The Last 90 Days of 2018 #last90days

A sweet reader replied to my weekly email saying she misses my posts. I wrote back to say I’m having a hard time writing, and she replied, “Just let your heart flow.”

So here’s my heart today (thanks, Regan).

A friend shared #last90days on Instagram and it grabbed my attention. The idea is that we have 90 days (88 today) remaining in 2018 and that’s enough time to establish good habits to carry us into 2019. I don’t tend to join things, but for some reason this appeals to me.

Of course, I tweaked it to fit my needs, because I’m not a good follower. Given that I got up at 4:10 this morning, I don’t think getting up an hour earlier would benefit me. I’ve also done lots of gratitude journals, and it’s a very good idea, but it doesn’t resonate with me right now. Here is my personalized list.

  1. Go to bed between 9:00 and 9:30.
    If I’m asleep by 9:30 I can function, even if I wake early.
  2. Workout at least 30 minutes.
    I tend to do well during the week but not on weekends, so this will take some effort.
  3. Drink half my body weight in ounces of water each day.
    I need this one.
  4. Give up chips and crackers.
    I wasn’t a crunchy, salty person – until I gave up sugar 19 months ago. It’s amazing how I can find other ways to get myself in trouble.
  5. Write a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
    With a book deadline, I’m writing far more than that on work days, but it’s easy to skip other kinds of writing, like blog posts or even getting a story down while it’s fresh in my mind. I still haven’t written about the terrifying experience of doing the high ropes course at family camp – I cried when I was finally down. Surely there is a story in there to use someday.

What about you? Do you like the idea of creating new habits to finish the year strong? If you were going to add one positive habit for the next 90 days, what would it be? Leave a comment and tell me.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin is a great book about breaking bad habits and creating new ones. I’m slowly reading it at bedtime.

I finished a draft of a book chapter yesterday but have no idea if it’s any good. If I write and edit at the same time, I’ll never get it done. So I wrote, saved, and will review it later.

Today I’ll work on another chapter and record a podcast episode with my co-host, Melissa. If you haven’t started listening to The Adoption Connection podcast, please give it a try. I’m enjoying it so much. [If you’re not sure how to listen to a podcast, here’s a link.]

The kids are out of school the rest of this week, which is great for them, but a little complicated for me with deadlines looming. Also, recording with kids around is tricky. I’ll set up my computer and microphone in my small laundry room and tape a big sign on the door. We’ll see if they get the hint not to interrupt or make a ridiculous amount of noise.

It’s 5:15 AM and my friend will be here in five minutes to pick me up for Pilates Boot Camp. Bless her for making it easy for me to go because it is a torturous class and I’m reasonably sure if I had to get in my car and drive there, I might skip it, especially once the snow hits. But hey, I’ll get my 30+ minutes of working out done by 6:30 in the morning!

Have a great day, friend. If you decide to join me on the #thelast90days, let me know! And if you tweak it, I’d love to hear your goals.

With courage and hope,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Emily
    October 4, 2018

    I love that friend’s exhortation to share your heart. We all need friends like that!

    I also think that there are seasons when holding on is all we can manage. I like the Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflection on Jesus’s command to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him: “Sometimes self-denial is saying only, ‘He goes ahead; hold fast to him.’”

    I’m praying for your long weekend.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 4, 2018

      Good words, Emily, and thanks for the prayers.

  2. Gena
    October 10, 2018

    Hmmm I really like this idea-but of course, I’d have to tweak it because I’m like that:) Thinking about joining you in this 90 day challenge. Will let you know 😊

    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 10, 2018

      I think tweaking it is essential! Let me know. 🙂


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