Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Five Simple Steps For Streamlining Your Life

When life starts getting out of hand, sometimes all it takes is a little goal setting session to help get you back on track. But, if you're a SAHM, you don't have the time nor the money to get away for a whole weekend to concentrate on life goals.

Over the years, I've found a streamlined way to regroup my thoughts and bring the chaos under control. All it requires is
  • some quiet time (usually after everyone goes to bed)
  • some blank paper (I like a spiral-bound notebook)
  • a favorite writing utensil (perhaps a dark teal Sharpie pen)
  • a satisfying beverage of choice (Essential!)
     Step 1: List the major sectors of your life

    My own life areas include:
    • Spirituality (devotional life; needs for improvement)
    • Personal (health and well being, continued education)
    • Wife
    • Mother/Grandmother
    • Homekeeper
    • Church 
    • Business 
    • Extended Family
    • Social Contact
    These may each have sub-categories, especially the homekeeping section (bill paying, menus, finances, cleaning, etc.).

    Step 2: Discern what needs to change in each area

    This doesn't have to be complicated. Only concentrate on the major one or two things which need attention at the moment. There will be time for everything else later on once these are addressed in the short term.

    Step 3: Make a corresponding To Do lists

    Brainstorm by writing out all the ways you can think of to make the needed changes in each area you have isolated. Go back and circle the ones you are sure you can manage.

    Step 4: Determine any tools you may need to obtain

    In the course of making life changes, there may be tools, resources, or other items which are needed to make it all happen. For instance, when streamlining our meal prep by making freezer meals, I listed that we needed a small chest freezer, freezer containers, and a wipe-off board for keeping inventory. Don't hesitate to list things you don't think you can afford. We had to wait until we got our tax return before we could look for a good used freezer, but having that on the list in front of me helped me see that was one piece of the puzzle I needed in order to make it happen.

    Step 5: Set up a schedule which includes these new goals

    Though just taming the chaos on paper often brings about an immediate sense of calm, you may begin to set your goals into action by scheduling them into your day, your week, by the month, or even over the course of a year or more. Take it one step at a time -- even baby steps if you have to --, and you will eventually see all those changes fall into place.

    Finally, it is a good idea to keep those goals where you can read them often. For this purpose, I would suggest keeping them behind a "Goals" tab in a housekeeping journal. If you don't have one already, there are some awesome ideas on the Web for creating one. Take a look here: