Are you stuck in a pattern of bad habits? Are you making your life more complicated than it needs to be? You don’t have to wait for a new year, or even Monday to start building new habits. Start today!
Make a shopping list. Besides saving you money on unneeded purchases, having a list when you go shopping can save you time and frustration, too. Few things are as annoying as discovering mid-cook that you forgot to buy something for your recipe. Instead, take a list with you and check it before you leave the store. Another helpful idea is to have a place in your home where everyone can add things to the list when you get low or run out. Add those items to your shopping list and you won’t have to make extra trips to the store for detergent or eggs.
Plan your meals. I’ll be the first to admit that I have not yet mastered the art of weekend food prep. Our weekends are pretty full and, when they’re not I don’t want to spend the whole time cooking. However, meal planning is something that anyone can manage. Once a week – any day you will consistently do it – sit down and write out what you’re going to serve your family. It will save you the headache of trying to figure out what to make at the end of a long day, and help you make sure your ingredients are on-hand and ready to go (defrosted, etc.).
Get more sleep. I know. I know. This is far easier said than done, but it’s also completely worth it. Sleep deprivation is basically an epidemic in America, especially among parents. Even knowing that lack of sleep makes us more irritable, slows our reflexes, and makes us more likely to make poor decisions, we continue to push the limits. Start getting enough sleep and you’ll notice that you have more energy, are in a generally better mood, and you feel a lot sharper throughout the day.
Clean as you go. No matter how you slice it, cleaning is a tedious chore that no one likes to do. Alas, it must be done. One way you can cut down on those all-day cleaning sessions is to take care of little tasks as you go. Wipe down the sink after you brush your teeth. Put dishes right into the dishwasher instead of leaving them on the counter or in the sink. Fold your laundry right out of the dryer (or just skip folding all together). By taking a few seconds to deal with these chores while you’re already there, you can save yourself time and scrubbing later on.
Declutter. I don’t know about you, but I have this nasty habit of keeping things around “just in case I need it later.” The thing is, I almost never need it later, and the time and energy I’ve spent holding on to it – and moving it around because it never has a real place to go – is far more wasteful than purchasing a new whatever it is. Get rid of all those “just in case” items, including clothes you haven’t worn in more than a year, and you’ll find that life is much simpler.