Today I want to encourage you to spend a little bit of time creating the right atmosphere to set your week off to the right start. Why? The start of something GREAT always starts with the right atmosphere. Sure, you can drag along and by the time you hit Thursday you MIGHT be at least catching up and if your lucky you've caught your mojo by Friday night or Saturday morning.
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I revisited my post for top 5 things to do before 8 am (personally for me it is a goal to have those done by 6am) and I realize how GREAT of a start to my day goes when I follow that plan. So.... :) Why not create a top 5 list of setting your WEEK off to a successful start?! Sounds great yes?! Here we go! (Now mind you, this is my list and by having these things in place I do indeed have a successful week where by the time I get to the weekend I am not struggling to get tons of stuff done on days off that I actually have to spend with the family.
1. Menu Plan: This is always a lifesaver for me especially during busy times. Do you know why? Because it is one less thing I have to figure out. By planning out breakfast and dinner for the week it helps so much! I also try to plan in snacks for the kids and dessert as well. I used to plan for seven days at a time but we do a lot of different spur of the moment things on the weekends so it is a bit more difficult to plan unless I know something is coming up. Football is back in a couple of weeks and I always like to make something for the guys no matter where they are watching the game. Many people menu plan different ways. Some plan before the trip for groceries some plan after. Do what makes it easier for you, but at least give it a try!
2. Project List: I know some of you are going to want to throw a shoe at the computer once you read this but hear me out first and then at least yell "DUCK" so I won't get hit too hard okay?! ~smile~ Autumn is coming! With that comes lots of gatherings in or around your home, weather that you want to prepare for, and so much more. Christmas is not too far off out there either. So, sit down and make you a "project list" of all the things you would like to have done by that time. Put a "projected completed date" and then rearrange your list to show the things you want completed first to last. Each week, start banging out this project list one project at a time. DO NOT put it off! Pick at least one!
3. Family Schedule: With each season, schedules change. These seasons could be actual calendar seasons or just seasons in life. Being a mom to two preteens and a teenager who are involved in sports I can tell you our school year is busy. I know this. I know this ahead of time! Because I know this I can't blame being busy for not getting things done. Make sense? I can't let a "practice" slip up and sneak by me if I know about it ahead of time. I also can't let laundry get behind because I spent the afternoon at the football field to watch the twins play. By having a "family calendar" posted I can arrange what needs to be done around that schedule. I haven't actually had to utilize one of these but we are coming up to a school year that not only do I work full time again, but kids have to be here and there, and I never NOT go to a game. (The only events I usually miss are track and field but that was when the twins were younger and needed a bit more of mom at home and the girl was on it and LOVED traveling with her teammates on the bus.) Again one of my goals is to not simply use the weekends to catch up on what didn't get done during the week. This includes grocery shopping this year as well. That is something that I tend to put off until Saturday ` but is one of my new goals to do while I am already in town.
4. To do or TADA list: A great thing to do for each day to help stay on track for the week is a to do list. This can be daily or weekly but can be a tool for you to make sure you get stuff done. Your to do list can be as elaborate or simple as you want and remember it is YOUR list! Perhaps you need to put on your list things that need to be cleaned, picked up, mailed out, whatever. The purpose behind any "to do" list is simply just to keep you on track. For me, I will have to create a new format because on my list I want to specifically transfer over the menu of the day, where everyone has to be at that time (practice/games etc), as well as a positive encouraging quote for the day and a scripture to meditate on for the day. I also like to have a spot that has room to write down AT least five things that I am thankful for, three great things that happened for the day, and two things I would change if I have the opportunity. A tada list is simply just a list of things that did get accomplished. For some this is a GREAT starting tool because sometimes when we look back at what we did at the end of the day is encouragement for accomplishing more the next. It also will address the days that seem like less gets done and that's okay too.
5. Baby Step Goals: Do you have a big goal ahead of you? If not you should! Please do not tell me that you are living this life without goals that your working toward! When you are indeed working towards your goals if you do not break down your goals into mini goals it could seem very daunting. So each week add to that list of mini goals that is going to get you where you want to be. If your wanting to quit sodas but don't want to do it cold turkey, begin saying you will only have 1 soda at lunch, and 1 at dinner. The next week only 1 at lunch. The third week, only 1 every other day. Then by the fourth week none. Want to read more scriptures? Commit to doing a bible flop once a day. Then twice a day. Then reading a specific set of scriptures leading to eventually a whole book.
**Now let me let you in on a little secret. There are days that you really need to listen to your body. There are days that you can't be so rigid on your schedule that everyone around you is miserable! This morning was a perfect one for me. I did NOT do my "five by eight" at all. Do you know why? This morning I was still very tired and after hubby left for work I went back to bed. Guess what!? That is not normal. That is not everyday. So I won't fret but if I was only working off my schedule I would be not happy with myself. I am not worried because I am now very energized and ready for the week ahead. **
Would you like to learn how to create an atmosphere to hear from God? Check out THIS podcast from Terri Savelle Foy!