I think there are a lot of definitions of “success” out there, so why don’t I start off giving you mine?
For me, a successful day means one thing: When I get in bed at night I can say, “I had a day” not “My day had me”. Notice I didn’t qualify whether the day was good or bad. There will inevitably be both.
I heard somewhere that it takes 3 weeks to make a habit and 3 days to break one. I like to be proactive to make the following things a habit.
1. Wake Up Before My Kids
So yeah, this Mama? Not the morning Mama. For some reason those extra 30 minutes are the sweetest minutes of sleep the whole night for me. But I KNOW that waking up 30 minutes earlier can make a drastic difference in my day. If I am dressed and ready for the day before my kids wake up, it puts me in so much better if a mindset in the morning. Bottom line: it's worth sacrificing those 30 minutes of extra sleep.
2. Put On Shoes Every Morning
I seriously believe there is a direct correlation between wearing tennis shoes and productivity. I am a thousand times more productive when I wear tennis shoes. Seriously, a thousand. You should try it.
3. Make The Bed
Every morning, I make my bed. This helps me fight the temptation to get back in only to sleep 20 more minutes. Plus it just makes the room seem cleaner and ready for the day.
I also recently had a friend who told me that the main reason she makes her bed every morning is because she wants to be able to enjoy the pretty things in her home. This really resonated for me. I, too, like to enjoy my home. And I love walking into my room throughout the day and seeing my bed made and all my pretty pillows propped up.
4. Love People More And Need People Less
I don’t know if it is just me, but because my main job is managing my home, I often have a lot of thinking time and sometimes this means I am prone to insecurities. Whether it's with parenting my kids, friends I talk to on the phone, or other people I interact with at the kids school or church things, I have found that it helps me so much to change my perspective. To think through this simple concept of loving people more and needing people less. Practically this can look like helping and serving people, or it can even just mean how I think about and approach people throughout my day.
5. Have A Good Belly Laugh With Each Of My Kids Every Day
I got this idea from my best friend. And it is AWESOME. One of my favorite sounds in the whole world is the laughter from my children. That good ole belly laugh. They need it and I need it. Laughter also has a good way of turning a hard situation around for the better or stopping a bad day in its tracks. It can be difficult to initiate at times, but I find is totally worth it.
6. Open All The Blinds And Curtains In The House And Let The Light In
One of my biggest triggers for grumpiness, laziness, and discouragement that is so easily fixed is when there isn’t light in my house. When its dark in the daytime. So every morning I have started to raise all of the blinds in all of the rooms in my house. Sunshine streams in, or even when it has been rainy it still helps bring in more light.
7. Read More, TV Less
Honestly I’m still working on this. But the amount I have cut back on screen time in general opens up so much more time in my day. Screen time of any kind is such a time sucker! Our general rule of thumb in our house is to read more than we watch. This applies to my husband and I and filters down even to our toddler.
8. Freely Give Grace
Grace on you. Grace on me. Grace on them.
Give it to the kids. To the people who cross your path in your day. And most importantly to yourself. One of the best things I have read in recent years that penetrated my heart as a mom the most was that mom’s of young kids need to give themselves grace for the things they didn’t get done in the day, and grace to still be in survival mode. I really believe that so many days of raising these kids is lived in survival mode and that's ok. It's not a matter of lower expectations, but that you can change the rules and your can redefine what survival mode means. When we freely give grace, it creates space for joy in our day.
Carrie blogs at www.wileyadventures.com . She is married to Kyle and has 4 kids: Laura Kate (8 years), Shepherd (5 years), Fischer (3 years) and Archer (17 months).
You can check me out at Mama's Organized Chaos today. I am talking about how to get your child to come when you call.