3 Simple Steps to Sanity

Do you ever find yourself leaning hard into your to-do list with the thought, “If I’m a diligent, striving workhorse I’ll get it all done.”? Only to realize day, after day, after day, “I’ll never be DONE!!!”?

I know my inner workhorse made me act that way! Fortunately, my powerful, positive girlfriends guided me away from the edge of that mental cliff and lead me to a breakthrough moment. “I’ll never be done.” Period. (Not triple exclamation point!!!)

The time line of life is flowing and continuous not daily start and finish lines so if you want to experience a relaxed, daily ease rather than racing to an imaginary finish line it’s best to align with time.

Gently step away from your mental cliff and flow with time by following these 3 simple steps to sanity.

  1. First, rehearse this mantra when you wake up in the morning, “I honor myself by limiting the amount of work I do in a day.”
  2. Second, ask yourself, “what would be fun today?”
  3. Third, choose the three tasks you will complete today and write them down. Do not add one (or ten!) more.

Beginning your day with a reminder of what you deserve opens your mind and allows you to live in greater flow without so much workhorse attitude. Identifying your fun reward is like letting yourself taste the carrot before you cross the finish line and is a positive motivator. Writing your tasks down and crossing them off gives you a sense of accomplishment, which is the root of what many of us are seeking.

Rather than expecting yourself to run the daily race with no carrots give yourself a break. Let go of too-high expectations and make life work for you instead of the other way around.

Want a bonus? Here’s my special secret…

I write my daily to-do’s on the back of old business cards. It helps my list stay short and I get that accomplishment high every day just by throwing it away. Can you imagine feeling great at the end of your day instead of burnt out? I hope so!

Now I’m curious about you…

What three tasks will you cross-off today AND what will you do for fun?

As always, thank you for reading and joining in. I look forward to seeing you in the comments below!

With smiles,



  • Annalicia Niemela says:

    LOVE the idea of writing your to do list on an old business card/something small. My to-do lists tend to be entire sheets of paper! 🙂 Great tip…thanks, Samantha!!

  • jill goldstein says:

    What a powerful article, I just love it. Such a great system to live by. Thank you for sharing this fabulous information.

  • Senia Tuominen, LAc says:

    I sometimes make a list of three things, the three that I hate to do and am forcing myself to get done today. I like the idea of writing down three that sound fun. I’m going to try it!

  • Nicki Lakanen says:

    My “To Do” list attempts to end my life almost every day. The stress of the thought, “I’m never going to get all this done and that means I’ll find very little time to enjoy something fun” was exhausting me, until I read this post. LOVE it so much, thank you!

    • Samantha says:

      Ooh, I know that stress. Fun first, getting stuff done is a result of enjoying life not vice versa!
      (Isn’t it interesting how the list is never done? That’s why we gotta tame IT so it doesn’t tame US.)

  • WindSong says:

    Well, for me I have no lists!! If I cannot keep them nicely in my mind, then I know I have to much to do! Which very seldom happens! I truly dislike lists!

  • Audrey W says:

    Sounds like a good way to use my left-over business cards now that I’ve retired. Thank you!

    Along the same lines, here’s something that I find helpful:

    In the midst of an activity, I occasionally ask myself, “Is this really how I want to spend this hour (…or 1/2 hour, or 15 minutes, etc.)?” Sometimes the answer is yes….other times, I stop what I’m doing and take a new direction.

    • Samantha says:

      Love that you have no need for biz cards anymore – you deserve it! Thanks for sharing your question, what a great way to enjoy small present moments!

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