I love January. It feels like a fresh start. Out with the old! In with the new! But motivation soon wanes. That’s when it’s time to remind yourself that there’s a path to joy and what it takes to get there.
Rekindling Your Joy:
Creating a Path to Joy
First, a big Thank You to Mandy for including me in this wonderful series on Rekindling your Joy! I am excited to share some ideas and hopefully inspire your readers to remember what brings them joy every day.
The Goal is Joy
Yep, I want to lose weight. Exercise. Experience success in homeschooling. I’d like to save enough for a vacation. Keep the house clean. Declutter… Wow. That sounds like a lot of work!
I’m scrapping the traditional New Year Resolutions this year.
I want to focus on one thing – Experiencing More Joy!
I want to make memories with my family. Be in the moment. Have more fun.
But I need to mop the floors today, and the kids are fighting again. Ugh. I feel guilty because I haven’t worked out all week and ate an extra piece of pie last night. I have a headache from all the screaming, no idea how I’m going to get any school work done with the kids today, and I just want to hide under my covers. Where’s the joy in that?
Some days I feel like I can’t even see a path to joy. There is so much in the way. I would love to be the kind of woman that can find little joys in everything, but I’m not. I will probably never look forward to housework… or exercise… or eating a salad.
These are the days that I try to remember that the goal is joy, and everything I have to do brings me one step closer.
Making a Path to Joy
When I first started thinking about creating a life with more joy, I wrote down all the things that bring me joy. “A Clean and Organized Home” made the list. You know that feeling – everything is finally put away. The bathrooms are clean. The dishes are done. Laundry baskets are empty. And you just – ahhhhh. But those joyous moments have been few and far between lately with three kids under six and a dog around.
If joy is the goal, I need a map. A path to connect the end result of “A Clean and Organized Home” with all the work it takes to get there. One strategy I use is called Mind Mapping. It is a brainstorming method that can help you map a path to your goal.
Take a look at how I made mine here:
Following the Map
I love using Mind Mapping because it breaks big ideas into smaller pieces. Yes, I want my home to be clean – how do I get there? This mind map helped me map our a path to joy. Now I just have to take small steps and follow the map.
What can I start with? I look at the outermost layer of the map. I can start by having a daily clean-up time with the kids. I can take on one monthly project – for January I joined a declutter group. Good start! I will make sure I have the tools I need to make cleaning easier by updating my Subscribe and Save and possibly ordering a steam mop! I’ll keep my priority areas in mind when I’m making a list in my planner, and I’ll give myself a sticker when I’m done. Yes, stickers can even motivate adults!
Does all of this make me want to haul out the major appliances and scrub-a-dub the walls? Ha. No. But it helps keep me focused on WHY I’m doing these chores. So next time I’m wiping toothpaste off the kids’ bathroom mirror I will focus on my goal. It’s not fun cleaning, but it will get me a little closer to a clean and organized home and the feeling of joy that goes with it.
Making Your Own Map
If you’ve never tried mind mapping before, I’d encourage you to try. Think of any long-term goal and then break it down bit by bit until you have a map of small steps to take to achieve your goal.
To help you rekindle your joy in 2017, I’m excited to share two hand-drawn Joy printables. I hope this post will inspire you to make your own map that leads to joy in all you do. Use it as a reminder that even the smallest tasks are getting you closer and closer to joy.