Common Sense 4

Life Skills

Do enough right, let go of the rest

Always striving to do things perfectly?  Do you feel disappointed in yourself when the house is a mess or you lose your temper or you are late to an event? Or…

Sometimes the expectations we set for ourselves are unrealistic.  If you work hard and are striving to do the best you are able then it is good to give yourself permission to let down those standards once in a while. Look at the overall trend in your life.  Make your goal to “do enough right.”  Life should not be about being A+ perfect all of the time.  Mistakes happen. If your goal becomes trying to learn from them then the mistake is not wasted.

If you get a ticket for speeding…learn to go the speed limit.

If you cause a car accident by hitting the car in front of you … learn to stop tail gating.

If you often overeat at meals … learn to take smaller portions.

If dinner gets over cooked … learn to set a timer.

If you forget to keep an appointment … learn to put events in a schedule. It’s why someone invented the reminder app!

If you lose your temper … think about why. Anger is a normal human emotion. Sometimes it is justified. Apologize if someone was hurt by your words. Give forgiveness when someone apologizes to you. Then let it go!

If you make the same mistake repeatedly, make it your goal to change the habit. Allow yourself time to learn. Remind yourself that you will learn.

I was not a perfect parent, but I did enough right and my children are now good adults. I am not a perfect wife, but I have been happily married for 33 years to a man who is also not perfect. I did enough right and have always tried to learn from my experiences. At the end of the day, there are no perfect people. Every mistake you’ve made, someone else has probably made.  We all work at making fewer mistakes. As my father always said, “Practice makes better, not perfect!”

Planning vs. Procrastination: the key to less stress

Take a minute to imagine never paying a bill late again and never again feeling annoyed when you see the huge late fee you have just been charged. Imagine being on time for appointments or even early so you do not feel the stress of sitting in traffic as your appointment time comes and goes. Imagine coming home after work and having everything you need for dinner already in the refrigerator so you don’t need to be at the grocery store at 6:00 pm with hundreds of tired hungry shoppers.

Planning is often viewed as time consuming and unnecessary. In reality planning makes life much less stressful. Planning actually saves time and often money!  It takes just a few minutes to make a list of tasks which need to be completed in the coming week and put them on a calendar or enter them in your smart phone’s reminder app.  When a weekly dinner menu with a grocery list is completed once a week, which eliminates 4 or five other trips to the store, think how much time you’d really save. Plus, who really wants to go to the grocery store more than once a week?

Start small. Take two minutes to list and schedule five things you need to get done this week. Savor the feeling of accomplishment as you check off each task. When you finish the first list, make the next list of five tasks…or as you think of other things which need to be completed add them to the calendar.

Tips for better scheduling: If you have an appointment, schedule the time you need to get ready to leave for the appointment as well as the actual appointment time. If you are often late to work, schedule a more realistic time to get up and leave for work. Schedule paying a bill with enough days for the payment to arrive and clear before the due date, i.e. 2-3 days for an on line payment or 7-10 days for a mailed check. Schedule the deadline for a project a day ahead so you have time to review and refine it.

They say if you repeat an action 16 to 21 times you create a new habit. Getting control of your time is a great new habit and you will have less stress in your life.

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