Corrections

Inside the Walls – Corrections Documentary

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a proud law enforcement wife. I never thought that I would marry into law enforcement, but I did and I’m proud that I did. Every day my husband puts it on the line to protect those in his care as well as the public. He’s highly trained, his opinion is sought after by other departments as well as within his own, and he looks totally sexy in his uniform.

The two of us have been called names by those who don’t agree with or understand the CO life. Some of them have been in law enforcement themselves. Corrections in my opinion is thought of as the “red headed stepchild” of the law enforcement community. It makes me sad, but if I dwelled on all the negativity it would drive me nuts. The only thing that I can do is leave a good impression on those I come in contact with in regards to what a CO is and does, and what their families go through.

I have friends and family that have been on the other side of the corrections line so I have a unique view of both positions. In this particular post I wanted to share a documentary that I have watched multiple times and it’s so far the best one even though it’s a bit older.

The full documentary is below. You can watch it here or head on over to YouTube to watch.

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Health

The Inverse Relationship Between Habits and Willpower

It’s hard to keep up willpower for any length of time. Yes, we can stick to a low-fat, 1,000 calorie diet and go hungry for a week or two, but eventually our willpower fades. And yes, we can do exercise we hate for a while… until we run out of willpower.

But what about getting up to take the kids to school every morning, brushing our teeth or going to work every day. Those may not be our favorite things to do either, but we do them daily without the risk of running of our willpower. That’s because they have become habits. They are so ingrained in what we do and who we are that we do them without even considering skipping a day or a week. We don’t have to make a conscious decision each day to shower or drive to work. It’s just what we do – a habit.

When you start to think about it, there is an inverse relationship between habits and willpower. When you first want to build a new habit, it takes a lot of willpower to get it done day in and day out. As you start to establish that habit, it becomes easier and easier to do until you don’t even have to think about it anymore.

Just being aware of this process helps us stick it out. We know we don’t always have to make such a big effort to go work out or skip the donut for breakfast. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We know eventually it will become habit to go out for a run first thing in the morning and grab some fruit or fix some eggs for breakfast.

While we’re in that transition from willpower to habit, we can use tools to make it easier. Use a to-do list or set a reminder to help stay on track. Find an accountability partner so the two of you can motivate each other and help bolster that willpower when it starts to fade after the first enthusiasm wears off. Even something as simple as laying out your running clothes the night before and keeping your sneakers by the door will make it a little easier to go out for that run.

Do what you can to help your willpower along until you have made the new behavior a true habit. After that it’ll be easy and automatic and you’ve created a new lifelong habit.


Make It A Habit – The Benefit Of A Routine & Habit Filled Day

Do you have notice that it gets harder to make decisions toward the end of the day? You’re too tried to figure out what to have for dinner or what to watch on TV. That’s because we all have a finite amount of decisions that we can make in any given day.

Knowing that helps us prioritize. We can cut out a lot of decision making by implementing habits and routines. That way we save them for the important stuff. It also frees brain space for more creative and productive thinking. Routines are a great tool that simplify our lives and cut out a lot of our daily stress.

Chances are you already have a morning routine. You get up, you get your coffee, read the paper or check email and fix some toast before heading into the shower. Let’s expand on that. If you create a “uniform” for yourself, you don’t even have to think about what to wear. You just grab a pair of pants and a shirt, or a skirt, tights and sweater and off you.

Implement some routines into your workday wherever possible. Meal planning helps you figure out what meals to fix and eat. A cleaning schedule makes sure you stay on track with your household chores without you having to spend any valuable decision making skills in the process.

Wrap your day up with a bedtime routine that not only helps when you’re too tired to make smart choices, it also helps you fall asleep more easily. What works for your toddler works for you as well.

Start by doing a few chores that make the next morning easier. Making sure the kitchen is clean and the kids’ school things are in order are great examples. Come up with a few calming things that help you slow down and get ready for sleep. Read a book, listen to some music or wind down with a cup of herbal tea.

Sit down with a pen and piece of paper and think about what parts of your day and week you can turn into routines. Write the down and create daily to-do lists for yourself until you’ve established these new habits and routines.

Spending a little bit of time creating routines and habits will make your day run a lot smoother. You might just find yourself less stressed and get more done during your productive hours. And that’s a beautiful thing. It allows you to save plenty of decision making for the fun stuff like figuring out what park to go to, what family movie to watch or what board game to play.


How Long Does It Really Take To Create A New Habit?

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit. That’s kind of a weird idea though, isn’t it? It doesn’t take that long to form a bad habit. And sometimes no matter how hard we try it takes us a lot longer to form a new habit.

So how long does it really take to create a new habit? The answer is that it depends. It depends on your mindset and it depends on how big of a change it is from what you are doing now. If it is your habit to eat a bowl of ice cream at night and you switch from regular ice cream to a low sugar frozen yogurt version, it’s probably not going to take you very long to make that new habit.

Giving up ice cream altogether though or cutting out all sugar on the other hand might take a lot longer.

When we ask that question, what we really want to know is how long do we have to tough it out before it gets easier. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel where we don’t have to try so hard anymore? In other words, when will this new behavior become automatic?

While it will be different from one person to the next and even from one habit to the next, there are a few things to keep in mind.

It’s easier to make a new habit than get rid of an old one. Be prepared to work a lot harder to give up checking your email every 2 minutes or snacking late at night. Whenever possible, try to replace an old habit with a new one. For example if you’re wanting to give up coffee, brew a cup of herbal tea in the morning and throughout the day when you would usually reach for your cup of Joe.

Habits will form faster if you stick to the same time and environment each day. Instead of going for a walk whenever, keep your sneakers next to the door and schedule your walk every day at 6pm, right after dinner for example.

A constant reminder of why you’re trying to change your behavior is also helpful. Remind yourself every day that you’re exercising so your body stays strong and you can go play with the kids or grandkids in the yard. Or put up a picture to remind you that you’re making frugal habits so you can one day purchase your dream home. Keep your reason why you’re changing front and center and then be prepared to stick it out. Yes it will take some time to make new habits and replace old ones. But it will be well worth it in the end.


Get Some Help – Simple Hacks To Help You Build New Habits

Creating new habits isn’t easy. Here are six simple hacks that will make it a little easier. Use them until you’ve internalized the new habit and don’t need them anymore.

  • Schedule It And Put It On The To-Do List. 
Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, or that we need to get that daily walk in. Schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.
  • Make It Public and Be Accountable. 
Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. They will call you out if you don’t stick to your plan and get you back on track. You may even go as far as sharing it publicly on Facebook or write a blog about your new journey. Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.
  • Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have. 
Whenever possible, add the new habit to one you already have. For example, if you fix a cup of tea or coffee at 4pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make the new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea. It’s much easier to amend an existing habit or ritual than creating an entirely new one.
  • Make Slipups Costly. 
Here’s a fun idea. Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you slip back into your bad habit or forget to stick to the new one you have to put five dollars in the jar. It will quickly help you remember to skip that sugary food and motivate you to go out for that walk. For extra motivation donate the money to charity at the end of the month or hand it over to your spouse to go spend on him or herself.
  • Find A Partner and Help Each Other Along. 
Find someone with the same or similar goal. This could be a workout partner or a diet buddy. Keep tabs on each other and encourage each other to keep going. It’s much harder to skip a walk if you know someone else is depending on you being there.
  • Make It A Group Challenge. 
If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they don’t even need to be local. Find a supportive group online and challenge each other to stick to your new habit for the next 30 days or so. Not wanting to be the first one to give up will keep all of you going until you establish that new habit.

Give these simple little hacks a try. Keep using the ones that you find helpful until you have made new habits you can stick with without the help of any tools or support.

Familly

High School is Looming

While browsing on Facebook I came across the info session flyer for the high schools in the district. Didn’t think much of it until I realized that my youngest would be attending high school next year.

My son is currently attending an online public school called Connections Academy. He loves it. The one thing that we are all concerned about though is social interaction. It’s a fine line deciding between education overall and social health at this age.

We have decided to attend the information night to see if he thinks that he will want to switch to brick and mortar next year. I personally would like him to stay home and continue the path that he’s on, but it’s his decision and I want him to make it without me butting in.

Should he think he will switch, we will be doing a trial run for a week with the current schedule that they have. He’s not too thrilled about getting up at 5 a.m. (the local bus picks him up at 6:40 a.m. in order to be there on time). That should be fun.

family

February 2018

February is a short month, but it’s the month where for one day a year you’re supposed to show whoever you are in a relationship with that you love them. I haven’t really celebrated Valentine’s Day since I’ve grown up. Between my husband and I it’s not really that important. When we first started dating there were valentines and flowers. The more time we spent together, we realized that the money we spend on something that is just going to die or that we’re going to throw away is just plain stupid. Now we just look at cards in the store, pick out one for the other and we read them and put them back. LOL.

So what am I getting at?

This month I’m going to try to make sure that I let me husband know that I appreciate him each and every day, and not just one day a year. I want him to know that I’m thinking about him when he’s gone and that I love him.

What are you Valentine’s traditions? Do you celebrate? Do you not? Would love to hear how you spend the day.

General

My Go To Fashion

Anyone that knows me knows the I’m far from a fashion icon. I love looking at all the new trends, but I can’t stand the cost and the fuss. I’d rather spend my time and energy on something else. Anything else.

On any given day I can be found hanging out in PJ pants and a comfy shirt, one of my long skirts, a comfy dress, or leggings and a comfy shirt. Do you see a pattern here?

If it’s not comfortable, it’s not happening.

Since I don’t work outside of the home, there is absolutely no reason for me to get dressed up and be super grouchy all day long for reasons like my pants are too tight, my shirt is itchy, et cetera. There have been times in the past where I have stopped at a store while either on our way, during, or on the way home from an event that required dressing up and purchased something more comfortable to wear. Not ashamed and will probably do it again to be honest.

The shirt above I got at Goodwill for $1.50 a couple days ago and quite frankly I’ll probably wear it so much that my husband will either hide it or beg for something else. Kind of like I did with a pair of his favorite pants when we first met over a decade ago. He really, really loved those pants.

Outside of yoga pants and comfy t-shirts I tend to wear long skirts and tank-tops and flip-flops year round. It’s currently cold in Arizona – colder than usual – so I will throw on a pair of cute boots (kid of like Ugs) or my Nike’s and call it a day.

What are your go to fashion items? Are you someone who likes to dress up all the time or are you like me and could care less what you have on?

Whatever your style, I know that you are rocking it.

Stay Saucy,

Sayre

Health

Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart

Walking has all sorts of health benefits among them the ability to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. Many people at risk for stroke and heart disease are overweight, unhealthy and have a hard time exercising. Thankfully walking is an easy, low-impact workout that almost anyone can do.


Start where you’re at. Just put on your shoes and head out there. If all you can do is walk for five to ten minutes, start there. It’s a great start and that’s a lot more exercise than you’ve been getting. Stick with it for a week and then see if you can make it for 15 minutes.

If you can go for a 30 minute walk, start there. Pick up the pace, walk briskly and after a week or two, try to go for 45 minute walks. Or break up your walking workout into 3 shorter sessions interspersed throughout your day.

If you have any health conditions and in particular, if you’re suffering from high blood pressure and are at risk for heart disease, discuss your walking plans with your doctor. The two of you can come up with a plan that’s appropriate and safe for you.

Getting out and walking will help you on several different levels. The act of walking itself, particularly if you can go for a walk out in a pretty park is very relaxing and will lower your blood pressure soon after the walk. That’s a terrific benefit of walking and something that will help you feel better right away. But the benefits don’t stop there.

The regular exercise will strengthen your heart. Remember your heart is a muscle and going for a brisk walk works out more than your leg muscles. As you work out your heart, it gets stronger and better at pumping blood through your body. And as you strengthen your muscles and your body overall, you are likely losing body fat. That’s good news for your blood pressure long term. All it takes is heading out there for a short little walk each day. As you get stronger those walks will get longer and you may even give swimming or riding your bike a try.

Healthy diet, regular exercise, and losing weight are some of the most effective ways to reduce hypertension regularly. Add to that the fact that walking helps you destress and it’s no wonder that walking regularly has such beneficial effects on your health. Ready to get started? Put on your shoes and go for that first walk.

Health

Using A Pedometer To Get Your Walking In

Setting aside some time to go for a 45 minute walk isn’t always easy. We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day? And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you keep track of it and motivated you to move more?

There is, and it’s called a pedometer. You can pick up an inexpensive model at your local super store or order it from Amazon. Or you can go with something a little fancier like a Fitbit or Apple Watch (which is what I use) for example. But before you head out to spend any money, check your smart phone. Many models have a pedometer built in. All you need to do is download a free app and you’re good to go.

The pedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45 minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.

Give it a try. Put on a pedometer, or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking around any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.

Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after dinner stroll. For those that choose to use an Apple Watch, the cool activity achievements and notifications will make you smile when you get them and keep you motivated to go further.