Monday, January 20, 2020

How I'm Setting Myself Up for Success in 2020

This morning I woke up to a surprise sheet of snow on the ground. This was also the morning after my home team, the Kansas City Chiefs, won the division championship and are now set to go to the Super Bowl. We spent our Sunday afternoon watching the game and eating far too much with family. To say we're pumped is a huge understatement.

Only a small fraction of the spread on Sunday.
These Kansas City Chiefs M&M's tasted better than regular ones. 
Thankfully, the snow ended quickly and the sun came out to melt most of it away. This meant my plans for my Monday were not derailed; a big deal these days. In the fall, my paternal grandmother was diagnosed with high-grade urothelial cancer (cancer in the tube leading from the kidney to the bladder). To make it easier on her during this time, I've been attending to her medical appointments and being general support ensuring another set of ears hears things the doctors instruct and another mind to remember it all. I can't imagine how overwhelming it is. In the last couple of weeks, we've had to bump chemo treatments while we wait for her blood counts to stabilize. This means a lot of scheduling and rescheduling that leads to a little more juggling than normal. I'm happy to do it and somehow have managed it and my own, growing business fairly well since getting back to a normal routine after the holidays.

Coming into 2020, I knew I had several goals that I wanted to get started on right away. I also knew there were a few steps I needed to take to set myself up for success when it came to my goals. So, for my personal documentation and your reading pleasure, I'm going to outline what I'm currently doing to lay a solid foundation to reach my goals this year.

1.) Tidying Things Up

I tend to like to keep things pretty tidy, but over the last couple of years, certain nooks and crannies (drawers and closets) have gotten a bit out of hand. So, the first few weeks of this year I've been going through everything and determining if there is anything to let go of and organizing what we decide to keep. So far I am now aware of every space in the house (other than my office which is a whole other world itself...and will likely take a week to fully tackle). Starting with a clean, organized space gives me a lot of peace and I worry less about the mess and more about my goals.

In order to maintain, I also keep a daily cleaning schedule so that I spend 20-30 minutes a day tidying. This helps to keep the house maintained with very little daily energy output. It works well and also means that I can keep up on the whole house without having to take a whole Saturday to catch up with the chaos that has built up all week. In fact, by the time Saturday rolls around, I can focus on other projects. Whereas, there was a time when Saturdays were taken up by cleaning the baseboards.

2.) Setting Up a Morning Routine

I work better with routines and knew I wanted to set up a strong morning routine to start the day off strong. There are also several things I want to do first in the day to ensure they get done and don't get put off because I'm too tired by the end of the day. Currently, it's still evolving, but I'm getting there. I start the day with a cup of coffee while reading scripture and doing devotions. Then I try to get in a couple miles on the treadmill followed by a healthy breakfast. If I'm running on time, I'll go ahead and hop in the shower, but if I'm running behind sometimes I'll just get right to work and save the shower for around lunchtime. If all goes well, I start working in my office at around 9 a.m.

3.) Setting Up an Evening Routine

The evenings have been challenging lately. My business has been growing quickly and the sheer amount of work I have sometimes keeps me working in my office till well past dark. I'm trying hard to cut myself off by 6 p.m. Then I prepare dinner and sit down with the hubs to watch a show while we eat. Sometimes we sit down at the dinner table together to eat if we're not in the mood for a show. Then I do a few chores and end all the activity with some yoga. After that, I do whatever I want until it's time for bed.

4.) Setting Up a Bedtime Routine

Bedtime can be interesting since I typically just want to slide into bed and scroll through Instagram. However, I'm trying to wash up and take my vitamins and then settle in to read until I'm ready to sleep. If I can actually get to sleep before midnight, I feel like I'm doing well. Getting to sleep at 11 is even better and either way, I'm guaranteed 7-8 hours of sleep.

5.) Setting Up a Budget

One of the big goals I have for 2020 is to pay off all of our debts (aside from student loans). We're following the Dave Ramsey "snowball" method. So, I've set up a strict budget and I don't deviate much from it. I'm working to build both a personal and business savings account along with this which will help me when it comes time to take my business to the next level.

I feel like all 5 of these areas put me in the best situation to then focus on achieving a few key goals (which I'll share later). The less I have to worry about doing mundane things, the more I can worry about doing the deeper things. Some of these areas will still need to be tweaked over the coming weeks, but I'm in a better situation now than I was at the end of 2019. I mean, to say I'm sitting here writing this blog on my couch with a clean house is a HUGE win. I'm feeling good about the direction we're heading this year!


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