“I don’t have enough time!”
How often do you say this phrase? You have so many things that pop up on your schedule: Doctor’s appointments, therapy visits, unexpected breakdowns, unexpected bodily fluids everywhere that need to be cleaned up. I know. I’ve been there with my own family and see it all the time in the families I work with.
And while you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off, everyone else is talking about their New Year’s resolutions. “I’m going to spend more time making my food at home!” “I’m going to spend more time working out!” “I’m going to spend more time meditating!”
If all of that sounds super overwhelming and exhausting, then I have a better New Year’s resolution for you. STOP doing something. Take something OUT of your schedule. Say NO. I call it the “un”resolution.
Instead of adding something on to your plate, take something off of it. And it can be anything. Don’t hold back. Dream big here. If you could take just one thing off your to-do list, what would it be?
What would make the biggest difference in your life? What do you dread the most? What do you dream someone would take off your plate? Is it cooking dinner every night? Is it changing your kid’s diaper? Is it having to respond to your child every time they call from the other room while you’re trying to work? Is it driving them to all the things (doctor’s appointments, therapies, extracurriculars, etc?) Cleaning the house? Arguing with your kid?
Now, I want you to take out a piece of paper and write down what it is you so badly desire to take off your to-do list. Yes, I want you to actually get out a piece of paper and write this down. Because this activity is quite cathartic and feels so. dang. good. (And science backs up writing down stuff like this, saying it’s more likely to come true, but I would just say to do it because it feels so. dang. good.)
So after you write it down, I want you to cross it out. Put a solid line through it, and next to it write “NO. I WILL NOT DO THIS ANYMORE.” How does it feel? Yeah, that’s the cathartic part.
Now, to get this task out of your life, you are going to have to do just a little bit of work first. If you simply stopped driving your kids to school or stopped making them food, there might be some unwanted consequences. It may seem like you’re adding to your to-do list in the short term, but trust me, your future self will thank you!
There are 3 ways you can take this task off your to-do list. You can:
- delegate the task to someone else
- simplify the task so it takes less time, effort, and mental capacity
- reduce how much of it you do (or take it out completely if it’s unnecessary!)
I want you to brainstorm 5-10 different way to delegate, simplify, or reduce your task. You could look into hiring a care provider from a state funded agency. You could ask a family member to help out. You could simplify your decisions around dinner or getting ready in the morning. You could reduce the amount of time you’re on your phone, just check your email once a day instead of a hundred, or stop fighting with someone in your family. Whatever it is, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming.
I’ll give you mine as an example. Lately, I’ve had some necessary dietary changes, and as a result grocery shopping, meal planning, and meal prepping has become a huge source of stress in my life. Here are ways I can delegate, reduce, or simplify the “stress of food”:
- Pay for a customizable meal service that fits my restrictions
- Ask my husband to cook more often (and be okay with the fact that he cooks differently than I do)
- Make a master meal plan we can follow every week with just slight room for variation
- Use the shopping guide and meal plan from my favorite cookbook author (https://simplyrealhealth.com/)
- Make a list of healthy restaurants in my area so that when I don’t cook, I have good options
- Have groceries delivered
Once you have your list, I want you to review it and pick your favorite to try. If the first item on your list works, awesome! If it doesn’t, then you already have a bunch more ideas to try. Keep trying until you find success!
You DESERVE to take something off your plate.
I would love to know. What do you want to take off your plate this year? And how do you plan on doing it? Let me know in the comments section!