Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Little Switches that can make a Big Difference

Sometimes life feels like it gets a little monotonous. Perhaps you might even call it boring. What do you do when you feel yourself getting in a rut? Have you ever made a little switch that seemed to make a huge difference? Over the years I've made some little switches. Some have helped more than others, but it is always worth a try.

Switch 1 – My girls are always a great source of inspiration for my switches. In fact, just now I was talking to my first grade daughter about what she learned at school. She was telling me that they talked about energy in science class – what energy is, how to save energy, and different forms of energy. Shortly after this conversation, a friend called to ask is she could come over to play. When I said that I could bring her right over, Peanut suggested that we walk, bike or scooter ride. So, I walked, Peanut rode her scooter, and Pumpkin rode her bike. It took us about ten minutes to get her friends house instead of two, but we saved gas and got a little exercise in the process. I already feel better! I don’t know if this switch will stick, but with the encouragement of the girls, I sure hope so!

Switch 2 – Sometimes I tend to focus on the negative. There are mornings that I wake up dreading the day ahead of me. I pull the covers over my head and try to avoid getting up for as long as possible. I think about all the things I have to do that I know I won’t enjoy. It isn’t that I try to be a negative person. In fact, I’d much prefer to be positive. I think that by starting and ending the day with a positive thought, I might be able to perk up my attitude. If you wake up just appreciating that you are alive and looking forward to at least one activity that will take place, then I think it makes it easier to get through the rest. At the end of the day, look back. Find one thing that surprised you, made you laugh, or that you unexpectedly enjoyed. Go to sleep focusing on that positive experience and hopefully you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed and ready for a new day.

Switch 3 – When I was teaching, I had students that were difficult. (I won’t say much more than that since teachers are getting in trouble for blogging about their students lately.) A wise older teacher told me to find three positive things to say to that student every day for three weeks. I’m not sure what the “magic” of the number three is, but it really works. After three weeks those students and I seemed to have fewer issues. Whether the positive comments made them feel better about themselves and behave more appropriately or whether the positive comments made me see them in a better light, I do not know. Regardless of whether the student had changed or I had, it made all the difference in the world in my classroom. When I get stressed out by any of my family members, I try to do the same – focus on their good qualities instead of harping on the bad. I think everyone appreciates feeling appreciated.  It makes us want to do more for those that appreciate us.

I'd love to hear about your little switches that made a big difference. I'm always anxious to try new things that might make my life even better.

*Disclaimer - I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


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