13 Weeks to a Better Me – Challenge Week 3

13 weeks to a better me

Summer is in full swing here in Washington! I must admit, I’ve been loving the warm weather!

I normally prefer fall and winter, as I love so much about those seasons (pumpkin-everything, cozy sweaters, hot chocolate, and CHRISTMAS!! Just to name a few), but I’ve come to realize that I am most comfortable when the house is at around 76 to 80 degrees.

I don’t know how it’s taken me 26 years of living to figure this out, but this year might be the first time I’m really excited about summer! It’s been so much fun getting outside with my kids and really enjoying the warm weather. Sometimes I’ll just sit out in the sun for a few minutes and soak it in.

James is enjoying the warm weather, too!

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Unfortunately, I think the summer sunshine has distracted me a bit from my Week 2 challenge and I haven’t stayed as focused as I should have… Oops!

If you’re new around here, you might not know what I’m talking about. I’ve been working through a challenge I call “13 Weeks to a Better Me”. I started this challenge as a personal journey towards finally building some habits and routines that I’ve always wanted to have in place but have never put the time and effort into making them happen. 

(You can read more about why I started this challenge here)

Although I mostly started this to challenge myself and keep accountability, I have opened it up for anyone to follow along, if they have areas in their own life that they want to see turned around.

It’s not a traditional challenge necessarily (you’re not going to get a bunch of emails from me), but I have provided some resources for the challenge that are free to use – even if you’re not interested in the challenge! Just hit the Subscribe button below and you’ll get instructions to access all my free printables.


Today marks the start of Week 3 of my challenge, but first I’m going to check in and review last week’s tasks.

Week 2 Challenge in Review

Just as a reminder, this past week I had two new habits to work on – Drink 8 (8-oz) glasses of water every day (which was my Week 1 Challenge – you can read more here) and Create a Morning Routine (this was my Week 2 Challenge – read more here).

I did much better about drinking water this week, compared to week 1! I drank my full 8 glasses almost every day. I’m feeling great about my progress with drinking enough water, and am hoping this week I’ll get 8 glasses or more every single day!

When it came to sticking to my morning routine… I’ll admit, I didn’t do great! Sticking to a brand-new morning routine takes quite a bit of time, consistency, and effort, and I just didn’t really put in the mental focus needed to get it done. I’m not really sure why I couldn’t get my mind in gear, but I’m battling some serious mental fog lately!

The morning routine I’m trying to follow goes like this –

  • Drink 8oz of water first thing – BEFORE coffee!
  • Quiet time while drinking coffee (this time is to quiet my spirit and spend some time with God, getting spiritually and emotionally prepared for the day)
  • Write my to-do list for the day, make a dinner plan, and fill in my time blocking sheet if I choose to use one that day (although I really should use them every day, I get SO much more done when I use time blocking!)
  • Get ready for the day (shower, dress, hair, and makeup)
  • Work on blog IF the kids are still asleep.
  • Make beds and tidy up bedrooms
  • Get the kids changed and dressed
  • Gather up dirty clothes and start a load of laundry
  • Breakfast – prepare, eat, and clean up
  • Unload dishwasher and load any dirty dishes
  • Play with the kids. Switch the laundry when it’s done washing
  • Put the baby down for her nap, and while she sleeps, do some focused learning time with James working on counting, colors, shapes, etc.
  • Complete my morning chores (my chore of the day, folding laundry and putting it away, etc. as part of my cleaning schedule)

So, the very first part of my morning routine is to drink 8 oz of water before drinking my coffee. It’s important to hydrate when you first wake up after a night of no water, and this week I successfully did this almost every day – Friday was the only day I skipped the water and went straight for my cup of coffee!

Unfortunately, after drinking my water, I just sort of fell apart when it came to following my routine. I kept leaving my checklist upstairs and you know what they say – out of sight, out of mind.

I’m not the greatest at remembering things anyway, and I certainly don’t have my whole new routine memorized yet, so going by memory just doesn’t work. I remembered to drink my water before my coffee, and that was it!

This week, I’m going to hang my Morning Routine Checklist somewhere really, really noticeable so I can keep better track of my routine and hopefully stick to it better! And I’m going to work on focusing my mind more and being intentional about sticking to the routine.

The goal is to build these habits so I complete the routine automatically, without any mental effort. It’s just going to take a lot of mental effort in the meantime while I do the habit building!

Now, let’s take a look at the new task I’m adding in this week!

Week 3 Challenge

This week, I’m focusing on developing an effective quiet time in the morning. Right now, I just don’t have a good system in place and it leaves me feeling a little lost when I get up, trying to figure out how my quiet time should go.

I have a Bible and my favorite devotional, but I normally keep them hidden where the kids can’t get to them (I don’t want to risk pages getting ripped, my Bible getting drawn on, etc.) and usually I skip over digging them out and opt to read from my Bible app on my phone.

While there’s nothing wrong with reading from my phone, I just don’t enjoy it all that much. I like the convenience of it, but I prefer real books – where I can feel the pages between my fingers and underline any passages that speak to me.

But even beyond that, I don’t really have a good quiet time system. I tend to have too many quiet time ideas that sound so great – keep a prayer journal, memorize Scripture every day, write down my favorite verses, on and on it goes – and my brain gets overwhelmed and doesn’t know what to do…. So it does nothing! (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this??)

So, especially when I’m sleep-deprived or just mentally frazzled, I usually just read a few chapters in my Bible and call it a day. It’s not exactly refreshing or uplifting, which is the whole point of quiet time!

So, it’s time to change – and that’s my goal for this week! First, I’m going to identify my 3 major problems.

  1. How do I want my quiet time to go? What do I want to accomplish in this time?
  2. What supplies do I need to make my quiet time more successful?
  3. How and where can I store those supplies so that they are easy to pull out in the morning, and just as easy to put away so the kids can’t get into them?

I’m going to spend some time thinking and working on this, and write an update hopefully sometime this week to discuss what solutions I’ve come up with!

I could really use your help on this! I’d love to hear about your quiet time routine and any resources you find to be especially helpful to you! Comment below or email me at courtney@joyfulintentionality.com!

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Check out my other 13 Weeks to a Better Me posts!

I’ve Been a Slacker Lately….. so I’m Challenging Myself!

13 Weeks to a Better Me – Challenge Week 1

13 Weeks to a Better Me – Challenge Week 2

13 Weeks to a Better Me – Challenge Week 4

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