This is the 7th article in the series Lifestyle Organizing (this is the last article in this series, yay!). You will find a complete list of topics at the bottom of this article.
If you’ve been following this series then you know how valuable knowing your “Life” style and challenges can be. Basically your discoveries are tools to help you to prepare your road map to a simplified, organized life.
Today we focus on “The Plan”! Finally-this is the best part. Hopefully the process of making your plan will motivate you to follow through and reach your goals. It will be FUN!
While performing this action-Use these guidelines: Be Authentic, Keep An Open Mind, Make It Simple, Be Realistic, Learn to Say NO, Make It Fun, and Reward Yourself.
THE PROCESS: The process of making your goals a reality acts like a funnel. You will develop a “Working List” of your goals (the top of the funnel) As you work your way down your list, sorting and prioritizing, your goals are refined and broken down into manageable tasks. This allows you to plan your current week and day (the narrowest part or tip of the funnel).
1. Decide on a time management system
- If you are a visual person, you might choose a paper system or a big white board to write things on.
- Or if you are a creative person and love color, you might color code your days and use lots of symbols and such to jazz it up!
- Love technology? There are lots of planning/calendar systems available such as MS Outlook or Google Calendar.
- Choose something that fits your style and works for you.
2. Collect your goals from your “Big List” (Master List)
- Organize them into broad categories that are specific and make sense to you.
- Here are a few examples: Home/Household, Finances, Family, Work, Personal Development, etc…
- As you put them into categories; do a “pre- sort” for each category. Focus on your top 3 or 4 goals. This is your “Working List”- you will refer to this list often, and it will change as your needs/goals change.
You will identify your highest priority goals as you go through your “Working List”.
- Do a budget and time check – if you haven’t done this step yet, take the time to do it now. Rule out goals that are not feasible for you to accomplish at this time.
- Using your “Working List”, take your top goals from each category and check that they meet your budget and time constraints.
- You should consider your alternative approaches or options. Example – what if one of your goals is to get in shape, but the cost of a gym membership won’t fit in your budget? Maybe an alternative would be to buy a good pair of running shoes and start jogging. And since this is for your health, a non-negotiable for you, you will make the time to jog after work.
- Hmm…this sounds like a goal that is feasible – within your budget and time constraints. You determine it is a top priority.
4. Monthly goals
Now we start to get more specific with setting goals.
Goals are specific and time bound. If one of your goals for March is “to lose weight” –that is not a goal. But “to lose 5 pounds by March 31st”–is a goal. Another example could be “to start jogging and work up to 30 minutes three days a week by March 31st.
From your list of top priorities, determine the number of goals you think you can accomplish in a month. How many goals you choose will depend on:
- Your specific list of goals
- Level of difficulty – how much time is involved
- Your preference/personality/approach
- Maybe you want to select just 1 or 2 goals per month to allow you to really focus and build them into your life until they become a habit.
- Or, you decide you would rather take on a lot of smaller tasks that have been ‘hanging over your head and you just want to knock them out’!
- Your approach can vary from month to month…depending on what you want to accomplish.
- You can enter/pencil these in your monthly calendar of choice. This will allow you to view your ‘Month At A Glance’.
- Don’t forget to enter obligations, appointments etc., that you already know are coming up for that month.
5. Refine Your Goals
Weekly: Put more detail to your goals and enter in your planner for the current week.
- Break your monthly goals into manageable tasks/steps that you could accomplish in a week.
- Let’s look at the “get in shape goal” for example (lose 5 lbs. and jog for 30 minutes) – here’s an idea of what it might look for the week:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – jog after work for 20 minutes
- Thursday evening – Plan a healthy menu and snacks/make grocery list for the week.
- Saturday morning – Grocery shop and prep work for weekly meals/snacks.
- You decide to increase your jog time by 5 minutes for the next week, and another 5 minutes the following week.
- Yay! Now you can start to see your goal unfolding week by week.
- Don’t forget to enter obligations, appointments etc., that you already know are coming up for this week.
Daily: This is really where you fine tune your goals/projects/tasks.
Again, use your calendar/planner of choice. Make a detailed To-Do list for the day. I find that it is best to do it the night before and then make adjustments in the morning if needed.
- Your Monday may look something like this:
- Wake at 6 a.m.
- Do a load of laundry
- Quiet Time
- Work 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Home by 6:00 p.m.
- Jog 20 minutes
- Make dinner/clean kitchen
- Family time/help kids with homework
- Tidy-up family room
- Prepare for next day: to-do list, lunch for work, set out clothes, check bookbags
- Don’t forget to block out time for work, appointments, kids’ activities, daily household tasks like paying bills, etc.
SUGGESTION: Try to incorporate systems into your plan that will EMPOWER YOU! Example: set a regular time to declutter your home, make a cleaning schedule, or plan a whole month of meals, etc… Think about what you need and work it into your plan if you can. It will make a HUGE IMPACT!
This concludes this series on Lifestyle Organizing. I truly hope and pray that you have found it helpful and will decide to make your unique plan for your life. Enjoy! You can unscramble the pieces of your everyday life and put back only what fits, in an organized way, so you can easily maintain your life. If something doesn’t fit, re-evaluate it. Your goals should align with your Life Mission Statement.
Of course making the plan is not what gets you more organized to live a simplified, peaceful life. YOU HAVE TO IMPLEMENT IT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!
To Your Success!
I’ll leave you with this:
Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal. ~ Elbert Hubbard
You can do this and we can do it together!
Please leave a comment. What are your thoughts? Have you made a Lifestyle Organizing Plan?
Topics covered in this series:
- Introduction: Lifestyle Organizing-A New Way to Think
- Guidelines for Lifestyle Organizing
- Discovering Your “Life” Style (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)
- Discovering Your Challenges
- The Plan: Putting It All Together
Candy Stuber, Owner of Live Unscrambled helps you simplify, organize, and enjoy your life with professional coaching and hands-on organizing services.