Confessions of a Serial “Fresh Starter”

Hi, my name is Tanitha and I am addicted to making life changing goals that I never follow through on. I have seriously lost count of how many times I have wanted to revamp my house, my body, my health, my filing system, my routine, my blog, my organization skills, how I run my business etc etc etc…

Anyone with me on this?  Here’s the problem though, I almost always bite off more than I can chew or try to do everything at once, which inevitably leads to ‘failure’, and me getting down on myself and then often reverting further away from where I wanted to be than before, it is a vicious cycle and has not served me thus far so I am re-assessing and looking for better ways to go about things.

The first thing that I know is a problem for me is a serious case of impatience, like I start working out and if three days in I haven’t lost 15 lbs I feel discouraged which I realize is insane (and a huge exaggeration), but I have a hard time focusing on the good (like how positive I feel after a work out regardless of any instant-success that doesn’t actually exist for anyone). Same thing with organization, last week I was super lucky to have Bryn’s Mom here for a day and a bit and she played with Hudson while I got some de cluttering done, but I only got half way through the miscellaneous papers everywhere so the mess just feels like it has increased and I haven’t touched them since even though I know if I just took 20 minutes a few times a week I could easily stay on top of it all.

What is 20 minutes though? That’s 1/3rd of an hour! It doesn’t seem like much but really, my one year old will rarely happily play by himself for that long and loves getting into whatever I am up to, especially neatly piled and organized papers and there aren’t enough sets of 20 minutes in my world where he is sleeping… so again, I must be looking at it all wrong…

All this being said I am working on shifting my overall mindset and I know as I make small changes in that, I will be honing the tools I need to be more successful in making other shifts in my life. Here are the best of the best things I have learned lately that I am working on integrating into my life (slowly and patiently of course haha)…

DO NOT MAKE A TO DO LIST… what?! Yes, you read that right. IF you are all about the lists and do well with that all the power to you, but when I write a to do list it is more like setting myself up for failure because I try to cram too many things into it and cannot possibly make a go of completing it. A great tip I just recently heard, and this could pertain more to working from home but I think blog and business aside just as a Mom at home this is a great tool…

Check-in with yourself on the hour and do the one thing that is most important thing for you to accomplish within that hour. This can be business related or not. So sometimes it might be taking your little one outside for a little walk or play before you both lose it. It could be as simple as filling your water bottle up and ensuring you finish all that water within the hour, it can be sending that email you have been putting off, emptying the dishwasher, doing your social media post. Simple, attainable, small tasks. Bam, all of a sudden you feel more successful! I will be continuing to implement this one, I have started with every two hours and will work my way to hourly – and this doesn’t need to be all waking hours it can be set hours like 9-5 or something – make it work for you!

Be both disciplined & gracious with yourself. I know, like really really KNOW that as much as I am generally a positive person and up beat I treat myself in a way I would never treat anyone else ever. Blech, I hate to even announce that but I know there are lots of us out there that need to be more kind to ourselves and it is a hard thing to change! First off being disciplined – a concept I have been trying to wrap my head around when it comes to my business is would I hire/fire myself? I have an amazing opportunity to work for myself but that being said WORK still needs to get done and so I have been working on ways to be working hard for myself and making the time I spend count! As far as being gracious towards myself – one thing – I have been trying to do that has helped is waking up and smiling at myself in the mirror – messy hair, dark circles, perfectly rested – however you roll out of bed in the morning give yourself a smile – even do a Joey “Hey, how you doin?” if you dare. Silly, uncomfortable, life changing. I admit I don’t always remember to do this depending on how my day starts but it helps me so much to start my day off by being kind to myself.

Those are my little simple things I am doing – and no my life is not suddenly going to be transformed top to bottom but I am learning patience and allowing myself to learn and grow and head steadily in the right direction even if it is in a one step forward and two steps back sort of way – that is still an improvement to a few steps forward followed by an about face and sprint in the opposite direction – right?!

Im Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

I’m Opting Out of Mommy Guilt

… And Guilt in General

Maybe it’s a cultural thing, being Canadian and apologetic or regretful, if you haven’t heard jokes to that effect you really haven’t lived… but it’s been kind of a problem for me.

Something I immediately noticed when I became a Mom was the term ‘Mom Guilt’ dun dun dun… and to be truthful I dove head first in to major guilt with having to supplement my son with formula (you can read about that here) and it took me almost the first year of his life to get past it. That guilt took away from a lot of joy I was feeling, and let me tell you it was just the first of just so many things to beat myself up about.

Love Yourself!

So I’ve decided to stop. Just like that. Who has time for guilt? Before you know it, you could be beneath a huge mountain of guilt & the guilt can turn to anxiety, fear of doing anything in case you do it “wrong” and it can kind of incapacitate you. Blah. No thank you. Not that anything is quite that simple when it comes to changing the way you think, but once I came to the realization that I was sick and tired of feeling badly about so many little things, I knew something needed to shift in the way I was thinking.

I am not saying that if something big and life altering happened I wouldn’t feel bad, I’ve just tried to shift my thinking  about the “little things”, and if I do feel bad about something, I have been making a concerted effort to change it. My son fell going up the stairs on the slide at swimming lessons, it was 100% my fault for not helping him all the way up and I felt awful, but he was okay so rather than dwelling on how badly I felt, I will just make sure to not put him or me in the position for it to happen again.

Don't look back

This seems to be such a common thing, for Mom’s especially – and I was doing it all the time myself, standing around talking about how bad we feel about so many things pertaining to our kids, and almost each and every thing discussed is something within our control to change. I was feeling guilty about all of the screen time our little guy got when he was sick a couple weeks ago, but now I see that as an option – 1) stop doing it or 2) accept that screen time is inevitable and let it go. Feeling bad about unhealthy food options for you or your kiddos? Same thing, either make a change or let it go because there is no point beating yourself up over something you aren’t willing to change, in fact feeling badly about it for me only causes me to eat even more unhealthy foods – it is a weird negative cycle.

How about this one? I see it all. the. time. Moms feeling badly for having time to themselves, whether it’s a night out with friends or…  even, wait for it, a hair appointment. (I’m not saying this can’t apply to Dads too by the way) I know I am a much better Mom when I have had some time to do things I enjoy with people that I enjoy. This one was really hard for me for a long time even when I knew he was being left in great hands I would want to hurry back. That isn’t even about my son though, that’s some weird need to be needed that I know most people feel but guess what, your child is fine without you while you are gone (9 times out of 10), and will still love and need you just as much when you get home. I know for me, 5 minutes back in the door and he is whining and trying to climb my leg and I wonder what the rush was to get home ;)…

Little Monkey

So the moral of my little rant is to go easy on yourself, or make a change. For me it has been, and will be, a work in progress but I knew that I needed to make a change and work on focusing on the positive, the things I am good at both as a Mom and as just me, and I have felt a huge shift in my thinking and the way I feel about myself.

I would love if you would comment below about some of things in life you have let go of, or are changing whether it is a parenting thing or just life thing!