I’m writing this on a Sunday morning after snapping this picture of our puppy, Mazel. His splayed-out self perfectly captures what our whole family looks and feels like after:
10 Dance classes, 3 Les Mis rehearsals, 1 Cross Country Meet, 1 Voice Lesson, 2 hours of scheduling the kids through the end of the year, 2 FB Lives (one was John’s first!), 1 new newsletter launched, 4 web trainings and interviews, 1 lice check, 2 puppy training sessions, 3 articles written, 3 school meetings, 1 dentist appointment, 1 family photo shoot, 1 Audible launched.
And many, many things still left on our to-do lists. There was a time when we’d focus on all the stuff left on the lists. And, frankly, I think we were passing that along to our kids. But in the last year we’ve switched our focus to celebrate all we DID accomplish (because if we did it, then it means those were the things that fed into our priorities). It’s easier and, frankly, human nature, to beat ourselves up for the things we don’t do than to recognize and applaud all we DO do. And it’s also human nature—especially if you’re the driven entrepreneur type, and even more so if you’re a parent—to create unrealistic lists of what can be accomplished by those of us who aren’t Wonder Woman or Iron Man.
So how did we make the focus switch? By framing our thoughts in the positive (instead of the negative) and then practicing gratitude.
This morning, for example, I looked at my to-do list and said to myself, “Look at all those red-lined things! What a productive week!” I could have just as easily said with a sigh, “Look at all the things I didn’t get done.” Then, I immediately followed it up with, “I’m so grateful to have a new week to tackle the rest of this list.” That’s my cue to revise and reconstruct the list, now with the thought that it’s a new start with an abundance of time to get what’s important done. Sound simplistic and corny even? Yes and Yes. But it works for me, and I encourage you to give it a shot for four weeks straight, and see what a difference it can mean for you.
And here’s some extra credit for you: Look at the things that stay on your list undone week after week. Either fear is keeping you from doing them or they’re not serving your priorities and shouldn’t get your time right now. Figure out which one it is. If it’s the former, make that the non-negotiable to-do on your list for this week, or red-line it and let it go.
Romi & John