Ever feel like much of your time and energy is going into something you don’t really want to do? If so, find a way to make that thing a habit that you don’t have to think about anymore.

For me, planning weeknight meals was becoming an unbearable chore.  So I automated them: “What’s for dinner?” is always the same, depending on the day of the week. Here’s how it works:

Sunday Sit-downs: My daughters and I cook in large quantities. (Not that we don’t always sit down when we eat, but on Sundays, we go large.)

Monday Makeover: We turn Sunday’s meal into something new.  (This week, chili became burrito filling.)

Tuesday Takeout: We order food for delivery.

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Wacky Wednesdays: Usually breakfast for dinner (with raw veggies as a pre-meal snack).

Thursday Thaw: We pull something out of the freezer from a previous “Sunday Sit-down”.

Friday Favorites: We always have one of only four super-easy dinners on Fridays (spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, potstickers with rice and stir fried veggies, or pizza).

It might seem hokey, but this system has made dinnertime loads easier for me. What hassle can you automate this week?

We’ve teamed up with  our friend Christine Carter, to bring you 52 simple tips (one each Monday!) on bringing joy and happiness into your own Mommyhood. Get more happiness tips by taking the Raising Happiness class or by reading Christine’s blog.

Want more great tips?
Happy Mom Tip #1: Disconnect
Happy Mom Tip #2: Stop Rushing Around
Happy Mom Tip #3: Express Gratitude
Happy Mom Tip #4: Organize
Happy Mom Tip #5: Forgive Someone
Happy Mom Tip #6: Get Excited About Someone Else’s Good News
Happy Mom Tip #7: Celebrate a Mistake
Happy Mom Tip #8: Talk To Strangers
Happy Mom Tip #9: Share Your Good News
Happy Mom Tip #10: Flex Your Generosity Muscle
Happy Mom Tip #11: Be Kind
Happy Mom Tip #12: Take a Break 
Happy Mom Tip #13: Dance Around
Happy Mom Tip #14: Make Yourself Guffaw
Happy Mom Tip #15: Take a Stroll
Happy Mom Tip #16: Go Out and Play With Some Friends
Happy Mom Tip #17: Give Out Some Hugs
Happy Mom Tip #18: Find Some Inspiration
Happy Mom Tip #19: Get Out into Nature
Happy Mom Tip #20: Imagine Your “Best Possible Future Self”
Happy Mom Tip #21: Get Enough Sleep
Happy Mom Tip #22: Let Yourself Feel What You Feel
Happy Mom Tip #23: Expose Yourself to Someone Else’s Pain
Happy Mom Tip #24: Turn Off the Boob Tube
Happy Mom Tip #25: Don’t Buy That Thing That You Really Want
Happy Mom Tip #26: Take a Blatant Nap
Happy Mom Tip #27: Play a Game That Makes You Happy
Happy Mom Tip #28: Spend Some Time Alone
Happy Mom Tip #29: Take a Power Nap
Happy Mom Tip #30: Learn Something New
Happy Mom Tip #31: Have an Easy Morning
Happy Mom Tip #32: One Kind Thing.
Happy Mom Tip #33: Exhale. Twice.
Happy Mom Tip #34: Stop Stalling 
Happy Mom Tip #35: Make Your Task List More Fun
Happy Mom Tip #36: Ignore Your Kids
Happy Mom Tip #37: Take 20
Happy Mom Tip #38: Call a Friend
Happy Mom Tip #39: Lower Your Expectations
Happy Mom Tip #40: Commit to Kindness