I believe January was a success! Leaving my workbook open, bringing it to the kitchen on the days I’m not in the office and checking on it throughout the day helped me to really focus. Not only was I reminded of the current goal I was working on but I knew what was up-coming on the list, allowing me to pre-visualize the steps for that goal. This helped me to hit the ground running, doing small tasks when I had a free second here or there. In hindsight, it’s nice to see that being prepared well allows me to utilize the free time I have effectively.
Another thing that helped me plan well was using my Simplified Planner and scheduling my tasks. I would allow myself one-hour chunks of time to get stuff done (longer, if I was editing). When the time was up, the time was up. It helped me to move on to the next task, overcoming that sense of urgency to finish the entire project/task in one sitting, thus allowing me to get more accomplished in one day. #win (!!!)
One thing that I did notice, was that my weekly and daily goals sometimes felt like boxes I needed to check off. This made my over-achiever heart ache when the boxes weren’t marked off. But, allowing grace to trump perfection here! Realizing, these (daily) goals are better defined as habits I’d like to have more of in my life.
Revisiting my goals for January:
Create a family bucket list for 2016 and set dates on the calendar :: We created our family bucket list for the year, including trips (vacation + day trips) that we would like to take and memories we want to make with the kids. However, I decided to set dates quarterly. With a new baby on the way, we want to gradually slide into this new season of life. Doing so will help me to not get overwhelmed or disappointed if I can’t fit it all in (ie.. be supermom). Plus, new things pop up everyday. I like having the flexibility/freedom to be able to add or delete events.
Start Financial Peace University, invite friends to join us :: I invited some of my closest friends to join Shelvie and I as we revisit this video series. I secured a babysitter and every other Sunday we meet for three hours. We spend some time catching up, watch the video and take a few minutes to chat about the information, then we all have dinner afterwards. The best investment was hiring a baby-sitter for our 9 kids! It allows us parents to get a short break, tend to our friendships and spend a solid hour or so focusing on creating a new relationship with our finances.
Have a birthday party for Piper :: We celebrated twice this year; with family on Christmas Eve and then again with a small group of friends. We liked doing it this way, versus having one large party, and think we may do this in the coming years.
Determine two ‘duty days’ for each month :: I decided on the first day of the month and on Monday of the third week.
Date night with Shelvie :: This month, we had lunch at Cheesecake Factory and saw Creed at the movie theater.
Work on and create a meal plan to follow for the month :: Can I tell you how long I’ve been ‘working on’ creating a meal plan!! I believe this goal has always been unsuccessful for me because it needs to be broken down and more clearly defined. I love this idea I found on Pinterest.
In the meantime, to go along with my goal of eating more paleo/whole 30, I’ve subscribed to The Nourishing Home and have been receiving weekly Whole 30 compliant menus. Even though I haven’t followed it every day, it has helped tremendously! I love that it has a daily dinner item with a link to the recipe.. easy peasy! I especially like how it comes with a shopping list for that week. If you are like me, and sometimes need things spelled out, this is a must have in your arsenal! One thing to note, and I even hate that this is a truth, but eating whole foods costs a ton (I need to investigate on how to get the most value)! Buying the first weeks worth of food took about 2/3rds of our food budget. On the flip side, there was enough left overs for lunch and/or dinner again later that week (another option, freezing for the following week or later that month), so having to cook everyday is not necessary. Because this is still very new for us, we didn’t follow it exactly. One week has lasted us the whole month – we still ordered out, ate cereal for dinner some nights and relied on our old go-to’s for those tired nights when we wanted something quick and easy.
Set up Dropbox on both Shelvie and my phone, connect camera :: Done! Having all those images come in at once was a little daunting, but I developed a system for myself that seems to be working.
Schedule cleaning days :: We hired someone to come twice a month. The first visit is to deep clean the entire house. The second is to clean three bathrooms and sweep and wash the floor on the first floor. This is the best investment yet!
Action plan for work needed on the house: to-do’s, needs/wants, ** finish interior design plans ** :: I started these two lists when we first moved in, so I just had to make some quick updates. The needs/wants list grew considerably, but it was easier to define things we really need and wanted now that we’ve been in the house for just over a year. With that said, it has also helped us make some important decisions when it came to finalizing the interior design plans (** didn’t finalize just yet) . Living in the house has allowed us to really see how we live day-to-day, earning us a deeper sense of what will really work for our family vs our big dreams (ie. having a ‘Kardashian’ closet in our master bedroom).
Define a social media plan for the next 12 months :: This is another goal that, for me, is too general. It needs to be broken down and more clearly defined! I love these tips I found on Pinterest (oh, Pinterest!). I decided to set this up quarterly also and already started to work through some of the ideas.
– Plan a garden + flower beds with Shelvie
– Work on setting up my meal plan board
– Learn how to manage and run TLS + Happy Lawns (Shelvie’s business’s)
– Date night with Shelvie
– Pick and learn about a fruit of the spirit
– Research and look into creating a will/living will
– Konmarie: finish tidying clothing; move on to books and papers
– Work on JLP workflows: client + ordering albums
– Blog at least once a week
– Read You and Me Forever with Shelvie
– Set up Quickbooks for JLP