This year, my word is “balance.” I always have a lot of great intentions. I intend to work out, to eat at home, to get the laundry done, to organize that one drawer, to spend quality time with my kids, to find coupons for groceries, etc. However, if I don’t have any intentionality behind my intentions, I end up feeling defeated or overwhelmed when it all seems to pile up at once or the time passes and it’s not done. In order to have more balance in my life while still getting stuff accomplished, I decided this year to make a flexible plan. Here’s what that looks like for us in our home.
- On the 1st of each month, we fill out a monthly goal plan. This includes our physical, spiritual, career/learning, financial, and project plans. This is broad and it doesn’t get into the nitty gritty at all. For example, a spiritual goal of mine in January was to read the book called Messy Grace and to read the book of Matthew in the Bible. My physical goal was to complete the first 3 weeks of P90X3 Mass edition, and my financial goal was to save enough money for some car updates and repairs. Here’s an example of what it looks like for us filled out. I do this with my husband, but you could do this individually or with your kids too, depending on their ages. For us and our family, my husband and I decided we can do this together. One day, we will likely involve the kids in the preplanning, but we aren’t there yet. This doesn’t take us long at all and it’s simple. It narrows our focus and helps us to not get distracted by the other 3 million things we feel the need to work on or complete. We can’t do 3 million things, but we can do a few things really well if we are intentional.
- From there, I just look 1 week at a time and map out my week. I make little mini goals for each day of the week that will lead us to achieving our overall monthly goals we’ve set. I don’t always have something written in for each section, but the opportunity is there to write it in if I need to do so. Here’s an example of what that looks like for us. On each day, I make some commitments that I track and discuss with Micah in order to help hold myself accountable. Some of those commitments are harder for me to keep than others. If they were easy, I wouldn’t have to track them or even state them because they would already be in place. I don’t have to track how often I brush my teeth because I already do it all the time and it doesn’t require any extra motivation or reminders for me to do so, (although flossing is a completely different story…. Whoops.) My point is that I’m not going to waste time tracking stuff that I already do naturally. That’s just busy work.
- As the week goes along, I track my behaviors and my commitments and I reflect on my success at the end of the week. On that next Sunday, I look back over the week with my husband and we talk about how it went and if we are on track to meet those monthly goals we’ve set.
I can’t be perfect and neither can you. I also can’t do it all, no matter how hard I try, so my goal is never perfection. My goal is learning and growing, so what I pay most attention to is my progress. At the end of the week AND at the end of the month, we are asking ourselves what celebrations we have. Did we spend more intentional time with our kids? If so, how did that impact our relationships with them? Did I work out harder? If so, am I stronger? What are some areas where I (or we) can improve? Is there anything we need to stop, start, or continue doing? This leads to us creating our next weekly plan and it’s how we lead into our next monthly goal plan. If you have a google account, you can click on this link to get a free copy of the monthly sheet and weekly plan I made. You can edit this to tailor it to your own liking. Take off the stuff you won’t use and add in things you want on there. Feel free to print it off and see if it helps you make progress toward your goals. If you do, I’d love some feedback. This sheet isn’t perfect and I’m thinking of new ways to customize it even further for my own liking, but it’s helped me get off to a great start this year and I’d love to know if you find it helpful too!