When things are most chaotic, getting sidetracked is so easy for me. If I don’t stay focused, before I know it, I have ALL the cupboards emptied out on the floor to “organize” instead of just finishing what I started doing… wiping the counter off. Getting off track isn’t something I do on purpose… but it happens every time I don’t have a clear and “purpose-full” schedule.
The decision to turn your house into a home is step in the right direction, but you already know your best intentions won’t get it accomplished. You’ve gotta have a realistic plan to actually make it happen or you’ll wind up getting frustrated and quit before you see results… and that requires a target.
Without a target, everything you do (or don’t do) is left up to what others demand, expect, or guilt you into… but when YOU create a purpose-full schedule, your time goes to the things that are most important you because you’ve eliminated everything that isn’t. You’ve created a target that you can continually aim at so everything you do will get you closer to making your dream become a reality!
Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed. ~Paulo Coelho
While it’s unrealistic to think that everything will always flow smoothly, the children will never get dirty, the house will always look like a page out of a magazine, or that there will never be any conflict between the people living under the same roof… you still can create a peaceful home. However… you won’t hit your target if you don’t even know what you’re aiming at.
A schedule that is purpose-full will help you apply your time to the things that are most important to you in the areas of your life and keep you focused on achieving your goal. When making a schedule, there are five areas to evaluate:
While the other areas I’ve listed aren’t in any particular order of importance, I’ve listed HEALTH first because your health needs to be a priority. That may sound like backwards thinking to you, but if you’re overwhelmed, exhausted, feeling empty, and unhappy… this is exactly why you need to evaluate this area of your life!
By making your health a priority, I’m not saying that what you want should come before others, or that it’s okay to be selfish. I’m simply saying you have to take care of yourself or you will be good to no one else.
When you create your purpose-full schedule, make time for your growth and self-improvement so you will become who you were created to be in each of the four following areas of health:
- spiritual health: things to improve your purpose (prayer, church, reading the Bible, etc.)
- physical health: things to improve your body (exercise, eating right, sleep, etc.)
- mental health: things to improve your mind (reading books, talking to people & discussing challenging things, etc.)
- emotional health: things to improve your happiness (hobbies, helping people, decorating, etc.)
You need to make time in your schedule to take care of yourself, because if you aren’t healthy, it will be impossible to create a home.
No matter what your age is, your marital status, or your current stage in life is… there are people in your life you care about and enjoy spending time with. Unfortunately, relationships can get put on the back burner when the other areas of our life get busy or out of control… but talk is cheap when it comes to relationships.
You can’t get to truly know a person if you don’t spend time with them. If you want a marriage that’s rockin’, a friendship that is strong, or your children to come back home after they graduate, then you have to invest your time in the people you love. Don’t just try to squeeze time in with them here and there… and don’t buy into the lie that quality can replace quantity because relationships need BOTH.
The difficult truth is, you can’t tell the people in your life how important they are and then never do anything to show it. You need to make time in your schedule for the relationships that matter to you because if you don’t connect with your loved ones, it will be impossible to create a home.
You have a purpose(s) on this earth… and what you get paid to do for a living doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with that. You are not the title or position you hold. My husband gets paid to start churches and pastor people, but his purpose would stay the same even if his job changed. I homeschool my children, but someday my children will leave home. That doesn’t mean my purpose on earth will be done as the last one walks out the door, because my purpose is not as a homeschooler.
Your impact is what you contribute on this earth while you’re here… it’s the way you were created, and who you are no matter where you go or what you do. Only you can be you… no one else can fill your shoes anymore than you can take the place of someone else. It’s the incredible thing about each and every single one of us.
You need to make time in your schedule to impact the world in the unique way(s) only you can do because if you don’t do what you were created to do and be who you were created to be, it will be impossible to create a home.
Your surroundings play a HUGE impact on your mood, which is why it’s so important to do what you can to make your surroundings reflect your values, inspire you, and bring a smile to your face.
It’s not so much about the place you’re in, as is the feeling that’s created while you’re in the place. Whether you’re in the office, the car, or your home, you can make your surroundings something you enjoy being in (as well as others).
You need to make time in your schedule to create a place that you love to be in that functions and is peaceful for everyone because if you don’t want to be in your house, no one else will want to either and it will be impossible to create a home.
Our needs include things like sleep and what we do to get the bills paid. Understand, this is about what is necessary to live and not what we desire to have. There is a difference. Be completely honest and don’t confuse what you need with what you want to be a need.
People are working longer hours than they should to get what they want so they don’t have to “settle” for what they need… and it’s ruining their health, relationships, impact, and surroundings. If you’re struggling to make things work financially, it might be time to ask yourself if you’re living within your means, or if what you want is really making you miserable.
And speaking of making yourself miserable… are you getting enough sleep? Or, are you still trying to convince yourself you can get by, this is just a season, or you’ll get caught up on the weekend? Studies show that adults need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep, that we can’t get caught up on sleep, and that we need a sleep routine and yet… we are walking around like zombies most of the time. We cannot expect to function at our best if we refuse to refuel with rest, so why do we try to skimp on the thing that can get us in the right mind-set for every day, keep us calm, and help us stay focused?
You need to make time in your schedule for the things you can’t survive without because if you don’t create lines between what you need and want, it will be impossible to create a home.
Turning your house into a home ain’t gonna happen by osmosis (believe me, I’ve tried). If your current schedule has left you feeling overwhelmed… it’s because you’ve allowed it. If you have more on your plate than you can handle… if your relationships are suffering… if your house is a disaster… if you’re exhausted or completely miserable, then YOU are the only one who can change it.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days. ~Zig Zilar
If you want to turn your house into a home, you’re going to make time to do just that. Quit killing yourself trying to do and be and have things you were never meant to do or be or have. Stop blaming everyone and everything. You can turn your dream a reality; one week at a time… one day at a time… one hour at a time… and when necessary… from one moment to the next. Sometimes, that’s all the more you can focus on… one step in front of the other, but every step you take to get there is worth it, because your home is worth it… the people living in it are worth it… and your dream is worth it.
Be purpose-full with your time. If someone looked at your schedule, would they see what’s most important to you right now and know what you’re aiming at? What you invest your time in every day reflects that.
Note: Your weekends may look different than your weekdays, or you may have a fluctuating schedule with work or children’s activities, so print out a sheet for every day that requires different amounts of your time. (There’s a spot on the print out to write in each day(s) it reflects.)
#1) REVIEW WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT
Look over your list of “What’s Important?” again to stay focused on what you need/want in your schedule.
#2) MAKE A LIST OF WHAT YOU WANT TO MAKE TIME FOR
After reviewing what’s important to you, make a list of everything you need to/want to invest your time in (keeping in mind, your target it to create a home). Divide the list into five areas of your life:
Look over your “FOCUS statement” again to be sure where you’re investing your time is what you want to focus on right now.
#3) ADD THE AMOUNT OF TIME NECESSARY TO COMPLETE BEHIND EACH ITEM
We have a tendency to underestimate the amount of time something takes when we enjoy it (facebook, a date, or hobby), and overestimate the time when it’s something we don’t (cleaning, laundry, or driving to work). Before you know it, you’ve got 28 hours crammed into a 24 hour day and decide you need less sleep to make up for the loss.
STARTING with 8 hours of sleep on your list, move to meals/eating (breakfast, lunch, and supper… don’t forget the time to prepare it and clean up after), and then move to your morning and evening routines (brush teeth, showers, etc.). What is remaining from how much time each of those take, is all you have left to fill.
#4) ADD THE TOTAL IN EACH OF THE FIVE AREAS
After adding up the individual areas, make sure you’ve kept it to 24 hours or less. It’s a GREAT idea to have some space in your day for “incidentals”. Things are gonna come up you didn’t plan for… like a child needing a trip to the ER cuz he cut his finger with a pocket knife, or the two year old who has decided to potty train herself leaving “prizes” all over the house before making it to the toilet… or the 3 year old deciding to put a bead in her nose… hypothetically. (No, there never is a dull moment in my house.) Having a “flex hour” may help you to stay on track and remove the feeling of being behind.
#5) EVALUATE YOUR LIST
When you see how much time you’re spending in any one given area, you may decide you want to make some adjustments by taking some time away from one area so you can add more to another (but DON’T TAKE TIME AWAY FROM YOUR SLEEP so you can add more time somewhere else… you need to take care of you, or everything else WILL suffer)! *Click to get a printable sleep checklist.
YOUR NEXT STEP: Create a Life You Can Live With