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Personal Growth Van Family Book Club

woman standing on porch

For Christmas we gave our kids the gift of a weekly book club, with their parents, which included homework. I know - best parents ever, right!?


But seriously, the intent of the gift was to not only spend quality time with each other - but to use this as an opportunity to work on our own personal growth. Since there are 5 of us - every Sunday we are exposed to each others different interpretations and perspectives based off questions from a workbook related to each chapter. While we get to work on ourselves, we also learn about one another. And when you have young adult children - trust me when I say it is a rare occasion when you get to genuinely learn about them unless it's through forced family fun. But that isn't the point of this blog.


Last week one of the activities in our workbook had us reframe the way we see our tasks. I am not talking about the tasks we WANT to do. Because clearly I don't need convincing or help reframing the fact that I have to eat all the ice cream in the freezer because the freezer broke. I am talking about the ones we often make excuses for, or say in a negative way because we don't really want to do them or the ones we feel like we simply "have" to do. And as simple as the activity is - I absolutely loved it and started implementing it in my every day.


So... what are three things you do everyday? For me I have to go to work, workout and count my macros. There are days I would prefer to stay in bed all day rather than deal with whatever stresses me out at work. There are days I don't want to workout because I am tired from being so on my feet all day and/or sore from my last workout. There are days when I don't want to count my macros and instead pig out on whatever I want. The truth of the matter is: I don't HAVE to do any of it. I choose to do it. And when you say it that way - it puts a positive spin on it.


So I practice reframing my have-to's. Now instead of saying, "I have to go to work today" I say, "I choose to go to work because I love being a public servant and making our community better." Instead of coming home after a long day of work and saying, "I have to workout" I say, "I choose to workout because I'm much happier when I get my workout in and am less likely to get irritated over small things." Lastly, instead of saying, "I have to count my macros" when asked why I won't have a second helping of dessert I say, "I choose to count my macros because I'm committed to living a healthier lifestyle in order to be around a long time for my family." It's so simple yet so profound.


The next time you catch yourself saying "I have to ____________" I challenge you to stop what you are doing and say out loud "I choose to ________________ because ____________________________." I bet you'll look at that task in a completely different way.


For the record our family book club is reading Chop Wood, Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great by Joshua Medcalf. Our kids seem to be enjoying it. No one has complained about having to meet each Sunday and they even seem to be digging deep within for their answers.



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Coffee Break

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

There is no telling what we'll blog about next.  Whatever it is, I can assure you we will be giving you genuine Van Family anecdotes on life, marriage, fitness, raising kids, hobby farming and more.  We don't claim to be experts in any of the topics... but we do hope you get to know us, see that we have faults, make mistakes and disagree.  But we also have fun, try new things, come up with wild ideas and eat sushi 3x a week.  

Grab your favorite beverage and join us in our adventures as you read along. 

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