Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Small, but Mighty, Goals

In a recent post on Simple Mom, Jeannett Gibson of Life Rearranged shared a photo of her goals for 2013, and one of them was “take the extra second.” Jeannett put into words the goal that I was struggling to articulate for this year.  While, I don't know what "take the extra second" means in her case, I know that to me, it means stopping and doing things right the first time, as well as taking a moment to understand and assess a situation before reacting. It means being more intentional in how I act and react.

In my life, I have found that NOT taking the extra second leads to having more work to do in the long run than if I had just taken the extra second in the first place. For example, today as I was putting away the crockpot from last night’s dinner (okay, so TWO examples, because I should’ve taken the extra second last night to put it away), I noticed that there was some crusted schmutz on the cord. Now here is the truly sad statement about me, I saw it and thought “ew, gross” and then started to wrap the cord around the crockpot and put it away as though I hadn’t seen the crusty splash of sauce!  Then I thought, “STOP RIGHT THERE LADYFACE!  Take the extra second and clean the outside and cord of the crockpot now and then in 6 months you won’t be complaining about how nasty the crockpot looks.” And guess what? It really didn’t take me that much longer to do it the right way, but it has saved me from having a nasty looking crockpot in 6 months and was probably easier to clean now than in 6 months.  (And yes, during internal dialogs, I sometimes call myself Ladyface).
Then I started thinking about the habits of people with really clean, organized homes and I realized that the majority of those people take the time to “do it right” the first time. They all take the extra second to put items where they belong and to clean things properly the first time. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that as a result, it probably doesn’t take them nearly as long to clean up and organize their homes, because they’ve been maintaining them all along.
Taking the extra second is a goal that transcends just cleaning and organizing. I think about how I can take the extra second in parenting Little Man and Duckie. All too often I find myself cutting Little Man off at the pass and barking some order (“STOP!” “DON’T DO THAT!” “PUT THAT DOWN!”), without pausing to ask WHAT he is doing or WHY he is doing it. Taking the extra second to hear him out might give me insight into what he’s thinking or trying to do. I have found that when I do take that extra second to say “Bubba, why are you doing that?” and really hear him out, we can usually find a good alternative to, say, using my kitchen spatula to flatten down the dirt race track he’s making in the backyard for his cars .
It tells my kids that I want to hear what they have to say (most of the time), even if I don’t let them have their way. I want home to be a safe space where my kids can ask for what they want, be who they are, and know they are acknowledged and loved. Taking the extra second aids in this goal.
Taking the extra second will help to bolster my spiritual life. I’m trying to remember to take the extra second and say thank you to God for all that I have. To reflect on how I am living and how I portray myself as a Christian woman.  It means turning off Long Island Medium during the kids’ naptime and opening my Bible or devotional book. Taking a moment of peace and calm to feed my spirit.

Taking the extra second seems like such a simple goal, but much like a pebble thrown in a pond, it makes ripples and reaches out beyond just that moment.  It is a small, but mighty goal for my life.

What is one of your small, but mighty, goals this year?

6 comments:

  1. I love this post. Oh so very true in every aspect. I too am going to start taking the extra second. Thanks!!

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    1. Glad you liked it! I hope it will have as much impact on you as it has been having on me.

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  2. I'm going to try to take the extra second as well - at the very least with my husband and children!

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    1. I find they are the hardest ones, too! (My husband and children, that is). I guess because of that unconditional love thing, we tend to forget to really work at those relationships!

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  3. lol this makes me think of how my idea is more along the lines of "SAVING that extra second"... Constantly trying to find means to make the simplest things more efficient. To save me trouble & hassle.

    Maybe my small but mighty goal ought to be just DOING what needs to be done instead of trying to figure out ways that I can do less!! ;)

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    1. Ha ha! I know what you mean. I sometimes lose more time trying to figure out how to quickly get something done, that it becomes a wash. If I had just done it, I'd be done!

      I like your small but mighty goal! You'll have to keep me posted on how it is going! :)

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