Even before becoming a mom, my to-do lists were massive. I realized that most of the time, I was just “staying busy”, and I wasn’t able to be alone with my thoughts. I felt that if I stayed busy, I was being productive. The reality was, subconsciously, most of it was finding things to do to pass the time.
Through trial and error, I found 4 ways that help me accomplish my goals.
1. Self Care First
If you’re like me and always put your children first, you probably have thoughts of:
“There’s no way I could do that”
“Ha! Self Care? What is that?”
“I barely have time to shower or cook a meal”
“I’ve lost myself and don’t even know what I would choose for self-care”
Plus many more…
Listen, I’ve been there, and honestly, I still get into that space. But if I don’t put myself at the top of the list, my cup will be empty. It will not overflow with unconditional love, patience or compassion. I will not be able to give anything to my family.
Self care will look very different for each person at each stage in their life. We evolve. We grow in different ways. We expand our consciousness. I remind you to embrace that your self care may look different than your partner’s version of self care, or your best friend’s version of it too.
If you’re struggling with ideas of what self care can look like for you, think about what makes you happy. What keeps you present in the moment and brings you joy? What gives your mind a rest from all of the craziness throughout your day? Is it meditation? Taking a shower or bath? Painting with your kids? Reading 1 page of a book? Going to the gym? Cooking a healthy meal? Doing a card reading on yourself? Using essential oils on a diffuser bracelet? A trip to Barnes and Noble or Target? Stretching? Hanging out with a friend? Singing and dancing around the house? Doing Yoga? (Hint: I’ve done all of these for self care at some point in my life)
2. Create an Intention List
Notice I didn’t say “To-Do List”. Our subconscious minds pay attention to the energy behind words. For me, “To-Do” has an obligatory meaning. I feel if I don’t get that list done, then I am a failure. I let myself down once again, and the negative self talk stays on repeat for days.
Instead, create an “Intention List”.
What are 3 things that if you accomplish them, you will feel like you had a productive day?
It’s so hard to choose. I know. The laundry needs to get done. The dishes are overflowing at the sink. You haven’t washed your hair in a week. But think about what truly would give you a sense of “Hey! I got accomplished some things done day. I’m feeling great!” Is it doing your taxes? Responding to emails? Writing a caption for your instagram post? Creating pieces of artwork? Finding a dress for a wedding? Taking photos of your kids? Ordering those photos and putting them in an album?
3. Create an Intentional Timeline
You’ve set your 3 intentions – Congratulations! Now, when will you accomplish them?
If you’re just starting out with the idea of planning your day, then this will take some practice. I used to underestimate the time I needed to accomplish a task, and then I would be running around trying to get things done as quickly as possible. This was no bueno for my sanity.
Here’s the good news: You have permission to renegotiate the timeline you set for yourself.
If 2pm rolls around and you are completely off track, look at your schedule and adjust it for the remainder of the day. Most importantly, use it as a learning tool for tomorrow’s timeline. Did you underestimate the time needed? Overestimate? Did you procrastinate or find yourself scrolling through Instagram to avoid the task?
4. Check Off Your Goals, and Celebrate!
You did it! Hooray! Put a check mark next to each of your intentions, and acknowledge yourself for following through. Do a happy dance!
Evaluate how you are feeling right now. Is there a sense of accomplishment? Are you excited about setting tomorrow’s intentions? Is there anything you would do differently during this process in the future? What worked for you? What didn’t work for you? Awareness is the first step to growth.
What other methods have you tried? What are you excited to accomplish by using this strategy?