Our first week found us starting at chapter 99…

Schedule Time for Your Inner Work

So how did you do? I did pretty well! I started each day with a nice long walk. I took the dogs and we explored the fields and woods that surround our home. I listened to the birds singing, observed the leaves growing from buds on tree branches, paused to look at the blooming spring flowers, and this morning I caught the gobble of a turkey calling to his lady friends for a little morning “rendezvous”. During these walks I plan my day and think about what is important; to me, to my family and to the Don’t Sweat Adventure. With a refreshed and clear mind I’m ready to start the day. Even with several businesses to run, employee issues, bills to pay, etc., and the upcoming back surgery scheduled for this Friday for my 32 year old daughter, I remind myself to stay centered on what is most important; what I can let go of.  How my inner peace and ways of dealing with the little things will translate to those around me.

I hope that you also started a routine of scheduling some time for you and that you are now ready to move on. Please share what progress you made and what hills you have left to climb. 

CHAPTER ONE (I told you we’d come back to the beginning)

. . . . . is the introduction to the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff philosophy. This is where Richard Carlson lays the groundwork for helping us choose the little things that we can let go of so that we don’t lose our focus on the magic and beauty of life. Once again he looks for your commitment to working toward this goal!  



Mr. Carlson writes, “The need for perfection and the desire for inner tranquility CONFLICT with each other.”

Let’s read that statement again, and this time, pause for a few moments and let it sink in.

“The need for perfection and the desire for inner tranquility CONFLICT with each other.”

Perhaps you are the type of person that requires perfect order to everything; your home, your children, your job, your clothing, your appearance, on and on. This uses a lot of energy and creates unnecessary stress, because everything cannot be perfect.  Regardless of what you see on TV, read in a magazine, or how you think life should be, but isn’t; don’t confuse marketing genius with reality. Instead of fussing about all the things that you perceive “need to be perfect”, or focusing on all the things that are wrong in  your life, chose instead to put your energy on what will bring you closer to your goal of stressing less and enjoying life more.

Or, maybe you’re the type of person who has a difficult time “getting her act together.” That too can put a level of stress and depression on your psyche. Maybe you feel that you’ll never measure up, so why bother? Maybe you unknowingly sabotage your inner peace and self-worth with how imperfect you see yourself. So you’re not perfect – so what?

Either way, each of us must decide for ourselves which thing(s) we need to do perfectly and which things we can simply do well.
                                           BJ Gallaher – Oil for Your Lamp

It’s time to take the heat off and enjoy what you have, right now, at this time in your life and leave the dishes in the sink!


Let go of one thing! Just one thing and maybe more will follow.

Here are some suggestions, but before you attempt any of these, take a deep breath, exhale, and learn to count to ten ….S L O W L Y.

1)    Go to the supermarket, bank or work without your makeup on.

2)    Don’t make the bed and don’t look back.

3)    Let someone else fold the laundry, or better yet, let someone else do the laundry and just be thankful that you have clean undies!

4)    Let someone else grocery shop and don’t say a word, not a word, if they buy the wrong toilet paper, cereal or juice! Smile and say thank you!

5)    Leave the kids with the grandparents and don’t stress over what they allow them to do when you aren’t around. Spoiling a child with love (or candy) never hurts either of them. This is their time, not yours.

6)    Don’t do your child’s homework assignment. You can check to see that it’s finished, but don’t be tempted to put your personal touches to it.

7)    Don’t look in the mirror and criticize what you see.

8)    Don’t look at others and criticize what you see.

9)    Don’t finish another person’s sentence. They know what they want to say even if you think that you know what they want to say before they do.

10) Don’t envy.

Okay that should do it. This will be an interesting week and this is just the beginning of a real learning experience for us all!

Keep good thoughts in your head, say please and thank you. Tip the lousy server and smile (he or she might be having a bad day) and remember Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

Stress Less,




9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lessonsbyheart
    May 06, 2013 @ 14:42:14

    Wow! Did I ever need to read this! My schedule has become over-full (blogging takes a lot of time…time I didn’t have!) and most of the time I’m feeling like a failure in many areas. When I remember that God doesn’t place expectation on me – and therefore is not disappointed in me – that helps.

    Count me in – and thanks for the invitation!


  2. Barb Roberts
    May 06, 2013 @ 15:45:28

    Sometimes our self-created expectations defeat our purpose in God’s perfect plan for us. On this adventure, it is my hope that you will acquire the tools you need to feel successful in your endeavors, and along with the support of our team of Don’t Sweat Adventurers you will stress less! \o/


  3. Desiray
    May 06, 2013 @ 23:18:55

    hello Barb and thank you for sharing your testimony on the Spouse tab I really enjoyed that testimony and God’s healing power in your marriage.

    By the way I am now following your site, I love those stress free days and not sweating the small stuff. Looking forward to all you have to share with us all.


  4. Nancy
    May 07, 2013 @ 21:18:45

    Each day that goes by is seems there are always things I wish I had done.But after a hard day of either a working at a local restaurant, or getting my yard ready for our short summer, or taking an elderly lady to a Dr.’s appointment, or going to see my grandson play in a little league game, playing golf, working out at a gym, paying bills, picking up prescriptions,going to both choir practice at church and practice in the Praise Band(also from the church) etc, etc, etc. Being retired is not as pretty as it seems to others. The only difference in being in the work field and being retired is now I do what I want to do ….not what I have to do.

    I have finially come to the realization that my cleaning chores will wait.The floors are not going anywhere and I certainly have enough underwear to hold me for 6 or 7 days. So I do what I want to do even if it means I’m so exhausted at the end of the day I fall into my recliner. But it also means…….I love my life.Simple as that. I’ve been blessed with lots of energy. I do not know what tomorrow will bring but I do know that today is special because God is in my life.


    • Barb Roberts
      May 09, 2013 @ 02:44:14

      Retirement doesn’t mean that you disconnect with life. One door closes and 50 more seem to open! The big difference is that you are in the driver’s seat and finding purpose in those activities that you choose. Sounds like you are perfecting your life and embracing all it has to offer. We can all take a lesson from you!


  5. Bev B
    May 13, 2013 @ 00:37:19

    i think perfection comes into a woman’s life because she wants everyone around her happy. Not that the previous statement doesn’t affect others in a negative way instead of a positive way can be very true. Why? Because if we impose our perfection on ourselves and others we often are stressed and stress those around usl. I try to work on this but without complete success. Hope others will share their ideas on accepting themselves so we can be better women to those around us. I did not make the bed a few times these days without looking back. I still like it all make though when I crawl in at night.


    • Barb Roberts
      May 13, 2013 @ 12:55:49

      Sometimes it’s hard to accept that we women (moms/wives/mothers/employee/business owner) are not responsible for everyone’s happiness. The women who is a bit of a perfectionist wants peace, happiness, balance and order in all areas of her life. I struggle with this too! You did, however, leave the bed unmade and that can be the beginning of overlooking the small stuff that would normally drive you nuts! Continue to overlook the small imperfections in life and concentrate your energies on those things that deserve your full attention and very best effort!


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