You’ve decided that it’s time to get organized. It’s time to take charge of your home and life.
Perhaps you’ve got a vision of what you want your life and house to look like. For example, you want life to be balanced, happy, and successful.
And your home to be organized, decluttered, and tidy
Or maybe you have a list of habits you want to change. Like:
- Wake up early
- Exercise regularly,
- Keep up with laundry
- Read more
- Learn a new skill
Because when it comes to changing our life, our first impulse is often to change what we DO.
And while that’s certainly important…
…the truth is that changing what we THINK can go a long way to helping us build the organized, happy, and healthy life we so desperately want.
Because frankly, changing how we think can make it a million times easier to then change what we do. In fact, changing how we think can make it almost natural to build the habits and life we want.
Your mindset determines how you feel, how you spend your time, and can make all the difference in creating the life you want.
4 Mom Mindset Shifts To Help You Crush Overwhelm
In this post, I’m going to lay out 4 common mom mindsets or thoughts that are making you overwhelmed and keeping you from your goals.
And then we’ll dive into the simple mindset shifts that will help you get your home and life organized, help you crush your to-do list, and achieve your goals.
Let’s get started!
#1 Mindset to Ditch: “I Need to Change Everything Right Now”
When we decide that our life needs a change, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to change all things…
…and do it all at once.
Like when you look around and see dirty dishes spilling out of the sink, and all surfaces covered with mess, and laundry piles throughout your home, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got to:
- Declutter your whole house (like yesterday)
- Start a whole new cleaning routine
- Make your kids do chores (I’m not your maid!)
…And you’ve got to do it all RIGHT NOW.
Or when you find you can’t climb the stairs without getting out of breath or don’t like how your pants are starting to fit..and so you decide that you need to change everything about your diet, replace everything in your fridge and pantry, and start exercising 6 days a week.
…And you’ve got to do it all RIGHT NOW.
And so you try to make big ol’ changes. You do okay for a week or two until eventually…you throw in the towel because you’re completely overwhelmed and exhausted.
While feeling like you need to change everything right now this is a natural tendency for many people
…the truth is that this mindset leads to burnout. And burnout makes lasting change practically impossible.
Not to mention it makes you feel like a failure when you inevitably fall short of changing your entire life in one foul swoop.
Shift to: “IT’S ALL ABOUT SMALL CHANGES.”
If there is only ONE thing you get from this post it’s this: It’s all about the small changes.
Not the huge overhauls. Not trying to make massive changes.
Back when I was an overwhelmed working mom to 4 tiny kids, just trying to get to the end of each day without sobbing in a locked bathroom while my kids bang on the door demanding snacks…
I came across a quote that changed my whole life. Here it is:
“A small daily task, if be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules (Anthony Trollope).”
Translation: If you just do a little everyday, it’ll beat a huge, but sporadic effort.
And when I read it, it hit me so hard because I was the reigning champion of huge, but sporadic efforts.
Every few months, like clockwork, I’d do the same thing:
I’d look around at the piles of laundry, toys, and general chaos and declare to anyone in earshot that “Things are gonna be different around here!”
Then after 3 days of scrubbing, vacuuming, snapping at my family, and filling bags full of stuff to donate I’d plop on the couch exhausted, but deeply satisfied by my work.
But a week later, my house would look like the wreck it was before my explosive cleaning session.
That was my world. Until I read that quote.
Which said I could just do a little everyday and it’d be waaay better than my exhausting semi-regular cleaning sessions.
I was especially convinced there was something to this thing when I learned more about the guy who said it, 19th century novelist Anthony Trollope.
Because he lived it.
Every morning, he’d sit at his desk and write for a couple hours before going to his full time job at the post office.
He wrote at least 32 books WHILE WORKING FULL TIME. Just writing a little every single day.
*cue my mind exploding*
And when I applied this to my life, from cleaning my house to tackling my daily to-do list…
…I found I was more productive and my house was waaay tidier even though I spent less time working on it.
So instead of feeling like you have to change everything, shift to being okay with small, consistent changes.
- Cleaning up as a family before bedtime
- Staying up on laundry
- Reading to your kid
Start small. Just a few minutes a day.
And you’ll be amazed at what you start to accomplish!
#2 Mindset to Ditch: “I Should Be Doing IT ALL.”
In our modern world, it’s very easy to feel like we should be doing All. The. Things.
We have social media which is constantly parading around absolutely unreal expectations for what we should be doing, how we should look, and what kind of parent we should be.
So much falls on our very tired shoulders.
It can be hard not to feel like our goal should be to do absolutely everything we can. We feel like we should be cramming as much as possible into our 24 hours a day.
So when we write our daily to-do list, it can end up being very long. And then when we don’t accomplish half the things on it, we feel like an absolute failure.
But the truth is that no one can do it all.
I promise you, if there is someone you think is doing it all, I promise you they’re not. And even if it was possible to do it all, I’m not sure it would even be smart. Because not everything is of equal importance.
(And frankly, some things aren’t really even worth doing.)
Instead, I invite you to shift your mindset to…
Ask Yourself: “What are the most important things I can be doing?”
There’s this thing called the Pareto Principle that has been applied to the business world, sports, and about a million other things.
Basically, the Pareto Principle is the observation that about 80% of the consequences (outcomes) come from 20% of the causes.
Which means basically, that 80% of the results that actually help you get organized, get things done, and feel happy, comes from about 20% of the stuff you’re spending your time on.
So your goals shouldn’t be to fit as many things into your day as possible. It’s to figure out what that 20% is in your life.
Not all things are created equal and let’s face it: you have VERY limited time on your hands. You can’t do it all. So it’s important that you prioritize the most important stuff.
Therefore, your goal is to shift from a “Let’s see how much I can cram into my day” to “what small tasks are going to help me the most?”
So I want you to take a second and think about it.
- What are the most important things you do everyday that help you build the life you want?
- The most important things for your health?
- Maintaining key relationships (like with you partner and kids)?
- Staying organized?
Personally, when it comes to my most important daily habits the things that have a massive impact on my life are my morning routine, my bedtime routine and daily exercise.
(Because these impact my sleep quality, personal self-care practices, how I feel when I wake up, my focus and organization, my mood.)
When I’m on top of these key habits, everything else falls into place in my life.
Explore what these things ate for you in the workbook. Feel free to hit pause and get any thoughts out that you may have!
- Establishing a simple Laundry Routine that helps you easily stay up on laundry.
- Following a cleaning schedule that keeps you home clean with minimal effort
- Morning routine that helps you start the day energized & happy
- Build exercise into your daily routine so you feel good, sleep better, and have more energy
You don’t have to do everything to build an amazing and organized life. It’s about doing the right things.
#3 Mindset to Ditch: “I Have to Be Perfect at ______”
Whether you identify as a perfectionist or not, the truth is that you may still feel like you have to do things perfectly…
…or else you’re falling short.
For example, you’re trying to build a new habit or routine. Whether waking up at a new time, exercising daily, limiting social media use, doing laundry each day etc.
While you go strong for a bit, you fall off the wagon a week in and suddenly you feel like a complete failure. And then you give up on whatever it is you fell short on.
Or your fear of not doing something perfectly leads you to complete paralysis. To inaction. To doing nothing towards your goals.
As a former educator, allow me to make a grading analogy:
So often, we expect “A” work from ourselves. We expect to be pretty perfect. And if we’re not getting A’s in home organization, our exercise habits, or whatever else…we’re not just falling short, we’re failing.
This kind of thinking is a surefire recipe to feel terrible.
Think about your own life. What are you beating yourself up about not being able to do something perfectly?
Shift to: “75% success is AMAZING.”
While it may seem absolutely appalling to you, I invite you instead of shooting for the impossible 100% or an A+ in whatever it is you’re trying to do…
…shift to trying to do it at 70 to 80%. Basically, you’re shooting for a C. Maybe a B.
Instead of letting perfection paralyze you into doing NOTHING or feeling terribly about your efforts, this gives you permission to let go of unrealistic expectations and move forward.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard (especially in the face of perfectionism) is to “Lower your standards and keep going.”
Shooting for a C or a B gives you permission to do your best and continue to move forward towards your goals and building the life you want.
If you’re trying to workout more and you set the goal to workout 4 times a week, you should feel pretty good if you do it 3 times a week (75%).
Honestly, so much of success in life isn’t doing things perfectly…it’s forward momentum.
Don’t have time or energy to get your house looking “perfect”? Set a timer or pop on a podcast and then just do what you can.
Can’t make that intense spin class at the gym? Go for a 15 minute walk through your neighborhood.
Because here’s the thing: as you consistently are achieving your goals/expectations 70-80% of the time and NOT throwing in the towel when you fall short of perfection, you’ll find you start making real progress on absolutely crushing your goals.
And once you start building new habits and routines, it’ll become easy to stick to them at 80% or 90%…or even 100%.
And then it may be time for a new goal!
Bottom line: Skip perfection and shoot for around 70-80% success pretty consistently. Just like the first mindset shift, a small thing done daily (or almost daily) is going to have a MASSIVE impact.
For more on this, check out Done is Better than Perfect (So Lower Your Standards and Keep Going).
And now we’re to the LAST mindset we’re going to talk about. And that is the super destructive thought that…
#4 Mindset to Ditch: “I just don’t deserve/have time to take care of myself”
We know we feel better when we are taking care of ourselves by relaxing, exercising, making time for enriching hobbies or even just getting enough sleep…
…but it’s super easy to either feel guilty about taking time for yourself or that you simply do not have the time.
Perhaps you feel that you either have to “earn” self-care or that taking time for yourself takes away from taking care of the others in your life.
Or that with all your responsibilities, you simply do not have the time in your jam-packed day to do something as extravagant as read a book you enjoy for 15 minutes, take a bath, or do some yoga.
But you don’t have to earn self-care. Because you exist, you deserve self-care. Plain and simple. Self-care is not selfish.
As writer and activist Audre Lorde put it: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation…”
Nothing can replace YOU. So taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. It’s survival. It’s smart. And it’s certainly not something you have to “earn”.
And making time to take care of yourself will ultimately save you time. Because you are more efficient and effective when you feel your best.
Plus, you’re so much better equipped to not only handle the challenges that come your way, but also show up for the people you love.
So instead of having the mindset that you don’t have time or have to earn self care…
Shift to: “Self-care is essential.”
And fitting in self-care can absolutely work for you, no matter how much you have on your plate. The key is to prioritize it.
I recommend the following 3 tips:
- Keep it small and doable
- Schedule the time when you’ll do it. Leaving it to chance or when you “find time” means it won’t happen. Because the day tends to be packed full of kids, work, and a million other things, Morning and bedtime routines are great times to build in some self care.
- Track it (you can grab the habit tracker here, or you’ll also find it in the WB)
For help building self care into your routine, check out the following posts:
- 3 Essentials to Creating a Relaxing Self Care Routine for Moms
- The Mom Morning Routine to Start Your Day Happy & Energized
- The Perfect Bedtime Routine for Moms to Relax and Sleep Well
Mom Mindset SHifts THat WIll Change Your Life
Replacing your unhelpful or negative thoughts will help you get organized, crush your to-do list, and achieve your goals. You can change your life by replacing destructive thoughts with the following”
- “A little change is enough.”
- “What are the most important things I can be doing?”
- “75% success is AMAZING.”
- “Self care is essential.”
So where will you start?
I’m a working mom to 4 girls born in under 5 years and a former teacher and college history professor. I’m obsessed with helping overwhelmed moms organize their homes and lives.
Click here to learn how I went from overwhelmed and burnout, to (mostly) crushing it.