Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Planning, Planning, Planning

If you are stopping by from Jenna's Journey, I'm glad you stopped by for a visit! 

A week or so ago, I posted this photo in one of my Too Cute posts:
This idea supports the concept that it takes 21 days to make a habit (I've also heard that it then takes 21 days to keep that habit . .. ) It got me thinking about some habits I would like to establish as we start moving towards fall.  For me, summer is my hardest time for being consistent in anything.  There are multiple reasons but the biggest one is the heat.  I love it when summer consists of 70 degree, non humid days.  I'll take an 80 degree day here and there just so we can go to the beach but for daily life, I need 70 degrees.  I tend to do a lot more of "nothing" during the warm . . .hot . .humid days of summer then I do during spring, fall or winter which means I lose some habits and let some things go that I may have established through the other three seasons.  On the hottest of days (and weeks) we are "trapped" in the living room/boys bedroom because that area is cooled off by a window a/c unit which means I get even less done. Well, I get a lot of reading done if that counts for anything! Summer is also the time I start thinking of new ways to organize my daily schedule, cleaning schedule, goals and more because, lets face it, I have a lot of down time on my hands.  Putting thoughts onto "paper" (a blog counts as paper, right?) sometimes helps me think through things and it might offer you some inspiration too.

1. Daily Dues.  My daily dues are balancing the checkbook to the online account, updating our daily budget records from my husbands job and spending, and making the to do list for the next day and thinking ahead for the week and even the month so I know what is coming up!  I had this fully under control until June.  Then it is like my brain dumped that portion out and I haven't kept up with it for two months.  I've already started working on this to get back into the habit of making the first thing I do after the boys go to bed is . . my Daily Dues.

2. Daily Schedule - Several Months ago I posted my "new" schedule for each day.  It worked great until I started babysitting again.  I gave myself a month to get used to that new change in our day and then it was, well, June and I went into summer mode.  I'm already thinking of my new plan for the fall especially since I'll be homeschooling three boys in two different levels.  I want to go back to a goal I had a few years ago of "Simplify" and work on cleaning more stuff out and lightening up the look of everything in our home whether that means cleaning off surfaces or updating some paint . .. I just want a fresher, more modern look.

3. The basement.  My nemesis in this house.  I think if it were a pretty basement, I would keep it clean and neat but since it isn't, I have a harder time with it.  I do have my plan, though, of cleaning out, selling, and organizing things.  For instance, back in middle and high school I won an award almost every year in youth group - a plaque.  They take up one storage bin in my basement and it drives me nuts because they will never go on a wall anywhere.  I plan on taking a photo of each one, the whole group, and maybe even typing up the information for each one so I can add that stuff to a scrapbook and then, yes folks, tossing the plaques.  My kids can see what I won but they won't take up a spot in storage. When all is said and done, I will have color coordinated storage that is hopefully cut in half of what I have now.  I'm also hoping to earn a little money selling some stuff through an on-line "garage" sale in my area so I can pick up the new stuff I want to set up our office/classroom/craft room.  My kids are going away for a week so the basement will get done that week if it kills me (which it won't - it really should only take a total of about . . 4-5 hours to get it all done and another few hours to do some moving and get the "play room" set up finally)

4. Cooking - My husband has said over and over that my cooking has improved so much since we got married.  He's right.  Actually, since I quit working to stay home, my cooking has improved because I have time to cook.  I've been more and more inspired recently by watching various cooking shows to improve and venture out into some more creative things.  I'd like to master a few things like . . .cupcakes and cakes.  I struggle with those for some odd reason.  I also want to refine my recipe book even more and get rid of things I won't make, the things we don't love, or the things that flop and have a recipe book full of recipes that we love.  I'm still hoping to find some simple cooking classes along the way too.  I've also been working on making sure that I have healthy foods to eat for my breakfast and lunch so I am continuing to refine recipes that are easy and that I can make ahead and eat throughout the week.

5. Devotions and Prayer Time - I think most of us struggle with this one.  I have some things I want to do concerning the boys within this time - scriptures verses to pray for them, journals to keep, and my own quiet time.

6. Budgeting - I have a budget; I have a savings plan; now I need to stick to it.  We have plans for this fall, goals for next year, and dreams for 5 or 10 years down the road but without a budget it's hard to achieve anything, isn't it? 

I like to have my plan in place by the beginning of September so that I can start the fall strong!