A new Happiest Mom tradition: intention-setting Mondays

Moments like these are some of my favorite--and I want to make room in my life for more.

Do you ever feel like life just goes too fast? That you have all these wonderful intentions for your children, your life, your home, and family when you’re looking down at your brand-new baby, and then next thing you know you’re dancing with your son at a family wedding and, in your bare, blistered feet and his man-sized dress shoes, he’s as tall as you are?

That actually happened to me a couple nights ago, and let me tell you, I have never felt so adult, so overwhelmed by the lightning speed of life, or, frankly, so short.

Life happens whether we notice it going by or not, and sometimes we get so caught up in just surviving from day to day that the things that are really important to us fall by the wayside. When life is flying by amid permission slips and soccer practices and epic diaper disasters and deadlines and dishes, sometimes even the smallest things that are really important to us get put off to another day…and another day…and then, well, another day.

I’d like to start a tradition here at The Happiest Mom of using Mondays to set an intention for the upcoming week. No need to be intimidated: a weekly intention can simply be one thing you want more or less of in your life, something that you’d like to start or stop doing, something that you’d like to think more about or invest more energy in.

Let’s not think of “intention” as a woo-woo New Age word that simply means sprinkling the Universe with good thoughts. The more specific and manageable your intended goal, the more likely you will be able to pull it off even amid your toddler’s teething bouts or mopping that April mud off the kitchen floors. (Again.)

I’m going to recommend following a who-what-why-how model for your intention, because I think it’s important to figure out not just what you want to do, but why, and especially how you’re going to fit it into your life. So, for example, here’s my intention of the week:

  • WHO: My whole family
  • WHAT: Spend more time outdoors
  • WHY: It’s been a chilly spring, and I’ve been “hiding” from the weather by managing to find so many things inside the house needing my attention that I need never venture out. But I feel so much better when I spend time outside, and it’s important to me that my kids run around, get dirty and experience nature up close. I’ve also noticed that our time together outside tends to be better quality, maybe because we are removed from the distractions of screens, etc. Plus, is there anything better than the smell of a child who’s been out in the fresh air for a while? Ahhh.
  • HOW: I have realized I need something to do to keep me outside. I like sitting around in a lounge chair sipping lemonade or staring at ladybugs with my two-year-old as much as anyone else, but after a while I get twitchy and need some action. Since I’m a novice landscaper and gardener, I tend to go outside with good intentions, but after wandering around aimlessly for a while I realize I have no idea what I’m doing and then wander back into the more familiar turf of the indoors. I need a plan! Tonight I’m going to come up with a list of easy yard projects I can do to keep busy outside, assign one to each day, and plan a hiking outing for the sunniest day. I’m going easy on myself by shooting for only 30-60 minutes daily, because let’s face it: the weather still isn’t what it should be for the last week of April, and I don’t want to feel like I’m putting myself in work camp for punishment or something.

Your turn! Share your mom intention for the week, either here in my comments or on your own blog (please let us know in the comments, with a link, if you do!) Of course you can do your intention any way you want to, but I’d love to see you follow the same model I used above because I think it helps us really get to the heart of what we’re wanting to do when we explore the “why”–and setting an intention is a lot less useful if we don’t figure out “how” we’re going to pull it off.

I’m so excited to see what you all come up with–and can’t wait for us to all work toward our goals together.

Also: I need help! One of my writerly weak points is coming up with pithy, clever titles. I need suggestions for a name for this weekly tradition! No more than 3-4 words, something easily Tweetable, and something that will look good on a button or badge. If I pick your suggestion, I’ll send you a personalized, signed copy of The Happiest Mom as a thank-you.

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