Seven Simple Steps to a Never-to-Be-Forgotten Summer!
Today is my children's last day of school for this academic year. And this week I've been talking to almost all of my clients about the transition that happens in a mother's world during the summer months. Families travel more during the summer which changes our schedules. Gone are the routines of school, homework, MOPS, and preschool. The days are longer, warmer, and the outdoors beckons us. Calendars are littered with camps, social gatherings, parks, reunions, swimming, ball games, and cookouts. Summer is certainly full of fun and abounding with activities!
But what if this summer was different? Oh sure, we still want summer to be fun and full. But, what if summer was also intentional? What if this summer changed your life?
I realize that sounds a little dramatic. But pause for a moment with me. What is it? What is the one thing that would absolutely change your life?
Would it be:
* An organized home?
* A strong spiritual life?
* Having more fun?
* Living a healthy lifestyle?
* Improved finances?
* Better relationships?
* Enjoying time alone?
Well, what if this summer you were intentional about that ONE area of your life? How would you feel knowing summer was both sensational and strategic? Playful and purposeful? Fun and focused? Honestly, the big yellow bus will come back approximately 10 weeks from now. (Right now we won't think about that!!!) So, for the next 70 days let's have joyful and amazing summer! BUT - let's also create a simple plan ensure life changing success too. We truly CAN have both. Will you join me? Think how amazing you will feel knowing that you have a plan in place to create that summer you have always wanted? Follow these simple steps and you are on your way to summer success!
Seven Simple Steps for a Strategic Summer:
1) Pick ONE area to focus on during the summer.
Summer is busy. Don't try to tackle it all. Again, what is life changing to you? This can be anything. Select what feels right for you given your schedule, interest, passion, and capacity. Choose something that will truly make a difference in YOUR life and then release yourself from comparison with others or judgement. (Think "want" not "should.")
- Example: This summer I want to focus on my relationship with ________________.
2) Define success.
Next, fully describe your vision of success. Remember we can't always control the results (like a number on a scale, a job offer, or an individual's response to our relationship efforts.) But, we can control our efforts, the process, and our thoughts - which then influence our emotions and our actions!
- Example Definition of Success: This summer I am intentional in my relationship with ________________. I communicate well, invest time and resources into our relationship, and take all measures possible to learn new skills to improve our relationship.
3) List possible actions.
Once you have defined success, write down all the actions you might take in order to create your success. Brainstorm as many as possible to provide yourself with lots of options.
Actions for our example scenario might include: Planning and scheduling events to spend time together, going to counseling for additional tools, reading a relationship book, praying daily for the relationship, writing a letter to communicate appreciation, affection or honest emotions, volunteering to help with a project or need, or purchasing a meaningful gift.
4) Select which actions to take.
After having the list of options, select which actions you want to take. You don't need to do them all. Choose a couple that seem like they are the most "doable" or could have the most impact. Remember start small. And then as actions become habits and become "easy" or "mindless", you can always add another action from your list. Then, you are building momentum toward your success!
Example Selected Actions: Action 1: Plan and schedule one on one time to spend with ___________ once a week. Action 2: Purchase a gift twice a month which demonstrates thoughtfulness, care and affection for _________ and our relationship.
5) Schedule them!
When things are on the calendar they generally happen. Schedule the time necessary to do your actions. Do you need to coordinate your schedule with others for childcare or to ensure your own availability? This is the time to do so.
Example Schedule for Action 2: Shop for two monthly gifts on Tuesday, June 7th from 1 - 3 p.m. on-line or Wednesday June 8th from 5 - 7 p.m.
6) Execute your plan!
This step is simple. Do it! There may be times you can go above and beyond the action steps that you planned. Awesome! There may be times when external circumstances limit your scheduled actions for success. O.K. Evaluate what you learned from that situation. Reschedule and regroup. Realize that you are still making progress and revise you plan as needed. Keep going!!
Example Plan Execution: Purchased 4 gifts during the month of June on the 7th and 8th. Save two of the purchased gifts for the month of July, and then add new action on the original date reserved to purchase gifts - July 8th. New Chosen Action: Write a letter of appreciation.
7) Celebrate your success!
Will you post a Facebook picture, buy yourself a new outfit, or write down all the ways your life has changed for the better? How will you choose to celebrate your success? This step is so easily overlooked, but is so important! It is what tells our brain - "Hey, stop for a second! We just made something amazing happen here." It is what gives us stamina and momentum to keep moving forward and break through even bigger barriers. It works out our accomplishment muscles so that we can do bigger and bigger things over time. Don't skip this step. It really does matter. Choose to celebrate your successful summer.
Example Celebration Selection: - Snap a picture with __________ with the caption Summer 2016. Post the picture to remember all of the successful effort poured into our relationship.
I love this description of summer by L.M. Montgomery, in "Anne's House of Dreams". “All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
What if this summer changed your life? It can! And, I'm here cheering you on. To your Success and to a never-to-be-forgotten summer...
This is the newsletter section where I share tips or strategies from One Intentional Mom to another. These are time savers, guilt relievers, helpful tools, and some good old fashioned mama sense. If you have a tip to share, please e-mail me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you!! :)
Tip of the Month:
Laundry! How is it that bodies so little can make so much of it? (And, whatever happens to those socks that go in the dryer and never come out?!?) Summer too seems to have even more laundry with additional outside activities and play. Here is a system that has helped keep our family's laundry under control.
Each family member has their own laundry basket. Every morning and/or night all soiled laundry is put in each individual's respective basket. (If your children are old enough, this is a great chore to have them do.) Then, each family member is assigned a laundry day. Towels and linens are assigned to a date that works best for me. On that assigned day, do the respective family member's load of laundry. But, only do their laundry on the assigned day - one time a week. Again, if the children are old enough, teach them how to start the washing machine and how to do their own laundry. Further, have them help fold and put away their clothing as well.
This system helps ensure kids wear a variety of clothing in their closets (not just their favorite outfit 5 times a week). It also ensures that dad's dress shirts don't get glitter from your daughter's laundry. It helps teach children the skill of doing their laundry and to plan ahead for specific clothing needs like gym, sports, etc.
In our home if someone desperately needs a particular dirty item for the next day, they can request to add that item to a sibling or parent's load. But, they are responsible to add it and fold it.
Hope this helps you "All" "Gain" an "Era" filled with "Snuggles" instead of a "Tide"al wave of laundry. :)
Pediatric Specialty Associates
I help women confidently navigate life during the season of motherhood. Shift from "reacting" to purposefully leading your life - which eliminates overwhelm and guilt and brings joy, satisfaction and fulfillment.