Now that we have established the basis for our Sanity Plan, it is time to take some action. If you missed our first discussion, you can catch up here.
So far, we’ve covered the 10 Sanity Plan Principles and discussed setting Sanity Plan Goals for 5 areas of your life that need improvement. I highlighted the importance of not trying to change everything at once in order to avoid getting further overwhelmed. I am a huge proponent of making a plan that is simple and achievable, otherwise it is hard to stay motivated.
I will use my own goals as an example:
- Work on improving the kids’ behavior (limit meltdowns, create better routines)
- Strengthen my relationship with my husband (date nights, consistent co-parenting)
- Make personal care a priority (sleep, exercise schedule, self-care plan)
- Create organizational habits and routines (conquer my clutter bug)
- Balance my work & creative projects with home life (create effective systems)
Setting Specific & Timely Goals
Using the areas I’ve targeted above, I can now set specific goals that will help me take steps towards improvement.
Why is it important to be specific? General goals, as in the ones above, do not give a clear enough outline of the steps needed to achieve them. I have had these goals for quite some time, but without setting specific goals to accomplish, I have not improved as much as I’ve wanted to.
Why is it important to give yourself a timeline? I don’t know about you, but when I don’t have a timeline, it takes a long time for me to get to a task, if at all. Creating a deadline for myself helps me organize my schedule around certain tasks I know I need to do.
I’ve been thinking a lot about The Sanity Plan (can you tell?) and I’ve decided to set weekly goals each Monday. Here are my goals for this week and an explanation of my thought process for each:
- Kid’s routines: Strengthen the daily morning routine consisting of getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, packing lunch, cleaning up from breakfast all before 8:30 am (in that order).
I am choosing this goal because we have a pretty good evening routine, but the mornings feel disorganized. And when it feels disorganized, I start my morning on the wrong foot: stressed and grumpy.
2. Quality hubby time: Watch a movie together after the kids go to bed.
Sounds like a simple goal, but for me, I always have so much catching up to do when the kids go to bed that I feel like I can’t take the time. But for my husband, watching a movie is a great wind down activity, and he especially enjoys when we do it together.
3. Personal care: Incorporate doorway pectoral stretches into my daily lunch routine.
Stress and working long hours in front of a computer are causing pain in my neck and back. I was recently shown some stretches that will help combat the heavy forward leaning while I work. I will do this midday as a reminder to pay attention to my posture.
4. Organization: Set up the kids’ artwork filing systems.
I made a decision on the organization system I want to use for my kids’ growing pile of artwork. Now, I need to put it all together and figure out an easily accessible home for it so I can add to it throughout the year. Don’t worry, I will write it up as a post coming soon!
5. Work/Life Balance: Finish setting my 2017 writing goals.
I am very lucky to be working with a writing coach this year and my first deliverable is a three-pronged plan for my writing. This actually fits very nicely into my overall plan of developing a freelance career while maintaining good balance with the rest of my responsibilities.
Reviewing Your Progress Regularly
This is often where I fall short when goal setting. Some goals fall by the wayside because I haven’t put a good system in place for reviewing my progress.
So, when I sit down to write my goals each week, I am adding a “review” of the prior week’s goals to the process. I will consider the following:
Did I complete them all?
Where did I fall short?
What barriers did I encounter?
Did I set the “right” goals?
The Secret Ingredient
What is the secret ingredient, you ask? Accountability. Yes, definitely, we must hold ourselves accountable, but our “selves” also provide a lot of reasons and excuses for not getting done what we need to. One idea is to share your goals with a friend who wants to work on a Sanity Plan together.
Or, follow along with me. Every Monday, I am going to post my weekly goals, as well as a review of how I did during the prior week.
I’m looking forward to a simpler, saner life.
Are you ready?