My Simple Little Manifesto

Manifesto is a big word and probably not suited to what this is. Still, this is what I called it when I wrote it down about four months ago.

Four months ago I was looking at two things: 1) I was about to write a book and would be insanely busy and 2) my life and house needed some serious organization and scheduling. I knew I couldn’t tackle the house/life like I wanted with a book project happening, so…

I made myself a little manifesto of simple do-able goals I could do —  to give me the feeling that I was making progress.

The little things matter, I was pretty sure. So my simple little manifesto is a simple little list of simple little things that make a big, big difference in my outlook.

Here’s what I decided to do. Some are daily and some are not. Some may make you seriously question my sanity and my prior habits, but I’m willing to put it out there if you’re willing to not judge me for it. ;)

  • change out of my barn clothes right after the morning milking (instead of later on in the day)
  • shower more often and get a hair cut
  • eat regularly (I tend to skip meals when I’m busy)
  • exercise 2 to 3 times per week
  • read for pleasure
  • declutter for 10 minutes every day
  • give thanks for 5 things each day
  • go to bed with a clean(er) kitchen

I have not done them all. I still skip meals and I have not read for pleasure yet. Also, the kitchen is not often clean-clean before bed each night, though it is more tidy overall.

I have been doing the rest of the things pretty regularly. And they made a bigger difference than even I expected. Especially the first one, changing out of my barn clothes sooner rather than later. ;)

What simple little tasks do you give yourself each day to keep your head in the game and your spirits up?

Read all posts in the Project: Live Organized series. This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. I completely understand. I’m no where near as busy as you are, yet my life has become somewhat of a disorganized mess in the past year. I still have some easter decorations up. :( I’ve been doing what I can and sticking with the basics – but as you know the basics don’t cover the dirty bathrooms, unvaccumed rugs, decluttering, ect. I’ve been putting my health first for little while. Try not to get upset at the messes and know that I can’t do any of it if I’m not healthy. Things I try to do everyday – baths (this is a huge one for me. I’ll often take 1-3 very long very hot baths with a favorite novel) That’s right – lots of hours spent in the bath. Also I try to put on ‘real clothes’ at some point even if it’s just for an hour – instead of comfy house clothes, clean the kitchen just to make it nice to use the next day, feed my family, try and connect with my kids (they are getting older and more distant.) :( So those are my things.

  2. Kristi via Facebook says:

    the big difference came in my life when I said GOD you order my day and make it all work out and I got to steppin’ no time for messin’ with the lists etc.

  3. Carol Oliver says:

    I can’t remember the quote exactly, but it goes something like this…..insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different results. That has been me when it comes to doing my desk work. I want to stay on top of it, but I always seem to leave it for last and I barely keep my head above water. This summer for about two weeks God managed to keep me home, but unable to do any housework. Which left me with my desk work. Needless to say I began to see my desk. It made me realize that with His help I needed to do something different. One thing I realized that I was always going, I mean literally going somewhere. So I removed somethings from my, I thought I need to do list, and worked it out to stay at home one day a week. I’m very careful not to plan anything on that day. Unless I feel the Lord is telling me otherwise. High on this list on this day is desk work. I’ve had to pencil it in. The next challenge I’m having is that I have to have everything done before doing my desk work. Meaning the kitchen cleaned, wash going etc…which left me little time at my desk again last week. So I think I’ve got to get over having my house in a perfect state before working on my desk work. If I have time afterwards I’m able to do the rest of the stuff on this day. I know God will help me and has, but I want to stop repeating the same craziness and began to see progress.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Wardee. I was beginning to think you were a bonafide superwoman. You should do a video in your barn clothes someday! Declutter 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference.

  5. You sound like you are a Flybaby. Are you?

  6. Jan — Me? No! :-) That is too structured for me. *I think*

  7. Hi Wardee and all,
    thanks for sharing this. I understand about the little things – changing the chores clothes out, for one. :) (for me, in the winter, it’s also to not wear sweats all the time!)

    I like the thoughts about giving it to God, and I totally agree. We ask for His help and do what we can with the expectation that He will (IS) directing & guiding us, and being open to whatever He might have.

    I’m struggling to find that balance in my life. Especially as I start a new venture. I’ve been putting my “home chores” (garden, cooking, cleaning) on the back burner and even making some sacrifices (buying store-bought tortillas, for example) to make things a bit easier for myself. I think He is trying to tell me I need to re-adjust my time-schedule.

    I am able to read when I do back therapy (I have to either watch part of a movie or read – to distract myself). In fact, I have put Netflix on “hold” so that I WILL read more (always behind on reading I want to do). And I want to do more exercising – walking.

    I like the giving thanks idea. Do you journal that, Wardee? Hmmm, I am thinking I might want to do just that. Thanks for the idea! :)

  8. The thing that helped me most in recent months was not to be mean to myself, to stop feeling guilty about being sick and tired.

    I have for a long time done this: look for God’s blessings in each day to make sure I praise Him for them. I know there are probably many that I don’t see, but I thank Him for those, too.

    To acknowledge His presence throughout the day and welcome Him, drawing nigh to Him, so He will draw nigh to me.

    Do some things from . After all it is exactly what I prayed for.

  9. I only do bits of it, but hope to do lots more when I am well. It is so encouraging to me.

  10. I have heard good things about it. I’m sorry you’re not well. :(

  11. Wardee-
    What a great post. Sometimes we forget how much the simplest changes can make a huge difference in our mental and emotional health for the day! I love your candidness and the reminder to keep our feet on the ground and bask in the basic joys life and children have to offer.


  12. I’m in the middle of a busy and very challenging time in my life as well, hence my lack of blogging. It has had to take a backseat to other things even though it is one of those essentials that complete my day. For me, a nap is sheer luxury and even 20 minutes in a quiet room restores me. Getting some sunshine is non-negotiable, even if I can’t walk. I have delegated nearly all the housework and sadly, the house looks like it! I put a high priority on praise, and spend at least 15 minutes a day singing praises. That really has gotten me through a lot this summer.

  13. This is great! I too dream of waking up to a clean kitchen… Last week I finally put together a chore list for myself and each of the kids (4 kids, all old enough to help). With a cluttered house and really cluttered head, I just couldn’t focus or acclomplish anything. So I am catching up on major cleaning and with the help of a rotating master chore list for each day of the week, should be able to focus on each task rather than be overwhelmed and finish nothing. Regular cleaning will be a breeze; I hope :) Now I can get into my sewing without the guilt of a messy house waiting for me.
    Next I hope to try meal planning/shopping and keeping better books/budget…. with a clean desk ;)
    I tried to read for pleasure last sunday morning, but had A LOT of guilt. (because I wasn’t actually learning anything or bettering myself) Still have to work on that one. But I do enjoy a hot bath. :)

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I was just thinking last night that I need to take more showers :D

    I have also started prioritizing my nightly kitchen clean-up. I found that waking up to a mess just put me in a bad mood for the morning and I felt like I couldn’t even start breakfast until the kitchen was cleaned up. So I was starving and cleaning every morning. Not good.

    Now I wake up to a clean kitchen and I have a fresh, clean slate. Thanks again for sharing,


  15. Love your list, Wardee — and your transparency in posting it! :-) Need to make a list like that for me to help me through the days when I feel like all we accomplish is homeschooling, a little laundry and a meal or two — and especially for the days when not everything on THAT little list gets done. :-)

  16. Toni Dunlap says:

    I always try to keep a picture in my mind of what I’m aiming for. I haven’t attained it fully yet, but it’s there and I know it’s attainable! And on the other hand there are many times I need to stop and reflect on what is most important at the moment. With trying to keep a picture like that in my mind, I will many times find it hard to live in and fully enjoy the moment. So, that is something I am working on. On the practical side of things, since I listened to the last webinar, I am reconsidering using the paces from ACE. Anna Moriah used those for the first year and half at a Christian School she attended, but once I began homeschooling I had many people tell me that it was not academically enough and so I was scared to use it and haven’t since. Now, with schooling 4 children it would be so nice for my older ones to be able to work on their own. We sat down and looked over some videos on it and the 3 older ones are excited about trying it. I have always been impressed with your kids blogs and it was good to hear your thoughts on ACE! One other practical thing that I am trying to do is to not be on the go so much. Last year we were involved in piano, horseback riding, and ballet. The ballet and piano were reasonably priced and the horseback riding was free, so I felt that it was ok to do them all, however, with church added this became way too much! And so, we have settled on ballet since the girls have been involved since age 4. And one last thought that has been coursing through my mind and been on my heart for my life lately comes from a book by Rick Joyner titled “The Torch and the Sword”. His writings are allegorical so this may not make the most sense but you’ll all get the idea…”Will you awaken the mothers to the glory of their calling? Will you give my daughters swords and torches? They are the ones who keep the torches alive, and they will wield the sword wisely. My daughters will stop death and bring back the life”
    This summer I have been reevaluating my priorities and motherhood is coming up front.
    I also have enjoyed reading these regular posts and the many ideas with this one in particular are helpful!
    Thanks, Wardee!

  17. Great Post! My husband and I are young. He is 24 and I am 22. We are both full-time college students who work full-time. It takes so much effort to cook traditionally from the broth to the ferments that honestly I slip up other places! Or I have! I am getting much better! It just shows me that other people struggle to in areas too! My husband and I both plan to start our masters soon. I know things will only get busier. I just keep focusing on the basics. rest. workout. homework. clean. cook. repeat. I dont know how anyone else has time to do anything extra. If I take one day at a time then everything gets done on time. -)

    • HAHA! No we aren’t super religous people that live in some ‘community’. Funny! I just read how my post sounds! We just have a passion for health !

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