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So we talked about some tools and motivational methods to tackle our goals with our busy lives as single mothers. Now you have a planner (or you don’t because that’s just the way you roll), the pages are blank and you don’t know what to put where! I’m with you. My baby has been co-sleeping with me and eating all night long and waking up at a bunch of random times everyday. I have no idea what time she’s going to wake up so I never know when I can start planning things. Your kid may be more dependable and be able to plan things with a better idea of when everything starts. Today I want to help you narrow down those big dreams to workable tasks.
I’m actually working on a special day planner which isn’t constrained to hours but periods based off of your child’s schedule: awake periods and nap periods. Some things you just can’t get done while the baby is awake. You need a good slot of time that you can focus on one thing. Other things, you can work on incrementally as a baby is working on a bite of food or actually content to play with his or her toys. It is this idea that kind of fueled my desire to design this day planner. It is also set up to help you prioritize each of your goals according to what is most pressing. It’s still a work in progress.
But here we are, we’re single parents around the clock with still all of the normal tasks to keep up the house, laundry, meals and feedings, and we also have our own personal goals in life to work on. To top it off, you are a single mom so you probably work. That means you only have 2 days off (3-4 if you work as a nurse or in the emergency services field) to devote to everything besides maybe an hour in the evenings after work every day.
Make a list of of everything you want to get accomplished this year. Then next to it, rearrange them in order of what is most important or what you want to get done first. Then take the first one and break it down into tasks that build on each other from where you are now to where you want to be. You could do this for everything on your list first, or just do it for the first thing on your priority list and go from there.
My Passion Planner calls these things “Road Maps.” As an example I post pictures of one of my “road maps” pertaining to my goal of becoming a law enforcement officer. There are two different agencies which I am keeping an open mind for: the Houston Police Department (HPD) or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department (MCSO). The optimal choice for location-wise would be MCSO. (It helps that I already work for them in dispatch!) However, the optimal choice money-wise is HPD.
I’ll show you the road map I have set up for what is called my game changer, graduation from a law enforcement academy.
It’s somewhat disorganized but also somewhat organized. This includes both routes for either HPD or MCSO. Anything with the letter “a” next to it is specific to HPD and anything with the letter “b” next to it is specific to MCSO. I’m honestly hoping that items 2 and 3 will not be necessary for transferring over with MCSO as they already received these things when I applied for dispatch. I’m also hoping that different aspects of steps 6 & 8 will also be unnecessary.
But now that you have your game changer(s) broken down, you have an idea of everything you need to do to accomplish your goal(s). These steps you can now plug into your daily tasks. Everyone works differently. So here are some ideas you may try for a week or two and see how they work for you:
- Plug the first task into the first time slot of your day planner (which you purchased after reading my last post 😉 );
- Write the task on sticky notes and paste them on your bathroom mirror, fridge, or even on your laptop or TV;
- Set reminders on your phone to pop up at intervals to remind you of the tasks you need to be working on that day; and/or
- Ask a friend to text/call you at a certain time to see if you’ve completed your task yet.
Narrowing It down to Workable Tasks
The overview for January and February included some of these steps in the “break it down” section as well as on the individual days.
Note I put my target goals for pushups on the dates and in parentheses I noted what date I actually reached the minimum goal for HPD. (MCSO requires a minimum of 24 push ups to go into the academy whereas HPD requires a minimum of 15 with 25 to graduate.)
The individual weeks might look like this:
It seems like a lot is on my plate but that is because I’m marking all of the baby feedings and naps in there. I place in parenthesis things which I am doing while performing the task above it because I always snuggle my baby for her first nap. This forces me to be still and quiet for a portion of my day and also allows me to complete the spiritual enriching parts of my day that I might feel stressed about trying to get done at other times when I am up and moving.
What I would prefer…
My best day would have me waking up, working out, eating breakfast, then showering. Then I would plug in some housework, some writing, and then some lunch with down time.
This is life as a mother. Things change but it doesn’t mean that things go away. You still need energy and strength to deal with your children and the responsibilities. You are the example of living healthy and striving to be strong (not skinny) needs to start early.
They will also learn good habits of time management if they see mommy demonstrate it herself. And the empowerment you will get as you check off those goals is going to feel amazing.
Even if you don’t choose to use a planner, create your passion maps with your own game changers. Break it down into workable steps and tackle them one by one. I used this tactic to accomplish a critical aspect of my journey towards becoming a police officer by losing the pregnancy weight and getting in shape. My next post will include everything I did to lose 40 lbs in 7 months. Never lose sight of your dreams in life. You’ll get there.
Join the growing band of Gypsy Mothers!
Be a part of a growing community of gypsy mothers. We’ve got our own individual dreams in life, but what good are dreams without friends to share them with?