And watch them come true.
If you’re anything like me, which I know for a fact many of you are (that’s why we’re friends), then the end of September finds your ON switch fully and completely activated. From work to home to football games and the gym, grocery stores and school projects, walking dogs and lord only knows what else, our lives are bursting with activities, to-do lists and throw in a little work for good measure. And if you’re lucky somewhere in there you’ll add a little fun. I’m exhausted already.
So how do you organize your life around your dreams? How do we amplify the heck out of the day in order to suck the good stuff out, make some memories, laugh more, smile more, complain less and just generally make the day a day well spent? I don’t have all the answers but I have some ideas and a kind of go-to plan that might help. It’s not a guarantee that your life is going to be unicorns and tacos but I do know that if you implement some of it, well you will most definitely make some progress.
Identify your dreams
Before y’all roll your eyes and say, “I’m 45. My dream is to go to bed before 10 tonight” give me a chance to articulate. You need to identify your dreams, your goals, your must haves. What do you want out of your days? Your week? Your month? Taking the time to sit down and really think about what it is you are searching for, wanting, needing, hoping for in your day to day life helps to give you a purpose behind why you do what you do. And purpose, well that’s el capitano of your boat-o.
Put it on paper
I don’t care if it’s a calendar, a planner, a sticky note or the back of a receipt (okay, try not to do the receipt thing) but write this stuff down. When you write things down you are not only repeating your thoughts but you are also giving yourself something tangible to hold, to touch, to put in your hands and make it real. Take some quiet time on a Sunday morning, think about the week ahead and write down what needs to be done. All of it - from taking the trash out to Bobby’s soccer match to hubby’s root canal to a report due at work to gifting yourself an hour at the gym. Pencil. Hand. Paper. Write it down.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize
This is important. Prioritize and organize your days and week accordingly. There are certain things that you know are a must such as studying for an upcoming test or an appointment of some sort versus those things that are a would-like-to-if-I-have-time like cutting down the gardens from summer. There are only so many hours in the day and if the things on the top of your list are the top priority then you set yourself up for success and most generally will get those things accomplished.
Don’t forget about you time and family time
Time for yourself and time for your family is important. And should be prioritized. And, for many of us, is the foundation for our purpose (el capitano, boat-o). Spending time with those we love, doing the things that we love - I bet if I looked at your list of dreams and goals for your days and your weeks, in some way shape or form that would be the most significant. It certainly is on mine. So you have to make sure in these hectic times we live in, these never ending schedules of go here, go there, do this and take care of that, it’s imperative that we make time for ourselves and our families.
Sharing is Caring
Share with the pertinent family members. At the beginning of the week. A recap at dinner. A reminder when they are walking out the door that this is what we have going on. Mind you I say that with tongue in cheek because I find that my husband and my children often say, “You never told me that!” when we all know I most certainly did tell you that. Share, reiterate, repeat. Get everyone on the same page.
Realize it won’t all go your way
And at the end of the day, it doesn’t always go our way. Things happen, someone gets sick and has to be picked up from school, work runs late, blah blah blah. Be prepared for things to not go right all the time and do your best to roll with the punches, salvaging what you can out of the day. And keep your eye on the prize. Stay focused on what the dream or goal of the day or the week was and if you have to reevaluate, so be it.
Organizing as I know it
Well as it so happens, my life right now is super hectic and this is the mother of all weeks. I’ve got a freshman in college, a junior in high school and a freshman in high school. All three are at different schools and two of the three live away at school. Easy peasy right? WRONG. My college freshman plays club hockey, my high schoolers both play football, one of them on three different teams (varsity, jv and freshmen). I work, my husband works and coaches football for a team that he doesn’t have a child on and I have three dogs.
I have everything written down on the calendar that sits on our fridge - everything being all of their games. My week this week consisted of a game on Monday afternoon, Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. In four different locations. Additionally, I have a comp on Saturday for the vast majority of the day and a family 16th birthday party that night. Oh and my husband’s birthday. My list of priorities, goals and dreams this week is to get through the week with a smile on my face, get everyone where they need to be, fuel and prep myself for my comp and be there for each member of the family, take part in their hard work. I forgot about the Friday night game so there goes going to bed early on Friday in preparation for Saturday comp. Shrug. Okay. Being at my son’s game is of greater importance to me than getting extra rest for Saturday. Prioritize.
Oh and my brother and sister-in-law...They are in the thick of having to be highly organized and realizing their dreams and goals for the week. Just the other morning my mom was telling me that they found out about a cross-country meet that one of their children had yesterday. And it was yesterday. An hour after they found out about it. So they reorganized their afternoon on the fly and were able to be there to see it. Actually, able to see him take first place!
They’ve got football practices for two different teams, dance, hectic work schedules, three dogs and a schedule that is bursting at the seams. Yet they manage to get it done and have quality time with each other (Subway lunch dates on Wednesdays) and as a family. It takes a great deal of forethought and organization but they do it beautifully and roll with the punches when need be.
Stay organized and keep your eye focused on the prize as we start to end the month of September and roll into the holiday season. If you take the time to organize your life around your dreams, around the things that are important to you as a person and as a member of your family, you’ll find that the unattainable is so easily attained.