our family mantra this year.

jumpsuit.(great denim one here.) boots. similar hat. Craig’s hat. sweatshirt.

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For the past several months we’ve been remodeling our second set of stairs. The original ones were small, narrow and much too steep. In fact, they were more ladder than stairs, if you can imagine. Every single one of us had fallen down them (some multiple times), they needed to be redone. So we pulled them out, removed a wall in our living room, and opened up another wall into the laundry room, where the new rebuilt stairs will pop out. We’re also pulling some dead space from the living room and creating a pantry area in the mudroom. Doing all this has required a lot of demo, reinforcing our old floor beams in the basement, building out walls… still to do: wiring, sheetrock, tiling, flooring, building new stairs, etc. etc… Suffice it to say, it’s a rather large project.

When we start a project like this, it always feels super overwhelming, and for good reason, there’s a ton of work. Also, anytime you remodel a 230 year old house, there’s always lots of fun surprises on top. (Like discovering that the floor beams needed to be rebuilt ;-). But our family has started saying something over the last couple years and this year, we decided to make it our family mantra.

What’s a mantra and why they’re so powerful.

If you haven’t heard of it before, a mantra is in essence a motivating chant, word or phrase that you repeat to yourself, over and over. Lots of people use mantras as a part of meditation, but for me I use them to help center my mind and refocus, or overcome blocks.

Mantras are not goals. They’re kind of like daily affirmations, except more powerful, because you can use them any time you need to realign with your goals or get back on track when you’re having a rough day, to celebrate a win, or to remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.

Mantras have been incredibly powerful for me in the past, especially in managing my anxiety, and this year our family mantra has already been so effective everyday in helping all of us (especially me) realign, stay on track, celebrate our wins and remember our goals. So what is our 2021 family mantra?

Our 2021 family mantra and what it means.

Our family mantra this year is: petite á petit.

It’s a lovely little French saying that essentially means, little by little. It’s our daily reminder and encouragement, as we start the day, every time we feel overwhelmed, or anytime we have a win, that big things happen through small progress everyday, little by little. It also reminds us to celebrate small wins, because, like I said, those small wins add up to big ones.

I started using mantras several years ago, and they have been so effective for me, but honestly, I think this one might be my most powerful one yet. As a recovering perfectionist, it has been so helpful. Because it’s all about making things smaller, simplifying, and approaching goals in a more attainable way.

Little by little, you climb a mountain, develop a talent, remodel a house, build a business, raise children, change your life.

So here we are, working on this big project, breaking it down into manageable parts and small wins. Like the wall we built on Monday night! We celebrate those small wins because that’s how you learn to love life, even in the mess, even when you’re in media res. Making big things happen with joy, little by little.

That’s our family mantra for the year.

Also, we’re building a secret door into our pantry, because why not. ;-)

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