For this month's update, I'm sharing my 5 Ways to Begin Growing a Simply Focused Life--in family, work, life, whatever. These are from my free guide Growing a Simply Focused Life. The questions and steps came about in my own efforts to simplify my life as we get ready for a change in season for our growing family, and figuring out what that means for all the things on all my lists.
I've gone through the questions in this mini-journal a couple times and they have worked awesome on helping me zero in on what really matters. A welcome breather for my limited time, energy, and attention. I've already sent the free printable mini-journal with each step and guiding questions to everyone on my e-mail list. If you haven't signed up yet, you can do that below and you'll receive your free download in your welcome e-mail.
Here are those five ways to grow with a little of how they've helped guide my focus over the last month.
1. Identify where I am.Oh, how my focus has been pulled in so many directions! I have lists of projects and goals I want to tackle: Better meals, blog posts and growth, simplifying home, preparing for a healthy birth and baby, increasing my earnings to contribute financially to our family, increasing hospitality and involvement in our community. Phew. And those are just the bigger projects/goals I dream of tackling!
There are also the daily/recurring tasks and responsibilities: Doctor appointments (soon to be weekly!), e-mail and online involvement, dishes and laundry, budget and meals, kid entertaining (library and park), and blog upkeep. That's enough to fill my days. But there's more.
I also have to acknowledge our current life happenings: I'm pregnant, Brylee finished kindergarten and is home for the summer, Daniel is still adjusting to his new-ish job, Ian's still not completely over the tantrums and is still anti-potty-training, we're still in a 2-bedroom apartment and really hope to move soon, and we're living on one income with a limited budget.
Yep, there it is--the more complete picture of where I am. Everything that is fighting for my time, energy, and other very limited resources. Most of it's good, but not if it's making me feel guilty for not getting done.
2. Discover where I really want to be.When it comes down to it, what I want the most is to live well (simply with purpose and contentment) in our own home and family. As I accept the growing of our family (in 7-ish weeks!), I feel a pressing need to get ready. To get our home ready for a possible move or a 5th occupant if we don't move. To love on and care for my kids and husband before we move deeper into survival mode. To live well here and now, because we'll never get this time back.
I want to spend my limited time, energy and money on our home, my marriage, our kids and slowing down to enjoy this season amidst the chaos--nesting and creating family rhythms.
3. Consider what's holding me back.As much as I enjoy seeing growth in my creative work, that currently adds the least value to my life. Especially when it detracts my attention from these highly dependent littles under my care that won't be little for long. Or when I'm so worn out that I can't maintain home or support Daniel or any number of things currently in my full-time job description as stay-at-home-mom. The creative work will be there when this season settles and will grow naturally when the time is right. Right now, too much focus on creative work holds me back from my focus and calling in the home, in our family, in our "real" life.
4. Let go of good for better.It's one thing to identify the good things that hold me back from giving my best. It's a much more challenging pursuit to actually let go of those good things. I enjoy the creative outlet of my writing and it's hard to keep my time on it in check. It seems I keep returning to making my next steps in it a priority instead of enjoying a little here and there as I am able--growing slowly and for fun.
The worst that could happen in actually letting this area go as a priority: I'd lose a little momentum. Yep, that's it. But looking at the growth I've seen from when I started, a little bit of effort has gone a long way. Slow growth in these seasons of family and home focus is great. It's just laying a solid foundation for when I'm ready to tackle writing and work more regularly in 3-5 years. (Maybe sooner--who knows.)
Letting go opens room for community and involvement in real life. Play dates and company and family rhythms. Saying yes to this tremendously important calling I have in this season to train my little arrows--these blessings that need me to live courageously for them. It allows me to actually live simply with purpose where I am. So I'll have that true story to tell later on.
5. Live simply where I am.My lists are now limited and all focus on this season and the people I'm currently called to serve, making the best use of my limited resources. Moving forward my goals are to live simply (focus on God, family, and others in real life) with purpose (just a couple tasks like Simplifying Home and birth/baby prep to work toward and track progress on) where we are (in our 2-bedroom apartment, with 1 income, while I'm a pregnant stay-at-home-mom to two kids).
That's how these guiding questions have helped me point my focus where it needs to be in this season. It's a challenge and distractions always come up. But it's also freeing to give myself permission to let go of good for better. And maybe that helps explain why my posts here have tapered off yet again ;)
It's your turn.If you haven't already received the mini-journal, sign up below to get it free or learn more here. Go through the guiding questions and get on your way to growing a simply focused life.
S I G N - U P: Where could you simplify + refocus?