Hi and Welcome to Small Things Over Time!
"You don't find a happy life...you make it!"
Small Things Over Time is a place to find inspiration and encouragement about building a purposeful life one small thing at a time. Here you'll get simple tips and actionable ideas that you can use today to create a better life for you, for your family, and in the world. Read stories and interviews of how women are using small things to create a life they love. Add your voice and your encouragement by sharing your own story of how doing one small thing has led you to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Start by reading When Even Simple Things Are Hard, which is a story about my two daughters and expresses the vision and purpose of this website. Or read A Proven Way to Be Happier in Just Minutes a Day about the one small thing (that takes only 2 minutes) that has made the biggest impact on my overall happiness level. Before I tried it, I never could have imagined how this one small and simple thing could make such a huge difference.
I'm Rhonda & here's a little bit more about me:
All the "heart eyes" for:
- learning new things - and teaching them to others
- creating and sewing with beautiful fabric
- mixing art paints and making gorgeous new colors
- no-school mornings when I can stay in pajamas until 10 am.
- Gretchen Rubin's the Four Tendencies Framework
Blogging is something I’ve dreamed of doing for years but kept putting off for one reason or another. At age 40, we decided my husband should make a career upgrade and we sold almost everything we owned and moved our family to a little island in the Caribbean for two years. Suddenly I found myself half a world away from everything I knew, with a clean slate. So I set to work building a better foundation, creating routines and habits to put me on a path more true to who I wanted to become, one step at a time. This blog is a part of that journey.
Why the name Small Things Over Time?
The name Small Things Over Time was inspired by one of my longtime favorite quotes,
“many of life’s lasting successes are built on a foundation of doing small things consistently over long periods of time.”
I love the idea that doing small things daily really matters and adds up to a well-lived life. In theory. But in practice, I have really struggled with it. Building habits and routines, time management and following through on my own plans are not things that come naturally to me. This has led me to feel frustrated, discouraged and at times be really hard on myself. And that’s not who I want to be.
This became crystal clear to me one day while driving my 13-year-old daughter to gymnastics. I was lost in thought about what I had left to do that night and all that I had not gotten done and feeling discouraged because I hadn't managed my time better.
She was relishing in the newfound joy of finally being old enough to ride in the front seat of the car.
“Aren't you going to smile Mom?” she asked happily.
“What’s there to smile about?” I curtly replied.
As soon as the words left my mouth and my brain registered what I had just said, regret completely filled me. I felt physically ill. I still cringe every time I think about it. The truth is, I had plenty of things to smile about: health, a beautiful loving family, a home, friends, faith, and my sweet oldest child riding shotgun beside me for one of the first times, smiling from ear to ear. How could I not see all those good things? Where was my joy? I was too focused in on the negative.
I did not want my daughter or my other children to grow up with a grumpy, frustrated, unhappy mom or to internalize the message that the world is a place where there’s nothing to smile about. So I resolved then and there to make some changes.
As you know, change is hard and sometimes very slow. At least for me, it is! 🙂 At first, I couldn't tell if I was making any progress. Because it's hard to see, on a day to day basis, how the little things are impacting our lives. But over time, we can look back and see the impact the small things have had in shaping our lives into something greater.
I am happy to report that today I am much happier that I was just a few years ago. I see the good much more readily than I used to. I’ve formed better habits and figured out a good routine that I follow most days. I’m making progress on several dreams that I’d almost given up on.
And you can too!
This blog is about sharing strategies to become happier, more positive and more grateful, focusing on one small thing at a time. I hope that it will help and inspire you on your own journey.
I love to hear from you! You can contact me using the form below or email Rhonda at SmallThingsOverTime dot com. You can also share your own "small things" story of how doing one small thing has led you to live a happier, more fulfilling life. To do that, fill out the form here and I'll send you the next steps.
Thank you for stopping by! So glad you are here!
Here’s to making a happy, purposeful life one small thing at a time!
All the Best,
In August 2016, I moved with my husband and three children from eastern Washington to Vienna, Austria for my husband’s job. We’ve lived in four states during our marriage, but this was our first international job posting, and we had moved from the East coast to the West coast less than a year before....
Want to have more fun as a family? Or form deeper connections with your kids? If so, make a “Live List” with your family. A Live List is a small thing that helps create a purposeful, intentional family life that’s full of fun. It’s a great way to strengthen family bonds and have more...
Having just returned from 2 years living abroad, I wanted to put together a series of posts about living abroad and the lessons learned from that experience. This interview is with my friend Jessica about her experiences living in Germany. She’s had a lifelong dream of traveling Europe and now because of her husband’s...
Music and Happiness Music is magical. It can quickly change the atmosphere. The right music can boost your happiness levels. It can help make mundane tasks less monotonous and bring life to a party. It can get you up, moving, singing and enjoying life more. Science shows that “when we 1) anticipate and then...
“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.” In this series, we’ll walk through how to use a bullet journal to change your life. We’ll look at bullet journal basics, and then explore how you can use your bullet journal to form better habits, to be happier and to get the...
Today’s Small Things Story comes from Trisa Perry. She is an amazing mom and a woman of many talents. Today she shares her strategies of how she finds time for herself and her own projects when there’s never enough time in busy family life. And there are some amazing before and after pictures of...