Several years ago, the artist Emma published a comic about the idea of “mental load.”
If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s how her comic explains it:
I mean… that’s pretty spot-on, right?
While I don’t fully agree with EMMA’s conclusion that my mental load is my husband’s fault for not “helping enough” (he’s amazing), I do think the concept is true.
We have a lot going on in our minds – even on days when our schedule is relatively light, our minds are racing with things like “order new mascara” and “renew driver’s license” and “thaw chicken for dinner.”
And while we can’t shirk responsibility, we CAN do a few things to help lighten the load a bit.
Small practices can make a big difference – so if your mental load feels...
A few weekends ago, I cleaned out a corner of our bedroom.
I had been piling things there for months: my (unused) gym bag, some random papers, a shirt I was thinking about returning… anything I didn’t know what to do with.
Every time I walked into our bedroom, I saw that pile.
It was relatively small, but it was clutter.
And that physical clutter was quickly becoming mental clutter.
When you’re surrounded by chaos (even in small, corner sized doses), you can easily get overwhelmed and distracted.
A task or a decision that once was pretty easy feels surprisingly hard.
You feel paralyzed… so less gets done… and the cycle of overwhelm continues.
The good news? All it takes to break this cycle is a good old-fashioned “clean up.”
You can do this in two easy steps:
Step 1: Set your timer for 10 minutes and tackle a single drawer, a cabinet, or even your freezer.
Step 2: Do this again tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after...
Have you ever reached 5pm and wondered what happened to your day?
You woke up early, with all the best intentions, and yet… it feels like someone literally stole hours of your time.
You have no idea what happened or how it happened.
You just know your time disappeared.
And your to-do list feels way too long.
Here’s the thing, friends: our time often “disappears” because we don’t realize how long it actually takes us to do things.
We think we can get fifteen things done in a day, when in reality we can only do nine because we also have to eat, wipe off the counters, respond to that text from a discouraged friend, etc.
The result of misunderstanding how we use our time is that we end every single day feeling discouraged—simply because we assume we can do more than is actually humanly possible.
(We’re so hard on ourselves, aren’t we?)
There’s a simple solution to this problem, though: track your time.
Here’s how you do...
Here’s a sneaky little lie that creeps into our thoughts:
I need XXX amount of time to workout/read a book/clean the house/do that thing I want to do… and I just don’t have that amount of time so I can’t do it.
Do you ever find yourself thinking this?
And if so, do you sigh and shrug your shoulders and hope things will be “better” in another few months?
Friends, I’m here to tell you that it’s 100% possible to make progress on the things that matter to you – and it doesn’t involve waking up super early (unless you want it to).
Instead, it involves believing that small things MATTER.
In fact, they matter a lot.
Here’s the truth: You can make progress in 10 minutes a day. It will be TINY progress at first, but it will snowball and you will see actual results.
Want to workout? Get up just 10 minutes early and run outside, do a quick HIIT workout, or get on your yoga mat.
Do this more often than not (aka: be consistent)...
For years I struggled to get to bed on time.
I didn’t stay up late intentionally – I just always had one more thing to do.
And then another thing.
I’d do them all, go to bed late, and wake up exhausted.
I married my husband and he taught me the power of an evening routine.
Now, before you roll your eyes and click away because you already know you don’t have time for one of those magazine evening routines (you know, the ones that include 20 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of meditation, and an hour long bath…), I want you to read what I said again.
My husband taught me the power of an evening routine.
He’s not a yoga, meditation, hot bath kind of guy.
He’s a “plug in the phone, brush teeth, floss twice, and read for 10 minutes” kind of guy.
And you know what? It works!
The simple act of stopping at the same time every night, plugging in my phone (I keep it in the kitchen), and then going to wash my face,...
I looked at my boss and took a deep breath.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t get that proposal finished in time and I know that let you and the team down.”
I could feel the knots in my stomach tighten.
I hated making mistakes at work and I hated admitting them to my boss.
But I had learned that shifting the blame or making excuses only damaged my integrity, so I stood firm.
“I’m planning to finish proposals the night before they’re due from now on, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
He looked at me and thanked me for accepting responsibility and creating a plan to ensure success going forward.
And then he gave me another proposal to work on.
I couldn’t have felt more grateful – my willingness to own my mistake had strengthened the trust my boss had in me, rather than tearing it down.
It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
If you’re wondering how to talk to your boss next time you make a mistake, I invite you to...
I stared at the bare walls of my bedroom.
I had moved into a house with some roommates several months earlier, and I still hadn’t hung a single thing on my walls.
It wasn’t for lack of having things to hang – I had plenty – I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to hang and where I wanted to hang it.
I somehow thought that if I avoided hanging anything, I’d have a moment of inspiration and know exactly what I wanted to hang and where.
Problem was, this moment of inspiration never came.
And so my walls stayed white and empty for months.
Can you relate?
Do you constantly struggle to figure out what decision to make and obsess over what the “right” and “wrong” choice is?
If so, keep reading: I’m going to debunk a myth about “right” decisions and then give you a very practical three-step framework that has helped me make decisions and move ahead, rather than get stuck in endless circles trying to...
“Your Vitamin B levels are really low,” she told me.
I was surprised. I was young and felt healthy. Something was wrong with me?
But I hadn’t been to the doctor in years. Once I moved to Washington DC after college, it just didn’t feel necessary… and it also felt like a whole lot of work.
(Finding a doctor in a new city, booking an appointment, taking time off work… yeah, no thanks).
But, after a few friends (kindly) forced me to figure it all out, I did.
And that’s when I learned that I was dangerously low on Vitamin B levels.
(In case you’re wondering, Vitamin B affects energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism—among other things).
The doctor told me to start taking a supplement and I was able to get my levels back up again after a few months, but the whole experienced convinced me that regular doctors appointments weren’t optional.
They were necessary.
If you’re feeling like I was a few years ago –...
Want to know a secret?
Starting your day with focus and intention doesn’t require getting up super early or having a carefully crafted schedule.
It doesn’t require a magic potion, hot lemon water, or a cold shower, either.
In fact, it just requires one thing: setting your alarm for five minutes earlier.
Yes, just five.
Here’s where the magic comes in.
If you use that five minutes to do one or two small things that calm your heart and remind you of what matters most, you’ll find that your entire day feels better.
You won’t be rushed, frantic, and already late the second your alarm goes off.
Instead, you’ll be reminded of what matters – and that can have a profound impact on how you act and think throughout the day.
Want to try it out?
(I seriously recommend it – and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it, too).
Here are a few ideas on what to do during that five minutes – feel free to pick one or two or choose...
I felt defeated.
I had graduated college a few months earlier and moved to a new city. I had every intention of going to the gym after work every day, but things kept popping up and I felt like no matter how hard I tried, I kept missing my workouts.
A friend would text and ask me if I wanted to grab dinner.
My boss would need me to stay late on a project.
I chose to say yes to these things – I had just moved to a new city and wanted to make new friends and build trust with my boss – but I was discouraged because I really wanted to make going to the gym part of my everyday routine.
I felt stuck.
And then I had a thought:
What if I got up a little earlier to workout?
It made sense – my boss wasn't likely to email me super early and most friends didn't text me to grab a last minute breakfast.
I decided to try it.
I also made one other decision—I wouldn’t give myself the option of not working out in the morning.
I would just do it.
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