How much does your to-do list bring you connection, joy, and contentment? What if it did? We all have things we need to get done every day, and if you're like me, you get some satisfaction in checking off the boxes. But at the end of the day, what has it all amounted to? Laundry – check. Work – check. Dishes – check.
The good thing about to-do lists is that they set intentions for us. They give us a clear plan and we can see just how productive we've been as we check off our lists. The bad thing is that if our to-do lists are filled with all work and no play, we may go to bed feeling accomplished but disconnected because our entire day was spent tending to chores and obligations. Being that connection is the heart of my parenting and life philosophy, it's better for me to be more intentional with my loved ones than the seemingly endless list of chores and responsibilities.
How can I make sure I'm building connection and still be productive each day and balance my responsibilities well? How can I end my day with a content heart in addition to a feeling of satisfaction at jobs well done? In addition to adding playful parenting into my daily chores, I create a separate to-do list each day, and checking off this list ensures that I've focused on the most important people in my life. This to-do list is a set of intentions designed to fill my family's love tanks and build a stronger bond with each of my loved ones.
I typically choose 3-5 intentions each day, and I'm consciously aware of them throughout the day as I set the list in a frequently visited area. When I have done what I intended to do, I check it off with a smile.
Below is a list of intentions you can choose from as you create your own Better Life To-Do List.
1. Notice one positive character quality about each loved one and speak it out loud today.
2. Show delight when my loved ones enter the room – when my children get up in the morning and when my husband gets home from work. Smile, greet them lovingly, and tell them I'm happy to see them.
3. Notice one positive behavior and commend my child for it.
4. Express appreciation for one thing that my spouse does today.
5. Spend at least 30 minutes on the floor playing with my child. Make sure the phone is not within reach and no distractions.