Its a new year! What an exciting time for everyone, a fresh start, a new perspective but most of all an opportunity to begin again. I love this time of year for many reasons, but most importantly because my efficiency and productivity tends to be at an all time high. During the month of January I take some very specific steps to ensure that the first quarter of my year is quite constructive. Taking time out during this month to prepare for the months coming ahead allows me to create an environment for productivity and success in the new year.
Here are 5 steps every mom should consider in the new year!
1. Declutter- Generally by the second week in January all of your Christmas gifts have come in. The piles of new and old have begun to merge and if it is at at all like my home not only are they merging but running over. Getting a fresh start is all about getting rid of the old and ushering in the new. This is the perfect time to do that in your home, office, children's play area or any other place that seems to collect items. Find charitable organizations, friends, and family who can take advantage of gently used items. Host a garage sale or simply throw some things away. Holding onto clutter only creates more unnecessary chaos. When you rid yourself of useless clutter your space becomes more manageable as well as peaceful.
2. Establish new routines- I have three children with three different schedules. During school breaks we are relaxed, we eat out, the house is not nearly as clean, and we have very little routine. However, once school begins again we return to our normal or should I say adjusted routine. We have to make changes for new fall/spring sports, school performances, and more. Our new routines take all of these things into account along with personal time for my self that must be scheduled as well! This forces me to establish a new routine, I take the time out to schedule important things that may get shifted like grocery shopping and spending time with friends. Shifting my routine could mean big changes for the small things and when we neglect the details our entire life can get flipped upside down.
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3. Schedule some time for yourself- No matter how big or small schedule time for yourself. Your life can become all about everyone else very quickly and while most of us enjoy taking advantage of the time we have mothering we all could use a break! Be sure to set some time aside to do things that you enjoy. Meeting a friend for coffee, getting your hair done, a manicure or pedicure, or having dessert at your favorite bakery no matter what it is take some time every week for yourself.
4. Set realistic goals- This one is huge! I say realistic because sometimes when we set goals that are unattainable and don't reach them we feel like we have failed. It's not that we are a failure, its simply that our goals were not set up in such a way that we could achieve success. Consider all of the factors involved before you commit yourself to a drastic lifestyle change. For example, if you are new to working out, committing to 6 days a week may not be realistic if you have children although it may get you maximum results in the shortest amount of time. You may have to set a smaller more achievable goal of working out 3 days a week due to your family schedule. This may not get you to your goal as quickly but you will get there if you stay the course! Setting realisitic and achievable goals gives us a sense of confidence that reaches far beyond our short term failures.
5. Commit to change - When we usher in a new year oftentimes we discuss or write about changes we will make. We become eager, excited about the opportunity to start anew. That level of expectation we have can easily cause us to overcommit ourselves to changes that are not feasible or sustainable. One way to commit to change is to educate ourselves about the changes we want to make.Changing your mind is the first steps to changing your actions. Whatever your level of commitment educate yourself first and allow the steps of education to lead you to the follow through. If you want to be better at budgeting take a finance class, eating right meet with a nutritionist, more organized read books or blogs about organization. This is an important step that many people miss, they jump right into a new commitment without considering the education it takes to do it well. All skills are learned skills particularly if it is a new a skill. Take the time, energy, or resources needed to commit to your change. Educate yourself first and devise a plan to follow through on what you have learned!
Those are just a few of the things I do to kickstart my new year. I generally take the entire month of January to get through each one, and while that may seem like a long time it really sets the stage for the remainder of the year. Don't forget to visit me online @ www.tiffanyfulcher.org, check out my fb page or twitter @tiffulcher! Make it a great MOMMY day!