tips and ideas for moms to stay out of survival mode, leave the chaos behind, live with intention and purpose

Finding purpose amongst the overwhelm of life

Encouragement for the overwhelmed mom, find your purpose and passion

Harried? Hurried? Hectic?

Yeah. Me too. Back in 2014 when Crystal Paine first published her book “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” I knew I was going to need her advice as I just loved her first book “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.” This year I decided to re-read it as we are going into the New Year. It motivated and reminded me of her great tips for getting out of that feeling as if I am just going through the motions each day.

Tips to overcome the overwhelm in life and at home, ideas to help moms get and stay out of survival mode
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Three years ago when I first read “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode”, I was expecting our second son and working full time, life was hectic, to say the least. This book, much like her first, was a no-nonsense book filled with common sense advice about living life to its fullest and saying goodbye to feeling like we are just getting by.

Crystal gives sage advice like getting to bed on time and saying “no” to extraneous activities that don’t align with your life’s priorities. Sometimes, I feel that advice like this is easier said than done. Similar to “spend less than you make” in a finance book; or “eat less sugar” in a dieting book – we all know these things but actually sticking to it day in and day out when life gets busy and stressful is another matter entirely.

Tips to overcome the overwhelm in life and at home

As a wannabe minimalist, I love reading about how ruthless Crystal is in her decluttering. If you have read any of her books or blog posts you know that she is passionate about constantly keeping clutter at bay. When she and her husband were living on one income in a tiny basement apartment, she would hold garage sales on a regular basis as her kids outgrown items.

I am terrible about garage sales, I end up with boxes of items hanging out in the closet or garage just waiting for the “perfect” time to hold one…which of course never happens. Instead, I have had better luck with regular trips to the consignment store so that I don’t have to wait for good weather or until I have a ton of items ready to go.

Tips to overcome the overwhelm in life and at home
These notes I took when I first read this book has lived on my fridge for past 3 years

The entire third chapter of the book is dedicated to setting SMART goals, again if you have read any of her blog posts over on “Money Saving Mom” you know that she is a very goal-oriented and driven woman. I wish I had a fraction of her resolve and persistence! Personally, I would lose my head if it weren’t attached…it’s probably wherever my car keys are hiding!

I have set so many goals over the years only to proceed to lose the paper it was scribbled on. A lot of that has to do with why I decided to set up this blog. It’s a lot harder to lose a website! Plus I feel like (or just really hope) there must be more people out there trying to go through this journey of life without losing all our post-it notes full of amazing ideas and goals.

Habits instead of Goals

For me, I have found that establishing habits has been a game changer over just setting grandiose goals that take so much time, dedication, sacrifice, and discipline. Small steady steps each day to establish routines so I don’t have to think of all the tedious chores that need to happen

Crystal’s top tips for saying goodbye to survival mode include:

  1. Stop trying to do it all
  2. Say yes to the best
  3. Set SMART goals
  4. Practice discipline
  5. Be intentional with your bank account
  6. Manage the home front
  7. Make a difference in your community and world
  8. It’s OK for things to be all about you sometimes

Passion and Purpose

I got so much more out of reading this book a second time. One section that really stood out to me this time around was when she talked about making a difference in our community and around the world. One quote that really stuck out to me was: “Our lives are not just about us and how we manage our time, organize our priorities, and live each day with passion and purpose. It’s also about looking for a need and finding a way to fill it.” (pg. 179). It reminded me of one of my favorite Margaret Mead quotes:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

A lot of what Crystal said in this book resonated so much with me the first time I read this back in 2014. I knew that with the New Year upon us, this month was the perfect time to re-read this book and glean more information from it.

There is more to life than just barely surviving, we aren’t meant to just keep our heads above water. We have more to offer than just that. Hopefully through this blog, and journaling about my process through these murky waters of life, I can help and inspire you and others to rise up out of survival mode and actually live our best lives full of intention.

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