The last time I wrote, I shared with you about how I wanted to recapture my long-term goals by making some new short and mid-term goals. I’ve been working on that and have been coming up with some great ways to create sunshine in my life! I’m going to be sharing those with you in chunks.
I’ve already been sharing my first priority, improving my physical health. I’m addressing that in a few ways. I’ve begun eating a whole foods, plant-based diet. I’ve eliminated all diet soft drinks and teas. I’m adding in exercise now too. I’ll be walking at the local high school track and I’m finally signed up for my very first kettle bell class next Saturday morning! (I’m VERY excited about this and I hope I love it as much as I think I will!)
My second goal is to simplify my life. I’m pretty good about saying “No” to obligations that are going to stretch me to the limit. I have a big need for improvement in several areas of my life though. Afterall, I only have 24 hours in a day and I want that time to be spent the ways I choose, not how I have to spend it.
So, my first step was to look at how I currently spend my time: I work full-time, plan, shop for and prepare our family’s meals, clean our home and drive to pick my daughter up from daycare, appointments and recreational activities. I spend a great deal of time caring for my daughter’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. I am our family’s housekeeper and laundress. I spend time once or twice a month with a close group of friends. We also entertain once every other week or so. I quilt, sew and make handmade greeting cards. I watch 3 shows/hours of TV most weeks. I’ll also admit to spending A LOT of time on the internet, facebook, etc…
Now, I’ll break it down further:
I need to work as I provide health insurance for our family. So that stays in the schedule.
Our new food plan requires quite a bit of time be devoted to this, but it’s an investment in our family’s health, so I’m going to choose to spend whatever time I need to in order to make that happen. How will I minimize the time invested? I can shop at fewer stores to minimize time spent shopping. (Currently, I shop at 4 or 5 stores a week, sometimes more than once.) I can cook larger meals so we can eat the same meal two times in a week or freeze meals ahead of time. I could also try to prep more than one meal at a time, so less time is spent in the kitchen. (I know myself well enough to know that this might be a problem though. Once I get more than one thing going at once, it’s easy for me to get off track and spend a lot of time trying to figure out what in the heck I’m doing! That wouldn’t save me any time, it might even cost me more time!)
I will still need to drive to appointments and such. (We live in a rural area, so I feel as if I’m always in the car.) How do/will I try to minimize its impact on my schedule? I I already streamline our outings, combining trips to the grocery store with trips to the park or the doctor’s office. That way, I’m maximizing the gas mileage and time spent away from home. I’m not sure much can change in this area.
My daughter will still have many needs and desires. Perhaps if I get her involved in what I’m doing more often, she
won’t might not be pulling me in a different direction while I’m trying to accomplish a task.
Unfortunately, I am still going to have to be our housekeeper and laundress. I find keeping our cozy (less than 1,000 square feet!) house clean to be an overwhelming task, mostly because we have way too much stuff! You’d never guess it by looking at our house lately, but I’m a firm believer of the philosophy “a place for everything and everything in its place”. There just isn’t enough space for all the belongings we have accumulated. I still have wedding gifts that, 10 years later, are still in boxes! -Ridiculous! This is the most obvious area that needs improvement. Therefore, my goal is to attack this area first.
Long term goal: To have a home that is free of non-essential clutter, easy to clean and visually calming while still expressing our family’s personality. Mid-term goal: To create a place for everything within our home. Short-term goals: This week: Get rid of everything we don’t NEED via tag sale. Next week: Touch up trim paint in the living room and master bedroom. First week of June: Purchase frames and hang pictures in living room, master bedroom and little one’s room. The rest of June: Create storage solutions for items we have.
While this list is going to require some time and effort, it’s nothing that I can’t handle. If I wanted to, I could have broken it down even further, explaining when and how I would go about getting rid of (ferretting totes out of the basement, sorting, pricing, setting up) those items. And I may choose to do that for the creating storage solutions in June. I’ve found that the key is just to break down each goal into managable chunks of activity, commit to it and then do it. It’s amazing how easily overwhelming projects get tackled when I use this method. It gives me immense satisfaction to complete each task, tick the box and move on to the next item.
Okay, I’ve shared some of my goals for the next few weeks… I’d love to hear what you’re working on!