Since I'm not good at keeping resolutions, selecting a word of the year might suit me better. To be truthful, I have never really set resolutions. Who needs more failure, guilt, or reasons to feel less than as the year winds down? However, I do like the idea of starting fresh, of having a plan, and redirecting. Change doesn't have be drastic, and it doesn't need to include a list of things that already seem overwhelming without even trying to implement them.
For me, the word 'release' has been coming up over the last couple months. I've realized my mental load, that baggage swirling around in my mind all day (and right before falling asleep...ugh) was more than I needed to carry.
Earlier this year, my husband I decided to change up things up with our kids and their allowance. They earned a set amount each day for a few tasks. On Saturday, I would mentally tally if they had done what was tasked to them each day. However, I could barely remember what I had eaten for lunch that day let alone if they had done all their chores each day of the previous five days. Did Luca take out the recycling on Thursday? When WAS Thursday? I found myself getting exasperated thinking it all through as I'm trying to get breakfast pulled together, thinking about laundry that needs to be put in the dryer...you get me? Ok, let's change this up. Yes, we have had quite a few different chore charts and ways to document all this, but this way has been the best way so far. I created a simple task sheet that lists out all they need to do each day. It is their responsibility to check off each task. Think of it like a time card. You need to punch in to get paid. I still remind them to get their stuff done, but it's up to them to check it off to earn their daily allowance. This way, when Saturday comes I am not mentally trying to recall the past five days.
So I am trying to release more of that load and not allow it to weigh me down. I honestly think it's a pride thing. Thinking I can do so much more than I really can. Thinking I can just log all this stuff in my brain and I'll remember it all. However, I've been finding myself overwhelmed, frustrated, and feeling like I am in eight different places at one time.
Here are some practical ways I am learning to release this year:
Write it Down
More often than not, I leave for the store just needing a few things and remember only two of those things. Then I end up getting five other things I didn't really need. When the Target cashier asks, "Did you find everything you were looking for?", I really want to say, "No, actually, I wasn't looking for any of this." But that dollar spot gets me every time. I really want to make sure I have thoughtfully gone through what I need before I leave. Therefore, I end up getting what I need, I don't get what I don't need, and I don't come home missing that random ingredient I needed for dinner.
Make a Plan & Keep the Plan
Sometimes we have to do the hard things. Bring on meal planning. When I have meals planned out for the week, I usually find that week runs way better than when I don't meal plan. Mostly because I released that mental load and there is a plan in place rather than me pacing around wondering what I will make later in the day. Taking time to plan out dinner for the week also reins in the grocery list (and spending!) and helps the family know what is going on.
Maybe a chore chart or keeping lists aren't tipping your mental scale, but I think we all have something we need to release. Something that we need to shift, adjust, or perhaps just remove altogether. We have SO much we carry around with us everyday. All the reminders, the places to be, the things that need (or maybe just want) to get done. Is there something you can release today?
Want to get started on planning out your meals and shopping trips? Download these printable lists in my shop for $3 each! Print as many copies as you wish. You could even laminate the menu one to use over and over.