Daily Habits

Book Love: Destination Simple

Destination Simple.png

I recently stumbled across Destination Simple by Brooke McAlary on Freading (an app where you can download E-Books for free through your local library). I am in love with this little book <3. We all need some reminders to slow down. We are burdened by stress and anxiety from our daily lives. We try to do more than is humanly possible in a single day, then beat ourselves up for not completing our impossible to do lists. I definitely fall into this category, but I am working on slowing down and enjoying this life of mine more. I ask myself daily if my to do list tasks are really necessary. A few less tasks each day means more quality time with my family or more time to relax with a book.

I started putting some of Brooke’s rituals to work recently and here is what I’m learning:

  • Single-Tasking: I am a multi-tasker and I used to wear this like a badge of honor, until I realized it is really not a good thing. When we multi-task, we do not give our full attention to anything. We waste time switching our brain back and forth between tasks. We make more mistakes and stress ourselves out. In the book Brooke recommends choosing 1 task that takes 1-5 minutes and start there. I chose to wash dishes with no distractions and it felt good to just focus on my task at hand. The key is to focus on the details of the moment, so for me it was feeling the warm water on my hands and the mist of the sprayer as I rinsed the dishes.

  • Unplugging: I struggle with unplugging from technology. My favorite place to go on vacation is at a beautiful old resort called Naniboujou in northern Minnesota. There is no Wifi, cell reception, television, or phones in the rooms. They have a landline phone in the lobby for guests to use if needed. It feels so good to go there and escape. Each time I return home, I have grand intentions of unplugging from technology, but then life happens and I’m thrown into my daily routine with my phone, iPad, computer, and television. The exercise in this book recommends unplugging just 15-30 minutes a day with an extra challenge to unplug again before bed. I feel like this is doable for me, especially first thing in the morning. My favorite morning routine includes yoga and meditation when I first wake up. I could definitely benefit at different intervals throughout my day by unplugging and resetting.

  • Emptying your Mind + 3 Things: I loved this concept! Each day either in the morning or evening, sit down with a piece of paper and do a brain dump. Write down all of the details that are floating around in your head. This includes your to-dos, worries, upcoming events - anything that is on your mind. Once your head is empty and on the paper, determine your top 3 priorities to complete next and circle them on your page. I did this exercise this morning and it was awesome! I have dedicated a journal for this daily exercise and plan to do it each night before I go to bed. This way when I wake up the next morning, my mind is clear and I know my top 3 priorities for the day.

  • Morning and Evening Rhythms: I have an on and off again morning ritual. It includes waking up early to read a daily devotion and practicing yoga. When I do this, I feel so GOOD! I start my day clear and I feel like I can take on anything. I can usually keep this going for a month or two, then something will happen and I fall out of the habit. I start sleeping in, which feels good in the moment, but does not feel as good going into my day. Brooke has a great exercise in the book for creating a morning and evening rhythm that works for you and makes you feel good. I did the exercises and was happy with the rhythm I came up with for myself. I plan to try it out tomorrow morning.

I highly recommend this little book. It’s a fast read and the exercises are fun and insightful. Let’s work on slowing down and enjoying these precious lives we have been given.

How are you working on slowing down in your life?

15 Minutes a Day

Some days I feel that maintaining my home is just another thing on my never ending to do list. Every day there are more dirty dishes, they just don’t stop.

For 2019 I am changing my mindset around household maintenance. I want to think about these tasks as a form of self care. As Gretchen Rubin says, “Outer order contributes to inner calm.” I have a hard time relaxing when my home is in a state of chaos. When my home is clean and orderly, I feel so much better. I’m happier, calmer and a much nicer person to be around.

I am going to set a personal goal to spend 15 minutes each evening doing a clean sweep of the main living areas in my home. This specifically applies to my kitchen, living room, entry, and bathrooms. I will set a timer on my phone, return stray items to their respective homes, wipe down the table and kitchen counter, go through the mail and distribute or recycle as needed. Clutter acts like a magnet on flat surfaces and will attract more clutter. By taking 15 minutes to complete these tasks each day, I hope to stay ahead of the clutter and take care of my sanity in the process. Bonus points if I can convince my family to also join me for 15 minutes each day!

What are your tricks for managing your home each day?