them, who were trying to talk to them, or trying to get their attention.  Everyone was just on their phones.

It’s hard because I don’t want to be judgmental. There was a blog post that was floating around that went viral a few years ago. Basically, someone had written a letter to a mom who was on her phone the whole time.

Now, I have been that mom at the park. The mom at the park who started a business and is home with her kids only because of that business. And she needs to work. She needs to get her work done. You don’t what that mom was going through. And that was me. It could have been me.

I would take my kids to the park so they could get their energy out and play. I would bring my phone, fully charged, and sit on that bench responding to emails, or going through the applications for a new assistant to hire so I could be more present with my kids. Writing a blog post on my phone at the park in the middle of the day – that was me. You just don’t know and you can’t judge other people.

I think we can agree that our phones have become such a distraction from real life. And that there are expectations by other people for a fairly quick response time. That responding to a text a day or two later is really out of the norm. It can even be considered rude.

I have really gotten that vibe myself. It has taken over a lot in my life. People say things all the time. It is discouraging to me that just because someone has your phone number, which is a lot of people, and that someone reaches out and asks if they can “pick my brain” about blogging or starting a business, that I am expected to give that request time and space in my life as soon as my phone lights up. It flabbergasts me how often people are “entitled” to my time away from my family.

Let’s face it. If I am holding a “square” in my hands and using it to type a message to this other person, I am not present with my family.

They know that I have a business. They know that I homeschool. They know that I have four kids and a husband. And yet they feel entitled enough to send me a text that would require a pretty lengthy response, or any response at all. And they feel like I am the rude one for not responding fairly quickly or ever.

That, again, flabbergasts me. That’s ridiculous to me.

Basically, what it comes down to is this realization of, “OK, this is the way society works today.” I do know that some people have chosen not to do the “smartphone thing” at all.  And hats off to them. If that’s you – good job! That’s awesome!

That is not for me. I am a modern mama. I have an online business. I have stuff to do. My phone is a tremendous help to me when I am out and about, doing things with my family. Or if I want to let the kids get some energy out and I need to respond to a couple emails. Or jump on a Facetime call with my PR girl, spur of the moment. I need that. It is phenomenal to me. It is so worthwhile.

However, I don’t want to let the convenience of today’s technology be a foothold in my life and a reason that I missed moments with my family by this distracting little rectangle.

I realize that you might be “yes, that’s me! I need to get this under control in my life.” I have totally been there.

I love Instagram, in particular. If you follow me, you notice that is where I am the most. It’s personable. I am there a lot. I like to share my day. I have always wanted to have a vlog – video blog. It doesn’t work out for our family. It is way too high maintenance and we don’t want to be “movie stars”, where we are filming everything about our life all of the time with a “real” camera.

Instagram Stories was introduced last year (or whenever). For me, it has been so fun. I feel like I can be really personable and share little 15 second blips of my day. I treat Instagram Stories as a little vlog of my life. I love sharing that with you guys. I love sharing quick tips of decluttering, time management and such. I absolutely love it. It is such a breath of fresh air for me.

But it can totally get to a point where it is a little out of hand, taking up a lot of time. When you are sharing like that, people respond back with messages. It has can be time consuming when you are responding to strangers and giving them your time, when your family is what really needs that.

I want to empower you: you are the only one that can make this choice. You can make the choice to be different. To go against the grain. To swim upstream. Protect your time. Choose to focus on what matters.

It can be done. About 3 – 3 ½ years ago, I hit a point that I realized this was taking up way too much of my time. I really wanted to put it in its place, and I did. I have been doing detoxes.  Figuring out some phone settings, some tips and tricks, that can really help you put your phone in its place in your life, which is on the back burner. With your family up front. The phone should not be such a distraction. It can be done. I just want you to be empowered.

It is OK to not respond to every text message. Or at all. It is OK to just not respond. We all know that feeling where we get a text and it burdens us, “O crap! Now I am going to have to respond. I don’t know what to say to that.” Maybe there is someone that wants to hang out and you really don’t want to hang out with them. Or someone is asking you something and you just haven’t made a decision about it yet. You have allowed your phone lighting up to distract you, to burden you, in the middle of your busy day with your kids, at work, or wherever you are.

I want to empower you and let you know that it does not have to be that way. You can make a choice to live a different way. And everyone else can just deal with it. I promise you it will be OK. It is not as big a deal as you may be thinking it is.

When your phone lights up, dings, or vibrates, that is you giving other people a priority in your day. It is. It is you giving them priority over your family and your day. Even without responding.  The fact that it made a noise distracted you. You hear the noise and you are thinking, “I wonder who that is?” That’s a distraction.

I think that we need to accept that harsh reality, that harsh truth and let it sink in, so that we have a drive to make a change. You are the only one who can set boundaries with that. Who can realize that is the truth of what this is.  And then set the boundaries according to how you want to live your life.

We can’t get upset with other people for texting us. That’s just a given in today’s world. Only we can draw the line where we want it to be. And only we can keep it there.  And live our lives with the priorities and boundaries that we have set showing the other people in our life how strictly or not strictly we live by this. Right? Only we can set that boundary line.

And the way you set it may be a little awkward at first and a little hard. You may realize that you have a major phone addiction. That’s OK. It’s normal in today’s world. But there is something that we can do about it. Right?

Let’s dive into the specifics of setting boundaries with your phone and the people that have the number to your phone.

These are my suggestions for what helped me. I feel like I have a pretty great relationship with the other people in my life. It may take me awhile to text people back. I have set times that I do that. But I also feel like my phone does not run my life at all. It doesn’t have a priority in my life over my kids, my husband, my life. I feel like I have struck a pretty good balance and I am sharing what I have done.

One of the first things I want to say is it is important to stop carrying your phone around with you all the time. That’s the first thing I did when I realized I had a really bad habit and wanted to break it. Assigning your phone to one location for when you are at home is huge.

For me personally, I picked the entryway because it is downstairs, by the front door.  It is not in the kitchen, where I spend most of my time. I didn’t want the phone near me all of the time because just seeing it can be a distraction. It is in a central-ish location, but it is also out of the way. It is not with me all of the time.

Full disclosure, of course, I bring my phone with me throughout the day. You can tell that in two seconds if you follow me on Instagram. But, having a location for your phone is somewhere you can put it on days that you get “exhausted” from responding to things. Don’t you ever feel worn down by text messages, especially if anyone does what I do for a living?  Just texting other people can be exhausting.

On those days, give yourself a break. Put your phone in its assigned location. Get away from it for a day. Don’t even look at it. Don’t even pick it up and carry it with you. You don’t need to capture yourself folding laundry on Instagram Stories for the thousandth time. You don’t need to capture every cup of coffee. Every homeschooling lesson. Every time you are in the school pick up line with your kids. You don’t need to capture everything. We are “capture happy” in today’s society.

Take a break and let it go. Give your phone an assigned general location. Stop carrying it around with you all of the time.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood, so you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.  How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries.  How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar.  How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course.  It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you?  Does this sound like something that would really help you right now?  Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course.  I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life.  It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out.  You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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The next thing is turn off all of your notifications. I know this sounds crazy but, hear me out.  This is how I have my phone set up.

If someone calls me, it will ring or vibrate. If someone calls me, they can get hold of me. If someone texts me, I don’t know it unless I look at my phone and go to the text message icon.  Then I see that I have text messages. Everything is turned off.

I go through seasons where I will undo the text thing. I always have it set where text will not make a sound. But I will sometimes go and change the settings to where it will go on my “lock screen” if someone texts me. Right now, if I turn my phone screen on, there will not be any notifications on there. All I see is the picture of me and Brian in the background, the time and the date. That is great! It is so minimalistic, simplified and freeing.

But sometimes I might be waiting for someone to text me.  Maybe there is something going on. For example, a group text because my family is all planning Easter. Then I will change settings to where it shows on my “lock screen” but it won’t make a sound or vibrate. If my husband sends me a text message, I hear the sound. It will vibrate. It is a special sound so I know that Brian has texted me. Then I answer it.

You can set it to where everything is off all of the time except for certain people. For example, when Brian was gone, I had it set where nothing made a sound unless Brian texted me. Even his phone call ringer is different than everyone else’s ringer.

Turn off Instagram alerts. Turn off social media notifications. You don’t need to be everywhere all of the time. I think we have FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – about everything. We are afraid we will miss something. What if someone messages me on Facebook? OK? What if they do? Why can’t you see it later when you log into Facebook on your computer. Why does it have to be all the time? Right now? Always?

I would encourage you to turn off all of your notifications. As of this moment, I don’t get any notifications on my phone except for one special app that I have where only my assistant, Hayley, can get hold of me because she is awesome. She doesn’t bug me at all unless she absolutely has to. She can get hold of me on there or she can call me.

Even if I have it set to where I get notifications on my “lock screen”, it doesn’t make a sound.  It doesn’t vibrate. It is there when I go to look at my phone.

Give yourself boundaries with your phone. There should be times where you will look at your phone. Sure, I want to see if there are texts. I want to see if I missed a call and somehow didn’t hear it. If I want to go on Instagram, I will look and see if there is anything I need to see there.

It’s set times that you are boxing it out instead of having it ding every two seconds. Having the screen light up because someone just followed you on Instagram. Having it light up and alert you for every single thing all of the time. You are literally saying, “this is more important and this has space in my life to distract me from what matters most.”

Also, the Do Not Disturb setting is your best friend. It is an extra-thick boundary for things like family movie night, date night with your husband, times where you are trying to focus on work.  Times when you are basically saying, “nothing is more important for this.” Even if your mom calls to see how your day went.

In a true emergency, which let’s face it – it’s rare, if someone calls 2-3 times in a row, it will come through. But other than that, no alerts.

We tend to think “Oh, what if someone needs me? Oh, the business! Oh, What if this? What if there is a family emergency?” How often does that really happen? If something is a true emergency, what is 911 for? Again, if they call three times in a row, it will come through.

Block that time out and give yourself boundaries with this or it will take over your whole life. Your kid’s memories will be you looking at your phone. That is my biggest fear. I think about it all of the time. It reminds me and motivates me to have these boundaries in place, which is so easy to do.

If you are wondering how to do all of these settings, the Content Upgrade will walk you through all of that. The link for that is in the show notes.

Delete the Facebook App. You can delete other social apps if you want to, but specifically Facebook. Do we really need to be able to get an alert, or to open it up and see what our high school girlfriend is doing for lunch at a moment’s notice? No, I don’t think so. If you are listening to this, you are probably a mom. You really don’t need to know that. You have a lot going on.

Facebook is one thing that can be browsed on the computer during down time or on your phone’s browser. There is no need for an app to give us constant access to what everyone is doing today. I do not have Facebook Messenger on my phone. I do not have the Facebook app on my phone. Honestly, I almost never go on there on the computer.

The only thing that I use Facebook for is doing my live streams for my community because everyone else uses Facebook. A lot of my community groups are on Facebook, but I can run those through separate platforms, 3rd party apps, which I honestly like better.

You do not need Facebook on your phone no matter who you are or what you use it for. When you delete the Facebook app, you are deleting that ease of access. You are making it so you have to go onto your computer or your phone’s browser and actually log in to check it. It is an extra barrier that’s good for boundaries.

Have set social media and phone “break-ups” or “detoxes”. I just did one. I do this pretty often. I used to have them set in my calendar, which I highly suggest you do if you are trying to break a phone habit or addiction. Every three months I would set one for three days. I would detox. I wouldn’t go on any social media.

I wouldn’t go on Instagram. Not do an Instagram Story. Nothing. I wouldn’t capture anything. I would just live in the moment. Put my phone in its dedicated space and only bring it with me when I was leaving the house. I just live my life in the moment and enjoy my family. It always reaffirms these boundaries. It reaffirms this drive in me to be present. Put my phone in its place and not give it time in my life.

I love Instagram. I think it is amazing. I think it is generally a very positive atmosphere. It is very image heavy and I love taking pictures. I take my own photos. I love photography. I love capturing my babies. I love, love Instagram. I love the community that I have built there. I generally get very positive messages there. I have instant, immediate messaging and response to my Instagram Story turned off to protect my time. But people can still message me from my feed. I love, love it there. I love sharing my story. I love treating it like a vlog. I love it there.

BUT, everyone needs a break sometimes. When I am going to get ready for a social media or phone “break up,” I will completely delete the Instagram (and any other social media apps).  It’s not even on my phone. It is a reminder for me when I turn on my phone to check Instagram, that “Oh, it’s not there. Oh, I am doing a detox.” Delete it completely. You can’t just decide, “I am going to do a detox.” It’s not enough. Remove it from your phone completely. Then when you are done you can re-load it. Do this for a set amount of time.

I usually do 2-3 days. There have been times when I was going to do a detox for 2 days and it turned in to two weeks, because I am just burnt out and I am enjoying the break. That’s so good for you. You need to have these times. I would suggest 2-3 days.

Take a break. Use that assigned phone location we talked about. Keep your phone there. Don’t carry it around the house. Don’t do any social media for a few days. Don’t check to see what everyone else is doing. Don’t update what you are doing.

Then I would challenge you, as you do that a few times and you grow in that, start to do it when you are doing something amazing. We have this problem with capturing every single thing that we do, especially if it is something really cool. Going to Disneyland. Wine tasting with your husband. Taking a trip to Hawaii. Start to challenge yourself to do these social media break-ups when you are doing something you would normally capture and share.

Ask yourself… Why do I feel like I need to share this? What is my heart issue here? Why do I feel like I need everyone to see this about my life? What am I trying to prove here? Really dig deep and face this problem that we all have.

Choose really carefully who you respond to. I feel that one of the biggest problems with texting, as helpful and convenient as it can be, is that everyone feels like they can get hold of you anytime and they expect you to respond pretty quickly. You have life going on.

I have four kids. I homeschool. I have the business. It seems to me that people would “get it” when I don’t respond for several hours or even in a day or two. But I have received a few texts, at some point, saying things like, “Hello? Oh my gosh, are you mad at me? Are you getting my texts?”

And my response is “Are you serious?”  Who are you? Do you feel entitled to my time? I am supposed to drop everything and answer your text message at the speed that seems reasonable to you and your expectations?

I am in the middle of raising world shapers. Home educating them. I am managing my home. Uh, it can and will wait.

That is my mantra for this kind of thing. It can wait. It is OK for it to wait. It is not the end of the world, or the end of anything. And it will wait because I am busy focusing on what really matters. I don’t want this to sound unkind, but I feel like we should be really choosy with who we should respond to regarding texting.

If you really think about it, it makes sense. If someone who isn’t in your immediate relationship circle – your family, your husband, your closest friend – is sending you a text message and you responded right way, you just gave them your time. You took time away from your family, kids, work, and you gave it to them. That’s the fact. You also just set a precedent letting them know they can text you anytime and get a response.

The same principle goes for the topic that you are texting about. Is this really worth your time?  I think we all need to wake up, myself included. Choose wisely how we spend our time, who we are spending our time with and on. Really get intentional in this area of our life.

We are raising a generation that will joke around about whose mom was staring at the square in her hand more often. That’s not what I want. I know it’s not what you want either.

That’s what intentionality is. Realizing, mindfully, what other people are not realizing. Seeing the problems and reacting, responding, by changing the way we are doing things. Even if it means being totally different than everybody else. That’s what this is about.

I encourage you. We have to change our phone settings. We have to put these amazing rectangles in their place. Let it be a gift and not a burden. Boundaries will help you do that. Setting the boundaries of time and space. Putting the phone where it belongs in your life.

If you would like to see the actual settings of my iphone, I have shared them in the checklist with this episode. It is completely free to download it. I would encourage you to download it and change your settings. It has changed my life so much.

Whenever I feel like I am burnt out or I am struggling with Instagram again, I detox. You can totally do this! I hope this makes you feel empowered and inspired.

Go download that free checklist. It will help you put “pedal to the medal.” Put action to this episode. Change your phone settings for a present life.

That link is alliecassaza.com/shownotes/24.

Go get your free checklist. Be encouraged! You guys can do this!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  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, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!