Dearest Me {Healthy Habits Tuesday}


Today I’m talking to myself. You can listen, er, read along, if you would like.


Dear Vicki,

You’ve been at this for over a month now. You’ve mapped out your goals, plotted and planned for success, you’ve realized you need to change your inner voice, and thought about feeding your change and how to fail successfully.

And here you sit.

And there sits your bad habits, right in your lap. You might just stand a chance at getting rid of them, if you would just loosen your grip.

Let go.


I mean, really, what have you got to lose? Huh? You already know how much more you get done when you get up early, which, by the way, awesome job. You know how much better you feel when you don’t pig out and watch the scale climb. You KNOW this! So, come on.

Let’s do this!


Oops, not ready for the “wohoo”?

Ok, let’s pump you up. Let’s get excited. You like planning, so let’s plan a little more. Give you a little checklist to check off every day. Sound good?


You don’t need something else to do?

Well, aren’t you just a ray of sunshine today? Fine. Then let’s set some goals for February.

1. One serving at meals, excluding veggies, including dessert (stuff just got real).

2. Six, count ’em six, glasses of water every day.

3. Pray daily. Use the #PrayerDare cards and tweet often for accountability.

4. Move on purpose. Every. Day. Stretch, take a walk, climb stairs intentionally, exercise…what theget up off the floor…I don’t care what you do, just MOVE it.

5. Worship God daily. Count your blessings. Sing praises to your Lord. Read His Word. Find Him in everything. Invite Him into everything.

6. Write every day. The Word. Letters. Blog posts. Cards. To do lists. Prayers. Just write.

7. Stick to your routines, dang it! You like them, admit it. Or don’t, but stick with them.

8. Stay motivated. Read what you need to read. Visualize. Pin inspirational stuff. Just stick with it! You can do it! Push through the blah.

9. Take your vitamins. Seriously, dude.

Feeling better now? Ok. Time for that “wohoo”? No? Well, fine. Just do this thing.

With all my love, you (or me…or something)


There you have them. My February goals. Pray for me, please. I really do seem to be hitting a wall with myself internally. I need to burst through. Soon.

If you want to follow along on Twitter, I use #healthyhabs to tweet about my healthy habits and #PrayerDare to participate in Amanda’s Prayer Dare community. Join us!

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How to Fail Successfully {Healthy Habits Tuesday}

how-to-fail-successfullyThis week was pretty bad as far as working towards my goals. I fought myself every step of the way. I was already struggling with my carb cravings when I stepped on the scale to see a number I haven’t seen since a year ago. I knew my weight had gone back up because my clothes were starting to feel snug again.

Funny thing is, seeing my suspicions confirmed by the scale didn’t inspire any motivation. Instead I wanted to shovel hot fudge in my mouth. That wouldn’t help anything. You see, my problem is, eating the right foods and exercising isn’t nearly as fun as getting fat. Being fat stinks, getting fat not-so-much.

Let me just stop here and say this: I’m not looking for a pity party or any motivation even. The funny thing about this all is, it happens in my head. My struggles are internal. You can’t change them and I don’t expect you to. I just have days where I struggle to remember WHY I want to do this so that I can WANT to do it. Sometimes I have a week of those days.

Before I tell you some tips I found helpful, I’ll give you a final update on my January goals:

  • Memorizing scripture. I did not memorize the ones listed, but I did achieve this. I memorized at least one scripture per week with my kids. We do this during our morning group-work session.
  • Pray daily. I did do this. I did pray daily. {psst, check out that link}
  • More water. Did great with this until this week. Funny thing is, if I would just stick with this, it would help with the food issues. I simply don’t have enough room to stuff myself with sweets if I am drinking enough water. I will continue to work on this.
  • More veggies. This isn’t going as well as I had hoped. I’ve struggled to include fresh anything in our diets.
  • Remove HFCS. Going well. Feels less strange to check labels.

The one thing that I’ve actually had the most success with this month was not even on my radar at first: getting up early. I’ve successfully gotten up by 6:30 every week day for the past two weeks. Now it’s my turn to be the crazy person and tell you that it really does get easier the longer you do it.

The hardest mornings follow the nights my 11 month old gets up to nurse. He’s very busy during the day and doesn’t want to sit still to nurse. So he makes up for it at night. Not an ideal situation for getting good sleep.

Now, some things I found helpful in motivating myself.healthy-habits-250

Interrupting the whine my inner voice will fall into (I’m just so tired, but I waaaant to, etc.) with a reminder that I have enough time to get my work done, that I WANT to do the things scheduled for my day, and WHY I want to do it. Sometimes I just repeat to myself, just do it. Corny? Yes. Helpful? Sometimes.

I do not mean this to replace the one change you must make, this is in addition to.

Drink a glass of water. Sometimes my fatigue is simply my body telling me I need water.

Pop a pill. No, I’m not talking about prescription drugs here. Sometimes with my glass of water, I’ll take a couple Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C. I’ve noticed a lot of this comes at me when there isn’t much sunshine. Ultimately, I aim to get outside and walk every day, but for now, this is where I am.

Letting go. It’s funny, in my rebellious self, sometimes the only motivation I need to get something done is to give myself permission to NOT do it. Oftentimes, that breaks this mental “gotta do it” weight on my shoulders and I find myself getting the task finished because I can think clearly enough to remember why I wanted to get it done in the first place.

Re-evaluate. Sometimes I’m not ready for a goal I’ve set. Sometimes there is more work to be done before I can work on a task. Reevaluating does not mean I’m giving up, it means I realize that I’m not perfect and sometimes it takes my optimistic, overachiever, loves-to-plan brain a while to realize that. Goals are flexible. Goals are personal. Just because it sounds like a good goal, doesn’t mean it is a good goal for me.

The point of this post is not to give any revolutionary ideas. Clearly. The point of this post is to show that sometimes, most of the time, little things matter much.

The most important thing to remember when reaching for a goal is this: Never give up. Fall, stumble, pity party if you need to, change directions, but get back up and KEEP GOING.

You can do this. After all, if God is for us, who can stop us?

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Feeding Your Change {Healthy Habits Tuesday}


Last week I told you I was struggling with my sleep pattern. I’m glad to report that this week went much better. I did not get up early twice, but other than that I did it. Slowly this habit is being built. I’ve coupled it with my quiet time. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me as I read my Bible, read my Bible, and then pray again for my day.

My deepest prayer is for God to change me. I know myself well enough to know there are areas in my life that desperately need the touch of my Creator. I’m so thankful for the ways He has already touched my life, healed the hurt, and brought forth fruit I didn’t know I had in me.

My goals for this month are going pretty well.

  • Memorizing scripture is going well. I haven’t memorized the three I laid out at the beginning of the month, but I have memorized one a week so far.
  • God is answering my prayers to give me a desire to change that outweighs my desire to stay the same. This is very helpful to me.
  • More water. This is a perennial problem for me in the winter time. I have been doing better. The last few days, I haven’t done as well, but I’m still moving forward.
  • I don’t think I’ve done so well with the veggie adding. This will probably reappear on next month’s goal list with a little more specific wording to focus on.
  • I have done a decent job with the label reading. Since I only grocery shop once a week, this habit will probably take longer than the rest to get to stick.

One thing I am noticing that I need to do is to feed my change. Actually, that’s misleading. I’ve known this for a while. It is why I wrote last week’s post. I know I need to feed the voice inside me a different diet before I can get any change to stick. I still say that scripture and prayer are the best way to accomplish this. This week, though, I’m taking it a step further.

Read books

Find some new reading material. Read material that focuses on practical help for your habit. Read books and ebooks that educate, inspire, and motivate you in your desire to change. I recently read Tell Your Time by Amy Lynn Andrews. I can not say enough about this ebook, but I will try to explain in a review here soon. I plan to read either Mindset for Moms or 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life next.

Read magazines

There is a magazine for every topic under the sun. Most of my favorites don’t really relate to my current goals (think Organic Gardening), but I have picked up a couple Fitness, Self, and Shape magazines because reading the success stories in them pumps me up. I also found Eating Well to be interesting, I’ll probably pick up some more of those from my library.

Read blogs

Find someone on a similar journey as you and be encouraged along the way that you are not alone. Find someone who is where you want to be and read how they got there. This is probably the best aspect of blogging, the chance to connect with others.

For more reading list inspiration, check out the list I made for the One Word series.

New this week, now you can link up here! If you want to write about your Healthy Habits, follow the instructions below and drop your link below! Then take a minute to check out what others are writing about and be an encouragement by commenting. Be sure to say hi at Teachers of Good Things and For This Season, my co-hosts for this link-up.




Grab one of the buttons above or use a simple text link. And be sure to join in the conversation on Twitter with the #healthyhabs hashtag.

Healthy Habits Facebook Party Details


You may have never heard of a Facebook party, so let me explain it. Basically it is where a bunch of people get together at a set time to chat on Facebook about a common theme. It’s like a Twitter party without the hashtags.

Dollie has hosted two Facebook parties for Healthy Habits Tuesday the last two Mondays. She has now partnered with Becky of For This Season and little ol’ (not old, mind you…ol’) me. We are changing the format up a bit. This is how it works.

A question will be posted every hour today starting at 10 a.m. EST. The first three questions will be on the Vicki Arnold blog’s Facebook page, the next three at For This Season’s, and the final three will be on Teachers of Good Things. We will be doing this the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. Got it?

So, head on over to Facebook and like each page so you can follow along:

We will be covering goals, fitness, and nutrition. Three important topics for Healthy Habits. Be sure to check in tomorrow to see my update on my healthy habits and for some encouragement for your own.

If you are on Twitter, be sure to tweet along with us! We use #healthyhabs to keep the conversations connected. Join us!

My One Word for 2013 {10 Days of One Word}

10 Days of One Word mine

I had a completely different word when I started this series. And then I felt a tug. I was going to use Home. Home felt nice. It tied my to do lists, goals, life’s purpose all up in a neat little package. I was going to break it down, really dive in. Then, God dropped a word on my heart that changed it all.

See, I was going to re-name the blog in December. I was slightly uncomfortable about the blog being named after me when I had determined the focus of this blog was to proclaim the glory of God as He worked in my life. I was tossing around a couple ideas which I loved. And then I googled them. Apparently they were good because lots of other bloggers had chosen them. Well.

I finally came to grips with the fact that this blog bears my name as my life bears it. And that is doesn’t diminish the work of God in my life. And so it is still the Vicki Arnold blog. I did add a new tagline as the previous one no longer fit. It was “faith. family. food. fotography.” Actually, I’m not sure that it ever really did fit so much as it was what I wanted the blog to be. The new tagline is “Where P31 & Titus 2 meet Colossians 3:23.

Colossians 3:23 speaks to serving with the right heart attitude. And that is what my word is about. Serving in all the areas God has called me to with —


So simple, yet so easy to lose.

For me this will be a multi-faceted journey. Kind of like my life.

I will be purposing to:

Find joy in routine.

Rediscover joy in homeschooling.

Revel in the joy of my salvation.

Focus on the joy in the everyday.

My scriptures for my journey:

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Psalm 16:11

“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” Psalm 51:12

” My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2-3


Now that we are at the end of our 10 post series, I want to know. Do you have a word for this year?

I’m linking up with Melanie at Only a Breath and others.

Other One Word Resources {10 Days of One Word}

10 Days of One Word resources

Today’s post is full of resources to get you maintain a focus on your One Word. I’ve included blog posts, websites, books, ebooks, and one online class. Not all of these are specific to One Word (actually most aren’t), they are geared to support your in your One Word journey.

Let’s get started.

One Word Resources:

Goal Setting Resources:

Change Resources:

God-Centered Resources:

Personal Character Resources:

Home-Life Resources:

Other Blogger’s One Word for 2013:

The One Thing You Must Change to Meet Any Goal {Healthy Habits Tuesday}

This week has been a struggle for me. I’ve been struggling with my sleep pattern. I’ve come a long way from my days as a teenager, where all I wanted to do was sleep. Actually, all I wanted to do was stay up all night, and then sleep really late. As I grew up (and got a job, and married, and had kids…), this area was probably the second biggest area that I struggled with self-discipline (the first is food). And I was miserable.

Long story short, I began praying for God to make me a morning person. I don’t even remember when I started praying this. I just knew that I got so much more done in my day when I got out of bed before the kids got up around 8:00 a.m. Which brings us to the present. I very much want to be up early (early = 6 a.m. for me), I’ve even prayed for God to help me.

Would you be surprised that He is faithful to help me? It shouldn’t.

Would it surprise you to know that I’ve ignored his prompting on the mornings that He didn’t wake the baby to nurse as my help to get out of bed? It shouldn’t.

Enter frustration.

My struggle this week has been frustration with myself. So today’s post is really for me (aren’t they all?). I’ve had this post topic in my little blog binder since the beginning of the month. Apparently, God knew I would need it this week.


The one thing you must change to meet any goal? The voice in your head. The one that says, “I don’t want to get out of bed” or “I’ll start eating healthy tomorrow.” The voice that you allow to play in your head all day will set the tone for your day, which in turn, sets the tone for your life.

What do you replace it with?

  • Scripture. Read it. Write it. Memorize it. Say it over and over again in your head. Do it as you fall asleep and again when you get up.
  • Worship. Prayers of adoration. Praising God for who He is. Sing worship songs in your head. Seriously. Or just repeat this – “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” See Revelation 4:8.
  • Gratitude. You may need serious change in your life, but there is always something to be thankful for. The very breath you breathe is a gift from God. You don’t have to write them out for it to count, though you may find that helpful. Focus your mind on the things God has already given you. Count your blessings all day long in your head. It has a way of changing your perspective.
  • Prayer. Lay it all out. Tell Him how frustrated, angry, hurt you are (He knows). Tell Him everything that you would tell in a venting session with your closest friend (He’s a better listener). And then, ask Him to change you. You have to be willing to LET Him change you, but if you’re willing, He will.

Did you notice something?

Not one of these changes is really you. This list is you leaning on your heavenly Father. Depending on Him. Desperately needing Him. Firmly planting yourself in His presence.

He is faithful.

Even when you’re not.

Linking up to Teachers of Good Things and Titus 2sday. Be sure to check out both of those posts for more encouragement.

Also linking up with Wellness Wednesdays.


Turning Your Word into Success {10 Days of One Word}

10 Days of One Word into successNaming your year means nothing if it doesn’t do anything for you, right? You have to put actions to your One Word. I’d like to share a few guidelines and resources for making this year your best yet.

Set Goals

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Do what works for you. If you are a list maker, make a list of the goals you want to achieve this year that relate to your word. If you are more of a visual person, make a mind map of your goals. If you are more social achiever, find an accountability partner or just find a friend willing to ask you how you are doing every once in a while.

Or blog about your changes, that’s pretty motivating.

Give the idea of 3 in 30 a try. It is not a link-up anymore, but the idea is still a great one. Set 3 goals each month to focus on, all working toward your main goal.

If you go the mind mapping route, I wrote a post on how to turn it into action.

Make a To Do List

You may have chosen a word that doesn’t really work well with goal setting. If so, try a to do or reminder list. Follow the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines and don’t overload yourself. Maybe a to read list to fuel your change.

Change Your Inner Voice

If you don’t change what you tell yourself, changes will not stick for the long run. I’ll be covering this in the next Healthy Habits Tuesday post, so be sure to watch for that. It’s important.

Don’t Give Up

Expect that sometimes things aren’t going to go right. You will stumble. You may even fall flat on your face. DON’T STAY THERE. Sorry to yell at you, but you needed it. Have a little pity party for yourself, if you need to, but get back up and keep going.

Point being, you have to actually do something if you want change to happen. There is no way around it.

Next in the series – Other One Word Resources, followed by the finale My One Word for 2013. See all the posts in day one’s overview post.