Shaking Up the Norm of Daily Life

Cleaning toilets, folding laundry, making dinner—these important but mundane routines can make a mom feel tired before she even begins the day. So spice it up!

Author Connie Sokol shares how to shake up the norm of daily life.

Create one new “ritual.” Author Alexandra Stoddard says in her book Living a Beautiful Life, “Rituals’ is my term for patterns you create in your everyday life that uplift the way you do ordinary things, so that a simple task rises to the level of something special.” So look at your daily rituals and choose one to elevate to the level of something special. Maybe it’s bedtime. Perhaps wearing soft slippers, taking a warm bath with lavender salts, or reading a quiet book for 10 minutes will shake things up in a good way. Choose one new thing that you can look forward to, and to better prepare for rest.

Beauty is in the details. We jam through the day and life is fast and about convenience, but putting nice dishes on the table with matching placemats once in a while make a difference, or bringing home beautiful flowers just because. Buy new and pretty sheets, or fresh plants, or crisp notecards to send a thank you to friends, whatever it may be. Beautify one element of your daily run around routine.

Use the “5-percent rule”. Ms. Stoddard shares that most of us spend our time and energy on special occasions rather than daily experiences. This is like in house design, how many home owners spend too much time on fancy living rooms rather than family rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms where we spend most of our living time. So put more effort into details of the 95% of our real living. Look around your home and choose one detail in each “95% living” room that could beautify it (i.e. plants, new pop piece, new paint on the wall, etc.).

I refreshed our home décor using a small budget. I eliminated big chunky furniture and replaced them with shabby chic IKEA chairs, a pop rug, and a focal armoire, etc. All were inexpensive but it changed the feel dramatically. We love being in these rooms now!

Create memories. Take a regular night/event/experience and tweak it to make a memory. One night we had a power outage, so while my son strummed the guitar I played Speed with one child while the two other kids held the flashlights, and all while we sat in front of the gas fireplace to use the firelight—so cozy!

As you look at your home and life with an eye to beautify, you’ll find small but powerful ways to bring more surprising joy and beauty to the daily routine.

Connie Sokol is a mother of seven, national presenter, former TV and radio host, and author of several books, including the newly released “Life is Too Short for Linoleum.” For tips, columns, products and podcasts, visit

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