The Effortless Everyday : How to design your daily life to free up time and energy for what really matters by Katie Lee is an inspiring, yet simple to achieve with some dedication thrown in there type of book. I loved it, and I know all of you mothers will, too!
Katie Lee is a Lifestyle Designer, author, speaker, and Super Woman in my book! I totally admire the work she does, as it not only changes her own life but helps countless women figure out who they want to be and what they want in their own lives.
Check out my interview with Katie Lee here:
Images shared from theeffortleseveryday.com and Katie Lee
I don't know how it happened, but about a year ago I thankfully found out about the Small Change Project that Katie Lee coordinates. She encourages her followers on Instagram to make one small change a day. She started a challenge in January 2015 and I've done it every single day since then. It's been amazing! I'll share my experience with that in another blog post. It was only natural then that when Katie was looking for people to review her upcoming book that I'd volunteer and be ELATED when she chose me as one to send a PDF copy of the book to so I could get a sneak peak! The book was free, but all of my ideas here are my own, as you know that I am ALWAYS honest with you, mommas!
(Note: I typically refer to authors by their last name, but I'm just going to put it out there that I'll be referring to this author as Katie, because that's how it feels when you read her book... she's like a friend, guiding you toward what you know you want and what is right, better for your life. She's someone you can trust and talk to, listen to and really take her advice.)
This is a book you will LOVE. It's short and easy to read, so you can get through it during the kids' nap times or while waiting at soccer practice. Or better yet, complete an act from our #momMEchallenge and take some time for YOU to sit and read something that is ultimately going to make your life happier, healthier and easier, more organized even.
I love the writing style - simple, sassy and thought-provoking. I love the ideas - again simple (that's what we mothers want, right?!) and manageable. I really believe this book and Katie Lee's ideas can be life-changing. I've seen it happen for me even with just the Small Change Project, so I know these bigger ideas in the book will certainly create a more positive everyday for women. I love that!
Katie begins by writing that she wrote this book to help you, women, figure out "who you're meant to be." (page 12)
Her goal with the ideas in this book is ultimately that you find more time to do the things you love, need, and want in your life. Who doesn't want more time? Particularly moms, we never have enough time to do things for ourselves, let alone in our homes or with families. If we could gain more time in the home with family AND for ourselves - that would be the ideal world. Sounds too good to be true? Nope. Honestly, I read this book through the lens of a mother, knowing that many moms automatically feel like NO way I could never even read this book, never make any changes in my life, I have zero time left or energy to do that. But I'm telling you that after reading the book and trying some of the ideas, I've found more time. It works! I promise!
(Note: If you're a brand new mother to a newborn or going through a sickness phase: now is not the time to make these changes, only because I'm afraid if you try and then don't have the energy to dedicate toward them like you know you'll want to, you'll give up too easily. Wait a few months until your life has settled in, but don't wait too long like when your baby is all grown up, you CAN use this book in your child's first year of life to make your life easier, I promise!)
"Through the changes you'll make to your own life, you'll stretch time, gain abundance and have the mental clarity to keep moving forward on your own path. You will no longer feel that constant nagging voice of 'there's never enough time!' You'll feel like you have enough, do enough and are enough. Plus, you'll know there is plenty to go around. You'll know exactly what it takes to move towards a life that lights you up." (page 13)
Katie encourages, guides, and paves the way for you to make serious changes in your life that you know you've been wanting to change all along, yet didn't know how to start. She said the definition of "effortless" is certainly something you have to figure out for yourself, there is no one definition for everybody. It may change, too, as the phases of our lives change, which is definitely true as a mother. What's effortless for a mom with a newborn is not the same as what's effortless for a mom with three kids who are in grade school. The point is that "Effortless" is something we CAN and should achieve!
"Because girl, you weren't born just to 'get through' life. There is so much more to your precious life than that. But it's hiding under an inefficient routine, patronizing self-talk, a triggering environment and misguided mindsets." (page 13)
Three key ideas in this book that I think all of us need to remember are that:
- The way it is is not the way it has to be.
- Your everyday life makes up your whole life.
- Life takes practice.
The way things are is not how it always has to remain. Just because you're exhausted and never finding time to exercise since you had your baby, doesn't mean you can't find or make the time to start walking. Just because the kids are up all night and you're so tired you can't function in the mornings so there is no way you could come up with a better system in the kitchen for making meals, doesn't mean it has to stay that way until the kids are sleeping again. You could make small, tiny, little changes that would yield BIG results.
The way you do your every single day, the little moments, well, that is how you are spending your entire life. Because this is what we get, right? We get each day and that's it. We don't know what's in the future. We have today. Sounds cliche, yes, but it's the hard truth. So the way you do your daily routine, the way you talk to people, scroll online aimlessly, read or don't read, exercise or not, etc. is how you're spending your life. Is it the way you want it? Are you doing the things you want to do?
Most often as mothers, the answer is yes, sure, I'm a mom, so my life is supposed to be all about the kids right now. Well, yes, that's particularly true when they are little... but there is no Parenting Rule Book that says you have to give up yourself in order to be a great mother. In fact, you know I've preached on this blog that in order to be the best mom you can be with more energy, more patience, more time to just play and be a fun mother, you HAVE to put time into yourself. That is the whole point of the #momMEchallenge.
I love Katie's idea that life takes practice. We need to continually improve and get better at how we're living, or else we'll be in a rut, doing things that aren't working for us.
It's about starting somewhere. Taking that first step. Diving in. Because you deserve it.
In this book, Katie explains that the first part is figuring out why you want to make some changes. Then it's about digging deep- really figuring out what you want, what's working and what isn't - and then cleaning up - getting yourself cleaned up and organized.
My favorite part of this book is in chapter 3 where Katie digs deeper into the notion that "I just don't have enough time." I love this, because I'm a firm believer that "You have time for what you MAKE time for." I've always said this since I was in high school. I say it myself, "Oh, I have no time, I'm so busy," sure, we all do. But it drives me nuts when we say that because yes, of course we're all busy. My busy is different from your busy, but we're all busy. Finding the time for ourselves and living the life we want to live NEEDS to be a priority. If you don't have time to read this whole book in one sitting (like you totally should!) then start with chapter 3, it's SO crucial to explaining the rest and figuring out that yes, you can find more time.
Some other specific ideas in the second half of the book that I just love:
- Say NO more often. Don't do it all. Katie gives you ideas on how to do this. Just what busy moms need!
- Take care of your body. Specific how-tos on how to feel healthier, such as drink more water than you're drinking now. No gimics, just facts on how to feel better physically.
- Ask for help. Delegate. Speak about what you need help with and don't do it all yourself.
- Lose the guilty feelings. Chapter 6 was written for mothers, I swear. It's the dreaded G-word: Guilt. Mama Guilt is a real thing. I hear so often of moms worried they aren't spending enough money, time, focus on their babies. That they refuse to take date night out with their partner because they "should" be home with their kids. That they can't hang out with girlfriends because that's being selfish. I always think this is ridiculous, when did we stop being WOMEN when we started being Moms? It's OK to lose that guilt. I love this chapter encouraging you to do so.
- Be aware of your emotions. I love this idea and it's really worked for me! On page 111, Katie explains that one way to start figuring out what changes you really need/want to make is to pay attention to how you feel in various environments, rooms in the house, moments in your day.
"You've got to make room for what you want. The world will happily fill up your life with what everyone else wants. Most of our inboxes and schedules are full of other people's agendas. You are in charge of your life, so it's up to you to decide where your time goes. If you don't decide, other people will decide for you." (page 207)
To me, living effortlessly everyday is how I live during the summer months... so I'm going to reflect on what works in the summer, what's the best, and how I can translate those things into my everyday the rest of the year.
Great ideas in this book. Words to live by. I really hope you join me in following Katie's journey and suggestions. She is awesome! I know you will agree.
"An effortless everyday. More time, more energy, more inner peace. Your goal is to give yourself and your day the greatest chance for your definition of success. To remove all excess barriers to greatness and to clean out the toxic emotions along the way... On a grander scale, the goal is to have your daily life get closer and closer to matching what you believe and what you're trying to achieve. The point is to make everything else you do in life easier. The goal is to give you the greatest chance for success in anything you attempt going forward." (page 172)
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