Short Term Goals – Tip #4
I am a list maker. I always have been. When I was a tween I wrote lists about boys I liked, things I wanted to buy, movie stars I thought I should at least date and things I wanted to do when I was older (own a Mini, eat chocolate every day and have lots of money – wasn’t the most interesting or focused tween). As a teenager the only way my, constantly on the go, brain could get anything accomplished was to write ‘to do’ lists. I can’t say that I ever spent a lot of time going back and referencing them but there was something about getting it all down on paper that helped me. Since the teen years I have used lists to set realistic goals and help me to stay positive and on track and sometimes just to look at and remind myself of why I am so tired all the time! They are mostly on scrap, on my iPhone or posted on the fridge – but they have all helped me to not only stay organized but have things to look forward to and feel good about what I juggle and can manage in a month.
This week I decided to follow my own advice from “101 Tips for When They’re Back”. I wrote it to help families with the difficulties that come from reuniting after an absence but the truth is that short term goals have really helped us through a potentially boring and long summer, a difficult year at school, absences of their Dad, etc.
This summer my kids and I sat down and made a summer to do list. We had a lot of expensive repairs to do on our home and couldn’t afford a vacation and their Dad ended up on a month long exercise on the other side of the world so it was a ‘staycation’ and an absence for us! This list has been great for us. I was determined to make the most of where we lived and not have any of us sitting at home feeling sorry for ourselves or glued to a screen (Minecraft is addiction!).
We have now completed 67/101 things and I really don’t feel any pressure to complete the list (if you would have that compulsion then I suggest making a smaller list as the last thing you want is to stress yourself out more). I have also reminded myself that summer doesn’t officially end for us until September 21 so there is still time! When making the list I ensured that there were a mix of easy to do, things we would do anyway and things we have talked about doing but never got around to.
I am going to continue to do this with the kids now. With only 4 months left of 2014, I have decided to make the next one… “101 Things to Do Before 2015”. Since their Dad is going to be away Monday to Friday, it will be a great way to keep us active and not focusing on what we are missing but on all the things we can do.
For more information go to: www.whileyouwereaway.org