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5 Things I Just Started Doing That Have Saved My Sanity

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How much water do you drink in a day? Until a couple of months ago, I was drinking six ounces, maybe. Then a few of us at work started a challenge—we try to drink 60 to 80 ounces during the workday. We set goals, check in, and have had huge successes, along with several trips to the bathroom! Drinking water is one of many small changes that make a big difference.

But sometimes we skip the small things because we underestimate their impact. Recently, I’ve started doing 5 small things that have given me peace, helped me grow, and at times, kept me from losing my mind. Which one do you think it’s time for you to try?

Meal-Planning

Ok, I didn’t just start doing this, but I’ve raised my meal-planning game. I’ve always planned out dinners for the week. If I didn’t, our budget and waistlines would be a total bust. But now I’m posting the week’s menu on a dry erase magnet on the fridge. It helps my kids know what to expect and my husband (who cooks because I plan and shop) doesn’t have to ask me. I also use it for a shopping list. When someone says, “Mom, we’re out of ____!” I respond with, “Write it on the board.”

If dinner is your Achilles heel, start small by planning and posting two meals per week.

Sub-Par Workouts

I just read an article from Ted.com that explained that our ability to follow through with a desired behavior (like eating healthy or working out) simply depends on our willingness to be bad at it. When it comes to working out, if I can’t get a good calorie burn, I’d rather just sleep. But I hurt my knee and all cardio and lower body workouts were nixed for two months. So I made myself just do upper body. I didn’t sweat hard and I put on a few pounds, but you know what—I stayed active, I didn’t give up, and that little bit of exercise felt really good.

“Something is better than nothing” is 100 percent true when it comes to exercise. So even if it’s not a sweaty-selfie-worthy workout, do it.

A Chapter a Day

Reading is fundamental! That was drilled into us as kids, yet the temptation to scroll social media is so strong that we forget that spending time with a good book is good for the soul. So I got a library card, because yes, brick-and-mortar libraries still exist. And I settle down each night before bed with a chapter or two of a book instead of another episode of House Hunters (they always go over budget!). I also try to sit for five to 10 minutes in the morning and read a chapter of the bible. It’s my low-pressure way to spend some time with God.

Tell me in the comments about a good book I should check out!

Making My Kids Do Choressmall changes that make a big difference tracker

My sons have always been responsible for picking up after themselves, but now they officially have a list of assigned chores. The top of that list is my least-favorite chore—emptying the dishwasher. Now that they do it, the silverware is never in the right spot, and the kid-cabinet is not as tidy as I’d like it, but I honestly don’t care. I’ll take fixing a stack of plastic kid plates over emptying the dishwasher any day.

It’s tricky to pinpoint the chore you dislike enough that you’re willing to release control of it—unless you’re like me and the dishwasher. Then it’s super easy. And use iMOM’s Chore Habit Tracker so they can mark when the job is done.

Embracing My Body

Women over 40: If your body has been good to you, stop wishing for a different one! I’ve spent about 32 of my 40 years wanting to look different than I do. So I’m trying really hard to be done with that phase. I’m still eating healthy and exercising, but I’m trying to find something to love every time my mind finds a flaw. So far it feels really good to be kind to myself.

When you catch yourself eyeing a spot you don’t like, say thank you for something that part of your body does to help you live your life or love your family.

What are some small changes that make a big difference in your life?

ASK YOUR CHILD...

What is something that helps you feel relaxed?

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