You may not believe this but these type of posts are always the hardest to write!
Let me be the first to say – I’m no expert! But after years of kid-rearing, working multiple businesses, being a wife, keeping house, doing school stuff…and everything else, I have more days than I’d like where things don’t go exactly as planned.
In fact, no day is ever perfect. Shocking! I know. But for real! There are some days where I think I’m going crazy.
I mean, did you see how Jett decided the lockers in our mudroom needed a custom coloring job? Yeah, multiple markers were involved, lots of lines, I think maybe he was going for something abstract…
Look at that guilty face!
Or maybe you heard about the time Pennie decided to take a dump on the seat in my car. These things happen.
I mean, I can’t be the only one who has those days where their super helpful daughter offers to wash the dog and then leaves the tub running for 3 hours in your master bathroom.
As I said, these things happen.
But thank goodness for nighttime, right? Nighttime is my sanctuary. I get to put my kids to bed, wash my face, and I get a little ‘me’ time. And I don’t squander it. Yes, I indulge every once in a while and catch up on a show or I scroll the ‘gram, but 97% of the time I’m turning my day around. And I do the same routine every time.
These are the 5 steps I take today to have a better tomorrow:
1) I Celebrate My Wins
Thomas Edison was a master at this practice. It took Edison almost 10,000 attempts to create a lightbulb – that’s a huge amount of ‘failures’ before finally finding success. But in response to his repeated failures he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Sure, I could go to bed after a crappy day and say, “Welp, today sucked. I sucked. My kids sucked. The dogs suck – Pennie more than Goldie. Everything sucks.” And roll over and go to sleep. But I’m not doing myself any favors.
And neither are you.
Instead, walk through everything that went right. I got the kids to school on time. The outfit I wanted to wear was clean. 2 treats fell down in the vending machine instead of 1 (tell me this isn’t the best thing ever). Jett didn’t poop his pants.
Having this perspective really sets the foundation for me going to bed with a better attitude than I would have had I focused on the negative. And I sleep better. It’s amazing how that slight attitude change allows my body to better relax.
2) What did I learn?
This one takes practice. But it’s totally masterable. What’s the question every parent asks every kid on the way home from school?
“What did you learn today?”
And every kid says, “I dunno” or, “nothing.”
But the truth is, learning doesn’t stop once you are old enough to buy beer or gamble. Every moment of every day we are being presented with new and important lessons.
These lessons might have a number of things to teach us. They might teach us more about who we are as a person, what we are capable of, what our limits are or what is most important (or not) to us. We learn from our successes, from our failures…there is so much to learn from our relationships, not to mention everything that there is still left to learn about the world and everything in it.
If you think about it, our lives are an endless pursuit of answers and new questions. So, ask yourself each night, “What did I learn today?”
MY FAVORITE AUGUST AMAZON PURCHASES
3) Check The Agenda
The best way to wake up to a better tomorrow is to be prepared for it. 5-10 minutes. That’s all it takes to do a quick rundown of everything you’ve got going on. Review what is on your list for tomorrow. Not only because you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised but also because an indication of tomorrow’s scheduled activities will help you decide how much time is available for other tasks.
Make a note of everything that you want to do or is being done tomorrow. I don’t like to keep things in my head; I write them down. If you keep a daily list of things-to-do in addition to activities happening, pick some of them and assign them to tomorrow. And don’t spend time filtering or prioritizing; you only collect the options now.
Fit these options around the things that must get done or are already scheduled. This practice alone will help tomorrow run that much more smoothly!
4) Tidy Up (Digitally & Physically)
I let the kids help me with the house before bedtime and waking up to an empty kitchen sink and clean counters make all the difference. I’ll also do a quick cleanup around my own bedroom as well. This is also is a great time to change that load of laundry you put in this morning. (I recently gave myself the task of doing one load of laundry each day).
And when it comes to my digital stuff, this is when I can turn on a show or a podcast and sort through pictures I took (thank you, Slidebox) and anything else that came in throughout the day.
5) Shut Down & Recharge
At the end of a long day and after I finish the tasks above, I make sure I take the necessary steps that tell my body it’s time to go to sleep. I put away my phone, I turn off the tv, I dim the lights, and I create an atmosphere that makes it easy for my brain to shut off. If my brain is being hyperactive, I’ll take some melatonin and read a traditional printed book. But during this process, I make sure I’m giving my body all the signals it needs to hit the sack.
Honestly, it’s this last step that really allows me to wake up refreshed and rested! And because I’ve done everything else on my list, my mornings aren’t crazy and chaotic.
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So if your kid draws on your walls or one of them lets your tub run for 3 hours, or maybe your dog poops on the seat of your car, just know that tomorrow doesn’t have to be like today. Use the 5 steps above and tell me if they help!
P.S. if you have something you do each night that helps with this process tell me below!