The day starts early, usually before sunrise. A few stretches, a warm shower and a quick cup of coffee, before the alarm is sounding in the children’s rooms and they emerge, sleepy-eyed and groggy. Showers, packed lunches, gathered school books and packed backpacks as you usher still drowsy children out to the bus. It’s a full day’s work and the sun has only just peeked above the horizon.
Friends need your advice, your boss needs that report, meeting must be attended and you’ll still try to make that yoga class while you chug down a 4-hour energy boost drink before picking up the children from their after school program. Then it’s home for dinner and back in the car for their sports activities, while they try to get their homework done as the car rockets down the road.
When all four of my children were home together I was driving in three directions all day, and arranging rides for the children I couldn’t logistically chauffeur. It really does take a village to raise a family of children. Paying attention to what I wanted my children to learn made me pay attention to what I was showing them every day.
It’s a bit like what I scream at my computer – “Do what I WANT you to do – not what I TOLD you to do!!!” Your children watch you carefully and no matter what you tell them . . . what you show them is far more powerful. As you begin to format the goals you want to accomplish this coming year, think about what you’re doing and teaching your children about living a healthy and productive life.
Here are a few things to say NO to this year. Next week I’ll share what I will say YES to next year!
SAY NO TO:
Anything that lowers your self-respect or challenges your integrity
Last week an opportunity presented that could have been lucrative but would have made sleeping difficult for me. While the money was good it went against my ethics and so I said no. It has taken years for me to learn that doing something that goes against what I believe is not worth the angst and bad feelings that come with it.
Several years ago I made another similar decision that didn’t involve money but it did cause me to do something I swore I wouldn’t. To this day I wonder if what I did created another mess I’m living with.
The long of the short is that it is never good to make a decision that lowers your self-respect.
Anything that may risk your health
You have one body and one life – it’s important you live it well. Studies have shown people’s regrets at the end of life are about what they failed to try and not how they may have failed at something they DID try.
But, trying something that destroys your ability to enjoy the rest of your life is another regret. Your health is a bit like compound interest – the little things you do each day pay big dividends in the future. It’s like smoking. One cigarette won’t kill you and neither will two. But one pack a day for a couple of years and plan on wrinkled skin, difficulty breathing and a high risk of heart disease and cancer.
How well you care for your health is a reflection of how much you value your life.
Anything that turns you from your life mission
When you reach the end of your life and look back on what you’ve accomplished what will you think? Will you be happy?
Many of the little decisions you make each day without thinking often deter you from what you want to accomplish. When you can say no to vacuuming the rugs in order to finish your personal projects, you’ll remember the accomplishment in a year but not the vacuuming.
Things that rob your time
Time is a precious commodity. We each get 24 hours, no more and no less. However you spend this time, it is spent and you won’t get it back.
Things that rob your time include people you don’t want to be with, jobs that cause too much stress, attending events that are meaningless to you and the people you love and anything else that makes you wish you had those moments back.
Other people’s baggage
You carry enough of your own baggage – you don’t need anyone else’s. Enough said?
This includes getting into new relationships with toxic people or abusive partners.
Toxic relationships and negative people
You probably can identify the people in your life who cause you stress or pain. These are the people who don’t support your dreams. They tell you that you aren’t good enough, strong enough, thin enough or smart enough. You dread sharing dreams or thoughts because you know exactly what they’ll say. While constructive criticism is good these people usually just pass along negative comments.
Self-pity because you aren’t where you want to be today
You are a strong single mother. Anything else is icing on the cake.
I know you’re strong because you are a single mom. And because you are strong you can accomplish exactly what you want. The problem may not be what you lack in ability but rather in resources- such as time, energy or network.
Leave self-pity in the garbage where it belongs. We all need a pity-party once in a while but it is vital you don’t live there.