The Power of Something Simple

The following is a guest post from Michelle Colasante

I’m a sharer. Almost to a fault. There’s really nothing I won’t pass on if I think it’s good intel. Like my sweater? I got it at Marshall’s for $9! Think the roast in my oven smells divine? Oh, that recipe is so easy, you just …”

And don’t ask me how my day is going, because you’ll never hear the canned “fine.”

Sharing heals. It magnifies joy and lessens burdens. It can uplift.

And, apparently, it can help you find a good deal or make a quick dinner. So when I come up with a plan that helps me be a better person, a better mom, a little more organized, a little less crazed, I like to share that, too.

photo source

A few months back, I felt slightly, well, all over the place. Nothing seemed to be coming together. I wasn’t the mom, the girl, the homemaker I wanted to be. I had a million “to-do’s” floating around in my head, but not one of them was getting done. I felt like a ping-pong ball bouncing off the nearest walls – the kitchen, bing! – the front door, bing! – the living room, bing! I needed to re-center myself and devise an action plan that I could live by before I lost my mind.

My solution? A list. Not exactly the most extraordinary answer to my plight, but don’t underestimate the power of something simple.

This was to be my ideal routine: all tasks well-thought-out, considered and prioritized {and only those that helped me achieve a goal included}, and put to print in some “official” way. In other words, no scribbled post-its or scratching notes on the back of a used envelope.

In this list I would include the big and the little rocks, because we all know that as moms, sometimes just getting up, showered and dressed is a grand achievement. Why not feel a sense of accomplishment for getting those things done as well?

Here’s what one page of it looks like:

There’s a separate sheet for each day of the week, and I put them together on a clipboard headquartered on my kitchen counter. It keeps me on track. Some things on the list are intuitive — “shower, dress, game face,” for instance —  while others would never get done if I didn’t write them down. The one major household or life task that I’d like to accomplish that day is highlighted in blue, as in “Declutter Day,” above.

I leave a space to write in what I plan on cooking for dinner each night and blank lines at the bottom so that I can add appointments, as needed. I also feature personal reminders, such as “internet-free” afternoons. That way there’s no forgetting that the computer is to be off as soon as my son’s home from preschool.

My goal of being “available” is a big rock, for sure. It’s simple, yes, but I can’t emphasize enough how much jotting down— in some neat and formatted way—what I want out of my days has helped me. There are no longer knots in my shoulders because I suspect I’m forgetting something. I am true to my goals.

So carve out some time for yourself, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and your laptop, and figure out what you’d like your days to look like. Envision yourself in the evening looking back on how you’d spent the previous 12 hours, and determine what will make you feel like the day was a success.

– Michelle Colasante shares her thoughts on parenting, girlfriends, the antics of a precocious 4-year-old, and the value of a good cup of coffee on her blog, this little light. She encourages you to find joy right where you are.

What small things do YOU do to make your days successful?

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Comments

  1. This was a needed post for me today. I have gotten away from my list making and routines and I definitely feel like there’s a million to-do’s and none getting done!
    I like the reminder to turn off the computer. I think that might have to go on my list too! :)

  2. I am indeed all over the place too.. but its not a list I need. It’s an attitude shift. I preach it to my kids regularly but lately I feel as if I am constantly grumpy at my kids, impatient, critical, reactive, and angry. My “fruit” is SOUR! I think you are right… sometimes it takes something simple to make a profound change. I need to remember to breathe.. focus my attention on Him and allow Him to change what I see and how I react.
    Thank you for the simple reminder.

  3. I am a list maker. I make one “big list” of stuff I want to get done for the week. This week I have some simple things down, & some big ones (a second coat of paint on my bathroom ceiling). I won’t lie I get a bit bummed if I don’t do it all. I am working on letting things go, so I can be there for my kids.

  4. This is so on point for me right now. I found myself getting frustrated with my kids yesterday, and it was because I was unfocused – trying to do too much at once. This morning (before I read this) I realized that I need to make afternoons “internet free” in order to refocus my priorities. And here you encourage that as well – thank you! Just the affirmation I needed. I also have a notebook with a daily task list, but you are right – it needs to be more detailed. I’m going to fix that, today. Thanks for sharing :)

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