Taking Back My Peace of Mind

Inspired by my sister and a conversation she and I had before she wrote a blog about her October Focus, I took a fresh look at my daily life.

Lately I’ve felt constantly rushed and simultaneously ridiculously unproductive. Both at work and at home, I feel like I’m constantly running from place to place, but my to-do lists are just getting longer and longer.

After talking with Dawn, I started thinking about the simple daily habits that I’ve abandoned recently and bad ones I’ve picked up. I realized that when those simple things are automatic, I’m also much more calm in my day-to-day life.

So this week, I focused on six teeny things, but, holy crap, they made a huge difference. I wrote them all on my bathroom mirror (with dry erase marker—an excellent way to make lists and keep an eye on inspirational quotes), and every morning and night I checked in while I brushed my teeth about how I was doing and made a plan about how I was going to incorporate each thing into my day.

So what’s on the list?

  • Don’t hit snooze. I’ve gotten in a terrible habit of turning one snooze into five or six, which results in rushing to get out the door. I found a way to disable the snooze on my cell phone, which has led to me writing every morning (hence being back on the blogging scene) and having enough time to properly prepare for the day ahead.
  • Do a five-minute clean up before I leave for work. One of my favorite ways to keep my home tidy is to set my kitchen timer for five minutes and clean like crazy. Magically, dishes get put away, books are up off the floor, cat toys are fetched from behind doors, laundry is in the hamper, shoes are in the closet… it’s amazing what you can do in five minutes. Because I’m not rushing out the door, it’s no big deal to find five minutes during my morning routine.
  • Finish Northanger Abbey. I’ve been slowly, so slowly working my way through this book, and as much as I’m enjoying it, I’m sick of reading it. Time to move on to another novel.
  • Exercise every day this week, Monday through Friday. No pressure, no minimums. Just get moving every single day.
  • Meditate at least twice this week. I love having a consistent meditation practice. Love it! What I don’t love is getting back into practice. The longer you’re away, the easier it is to skip it and the harder it is to quiet your mind.
  • Stay hydrated. I haven’t been drinking enough water, which leaves me with less energy, especially first thing in the morning, which leads to hitting snooze, a rushed morning, a dirty home… you get the idea.

All these little things have led to other things too—I know I’m not going to get to hit snooze, so I turn off the TV earlier and really listen to when my body is telling me to go to sleep. I’m getting enough sleep, so coffee or tea is a joy, not a necessity. My kitchen is neat and tidy, so it takes less time to fix meals.

Next week, to follow up on this, I’m going to adjust the list to accommodate where I am in that space. The reward: a much calmer existence filled with fewer distractions, the epitome of a minimalist existence.

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