Better yourself by asking one question: What kind of person do you want to be? By asking yourself this whenever you are choosing between what is easy and what is right, you can truly learn how to be a better you.

How to be the Kind of Person You Want to Be

For Sweet’s Sake

If you’ve been with Wholly Unimpressive for any length of time, you may have noticed my love for every food that is bad for me. Refer to my cake post if you think I’m exaggerating.

The point is I just really love sweets. And what makes it worse is I also hate food that is good for me. I’m like Kevin on the office when Michael is trying to force him to eat a head of raw broccoli. He’s basically crying bc he hates it so much. I feel you Kev. I hate it so much too.

I was grocery shopping with my husband yesterday and we were walking through the produce section. Literally, I was cringing at the thought of eating strawberries or apples. Bleh. Please, God, don’t make me do it.

Why can’t I just thrive off Reese’s cups and be rail thin and horse healthy all at the same time?

Unfortunately for me, life doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately for all of us, we sometimes have to choose to do the things we don’t want to do in order to see change.  Continue reading “How to be the Kind of Person You Want to Be”

4 Ways to Keep Yourself From Being Completely Out of Control and Stay on Track While Setting Goals | After I found myself eating almost half a cake all by myself, I realized I needed to learn how to have self-control. So here are four ways to stay in control, exercise self-discipline and work towards your personal goals. 1) Have a plan 2) Buddy Up 3) Find a Middle Way 4) Give Yourself Grace. With these four tips you can maintain a balanced life.

4 Ways to Maintain Self-Control

This is the Story of a Girl Who Was Completely Out of Control

A few months ago, I walked into work and an entire cake was happily resting next to the coffee maker.

This wouldn’t have been an issue if the coffee maker wasn’t directly in front of my desk. So, I tried not to look at it. (I’ve never been so interested in my emails before.) But eventually everyone went to lunch, and I didn’t go to lunch. And it was just me and the cake. Alone. Together.

I’m currently trying to lose weight (and by currently, I mean I’ve been trying for the past two years.) So I knew I didn’t need to eat the cake. I needed to have self-control.

But, in a crazy out-of-body experience, I found myself suddenly next to the cake.

And soon, I was cramming an entire piece down my throat as fast as I could so no one would catch me in the act. It was soooo good. So good that I immediately ate another piece while hunched over the coffee maker. Continue reading “4 Ways to Maintain Self-Control”

4 Ways to Keep Yourself From Being Completely Out of Control and Stay on Track While Setting Goals | After I found myself eating almost half a cake all by myself, I realized I needed to learn how to have self-control. So here are four ways to stay in control, exercise self-discipline and work towards your personal goals. 1) Have a plan 2) Buddy Up 3) Find a Middle Way 4) Give Yourself Grace. With these four tips you can maintain a balanced life.

4 Ways to Daily Set Your Intention (and the Scientific Benefits of Doing So)

What Breathing Like Darth Vader Taught Me About Intentional Living

Star Wars Yoga

I recently started going to my first yoga class. Like I’ve been twice. And I kinda love it already. I had this idea of yoga in my mind that it was a super spiritual, naked kind of activity. But it’s nothing like that.

Instead, at the beginning of the class we warm up (even though it’s about 82 degrees in the room so I’m already sweltering), and then you set your intention for the class.

The instructor asks us to think about why we are taking the class. What are we trying to accomplish? Are we doing it for ourselves, for others, for our physical or mental health?

She gives us a moment to think and then she asks us to exhale that intention out into the room. Also, there’s this weird thing where you’re supposed to breathe like Darth Vader, so literally everyone heaves a heavy breath of intention out together. It’s kind cool… and Star Warsy.

And that intention, whatever is it, colors the rest of the workout. We go through all kinds of slightly torturous poses, and we do the sun salutation about a million times.

As everything is winding down, the instructor asks us to recall our intention we set at the beginning of class. We are encouraged to remember it and take it with us throughout the week. Let it lead and guide us in our actions and thoughts. Continue reading “4 Ways to Daily Set Your Intention (and the Scientific Benefits of Doing So)”

3 Ways to Find Contentment When Life Seems Bleak | Finding contentment is possible when we shift our perspective and willingly see the good. Sometimes we must embrace the journey, rather than pine after the goals. Click through to check out three ways to find contentment, one of which is purposefully watching the sunset.

Staring Directly at the Sun (and Other Obvious Ways to Find Contentment)

Burning My Retinas

I have this thing where I like to stare directly at the sun. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the blinky spots it leaves on my eyes. Maybe it’s the allure of doing something that could possibly destroy my retinas.

Anyway, I don’t do it all that often seeing as I do value my retinas a little bit. (That and my husband gave me a good talking to when he found out I was staring at the sun like an idiot.)

Eye Love the Sun

But I really do love watching the sunset (and looking just to the side of the sun for eye-safety purposes). Almost every evening when driving home from work, my eyes well up with emotion from the sunset. It makes me feel small and reverent. It makes me see God. And if I’ve had a barely tolerable day, it helps me overcome.

Recently, I was driving home and the sunset about knocked me out. The sky was almost entirely covered in clouds, but there were streams of red light shining through. The beams created a lava-red lining on the clouds. It looked like the inside of an inverted volcano with patches of hardened floating magma. I could almost see Gollum reaching his hand up trying to catch the ring of power.

I digress. The point is: Have you ever noticed that you have to be far off to see the sunset? The most beautiful part of the day happens after the day is over when we are far removed from the source.

And it got me thinking – that’s kinda how life is. Continue reading “Staring Directly at the Sun (and Other Obvious Ways to Find Contentment)”

Change | Keystone Habits | Healthy Habits | Habit | Walking | Gratitude | Drinking Water | Sleep

4 Simple Keystone Habits That Will Change Your Life

A keystone habit is one that you do every day, which naturally makes the rest of your day fall into place.

For a healthier, more content life, there are really only four keystone habits you could ever need: practicing gratitude, drinking more water, getting more sleep and walking.

They sound like very simple things, and that’s because they are! Sometimes the simplest things that make all the difference.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of each one and how they work together. Continue reading “4 Simple Keystone Habits That Will Change Your Life”

Contentment | Home | Family | Discipline | Liturgy | Structure | Healthy Habits

Contentment in the Home: Why Home is the Best Place to Implement Structure

Home is the best place to implement all the structure we’ve talked about over the last three posts. Here they are if you missed them:

Discipline and Habit: My New Best Friends

How Church Liturgy Gave Me More Freedom

How to Be Content Through Discipline and Habit

Why is home the best place? Let me explain.

Personality Traits

Our personalities are shaped by two areas of life: inherited traits and learned traits.

Inherited personality traits

These are aspects of our personality we’ve had since birth. There is some scientific debate on whether some personality traits are learned or inherited. However, I’m convinced there are just some things about ourselves we’ll never be able to change.

Learned traits

Learned traits are those we have picked up along the way whether from inside the home or out. We have the ability to change these traits, however, changing them is very difficult. Your sense of humor, ability to cook, rudeness or politeness, religion and world view – all are environmentally taught traits. Continue reading “Contentment in the Home: Why Home is the Best Place to Implement Structure”

Content | Contentment | Gratitude | Healthy Habits | Habit | Discipline

How to be Content Through Discipline and Habit Based on Science

(This is the second installment of my How to Be Content Through Discipline and Habit series. Read the intro here. Reach the first post here.)

I have one bad habit. Ok, I have plenty of bad habits, but I have one in particular that really bothers me. I rip the skin off around my fingernails when I’m stressed (or breathing or existing or at any point in time, really). It hurts and bleeds, but I keep on ripping.

I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. So long, in fact, that the healed skin around my nail beds is lighter than the rest of my fingers. My pigment gave up, I guess. It’s pitiful.

Sadly, I don’t even know when I’m doing it anymore. It’s completely automatic and involuntary, and I’ve tried stopping so many time. It’s just a really, really bad habit.

All that to say, bad habits are hard to break and healthy habits are hard to create. Both take major discipline.

Today, I’m going to lay out what happens in our brains when we start introducing liturgy intentionally into our lives – when we embark on the journey of habit making or habit breaking. I’ll also include 3 ways to be content by adding structure to your life. Continue reading “How to be Content Through Discipline and Habit Based on Science”

Liturgy is everywhere. It structures the entire world and make it turn. Often, in our society, we elevate the spontaneous individuals. For some reason it is cool to function without a plan. We think we can find freedom that way. But I'm not convinced. I think we find more freedom within structure, within liturgy.

How Church Liturgy Gave Me More Freedom

About eight months ago, my husband and I started going to an Anglican church in North Knoxville. Neither one of us grew up Anglican, yet we knew we belonged there 20 minutes into the liturgy. It felt right.

Now, I know the liturgy in my bones, and my entire outlook on life is different because of it. And I’m not talking about religion really. I’ve realized that EVERYONE (you included, my friend) functions under liturgy because liturgy is basically just communal structure.

Almost everything our society does falls under the category of communal structure.

You get out of bed, brush your teeth, drive to work, sit in meetings, answer emails, answer phone calls, take lunch, work on a project with a coworker, get in your car and drive home. The entire day was working towards whatever goal your office holds, and everyone in the office gets up and does the same thing each day to accomplish that goal together. That’s communal structure. That’s liturgy.

So in this post, I’m going to show you how liturgy opened my eyes to the importance of healthy habits and discipline. This will be the heart behind why I’m making this lifestyle change.  Then over the next couple of posts, we’ll dive into:

Continue reading “How Church Liturgy Gave Me More Freedom”

Discipline and heathy habits can become our best friends. When we bring more structure into our lives, we are not staunched. Instead, we experience freedom.

Discipline and Habit: My New Best Friends

The words discipline and habit are often met with hesitation. They are associated negatively with strict, controlled, lackluster lifestyles. But just like my soap box over the word normal, I think these words are slightly misconstrued in our society.

Think about a habitual adult (especially a millennial). She is considered uneventful. Poor woman, she can’t do anything spontaneous. How does she live like that? Doesn’t she ever do anything fun?

Sadly enough, I have actually thought these things. I thought structure made me a robot, while spontaneity made me human.

But I’ve come to believe that creating healthy habits for you and your family can change your life. I think it can teach us how to be content.

Most importantly, I think humans really have more freedom and more contentment when they adhere to structure and practice healthy habits. Let me show you how to be content in 2017 (it’s right around the corner).

Over the next three posts, we will journey through:

Continue reading “Discipline and Habit: My New Best Friends”

Christmas doesn't have to be a stressful time. These quick tips will help you say no when you need to, save money and enjoy the season.

4 Quick Tips to De-Stress Christmas

Ah, Christmas. The time for glistening snow, cheery faces, gift-giving and Elf on the Shelf. Families spend time picking the perfect ornaments for this year’s chosen tree. Fudge abounds. Extended family comes together. It is supposed to be a winsome time of year.

But sometimes the snow is dirty slush, your children want much more than you can afford, the cats peed on the tree, which is shedding needles all over the house, and you can’t believe you have to go to four Christmas parties in one week.

Sometimes Christmas can be downright painful.

Christmas itself has turned into a money machine, cranking out stress and dissent disguised as gift-giving and rosy cheeks. We aren’t exactly sensible anymore as a society. We’ve taken Christmas to the furthest level of excess and obligation.

We’ve lost sight of what it truly means.

And that is stressful. It is stressful trying to buy gifts for all 20 of your cousins, 16 of your co-workers, your spouse and your children. Who has the money for that? Who has the time for that?

Trying to plan Christmas fairly with both sides of the family is stressful. Especially if one or both sets of parents are divorced. Who has the time for four Family Christmas get togethers? I guess it’s time to paste on a smile and endure.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! It doesn’t have to be stressful. It is possible to de-stress Christmas.

Continue reading “4 Quick Tips to De-Stress Christmas”