One of the things I have been making sure that I make time for this year is a routine of mindfulness on Sundays, which helps me start my week on a positive note. For me, this means finding a cozy spot, sitting down with a cup of something tasty (tea, hot cocoa, coffee – whatever sounds delicious), and filling out my weekly planner.
I briefly mentioned in my other recent post about mindfulness that I have been using the Commit30 Planner since the beginning of January this year. It has really been a lifesaver for me in terms of taking time to organize my weeks and reflecting on what important tasks need to be accomplished. I am also one of those people who thrives off of routine, so having a set routine for planning helps me a lot.
Finding a spot you love to be is important in mindfulness, in my opinion. I love working at our dining room table. That area of our house is decorated with many of my favorite pieces and we have a large window by our table that overlooks Loon Lake. It’s a very peaceful scene and it puts me in the mindset of getting work done. Pairing my favorite spot with a favorite beverage is just an added bonus.
In my Commit30 Planner there is a place for yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. The yearly goals I filled out immediately upon starting my planner for the year because it helped me map out my year. My goals were:
- Physical Health: Plan to walk/jog with the dogs for at least 30 minutes each day.
- Mental Health: Do research about postpartum depression and discuss a plan with my doctor and Cody. (This one I’m hoping I don’t end up needing, but I also realize PPD impacts many, many women and I want to be prepared.)
- Marriage: Cook at least one meal together with Cody each week and have a sit down dinner at the dining room table.
- Family/Friends: Update the baby book and baby pictures monthly in order to send out updates to family and friends.
- Pure Joy/Fun: Go on one camping trip with Baby Middleton this summer.
- Adventure/Travel: Travel to one “bucket list” place in Alaska this year.
- Spiritual Health: Do one “me” time activity each day that is 100% unplugged from technology – go for a walk, do yoga, read a chapter in a good book, bake something sweet, etc.
- Personal Growth: Choose and apply to a master’s program to begin in 2019.
- Career: Do one thing to further my career this year – volunteer for a new committee, take a class, attend a conference, apply for a promotion, etc.
- Home: Clean the house for at least 20 minutes every day.
- Community: Volunteer at one new community event this year.
- Finances: Completely pay off all credit card debt (getting very close on this one!).
As you can see, I tried to make measurable goals with set timelines. Some are more open-ended, but for the most part I tried to set a period of time and/or how often I would try to incorporate my goal into my routine.
I also made monthly goals for myself using my planner. Each month there is a main goal with six action steps listed below. So, for example, this month’s goal looks like this:
- Monthly Goal: Prepare for maternity leave at work.
- Action Step – Update all grading
- Action Step – Print all student standards
- Action Step – Make updated pacing guides for the rest of the year
- Action Step – Send FMLA paperwork to HR
- Action Step – Create a shared Google Drive for substitute teacher
- Action Step – Talk with parents/community about plan for leave
So far, I’ve accomplished many of my action steps. I’m still working through updating my pacing guides, creating the Google Drive folder, and the FMLA paperwork. I use my weekly goals section, which is built into the daily planner area, to map out which specific action steps I am focusing on for the week.
It gives me a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to plan out my time in this way. It also helps me see which days 0f my week need to be more focused on accomplishing tasks and which allow for more down time with my family. If you’re someone like me who craves routine and consistency, a weekly mindfulness and organizational routine like this might be perfect for you to try.