printable

How to Stay Healthy As A New Mom [+Free Printable!]

Being a new mom can be really overwhelming. I've written about this before, but my experience in the first 6 months after having my son was really tough. I spent a lot of time having to track everything I did: pumping, feeding, ounces, diapers. Beyond that, I needed a way to track things for myself. 

Unfortunately, there is no app that combines tracking your baby's feedings and diapers as well as tracking your meals, medications, and more. In an ideal world, I'd be developing just that app because I believe there is a huge place for an app that does that! Most baby tracking apps were clunky to me and either didn't have all the features I wanted or those features were hard to use. 

Instead, I made these printable tracking sheets. I stuck one to my fridge every morning and jotted notes throughout the day. I have a binder full of these that I can't bring myself to throw away. They were infinitely helpful with tracking patterns when Forrest was tiny and my memory was very hazy, especially when our pediatrician would ask questions like, "How many diapers does he have a day? How much is he eating every day?" 

Beyond that, they helped me remember to take care of myself too. For me, that was the hardest part of being a new mom. A whole day would go by and I would realize all I'd eaten was Cheez-Its while holding Forrest for a nap or a hasty dry piece of toast as I pumped. I forgot my vitamins more often than not, didn't remember to drink water, or just plain couldn't remember when I last showered. 

That's why there's a section for you, the mom! Eating healthy, taking care of yourself, remembering to take those vitamins... it's all important when you're taking care of a newborn. Why? Because they need you to be healthy! You can't take care of a baby if you yourself are starving. 

Often, printables like these focus on one thing or the other: just pumping, just breastfeeding, or just formula. For me, I was doing a little bit of everything! So whether you're formula feeding, trying to keep up with pumping, or settling into a good breastfeeding relationship, these tracking sheets work. 

If you'd like to check it out, click below to download and learn more! 

How to Use Daily Notes to Stay Organized + Free Printable!

I love staying organized. And one of the ways I stay organized, day in and day out, is by using lists. Or, daily notes. In my bullet journal from work, I copy the same layout for my daily notes page every single day and use it to record my to do list, my schedule and meetings, as well as a few other tasks (like scheduling social media, posting blogs, etc.) 

Not everyone can use a bullet journal. It's just too much for some people. And it doesn't work for everybody. If you're one of those people, I've created a free daily notes printable that you can use instead--so you can test the waters of daily notes, see if it works for you, and then invest in starting a bullet journal. 

How do I use daily notes? Here's how: 

  • I write a to do list for every single day in the To Do section. This is where all my tasks go. If I end up needing more room, I start a list on the next page, but I try to prioritize what I list as an actual To Do. As well, any tasks that I need to get to, but don't have time for today, I put in the Remember for Tomorrow section. 
  • I track my water intake and FitBit steps in habits, as well as things like whether I've scheduled social media. 
  • In the schedule, I highlight the hours I work, add in my meetings and hourly deadlines, and then note Forrest's approximate bedtime. 
  • I use the Meals section to write my meal plan for the day. 
  • At the end of the day, I write three things I'm grateful for without fail. It's a good opportunity to reflect on my day and see what I've accomplished, as well as what has gone my way. 

On Setting Goals for 2017 + Free Printable!

I've written briefly before about how I set goals for myself. It's kind of a process, but it's one that I think works really well if you, like me, get a little overwhelmed by goals in the first place. I find breaking down my goals into manageable, easy pieces to be the best way to, you know, convince myself to actually work on it! 

Step 1: Decide what I want to accomplish (aka, what's my goal really?) 

The first thing you need to decide is what you want you goal to be. In my example, what I want to accomplish is to finish Couch to 5K. That's a solid goal, except that it's maybe just a little too specific. Ultimately, my goal is to start running consistently in January. It's not as set-in-stone as specifically finishing a program. 

Step 2: What 3 things can I do to accomplish this goal? 

Once I have my goal in mind, I set myself to setting three deliberate tasks that I can focus on to accomplish this goal. It would be so easy if I could say, I want to run consistently this month; but there is so much else going on. In my example, my three things would be to set aside time every evening where my husband watches Forrest & I go running; prepping meals in advance to cut down on cooking time at dinner; and washing all my work out gear to ensure I'm ready to run. 

Step 3: What 3 things might hinder my progress? 

When I'm setting goals, I know things are going to hold me back. It's best to have an eye on those things before you get too far into a goal. In my example, three things that might hinder my progress are getting hurt, not eating enough calories (and therefore being too tired to run), and the weather (I refuse to run in the rain or if it's gotten too dark). 

Step 4: Set weekly tasks

Sometimes, when trying to accomplish something like running consistently (or cleaning my house, etc.), it's easier for me to break it down into smaller tasks or goals. In my example, my first weeks tasks might be to meal plan for the next month & prep small items (like portioning chicken and vegetables); and my second week tasks might be something like altering my routine to create more time for myself in the evenings. Basically, set a goal and then build up to that goal with smaller, more manageable tasks. 

Step 5: Write it all down

Listen, no one can remember everything. I'm a big fan of keeping calendars and checklists for myself. That's why I created the goal-setting printable for you to download! Just click the button below to check it out.