(This is part of an on-going series Momma’s Soapbox and I are doing on Keeping Our Inner Aloha/Peaceful Life. See here for the Aloha lowdown and here for the Peaceful Life reason!)

Alpha Hubby has this irritating sweet and helpful habit of saying, “Did you write it down?” when I say I forgot to do something. It’s like the saying, “If you have no goals, you’re not going anywhere.”  I have no idea who said that – it’s just one of those things I jotted down on a piece of paper because I wanted to remember it.  It’s similar to something Mary Kay Ash said.

I have been reading about Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.  Her story is amazing – in a time when women were considered incapable of running an business empire, and after she had retired after 25 years in the work force – she proved all naysayers wrong. 

I have been studying about something she did every day:  she respected time.  Time is our life.  We exchange time for money (jobs), we exchange time for entertainment (reading, going to movies), we exchange time for relationships (spending time with loved ones).  Time is valuable.  Here is a quote from the book:

Every day before Ash went to work, she would make a list of the “Six Most Important Things” to do, and give herself deadlines to finish each. “Over the years, I’ve observed that nearly all high achievers know how to make good of those 1,440 minutes in each day,” said Ash.

Anything she did not finish on the assigned day, she would move to the top of her “Six” list the next morning.

So I am working to do just that – start every morning making a list of 6 things I want to accomplish that day.  I am learning how to assign a “deadline” to the task but it’s difficult because I am in the bad habit of becoming sidetracked.  I have to develop in this area.

Speaking of getting sidetracked, I remember learning a trick a long time ago about not leaving a room until you are finished in that room.  I know it was about housework but it really works in every area of life.  The article said to take large brown paper sacks and write on the outside the name of each room in your house.  Then, if your goal was to clean the living room and there were items in that living room that belonged in another room, DO NOT LEAVE THE LIVING ROOM.  Place the items in the sack with the right room marked on it.  In other words, if you have children’s toys that belong in their room, you put the toys in the sack marked “kids room” (whatever, you know what I mean).  Then deal with the items in the sack one sack at a time.

I still try to incorporate this into my house cleaning to this day but I use cheap plastic clothes baskets that I picked up at the Dollar Store.  Of course, sometimes there are white plastic laundry baskets sitting all around the house, mocking my goal setting goals but I keep plugging and keep trying and keep working on it!

Now I need to apply this goal setting list to my daily life.  If one of the items on my list to write a posting for the day, then I can’t get up and answer the phone to chat for an hour with a friend, send a personal email, or read a book.  Any one of those sidetracks will throw my goal setting list and deadlines off, and ruin the entire point of goal setting. Ask me how I know. I have to set those things aside and finish the posting.  I can call back, write later, and read when all items on the list are accomplished!

Today I started with four items.  My four goals are making Alpha Hubby’s bread (bread machine, actually), the dining room, kitchen, and my bath area.  Under each goal I wrote exactly what I want to accomplish.  The dining room alone may take longer than any of them so I had to put the kitchen first since that only involved getting the bread machine set up, the dishes and sweeping – easy stuff that needed to be done.  When I’m done in the kitchen, I will head to the dining room with the bathroom being last on the list (one most likely to be pushed to tomorrow’s list).  The dining room is more visible and has been cluttered with unpacked stuff longest.  I need to finish finding a place for everything and everything in its place.

If you know you will not finish an item in one day, just do what you can that day.  In my case, unpacking from the move is a one-shot deal.  Once it is finished, I will never have to deal with it again.  It is hard to define a deadline for unpacking so I have to figure out ways to break it down into discernable goals – things I can do that day that will move the unpacking forward.  Thus, I finish unpacking and putting away the boxes in the dining room.  That is a goal.  I do not bring more boxes in to be unpacked until these boxes are dealt with.

The kitchen, on the other hand, is a goal I know a good deadline for.  I know about how long it takes to do the dishes and load the dishwasher, sweep and mop the floor, wipe the counters, clean the stovetop.  I can set that goal deadline fairly accurately.

So the Peaceful Tip for today is to write down your daily goals.  Start every day knowing what you want to accomplish that day, listed in order of importance.  Do not go to the next item on the list until you are finished with the one you are on.  Do not stress and do set realistic deadlines.  If you need me, I’ll be in the dining room for as long as it takes to get it in order!  That pix above is deceptive – there is a temporary table set in front of the dining room table and the temp table is covered in unpacked items.  Help me, Rhonda!! My poor bathroom may be pushed out for… forever!