Proverbs 31:27 – “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”
When I was younger I seemingly lacked motivation in a quite a few areas of my life. I just wasn’t as disciplined person I am today. Quite honestly I don’t really remember having much ambition or drive for just about anything on a whole. I somehow just existed and seemingly, I was okay with that. I remember how I used to struggle to start or complete small and simple tasks. I had a big problem with motivation. A small mundane task such as calling up the electricity company to sort out a small issue was a struggle. Getting daily jobs around the house was an issue and it all boiled down to a lack of motivation. I don’t exactly know why I struggled so much. It could have been down to a bout of depression at one point in my life and perhaps a host of other reasons which I will probably never know or understand.
Over the years I have grown to become quite the opposite. I am the ultimate writer of lists, I set goals – daily goals, weekly goals, short term goals, long-term goals, the list goes on. My children have in fact come to loathe my ‘lists’ simply because I have lists for everything! When its nearly half term I write a list of places we will visit while the kids are off school – the beach, museums, etc. I have shopping lists, meal plan lists, lists of what the children need for school and so forth. I try to enforce this habit on my family just because it helps me so much but I think my obsession may have put everyone off the idea!
I haven’t come to be the person I am all on my own. With the help of God, my mum-in-law, and a can-do attitude, the person I was just a few years ago has somehow grown into an organized, efficient, goal-driven individual. Setting small goals every day has shaped me over the years. Life is less chaotic and I have found my stress and anxiety levels are not half as bad as they used to be. I would become easily anxious at the overwhelming amount of ‘stuff’ that needed my attention at home and at work. Looking at a pile of ironing for example would set me off on a trail of anxiety.
Making a to-do-list de-clutters my mind. Instead of keeping everything I have to do in my head, I prioritize what need to get done and well, the rest waits until I eventually am able to get to it.
Lock-down has motivated me even more to set daily tasks for myself so that I have some kind of purpose to my day. I suppose I feel a sense of accomplishment when things get done. Once it’s done I don’t feel so guilty about sitting down all afternoon – gin and tonic in hand indulging in some of my favourite television shows.
A typical example of my set goals for the day (during quarantine) looks a bit like the this…
-Wake up and grab my book on mey bedside table next to me. I ask God what he thinks I need to get done for the day and jot it down in my book. It usually looks something like this:
- Write a meal plan for upcoming week
- Write the shopping list
- Hoover downstairs
- Bake with the kids
- Clean toilets (uuugh!..it’s become a daily task with this quarantine)
- Go for a run/do a workout
Now on some days nothing on the list gets done. On other other days I’m able to cross off a few tasks I’ve managed to complete but nonetheless the simple act of writing it all down means I’m more likely to get it done than not.
I’ve noticed the difference when I set goals and the days I can’t be bothered. There seems to be more structure in my home. I know what needs to be done on that particular day and in some ways it means the children have some idea of what’s happening each day especially while we are not on regular work/school schedule. I place the list on my fridge door just so that I can see it throughout my day and have the satisfaction of being being able to cross the tasks I’ve managed to do in-between the demands of family life.
I feel God seems to be growing me into the person He wants me to become and I take notice in those few times where I step at look at what I’ve become- almost a shadow of who I used to be. I’m slowly becoming a confident individual, who is more than capable. I remember how I used to not believe how much I was capable of however my mindset is changing and I am on a journey of discovering not only who God is but who I am within Him. ‘His mercies are new every morning’…I try to think of this every morning when I start my day. It’s always a new day, a day where I can start afresh and forget about the failures of yesterday.