Enjoy the little things

So here it is…a new year, a new beginning. A time when we all get to “clean house” in our lives and try to forget about the unrealized dreams and broken promises we made to ourselves this time last year. As I began to think through my familiar list of optimistic goals for the year that would help guide me to a life of blissful happiness (exercise more, find a new hobby, work more efficiently, cut out sugar, keep a cleaner house…) I realized that my list seemed more like a list of chores than a guide to happiness.

After thinking it through and really asking myself what it would take to make 2011 better than 2010, I began to get some clarity. As a busy mother of three and a business owner, I sometimes focus so much on the big picture that I often forget to stop and smell the roses. Though when your daily list of things-to-do takes up more than one sheet of your notepad, it’s a little hard to schedule in rose smelling. So how does one squeeze in time to enjoy life’s little pleasures despite all the chaos around you? Like Nike says, Just Do It.

I may not have time to train for a marathon, or learn how to knit, or keep my home clean enough to be ready for a magazine shoot at the drop of a hat, but I do have time to create little bits of happiness for myself throughout the day. And hey, let’s be honest…life gets so nuts sometimes that simple pleasures may be the only thing that can get you through that day, and ready to take on the next one.

With that being said, I have decided to resolve to make life more fun for myself and fill my days with little perks and pick-me-ups during this new year. Some of the most trivial things can really change my mood for the better, like getting into bed with clean sheets or taking a few extra minutes in the morning to make an iced coffee. I’ve started a whole list of ideas (which I’ve shared below) that will hopefully keep me smiling a little brighter in 2011.

*Have fresh flowers, herbs, or pretty clippings from the yard and put them in little vases or jars all around the house
*Get a magazine subscription that your husband or kids wouldn’t be interested in or tempted to swipe. Once a month, it’ll turn up in your mailbox and make your day.
*Get a book on tape that you can listen to in the carpool line or on your way to one of the hundreds of places you have to go to in a week’s time
*Keep a large bowl of cleaned and cut lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots so that you’ll have a ready-to-eat salad whenever you need it
*Clean the inside of your refrigerator
*Set the table with pretty dishes and napkins for a special family dinner, but order Chinese take-out so you won’t have to do one bit of cooking
*Make your bed every morning
*Donate the clutter. You are never going to use that Thigh Master again
*When you do the dishes, crank up your favorite CD and sing along
*Take a personal day off work to go to the movies. Get popcorn and coke, and don’t feel guilty about it.
*Get a car wash
*Fill pretty glass bottle dispensers with hand and dish soap
*Give yourself a facial.
*Have a secret stash of your favorite candy that the kids don’t know about
*Drink more water
*Go to bed at a decent hour
*Light your favorite scented candle
*Enjoy, because you deserve it


  1. BarbaraJ says

    It is time to smell the roses. Don’t wait too late in life to start enjoying the simple pleasures. Notice the birds in the trees, give hugs to your kids and grandkids and tell them how important they are and how much you love them. You have some wonderful suggestions. Thank you! bj

  2. Lauren S. says

    Oh sooo true!!! We should all slow down to enjoy life and each other! I couldn’t agree more! Your list of simple pleasures is the best- I think I will try some of these. Thank you for such great ideas!!!!

  3. Joey says

    What a great list. We all know life is too short, so we need to enjoy the simple pleasure in our days. I feel so much better when I get things organized, i have a stash of clothes and things i need to get rid of and donate. Just cleaning this up makes me feel better. And i love fresh clean sheets. Great tips.

  4. says

    Keep the basics done…. dishes, laundry and bathrooms.
    Enjoy the kids more….and work on my photography skills….
    …throwing in the gym a few times a week…and I am looking at a list
    I think I can enjoying doing….

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