Children have long lists of toys they want and moms have long "to do" lists. If we can set aside our money fears, it's exciting to listen to our children talk about all the cool toys they want for their birthdays or other special occasions. Do you ever hear your child say, "I have to have a new train set or I have to get a new doll?" You might listen to them tell you why they need something, but usually after you've told them they don't need that toy. Kids start with a heart-driven passion for the toy they want and it only escalates until that special day when they open their gifts.

What if you felt passionate about your "to do" list? How would that change your day? You might be laughing right now at this idea, rationalizing in your mind how feeling passion for laundry, housework and running errands is impossible. I'm going to challenge you to put aside your old beliefs for a moment and consider a new paradigm. The 3:1 passion ratio states that for every three "want tos" in your life, you will have one "have to". Let me explain.

Get out a piece of paper and write down all the tasks/activities you have to do this week. Your list might look something like this:

" I have to finish the laundry.
" I have to go to work.
" I have to go grocery shopping.
" I have to pick up the dry cleaning.
" I have to take the girls to dance lessons.
" I have to make dinner.
" I have to mop the floors.
" I have to pay the bills.

Pay attention to your energy as you write down all these tasks. My guess is you feel a sense of obligation, a lack of energy and possibly a feeling of dread. The words "have to" indicate a low level of engagement in a task or activity. You are about 26-50% engaged, meaning you bring, at best, ½ of your energy to the task, maybe less.

Now turn your piece of paper over and write down all the tasks/activities you want to do this week. When I ask moms this question, typical answers I hear are:

" I want to sleep.
" I want to read a book.
" I want to go shopping.
" I want to get a massage.
" I want to have lunch with my girlfriend.
" I want to see a good movie.

When we want something in our life, we are excited about the opportunity. Our energy is high and we are extremely engaged in the task/activity. The likelihood of success is great as well.

So what stops you from using the 3:1 passion ratio in your life? Typically, moms cite guilt and time as factors that prevent them from doing more of the tasks/activities they want to do. And I'm going to throw in another reason for good measure - attitude.

Some mothers feel guilty about doing things they want to do. If you have a healthy balance of tending to the needs of your family and nurturing your personal needs, what reason do you have to feel guilty? What are your beliefs about what constitutes a good mother? Does your definition of "motherhood" state that you should sacrificially give all that you have to everyone else? If so, remember you are not giving all of who you are if you are not taking time to fill yourself back up.

If we let our time dictate our lives, it will. We are in control of our time, and we have the power to choose how we use our time. Utilizing the 3:1 passion ratio in our lives requires us to be intentional about scheduling the want tos as diligently as we schedule the have tos.

None of us want to admit we need an attitude adjustment at times, but we all do. Changing our attitude about the have tos can covert those tasks/activities to want tos, and make the 3:1 passion ratio a whole lot easier. I want to do the laundry so we all have clean underwear tomorrow. I want to mop the floors because I really enjoy looking at clean floors. Sometimes an attitude adjustment requires us to do something different to shift our energy. What would it take for you to say "I want to go to work because I love what I do?" How would listening to your favorite music shift your perspective on housework?

One mother once looked at me in disbelief and said "Do you really have three want tos for every one have to in your life?" My answer was an unequivocal YES. And if it's not, I give myself what Sam Glenn, The Authority on Attitude , calls a "kick in the attitude".

Author's Bio: 

Lori Radun, CEC – certified life coach and inspirational speaker for moms. To receive her FREE newsletter, and the FREE special report “155 Things Moms Can Do To Raise Great Children”, go to