How to get ready for 2018

I’m taking this week to get ready for a new year.  Everything that I’d like to improve is overwhelming, so I’m reminding myself that it doesn’t have to happen all at once.  A gentle plan is more my speed.  If I can only change 1 thing, but do it well and feel really good about it, then that sure beats trying to do it all, falling flat on my face, and feeling like a failure.

I’m basing my plan around the parts of life that bring the most stress and fixing that.   What am I running around wasting time looking for?  What sets off a stress response? What keeps me awake at night? What makes me nervous when I hear the door bell ring with unexpected company? Some of those are:

  1. My desk drawers full of things I don’t use and not being able to find things I do use.
    • Solution: purge and oragnize
  2. Bathrooms not company ready for unexpected drop ins.
    • Create a regular cleaning schedule. Train and delegate to the kids.
  3. Not being able to find my keys.
    • A key rack
  4. No spot for my coat, hat and gloves.
    • Install a hook in the garage
  5. Getting double booked because I don’t have everything on the family calendar.
    • Add things instantly when I find out about them, and don’t worry what people will think if I’m on my phone (especially in church) while I’m doing it.
  6. Not being ready for music at church when my turn comes up
    • Create a notebook of songs in order ready for prelude, set aside daily practice time, and music pre-selected for solos.
  7. Having Freezer Meals/Slow Cooker meals ready for busy nights
    • Put together a dump and go slow cooker freezer meal plan
  8. The attic storage area needing more organization
    • Schedule a work day
  9. Light blaring in through the front windows while I’m teaching music lessons
    • Order and hang light filtering blinds.
  10. The stack of papers on the kitchen counter.
    • Create a system, admit the old one didn’t work
  11. My weight
    • This isn’t an easy fix, but I’m so much further along than I was this time last year and I’m excited to keep going with my Fit Mama meal plans and our accountability group.

This past year, I’ve been slowly putting systems in place like this that help me to live the life I want to live instead of getting tossed about by all the demands on our time.   It has helped a lot and I’m excited to keep going. The beauty is once the plans are in place, that problem is solved until something big changes.  It’s part of my overall plan to nourish my adrenal system by reducing daily stress.

I’m also re-evaluating some of my systems that didn’t work as well as I had hoped and changing them up.  For example, I bought a cute file box for my kitchen counter to tame the papers, but it’s full and now there’s a stack of papers in front of it.  It’s not working for me, so I’m setting aside time to figure out why and how I can improve.

The main theme behind the goals on my list are size.  They are all tiny little accomplishable things.  I want goals that lead to action, so I broke stuff down.  Instead of writing “get organized” I identified a few areas to organize that I can solve easily, then I assigned a date to them and scheduled the time to make it happen.

To make goal setting more fun, I created this free printable for us. If you are already subscribed to the blog, you’ve got the download link in your inbox.  If not, you can get it here:

My other task this week is making a business budget.  It’s embarrassing to admit that I haven’t had a decent business budget EVER.  If I wanted to buy an ad or a course, I’d look in the account and if I had money I’d buy it, without a thought to my longtime plans.   I want to be more purposeful than that, so not only am I writing down my monthly business expenses, I’m also looking at the income side of things and how much I need to make our goals happen.  Darren’s income covers our basic needs like housing, gasoline, food, clothing etc.  My income covers the fun stuff like vacations, remodel expenses, and home decor and not so fun stuff like Irlen glasses and specialist appointments.   If I want to take my kids on a cruise or to see the Grand Canyon….It’s up to me to make it happen.

What about you?  Are there parts of your life that are driving you crazy?  What can you do about it?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.

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12 thoughts on “How to get ready for 2018

  1. Katy says:

    I love the way you approached this. Also, please share the dump and go slow cooker freezer plan when you do it! I’m always looking for more of those.

  2. Carol says:

    Thank you for this article! It is perfect for me. I need to remember to take it slow so I can accomplish my goals. I tend to give up because the organizing is so overwhelming and cannot be done quickly. As a mom, my favorite line was “train and delegate to kids”. I definitely need to work on this too. I have been telling myself this past week about my kid’s work, “It might not be perfectly done, but it is better than me not doing it at all”! 😃 Happy New Year and Good Luck!

    • Angela says:

      Carol, sometimes it is easier to just do it ourselves than to train the kids, but now that mine are older, I can testify that it’s worth it. I wish I had done more training earlier, but we are making up for it now, lol. I totally agree that not perfect is better than not at all.

  3. Linda C Adams says:

    Thanks for the reminder to do things in bite size pieces. I have found that I can do quite a few things in a minute or less. I started using a timer to see really how long it takes to do things. I am constantly surprised how little time it takes to do so many things, especially if I have standard operating procedures worked out. I am using this week to prepare for next year and your reminder is very helpful.

  4. Reba says:

    I appreciate the encouragement as I set forth to make some changes within our family routine. It is never easy but the reward will be well worth the effort. Nice to know that I am not alone in this time of trying to make things better. I need to work on the meal planning and I am looking forward to the fill your freezer challenge.

  5. Emily says:

    I liked your emphasis on the “actions” – I just read a book about being a better CEO (which I am definitely NOT, but I’m always up for being a better worker at my job and at home!) and his best time-management skill was to ACT. If a piece of paper crosses your path and there’s an action attached to it; let’s say it’s a birthday party invite for the kids… your next action is to put it on your calendar, or RSVP, or find a gift, or ask the kid in question if they want to attend. So do that. Then schedule the rest of the actions on the calendar & get rid of the original paper, be done with all the actions. 🙂 I loved that! Your things that are overwhelming, like mine, can all be broken down into next actions and put on the schedules. 🙂 A good reminder!

  6. Charity says:

    I apparently deleted the e-mail that contained the password for the freebie. 🙁 Would you please send the link to me again?

    I am looking for more ways to get organized. Have you ever tried the Bullet Journal method? If so, what is your opinion of doing bullet journals?

    • Angela says:

      Hi Charity, I just saw this. I’ll email it to you. I love looking at other people’s bullet journals, but it doesn’t fit my personality. I need something fast and easy without art required :).

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