My Sixteen Steps

So recently a non blog friend of mine emailed me to tell me that she having a hard time of it, but that she had made a list of things that she was going to do as part of her plan for improvement.  I LOVE this idea.  It’s supposed to be 12 things, but I am long winded.  Obvs.

I don’t want this to be a list of things to accomplish or a list of things that I am not getting done or a list of things that I am failing at. I like to think of it as a list of things that keep me sane in a crazy crazy world.  At least until summer comes along and I can take a big deep breath of sunshine.
1. Sit with my magic light every day for 20 minutes, and turn on all the lights in the house as much as possible.
2. Fit back into the giant load of pants I have stashed away in Rubbermaid bins all over my house. (I am doing this Biggest Blogging Loser thing and I have high hopes. I no longer have any desire to be “skinny” but if I cannot make good use of the 14 pairs of size 10 pants I have, that’s ridiculous. I have lots of mini steps to add to this plan but I shall refrain from listing them because Manda told me I am only allowed to help her or we won’t win! Kidding, kidding. But not really.)
3. Paint my toenails and keep them painted (this is a good one).
4. Try to remember to put on face lotion, brush my hair, brush my teeth, put on a tiny bit of makeup, and wear earrings every day.  This makes me feel so much better about myself and I never do it.
5. Keep the dining room table cleared off.  Also like fighting a losing battle, but it makes me feel so much better when I manage it.
6. Make the bed every morning.  I just started doing this after 34 years, and every time I walk in the bedroom, it makes me happy. It takes 30 seconds and it makes a huge difference in my day.
7. Magic pills! (more on this later)
8. Drive every day. The more I do it, the less it terrifies me.
9. Do some form of exercise at least three times a week.  I hurt my knee so it might just have to be yoga, but even that makes a big difference.  I have this crazy yoga lady on PBS I love and I have recorded some of her sessions on the DVR.
10. Spend evenings reading with my electric blanket, instead of watching TV or surfing the internet. I am getting internetted out. I need to step away from the computer.
11. Vacuum incessantly.  I feel SO much better about my house and my day when the floor is clean. I have a dirty husband and a dog and a cat and a toddler and a six month old, so this has to be done all the time, but it’s the number one thing that takes me from “I hate my house and my life” to a feeling of peace and contentment.
12. Cut my hair.  I am growing it out. I hate it. I need to get it cut.
13. Keep a to do list of only the things I hope to get accomplished THAT day instead of a giant list that overwhelms me and stresses me out.
14. Keep on banging out house projects, and quit buying clothes so I can afford to do this.  Working on our new bed right now, and then the bedroom will be almost done!  I am thinking of making that crazy wax paper pendant as the last touch.  And I need a nightstand.  And then I’ll move onto the crib.  And then I’m going to debrownify my living room.  And then I am going to tackle the kitchen, oh yes I am.
15. Return emails when I read them and keep my in box to 100 emails or less.

16.  Check out and read The Happiness Project, and acknowledge my need for gold stars.  Give myself lots of gold stars.  Tell other people to give me gold stars.  And try to give up on needing gold stars so much.

I have 16! I need to get rid of some!


12 Responses

  1. Gold stars for you! Even though I’m an internet stranger who you’ve never met or spoken to, I am strongly in your corner!

    If we lived closer, I think we’d be good friends. I like the way your brain works. Thanks for sharing it with the world. 🙂

  2. I like this list. I may make one of my own.

    On my list: keep myself mani/pedi-ed, try new soups and HAVE BRUNCH WITH ELIZABETH.

    Also, you’re welcome to borrow my copy of Happiness Project.

  3. I am calling mine “the vanity resolution” and it involves getting dressed every single day even to run errands. With hair and make-up and an actual outfit plan. I take a picture of it too. EVERY DAY.

    I feel so much better about myself and my husband complimented me and it just HELPS.

    This post made me want to go make my bed….and you know how I feel about house projects 😉 I have the most fabulous color picked out for the master bathroom. I can’t wait to paint it.

  4. I have spent the last 10 years trying to get over needing the gold stars and I think I am finally willing to let it go. I need validation. The end. At least I know that about myself and can communicate it.

    I love the simplicity of this list because seriously there are lots of easy things I could stay on top of that would reduce the amount of irritation in my life. Like a haircut for example: I spend weeks/months hating my hair and complaining about it — so why not just set up some stupid appointments in advance? Or take 5 minutes before I go to bed to clean off our kitchen table (this also makes go from sane to “OMG WE ARE LIVING IN A DEN OF FILTH!” in like a 2 day span. Such an easy fix)

    This is a great idea. I feel the urge to make a list…

  5. I’ve just recently started making the bed every day too, and what a difference it makes! That, along with opening all of the shutters and blinds in the morning, is such an easy way to improve my mood.

  6. I KNOW about making the bed! My mom was right!

  7. I made my bed! I also took a picture of it.

    Taking pictures of things seems to help me do them.

  8. What is a magic light?

  9. So what time does this yoga lady come on PBS? I need some yoga in my life…

  10. Love the list… and we’re reading The Happiness Project for book club this month, and I think it’s the perfect book for January.

  11. I really like the concepts behind The Happiness Project (the writing, well, it leaves something to be desired). I checked it out twice from the library and finally decided to buy it since it is a book I like to be able to go back to. (Which says a lot because I never, ever buy books that aren’t cookbooks!) I have done a couple of things that I learned from that book and I do think it makes a big difference!

  12. I LOVED The Happiness Project! I read it last January and have been thinking it’s time for a refresher to get myself motivated again.

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