As someone who’s borderline obsessed with happiness and wellbeing, I was intrigued to read about a nationwide survey that measures people’s happiness and how well they live. I’ll link to the actual study at the end, but here are some of the highlights, along with my own observations.
Better sleep is the biggest single contributor to living better. Over 60 percent of the group who came out as living very well felt rested most or all of the time after sleep – but less than five percent of the group who were struggling with life felt this way.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that sleep has the strongest association with how well we feel we are living. My happiness levels absolutely increase or decrease in proportion to my quality of sleep. This study revealed that getting a good night’s sleep would be the equivalent to having four times as much disposable income!
If you’re a sleep deprived mama reading this in despair, hang on – here’s some good news: Perhaps surprisingly, the study found that families with young children are living best. They found a positive impact on wellbeing for parents of children under five years old, when parenting can be at its most intense. The value of parenthood and the stronger social bonds that tend to feature at this life stage outweighed the lack of sleep and financial pressures also associated with having young children, resulting in higher-than-average Living Well scores. There you go! [more]
Happy Birthday to Project Meeeee! Four years old now!
Since the launch of www.myprojectme.com in September 2013, I’ve pressed publish on 118 blog posts. Most of them are timeless and every bit as relevant to a busy mother now as the day they were written. Rather than missives about my life, I always aim to write about topics that will inspire you or help to solve a problem. I often share how I’ve overcome a struggle you’ll relate to and when I don’t know something, I call in some expert advice. I absolutely love connecting with you in the comments beneath the blog posts and some of the best discussions and aha’s happen there.
I want to continue to write about topics that will help you across the 8 Key Areas of your Project Me Life Wheel®, so I warmly invite you to fill in this questionnaire about what kinds of posts you’d like to read about in the Project Me blog and newsletters, as well as which social media channels you use (if any) and a bit about yourself.
And, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE prizes / competitions (and celebrating birthdays), I’m going to give everyone who completes this questionnaire a chance to win some great goodies![more]
I’m beyond excited to announce that my book, Project Me for Busy Mothers: A Practical Guide to Finding a Happier Balance is now available for Amazon pre-sale order!
Without an epidural or morphine, birthing this book has been a looooong, drawn out and somewhat painful process. And the actual due date isn’t until the 25th of January!
But like all newborns, once they’re safety delivered into the world, the labour pains are soon replaced with pride and joy. Of course newborn babies aren’t subject to Amazon reviews, so there could be more pain to come!
I’ve been more heavily involved in the cover art, inside layout, design and graphics than I ever expected. but it’s all coming together beautifully now.
Many of you Project Me mamas have played a BIG part in this book by answering my questionnaires, joining my on-line programmes, attending my live workshops and retreats, working with me one to one, and commenting under blog and social media posts. You’re weaved into the pages of this book, making it yours as much as mine.
My publisher tells me that pre-sale orders are super important and help push the book up the search engine ranks, as well as giving book shops an indication of how many copies to order.
I used to begin each summer with a fresh sense of optimism. But it wouldn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. I soon grew tired of feeling like the chief entertainer / housekeeper / cook and negotiator. My kids began to tune out my nagging voice, especially my half-hearted attempts to get them off electronics. Or to read, do summer homework or help out around the house.
I finally figured out that I needed a summer strategy. A game plan going in so I could navigate the school break without losing my marbles. And you know what? It works! My summers keep getting better and better. And I’m pretty sure my kids feel the same way. I mean who wouldn’t prefer to hang with a happy mama?!
Whether you’ve got a full summer schedule of plans, travels or activities to organise OR you work and need to figure out how to balance it all OR you want to free-style your summer days and play it all by ear, it’s worth getting clear about what you want out of summer for yourself and your kids.
That’s why I’ve created the Summer Strategy Kit – 24 gorgeous printables to help you cruise through the summer months without losing your cool too often.
Here’s a little glimpse of some of the printables for YOU…[more]
Would you like to feel extra special on Mother’s Day instead of it being the same as any other day? Wish your family would make some kind of effort towards making you feel loved and appreciated?
Since I became a mother 17 years ago I’ve had a few bummer Mother’s Days – especially when we were living in Spain and nobody knew which day to celebrate, so it just didn’t happen at all.
Now EVERY Mother’s Day equals extra hugs, homemade cards, breakfast in bed, lunch out and a day off from cooking and clearing up. YESSSS!!!!
Okay – listen closely. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you have a Mother’s Day filled with whatever would make you feel extra special. [more]
Thank you for reading my blog! I’ve compiled a list with easy links to the top six most popular blog posts written in 2016 in case you missed any of them or want to re-read. The comment threads beneath these posts are worth gold. Thanks to everyone who jumped in with their own words of wisdom or shared their struggles. It helps us to see that we’re not alone and inspires us to take action.
I’m over the moon to hear how Project Me has improved mother’s lives in so many amazing ways. I welled up with tears as I read hundreds of responses to my Autumn survey.
I asked permission to print some, like this one from Lisa:
“I do the Life Wheel tool quarterly, and encourage my girlfriends to do the same. A couple years back when I saw that my work area was very low (as a stay at home mom), I made the decision to get my Master’s in Education. I graduated in May and am now working with English Language Learners. I am so very fulfilled helping and empowering my students.” That put such a HUGE smile on my face! GO LISA!
And this from Lauren:
“I had completely lost my voice – I had no idea who I was as a person. The Project Me Life Wheel was the first tool that actually helped me organize my thoughts and my fears in a way that was empowering rather than overwhelming. It helped me pick one thing to focus on improving. Once a month I plan on doing a check in with the Project Me Life Wheel so I don’t get so anxious again.” Well done Lauren! Monthly check-ins are the key to becoming the expert of yourself so you can learn from what’s not working and do more of what is.
There are too many to include here, but I send a huge FIST PUMP to each and every one of you for all big and small steps in the right direction. YES! Keep going!
Now without further ado – drum roll please…[more]
Here I am, turning the big 5-OH and I’m excited to ring in a new decade of life. I’m a firm believer that age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!
I’m intrigued to explore what birthday-lovers have that birthday-dreaders don’t.
After all, growing older is inevitable. Getting old is optional.
It’s all about your mindset.
I remember several of my friends getting freaked out about turning 30. Those same friends now look back at photos from that time and can’t get over how young they looked! If only they’d appreciated it at the time.
It’s time to start appreciating the age you are now. When you look in the mirror, take a mental snapshot and imagine looking at it again when you’re 80. You’ll think you looked a million bucks – because you do.
About 10 years ago I read Deepak Chorpra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: A Practical Alternative to Growing Old. He lays down scientific evidence to show the mind-body connection to ageing. When you think old, your cells respond and begin deteriorating faster! Doesn’t that inspire you to change your mindset about ageing? Your thoughts create your reality!
Here are my top 6 tips to hep you feel young and stop dreading your birthday.
Long summer breaks can be a bag of mixed emotions. On the one hand there’s sweet freedom from early morning starts, rushing and routines. Eating breakfast in your PJs, lunch and dinner whenever anyone’s hungry. No homework hassles or chauffeuring to after-school clubs and activities.
On the flip-side, you’re on full-time mama duty. Your normal daily schedule’s thrown totally out of whack and you’re missing that vital me time. You get tired of your own nagging voice and by the time school starts again you’re practically burning rubber at the school gates.
A few years ago I decided not to let the summer holidays feel like a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. I broke out my notebook and created a strategy for my Best Summer Yet.
And it worked! Getting clear about what I actually wanted was the key to guiding it in the right direction. It’s become an annual ritual and my summers keep getting better and better.[more]
Kids say the funniest things.
Once your child starts talking, they never cease to come up with questions and comments that crack you up.
You might think you’ll remember this stuff, but there’s a good chance you won’t.
My boys are teenagers now and I’m kicking myself for not keeping a family book of quotes much earlier.
I used to say, ‘I’m going to write that in my book of quotes!’ as a joke, but I never got around to actually doing it until they were six and nine.
Better late than never! Our family book of quotes is a source of great amusement to me and I turn to it whenever I could use a good giggle.[more]
I’m thrilled that Project Me has made a great list of 25 Must-Read Personal Development Blogs, especially given that I share the bill with one of my personal faves, Gretchen Rubin.
Gretchen first came onto my radar several years ago with her book The Happiness Project. She’s as fascinated with happiness, human behaviour and habits as I am!
I once spent five consecutive days sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, surreptitiously observing and writing down where people chose to sit and which magazines they shuffled through. The following week I did a similar same thing in a cafe.
Before you assume I’m some kind of weirdo, It was for my sociology class at university.
Gretchen’s latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives, explores how habits affect your life in both good and bad ways. She uses herself, her friends and her family as guinea pigs to test out various theories, which makes it more fun to read than the other books on habits I’ve delved into – and never quite finished…
I especially love her Four Tendencies framework to help people understand how they tend to respond to expectations, both inner and external.
As a productivity and goals coach for mothers, it’s useful for me to understand if the person I’m working with needs my accountability (ie: a kick up her backside to make sure she follows through!), or if she’ll rebel against that and needs to do things her own way. Others respond better to lots of useful information. Once they have the facts, they make decisions they trust.
Since we’re all different, self-understanding is the key to reaching our goals and mastering our habits.
You can take Gretchen’s online quiz to find out [more]
I recently had the pleasure of attending an inspirational talk in Madrid by Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and author of the wonderful book ‘Thrive’.
The subject of her talk was one very close to my heart: Balance & Mindfulness.
When she asked if anyone had any questions, my hand shot up. Before I knew what was happening, a microphone was thrust into my hand and I was told to stand up and introduce myself.
I’m a huge admirer of Arianna, so my face burned and heart raced, but I believe it went something like:
Hi Arianna, I’m Kelly Pietrangeli of Project Me for Busy Mothers and I help women find a happier balance between the kids – and everything else. (Whew! All of those months of memorising my ‘cocktail line’ paid off!)
My busy mother readers and clients all say the same thing:
‘My to-do list is never ending! There are never enough hours in the day to get it all done.’
They go to bed feeling exhausted and guilty for everything they haven’t managed to get done.
Arianna, what would you say to the mother with the never-ending to-do list?
There’s always going to be your to-do list. But you also need a gratitude list. Every single day, write at least three things you’re feeling grateful for.
The more gratitude you have for all of the people and things you have in your life, the more grace you’ll extend yourself for not ‘getting it all done’. Focus on what you achieved each night before bed, not on what you didn’t manage to do.
Of course, this made my heart sing, and if you’ve been following Project Me for any length of time you’ll know that I’m always banging on about gratitude as a daily practice.
How often do you sit down with a pen and paper, do a little assessment of the different areas of your life and see what needs some planning or figuring out?
Maybe you need a strategy for organising your home, getting into a fitness routine, having more fun with your partner or friends, or doing more things just for you? Family life may flow easier if you spend a little time creating some written rules or charts so you can stop the nagging. Perhaps you have a business idea swirling around in your head, but you never take the time to explore it properly?
When you’re constantly caught up in the day to day whirlwind of life, you fall into bed every night without any chance for planning or reflection. Then the next morning you start the whole crazy routine all over again! That’s why this date with yourself is so important.
It’s too easy to spend your downtime getting sucked into social media or mindlessly surfing the web. Having a monthly Project Me Date With Yourself will help you feel more organised and on top of life. You’ll become a pro problem solver and the expert of you and your family.
Once you get on top of the day to day stuff, you’ll have more headspace to dig deeper into your goals, dreams and future plans. You’ll get to know yourself better and understand what brings out your best version of you.
So, when’s that first date with yourself going to be?
In the comments below share your take-aways from this post. When are you going to schedule it in that first hot date with yourself?
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I’m passionate about helping you find a happier balance. Take this free gift – and let me know how it works for you.