4 Easy Steps To Sanity
Summer vacations are all but over, schools are ramping back up, and fall is right around the corner. Anyone depressed yet? Well, if fall is in on your mind, then that probably means you’re thinking, like me, that it’s time to get everyone focused.
If you want a few ideas on how you can minimize stress and bring more sanity into your life, you will need to read on….
Set Your Priorities
This is important to remember: if you don’t decide what’s really important for you and your family, others will decide for you. Sometimes, the best way to determine what your priorities should be is to ask yourself, “What do I want people to remember me (and my family) for?” Obviously, if you primarily want to be remembered for your ambitious career and you’ve chosen to start a family, you’re going to have to balance your obligations. If you say, “I want my family to be remembered for how we helped people,” and your current lifestyle doesn’t reflect that, then you have some hard decisions to make.
Once you have established 3-5 priorities and you have them front and center (why not enlarge them on nice paper, frame it and put in on your wall?) they become part of what you see each day, get into your subconscious, and make it much easier to say no to things that would take us away from them. Why? Because you are training your mind to think differently, and if you think differently, your actions follow. If you’re the kind of person who always feels like you should be doing more, then you need to take a hard look at yourself and ask why. Remember this saying? “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Don’t get bogged down in doing more, focus more on putting your full weight behind the things that really matter.
The best way to actually stick to a routine/priority is to keep it as consistent as you can…especially if it doesn’t come easily to you (e.g. certain household chores.) Establish cornerstones that everyone can count on. For example, store important things in consistent places (work on getting the kids to be consistent at this!) You can make family meals cornerstones, too. You may not be able to serve dinner at the same time each night, but you can insist it’s always a sit-down affair that begins with a family prayer, even if you’re eating fast food in a minivan. You can create monthly cornerstones, like a consistent date night for you and your spouse, a monthly planning meeting to cross-reference everybody’s calendars or a family day out. Bottom line, have something your family can be consistent about together.
My wife is great at this! If you ever want any suggestions, I will put you in touch with her. You may be a fan of watching Blue Apron commercials and feel like you should always make meals interesting, colorful and fresh. This may be the ideal, but who lives the ideal life? The most important thing is for the meals to be eaten, right? Don’t overthink it. Keep versatile ingredients on hand and keep a consistent rotation of reliable meals that multiple family members know how to make (healthy ones, if possible.) If your kids are old enough, assign them a night to cook.
If you don’t remember anything else, let me repeat this: if you don’t decide what’s really important for you and your family, others will decide for you. As summer ends, things seem to get hectic fast! Please use these ideas to give yourself and your family some needed sanity.
I would appreciate hearing what you thought of this information. Please share your suggestions on topics you would like covered.
Your Virtual Life Mentor,