Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Featured Inspiration, Ponderings about life, sensory processing disorder

High Expectations or Just a High Price?

Canva - Woman Wearing Brown Corduroy Coat Holding Mug While Sitting on Chair

In a very short period of time she, a polished and seasoned woman in a position of power, managed to step on the toes of multiple women who were merely trying their best to get with the program.

Was she trying to be rude? I mean, all of them were being perfectly pleasant.  They were just interrupting her plan for an unquestioned day, and she did not make any allowances.  Her way was the way she’d been running things for as long as some of them had been alive.  It wasn’t on her list to do to bring anybody up to speed.  Not even if they were paying her for her to share her expertise.

First, she expected them to have all the information necessary about the course, prior to the course.  When one wavy-haired lady did not receive a handout from a preparatory info packet and requested a copy, the director curtly replied, “You should already have yours.  They were mailed out previously.”

Taken a bit aback, the lady tried again, saying, “Well, I didn’t get one.  Do you have any extras I could have?”  To which the instructor replied, “I have my own copy that you cannot have,” and proceeded to ask all the others in the room if they received theirs.  This made the one with the request feel offended that not only was she not being believed, but the speaker was definitely attempting to show how she could not have failed to provide anything.

Then, at the next meeting, the instructor called on a chatty extrovert and asked her to produce a particular section of the info packet.  The gal went blank, surprised by the request, and was chided, “Why don’t you have it?  Don’t tell me it’s not with you.  It was given at the first meeting, which you were there for.” It took a while as the stunned woman leafed through her folder saying, “Yes, I was, but I don’t recall the part you are referring to.”  “You should have read it.  You signed a paper saying you did.”
“I signed it because I read it.  But I can’t remember it now nor can I find it, ma’am.”

This wasn’t the first time the instructor was brusque with her.  The day before when the smiling lady approached the speaker, she was abruptly told not to approach her before any sessions because all inquiries must be arranged through her secretary for after lectures.  Apparently, speaking before lectures would throw off the flow of the day.

If that weren’t enough to get the ladies a little ruffled, the older woman had the audacity to say to one girl, when asked to repeat something she said, that she would not, because the young lady should have been paying attention the first time.  In fact, the girl had been, but couldn’t keep up with the notes because of the speed of delivery.  Individuals who were consulting with each other on notes were reprimanded for disrupting class by talking.

One perplexed attendee, seeing multiple displays of abruptness from the communicator towards her audience, later sat at home after these few interactions and pondered, How can the instructor believe behaving this way would achieve positive results?  It is difficult to perceive that woman in a positive light when she displays little graciousness towards those coming to her for what her profession is supposed to provide–information and guidance. 

Yet, in her heart, she seems to believe she is giving them tough love for their own good. It’s as if she believes by providing the toughest wind in life, us oak trees will be stronger and better.  Like she knows what we need–to be whipped into shape.  We must conform, she thinks, and be better off by her tutelage!    

Those who stay for the course certainly do gain exemplary knowledge; the parade of past students provide proof.  How many will put up with her demands, and even feel proud of themselves for meeting her high expectations? How many creative minds does she shave down to a size that fits in the palm of her hand? Whatever you do, don’t color out of the lines…

“Mommy?” a little voice pulled the young mother from her musings.
“Honey, not now.  I’m finishing homework.  Ask me later.”
“But MOM! I’m hungry.”
Frustrated, the girl’s mom exhaled, “You should’ve eaten your oatmeal for breakfast like I told you to.”
“You didn’t give it to me.”
“Yes I did!  I heated the bowl up in the microwave” mom huffed. “Your brother ate his.  Why haven’t you eaten yours yet!?”
Just then, her son came into the room with is empty bowl, complaining  “Mom, the  annoying microwave’s still beeping.”

Beeping? Oh…    She had never taken the oatmeal out for her pint-sized little person because she had gotten lost in her thoughts about class.

Immediately, she felt remorse for her harsh tone.  She suddenly saw from her daughter’s perspective, and realized she had just done everything the instructor had done.  She had demanded timing be on her own terms, thrown the “should have” burden upon her daughter’s shoulders, and insisted she was right when in reality, she had forgotten the oatmeal herself.

Hmm…Turns out the instructor’s not the only one who could tweak a thing or two in her authority playbook, huh.

“I’m sorry, kiddo.  I was too grumpy in the way I talked to you. Forgive me?”

Canva - Strawberry on Table Top Near White Ceramic Bowl

 

 

 

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, DIY, Mental Health

How this Perpetually Late “Hot Mess Mama” Got it Together

From Defeat to

When it was just me back in the day rushing to college classes, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  As long as I wasn’t the last one there, I wasn’t too flustered. But when I had kids, it became completely apparent to me and everyone else.  I was a hot mess.  My friend even gave me a mug with “hot mess mama” written on it.  I laughed when I read it, knowing it was spot on.

(The definition for hot mess is “A person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, especially one that is a source of peculiar fascination.”)

Life seemed like a breeze to the other moms and there I was…constantly, obviously frazzled. Always late. Defeated.  (Granted, I was in the midst of postpartum adjustment disorder and later hormone health struggles, but that’s another story).

 I had to get it together.  But what was “it”? And how could I get it?

I went looking for answers. Some people get life coaches or mentors…Neither was an option for me at the time, so I discovered Michael Hyatt’s resources. (His audio book Your Best Year Ever is a good place to start if you’re interested.) Michael Hyatt is a success coach and productivity expert.  My overall takeaway from his material is that good time management is basically good self-management, and that is a learned skill.  I didn’t have to be a hot mess mama forever!!  There was hope for improvement if I just applied myself to learning how!

I then read books like Crystal Paine’s Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and other books on organization and productivity, and listened to podcasts or watched Youtube videos on the topics as well.  One guy named Robin Sharma talks about what he calls the “5 a.m. Club,” or being part of the few in the world who put their “mind over mattress” and start their days at 5 a.m., a habit of highly successful people.

So my first goal to get it together was to become a morning personI’d previously believed you innately either were or you weren’t, and I sure wasn’t. (Especially struggling with insomnia, if I was sleeping soundly in the morning, don’t anybody dare wake me up before I have to!  My kids would often jar me awake with their clamoring to get to me.  Which meant I was starting to resent them.  Not good.)

How could I wake up on my own without a dreadful blaring alarm putting me in an awful mood?  A friend who also struggled with sleep issues told me about her wake up light alarm clock, which helps balance your circadian rhythm.  I talked my hubby into getting one for us and I credit it with a less stressful morning routine.  Now I wake up with the gradually increasing light and am out of bed happily before the music ever even plays!

With my morning uninterrupted by kids and distractions (no facebooking allowed in the morning…productivity stealers banned for the first several hours of my day!), my second goal to get it together was daily planning in a productivity journal.  This is essential for me as a homemaker to have direction because a homemaker’s work is never done.  Dishes and laundry and the house get dirty every single day.  But if I have a clear idea of what TODAY’s workload is, I won’t feel overwhelmed by its continual recurrence.

I write my top 3 main goals for the day and any appointments and times so I can see the layout of my day.  (Anything else is more flexible and can roll over to the next day’s list.) I started out doing this in the morning, but later preferred to plan the night before, so my morning was solid productivity (after walking the dog).  Either way was an improvement.

My third big step to get it together was improving my timeliness I’ve joked I have “time passage awareness disorder” like Noni from A Slob comes Clean, so setting a timer, alarm, or reminder for my phone and using google calendar (which gives) has done wonders to keep me from scrambling last minute.  If mommy’s less stressed, kids are less stressed.

My latest application of this is putting the library renewal or return date on my phone…because I just paid $16 in overdue fines last month.  Ugh.  So I’m still in progress.  But let me tell you what, I am so glad I don’t feel like a hot mess mama all the time anymore!

Disclaimer: Links above are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you make a purchase through it (at no extra cost to you) which helps provide content for this site. Thanks for your support!

 

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, DIY, Mental Health, minimalism, Uncategorized

How Minimalism Helped my Mind

Overwhelmed.  Distracted.  Discontent with status quo. Disgusted with myself and my inability to get organized. All that is how I felt a few years ago in the depth of my anxiety and discouragement with where my life was.  It just couldn’t stay that way.  I couldn’t stay that way.

I contemplated getting a professional organizer.  That would hurt the budget bigtime.  So I decided to start thinking like an organizer.  I started watching Lori Marrero videos on youtube.  Then I discovered Clutterbug, Clutter Fairy, and A Slob Comes Clean.  (That last one made me go, Nony the Slob is SO ME!).  I realized you can’t keep organizing if your space is too small for your stuff.

Enter Minimalism.  I dove in, and this was the last holdout: my craft room.  The room I’d close the door to when guests came over.  The room for a good portion of the time I couldn’t even walk in.  The dumping ground for completed project supplies and the graveyard for creative dreams I couldn’t achieve because I cringed at the idea of going in there.

My craft room was the place first place that made me want to get organized and declutter, and yet it was the last place I conquered in my home because I felt SO OVERWHELMED by it!

Check out my journey and how Minimalism helped this momma’s mind!

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, minimalism

If You’re a Mom Struggling with Depression, Fatigue or Other Chronic Health Issues, you’re NOT Alone!

In a perfect world, motherhood would exempt a person from health struggles that really affect functioning.  It’s hard enough to face your own struggles, then on top of that see how your family is affected by them too.  For the past few weeks I’ve been pretty wiped out.  I went back to having practically zero energy, achiness, and lower than usual mood.  I have to combat the fear that I will stay stuck in barely surviving-mode.  I can only guess what took me down was a combo of hormones out of whack again, eating some mystery ingredient(s?) that my body didn’t agree with, and a lot of rain.  It can cause a lot of anxiety to feel like you need to fix this NOW and get your family thriving again.  That pressure just makes things worse if you let it linger.

What do I do when I get a big health setback?  I generally

  1. Give myself room to rest.  I let my spouse know what’s going on with me mentally and physically, and I don’t push myself to be super-woman.  I make sure we have gluten free frozen pizza for my kids, or some other fast meal options I don’t have to do much to plan or prepare for.
    Along those lines, I dismiss any timetable pressure.  As much as possible, don’t let that calendar boss you around and stress you out when you’re struggling!  Health and family are more important than losing my mind trying to muster energy I don’t have to accomplish goals that honestly won’t improve my or my family’s life a ton in this season, and others can live without the outcome.  I’ll enjoy setting and accomplishing bigger goals again when they’re flowing from creative energy instead of forcing it during a time of depletion.
  2. Try to walk [the dog] a mile each morning.  If I start the morning walking [the dog] first thing, then I know I’ve gotten serotonin and dopamine going…and it chills out my anxious dog Kody, as well.   I find even on my lowest energy days, I can make a mile walk happen, even if I have to nap later that morning.
  3. Occasionally, if I can’t get out of a funk, I go get a Haircut (or update it myself at home). Psychology might point to how controlling one’s environment, or in my case, haircut, can make a person feel better about the things they can’t control.  But personally, I think the bigger deal is feeling more put-together and polished with a defined haircut–a boost in morale I guess.  I guess some would call this the “treat yourself” method.  Some do shopping therapy, but as a minimalist, this suits me better and I don’t get overwhelmed by more stuff in my house. 6OgmxgZZRBa41JPx0G6gaQ_thumb_3ee8
  4.   Find one thing to improve in my life or perspective. I’m talking about figuring something out that brightens your living environment or makes life easier on a body.  On a long health-journey, you can get so worn out with trudging through the challenges that it is essential to figure out stress reduction and energy-conservation methods.

    Some friends (even those without health struggles, but who are trying to reduce stress and be less irritable mothers, etc) hire a house cleaner, for instance.  I opted to get a little robot vacuum * to clean our laminate wood floors and low-pile carpets, since they can go under the couch and get all the sand a dirt my kids and dog track in from out back.

    This can apply to your health condition specifically as well.  Some reduce stress through massage therapy and other means like acupuncture.  One exciting possibility for me is getting my varicose veins fixed after getting ultrasounds showing I have venous reflux, or blood flowing backward.  (Yes, I am in my 30s and have varicose veins.  They happened after my 2nd pregnancy).  Improved blood flow should increase energy levels and even mental health.

    Getting positive input
    to keep my head above water is crucial.  Some options I like are listening to audible books like Lysa TerKeurst’s  It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way or an encouraging podcast like Risen Motherhood .

    As part of my rest and recover plan, and also for putting myself in a good headspace, I ditched the dishes and laundry and took the kids to a relaxing county park beach during their free admission week.  I thank God for providing that option to me!  The sound of waves and sand on my feet, and a sunny week to recharge did wonders for me.  It was easy to smile with the sun warming my back, the water cooling my toes, pretty shells and tiny crabs to inspire awe at the world once again.  IMG_5421.JPG
    I hope you know whatever you’re facing, there is hope for tomorrow.  Blessings to you, friend.

    *Disclosure: Some links may be affliate links, simply meaning at no cost to you I may earn a commission which will support my blog if you click and make a purchase.

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, DIY, Featured Inspiration, Kids Activity Ideas, minimalism, painting, Ponderings about life, Quick Project, sensory processing disorder

Is Boredom why Your Kids are Squabbling this Summer?

How’s your summer going, parents?  Staying sane and happy? It’s been a bit over a week since we got back from vacation, and I am still trying to get the laundry under control…But at least it’s off the couch today! When a mom’s got work to do, there’s nothing so irksome as squabbling kiddos, eh?!

As I try to be productive and get the house back in order, I’ve noticed that to minimize interruptions due to my kids’ arguments, I’ve got to nip their boredom in the bud! I’ll clarify that I believe there is a positive state similar to boredom, which is space for the mind to wander, get lost in imagination, and enjoy not having to do anything at all.  Having opportunity for that can be a very good thing because it leaves space for contentment without busyness.

The problem comes when you get restless and brooding boredom, that tension between pent-up energy and no appealing outlet for it, that often leads to inappropriate expressions.  So, your kids are home from school with you and you want to harness that energy constructively, without resorting to mesmerizing them with screens all day, right? What can you do to banish boredom?

My best boredom-busting tip and survival secret as a mom has been planning OUTSIDE TIME! Maybe it’s that the sensory diet is so rich–ambient noises of birds, the feel of the breeze, the colors and smells of flowers, etc., that seems to soothe tempestuous little people.  In fact, when my kids are in an emotional storm, I often give them an option to head out back to calm down…and it has yet to stop working.

Here’s a list of 4 easy ways you can beat boredom and add some outdoor magic to your summer days:

1.  Paint outside like a master (this is especially ideal for mommas who cringe at the idea of the mess that craft/paint projects can bring with them).  Have the kiddos wear old clothes and head outside with some finger paints and put up some big blank art pages (or recycle by using some newspaper or cardboard) on your fence or shed. (Make sure it’s washable of course.) 

 

 
2.  Picnic on your porch or in your backyard. Simple smoothies, watermelon or popsicle/ other snacks count, too. We do this frequently and my kids suggest it themselves often.  I love my covered patio swing because even when I’m worn out, my kids and I can go enjoy some shade and sit together as I rest with a cup of tea in my hands! They usually finish their snack up and scamper off to play nearby while I recharge.

3.  Schedule some Park time We keep revisiting a peaceful sandy spot near a river. It has a swing which appeals to my daughter, and my son loves digging in the sand or catching minnows with his über fun telescopic net!  You could combine #1 and park time for even more cool-mom points! It’s pretty easy to throw together sandwiches and carrot sticks plus yogurt tubes for al fresco fare. 

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4.  People, learn about your local historic landmarks! It’s fun!! My family loves history and actually going to historic spots really makes the books about long-past time periods come alive.  (BTW, no need for a gym membership in 1735.  Those buckets are HEAVY!)

 

Yesterday we found a free event called the Lavender Festival at Hancock’s Resolution, a farm established in 1733 that even included beekeeping education with a working apiary.  (Did you know a queen bee can lay up to 1,000 eggs if needed, and that the workers determine the sex of new bees by what they feed the queen?!)

 


But, if it’s a rainy day, remember you have indoor options too!  You got this! Go forth and carpe diem!

*I’ve used affiliate links for your convenience should you be interested in obtaining something I mentioned.  Commissions as an Amazon Affiliate member help me out as I provide free content for your enjoyment!  Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, sensory processing disorder

My Favorite SPD Books and Resources for Families

When my son began having disproportionately large meltdowns around the age of two over how things felt and big emotions, and in turn I was struggling to parent him well, figuring out how his mind works really helped me.  I read all these books and they helped me piece together the puzzle of my precious, smart, but inflexible and easily frustrated child.  I hope you can find encouragement and enlightenment in them as well! But first, check out this helpful checklist of common symptoms of SPD in age-specific groupings: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/sensory-processing-issues-what-youre-seeing

( These are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associates member, I hope to save you time searching for something I mention that you may find helpful, too.  If you make a purchase there is no extra cost to you, but it provides me with a small commission that helps me as I continue providing content for you! Thanks for your support!)

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Featured Inspiration, minimalism, Ponderings about life

Still Learning

While I enjoy being creative with the video editing itself as I attempt this Youtube channel endeavor, it has been a struggle learning the right way to store the videos (and not lose all my many hours of edited videos.  *sigh*).  My phone quickly runs out of storage, so my husband showed me how to use the network storage.  However, if a video I’ve used in Shotcut is no longer where it was originally accessed when editing, the edited video shows up as missing, and the Shotcut file won’t play.  Heartbreak, truly.  Oh well, live and learn.  The beat goes on!

Here’s the channel intro I did, and a few other videos are in the editing/planning process.

My favorite part, as always, is my dog Kody (he’s a 4-yr.-old chihuahua-shitzhu mix) wanting to be in the spotlight on my lap or racing around at the end of the video.   But the Fabric Magic embroidery project/Instant Pot part was also a lot of fun.

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, Ponderings about life

From Survival Mode to Creative Zone Again

When life was just about day-to-day survival and I wasn’t feeling very creative, I knew I needed to do something to get un-stuck. Four years of deeply wading through the weight of everything that was keeping me in survival mode, praying for hope and joy despite my circumstances, and trying to discover what my unique purpose was, and something finally started to grow in me.  It started with me determining to let go of anything that was weighing me down.

First, I got some counseling to uncover the root of my anxiety and start working on better ways to cope with stress.  Soapbox moment: I wish everyone thought of counseling as normal and ok, like a tuneup on your car, instead of viewing it as a stigma. (BTW, if you think you just can’t afford a counselor, there are sometimes scholarship programs available.  You might have to do some digging, but you’re worth the effort! There are also low-fee options like TalkSpace, $25 for a month and be able to text a counselor when you need.  Michael Phelps shares his experience with therapy here: at Talkspace ).

We all have issues (like the pressurizing problem of perfectionism) and limiting beliefs. It’s not a mark of failure, but of wisdom to ask for help to get you optimized.
and having an unbiased individual to help sort them out is kind of like hiring a professional organizer who helps you declutter and put things in a more ideal setup.  

Speaking of which, back before I ever heard of Konmari, I thought I needed to get my house organized, because my mess was overwhelming me.  That ushered me into the idea of decluttering, which ushered me into the realm of minimalism (which, for me, isn’t a strict set of rules, but rather the idea of not keeping more than I can deal with without overwhelm, and only what adds value and beauty to our lives.)  Which is where I am now, trying my utmost to live intentionally.

Intentionality changed me from somebody who could barely peel herself out of bed in the morning at 8 a.m., who dreaded the sound of busy little bodies awake before me (although I love them dearly), and had little to no structure in my day to someone who is awake closer to 5 a.m., who has goals for the day and longer term, and a plan to achieve them.  It changed me from someone who thought it would be a good idea to exercise to someone who regularly walks a mile (and sometimes my kids do it with me).  It changed me from someone who thought I’d like to paint more to someone who gets out the paints and creates.

Intentionality starts with better habits, which create momentum.

As a SAHM, recognizing I’m the CEO and in charge of the way my life and home works has been key to changing what I didn’t like and what wasn’t working.  We all have the same amount of hours in our days, so learning better time management (essentially self-management) has been essential for awakening a dream in me.  Putting plans  into place for better health and productivity has reduced overwhelm and given me the space to be creative.  I feel less like I’m surviving and more like I’m on my way to truly thriving creatively again.  My dream is being able to encourage others to do the same, because it’s powerfully and literally life-changing.

Leave a comment (scroll allll the way down on this post) sharing your dream and one thing you could do to get started on it!  If you don’t have one yet, share what’s weighing you down from getting there, and if you have a step to take to overcome it today!     

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, Ponderings about life

When Creativity gets Squashed by Survival Mode

When dealing with postpartum anxiety and depression and then adrenal fatigue and chronic exhaustion, I was stuck in survival mode.  Survival mode is not a great place for creativity to thrive in, or even show up.  A handful of days are that way now, occasionally, when I get insomnia or something else incredibly stressful comes up.  But for the most part, things have improved so much that I marvel at the contrast.  Maybe the following sound familiar to you, and I just want to give you hope that it doesn’t have to stay that way!

Some people have lofty aspirations, but at my lowest point, I just wanted to be at a place where I could be able to wake up easily not feeling exhausted and look forward to what lay ahead.  Where I wasn’t wishing each day was over because I barely felt like I could make it through.   I longed to know what being motivated and enthusiastic felt like again.  I didn’t want to be so overwhelmed that I might have a panic attack, and look like a fool when asking somebody to come just be with me and my kids because I couldn’t deal with life.  I wanted to enjoy food and not feel awful no matter what healthy thing I tried to eat.  I ached to see a light at the end of the dark tunnel within my health journey.

(I am going to pause a moment and acknowledge that some health journeys are a continuous tunnel without much light.  Although keeping hope alive is important, I know some issues are chronic, unrelenting, and desperately painful without any probability of reversal.

If you’re in that place, know your pain and your story matter.  I truly believe many of life’s most valuable lessons come from the most painful things, and you may unknowingly be the one teaching others what perseverance looks like and giving others in a hard situation the courage to go on, too.  Reach out if you feel like you need someone to help hold you up, pray for, and encourage you–you don’t have to go it alone! We were made to connect!)

I grieved for the vibrant, creative and energetic girl and woman I had once been.  I was LOW.  So I did what I normally do to cope with challenges: I read (which is hard to find time to do as a mom, right?! But I made it happen).  I was reading some inspirational mom book and it said something about having a passion or dream apart from the daily grind of parenting.

I had this numb sort of reaction, like, “That’s nice for some moms, but I can’t even imagine being in a place where my mind be able to fathom having a dream.  And besides, I don’t know what my dream would be.”  (But I do now.  More on that later.)  Have you been there?  Don’t be there alone.  Feel free to comment and share if you are in survival mode, or if you’ve discovered your dream.  What got you from survival mode to creativity again?

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, Ponderings about life

Stay-at-home-mom Productivity and Progress

DSC06032Last year I got into a rut a bit more deeply than years previous.  As a SAHM, one thing that often has discouraged me is knowing my work is never really done, and doesn’t look more done because piles of laundry and cooking and dishes (etc. etc.) need to be re-done each day/weekly.  I have felt so unproductive each day even though I’m working around the house all day long.  Yet this SAHM gig is what I want to do, and I don’t have a desire for a financial career.  Something had to change.

I was kind of depressed over it and was cranky all the time, so I talked to a counselor about it.  She was encouraging, saying that as a parent (of only one kid) who worked, she felt like it would possibly be harder to manage kids and a house all day long, and recommended I lower my expectations for myself, and expect to do only about an hour a week “side-projects” (like organizing the basement) beyond main household responsibilities–cooking, cleaning, and childcare.  Thanks…I appreciate the idea, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that, because that didn’t seem like it would improve my situation any.  I was still surrounded by disorder.

 So when school started, I began listening to Michael Hyatt’s Your Best Year Ever podcast, which I recommend.  A main takeaway for me that I’m going to continue, hopefully with more regularity, was his productivity journal idea.  He quoted a study that saying productivity is increased 40% by writing goals down because it gives clarity, overcomes resistance/analysis of desires, provides motivation, filters other opportunities (prioritizes), enables clarity and allows you to see progress.  

 Since I started doing my own productivity journal, I definitely notice when I nightly make a page of the top 3 goals and subset goals for the next day, that I have more focus and get more done, then feel better about my day in general (and that makes me a better mom). 

 It’s somehow not the same as a to-do list, which to me feels like a drag on my energy.  It’s just clearer intentionality, instead of drudgery, I guess.  Not necessarily doing more, but doing what matters more efficiently, to feel like I have time for margin and reduce feelings of overwhelm. 

Beyond daily goals, he encourages setting achievable yet challenging yearly goals to promote growth and feed a dream.  Looking at those monthly or whenever helps me have vision for my future.  Looking back on the goals I set for the beginning of the school year (because when my kids are in school is when I feel I have some time —even if it’s just 3 days a week for 3 hours at a time—to accomplish things without being distracted), I can see some things weren’t as important to me as I thought they should be, but I hit my main 3: exercising regularly for health, reading 7 books, and improve time management. (I set alarms/timers to be more punctual most of the time.  As Noni from A Slob Comes Clean podcast says, there’s such a thing as Time Passage Awareness Disorder, and I have it. The last one I’m still working on…but it definitely improved.)  

So essentially, since starting that last summer, I feel like I’ve had a trial run for improvement this new year. Consequently, I have done a tune-up on my goals and areas of learning and growth, rather than coming up with an official New Years’ Resolution.  It may not be my best year ever (I am still dealing with many health challenges), but if it’s progress, I’m pleased with that. What kinds of things helped you make progress last year?