I’ve always been the type to learn by trial and error… so essentially everything I’m even slightly good at was, at some point, something I failed at (potentially many times)!
It’s sort of humbling to think of things that way!
As is often the case, most of the skills I have today are a direct result of years of “practice” and lots of trial and error — or maybe I’m the only one that has to try and try and try before something finally “clicks”!
Everything from cleaning and organizing, to meal planning and freezer cooking — parenting, blogging, decorating, budgeting, home management, etc. etc. are all skills I’ve practiced over and over and over and over throughout my life…
And although practice doesn’t make “perfect” as the familiar saying promises, practice definitely makes it a lot easier!
Let me give you a few examples from my own life.
COOKING A HOT BREAKFAST:
I get SO many emails and questions about the fact that I manage to serve a hot breakfast to my entire family (at 3 different times throughout the morning) every single day. They want to know how I do it, what foods I serve, how I make the timing work, how I get my kids to eat fast enough, how I keep the foods hot, etc. etc.
I completely understand how this might feel overwhelming for someone who has never tried to cook a hot breakfast or for someone who is NOT a morning person; however, it’s never been an issue for me because I’ve done it for so long.
I always made a hot breakfast before our kids were school age, and as they started school and needed to leave the house earlier, I’ve just shifted and adapted my routine a little each year to accommodate the new schedule.
Hot breakfasts might not be something I do forever and ever, but for now, my family appreciates them, I enjoy making them, and after so many years of practice, I have a solid routine down that allows me to get hot food in bellies each morning with very minimal effort.
Practice makes hot breakfasts (and all kitchen endeavors) so much easier!
KEEPING OUR HOUSE CLUTTER FREE:
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone make an excuse for the reason their home wasn’t as neat or as organized or as clutter-free as they’d like it to be, I’m pretty sure Dave could quit his job!
I always just smile and nod… but in my head, I’m thinking “you just need to practice more and it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming.”
Of course, I never say that — but it’s true!
I have had hours and hours and HOURS of practice cleaning, organizing, and decluttering different spaces — all the way back to when I was very young, living with my parents. Obviously, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed, which makes it so much easier for me to WANT to practice this particular skill; however, the fact that I’ve put in the time to regularly and consistently practice this skill makes keeping my home organized (and sharing about it on my blog) so much easier!
Practice makes continual decluttering (and all home maintenance) so much easier!
RUNNING AN AT-HOME BUSINESS WITH CHILDREN:
When I first started my organizing business and blog, I was working full time with no children. I did everything for my business in my spare time (which I had a lot of back then!) and eventually worked it to the point where I quit my full-time job in favor of a part-time flexible job with the same company.
Over time, that company turned into one of my Virtual Assistant clients as I began having children and decided I was only willing to work from home.
It was a HUUUUUUUGE learning curve for me to figure out how to best structure my day and prioritize my children, my house work, and my computer work… but after lots and lots of practice (and trial and error) I feel like I have a good routine that allows me to accomplish everything I need to accomplish each day with plenty of time for my family and home responsibilities.
I need to tweak and adjust my routine on a regular basis as my life and family and clients continue to adjust and change — however, continual practice makes it all possible!
Practice makes running an at-home business with children so much easier!
GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE WITH CHILDREN:
I can vividly remember the very first time I took Nora to the grocery store as an infant — she screamed the entire time and I ended up abandoning my half-full shopping cart to head home.
It was a nightmare — and honestly, I think it “scared” me for a long time. I was so sure running errands with young children was life’s worst punishment that I simply vowed I wouldn’t do it anymore. I would just wait until Dave was home, wake up early, go out after they were sleeping, etc. etc.
However, then I ended up with 4 children and way too many to-do’s to accomplish them all when others were sleeping (I like to sleep too)!
I told myself it couldn’t be THAT horrible… and after several years of practice, I can happily report that I have taken all FOUR kiddos out and about more times this past year than I can recall. We’ve gone to the grocery store, various thrift stores, the doctor, the dentist, the kids’ school, various play groups, the mall (I know… I’m crazy!), various fast food restaurants, random community events, on bike rides and walks, to garage sales, to church functions, and more — all on my own!
Of course, sometimes I leave Clara home, and other times Dave and I take the kids out together, but many times I’m all on my own and it doesn’t even feel stressful anymore! Dave has even mentioned how impressed he is with my willingness to take all 4 kids to so many different places.
Practice makes getting out of the house with children so much easier!
JUST A FEW MORE:
- Meal planning
- Freezer cooking
- Eating more nutritiously
- Implementing routines (laundry routines, bedtime routines, etc.) into our daily lives
- Playing the piano for Sunday School
The more I do these things, the better I get at them, the more confident I feel in my abilities, and the the easier they feel.
I still don’t think practice makes “perfect” but I’m a firm believer that practice makes almost everything easier!
So… if there’s something you wish you were better at, something you wish was easier for you, something you wish you enjoyed more, my simple tip for today is PRACTICE IT!
Force yourself to take 10-20 minutes today and do something to practice that skill — whatever it may be.
Then do it again tomorrow, or at least in a few days again!
It won’t happen overnight, but soon enough, you WILL begin to notice a difference. You might never hit “perfect” but you’ll be better off than you are right now.
What skills have you improved due to lots and lots and lots of practice?
Or, what area would you like to improve in?
One area Dave and I could use some practice in is taking our kids on vacation. It’s currently very overwhelming for us to even think about, but I have no doubt a little practice will make this feel so much easier!
We have a few different friends and relatives with multiple young children who travel CONSTANTLY. They have their systems and routines down, they know exactly what to pack (and what not to pack), they know where to go, who to contact, etc. etc. and they promise me it’s actually a fun and enjoyable experience.
I’ll get back to you in a few years when I’m ready to practice this skill more! 🙂