Small Changes

This is a woefully short post.

Or perhaps wonderfully short.

I had the beautiful experience last night of rocking my two boys to sleep, one after the other, and feeling fully present. I wasn’t trying to hurry and get it over with. Just a few months ago though, it would’ve been a different story, reading blog posts on my phone to try to pass the time.

Minimalism and meditation have been the two biggest catalysts towards this shift.

When you’re constantly analyzing the stuff in your life—physical, mental, and emotional—and shedding the things that don’t add value, you have more time for the most valuable things—which aren’t things at all.

When you practice being fully present in the moment on a daily basis, it starts to become a habit.

Don’t underestimate the power of small changes. It may feel like nothing’s changing, but when you look back in six months, you’ll be able to see just how much can come from the smallest positive changes.

Working Out and Writing

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Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Working out and writing have a lot in common. They both require discipline and regular practice to really succeed. But it can be hard to find time.

For instance, I just had a really great workout. But you know what? It wasn’t perfect. I did my utmost to plan for success. I had good carbs for breakfast, I fed baby Jack, put him down for a nap, drank my coffee, got Wesley set up watching Thomas the Tank Engine, and previewed my exercises so I could set up for them in advance and not take a long time setting up for each one as it came.

Three exercises in, Jack started screaming. I went and got him, took him out to the porch with me (that’s where the exercise equipment is), set him up with some toys, and started where I left off. My 45 second rest between sets had turned into an 8 minute one. But Jack still wasn’t happy. I tried different toys, I held him between sets, but in the end, I sat him down and buckled down to getting my last three sets in so I could give him my full attention.

After feeding a very hungry Jack, he was happy. Giggly, even. And I was happy because I got a workout in even when it wasn’t an ideal time. It was a great workout though, because it was a workout I did.

I have a goal to become as disciplined in my writing habits as I am in my workouts. Jack and Wesley cry out for my attention all day. So do dirty laundry and dishes. It can be tempting to spend the whole day trying to “catch up” on housework that will never be done. And at the end of the day I haven’t written a single word. I’m always waiting for a chunk of time where I can really “focus” on writing. I need to learn to carve out 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there. To buckle down and do the work, like I do with my workouts. Sure, I might get far more done in one “focused” session, but I can’t wait for the ideal and squander the good enough.

What about you? Are you a young mom trying to find time to write or be fit? Instead of trying to “find the time,” maybe you should be looking at the time in-between. It only takes a few minutes here and there to start the forward motion towards your goal.