Sigh, another year has gone and passed. As 2017 comes to a close, let us usher in 2018 with renewed hope and energy. And let’s direct that renewed hope and energy inwards starting with us and our homestead.
If there was anything I have learned from the previous years, it was always a lingering regret of mine that I could have been a little bit more organized and a lot more intentional about my plans so that I could have reached my goals. Every year, like clockwork, I have this little pep in me to start the new year off on the right foot with a clean slate and pour my thoughts out onto paper, all the things that I want to do during that particular year. That’s all it ever was, just arbitrary things like painting the house or start a veggie garden or to simply just, put things into my phone’s calendar.
What actually ends up happening instead is me uttering for the hundredth time,
“Where in the world did I put my phone?”
“Has anyone seen it?”
“Are you kidding me? How in the world did it end up in the fridge?!”
This year is the year that I will get my life back in order once and for all! Since I’ve discovered that I also like to moonlight as a detective (I leave myself post-it notes all over the house), I have found myself less likely to stray from my own worse enemy, short-term memory.
Here’s my 6 point checklist for how to combat my short-term memory loss and get us all back on track this year by slaying goals like fruit ninja:
1. Plan It: For starters, I’ve been using a planner off and on during 2016 and 2017. I have noticed that when I actually take the extra 5 seconds to write things down in my planner, I tend to stick to it and things magically get done. Most people use either write out their plans using pen and paper planner or a type it digitally, directly into their phones or sync it up to their Google calendars to keep their lives in order. Me? I like both. In case, 1 dies unexpectedly, I’ve got a backup plan somewhere. I prefer to write it down, but I can’t stand the clutter that I create in the process, so I copy it digitally too.
2. Divide & Conquer: If you’re married with kids, consider yourself lucky because you have a second battalion that you can enlist to fight your war against clutter. It’s pretty obvious that your family was the culprit behind your war on clutter, to begin with, so it’s only fair that you enlist them anyway. Make it a game and treat them to dinner or a treat at their favorite restaurant when they are finished helping the family stay clean and germ-free. Just like the FlyLady does, remind them that “many hands make less work and more time for play.”
3. Set a Timer: If you must use your phone timer, great! That will work just fine! However, I prefer my kitchen timer because it is located in the central hub of our house and because no one knows exactly where my phone is at this very moment. This goes hand in hand with writing out your plan, see above in step #1. If you’re anything like me, you get sidetracked so easily that before you know it, the day is over and you feel as though you’ve accomplished nothing. Setting a timer will give you the motivation you need to stop dilly-dallying around and finally be able to knock out that task. You’ll be able to get more done in less time. It holds you and your kids accountable so they won’t see you as the bad guy when you try to enforce homework time. Remind them that we work now so that we can enjoy playing later.
4. Meal Plan: If I have not said this before I will reiterate it again, I hate cooking, I only cook to survive. It’s true, my family will tell you a different story but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That is why I meal plan so that I can spend less time cooking and more time enjoying my family all while saving our hard-earned money. Thanks to MoneySavingMom.com, 5dollardinners.com, and PassionatePennyPincher.com, I have discovered that meal planning is a viable way to pinch our pennies so that we can pay down our debts. Not only is it much friendlier on our wallets, it is proving to be kind to our waistlines as well.
5. Switch-It-Up: Make a list, lots of them, in fact. Make them pretty, hang them up for your family to see, including yourself and your entire family in your tasks and goals. Then, everyone can either pick and choose their task or have mom & dad randomly assign them. This holds everyone accountable and we can all encourage one another so that Mom doesn’t always have to be the bad guy for yelling at her kids 20 times for them to put away their toys. We have found that it is a lot more fun to get each other on-board as a family to complete a task together so that we can all reach an end goal, such as (drum roll) family game night!
6. Do Your Part: Do your part and go the extra mile. Not only does it spread goodwill within your family and friends, but it also instills a sense of responsibility in your kids when they see you overcome your own struggles and worked hard to complete a tough task. Along with that same thought, my daughter opened and ate a fortune cookie this week that read: “No one has ever died from sweating too much.” Now that’s what I call a smart cookie! 😉
How do you conquer the chaos in your life? Share your thoughts below.
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