MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Slow Down Challenge: Taking Time to Express Gratitude (Day 5)

This week, I’m joining Jeff Goins for his Slow Down Challenge. If you want to participate, sign up for the free Slow Down Challenge email list. Also, you might consider grabbing a copy of his book, The In-Between. Jeff is such an inspiration to me as a writer and I highly recommend reading all of his books, if you have a chance!

Expressing gratitude doesn’t require money. It doesn’t require much thought or effort. But it can change our whole outlook on life.

I started keeping a gratitude journal last year. It helped me to keep a positive, thankful attitude in the midst of some health problems I was experiencing.

But once those health problems were resolved, I saw such benefit in recording my blessings every day, that I continued doing it. To keep it simple, I’ve just been using the one-line-a-day journal my mom gave me for Christmas.

Every morning, when I first wake up, I read my Bible, pray, and write down at least one line of blessings from the past day. Some days it’s easier to come up with blessings than others, but I can always come up with at least a few good things from the day before — even if it was a hard day.

I’ve found that starting my day by recounting the blessings from the previous day puts me in a different state of mind. And it gets the day started on a great foot! Plus, it reminds me to live with a grateful, thankful spirit.

Do you have a method for remembering your blessings and the things you’re thankful for? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! And if you’re blogging about this challenge, be sure to leave the link to your blog post below.


Slow Down Challenge: Embracing Interruptions (Day 4)

This week, I’m joining Jeff Goins for his Slow Down Challenge. If you want to participate, sign up for the free Slow Down Challenge email list. Also, you might consider grabbing a copy of his book, The In-Between. Jeff is such an inspiration to me as a writer and I highly recommend reading all of his books, if you have a chance!

It’s fitting and convicting that today’s challenge is about embracing interruptions. Because I totally bombed this one almost as soon as I woke up this morning.

I usually wake up a good bit before my kids do and have quite a bit of quiet time to read, pray, and tackle business and blogging projects before everyone’s up and the day starts.

But this morning, I woke up late and almost everyone was up soon after I was. Instead of quiet, there was interruption after interruption after interruption.

I felt frazzled and frustrated… and then I saw that today’s challenge was all about embracing interruptions. Oops.

After reading Jeff’s post for today, I began again with new resolve. And I’m so glad I did.

Embracing interruptions meant getting to hear some amazing news from a friend’s phone call, enjoying a game of baseball with Silas (his determination and focus brought me so much joy!), watching Kathrynne do card tricks, watching Kaitlynn create, and laughing over a random inside joke with Jesse.

How did you embrace interruptions today? Tell us in the comments or leave a link to your blog post about it!

Slow Down Challenge: Multitasking is a Myth (Day 3)

This week, I’m joining Jeff Goins for his Slow Down Challenge. If you want to participate, sign up for the free Slow Down Challenge email list. Also, you might consider grabbing a copy of his book, The In-Between. Jeff is such an inspiration to me as a writer and I highly recommend reading all of his books, if you have a chance!

I’ve been reading The Myth of Multitasking recently. It’s a really simple read, but it’s been very thought-provoking.

I always thought I was a pretty good multitasker. Now I’m not so sure. You see, according to the book — and I’m beginning to be persuaded it’s true — there is no such thing as true multitasking.

Instead, the author makes the case that what we call “multitasking” is really just an inefficient way of switch-tasking. When we are trying to do two things at once, we’re really just switching back and forth between two different things — taking a much longer time to do both.

(The author does say that there’s such a thing as background tasking, where you are listening to music while cleaning, etc. But when it comes to tasks that require concentration, he makes a strong case that multitasking is a misnomer.)

Today’s project for the Slow Down Challenge was to focus completely on one task until it was finished. I chose the task of writing four handwritten cards that I’ve been meaning to write for two weeks. The project has been on my to-do list for two weeks and it was high time I finish it.

So I got the cards out, set the timer for 20 minutes, and jumped in. I did really well at focusing for 20 minutes, but I only had written 1 1/2 cards by then (yes, these were long handwritten notes — I had a lot I wanted to express in them!). I kept plodding along, but I realized that I had a lot of trouble staying completely on task after 20 minutes.

I finally finished up the cards at the 50-minute mark. And it felt really, really good to have them done, but I also realized that I need to work on my concentration more. Or, maybe just accept that I need to split my tasks up into 20-minute blocks since that seems to be about my maximum time-frame for working with focused intensity?

Confession time: I did stop one to briefly talk with Jesse and I also checked my email on my phone a few times. But I promise it was after the 20-minute mark. 🙂

By the way, if you missed Carrie’s post on time management from earlier today, you should go read it. Lots of great food for thought there on staying on task.

What project did you try to tackle and finish with full concentration today (read today’s challenge details here)? Tell us in the comments or blog about it and leave your link below.

 

Slow Down Challenge: Savoring What’s Before Us (Day 2)

This week, I’m joining Jeff Goins for his Slow Down Challenge. If you want to participate, sign up for the free Slow Down Challenge email list. Also, you might consider grabbing a copy of his book, The In-Between. Jeff is such an inspiration to me as a writer and I highly recommend reading all of his books, if you have a chance!

This afternoon, there were quite a few whiny attitudes at our home. Remembering that today’s challenge was to stop and savor life, I decided to do something fun and out of the ordinary.

I called the kids to the kitchen and told them we were going to take a little break from homeschooling to have some hot chocolate and read aloud together. Hot chocolate is always a special treat and, even though it was a hot day, they were thrilled.

We made the hot chocolate together and then they all watched/listened to a little of The Creation by Haydn on my phone while sipping their hot chocolate (this was one of the projects we were supposed to do as part of our My Father’s World Creation to the Greeks curriculum this week.)

I then sat down and read aloud to them for about 20 minutes. It was the perfect afternoon antidote.

After this impromptu break, everyone went back to the rest of their school projects for the day feeling refreshed and in much better spirits. It’s amazing what taking a little time to savor life can do!

How did you stop and savor life today? Tell us in the comments or blog about it and leave your link below.

Slow Down Challenge: Stopping to Smell the Roses (Day 1)

This week, I’m joining Jeff Goins for his Slow Down Challenge. If you want to participate, sign up for the free Slow Down Challenge email list. Also, you might consider grabbing a copy of his book, The In-Between. Jeff is such an inspiration to me as a writer and I highly recommend reading all of his books, if you have a chance!

We live in a frantic, rushing world. Busyness is a virtue, a badge of honor we proudly wear.

But where does busyness get us? Often, it just leads to exhaustion, frustration, stress, and burn out.

That’s why we need to take time to breathe. We need to soak up the sunshine, the beauty, the smells, the sounds, the wonder of life teeming around us in all directions.

Stopping to smell the roses is not only rejuvenating, it’s imperative if you want to lead a healthy, well-balanced life.

Today’s Project

Today’s project for the Slow Down Challenge is to walk around your home, neighborhood, or even your workplace, and take time to notice the things that other people might overlook. Read more here.

Here are a few things I saw:

A fall-scented candle.

Kaitlynn’s art project (I love how she always has some new creative project she’s working on — usually spread out over the kitchen table!)

A stack of new books that I can’t wait to dive into… just as soon as I finish up the books I’m currently reading. 🙂

Beautiful flowers in a vase.

Coupons sitting on my dresser waiting to be filed (so thankful for all of the money we’ve saved over the years thanks to coupons!)

Are you joining me for the Slow Down Challenge? If so, feel free to share about what you learn from the projects in the comments. Or, if you’re blogging about the challenge, leave your link to your blog post below.