my new mantra: Do What Matters

This week I was given an assignment: make a mantra for myself. I got this assignment because I signed up for an online course with BrenĂ© Brown, who I have probably talked up enough lately, so I’ll just say the  “Dream Lab” course is available here and it’s not free, and it started almost a month ago, but I joined late too and I’m not sorry I did.

So my assignment was to find a mantra for my life, one that replaces the mantras I might have used in the past, words that represent the way I want to live my life going forward. Here it is:

do what matters

This year, I am going to try to life my life doing what matters.

I keep a running to-do list in a notebook (haven’t found software as easy to use yet). I have columns marked to call, to email, errands, to do, to do online. I’ve just added another: do what matters. 

I’m going to give more of my time and energy to things that matter– to my kids, to my marriage, to my work, to me– and less to things that don’t. 

When the kids are at school, and I sit down at the computer, I’m going to check my “do what matters” list before I go on Facebook.

Instead of spending an entire morning answering the first ten emails in my inbox (since the more emails I send, the more emails I get), I’m going to check for true emergencies, and then do one thing on my “do what matters” list before falling prey to the tyranny of the urgent.
Instead of hitting the couch with the remote as soon as the kids are in bed and getting caught up on the Real Housewives, once a week, I’m going to call a friend who lives far away, and get caught up on her life.

“Doing what matters” doesn’t always have to mean being more productive. 

It means I’ll stop whatever I’m doing when my husband comes home from work, and take a moment to greet him with a hug.

It also means that when I drop my kids off at school and find out that they’re celebrating Chinese New Year, I will stick around to watch Seamus sing (in Mandarin) about rabbits- even if I miss precious writing time.

More read-aloud time, more Monopoly, more art projects. 
And probably fewer situps.

My friend Meagan Francis over at The Happiest Mom also declared a new mantra this week. Hers is: Do fewer things. Do them better. 

I like that one too.

Do you have a mantra?