#16 Create a “Make Me Happy” List

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Create a “Make Me Happy” List

When my children were young, I made a list of things that “made mama happy” so that if they wanted to ask me for something such as running them to the basketball game after I’d gotten home and put on my jammies, they could look at the list and do something nice for me in return. And, while I don’t generally promote a ‘tit for tat’ attitude in most relationships, it’s no surprise that humans are more apt to concede when their needs are also met.

What is it that makes your mama, your partner, or your roommate happy? [know that the word “makes” is being used in the context of ‘generates’ – what ‘generates happiness for your partner, etc.,]

Love Language

There’s an old fable that goes like this:

A man and a woman show up in a counselor’s office after 40 years of marriage stating that they were on the verge of calling it quits. The counselor asks “why after all this time are you opting to end the relationship?” The gentleman replied with a frustrated and loud voice “Every time she walks by me, she pats my God Damn head. I’ve asked her a thousand times to stop and she won’t. I’m done!”. The counselor looks at the woman who is sitting demurely and asks “and you? What’s your position in this?” to which the woman replies sadly and softly… “he never pats my head.”

The point here being that she patted her husband’s head as a way of telling him she loved him… and because it irritated him so – he never considered that she may actually like it. We each have a different way of understanding and feeling loved. It’s the premise behind Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages and a common problem in many relationships. We are inclined to treat our partners and family members the way we want to be treated instead of stopping to recognize how they want to be treated.

Speak Up

One simple way to have your needs met is to blatantly tell those who matter – what is is that generates happiness for you. Are flowers important to you or would you rather have the house cleaned? Do you value a romantic dinner or a couples massage? Does it bring you peace when the kids pick up their shoes and put away their backpacks? Or when they empty the dishwasher? (assuming you need to choose).

Write It Down

I am suggesting that you make a list and tape it all over the house… on the mirrors in the bathrooms. On the back of the bedroom doors. In front of the Playstation or to the top of the laptop. Wherever it is most likely to be seen most.

You don’t use the list just at those times when you want a favor however… if that’s the only effort – it is manipulative. You use the list when your partner has had a bad day, feels sick, or has gone above and beyond. When a child feels appreciated, they will often step up without being asked so know what is important to them as well.


Finally – be sure to be appreciative! We only have so much to give without a consideration of appreciation before we adopt a sour attitude. Even though appreciation isn’t the motivation – once again, we’re human and unless you are a strongly evolved individual – you probably have limits on how much you are willing to give without any acknowledgement of the effort.

A simple and effective method of having your needs met and meeting the actual vs. perceived needs of others to to have everyone in the household…

Create a ‘make me happy’ list.


Listen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.

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I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#140 Create a List of Home Maintenance Responsibilities

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Create a list of home maintenance responsibilities

Being a homeowner can be overwhelming at times when life is pulling at us in a gazillion directions. Even if you don’t own your home, there are basic maintenance items that make living in a home more efficient and healthy – leading to a higher quality of life and a sustainability of your home’s value.

If you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, just search Google for a list of House Maintenance Items – there is no shortage of links to investigate but there are a couple of categories you must be sure to include:

Monthly items:

The things you need to do each month such as changing your air filter, are designed to keep abreast of potentially bigger problems. One list suggested moving from sink to sink once a month with a hair drain clog remover so that the drains never become clogged… a proactive stance to remove buildup. Anyone with girls living in the house needs one of those do-dads. It’s completely gross but oh-so-worth-it!

Quarterly items:

On a less regular basis it’s good to inspect under sinks and around toilets for water leakage. Additionally, someone suggested inspecting extension cords and surge protectors – something that I personally, take for granted. I imagine the one behind the couch hasn’t seen daylight in more than a year which, means it’s nested in a full out hollow of dust bunnies. When those babies collect extensively, they create hard core matter that can catch fire from a spark.  Yup… gotta check them.


Get the vacuum out and suck up the dust on your refrigerator coils. You’ll have to pull it out to do this but it will save a ton of money on power efficiency and it will take all of 10 minutes or less. Of course, you’ll want to scrub up the spilled milk that’s been baking there for months along with spider poop and the dead flies.


Inside, you’ll want to prioritize vent cleaning (including the dryer vent!). The air you breathe will be so much cleaner if it’s not blowing back the dust that has settled in your vents throughout the year. And… that dryer vent accumulation that you never see and therefore never think about – is responsible for thousands of house fires around the world each year.

Outside, you’ll want to make sure that shrubs and trees aren’t up against the house too close. It’s especially important to get those climbing vines off the house as the little feeder roots it uses to hold itself to your masonry will over time, break apart the concrete, stucco, brick, or make its way into your siding and create havoc as water and ice will have a path to parts of your home where they are most destructive.

Of course, the whole idea of a list is to be organized with these tasks and make sure that they are accomplished. While you’re thinking about it – go ahead and …

Make a list of home maintenance responsibilities.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.