Monthly Archives: January 2016

How To: Start an Evening Routine

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how to series

I’ve been focusing this month on implementing and sticking with a new evening routine.  I’ve written before on my morning routine (and how to build one), but I haven’t really spoken about my evening (or before bed) routine.

If you’re familiar with the teachings of Flylady at all you know how much she stresses having a Before Bed Routine (or BBR).  For a long time I would get hung up on the words “Before Bed” and start my BBR… well… right before bed.  But that was too late in the day for me!  I was too tired to care what my kitchen looked like by that point and didn’t want to mess with it then.  And pick out clothes?  Wasn’t happening.

And so eventually (never mind how long it took before I finally had the epiphany) I decided to change the wording and change when I did things.

And that was when my Evening Routine was born.

If you’re just starting on an Evening Routine, don’t forget to start small.  Pick out just a few things — just two to four things — that you want to get done every night.  Start with those.  Give it a few weeks of consistency (don’t worry if you have a few off days — it happens) and then add something else.

For example, at this point in my life my bare bones Evening Routine would be:
1) Clean the kitchen (dishes, stove, counters and sink).
2) Pick out clothes for tomorrow (for myself and my children).
3) Check calendar for tomorrow’s activities and get necessary things together in one place.

On those crazy days when I’m running out of time that’s all I try to get done.  At the very least I “hit a lick at a snake” in the kitchen and check the calendar to make sure we don’t have to be anywhere early.

And on those nights, that’s ok.  Don’t give up when you have a few nights that don’t go according to plan.  Keep at it. 

On those awesome nights when everything goes according to schedule, my Evening Routine is a bit more involved.  I’m still very hesitant to add too much to it or it will overwhelm me.  (And then I just shut down and don’t get anything done.  And we don’t want that.)

My full Evening Routine goes something like this:
1) Quick tidy of the main living areas.
2) Clean the kitchen.
3) Set out morning items (cereal, bowls, coffee mugs, juice cups, etc.).
4) Make sure I’m prepared for school tomorrow (if I haven’t already done this; usually I have).
5) Pick out clothes for tomorrow.
6) Check calendar for tomorrow’s activities and get necessary things together in one place.
7) Make a quick To Do List for tomorrow.

As you can see, the majority of the things I do in the evening directly affect how my morning will start.  When I don’t do my Evening Routine, the next day is generally a write off.  I start the day cranky and have trouble finding my peace.

And you know what else?  My children notice.  They crave routine as well.  My whole house is happier when we follow a routine.

So what happens if you consistently are having trouble getting your Evening Routine done?  You probably need to step back and ask yourself a few questions.
Are you trying to do too much?
Are there some things you can try and do earlier in the day?
Are you waiting too late to get started?
Can you delegate some things to others in your household?

My husband and I work together to get the Evening Routine done (although I can guarantee you that he doesn’t know we have a “routine”).  While I’m cleaning up the kitchen after supper he is making sure the kids get a bath.  When I was trying to “do it all” (like clean the kitchen and bathe the kids) I would go to bed far too many times with a dirty kitchen.  There just wasn’t enough time in the evenings!

Do you have a “bare bones” evening routine in place?  Is it working for you?  What else can you do to make your mornings run more smoothly?

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This post is linked up at:

A Pinch of Joy
Tips and Tricks Linky Party
Titus 2sday Link Up Party
Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Wholehearted Home
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Party
Hearts for Home
I Heart Naptime

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Goals for 2016: The Year of Being Intentional

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So hi there.   Long time, no see.  Yeah… sorry about that.  I really meant to post more last year but time just slipped away.

Which leads me to my word for 2016: intentional.

I want to be intentional in my spiritual life.  I want to be intentional with my children.  I want to be intentional with my husband.  I want to be intentional with my own health.  I want to be intentional in every area of my life.

I’ve prayed and thought (a lot) over the past few weeks about my goals for 2016.  God has showed me that I’ve not been intentional like I should.  I’ve not been purposeful with my quiet time or deliberate with the time spent with my children.  I’ve not planned time to be with and talk to my husband.  I’ve just been kind of flying by the seat of my pants.  And that really doesn’t work well for me.  I’m not that kinda gal.

So with that being said, I’ve set some pretty lofty goals for this year.  This is quite a long list so bear with me.

yearly goals

 

Goals for 2016

Spiritual:
1. Read the whole Bible.
~ Incorporate daily morning Bible time.
2. Complete at least three Bible studies this year.
~ Colossians (a BoldTurquoise study).
~ Intentionally Focused (WLW study).
~ One other TBD later.
3. Write in my prayer journal two or three times each week.
~ Set up journaling pages in Homemaking Binder.

Children:
1. Finish K5 program with C by June 30th.
2. Begin K4 program with J by February 1st.
3. Begin 1st grade with C by August 8th.
4. Read at least 52 new books.
5. Arrange monthly outings or field trips (to library, park, museums, etc.).

Marriage:
1. Monthly dates and regular time together.
~ Do something with just the two of us a few days each week.
2. Send him a love letter (via text, email, or whatever) each month.

Financial:
1. Save $4,000.
~ Get $20 cashback when I go to the store and set it aside.
2. Get my vehicle note balance down to $5000 or less by end of year.
~ Schedule about five extra $100 payments throughout the year.
3. Sit down monthly to assess financial situation.
4. Plan England trip and set aside money.
~ Passports need to be completed by April 1st.
~ Tickets need to be purchased (or at least researched) by February 1st.

Self:
1. Read twelve books this year.
2. Spend one day a month researching genealogy.
3. Learn sign language.
4. Have an afternoon off for planning at least twice this year.

Health and Fitness:
1. Lose a total of 36 pounds this year.
~ That’s about three pounds a month.
:::: Weigh 190 by June 30th.
:::: Weigh 175 by December 31st.
2. 20,000 fitness minutes this year.
~ That’s about 385 minutes per week.
:::: 10,000 minutes by June 30th.
:::: Gym two or three days a week.
:::: ST at least twice a week.
3. Improve fitness test stats by 5% – 10% by year end.
~ Initial fitness test January 4th.
~ End of month assessments to check progress.
~ Mid-year test for check-up.

Homemaking:
1. Reinvent my Homemaking Binder. Make it functional and beautiful.
2. Establish working homemaking routines, one per month (except July).
~ Evening (before bed) routine is January’s routine.
:::: Line out new evening routine by January 1st and implement.
:::: Reassess on February 1st and tweak as necessary.
~ Morning routine is February’s routine.
:::: Line out new morning routine by February 1st and implement.
:::: Reassess on March 1st and tweak as necessary.
~ Afternoon routine is March’s routine
:::: Line out new afternoon routine by March 1st and implement.
:::: Reassess on April 1st and tweak as necessary.
~ Meal planning is April’s routine.
:::: Make meal planning a priority and make it a weekly or monthly habit.
~ Making my calendar work for me is May’s routine.
:::: Read Make Over Your Calendar.
~ Decluttering is June’s routine.
~ School planning is August’s routine.
:::: Get a routine in place to keep me organized and ahead of the planning.
~ The rest are TBD later this year. (Also, any of these can be moved around as I see fit.) 
3. Set up school room/office by September 1st.
~ Declutter 15 minutes, twice a week.
~ Paint office by June 1st.
~ Hang white boards by August 1st.
~ Work out storage solutions by August 15th.

So there they are.  All neatly typed out for the world to see.  I will try to update a few times this year to keep myself accountable.  I would say I’ll update monthly… but I know better than to set a goal I have no hope in achieving.  😉

Have you made goals for 2016?  What is your focus?  Do you have a “one word” for the year?

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This post is linked up at:

heartsforhome