Five Tips to Start Your Day

Nothing so jarring as that morning alarm ringing in your ear. Snooze button is my friend. I have come to learn over the last few years living with a chronic illness how important it is to have routines. Mornings used consist of a morning shower as my wake-up before make-up but that has changed. I found out quickly how utterly exhausting it could be to take a shower in the morning. Sounds crazy but sadly true. Now I shower in the evening so my body can rest afterwards.

This meant I had to utilize my mornings sufficiently so I could still be an active member of society outside my bedroom door. Most of my good energy is in the morning. It’s why I get up at 5 a.m. to write blog posts. By the end of the work day – you’d think I had pulled an all nighter.

The following are tips I have learned along the way to get my day started on the right foot. On the weekends, I actually have to work a bit harder to remind myself to take my medication.

Clean. Which in translation is “make your bed”. I will honestly state that this something I need to work on more but it is important. It has often been said that this one simple task can be a life changer. I know for myself on the days that I don’t make my bed, I feel down. I heard a talk on this and put into context of being an accomplishment. If everything else goes to pot, at least you accomplished one thing – making your bed.

Medicate is its own separate category mostly because it can be so automatic for me that I stop and think “did I take my meds?” This is why I use a tracking app. I use Mango Health for iPhone. Not only does it allow for customization but also checks your medications for possible interactions, allows you to customize a healthy routine and rewards you for making good healthy choices.  It also has an option for adding Care Recipients – so if you have a sick kiddo or furkiddo, you can get reminded of their medication routine as well.

Dress to your shoes. Do you know FlyLady? She has been helping others get organized and sustain routines for the masses for years. I learned about her through my bestie, Ms. Monkey. I still use her methodology to get my mess in order on a weekly basis. One of her take-a-ways is getting “dressed to your shoes”. Meaning, always be on the ready. You never know when you are going to have to run out the door in an emergency fashion. For the work week, this is a must – it’s the weekend days that I need to work on.

Check yourself. Do I have what I need for the day in my bag? Where’s my keys? Did I turn off all the lights? I have a list taped to my bedroom door to remind me of doing a quick check before I leave for the day.  I can not being to tell you have useful this can be on the days were I am lucky I actually made it out of bed. I haven’t had my coffee yet – how am I supposed to think?

Automate. Remember The Clapper commercials? Ha! Well, I don’t actually have that particular device but I do have a timer for my bedroom lights. It comes in handy to have a source of light when you are rushing out of a room at o’dark thirty in the morning. I have a set of LED twinkle lights that give off enough light for me to see my way around in the morning. This is not the only thing that you can automate. Heck, I bet your coffee maker is set on a timer. My point is, if you need something done in a limited time – automate it.

I truly hope that these simple tips help you navigate through your morning. As always, leave a comment below and let me know what is a must do in your morning routine?




Breaking Bad

#Sorrynotsorry but this isn’t a post about Walter White.

It’s about tracking new habits while breaking bad ones. The past few weeks I have accomplished something that I never thought I would. I took my vitamins! I know right? Something so simple. Well, yes and no.

When a flare hits, I don’t care if school keeps. (As my mother is fond of saying.) As much as I would like to have a pause button – life goes on. This month is all about capturing the things that I feel contribute to a flare. As I do, I really wanted to track all of the things but I really did best with the vitamins.

Another key to my wellness is tracking my symptoms. I use an iPhone app to monitor my pain levels, what type of pain, where, what lovely side effects was I dealing with and whether or not I had to take something for the pain. It was a success at the beginning of the month but not so much on this last half.

I won’t dwell on what I could have accomplished because I TOOK MY VITAMINS! Sometimes, just having one thing done means the world to me.


Photo Courtesy of Kaboompics


Agnsty Agnst

Hello, my name is Lissy and I am a planner girl.

Over the past four years or so I have dived right into the world of paper planning. It’s a nice hobby of collecting all sorts of things for the use of planning – pens, stickers, paper, washi tape – if it can be used, I has it!

Sadly, I am finding that I have planner angst.  I define this as a “need to set-up a system of planning incessantly”.  One moment, I’m all about a traveler’s notebook, then I think I would be better suited using my Hobonichi, while I’m over here setting up another bullet journal. It’s exhausting me.  I have been a paper planner since I arrived to the corporate world many moons ago. I have even took a plain notebook and made my own.  This really shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

Even with this damn illness I am a girl with plans – somewhere. You can’t get much done if you are constantly changing it all up. It doesn’t help that I am coming into another planner season (we have two, the start of the academic year and a January start). Will I need a planner for my finances? for tracking my health? oh, but did you see that new cover that came out? All the while, my lovely plans get scrapped for a new notebook, stamp set or pen.

Ok, I do admit that I my addictive personality is adoring all the commotion I am causing. We’re going to go set up a new bullet journal in just a few. See what I mean? I offer no solution because I have yet to find one. But, I won’t stop trying until I have all the planners!!

If you are curious about what I am talking about in regards to Hobonichi, bullet journals or paper planning in general – drop me a line. I have loads of information to share.

I’m Just Not Into Summer

I long for #pumpkinspiceeverything

Summer is hard enough when you live in the armpit of hell (aka Phoenix, AZ). On a record breaking day, it could be as hot as 116 degrees. Then, we get this crazy a$$ weather situation called Monsoon Season which adds a lovely layer of humidity to the mix. Delightful isn’t it?

No matter what, I love this desert and have called it home for most of my adult life. I cope the best that I can when it comes to the heat.  I long for cooler days. I’ve struggled with my motivation this summer in regards to my health. Concentrating on building a foundation to my healthy self has become increasingly harder. Is it too much to ask for the world to stop for a bit so I can take a nap?


Someday, I will…

Here we are, the last installment of my four part series on the Eisenhower Method for Chronics. Thank you for joining me on this journey. Let’s wrap this up, shall we?

In this post, I will share about the Someday portion of the method. In most of the charts and explanations I have found on this sort of planning, this becomes the trash section. I want to think of it as the “when I have the extra energy, I would like to get this done” list. Someday, I would like to “watch the Netflix documentary on Minimalism”  or “I need to organize my DVD’s”.  See where I’m going with this?

For myself, if it doesn’t have a spot to write it down, it’s lost to the cosmos forever.  Then again, I get lost trying to find my ass.   I offer one additional piece of advice to accompany this list. Keep a notebook to store your Someday list.  It will be there for those days that you want to feel productive but need a task that won’t zap you right out of spoons.

I want to thank you all how have joined me on this little journey of  planning for chronics. I truly hope this has become a valuable tool to keep you on track.

But wait, there’s more!  I have SOMETHING for you…so exciting! A PRINTABLE…yassss! I am launching a bimonthly newsletter this year and would love for you to be a part of the journey. When you click to sign up, (click on the Receive Updates below) you will get a Eisenhower Method for Chronics printable to start your own journey of planning.

Love to hear your feedback as well – let me know if this method helps you or frustrates you.



Progress Not Perfection

So, after thousands of dollars and a horrid night’s sleep for a home health test, the results are in.  Yours truly has no significant result’s pointing to any kind of apnea. I was off the charts – in the negative sense.  I do however have insomnia. Srsly? I could have told them that. My GP would like me to see a psychiatrist – ha ha ha no. I am booking an appointment my naturopath lady!

In other health related news, I lost two pounds! Recently, Mrs. Monkey and I were talking about being hyper vigilant.  It’s my term for being crazy focused on a fixed item. I started with doing the Low Carb and just felt lost.  I switched it up recently and it paid off.

I am now making sure I reach a daily goal of walking at a minimum of five thousand steps. With that, I cut my calorie intake, portion control, drank a boatload of water and tracked the heck out of it all. Luckily, the peeps at Fitbit make it all possible with their app.

I would have been beyond ecstatic if I had lost just a half of a pound, but two! Amazeballs!



How to Tackle Spring Cleaning

Just short of a month from now it will be Spring…somewhere…because I live in the armpit of hell and we don’t have seasons.  Anyway, I wanted to share how I am going to tackle my Spring Cleaning this year.  You know what this is right? The annual “throw open the windows and let the fresh air of the new season waft through your home as you are scrubbing the baseboards to a brilliant shine!”


In my former rabbit paced life, that would have been the scenario. There is no cleaning of the home from top to bottom for three days for me anymore. I do have help with major parts of the home that allow me to utilize the FlyLady’s method of cleaning one area each week. (and yes, I have stickers for that). Since I still hold down a 9 to 5 job, I do pay to have help around the house. However, there areas that are strictly mine to take care of.

Last year, I took 52 areas/spots in my living space to tackle and even joined in with a cleaning/de-clutter event held by one of favorite planner peeps. This year, I am picking on area to work on. One. My fugly patio. It’s just bad. Dead plants, cushions losing their fabric, rusted garden tools bad!

Now here’s the first thing I did…ready, pre-planning. (yes, I love planning #allthethings!). I took a look around my patio and identified all the items that needed to be cleaned, trashed, replaced, repaired and even added a few items to purchase.  Then I sat down with my calendar and picked two Saturdays that I don’t have other plans. I overdo and I didn’t want my Saturday filled with errands and cleaning. I picked a date for the removal of trash, then a date of sweeping and clearing the cobwebs, and so forth. By the time I’m done it will be Spring!

Next month, I will update you with professional looking before and after’s worthy of HGTV.  No, not really, but one can wish.



Part 2: Important

Webster’s Dictionary defines Important as marked by or indicative of significant worth. In last month’s series we spoke about urgent tasks and now here comes important.  Last month I talked about Urgent tasks, and those are the “put out the damn fire” task items.  Important tasks for me are those pesky “I gotta do this” to do’s.

For instance, I have four phone calls to make this week.  I would add them to my planner but with no red star to signify urgency. Don’t get me wrong here, these are items that have to be completed this week. If I find that I’m simply procrastinating, I can quickly turn these over to the Urgent side with simple red star.

Again, I have to say that determining what is urgent and important will be up to you and your needs. This exercise is individual driven but I think it lightens the load a little when you seem to have days when you have a flare and you can pop open the planner to see if there is anything requires your attention.

This has become a huge help to me as many of my plans often go astray. I just want to be able to know that before I crash out on my lovely bed, I’ve taken care of what needs to be done.

What do you consider Urgent versus Important? Share your thoughts in the comments below



My Dog Eats Better Than Me

Seriously, she does. My pampered pouch enjoys a rather gluten-free, non-gmo eating life. Even her treats are natural!  Her hooman on the other hand is the fast-food queen of Central Arizona.  Why is  this big huge disparity? Well, she has no thumbs and is handed a bowl of food and told to eat!

I know a lot of issues with health today are linked to what foods you eat (whether you believe this or not, I’m not open for a debate). This said, I’ve got to develop an “Eat Right or Die” attitude towards what I put in my body. My research assistant Mrs. mOnkey, has introduced me to a ketogenic lifestyle. From what she has shared with me and my own research, ketogenics has been known to help those with fibromyalgia and aid in the healing of the numerous side effects our diagnosis comes with. It’s similar to Atkins with the low-carb, high fat food choices.

There is just one major issue…I have to cook…like food and eat veggietables. Ugh. Notice I didn’t call it a diet.  Diet is a restrictive word that immediately puts my brain on high alert to seek out all the chocolate in the house…we don’t want that now do we?  Instead, it will be a lifestyle choice.  I will choose to eat crudité for snacks sans the ranch dressing dip. I will endeavor to broaden my cooking skills by cooking a keto-friendly meal for me and my family. I will buy grass-fed cow butter and pick fresh, real food over greasy carb loaded curly fries.

Something has to change and sadly, I see, it is me. Why did I have to pick “focus” for my word of the year!?