Are you looking to make some changes this year? Hoping to feel more balanced? Wishing you could be less busy? Do you want more time for those things that are most important to you? Don't spend your time hoping and wishing; take action!
Look back. Take time, even if it's just 10 minutes, to look back to 2009. Write down your excitements, accomplishments, your frustrations and your letdowns. Now make a list of everything you would like to do or improve upon in 2010. There is no wrong answer here; allow your thoughts to spill out onto the paper (or computer screen). Pick one or two of the most important areas you would like to work on in the coming year.
Think ahead. In other words, plan ahead as much as you can. I believe this is one of a mom's most useful strategies. For example, plan your meals out for the week and then make your shopping list. Take time to plan your next day the night before. Planning also includes grouping like activities and tasks together to make the most of your time. For example, it makes sense to do all your errands on the same day.
How you spend your time will be determined by your priorities not your availability. Too often we forget to look at what is truly important to us and our families before we add another thing to our already busy calendars. Take the time to reflect on what matters most to you and your family. Ask, "Do these requests of my/our time fit with my/our priorities? If the answer is no, it probably doesn't belong on your calendar.
Don't overload your calendar. When we over-commit ourselves and our time, the results can be counter-productive. Busyness leads to stress, frustration, and fatigue (mentally, physically and emotionally!). Be sure to include down time on your calendar. Actually write it down like you are setting an appointment with yourself. If a request of your time comes up during that "free" time, simply say, "I'm sorry, that's not going to work for me."
You can feel more balanced and focus on the important stuff. Now is the time to make those changes. It starts with a commitment from you.
If you are determined to be focused and balanced in 2010, check out my Making Time for What's Important Home Study Program.