What color eyes do you have? Do your friends and family know?
If you’re like me, you get hyper focused on replying to emails, texts and completing a To Do list that’s a mile long. You’re behind because you didn’t even come close to finishing yesterday’s list which means today’s list is tacked on to the bottom of yesterday’s list and you feel even more pressure today. We often get so focused on today that we “get behind” and by not planning ahead for the future, we get even further behind before we even start the next day! That kind of stress is unhealthy and definitely NOT fun!
So how do we snap out of the crazy cycle? Many things we are “surprised” by are actually things that happen every year or every month at the exact same time which means we shouldn’t be taken off guard when they “suddenly come up”, right? But we often are because we have our head down and our eyes focused on what is immediately in front of us which means those “surprises” are kind of like having our kids jump out of the closet to scare us and our reaction is often similar. We are quickly thrust into survival mode and do something out of “have to” instead of “want to”…which in my case means that whatever it is, it’s never as good as if I had planned it out, had time to think it through, and executed it well. So planning ahead might be a good idea, but what exactly does that look like?
The last Sunday of the month is a good time to prep for the approaching month. Think about what can you plan out ahead so that you’re not scrambling when the moment arrives.
Birthdays…Do you have a list of birthdays for the month? Can you buy all the cards/gifts for the month before the 1st? Then write them and address them so they are ready to drop in the mail at the appropriate time. When that birthday is looming, just trot to the mailbox and drop the card/gift inside…DONE! with no mad dash to the store to grab the first thing you see!
Dinners…Do you have to eat every night? Your family thinks they should! Dinner arrives the same time every day, yet we get stressed and irritable when our family asks what’s for dinner. With a little prep time before the month starts, you will be a much happier chef! I make it easy on myself by choosing a category for each day of the week. My family all LOVE tacos so Tuesday is, you guessed it, Taco Tuesday. Sunday is pizza night so we can watch football and/or play board games and mama doesn’t have to cook. Friday is almost always hamburgers or steak. You get the idea. Not only does this help on a daily basis, but it also helps when it’s time to head to the grocery store…you already have your meals picked out and you know what you need to pick up. If you’re really wanting to go all in with the prep thing…try making up some freezer meals or even just pre cooking and then freezing ground beef and chicken to use in recipes later…HUGE time saver here!
Holidays…you may need to look ahead 2 months for this one, depending on what the holiday is. Are you planning a trip? Do you need decorations or special food? Is company coming? Start making your lists of what you need to BUY and what you need to DO to be ready for these special days. Do a little bit each day and you’ll be surprised how easy the holiday suddenly becomes.
And here’s an even BETTER IDEA: plan out your YEAR for these things…what do you want to accomplish? Spouse, kids, friends, holidays, home organization, decorating, yard, biz, personal development, physical, spiritual…don’t get overwhelmed here. Just pick one thing and see if it doesn’t turn out better when you think it through first and work on it bit by bit instead of “frantically cramming for the final exam” I bet you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you simply “look up”…
What else works for you? I’d love to hear how you plan ahead!