Getting it together involves taking steps to turn things back around from just surviving day-to-day, to thriving. It means living with more purpose and less chaos.
As is normal and necessary when living with very young children, especially after the birth of a baby, we’ve been living in fair amount of chaos lately. That’s fine for a while but it’s not the way to live indefinitely.
The problem with being reactive rather than proactive, with lurching from one thing to another all day everyday without any direction or forethought is that it doesn’t make for a very happy or healthy household.
It’s a recipe for last minute panic, stress and tears.
Things that need to get done get left undone. What does get done doesn’t always get done as well as it should. It’s hard to focus on the present moment when you’re thinking of other things that need doing.
So now it’s time to turn that around. I’ve given myself a whole year to make some changes that I will know make our lives happier. And I’m going to share those ideas and progress here on the blog. You’re welcome to follow along.
The series will cover things like living with purpose, simplifying, health, fun, time management, household organisation, systems and finances. The goal: less stress, more joy.
Today’s post however, is about where to start.
When talking about making life changes people often start with getting organised. Or simplifying. Or time management. Or decluttering.
But the truth is that you can’t do any of these things if your not up to it. You need energy to put good intentions into action.
Which is why it is important to prioritise yourself, your health and your wellbeing before doing anything else.
If you are running on empty, then it’s impossible to be a good mother/ father/ partner/ employee/ boss/ co-worker/ friend/ community member…You can’t give your best if you’ve got nothing in reserve to give.
Not only will you be happier when you prioritise your own wellbeing, everyone else around you will be too. Those who radiate light and energy can’t help but shed light onto others.
Therefore the first step of ‘getting it together’ is self-care. You may already have this one in the bag, in which case your tips and experiences will help the rest of us.
Self-care starts with good sleep (I’m laughing as I type this…at 5am in the morning). It includes good nutrition, fitness, recreation, a sense of purpose, balance, recreation, social interaction, healthy challenges and stress relief. It includes mental health.
I’ll write more about sleep in the next post in the series but you’re following along, today’s action step is to get a journal or diary (paper or electronic, whichever suits you best).
Your diary or journal is for planning, reflection, record keeping and gratitude. If you prefer, you can keep several notebooks for each. I find keeping everything in one book easier.
Writing things down is a good practice in many ways. It acts as a reminder. It allows you to see patterns of behaviour that you might not otherwise see. It’s a record of what works and what isn’t. It’s a memory keeper. It allows thoughts that are otherwise ethereal take concrete form once the words have flown from your fingers. I read a quote once that went something like: “I don’t know what I’m thinking until I’ve written it down.” Sometimes the act of writing can give surprising insights into your thoughts and feelings and life in general.
I’ll write more about the journal later, but for now here are a few ideas for using your journal(s):
- write a short to do list each day or reminders or appointments
- jot down a few highlights of the day (or previous day if you do this in the morning)
- note down any relevant metrics that you’re tracking (for example, how much sleep you’re getting or exercise you’ve done if that’s something that you’re wanting to keep track of)
- write our a few things you’re thankful for
- think about what went well and what didn’t work so well and some ideas for how it could have been improved.
- Note down funny things the kids do or any milestones reached.
- Note important conversations
- What you did during the day
The single act of setting aside 10 minutes or so each day to reflect on your life and write it down goes a long way to living with greater purpose.
In the next post in the series I’ll write about getting adequate sleep. One of the most important things for success in all aspects of life, no matter what you do.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.