The Best Changes I Made in 2017 To Make Our Life Run More Smoothly
I don’t really try to make New Year’s Resolutions since I feel like it puts too much pressure on me and I usually give up about a month in to the New Year. However, I do try to make changes throughout the year that can make an impact on our life. I make these changes through the year and basically do one at a time. This year, I made some changes that have actually stuck and I’m planning to keep them up into the next year.
If you’re feeling like your life is a bit chaotic, I highly recommend trying to make small changes throughout the year for big impact. It takes six weeks for a change to become routine, so don’t give up right away.
To be fair, now that my youngest is 4 years old, I’m finally feeling like life is returning to normal. If you have little ones, give yourself some grace. Life with young kids is tough! It wasn’t until this year that I finally felt like I could come up for air and start living life how I’d like.
Lifestyle Changes We Made in 2017
If you’re looking for inspiration, or don’t even know where to start to get life on track, here are some changes I’ve made this year.
- Get Up Earlier. At the start of the school year, I started waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal. I also started waking my oldest up 20 minutes earlier. It has made a HUGE difference in our home! My son isn’t a morning person so we used to wake him as late as possible and it resulted in a ton of fighting and everyone starting the day off in a bad mood. Now that he gets up 20 minutes earlier, he can take his time getting ready and gets a bit of screen time after he has gotten himself completely ready. I also now have time to sit quietly with my coffee. Now everyone is starting off the day in a good mood. I thought I was doing him a favor by letting him sleep in, but getting up early has made a huge impact on his mood.
- Give The Kids More Responsibility. If you’re a parent, this one’s for you. I’ve read a few older classics lately and realized that I do way too much for my kids. Of course, my kids aren’t going to start hunting for scraps of metal like in “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn,” but my 8 and 4 year old can definitely start doing a bit more for themselves. I bought a chore chart and have started giving the boys more responsibility. My 8 year old is now responsible for getting himself completely ready in the morning. It has made a world of difference in my life! My 4 year old is responsible for feeding the dog and watering the plants. He loves the responsibility! This has worked so well that I’m going to work in some more chores in 2018. Doing chores is good for them! It teaches them responsibility and gives them a sense of ownership.
- Make Yourself A Priority. This one is huge! I have finally started putting my needs at the top of my to do list. I am getting my hair done at regular intervals, rather than going months without getting a haircut. While I don’t go and get manicures and pedicures anymore (I’m highly prone to skin infections as a result of my medication), I have started painting my nails at home. I’ve also started doing yoga or nightly stretches at home on a regular basis. I can’t tell you how much happier I am now.
- Make Your Home A Relaxing Space. I finally started doing some of the big projects on my to do list. I’ve wanted to make my balcony a living space, rather than a storage space for years. This year, I finally started doing it. I set aside a little bit of time every week until it was done. It took a few months, but now, we actually use our balcony. My four year old loves to play out there and I can sometimes be found reading a book on the bench outside. Once that was done, it inspired me to do some serious decluttering. The best part is, now that we have less clutter, it is way easier to keep our home clean.
- Do A Little Bit Each Day. Decluttering made a huge difference in our home. Since there is less to put away, it is easier to put away the few items that were left out, which means, our house is fairly neat more often. I now wouldn’t be embarrassed to have someone pop in unexpectedly. I’m also doing small cleaning tasks every day so that we don’t have to waste a lot of weekend time cleaning.
- Have A Down Day. My oldest son is a homebody but my youngest and I like to be out and about. I used to plan things every weekend on Saturday and Sunday, but this year, I implemented one stay home day. It has made an incredible difference in our home. We spend more time relaxing. We enjoy each other’s company. We don’t start the week off feeling frazzled and stressed. I normally make Sunday our down day, unless we have something else going on, then Saturday is our day. Our weeks are super busy so having one day dedicated to relaxing at home makes everyone more content. Of all the changes I made, this is the one that I won’t let slip.
While none of these small changes are life-changing, they have all made an impact on our home. I feel like we are less stressed out and have more time to enjoy each other now. I made each change one at a time so it was never an overwhelming overhaul. While I try to do something different every year, I really feel like this year’s changes have been the best thus far.
Do you have any changes you’ve made to your family that have made life easier?