Rush, rush, rush. Run, run, run. Our days are often packed to overflowing. Most of the time we run from the moment we wake up and gulp our first cup of coffee till we fall into bed at night.
But even with all this running and busy-ness…do you feel satisfied and accomplished at the end of the day? Or do you feel like you still haven’t gotten the important things done? You might have finished the errands, school drop-off and pick-up, and even the dishes and laundry. But maybe you didn’t get to stop and spontaneously read a book with your six-year-old. And you didn’t look your 12-year-old in the eyes when she was telling you about her day at school and the problem with a friend she had because you also had to work on your phone at the same time. Which means you missed another opportunity to connect with your almost-teenager. And you weren’t able to create your Pinterest posts for the week and work on growing your business because you needed to clean the house.
With all the “things” that need to get done ALL the time, how can you make sure you actually spend time on what is really most important? After all, the dishes won’t clean themselves, and everyone needs to eat food and wear clean clothes! So how can you run your business, make money, take care of your home and family, AND live a life filled with meaning?
It all starts with planning.
If you want to live an intentional life full of all the things that are most important to you, you have to have a plan to get you from here to there. To start creating this plan, you first need to sit down and physically make a list of all the things that are most important to you. Start out with general categories such as “family”, “spirituality”, “travel”, and even “business”. Whatever your priorities are! (Your general goals could even be moving into your dream home and taking a vacation to Hawaii – whatever is important to you.) Think about the next 5-10 years as you write out these priorities and goals. Where do you want to be in 10 years? How many memories do you want to have made with your kids and your friends?
Once you have written out your general priorities (spend more time with family) and goals (take a family vacation to Hawaii) it is time to get specific. Dive into the details of what you want and what is important to you. You don’t have to be fancy and create a numbered list when you write out your detailed priorities and goals. All you have to do is write. You don’t even have to use full sentences. Right now all you need to do is put your thoughts and wishes down on paper (or into your tablet!). Later you will assign dates and timelines to all of these priorities and goals. But now is all about getting your hearts desires down on paper in front of you.
Now it’s time to get focused.
You’ve just written down your hopes, dreams, and goals for the next few years. I am sure there is A LOT on your list. So now it’s time to get focused. Because vision and focus are the keys to living an intentional life.
This means that now is the time to create a strategic, numbered list. Create this list, of course, according to which goals are most important to you. But also think about when you want to accomplish your goals. Some priorities, often your top few priorities, are evergreen – priorities such as spending more focused time with your family. But the other goals and priorities that you have written down – buying your dream home, spending a week at Disney World, or snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef – are probably more limited by time.
So, what are your goals and priorities for the next 12 months? The next five years? The next 10 years? You can create an actual time line if you’d like. Or use different sheets of paper for your 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals.
Whatever works best for you.
Now it’s time to schedule!
Once you know what your priorities and goals are, and have decided which ones are evergreen (spending more time with family) and have assigned a timeline to everything else, you are ready to start prioritising your days!
My friend Rachelle from How to Live Slow says, “Life is more than just hustling to the next thing…” And the beauty of planning is that you get to decide just how much you are going to fit into your day and what you are going to prioritise. If you don’t plan, you will just be left trying to stuff everything – all at once! – into your day. Which is not the way to live an intentional life.
You have loads of goals – your 10-year, 5-year, and even 1-year goals. Right now is the time to put on your blinders and NOT focus on the future. You want to forget, for a moment, about where you want to be 10 years down the road. Instead, break down THIS year’s goals and priorities.
What things do you want to have finished by the end of the year? What goals could you accomplish in the next six months? And what do you just really have to have done this month?
Really look at your goals. Make sure they are paired down to the MOST important priorities. (Remember, to live an intentional life you have to beat out overwhelm and really pair down your priorities and goals to the most essential things.) Then, decide exactly what steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. What do you need to do each week? Every day?
Now, what do you WANT in each day? Is it a quiet coffee in the morning? An early bedtime? Or a late movie after everyone is asleep? Do you want to do baking and craft projects with your kids every day?
Now put all the things you want to do in time slots for the day so you can see if you REALLY can fit all your priorities and goals into your day without feeling overwhelmed. (And if you can’t…it’s time to eliminate!!!)
And now you have your plan for the day, the week, and even the month! (As well as a tentative plan for the year.)
How does it feel? Do you feel relieved? Relaxed? If so, you have the perfect plan for you! And if not, then it might be time to eliminate a few more things from your plate.
If you would like to eliminate some things from your plate and make business easier so you can focus on your priorities, I can help! I make your business more visible with less effort from you so that you can grow and run a business you love, all while spending even more time with your family. You can see what I can do for you here.