Do You Ever Do This?

When I was in college, my roommate would reclean the bathroom after I cleaned it. He didn’t think I did it right.

So I stopped. What was the point of me taking the time to do something that someone else was going to redo?

Have you ever done this?

Do you ever redo a task that someone else has done because you didn’t think it was done well enough? Maybe it’s the dishwasher, maybe it’s folding laundry, maybe it’s something for work.

Be honest, no one is watching you read this.

And how often do you complain that others in your house don’t help? Do you spend your time with friends complaining about how you do it all around the house? How your partner just doesn’t see all that you do or even know that you do it?

You’re exhausted, overwhelmed, tired of it all?

I wonder if we bring some of the chaos on ourselves.

I wonder if we have such high expectations of ourselves and those around us that no one will ever live up to them.

Or society has conditioned women to believe that we’re the only ones capable of doing these tasks. And if they’re not done our way, then we’ve failed somehow.

What if, by redoing a task that someone else completed, we take away their power and motivation. Thereby starting a cycle where they stop doing it and we get mad because now they’re not doing it.

reclean the bathroom Woman standing over dishwasher

I have a friend who argued with his wife about their dishwasher. She was constantly reloading it after he loaded it. He told her he was going to stop loading it if she continued to redo it. What was the point of him doing it if it was just going to get redone?

What if our partners (and maybe even our kids) feel this way? They’re tired of being nagged, of having their work redone. Wondering why they even bother if it’s not good enough.

I’ve talked about how men and women have the same level of messiness. But women are conditioned by society to care more, to get to it quicker. So we expect tasks to be completed on our timeline. Not allowing others to have their own agency.

I wonder what would happen if we set the expectation of when something needs to be done and then let our partners do it in their own way. Didn’t remind them. Didn’t nag them. Let them do it on their own.

Instead of maternal gatekeeping (something that’s seated deep within women where mothers know best and should be in charge), what if others participated?

Remember that half the population wasn’t raised to see all the work it takes to run a household and raise kids.

It’s not that they’re ignoring it. They don’t know it exists. And, as women, when we take it all on, our partners still don’t see it because we’re doing it all.

These changes require patience and time. We’re not going to change these deep-seated tendencies overnight. But we can start.

Let’s start by making it more visible. Stop doing all the housework after everyone else is in bed. Stop redoing something someone else has already done. Even if you can fit more dishes in the dishwasher or think something should be folded differently, stop yourself. Try celebrating that someone else did it and now you don’t have to. That’s one thing off your plate!

Think of what you can do when you’re not doing everything?

My kids don’t fold their clothes. The clothes get sorted by item and shoved in drawers. They know how to fold, but I’m not going to spend a bunch of time folding their clothes or nagging them to do it. We sort them, play a game of basketball as they toss their clothes into the drawers, and call it a day.

Give someone ownership over a task. They’re not helping you, you’re working together.

Start paying attention to everything that you’re taking on. It’s not going to change overnight, but let’s start with some awareness.

Your future self will thank you.

Let me know the last time you redid the dishwasher! (I’ll keep it between us!)

And come join me on Instagram!

Dirty Dishes and The Invisible Load

We run our dishwasher a lot. There is often a clean load in the dishwasher, with even more dishes sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be dealt with. So many dishes!

so many dishes

At some point, I realized that I had it in my head that my husband expected me to deal with the dishes. Yes, we both work from home. But my schedule is more flexible. So, of course, why wouldn’t I be the one to deal with all the household tasks too?

Sound familiar? As moms, we take on all the household tasks because it feels easier that way. Without thinking about it.

In reality, it wasn’t that he expected me to do it. He wasn’t thinking about it at all. He was focused on work. And he would deal with the dishes later, after work, while he was making dinner.

I read an article in the Atlantic about how men and women are equally messy. But men don’t notice as much. Women feel a lot of pressure to keep their spaces clean and organized and pretty. Ourselves too. Now, I will leave space in here on how we feel more in control of our lives when we’ve cleaned and purged our house. I too clean and organize when I’m stressed out.

But, women are conditioned from a young age that keeping the house and family organized is our responsibility. Our worth is wrapped up in it. Women operate on a different time scale than men. So it appears that we take it all on because men won’t. When men just haven’t been conditioned to deal with it as quickly as women.

And the pattern continues. Women take on the tasks because we think men aren’t going to do it, instead of letting them do it in their own way. Then the men just stop doing tasks around the house, because the women do it all anyway. And the exhausting cycle continues.

And our kids see this. They see mom doing all the household chores and the organizing of schedules and planning of everything. And they grow up thinking that’s how it’s done.

It’s time to change that narrative.

I realize that I’m asking women to take on one more thing here. I’m also asking women to get their partners in on this. To start having these conversations together. To start shifting the dynamics in your house to more equity. Where everyone in the household is involved, down to the youngest child.

When my kids complain about not wanting to do something around the house, I remind them that we all live here. We all contribute to the household and we all need to work together. And then we read a book titled The Great Zooberry Debacle: A Tale of Many Hands.

Start paying attention to when you take it all on. When you are the one worrying about everything and feeling like people are judging you if things aren’t perfect.

Your future self will thank you.

When you’re ready to stop feeling pulled in too many directions and add a sense of control and peace to your days, schedule a call with me, and let’s talk about my coaching programs.

Some Days It Never Ends

Some days, it never ends.

Get the kids up.

And get breakfast ready.

And help the kids pack their lunches

And remind the kids to put those lunches in their backpacks, not the counter.

And get kids out the door to school.

some days it never ends

Then start my work day.

And then remember we need to figure out what’s for dinner. And maybe buy groceries.

And add 3 more things to my task list for work.

Some days, it never ends!

It feels like the task list never gets shorter.

Some days the list truly gets longer!

At times it feels like we’re failing. Maybe you’ll try a new tool or hack and it’ll work for a while. But you eventually find yourself back where you were, overwhelmed and overcommitted. Feeling like it’s never enough.

Sometimes we wonder if we missed a class in school on how to do this thing called life.

I assure you that you did not miss a class. You are not failing. Our society has led women to believe that in order to have it all we have to do it all.

When dads don’t get paternity leave, moms simply get better at doing all the things. Not because they’re better at it by nature, but because they’re the ones doing it every day.

Over time, this leads moms to feel like we need to take on everything related to the house and kids, on top of running a business or growing our own careers. Because we’ve been led to believe that this is what good moms do and nothing will happen if we don’t take care of it.

But when both partners are involved with the household and raising of children, life is richer for everyone.

Getting everyone involved in a household doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen by putting up a chore chart or reminders.

It takes time. Conversations. Family meetings. Work on everyone’s part.

But it can happen. This is the work I do with my clients. The work we talk about in my community.

Want to get started? Go here.

If you’re wondering if you missed a class on how to do life, let’s chat! Schedule a call with me!

Your future self will thank you!

The Holidays Are Here!

The holidays are here! Are you ready? 

The pandemic is still complicating things. It might still be a year for social distancing and smaller parties. Or more of staying at home and visiting friends and family on Zoom. 

the holidays are here!

Regardless of how you spend the holidays, here are a few ideas for thriving, not surviving. 

Simplify

Maybe you’re one to go overboard for the holidays. Everyone gets gifts. You mail cards to everyone you know. And your family is wearing matching PJ’s in the photo that’s on the card you send. 

Before you go nuts, take a minute and step back. 

Make a list of everything you do during the holidays. Look at the list. Examine it. 

Do these tasks make you happy? Or are you doing them because you feel you need to? Are there a few that you can skip? 

Pick the few items that make you happy. Cross the rest off.  No one will notice! 

Ask

Ask each family member to pick one activity they enjoy and want to do during the holidays. 

Schedule it. 

Stick with the activities that your family enjoys. Skip the rest! You will all be happier. 

You do not have to say yes to every event that comes your way. If you love attending all the parties and it fills you up, then go! 

But realize that might not be true for everyone in your family. Or you. And that’s ok. 

Say yes to the events that you and your family get the most out of. 

When you’re overbooked, you don’t enjoy the holidays. It feels like one thing after another and before you know it, it’s January and you’re left wondering what happened. 

Being intentional about the events and activities you take on helps you feel present at each of them. Sinking into the fun of the moment. 

Simplify Some More

Are you hosting a meal? What can you do to make it easy? In our family, the person hosting makes the main dish and everyone else brings a side dish. Everyone signs up for something so we don’t end up with 6 side dishes of mashed potatoes. And it takes the pressure off the host to not be in charge of everything. 

Maybe it’s never been done this way in your family. Maybe it’s always been on you to make the holidays happen. That doesn’t mean you can’t request a change. At least start the conversation. It could be as simple as everyone else bringing appetizers or desserts. 

After The Holidays, Evaluate

In January, spend some time thinking about what worked and what didn’t work in December. What did your family enjoy? What do you wish you had skipped? Take notes and put them somewhere you will find next November. 

Try a few of these ideas this year. The key is to only do the things that make you happy. Don’t wear yourself out doing everything! Doing a few things allows you to enjoy those activities and tasks and get the most out of them. 

If you want more ideas on how to simplify your life, sign up below!

    Around The Next Bend

    Years ago, my husband and I went hiking in Acadia, in northern Maine. As we were coming back down the trail, we kept thinking that the trail would end around the next bend. Around the next bend, we’ll be back at the car. This went on for some time. It seemed the trail was never going to end! 

    around the next bend.

    We still joke about it. It’s become a mantra in our lives whenever something seems to be taking longer than it should. It’ll end around the next bend. 

    Maybe this is how you feel about your to-do list. That you’ll get through it soon. It has to get shorter sometime, right? If you just keep chipping away at it. Skipping sleep. Not taking breaks. 

    Around the next bend. 

    Let’s be honest. In this case, it’s not going to end around the next bend. There will always be something on our to-do list. It might feel more manageable some days or weeks. But there will always be tasks. 

    I’m not telling you this to make you sad and feel defeated. I want you to make the realization that it’s ok to take a break from the list. To put something fun on it. Or even put it in a drawer for the afternoon and go do something for yourself. 

    Then, after that break, come back and let’s talk about how to handle the never-ending list. When you really feel like you don’t have the time to deal with what’s on it. Or to even make a dent in the list. 

    Where do you start? 

    Start with a brain dump. Take 10 minutes and write down everything that’s floating around in your head. All the ideas and tasks. Find the post-its and notes you’ve left everywhere. Get them all in one spot. Pull out tasks lost in your emails. 

    Once you have all the tasks in one place, it’s easier to see your priorities. It can’t all be a priority, so you’ll need some guidelines here. Ask yourself the following questions: 

    • What are the quickest / closest deadlines? 
    • What is making my business money? 
    • What project do I need to get started on soon? 
    • Are there tasks on here that I can delete or delegate? 

    What are the next steps? 

    Next, write out each step, as small as possible for all your projects. This helps you get moving on your projects because you know the next steps. 

    You can’t claim you don’t have the time, because you can make the time for small steps. 

    What are your goals and values? 

    Another place to start from is understanding what’s important to you. When you know your goals for your business and your family, you can easily identify the tasks that get you there. Anything else can be deleted. 

    Say No

    The next part is learning to say no. When you know what’s on your plate, you know if another project or client is the right fit. 

    Remember, future you is just as busy as today you. Only say yes to something in the future if you would say yes to it tomorrow. 

    Saying yes to a big project means saying no to something else. 

    Maybe a goal of yours is to spend more time with your family or on exercise or to create another part of your business. Saying yes to a new project or client might take away from that. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it. 

    That to-do list might never end, even around the next bend. But you can take back control and deal with it in a way that works for you. So the trail doesn’t feel so long. And you can enjoy the scenery along the way.

    If you want more ideas on how to deal with that never-ending to-do list, sign up below for weekly tips and tricks!

      Let’s Evaluate

      Do you spend your days crossing tasks off your to-do list and making plans and going and going and going?

      Sometimes, we need to stop. Take some time to check in with what’s working and what’s not. Ask ourselves questions and really reflect on what we’re doing.

      I know. I know. You don’t have the time.

      But, what if taking this time helped you create more time?

      Take some time, even 15 minutes, and ask yourself the following questions.

      • What commitments have you taken on in the last 3 months? Are they working for you? Or do you need to find a way to let them go?
      • Are there routines that need to shift?
      • What do the next 3 months look like? What projects do you need to plan now?

      Want to get started on this? Schedule a call with me or download this PDF.

        What Are You Escaping From?

        What are you escaping? 

        I know my life is reaching a point of overwhelm when there are too many post-it notes. When I feel like all I’m doing is creating to-do lists. But not actually doing any of the tasks on the post-its or lists. 

        When this happens, I take a few minutes to get all the tasks and ideas out of my head. Then figure out what really needs to happen right now, today, or this week. 

        When we have a sense of our commitments, it’s easier to say yes or no to something. If it’s a work project, we can talk about renegotiating deadlines. If it’s a volunteer commitment, we know if have the time to give. If it’s our kids asking to do one more activity, we can have a conversation as a family about whether it makes sense or will lead to more overwhelm.

        what are you escaping from? overwhelmed woman with too many people asking things of her.
        How many things have you said yes to in your life because you:
        1. Didn’t know how to say no at the moment?
        2. Felt obligated to do it even though you really didn’t want to?

        Remember that every time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. And sometimes we have to say no to something that seems like a great opportunity because we know that there’s a better one out there. (Or, we know we need to leave breathing room in our schedules). Make sure that yes is worth it. 

        I want you to design a life that you don’t need to escape from. One that doesn’t have you dreading every Monday. Where you aren’t resentful of the activities you and your family are committed to outside of work and school. 

        It’s a life full of activities and tasks that deserve to be there.

        If you’re feeling resentful and want to figure out a way to change this, let’s talk

        This PDF will help you too! 6 Steps to Peace And Accomplishment

          Step By Step

          We recently bought a new house and moved. 

          We knew we wanted to move early in the year before we’d even applied for mortgages or found a realtor. 

          We started by cleaning out closets. One shelf at a time. We donated so much stuff! 

          Every step gets you closer. incremental steps

          Then we moved on to finding a realtor and making a list of what we wanted in a house. Where we wanted to live. What were non-negotiables when it came to location or the house layout. 

          And there were so many lists. Address changes to make. Documents to gather to apply for our mortgage. Items to figure out the best place to donate. 

          The lists helped us know the next steps to take. I could sit down and spend 10 minutes changing addresses. I knew the order we wanted to pack the house so I could work on 1-2 boxes each day. 

          Knowing the next step of any project helps it be less overwhelming. 

          When you get a new project or are feeling stuck on a current one, spend some time figuring out all the steps. As small as possible. 

          Then do the first one. And the next one. Slowly but surely, you will get there.

          Want to get started with your next steps? Sign up below for a PDF that guides you through figuring out the next steps.

            Add A Little Structure

            It’s 5 pm. I’m staring at the fridge, wondering what we’re going to have for dinner. I don’t like to cook. If it’s not planned or prepped, we’re having frozen pizza. 

            Once we started weekly meal planning (and prepping) our weeknight dinners got easier. Veggies and potatoes were prepped and the meat was defrosted. All I needed to do was turn on the oven, toss everything in a pan, and roast it. 

            Sunday is laundry day. I refuse to wash clothes any other day of the week unless absolutely necessary. If you want your clothes washed, they better be in the hamper when I start. Otherwise, it waits until next week. 

            Routines are helpful concept. tired housewife meditates in lotus position in laundry room near washing machine and dirty clothes

            I’m working on implementing certain days of the week for certain works tasks. Something like marketing Monday. Where Monday is focused on all my marketing tasks. Maybe you have planning meetings on certain days of the week or focus on specific projects at specific times. 

            Do you find routines stifling or helpful? Do you think that having routines in your life helps with your creativity? Or hurts it? 

            It is possible to have routines in your life and also flexibility. When your days are planned and structured down to the minute, any disruption throws things into disarray. 

            When you have routines and structure with space for the unexpected, everything flows smoothly. 

            What routines do you need in your days? Below are a few areas to add routines to your days. 

            • Laundry
            • Meal planning and prep
            • Recurring work tasks
            • Morning routines
            • Evening routines

            Ask yourself the following questions related to building routines:

            • What are all the steps needed to complete this routine?
            • When does each step need to happen?
            • Who is responsible for each step?

            I also recommend spending the last 30 minutes of your workday cleaning up your workspace. Check your calendar and tasks for tomorrow. Celebrate what you accomplished today. Process emails. File paperwork. Check your physical inbox, if you have one. Prepare yourself for tomorrow. 

            Routines can make your life easier! And when your brain knows that tasks are taken care of, it can solve other problems!

            Want more ideas on adding routines to your life? Sign up below for a PDF to get you started!

              Task Management

              Last week we talked about shifting your thinking. It’s one of the steps I think is most important and also the hardest. This week we are going to look at something a little more tangible, task management. 

              I realized that it was taking me too long to put away laundry because my kid’s clothes are often inside out. I was spending too much time turning everything right side out. So I stopped. My daughter recently wore a pair of pants wrong side out because that’s how they came out of the drawer. I’m not taking the time to fix that and apparently, my kids don’t care! And next time they’ll be correct because they turned right side out again when she took them off! It seems to only bother the adults when kids wear something wrong-side out or backward. Let’s let it go!

              I’m sharing this story because your task list is long. And it could likely be shorter. But you’ve said yes to too many things. And you’re doing too much.

              Do you know where your time goes? Not just guessing, but truly knowing? 

              Do you have a sense of all your tasks? Including activities, commitments,  and upcoming projects? 

              Do you spend your days with tasks running through your head? 

              And have you ever timed your tasks so that you know how long a recurring task takes? 

              Track your time

              Even if you think you know where your time goes, it’s helpful to track your time. Over the course of a week, document each task, in 30-minute increments. This doesn’t mean that you sit down at the end of the day and write down what you think you did. You stop what you’re doing every 30 minutes and write it down. Use these resources to help with this.

              Then go back and review your week. How much time was spent on social media? What time was wasted on activities that were unnecessary? How much time are you spending on work tasks? Were there any surprises or did it make sense to you? 

              Use this information to change your future scheduling. Identify what’s working and what’s not. 

              Complete a Brain Dump

              Your brain was designed to have ideas, not hold them. Take 10 minutes and write down everything that’s on your mind. All the tasks, big or small. 

              Use a piece of paper. Use a Google doc. Try a task manager. Make it easy. 

              Then, gather all your flagged emails. All your post-its. All your other lists. 

              And in front of you is likely something overwhelming. It’s everything you’ve committed to. 

              Take a breath. We’re going to work through this. 

              Often, the act of getting these thoughts out of your head and documented in front of you helps you prioritize what’s next. You can see what you can delete or delegate. And you can see what needs to be done today or this week. 

              One of the best things to do here is to make sure all your projects are broken down into the smallest next step. It’s easier to take the next step than look at a task that says monthly report. What does that mean? But when it says call Tom in sales for June’s numbers your brain knows what to do next. 

              This topic is bigger than what I’m going to get into here. Start with the brain dump and initial triage. Then write out each step of a project, no matter how small. 

              Time Your Tasks

              This is a great idea for all of your recurring tasks. Laundry, meal planning, monthly reports. Anything you do on a regular basis. 

              Time them.  Don’t guess. Humans are terrible at estimating their time.

              Once you know (roughly) how long they take, you can schedule them.

              This is task management at a high level! If you want more ideas, take this quick course!

              Shift Your Thinking

              In the next few weeks, we are going to walk through the acronym STRIDE. It covers the ideas I believe are most important when it comes to how we spend our time. Let’s take a look at Shift Your Thinking.

              shift your thinking. a picture of a lightbulb

              My youngest takes her socks off and leaves them wherever she happens to be. So there are socks everywhere. My kid’s idea of cleaning up is making a pile of their toys somewhere without actually putting them in their homes (we have this conversation on a regular basis, we’re working on it). 

              We just moved into a new home. And are likely moving back out shortly because there are so many things wrong with the house that we can’t live here until things are fixed. (a story for another time). So we haven’t unpacked much more than we need. And most of that stuff is sitting on the floor, the kitchen counters, and the couch. Because we haven’t bothered organizing items that are going to back in boxes soon. 

              It’s overwhelming. It’s draining. And it’s frustrating. 

              Have you ever looked around your house and seen nothing but piles of things that need to be dealt with? 

              Maybe it’s looking at all the projects you have for work. You feel like you’re never going to get them completed on time because there are too many and the deadlines are not possible. 

              Or you’ve looked at your schedule and wondered how so many activities ended up there. How are you going to get your family to all these places during the week and ever eat dinner together again? 

              Society has us believe that we need to do it all. Take it all on. Say yes to everything. Be busy all the time. Consume. Consume. Consume. 

              But is that really how you want to be living? Being resentful that you’re working and taking care of the kids and cleaning the house and doing laundry and signing everyone up for activities and planning the next vacation? You are wondering why no one else is helping or participating?

              You’re exhausted? And drained? And over it?

              There is a better way. And that starts with shifting your thinking. 

              First, it’s knowing that you don’t need to do it all. That your partner is capable of doing things around the house. And if it doesn’t seem that way, then maybe some counseling is in order. And your kids are capable of participating in household chores.

              It’s understanding that you don’t need to be constantly scheduled with activities for you and your family. That even if each of you takes on one activity per season that’s still plenty of practices, games, and places to be. 

              It’s shifting expectations, not lowering them. Do you need to sweep your kitchen floor every night? Or get to inbox zero every day? What happens if you don’t? 

              I’ve decided that I’m not organizing a house that is going to be packed up again soon. I’m going to focus on spending time with my kids and on my work. And maybe relaxing when I can. Because although this house has some structural issues, it also has a beautiful backyard. And sitting outside enjoying the quiet of the neighborhood while watching my kids play on the swing set is a beautiful thing. It’s finding a bit of joy in the chaos. 

              When you start focusing on the right things. What really and truly matters today. You start getting stuff done during the day. You make progress on your projects and your tasks. Because they belong there. They’re what matters to you and your family and your career. 

              Where can you shift your thinking today?

              Want to get started on how to shift your thinking? Sign up for the PDF below!

                Sourdough starter. Growth. Finding your passion.

                Many articles from the past year would make you believe that you are not doing enough. With so many people being home during the pandemic you suddenly had time to clean out your closets, finish all those personal projects that have been lingering on your to-do list, and learn a new language. And if you didn’t suddenly find yourself motivated to tackle all of these things, well, that’s on you. It’s not that you haven’t had time, you’re just lazy and lack discipline. 

                Huh. Really? 

                lack discipline text says: your worth is not equal to your productivity. How much you get done each day does not make you sho you are.

                Because you weren’t also taking care of kids while juggling full-time work or just trying to get through the day because it seems as though the world is coming down around us. 

                I have shared how I feel this pandemic has wiped the slate clean for many of us. How this is a great time to think about what we want our lives to look like as we move forward. And not to rush back to the craziness of life BC (before Covid). 

                It’s ok if that hasn’t happened. If you’re aware of it but not ready to process it or figure it out. 

                We are going to be processing the trauma of this pandemic for years to come. Disruption is everywhere. And the changes keep coming. 

                The pandemic is still here. And as long as people are still refusing to get vaccinated and wear masks, it’s not going anywhere. Until more of the global population has access to vaccines, it’s not going anywhere. 

                And we are going to struggle to move forward until that changes.

                There are many articles out there related to your productivity and the pandemic. Getting motivated to work during the stress of a pandemic. (here are my thoughts on that) That with no commute, you have so much more time on your hands! You should be working more! 

                Because our society will have you believe that the more you get done, the more you produce, and the more you cross off your to-do list, the better! Because our value is all about productivity. 

                No. It’s not. 

                You are not your productivity.

                If at the end of the day your kids are loved and fed, you are doing enough. 

                Surviving a pandemic is enough. 

                One of the things we talk about in my virtual community, Stride Together, is that knowing what’s important to you helps you prioritize your tasks. You focus on the things moving you, your family, and your business/job forward. That productivity is not about getting it all done every day.

                If you’re struggling with this, let’s talk. I want to help you clarify these things for you. Even if it’s to set you up for success as we move out of the fog of this pandemic.

                Check out the PDF below to get started on this topic.

                  Manis/Pedis. Massages. Bubbles baths.

                  Manis/Pedis. Massages. Bubbles baths. Chocolate (or your favorite junk food). 

                  I don’t believe any of these things are really self-care. They’re what society has told us is self-care. 

                  massages. bubble baths. self-care.

                  And we’re told that we should be taking care of ourselves. Not feeling guilty for taking that bubble bath or getting a massage. 

                  And yes, we should be taking care of ourselves. And no, we should not be feeling guilty for filling our cup. 

                  But we need to take some time to figure out what really feeds our souls. And, we should be taking the time to find activities that we truly enjoy. Not what we think we should be doing. 

                  We need to be building lives that we don’t need to escape from. 

                  This means that we don’t need a weekly massage so that we can have an hour of quiet time because we have time to ourselves and for ourselves built into the week (and we actually make that time happen).  

                  That we’re not hiding in the pantry eating cookies straight from the package while hiding from our kids because we actually enjoy spending time with them. We fill their cups too and we have scheduled breaks from them to fill our cups.  

                  Yes, I do enjoy my hot chocolate. I believe chocolate feeds my soul. I am also aware that it’s a quick fix. It’s not going to fix whatever it is that got me to this place of feeling drained. 

                  Now, if you love your weekly massages, then have them. But don’t use them as your only form of self-care. Same for manis/pedis. 

                  What do you do for self-care? Beyond bubble baths and massages? What really feeds your soul?

                  For me, going to bed early with a good book fills my cup. Sometimes it’s a long phone call with a friend. 

                  Want to get started on creating a life you don’t need to escape from? Start with this PDF. Or, contact me and let’s chat!

                    The Sunday Scaries and the Need to Escape

                    It’s Sunday night. I’m wondering what the heck happened to my weekend. What exactly did we do? I think I crossed a bunch of tasks off my list. The laundry is washed and dried, not necessarily put away. I’m tired. And I’m starting to dread Monday.

                    I’m looking at my calendar and tasks for the week. The week looks full. Maybe even overflowing. How am I going to get through this week? I’m tired just thinking about this week. I already wish it was Friday! 

                    dread Monday. woman looking overwhelmed at the clothes and mess in her living room.

                    Sound familiar? 

                    Life doesn’t have to be this way! Because we don’t have to continue to be so busy that we’re exhausted simply thinking about our week. 

                    We don’t need to dread Monday!

                    What if you designed a life you don’t need to escape from? 

                    If you knew your daily priorities and that you were able to complete them? 

                    Maybe you even have time for activities you love? For that ever-elusive ‘me-time’? (I promise, it is possible!)

                    I want you to do something for me. Spend some time thinking about what you want your life to look like in the (near) future. If you didn’t have the dreaded Sunday scaries.

                    Maybe it’s planning something fun that you look forward to for Monday or Tuesday nights. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a regular phone call with a friend. A virtual dance class or yoga class. 

                    Try saying no to any new activities that come your way, while you figure out what activities you and your family want to take on next. Not signing up for soccer, dance, and piano lessons for each kid. Pick one activity for each family member (which can, honestly, still be a lot to manage each week). 

                    I know that might feel like a lot right now. I’m just asking you to think about it. 

                    I think this pandemic has changed so much for all of us. In big and little ways. We’re physically and emotionally exhausted and drained. Our routines are a mess. Our ability to make decisions is fried. We never know if the decisions we’re making are right. 

                    Maybe you’ve spent the past year and a half barely surviving each day. It was all you could do to get your work done and take care of your kids. You looked at Facebook and felt like everyone else was taking on a new hobby or finding their passion (whatever that means!). 

                    And you know what? That’s ok. 

                    Simply getting through each day is sometimes enough. Sometimes that’s all we can do.

                    I’m so tired of hearing people talk about getting back to normal. I don’t want to go back to normal. I’m not even sure what that is. I don’t want to go back to who I was in 2019 or even February 2020. I’m not the same person. 

                    For me, this pandemic has wiped my slate clean. It’s clarified so much for me. What’s important to me. Who is important to me. What I want my life to look like in the future. 

                    Honestly, rebuilding from scratch sounds less exhausting than going back to the way things were. Where you ran from one activity to another without really thinking about it. Attending every birthday party, sports activity, and event you were invited to. Using retail therapy as a way to feel better about how crazy things were. And talking about being busy like it was a badge of honor. 

                    How about creating your life with intention. Building a life that you don’t need to escape from. That doesn’t require weekly massages or bubble baths to relax or feel slightly better about things (next week’s topic). 

                    What steps can you start on now? They can be the smallest steps necessary! Take that first step and see where it leads you!

                    Keep reading here and here. And if you want some help on this, check out this PDF. It’ll walk you through steps on designing a life you love!

                      A Simple Game Of Mousetrap

                      Have you ever played the game of Mousetrap? I remember sitting in my grandparent’s house, putting the game together. I don’t think we ever played the game as designed. Just put the pieces together and sent the marble through the system.

                      a game of mousetrap put the pieces together.

                      There’s cause and effect. If something goes wrong, the end result is different. But, when things go smoothly, you get what you want at the end (unless you’re the mouse being caught). 

                      It builds on itself. You need the pieces to connect in a certain way for it to work. 

                      The same can be said for systems (and routines) in our own life. Pieces need to connect in certain ways. And when something is off, things can go wrong. 

                      What routines in your life need some work? What systems can you create? 

                      As we start a new school year, what routines do you need to build back into your family? 

                      Here are a few to think about. What do you need to put in place? What needs to be tweaked?

                      • Laundry 
                      • Meal planning 
                      • Family meetings 
                      • Processing emails (personal and work)
                      • Recurring work tasks

                      This week, as you’re thinking about meal planning, here’s something to help you! My friend, Mary Gaul, designed a Magic Meal Planner for you. No more wasting food, time, or money. 

                      The Magic Meal Planning System is a paper planner that includes your meals for the week and a built-in grocery list.  Along with Mary’s systems, tips, and 6 weeks of meal plan ideas, it makes meal planning, shopping, and prepping easy! 

                      It helps you have a clear answer to the question – “what’s for dinner tonight?”

                      Go to www.magicmealplan.com and get yours today for less than one meal out for a family of 4! 

                      Use the code Meals10 to save $10!

                      Follow on Facebook: @MagicMealPlan

                      Contact Mary with questions at mary@successmagnified.com

                      Contact me and let me know what routine you are going to focus on this week!

                      Go To Bed

                      That’s right. You and your kids need to go to bed. Yes, it’s August and it’s still summer. But, school is going to be here before you know it. Here in the Denver metro area, schools start in mid-August. 

                      If you’ve been letting your kids stay up late and sleep in, now is the time to get back on a better schedule. Don’t wait until the night before school starts to enforce an earlier bedtime. It takes several weeks to shift things. Start to shift things by 10 minutes each night. Slowly get back to a school-night bedtime. 

                      Spend some time thinking about your evening routines. What can you do at night to make your mornings better? Pack lunches? Pack backpacks and work bags? Set out breakfast? 

                      And, you need to go to bed too.

                      Sleep is important. If you’ve been skimping on sleep because you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do, then stop it. Sleep (and taking breaks) actually helps you get more done each day. 

                      go to bed bedside table with book and flower.

                      When you’re tired, you’re not efficient. 

                      You make mistakes. 

                      You’re slower both physically and mentally. 

                      So go to bed. 

                      Ok. Now that you’re getting some sleep, start thinking about your morning routines. Are you getting up earlier than your kids? What needs to happen in the morning to make the rest of your day easier? Run the dishwasher? Put dinner in the crockpot? Here are a few ideas for morning routines. 

                      Think about your evening and morning routines now. Start working on sleep habits for you and your family. Start the school year off on the right foot, not kicking and screaming! 

                      If you’re not sure what you want your routines to look like (and really, who knows what school is going to look like again this year) let’s talk! I can help you create routines to make your mornings and evening better for everyone.

                      Not sure you’re ready to dive into changing your routines but want to get a little bit of support? Sign up for a free PDF on my STRIDE Method. Everything I do in my business (and in my own life) follows these ideas.

                        Where Do I Even Start?

                        In this beautiful book I read with my kids, Suzy is told by her mom to pick up her room. Her room is such a mess that she’s not even sure where to start. She feels overwhelmed by the mess. What should she do? 

                        Man starting at brick wall with question marks on post-it notes. Where to start?

                        Have you been there? 

                        Have you ever taken a look at your kitchen, the piles of kids’ toys, your to-do list for work, and just stood there? 

                        Overwhelmed and unsure of where to even start? 

                        I have. 

                        The endless lists. The piles that keep appearing, like a game of whack-a-mole. The dishes, laundry, kids’ toys. The emails, slack messages, interruptions. 

                        Where do you even start? 

                        Do what Suzy and her mom do. (and what I do with my kids when their toys are all over the house). 

                        Play the seek and sort game. Pick one task, one list, one subject. And start. 

                        Process your emails (not just read them, but respond, delete, file, figure out the next action). 

                        Find that one task that’s been lingering on your list and do it. 

                        Find all the tasks that will take less than two minutes and see how many you can do in 30 minutes. 

                        The point here is to pick one spot, any spot, and tackle it. 

                        Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on that task you have been avoiding. 

                        And, if you’re really struggling, put all the tasks on separate sheets of paper in a bowl and draw one out. Do it. Repeat. 

                        Seek. Sort. Start. 

                        Contact me and let’s get you started playing the seek and sort game!

                        Or, share your email below for a PDF to help bust you out of procrastination!

                          It’s Not That Simple

                          I’m standing in my kitchen. I need to empty my coffee maker. I’d like to clean it out too.

                          it's not that simple Toys on stair with foot about to step no them.

                          But I’m stuck. The compost bin is full and if I attempt to dump coffee grounds in it, the grounds will end up all over the counter.

                          I don’t want to take the time to empty the compost bin before I clean out the coffee maker. It’s a few steps, but it feels like too many right now. I have other things I need to get to. 

                          So, I do what any sane person would do in this situation, I walk away to deal with it later. 

                          While this is a simple (and maybe silly) problem, this feeling of being stuck, of wanting to deal with something but feeling overwhelmed by the steps, is common. 

                          It might be wanting to hire a housecleaner or a nanny. Maybe it’s getting your kids to do more around the house. Or you want regular date nights with your partner but don’t have a reliable babysitter.

                          Whatever it is, take a few minutes to figure out the steps to get you there. Whether it’s researching babysitters or asking your neighbors for their housecleaner recommendations.

                          Whether it’s something where you need to do it yourself or you want to delegate it, getting started is tough.

                          But think about what that’s costing you in the long run. If you could hire a nanny or a house cleaner, what kind of time would that get you? 

                          Figure out the first step and then take it.

                          If you’re based in Denver and that project includes offloading a chore, try https://callemmy.com/

                          Receive a free PDF to help get you started.

                            Let’s Play

                            Have you lost your ability to play? 

                            ability to play. empty swing on a beach.

                            When we become mothers, we’re so focused on raising children, taking care of the house, working, etc. that we forget how to have fun.

                            Our society makes us think that leisure time or doing anything for fun, without a purpose, is lazy. That there must always be a purpose to something. And yes, we talk a lot about productivity and priorities here. 

                            It’s also important to play. Taking a break, resting and recharging helps our productivity. We might come up with a solution to a work problem while on a hike. Maybe the next great idea for your business comes while walking your dog or spending time with friends. 

                            We often collapse on the couch to watch TV because we’re too exhausted to do anything else. But watching TV is not always restorative. We choose it because we’re not sure what else to do with our time. It’s an easy choice. Or we’re folding laundry, paying bills, or doing something else while we watch TV. 

                            And we don’t need one more thing to do. It’s easier to keep plugging away at our to-do list. We’ll do something fun when our kids are older or the to-do list is done.

                            What if we took the time to play? 

                            The National Institute of Play says on their website that play is the gateway to vitality. 

                            Studies have shown that kids who have more unstructured free time to play are more social and academically proficient in life. It’s important for kids to have unstructured free time. This is where they learn social skills, their own limits, etc. 

                            But play shouldn’t be only for kids. Adults need it too. And it needs to be something we for the fun of it. 

                            Escape Adulthood is one of my favorite places to remind me to add a little play to my life. They remind me to stop being so focused on my to-do list and be more present. To find ways to add fun and whimsy to my days. And that it doesn’t need to be a big event for it to be fun.

                            Play could be learning a new instrument, taking voice lessons, learning how to sew, volunteering, taking a class on any topic that interests you, hiking. The point is to do it for the fun of it. Not because you need to do it for work or you want to lose ten pounds. 

                            I want to add more play to my life. Find new hobbies, learn new skills. And learn to be more present. I’d like to buy a piano soon and start taking lessons again. I’d like to snowshoe and cross-country ski. I also want to check out some dance classes from Put On Your Dance Shoes (POYDS). Or, if you want some virtual yoga or meditation in your life, check out Cindy Glennon Wellness

                            What about you? What do you for fun these days? 

                            Email me and let me know what you do for fun! Or schedule some time to chat so we can help you find time to play!

                            Big Rocks and Sand

                            You’ve likely heard the story or watched a video about big rocks and how it relates to your time.

                            what are your big rocks? jar of rocks.

                            Big rocks are the important things in your life. Tasks that support your values. To-dos that move you forward in your business or your personal life. Activities that are important to you. And the sand and pebbles fill in the other parts.

                            If you fill a glass with sand (emails, interruptions, time-wasters), there is no room for the big rocks (exercise, time with family and friends, work tasks that truly move your business or career forward). But, if you fill the glass with big rocks first, the sand fills in the cracks around them. 

                            You can have the same amount of sand and rocks. Same size cup. Different order of dealing with them. 

                            Spend some time this week thinking about your big rocks. What are they? Are you making time for them and scheduling them first? Figure out what they are and start scheduling them first. 

                            Let the sand fill in around them. 

                            And remember, sometimes we have to say no to things that seem good because they’re not great. And they don’t support our big rocks. Maybe they get put on the someday/maybe list (a topic for later this month). Or maybe you simply say no because they don’t support your big rocks. 

                            When we focus on our big rocks, even through small steps each day, big things can happen. 

                            Schedule a call with me or send me a message if you want help figuring out your big rocks! Or get a PDF to help get you started.