Why Moms Need To Say, “SWIPER! NO SWIPING!” To The Infomercial Mentality

swiper, no swiping!

Did you know…?

If you wake up at 5:30am, little elfin creatures will magically do your dishes, laundry and mop your floors? They’ll also do your workout for you, AND let you reap the physical benefits. Watch out Jillian Michaels. Plus…at that exact time, you will become a planning ninja that could make Franklin Covey look like Gomer Pile. In fact, I’m pretty sure there is a special place in heaven for people who get up at 5:30am.

You’re probably either laughing or ticked right now. What can I say? Sarcasm. It’s a gift.

Or not.

My Point

My point is that I feel like I need to clarify something: There’s nothing magical about 5:30am.

I’ve seen a lot of people jump into a 5:30 wake up time only to burn out in a week.

If our family circumstances didn’t require me to get up that early to have an hour to myself, believe me, I wouldn’t be up at 5:30am..

As a lot of you take on the challenge of developing an incredible and life changing habit of Maximizing Your Mornings, I want to assure you that 5 minutes with God can move mountains.

Baby Steps

I don’t think I emphasized this enough in the ebook, but the BEST way to create a lifelong habit is to take baby steps.

Think about it. When babies learn to walk, most don’t go straight from rolling over to running full tilt. If they did, they’d crash into walls, knock things over and freak out at the sudden ability to be vertical.

No, they crawl, they cruise, they take baby steps, they toddle, they walk and then they run.

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We live in a society of immediate gratification.
Overnight success. Radical change. Amazing results. We worship the Hare and despise the Tortoise.

And we lose because we invest all our energy in the start and have nothing left for the hills.

Believing that success should be instant robs us of humble victories.

“Swiper! No Swiping!”

We should never despise small beginnings or slow journeys. Everything great begins with one tiny, unglorious start.

Make it your goal to get up 5 minutes early and read 1 verse. Do only that for one WHOLE month.

“But Kat! That’s too easy.”

Cool, then do it.

Everyone, say it with me, “Swiper! No Swiping!”

No one gives up on easy goals. We conquer them on our way to the next level.

If you move your bedtime and wake time by 5 minutes each month, by the time school starts next year, you’ll have an hour of Bible study/exercise time in the morning. And you’ll have an ingrained life long habit that you’ll be addicted to and have a hard time breaking even if you wanted.

But…but…

“But Kat, a WHOLE year? I don’t want to wait a whole year! I want to read the Bible in 30 days and run a marathon next month!”

Everyone…

“Swiper! No-ooo Swiping!”

Success isn’t defined by high goals and fast starts. Success is defined by steady, faithful, forward motion.

Action Time: Let’s Set Some Low Goals!

What’s an area you want to work on? Getting up in the morning? Working out?

Pick an area and set a nice, low, unimpressive goal.

For me, I’d like to start writing down an X on our marker board everytime I eat a sweet. I don’t have to stop eating them. I just need to track it.

Easy.

What’s your low goal?

(This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday.)

Comments

  1. This is good stuff!!!

    GOAL- eat a healthy breakfast. I want to loose weight but I also know that my day has to start with nutrition and I have already been doing it but you have helped me realize that just because i have started this goal doesn’t mean I have to move on yet. I don’t feel ready for the next step so I am going to keep this as my goal. Thanks for helping me see that it is slow and steady!!!

  2. Wow, I think I could have written this post!
    I’m such a huge advocate for “baby steps”. I honestly feel you can accomplish anything — you just need to get started. Unfortunately, that’s the hardest part!

    It’s helpful for me to literally set a timer for 10-15 minutes and totally focus on my task during that time. When the timer goes off, I go on with my day…but at least I made a little progress. Before I know it, I’ve accomplished my task!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, yeah. You nailed me. I am SO, “If I can’t do it all, and do it immediately, and do it perfectly, well then, what’s the use?!”

    So, low goal for me: Get up by 6:45 (earlier is better, but 6:45 for sure) every day for the next week and a half before school starts. Don’t worry about anything more than getting showered and ready for the day. Just get moving before the kids. It’s not like I get to sleep much later than that now, but those few extra minutes can give me a head start.

    Alrighty. Here we go…

    • Tiff! Awesome start goal! This is how I started my morning quiet times; I’d get up, shower & get ready for day. Then get the kiddo’s off to school, and then have my quiet time with Him; when I didn’t have to run out the door to work. The days that I had to work – I’d have quiet time before going to bed. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you meet with Him, just make sure you do!
      Hugs & Prayers, HL

    • Tiff,
      I”m totally the same way. That’s why the low goal idea has been so helpful. You can do it!

  4. I like it that setting low goals and sticking with them adds up. My low goal for this month is to sweep the front walk way every morning. That way, people don’t track the crepe myrtle leaves and flowers into the house, and I don’t have to vacuum everyday. It’s a five minute job that can save me 20-30 minutes if I remember to do it. And it’s a good one to add to my morning routine, as I build it into a daytime routine.

    • Corrine!! That’s an excellent idea to help out with your routine, and I think you could also add that in as part of your exercise for the day! I’ll need to add this sometime to my routine, but sweeping the back walk way; as we hardly ever use the front door ;-)
      Hugs & Prayers, HL

  5. I love this! We just started back to homeschool this week and low expectations are defining my beginning. I don’t want to set the bar so high that I continually miss it. The same with my personal time with the Lord. I’m just trying to get alone and read the Bible and pray. Forget the magical times I had with just a kid or 2. Today is now and 5 minutes is good! God knows!

  6. This is so refreshing. I just had a baby (#2) and to be honest, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed! This is great advice!

  7. Hmmm….I don’t want to get up any earlier (I’m already a 5:30a.m. lady) but I like this idea of making a baby step at a time to reach a new goal. I’ll have to do some thinking.

  8. Great post! I will have to think about making my “low goals” more solid. I just think about stuff throughout the day and figure out a way to do it. Thanks! Lisa~

  9. This makes me want to cry. If I wanted a whole hour to myself in the morning I’d have to wake up at 4am. My son (3) wakes up at 5am every morning- never fails, doesn’t nap and won’t fall asleep (no matter the struggle I put in!) until 8:30pm. I have a 9 week old who nurses so she’s up a couple times a night & by the time 8:30pm rolls around I’m ready for bed too- beyond ready actually- so an hour to myself AFTER bedtime doesn’t happen either…how do I get me time? :(
    -burnt out

    • Kristi,
      Hang in there… just start with five minutes now; while you’re so busy with the kiddo’s. As Kat said, “even five minutes can move mountains with God,” just remember too – that tiny mustard of faith! The time will come, eventually ;-) I’ve been where you are with my sons … the time will come. There is a season for everything. Just five minutes is enough!
      Hugs & Prayers, HL

    • Hey Kristi!

      I have a couple of ideas that might work for you: You could put a movie or a show on for your son at 5:00 so you could have a little quiet time or you could start letting him do some quiet play time in his room during one of the baby’s naps so you have a little time to yourself. These things have worked for me. I have 4 kids: 4,3, and 8mo. twins. Please don’t be too hard on yourself, you need to sleep as much as possible right now with a new baby. Things will get easier, even in a couple of months, and then you can begin to set some “low goals”! Hang in there!

      Kendra

    • Thanks for the support and advice- it’s just one of those days where the sleepiness takes over and you feel like 5 minutes alone is a un-accomplish-able goal! :)

    • Kristi,
      I can COMPLETELY relate to how you’re feeling, as I am in the same boat. A wise friend reminded me just the other day, most of the things I stress about during my day in regard to my kids are a part of a season of life. And seasons change. I submit myself to God and aim to take one moment at a time. Every day, I ask Him to fill me again afresh and empower me to love my kids well. And I trust Him to fill me with everything I need, including strength and joy!!! Hang in there!!!! This, too, shall pass!

    • Kristi,
      I remember feeling that way when I had my second one…..the only me time I had was sleeping! Maybe your low goal right now would be to get some rest……Is your 3 yr old still in a crib? Have you ever just let her stay in there for a little while to see if she would go back to sleep? I know I had to do this with mine….it sounds cruel but I think the parent should set the sleep/wake pattern so they know that they aren’t the ones in control.

  10. Hi Kat. I just love the concept of setting low goals. You may know Flylady teaches the concept of baby steps. LOL, some things are just difficult for me to get. I get on Flylady’s site, ignore all of her advice about babysteps and create a wonderful, elaborate Control Journal, then I read the Maxwell’s Managers of Their Homes and create a fantastic schedule that begins at 5:30 in the morning (I don’t generally go to sleep till 1 or 2) and promptly ignore almost all of my goals and schedules. But I sure did have a great time planning my perfect life!

    Looking back, where I’ve succeeded is where I’ve actually done as you have suggested and set a low goal. The other concept that has made such a difference in my life is that if I work on something diligently for even 15 minutes a day, I will make progress. I used to think if I didn’t have an hour to spend on a project their was no point to bothering with it. Now I know that if I chip away at something 15 minutes at a time (or 20, 30, 45) then I will make headway.

    Thanks for your encouraging post.

    • Beth,
      I still fight with trying to do it all… or nothing when it comes to the BIG projects in my life – like cleaning out the garage. I thank you for your wisdom shared (and Kat’s too!) to just keep at it, 15 minutes a day and I will make progress. I’m so loving Kat’s blog!
      Hugs & Prayers, HL

    • Beth, I try very hard to live by FlyLady standards!! I don’t always succeed either!! But when you look at things 15 minutes (or 5 minutes LOL) at a time, the housework or the bible reading or the praying doesn’t seem so daunting!! Keep plugging away my friend. Baby steps is all we are really called to take!

    • I’ve never really tried following the Flylady, but I know what you mean about making an elaborate plan and then not being able to follow it. I made that elaborate plan this weekend when I should probably be taking baby steps instead. Praying that I don’t burn out after a few days and can keep up with my plans.

  11. BTW, what is “Swiper! No Swiping” from?

  12. This is absolutely brilliant! Thank you for such wise words.

  13. Swiper NOOOOOO Swiping! LOL
    You are wonderful! Thanks for the reminder that even small goals with God can move mountains – like that tiny mustard of faith! With MYM challenge from Michelle, my small goal was to exercise three times a week, at least 10 minutes! I completed that last week (sometimes just 10 minutes is all I could do, but if I could do longer, I did.)! It’s been great taking the baby steps.

  14. Thank you Kat for the reminder that baby steps is all that is really required of us!! Too often I fall victim to the thought that it has to all or nothing.
    My low goal this week has been to walk everyday after I take my 5 year old to the bus stop. Even if it is just 5 minutes because I have to be somewhere, I know that I will feel better for it. Maybe someday I will expand my route and be walking ( or running YIKES!!) for miles on end. But for now I am content to do 5-20 minutes. BABY STEPS!!!

  15. Yes, there is a wonderful momentum that begins when we just plug away at something that is important to us.

  16. A great reminder, thanks. :)

  17. What a timely post. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to wake up early only to be discouraged because two weeks later I’m exhausted from making it 2 hours earlier.

    Tomorrow morning, my alarm will be set for 10 minutes earlier than what I wake up now. Just 10 minutes. I can do that.

  18. I have tried to change everything about my life all at once lots of times! However, what I’ve succeeded with over the past couple of weeks is reading my Bible before getting on my computer! :-) First things first!

  19. Swiper no swiping is from Dora the Explorer.
    Thank you again for more wise encouragement. I have two children and had been waking at 5 and loving it after reading Maximize Your Mornings. What a life change! I saw things in myself from strength I found in the Lord that I never imagained. When I became pregnant with our 3rd (PRAISE HIM) I noticed I was always exhausted so I had to pause that beautiful habbit and oh, how I have missed it. Now that I am 6 months pregnant. I know I will get back to 5 or 5:30 but to everything there is a season. I have decided this is a season of much needed rest! So…tomorrow I am going to see how 6am feels!

  20. Love it! I am all about achievable goals! I just think that it is humorous that no matter what I do, if I am up early the kid “sense me” and wake up! I have been considering moving the coffee pot to my bathroom! Seriously. I don’t enjoy my morning as much if I can’t go out to make coffee, and as soon as I leave my room–the kiddos seem to know!! What is that— hilarious though!

  21. Thank you, Kat. I appreciate this wisdom because I am a classic, wide-eyed and inspired person. I have many great ideas I hear or read, and I instantly want my life to head in that direction. It is hard to be patient with yourself, I’ve learned. It’s hard to see your little goals having to line up and wait until a little later. I get pretty excited about being disciplined, yet I’ve never been a woman of action. This summer I started reading your articles, and I’ve written down a psalm a day for about 43 days! The feelings from just doing something right before everything else might discourage you during the rest of the day–those are priceless and keep my motivation. Thanks to the Lord that he can walk slowly with my wee little baby steps! That is the secret to my success: slow faithfulness. Thanks again.

  22. I struggle with setting small goals. It’s almost like it’s not worth it, but I know in my brain that small steps over time equal great strides. My small goal is to read 10 books each week to my kids – that’s at least 9 more than I’m averaging right now. I struggle to get down on their level (almost 2 and 3.5) to play and read with them, and I want to be more intentional about it.

  23. Set low goals! Unconventional but I LIKE it!

  24. I like it. Kat, this is encouraging to me!!!

  25. O.k., I’ve hemmed and hawed all day after reading this post. The fact is I am well aware of the area in my life that needs addressing that I am ignoring and I am not sure I want to even set a low goal. But when the Wii Fit started calling me mean names, I figured it IS time ;) So, here’s my low goal- to begin to plan simple, nutritious meals and shopping lists over the next several weeks so that when school starts I can start back to Weight Watchers with everything planned and ready.

    Now that I’ve put it in print, I guess I have to do it, huh? *sigh*

  26. Thanks Kat! This was very encouraging to read today. My goal for the next week or so is to go to bed by 11pm(typically I’m ready for bed at that time but will stay up wasting time until after midnight)…and when I’m in bed earlier it makes getting up at 6:45 easier on me…which is my morning goal for the week.

  27. this is great advice!! Thank you!! I have been waking up early for about three weeks now, and I feeling burned out, and I am missing mornings here and there. Now I plan to make some small concrete goals and stick to them rather than trying to do it all at once. This is just the encouragement I needed!

  28. Hmmm…trying to think on this. My biggest hurdle is convincing myself to exercise. I thought doing the 10 minute thing in the mornings was a great baby step, but for some reason, I’m having a horribly hard time getting myself to even do that. Now I’m trying to figure out what is an even tinier step than that??? :)

  29. Holly, maybe you could try the 10 m. THREE mornings a week to start?

  30. First of all, that picture cracked me up! Too funny!

    This was a very timely post. Not 30 minutes before I read it I had just mentioned to my husband the frustration of not being able to change as quickly as I would like. Why do things have to be such a process? And even when some habits are changed, like getting up early and reading my Bible, why can’t I as easily change things like being anxious, irritable, or short-tempered? I suppose part of the difficulty is shown right there in that question…I try to change things myself and do not allow the Spirit to change things in His way and in His time. Always looking for that “magic formula” I miss out on the grace experienced when I allow God to do His work in me. He knows my struggles and He knows best how to help me overcome them. I need to trust Him.

    As far as my low goal…I think a good one for me right now would be to go to bed earlier. Getting up early is not much of a struggle…at least most mornings. :) But I think some of my inner struggles could be more easily dealt with if I was getting more rest. Since I don’t tend to go to bed until 11pm or later, my goal will be 10:45pm for now. Ultimately I would like to be in bed by 10pm, but I’ll start at 10:45.

    Thanks, Kat, for this wonderful post. It has been such an encouragement!

  31. I wasn’t sure I liked this one at first, but as I got to the end I smiled, realizing that you were talking about me when you said “I want to read the Bible in thirty days and run a marathon next month”. Not that I plan on either of those but thats my mentality on a lot of things. I am very overly ambitious. I like your approach of developing the habit little by little over time. I am going to try that. I really like it.

  32. I want to clean my bathroom floor once a fortnight, minimum, once a week maximum.

  33. I love this Kat! I am tweeting and sharing this on Facebook today!

    Great motivation for me right when I need it!

    Baby steps…just like What about Bob! :)

  34. my low goal…Zumba once a week with a friend. period. no other exercise at this time.

  35. LOL, I love the “Swiper NO SWIPING” theme!!!!

    You are so right about this!

  36. My low goal is to get up and pack my husband’s lunch every day….I was getting up at 7:00, then I moved it up to 6:30 for a week, now I am up to 5:45am, because that is what time he gets up for work, so I have started getting up to pack his lunch. THen I have my devotions, even if I don’t get much else accomplished before the kids get up. At least I am putting my body in the mode of getting up early…..I have found I love the quiet mornings!!!

  37. Limiting myself to one Cadbury Egg per day–seems lofty, I KNOW.

    And also, I am working out one day a week.

    I love this method because on days I have zero Cadbury eggs or on weeks I workout MORE than once I feel so super accomplished and motivated to do more. I trick myself.

  38. AHHH! I loved this so much, Kat! Freedom, people! Not freedom from goals, but freedom from guilt and freedom to live in reality! Love it. Thanks for putting it into words and into my heart.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    Wish I discovered this one much earlier! Meditating on one verse is awesome. I love my quiet times and aiming to fix lunch for hubby in morning. He has to leave at 5:15am, so been hard. There is also the major decuttering project, so perhaps even a little each day while saying to other observers, who told me, that it won’t happen that way…. Swiper, no swiping!

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  1. [...] house and added something NEW to my morning routine. After reading this AMAZING post by Kat about low and unimpressive goals, I decided just walking and listening to books about whatever struck my fancy wasn’t going to [...]

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