Thanks for joining me on this weeks Back to the Basics series inspired by the Makeover Your Mornings course I’m doing. So far we’ve talked about big parenting rocks, work + play balance, and minimizing stress of homemaking.
One of the most freeing things for me happened recently as I was doing the Makeover Your Mornings course (which I bought with my own money and this is not sponsored). I realized that in goal and expectation setting, I make ridiculous decisions.
My personality type (more to come on these personalities and how to parent them in another series) has a lot of confidence in one’s ability to get things done and, therefore, sets lofty goals. I can create a list of thing to do today that will probably take a week to do but, you see, I aim high. That’s all fine and dandy until it’s 7 p.m., most of my list is undone, and then I get stressed.
But there’s a better way!
1. Think about how you “make lists” right now.
I make lists online, on paper, and in my head. It’s the lists in my head that do the worst damage. Why? Because they linger and roll around and even when I should be paying attention to the kids or just playing, I can’t get those things out of my head. You (and by you I mean me) have to learn to actually create the list and then forget about it. View it in the morning, throughout the day, or in the evening – whatever works for you – and then get on with life.
I’ve learned to create a list the night before, revisit it in the morning when I have set aside time to do some “big rocks” and then revisit it one more time. After that, I just get on with my day.
2. Be honest with yourself.
This is where I struggle. I honestly think I am a capable woman and can do many things. This is true, in fact. However, I overestimate my own abilities or, more accurately, I overestimate how smoothly everything is going to go. I don’t think conservatively with my lists. Instead I think, if everyone is well-behaved, sleeps on time, no one calls, I don’t get an email, no one visits, and the laundry does itself I’ll get 15 things done. YES, 15 THINGS! Instead of acknowledging that normally, all those things happen, and my list should have 4 things.
3. Factor in your season.
You are in a certain life season right now. Just like the seasons of nature, there are times of planting, growth, harvest, and seeming stagnation. Parenting (particularly young children) is essentially day in and day out planting. You may not see much consistent fruit, but that’s what it is. Do not overestimate your ability to be involved, lead, or accomplish things right now. It is okay. Time is relentless and you’ll soon be in a new phase with new freedoms.
4. Focus on the big rocks.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but if you get those big rocks taken care of you’ll honestly feel so much lighter. Freer. Accomplished. If you only have so much time in a day (which you do) then don’t try to do it all. Try to do the things that matter most and then, from that place of feeling fulfilled and productive, try to fit in the rest. If those unimportant don’t get done it won’t weigh on your mind nearly as much as the big stuff.
5. Finish your list faster by…
One way to finish your list faster is this: cross off some things right now that don’t really have to be done. This may be “would be nice” projects or “I really hope I can” items. If you are the type whose list can dominate their thoughts, then shorten that puppy by weeding out the things that are realistically not going to happen. This is freeing! And, I assure you, if it was something you really want to do it’ll find its way back on the list at some point.
Back to the Basics Week: