Setting Intentions and Making Priorities
November 13, 2019
Setting Intentions and Making Priorities
How many times does the weekend come and instead of being family focused, you’re busy running around cleaning, running errands, doing chores, and before you know it, the entire weekend has gone by, you’re scrambling to get the kids to bed, and you’re just so tired you don’t have the energy to stay up and spend quality time with your partner?
What about during the week? You could be spending precious time with your babies and partner, but instead you feel the need to clean, do chores, and you end up putting the kids in front of the tv, or continue to say, “okay, almost done,” and next thing you know, it’s time for dinner, bath, and bed?
This was my regular routine. All. The. Time. I know that several mothers go through the same motion of never stopping. Coming home, putting toys away, cleaning. Oh, the floor is dirty, better sweep it and mop it. On the weekend, my to do list seemed even longer and I constantly stay on the go, which drives my husband nuts because he is only home on the weekends most of the time.
Enough is enough. At some point, you have to stop. You have to take a breath, and you have to enjoy your life and your family. Will you really be satisfied if at the end of the life you never got to spend quality time with your kids or spouse, but your house was always spotless? Or to have people say that you were always busy? I don’t. I want it to know I lived a good, full life, and was able to spend my time with my family, enjoying the things we love together. Sometimes we get wrapped up in all the small things that we forget to enjoy the things that matter most. Here are some tips for how you can refocus, be more intentional with your time, and start doing the things that matter most to you.
How I Started to Refocus and Live More Intentionally
1. Write a List of Your Top 5 Priorties/Values. Sit down and make a list of the 5 things that are most important to you. For me, it’s 1)family, 2)health/workouts 3) family stability/stability in the home 4)clear mental health 5)being intentional with who I share my time with. There are no right or wrong values, only the ones that you consider important to you.
2. Make a list of “Must Do” versus “Can do”. What do I mean? There always seems to be a million things we “could do.” Wash dishes, laundry, baseboards, cook dinner, workout, call aunt Judith who you haven’t talked to in 3 years, organize things in alphabetical order, etc. Go ahead and get your “can do” list in order. Now though, you have your values list, and you can use that as a guidepost for figure out what should be on your “Must Do” list. So, organizing those receipts? Sure, it would be great to do, but unless a value of yours is strict organization, I don’t think that needs to make it onto our “Must Do” list. Making dinner and cleaning? Do my values involve being a chef? Nope. However, my values do include family, and a stable home environment, which means I prefer to keep my home picked up and serve my family hot meals.
3. Write 5 things you’re grateful for every morning, followed by 5-10 goals you have (write the goals as if they’ve already happened). Trust me. Doing this everyday will not only enhance your gratitude muscle and help you seek joy, you will begin noticing your goals shift, and truly see the things that bring you gratitude in your life. Those things begin to become important and stand out. Do not skip this step!
4. Take a few moments each month, week, and day to do a priority check. Check your Calander for important appointments and things coming up. Know where you will be spending your time each day, each week. I know this sounds like a lot, but visibly seeing where your time is going will help so much. Put each activity you do daily into your Calander. At the end of the week, see how much time was spent doing things you enjoy, versus things you dread. Repeat this at the end of the month. When you do your monthly/weekly check, see what things you could cut out, or cut back on, and be sure you schedule those things that bring you joy with utmost importance. They are urgent! And even though it’s tempting to reschedule it, don’t. Keep it on the Calander and commit to those joyful things.
5. Clean as you make the mess. What do I mean? If I spill crumbs while cooking, I don’t wait until I’m finished cooking, I keep a cloth on hand to wipe up as I go. This helps me feel less exasperated when I’m finished cooking and the mess seems smaller. Plus, I cut clean up time in half if I do this. When you leave the bathroom, wipe the sink really quick. I keep a microfiber cloth in the shower to wipe down the walls while I’m in there. This way, it stays mostly clean and you don’t feel overwhelmed on your cleaning day.
6. Do at least one load of laundry per day. That’s right. I don’t know about you, but at my house I can never stay on top of the laundry. Between myself, my husband, two kids, and a dog, it seems it just never stops. So, I commit to doing at least one load of laundry a day. Washing, drying, and putting away. It may make smaller loads, but it alleviates the stress of doing laundry ALL day instead.
7. Meal Prep. You do not have to meal prep every meal, but having prepped food on hand helps alleviate stress, and makes for a simple dinner plan when things don’t go as planned. And let’s face it, sometimes things just don’t go as planned
8. At a certain point, enough is enough. I can’t tell you how many nights my poor husband sat and waited for me to come give him attention but I was so busy cleaning or doing things that by time I was ready to sit down it was time for bed. Just accept that the to do list is truly never ending, and at some point, enough is enough. Learn to let go (yes, easier said than done) and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones.
9. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Seriously, give yourself a lot of grace. We are human, life is messy. We make mistakes, we learn from them. Sometimes our home is spotless, sometimes we have a mess on the counter. Sometimes we make a gourmet dinner, other times we go through the Chick-fil-a drive thru 3 times in a row. Life happens, take a breath, and just continue to strive, prioritize, and take steps towards what aligns with YOUR priorities and life
For me, mental health is huge, because if I continue to work on myself and my mindset, it’s so much easier to keep sight of the important things and be more intentional. However, it’s never perfect. Life is about always focusing on your intentions, and sometimes that intention shifts. But the more intentionally we can be, the more joyous are lives can become. Remember to always be kind, and through the kindness, not everyone deserves our time.