Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine. (Found here and here.) This post follows my progress in joining their challenge.
Just reading the article “The Secret of Success for Work-At-Home Moms” makes me want to do something ahead. Well, something more than I already am.
A few days ago, we talked about not comparing ourselves to others. One of the people that I find it easy to compare myself to is Crystal, the person whose book we are reading right now and who told us not to do just that. Ironic isn’t it? Crystal seems to be able to balance everything. However, she isn’t balancing the things I am, so technically she isn’t balancing everything. She is handling the things she has either been given or chosen to do. She is unique.
Another blog I have been reading regularly, and which has nothing to do with gardening, is Baker’s Dozen and Apollo XIV. She runs a photography business, has
13 14 kids, home schools and is dealing currently with a lot of travel due to one of her kids needing medical attention at this time.
Both of these women are ones I greatly admire, even if I don’t know them in real life. Also, reading about the parts of their lives they choose to share has encouraged me to set higher goals for myself. Not only are these women unique in who they are, I am willing to bet that neither sleeps in till 10 a.m. and then stays up till 2 a.m., spends 2 hours in front of the computer/television first thing when they get up, and then looks in the pantry to figure out what to make for lunch. At least not on purpose, that is.
So, even if these women are not perfect in every way, I find myself thinking, “Well, if she can do that, surely I can handle what I have. I need to get off here and focus on what I am supposed to be doing.” Then I remember what I am already doing ahead of time or early. These are things that I have not always done and that do not come naturally to me. I have learned to do them and found them to make my day go easier.
- I lay out kids’ clothes the night before.
- I lay out my clothes the night before, those sometimes that just means grabbing something from the closet, along with a pair of socks, and tossing it on top of my jeans for the next day.
- I menu plan. This may be a week ahead of time or a month at a time. It really depends on life at that moment.
- I shop so that we always have at least one extra of a given item in the house. This saves the “Oh, no! When did we run out?!?” from happening.
- I mark on my calendar to pay the water bill a week early. Can you imagine why I started doing this? Yeah, it took me being late twice to realize that writing it to do two days ahead was not far enough; there are other ways I want to spend my money.
- Order cards to be mailed. This is one that can’t always be done, but if it can then I do it. Some online card stores allow you to order a card to then be shipped at a future date. For example, one birthday card this year was ordered pre-addressed and pre-stamped to be mailed out a whole month ahead of time. The shipping date was set such that the receiver got it right at their birthday time. They didn’t know I did it the month before. If I already have a card, then I write it, address it, stamp it and seal it up. I write on the calendar when it needs to be mailed, then put it in a certain place.
- Make my bed as soon as I get up. It really does make the room feel bigger and half way picked up. (It is a large visual in the bedroom after all.)
- Get breakfast started or prepped the night before. This is not always possible to do, but does make the morning go easier.
- Crock pot meals. Need I say more?
- Scheduling, writing or outlining posts before they need to be published. Want an example of when I didn’t do this? Check back for those missing days in this series. Even having the basic outline saved (the few lines and image at the top, along with the title and theme for the day) makes the post writing seem to go so much faster.
There are probably more things, but these are the ones that come to mind right now. There are still things that I can do better at getting done early, but I am not going to stress over the long list. Instead, I am going to focus on the items I have chosen to make a habit. When they are ingrained, then I will review my “list” and choose another area to grow in.
I have been working on this a bit longer each day. Actually, a lot longer. This project was a large one and it didn’t help that I didn’t work on it several days last week. What I am not doing though is giving up. I am going to keep working at it this week and do as much as I can before the Thanksgiving holiday. Then next week, I will work on it again as much as I can. This isn’t exactly a project I can hide in a closet or behind a fenced yard. It really is out there for everyone to see. I have decided that if I am having trouble finding wood chips or someone to till up the area, I will continue on with what I can do. I can layout the boundaries, add a weed barrier layer, mulched leaves and compost. Then I can get the other nearby landscaping beds ready for the time when I do find wood chips available. The nearby areas are not nearly as large or labor intensive. They only need edging put up.
That is my plan right now. I feel as if I went from “Oh woe is me” to “hear my roar”. I love having a plan.
How is your project coming along? Have any hiccups along the way? Are you on target to get it finished in 21 days? What is your plan if you don’t meet that date?