My only New Year’s Resolution is to focus on one thing at a time! One task, one activity, one day, one change. Enter the concept of one small, doable change.
Lately, I’ve become painfully aware that my attempts at multitasking only result in my not doing any of it well. And I feel so scattered.
I am aiming for a little less mental clutter so that my focus can deepen! And my connection to those around me has an opportunity to deepen as well.
I sometimes find myself here at the start of January wondering where I will get the strength to carry on! New ideas, new promises, a renewed sense of purpose but also a bit of low energy is my experience.
The idea of one, small doable change comes from Kim John Payne’s book Simplicity Parenting. (Note: that’s an affiliate link for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy here. Thanks for your support in this way!)
The Change Process is one of the best gifts I’ve received from being a Simplicity Parenting Coach because I get to practice it over and over again with new groups of parents. This Change Process is so simple and satisfying.
As you work on getting back to your homeschool lessons, this may help to keep the overwhelm at bay. Pick just one area of your home or homeschool to focus on for a few weeks, just one.
Perhaps you want to bring more painting and drawing into your lessons, or get a handle on making healthy meals and menu planning. Whatever you choose, remember to be willing to adjust your change if that will bring the desired connection and unity to your family!
Here are the steps to designing One Small, Doable Change:
1. Identify Your Dissatisfaction
2. Imagine Things Better
3. Design a Small Doable Change
An important warning: the change may fail! And that’s ok! It gives us an opportunity to make friends with failure, to learn from the experience and to design one new small change.
This is my current Change Process story.
Before the holidays (meaning before Thanksgiving, really!), I chose to design a change around too much stuff in our home. And so that I could increase my chances of success, I knew I had to pick only what I have jurisdiction over – my stuff! So I chose to purge 50% of my clothes and 50% of my books. Yes, 50%!
The clothing purge is complete, even though there was a delay due to the holidays. And even my husband got in on the act. We spent one Saturday date night cleaning out our closet!!! But the book purge is proving to be a much more difficult task.
This is often what gets in the way: what do I do with these well-loved, precious books? I am really a collector of books and imagine that many homeschoolers feel the same way.
Here is the conversation inside my head: I could simply give my old books away to the next veteran’s group that calls to pick up giveaways on my front porch, but many of my books are particular to homeschooling. I could give them to the library for their book sale and help support one of my favorite community resources, but will the general public really appreciate these books? I don’t really want to give homeschooling books to the library because I fear that the books may not find a proper home. Do I wait and sell them at the homeschool book fair in June? Except I have planned to do this for two years in a row and missed the opportunity both times despite good intentions and putting the date on my calendar! Do I sort them even further: this pile for the library, this pile for the book sale, this pile to sell online? And then I am back to having various iterations of this process all over the house and inside my head!
The reality is that I do not have enough shelf space for all of my books. And this is how Kim John Payne answers the question about “how much should we keep?”
Just what fits comfortably into your space: in the closet where hangers have the room they need to fit and slide and nothing feels jammed in; on shelves where the books slide in and out and there aren’t any shoved on top in every possible nook and cranny.
I’ve identified my dissatisfaction, and can imagine beautiful-looking bookshelves that aren’t overcrowded. And now for the change: I will divide the books in half – some to sell within our local homeschooling group, the other half to give away.
What is one, small doable change you would like to design?
Remember, just one at a time!