I was listening to a radio program this weekend on the topic of happiness. The host mentioned that research indicates that people are happier when they focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses. So rather than always trying to improve themselves or work on their inadequacies, happy people spend time and energy and focus on what IS working in their lives.
Not earth shattering news — kind of common sense, but it hit me differently as I drove my car down the road on Saturday.
This happiness theory is supported by the truth that whatever you focus on expands. In short, if you focus on the bad you get more bad, if you focus on the good you get more good.
I decided to apply this law of the universe to our homeschool.
Our first couple of weeks of homeschooling have been a little rough and a little tough, and I am always rethinking what I could do better and how we need to improve. But now, rather than focus on what I need to do better as a homeschool mom, I am going to recognize and focus on what we are doing well.
So I started a “What Went Well” journal.
It’s kind of like a gratitude journal.
At the end of the day I reflect on what went well in our homeschool that day. I try to notice little moments, small successes, often overlooked, taken-for-granted tasks, click moments that I want to remember, and anything that made me happy.
Here are some excerpts from my 2-day journal:
We laughed together.
I was flexible with our responsibilities.
The kids made up a game and played together.
We had a gospel discussion at lunch.
Elle and Crew did flashcards together and had a good time.
All the bathrooms got cleaned.
Kids gathered around the globe excitedly to learn about explorers expeditions.
We used our new “white board” (our sliding glass door!)
I think a “What Went Well” journal would be great for motherhood too. Often, as mothers, we only remember the times we yelled, games we missed, or traditions we didn’t start. We remember the meal we burned vs. the 20 we didn’t. We remember our mistakes way more than we remember our successes.
Sometimes, as mothers, we forget that we were actually pretty great moms most of the day. We were definitely better than we were worse.
We may have …
made a healthy breakfast
nursed an owie
watched a flip on the tramp
read a story
snuggled on the couch
helped with homework
responded with gentleness the first 5 times
provided clean clothes
got them to practice on time
listened to them recount every detail of their dreams
So write down WHAT WENT WELL today. So you can remember. So your children can remember.
And so that we can all be happier.