Posts Tagged: personal growth

There are only a few days left before the year is over and I’ve already started thinking about my 2018 goals.

Before I say good-bye forever to 2017, I should probably review the previous 12 months. This is where I hesitate, because end of the year reflections can be really overwhelming. A quick internet search of “year-end reflection questions” yields results like:

  • 50 Questions to Help You Review 2017
  • 25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the End of the Year
  • 20 End of the Year Reflection Questions

I don’t know how you feel, but I think 50 questions is ALOT of questions! Even 20 is a lot. I have 2 young kids and I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself. How will I have enough time or brain power to answer 50 questions before the end of the year!?!?

To my relief, I also found this simple 3 question year-end review by Marie Forleo.

I can answer 3 questions.

1. What did I do, make or experience that I’m really proud of?
2. What mistake did I make and what did I learn from it?
3. What am I willing to let go of?

Here’s Marie’s video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbKUN6mJHjc

1. What did I do, make or experience that I’m really proud of?
I’m really proud of my Etsy Shop. I’m proud that it’s filled with things that I thought of and brought to life. I’m proud of the cute designs. Mostly, I’m proud of the smiles my designs bring to people.

I am also really proud of my decision to stay with my kids and homeschool. I’m proud of the people they are becoming. I see their love for God growing. I see their compassion for people growing. I see their willingness to serve others. I am proud that I get to be their main influencer and encourager.

2. What mistake did I make and what did I learn from it?
The mistake I made was neglecting to take care of myself.
I didn’t drink enough water.
I didn’t sleeping enough.
I didn’t take enough deep breaths.
I didn’t laugh enough.
I didn’t spend enough time alone.

I learned that I cannot take care of others if I do not take care of myself.

3. What am I willing to let go of?
I’m willing to let go of my desire to please everyone.
I’m willing to let go of the idea that I can control what others think of me.
I’m willing to let go of my need to be liked and accepted by everyone.

The truth is I cannot please everyone and when I try, I’m miserable.
The truth is I can’t control what others think of me. What others think of me probably has a lot more to do with who they are than who I am.
The truth is not everyone will like me or approve of my life choices, and that’s okay.

Now that I’ve taken a few moments to reflect on the 2017, I am officially ready to bid farewell to 2017 and say hello to 2018.

Today, people all across America are celebrating Mother’s Day. Daughters and sons are bestowing gifts of love, appreciation and gratefulness upon their mothers in the form of flowers, cards and hugs. Husbands are showering their wives with jewelry, dinners and spa days for bringing their offspring into the world.

This year, I’ve decided to give myself a gift—the gift of permission.

I’m giving myself permission to…
…not be “pinterest perfect.”
…say no.
…not do it all.
…to parent from my strengths, not my weaknesses.
…be the mother that I am, not the mother people expect me to be.
…admit that I don’t have it all figured out, and likely never will.

I hope this Mother’s Day is filled with grace, hope, love and freedom for moms everywhere.

Happy Mother’s Day!

It’s okay to feel sad.
It’s okay to feel angry.
It’s okay to feel jealous.
It’s okay to feel frustrated.
It’s okay to feel lonely.
It’s okay to feel insecure.
It’s okay to feel anxious.
It’s okay to feel scared.

There are no wrong feelings. There are, however, wrong actions.

We cannot control our feelings, but we CAN control our actions.

Maturity is doing the right thing despite how we feel.

Maturity is doing the right thing despite how we feel.

Copying gets a bad rap. Not all copying is bad.

Copying test answers? Bad.
Copying kindness? Good.
Copying swear words? Bad.
Copying healthy eating habits? Good.

Everyone copies. That’s how we learn.

I copy and so does my daughter. KidFish copies my words, my mannerisms, even my laugh. Unfortunately, she also copies things like talking with her mouth full and picking fries instead of vegetables.

Although I can’t control WHAT KidFish copies, I CAN give her plenty of opportunities to copy good behavior.

Want KidFish to be polite? Be polite.
Want KidFish to be generous? Be generous.
Want KidFish to stop watching so much TV? Stop watching so much TV.
Want KidFish to be patient? Be patient.

It’s not always that simple or easy, but it’s a good place to start.

Kids do what we do

I’ve always wanted to play the piano, so I finally did something about it and took a few beginner piano lessons. As I plunked away on those black and white keys, sometimes it sounded beautiful and sometimes it sounded awful. And I’m okay with that. Do you know why? Because “I’m learning.”

It’s okay if I make mistakes, because…I’m learning.

It’s okay to do things over and over again, because…I’m learning.

It’s okay to ask questions and get help, because…I’m learning.

That’s when I realized the freedom those two little words bring and the pressure that’s released when I utter the phrase “I’m learning.”

Now I apply those two words to everything…work, people, money, marriage, parenting, etc. I’m still learning in all those areas, and I bet you are too. So, the next time you make a mistake, remind yourself that you’re still learning and keep going.

I'm learning.

I’m finally ready to admit it. I am not good at multi-tasking. For years, I told myself (and others) that I was good at it. I even took pride in my ability to do many things at the same time.

But, after giving birth, I came down with a terrible case of Mom-nesia. I couldn’t remember simple things, like how old I was or where I left my keys.

The Challenge:
Stop multi-tasking and start single-tasking

For my first challenge, it seemed appropriate to spend 7 days with a single focus. What better way, than to single-task?

What would life be like if I was fully engaged in the task at hand instead of managing multiple things at once?

Could I still accomplish everything that needed to be done?

Would I enjoy life more?

Before the Challenge:
This is what my typical multi-tasking filled day looked like…

First, I put a load of laundry into the washing machine. While that’s going, load the dishwasher. While the dishwasher is going, prep some food while listening to a podcast, all while trying to play with KidFish and checking email at the same time.

I think to myself, “I’ve got everything started. All the chores will be done in no time. Everything is under control. I’m a super mom!”

But, this is what usually happens…

The laundry gets moved to the dryer 10+ hours later (usually by my husband at the end of the day when I tell him I’ve forgotten). The clean dishes never make it into the cabinet. Something boils over on the stove. I don’t remember a word of the podcast. KidFish gets mad because I only played with her for a few moments before leaving to read (but not respond to) incoming email.

At the end of the day, I’m super stressed and feel like a failure.

What I learned from 7 days of single-tasking….

1) Multi-tasking is my default mode
Focusing on one thing at a time was harder than I thought it would be because I get distracted easily. I’ve spent decades training myself to multi-task and it’s become my default mode. I don’t try to do it, it just happens. It took real effort and intentionality to focus on one thing at a time. It was hard, but not impossible.

2) Multi-tasking does NOT help me accomplish more.
For a long time I thought multi-tasking was the only way to get everything done. It’s not. I accomplished just as much (if not more) when I focused on one thing at a time. In fact, I enjoyed each task more and the quality my work was higher.

3) Single-tasking is less stressful.
I noticed how much other people multi-task. I saw that multi-taskers talked and moved faster because they were trying to do so much at one time. They stressed me out. Doing one thing at a time was way less stressful.

Conclusions
I don’t know if it’s possible to completely rid my life of multi-tasking, especially for a chronic multi-tasker like myself.

But, over the past 7 days, I experienced the benefits of being fully engaged in the moment. Focused time with KidFish was sweeter. Moments with PapaFish were richer. Cooking was more relaxing. Creating was more freeing. Even folding laundry was more enjoyable.

The last 7 days were fruitful and I want to make more of an effort to be present and engaged in the moment.

Less multi-tasking. More single-tasking.

multi-tasking is multi-failing


Hi! My name is Loni (a.k.a. MamaFish). I'm a maker, mother and Mrs. and I'm on a mission to cover the world with smiles! This is where I write about fun stuff for kids and the grown-ups who love them. Read more...

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