Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daily Must-Dos

Sometimes mothering feels really complicated and sometimes we can feel pretty "stuck."  But really, if we think about it for a few minutes, most of us can probably come up with a pretty short list of fairly simple actions that, when done regularly, keep our heads above the water, help us feel a sense of accomplishment, and make us feel pretty good about our lives.

I liked this list that my new friend Courtney Kendrick came up with HERE (she came to our Power of Moms Retreat last weekend and did some great readings of some of her excellent writing).  Courtney's post inspired me to come up with my own list of "must-do's" for a day that feels pretty good (and these aren't in order of importance - they're just in the order they occurred to me right now):
  1. Pray right when I wake up
  2. Read at least a few verses of scriptures sometime during the day
  3. Spend time outside - even a few minutes works wonders for me
  4. Get one load of laundry done (can skip a day or two but then it gets pretty scary)
  5. Plan dinner right after breakfast (throw something in the crock pot or get something out to thaw...)
  6. Spend some quality one-on-one time with at least one child (this time can be spent scrubbing a floor or making dinner together or when I linger at one kid's bed after tucking-in time)
  7. Write a quick email or make a call to someone who's been on my mind (a sibling, a friend, a co-worker - takes like 2 minutes and always makes me feel so good)
  8. Spend 5-15 minutes cleaning something that's been bugging me (beyond the regular doing dishes, wiping countertops, sweeping the floor that's mostly divided up between the kids - this 15 minutes has to do with dusting an area I've noticed is bad or wiping down the stair walls that have gotten grimy, that sort of thing)
  9. Get some exercise. Vacuuming or walking to the library counts.  Something is better than nothing.  I need to do some serious cardio at least 3 times a week, but the other days, I still need at least a little something to keep those endorphins going and keep my energy up.
  10. Read something enjoyable and thought-provoking (a blog post by a friend or sister, an essay on Power of Moms, a chapter of a book I'm reading, a chapter in a book I'm reading with one of my kids - now that they're reading books that are actually interesting to me)
  11. Do something nice for my husband - just for him.
  12. Plan ONE thing I'll accomplish the next day in each of three categories - for myself, for my family, for Power of Moms - before going to sleep.
I haven't been getting to a lot of the above stuff that well lately so I've been feeling pretty frazzled.  I'm going to do better.

Twelve things.  I can do 12 things.  Or maybe 10 out of the 12 is more realistic!

What would go on your list of daily "must-dos"?

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

This was a thought provoking list...would you say that the number of items you can accomplish on your list of 12 has increased as your children have gotten older? If so, what are some realistic numbers for mothers with younger kids (like me:). It seems like in an earlier post you said that when you had five preschoolers your expectations were just to be able to have 30 minutes to get something done beyond the basics. Were you still getting these types of things on the list accomplished everyday?

Regarding number 12, I was wondering if you could give me some examples of what types of things you write on this list of three things every night just so I can gage how big/time consuming a realistic list would be. My reoccurring problem is that my daily list of things to do is WAY too ambitious and often takes 3-5 days:) I am looking for ways to be realistic with my goal setting.

On my list of musts is definitely seeking a daily spiritual renewal and doing 30-45 mintues of cardio...when those two things happen, everything seems to work out and when they don't I get GRUMPY!

Lily said...

I love this!
It really helps to enjoy the day and do something useful! At the end of the day, you feel like you accomplished something.
I will definitely make a list for myself, thank you!

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