Monday, April 27, 2009

Setting up for Success

I have a friend who lives her life essentially as a single mother. Daddy pops in and out, when he is not protecting our freedom somewhere, but is often gone months at a time to return for a week or so then leaves again on another mission.

Such is the life of a military wife.

One thing that I have gleaned from watching her (besides learning that she is better at the alone thing than I am), is her concept of her husband setting her up "for success" before he leaves for weeks or months at a time.

For her, that entails a "Honey Please Do" list of stuff that needs doing that she would prefer him do before he leaves - these things are things she does not have to do while he is gone, with small children in tow :)

I have been pondering this concept and have used it myself related to my own routines and the need to adjust some of my own habits.

When I think of whether to put certain things off or go ahead and get them done, I think about it in terms of "setting myself up for sucess". It has been a motivating factor for many an evening when I would like to pass up the supper dishes for a tivo'd Lost episode :)

Flylady talks extensively about creating routines that work well for your family that allow things to run on "autopilot" ..once things are routine they kinna run themselves.

Her plan takes you through a series of routines, the most important being the "Before Bed" routine. This one is all about setting yourself up for success ..its about doing what needs to be done the night before so that everything is already on its way in the morning.

She suggests setting yours and the kids' clothes out, packing lunches, leaving the kitchen clean, diaper bags packed, etc. These are all great ways to get your self set up so that you are on your way to an organized day from the beginning.

Setting ourselves up for success requires some preplanning and some thinking ahead of the game. Knowing your problem times of day, your areas of weakness and your potential avoidable stessors helps alot.

I know that if I wake up to a messy kitchen then I am already off on the wrong foot. I feel awful about myself, we are out of spoons for breakfast, we dont have clean dishes for the day..etc. I am off kilter before I get started. I know that I am doing myself a favor to finish it up the night before, even though I am tired. That way, we have a successful start to the day. Same with laundry. I know that for me to be successful in this area I need to do it every day, and put away at hte same time as I am doing the rest of it. If not, then I am behind from the beginning.

So, look for ways that you can do yourself a favor and set your self up for success in the areas that are necessary but cause you stress. You may be surprised at how much tension you can ease just doing that!

What ways do you set yourself for success? Share with us..I need all the help I can get! :)

1 comment:

  1. I love this thought...but can honestly say that I only follow parts of it. I don't lay out clothes the night before, but I do always leave the kitchen cleaned with baby bottles washed, filled with formula and ready for that 5:00 am feeding. Saturday night does find me getting the diaper bag organized for Sunday morning which helps when you're trying to make it on time to early service. I wish I could dazzle you with some brilliant thoughts and amazing real life examples....but right now, the way I get through the day is to begin by saying "thank you for this beautiful family,and answering our prayers with a double blessing," and then I try to keep that thought going throughout the day when things get hectic...which does help me get my priorities back on track. I'm still working on organizing, and I do like the ideas of this post. Very helpful!


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