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Focus

Lent.  It is that time of year again.  When I saw everyone sharing what they were giving up for Lent, I remembered that I, too, needed to figure out what I was going to give up.  In years past I have given up chocolate, wine, soda and caffeine and I find that instead of having the intended purpose, it makes me bitter and I lose focus about the real purpose behind giving something up.  This year I am going to try a new approach.   I am going to really try to focus on new ways to handle situations when I feel that crankiness and irritability creeping in.  I have been letting things get to me way too easily lately and it ends up not only affecting me, but my whole family. 

I have to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Things take time and I tend to set standards for myself that are unachievable.  When I don’t achieve what I have set out to do, I am very hard on myself, which then results in irritability.  The key for me is learning to set more realistic goals.  When I make to-do lists, I am going to start making a monthly one and then a daily one.  This way I can put the things down that I would like to accomplish for the month, but not feel overwhelmed looking at that goal or to-do item daily and seeing it fall further & further down my list.  Then it becomes that dreaded thing on my to-do list that I haven’t done and I feel like I have failed.  I need to remove that word from my vocabulary. 

I have a habit of trying to find new ways to accomplish goals and then when that new way doesn’t work, I feel as if there is something wrong with me.  I feel disorganized & overwhelmed.  I hate that feeling.  One example is a “Household Notebook” that I started last year.  Yeah, that lasted for less than a month.  It was a good exercise in paper wasting and wasting a good chunk of time that I could have spent with my family putting together a notebook that didn’t end up working for me.  I felt like I let myself down because that method didn’t work from me.  What I should have done was take the kids out for ice cream or to a movie instead.  Hindsight, right?

So, for the next 40 days I am going to focus on keeping my expectations of situations low, going with the flow and not stressing out when things go awry.  I am hoping that by doing the previous things, I can be less irritable & cranky.  No one likes a sourpuss, right?  A little chocolate & wine is sure to help.  Winking smile

6 comments to Focus

  • Great post, Kim! I gave up on my "Household Notebook" too! LOL! I also tend to set unrealistic goals for myself and my family. When things don't go as I planned, I get totally bummed out. I'm trying to learn to "just breathe", but it's really hard! I tend to like to control everything and don't like it when things get away from me!

    I started posting a "daily to-do" list in the kitchen. I try to be careful not to put too many tasks up there, especially when there's a lot of stuff going on like doctor's appointments and school functions. Checking things off gives me a sense of accomplishment. If I don't get something done, it just doesn't get erased and goes on tomorrow's list. Seems to be helping!

    It's always best to KISS…Keep It Simple Stupid! LOL! :-P

  • Kim

    Girl, we are 2 peas in a pod! I am working on the daily to-do list in the kitchen, but forget to update it and someone (ahem, Jon) loves to point that out to me. I love to check things off as well. ;)

    I am loving the KISS motto!

  • Linda

    An added perspective – although not quite as easy to achieve: in addition to setting more achievable expectations and goals, it's also important to practice self-forgiveness whenever we don't meet our self-imposed standards.

  • Kim

    Mom – That is an excellent point! Thank you for the wonderful reminder. :)

  • Perhaps you could promise yourself to say one compliment to yourself at the end of the day, praising an accomplishment, and forgetting if you didn't reach all your goals. We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes. This was a great post, Kim, one with lots to think about. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  • Kim

    Alison – That is a great idea! Thank you!

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