Lately, life has been just crazy. I'll spare you the boring details, but I recently heard someone say something like, "I do more from 5 to 9 than I do at my 9 to 5." Make that 5 to midnight and that's about right - although I do a ton at my day job, too.
At some point during the day, I should be writing. Or revising. Or blogging. Or doing something to market myself and connect with other writers.
And lately, that's just not happening. That goal I had at the beginning of the year to write or do something writing-related every day? Ha!
I know for a fact I'm not the only one out there with this problem. We're all busy. We've got school or work or kids or whatever else is eating up our "free time."
At the start of the school year, when I sat down to fill in the family calendar (something I've never actually done before, since I've pretty much lived my life by the seat of my pants), I knew that something had to change. And it wasn't going to be our activities and commitments. I still need to get the kids to music lessons and Scouts and make sure they're getting their homework done. I have responsibilities for Scouts and youth group, the YA Buccaneers and other writing groups.
What has to change is my attitude. My perspective.
So I resolved to look at my calendar each day and be thankful for the never-ending to-do list. When I was a kid, my mother used to say, "Wouldn't you rather be busy than bored?" Maybe I took that to heart a bit too much, because I'm extremely busy.
Each day I ask myself these THREE questions:
1. What ONE THING can I do today to reduce my stress?
Sometimes it's crossing a non-essential item off my to-do list. Sometimes it's adding something fun or relaxing, like treating myself to a cafe au lait, or calling my mom to vent.
2. What ONE THING will I do today to bring me closer to my goal of (fill-in-the-blank)?
Never let a day go by without working toward your goals, even if it ends up being the fact that you wrote down a couple of ideas for your next book on the back of a receipt while you waited with your kid at Urgent Care with his latest broken bone - why yes, I am speaking from experience. Last week it was his thumb). At the end of the day, when you sink onto the couch, exhausted, to see if you can get in fifteen minutes of reading to wind down before your eyes shut on their own, you'll be glad for that one thing.
3. What THREE THINGS am I THANKFUL for today?
This is actually something I usually do at the beginning of my workday when I'm making that Interminable To-Do List. I think about the previous day and write down those three things. GRATITUDE makes for a fantastic start to your day. I'm also reading LIFE IS GOOD - THE BOOK: HOW TO LIVE WITH PURPOSE & ENJOY THE RIDE and it's filled with AWESOME. Just awesome.
(Did you know that today, September 21, is WORLD GRATITUDE DAY?)
That's what's working for me. How about you? What are you doing to make this a GOOD DAY?