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If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! – Benjamin Franklin

Well done this week. You have decided which forms of self care you are going to implement into your everyday routine. You are dedicating yourself to building your own resilience and combating the negative effects of stress though gratitude. You are working on sleeping better and infusing your weeks with some fun. Look at the steps you have taken towards creating a better life. Frankly, you ROCK! So now that we are embracing these new habits and making meaningful changes in our self-care how are we making sure we succeed? Planning.

The weekend is my favorite time to sit down and plan. Whenever you can carve out about an hour and look at your week is the perfect time to plan. Sunday night or Saturday morning before activities begin, it doesn’t matter as long as it gets done. I am a totally planner nerd. I had been a cell phone & electronic planner for a long time but once I was managing my court calendar, my kids and spouses calendar and my life/home calendar it was too much. I now use my phone for appointments and reminders and do all my planning and weekly To-Do’s in my Erin Condren Life Planner.  They are 30% off right now by the way.

First- Schedule in all necessary appointments – This is everything, every kid activity, meetings, appointments all the things that require you to do something at a set time. Get all of these plotted out in your week. This includes setting aside time to plan. So block out when you are planning next week now.

Second- Break out your top three categories for your critical to-do’s. I suggest Self-Care, Professional, Family/Social- Then list the top three or four things you would like to accomplish in each of these categories and schedule them in like an appointment. If you want to add meditation to your routine, figure out what time each day you are going to carve out for it and schedule that commitment. If you want to go hiking with the kids pick where it will fit in the weekend.

Third – Make a rough meal plan – the thing I hate the most is “what’s for dinner”. If this doesn’t stress you out, skip it. If you hate this question too then take a minute and figure it out. I save new cooking adventures for Friday and Saturday. My kids have activities on Monday night, so we either pick up dinner or have Sunday leftovers. Once your weekly commitments are down you can see what nights dinner is already accounted for, which nights are a time crunch and when you can cook.

Fourth – Leave some space for the week – Every-night I set out my top 3 activities that need to be accomplished the next day. I put these in the top box of my planner.  This way there is some flexibility in my day and time for me to handle things that crop up, because it comes up. These don’t have to be massive projects. Some days it’s as simple as 1-Defrost meat for dinner 2 – Drop off returns, 3 – Return phone call to XYZ

BONUS – Have fun with it. Planning is a great productivity tool but it shouldn’t be a chore. Get some pens you love. Throw in some stickers. I have a number of Youtube videos  about planning, how I plan and what I use to plan. Make it fun.

Tomorrow we will be talking about how to keep up with your routine! Be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram as I frequently post my planner on how I am planning for the week!