Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Month 4:  Mission 4:  Forward Planning
One reason why I was an effective teacher {if I do say so myself} is because I was always thinking of the next thing….the next unit, the next re-teaching strategy, the next enrichment opportunity, etc. I optimized every SECOND of my work day and stayed several steps ahead of where I needed to be. Upon finishing a lesson, I would make notes and begin planning for the next time we covered that particular topic be it next semester or next year with a different group of children. I noted my observations, reflected all the time on what worked and what didn’t, and sought ways to improve. I couldn’t wait until the last minute to do these things because that method didn’t mesh with my personality or the type of classroom I wanted to have. To have the structure and calm and friendly atmosphere that I wanted, I had to be prepared. It wasn’t a choice.
I’m learning that running a house, a calm and friendly house, requires that same type of preparation and forward planning. Rushing around, scheduling last minute appointments, eating out frequently, and running out of toilet tissue are all signs {when this is the norm} that there’s not a lot of forward planning being done in the house. And remember…these Makings of Me posts are about me and things that I want for my life. Maybe you’re in a tough season of life right now and it’s all you can do to get through a day, let alone think about the next. If this is you, I’m sending you love and hugs right now because I know it ain’t easy. But for many of us, there are little things we can do to prepare to prevent some of the rush and busyness we all feel from time to time…or all the time!
One of my biggest tools for forward planning for my home is maintaining my Home Management notebook. This notebook houses everything from our family mission statement and monthly menus, to goals and reading lists. Sitting down with my planner and making note of special dates with reminders in my phone is also helpful. There are so many tools available that the biggest issue is actually using the tool(s) consistently.
As we are in first month of a new year, my goal and attention is on being a better planner. The type of planner I was when I was teaching, while still being flexible and remembering that things happen and sometimes, you just have to go with it.
Here are 6 things I know I can start doing NOW to help me feel more prepared:

1.      Get clothes out at night.

2.    Plan weekly or monthly menus.

3.    Write out grocery list with coupons the day BEFORE I plan to shop.

4.    Fill up my gas tank every Monday, even if I’m not on “E”.

5.     Plan for birthdays {sending cards, buying gifts, and/ or activities} at least 1 month in advance.

6.    Schedule all recurring annual appointments for myself and my family at the same time or before leaving the current appointment.

Are you a planner? How do you stay on top of things in your home? Do you have any favorite tools, apps, or do you use a Home Management Notebook?
By the way, if anyone is interested in hearing more about my Home Management Notebook, leave a comment below. Variations of this are all over the web, but I know I am always curious as to how other people organize theirs, so let me know if want to see mine, or better yet, share yours!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I am DEFINITELY a planner. Here are some things I do/use:

    * I use the online Cozi tool (it's also an app on my phone) to keep up with my grocery lists, family calendar and birthday reminders. It's a tool that texts both my husband and I to remind us of events, and it's a shared grocery list so that whenever we add or delete something we both see it. No more having two gallons of milk because we each stopped and picked some up not knowing the other person was doing the same thing.
    *I schedule the children's dental and annual check ups for the same day back to back. Since one child's birthday is in May and the other is August, they get their annual check ups in August. One child gets his appointment with the doctor then switch. We do the same thing when with the dentist.
    *I plan any trips months in advance and include packing lists and "things I need to buy" lists to help with budgeting.
    *I have my work calendar synced to my phone so that I can always brace myself for the next days events the night before.

    1. Hi Brandi! Thanks for sharing these tips! I haven't heard of Cozi before! It definitely seems handy! And I love what you do with your children's doctor appointments. I always forget to do this even though my children's birthdays are in October and November. I will be scheduling them back to back this year! Thanks again! :)