Like many in January, I started to think about what I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. As usual, for me, I have a long list which is fine in theory but managing it all can seem a little overwhelming due to the lack of time at the end of each day, especially when I have five children at home.
So, this year I’m going to try and more organised and focused approach to achieve goals that I set in January.
First, I have written down my goals that I want to achieve by the end of 2015. By writing them down rather than just having a few ideas in my head, I can keep looking at it and keep focused. However, I may decide to add to these or even change them slightly, which is why I have left extra spaces and it is typed rather than handwritten – no need for messy crossing out.
Then, I needed to break it down into monthly goals to help me work out the steps that I needed to do to reach my end of year goals. I have deliberately only written the first four months of the year so that I can come back to it at the beginning of April, evaluate what I have achieved and what needs more focus and time spent on it, before planning the next few months.
Finally, I break my monthly goals into smaller daily goals. But before I do this, I have to check my diary to see what I am working and what other appointments, activities and other general life events are happening.
As I work part-time, I can’t achieve as much on my working days as my non-working days, so there is no point planning to achieve a long list on those days as it would just lead to stress and feeling overwhelmed. I also go to baby/toddler groups. have shopping to fit in and want time with my family so I am realistic with my daily goals.
I plan each day a month ahead to fit with my monthly goals:
While I now have a plan for each day a month ahead, there are times when I can’t follow the daily plan and it is usually one of two reasons – my children and my employed work. As a mum, you have to be flexible. Sometimes children are ill, the sun might be out so you decide to spontaneously go for a day trip, or they might need a new pair of shoes that involves an extra shopping trip. I might want to achieve goals but I also want a happy family life so I need to be flexible.
Also, as a teacher, I have planning and marking to do at home. While I give myself allocated time each week in my diary for this, there are times when I need to do more one week and so may not manage to tick off everything on that day or week.
In the past, I may have worried about not managing to get everything done and felt that I couldn’t do it all. But, it is just a day’s goals not the year’s goals. It has to be put into perspective. If I don’t achieve one of my daily goals, I will see where I can move it.
I have also always been a but of a night owl and regularly stay up until midnight working on my endless to-do list. However, I have discovered that I can work more effectively in less time if I work in the mornings rather than late at night. So, I am now trying to force myself to go to bed earlier (around 10:30pm) so that I can get up at 5:30am to start cracking the daily plan.
It’s not easy trying to juggle several things – being a mum, a teacher, a blogger, an (aspiring) writer, a small businesswoman – but when it is broken down, it makes it more manageable. But the most important thing that I need to remember is that if it doesn’t go to plan a particular day, be gentle with myself – have a rest or a treat instead of worrying about it.
A finally, a positive thought to keep me motivated – I will achieve goals while maintaining happiness, balance and fulfilment.