Want to make life easier? I do. But not just easier. I only want to make life easier if it also makes life better and creates a healthier outcome. Because sure, it’s easier to let dirty dishes stack up in the sink day after day, but the eventual cockroach infestation is a big turn off.
In my life, I’ve found a number of ways to make things easier that I want to share with you:
- Calm the self-critic: Berating myself for mistakes was exhausting. Now when I get something wrong, I acknowledge that it sucks, then remind myself that it’s perfectly human to mess up, and give myself grace (thank you, Kristen Neff, for this cool exercise). The mental energy I save is liberating.
- Plan food and follow through: This saves drama and makes it 10x easier to not overeat or make food choices driven by emotion. Deciding ahead of time means I’ve taken into consideration the things that are important to me (health, stamina, taste) and I don’t have to spin and wonder what to eat, or second-guess my plan. Do this and you can trust your choices were made from love for your future self and a desire to be your best.
- Let people be who they are: I want to change my husband’s behavior. And people I work with. Some family members, too. Come on, I’m a coach. I have great ideas that will make life better if they just listened to me. Turns out, people don’t like to be coached against their will. (Or told what to do by anyone.) I may have influence in the lives of people around me, but not control. I trust that someone may know something I don’t, and have a better understanding or approach than I do. I relax when I let go of the mental scheming of trying to change someone else and allow them to have their own journey.
- Stay focused on the task at hand: One small way I’ve done this is with my morning getting-ready-routine. I used to break away midway through the first coat of mascara to check email or start breakfast. Inevitably my attention was drawn away for longer than planned. Task switching wastes time and, more importantly, saps your brain’s energy.
- Allow people to be disappointed: In a desire to please others, we fib. We don’t want to go to that function or do that thing, but instead of politely saying so we make up excuses, which feels icky. And we have to keep the excuses straight. Or, we give in and do it, grumbling inside. Trying to manage how other people feel is draining and takes away from anything productive or relaxing you may want to do.
- Get it out and schedule it: Clients tell me it’s overwhelming to continually carry over to-do’s they don’t complete, or have 17 tasks in their head that they keep “remembering” need to get done. The minute I notice something nagging at me, I realize it’s only in my mind. Right away I get it on paper and calendar it. Relief! And I don’t plan 13 hours or work for an 8-hour day, or allow tasks that are weeks out to get continually copied onto the next to-do list. They are scheduled and forgotten, until I need to do them.
- Love the toddler, but don’t give her the wheel: My toddler brain acts up often. Like when it’s time to shut down social media and she begs to scroll. Or when I take out stir-fry ingredients to prepare dinner and she argues that pizza is better and quicker. Whenever I allow my toddler to take the wheel, regret follows. Because I didn’t accomplish what I wanted, which means I didn’t keep my word to myself. I’ve learned to acknowledge my toddler and understand why she wants what she wants, but then let her know I have a different plan. And I’m sticking to it.
I know my seven ways to make life easier are not quick hacks. You’ve probably employed all the easy ones and you don’t need me for that.
And yes, these take focus and effort to implement. But I promise that if you cultivate the mindset shifts and habits I offer, your life can be ridiculously easier in all areas. By the way, coaching can help with that.