March just might be my most successful month (thus far) for my Happiness Project! I can honestly say that I did a good job at managing my stress level – and sticking to my resolutions (for the most part) really did help.
Here were the March resolutions:
- Wake up early – give myself some extra time to get myself organized for the day and ample time to get ready without having to rush
- Daily prayer/meditation time – something about spending quiet time with God just puts me at ease (this is a repeat resolution but I could use another conscious reminder to make this a daily priority)
- Take one step at a time – when I feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, shift focus on getting one thing done and then move on to something else and get that done (repeat until the overwhelming sensation passes)
- Don’t procrastinate – make it happen!
- Do my best
Waking up early (preferably before anyone else if up) is still a work in progress, but I did make it a point to wake up a good 15 to 20 minutes earlier than I had been. And boy, did that help get the day started off right. That little bit of extra time allowed me to prepare freshly juiced vegetables and fruit in the morning, get lunches made and kids off to school without feeling overly hurried or rushed (which is good for my stress level and the kids!). My goal is to continue to push my wake up time up to 5:30am or so, which will give me time to fit in praying/meditation on a more regular basis.
Speaking of meditation, I signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge last month (it ended on March 31st, but you can check it out here). I enjoyed the challenge, although I did get off track while on vacation and had to finish the challenge during the first few days of April. The one thing I learned is that waiting until the end of the day, and laying down can be counterproductive. I found myself getting too relaxed and before I knew it, I had fallen asleep!
I was able to focus on my resolution to take one step at a time when my parents and mother-in-law came for a visit. The entire house needed to be cleaned (and hubby was busy with work so most of this responsibility fell to me). Instead of stressing out about all that needed to be done, I just made a list and crossed one or two things off of it each day the week before they arrived (not waiting until the night before helped too). It all got done without too much worrying – but I have also come to the conclusion that I need to hire a housekeeper.
Lastly, Spring Break fell on the last week of the month and spending it on a family vacation in California made for the best stress-relieving exercise of the month. Check out some of the pics at the end of this post.
I know that was a long update – like I said, it was a good month! Now on to April…
Focus: Turn My House Into A Home
This month, I am once again turning my focus towards my home. I really want my house to “stand up and greet me”, as Nate Berkus would say. The fact that my house is often cluttered and unorganized has to be taking a toll on my Happiness factor. So, all of this month’s resolutions will be related to making our house feel like home.
- Clean the kitchen and tidy up common areas before bed each night
- Put clothes away in bedrooms each day
- Buy fresh flowers
- De-clutter closets & storage areas
- Don’t buy things that add back the clutter that I remove
These things have always been a challenge for me, so I’m going to need all the encouragement I can get. If you have any tips, please share!
And, as promised, here are some pics from Spring Break!
Here are a few of the beach in Carlsbad, CA…
And the family hanging out in Beverly Hills…
And one from the Pasadena Arboretum…