Plan Like a Pro ~ Part 1

We live a life of organized chaos, but planning is still key in our family. We have certain routines that keep us focused and help us to have a productive and successful year, no matter what chaos we face (and believe me, we face plenty).

Family Shared Calendar (Cozi)

Should I go digital? This is an actual pinterest board of mine. I love paper and the sound of going digital scared me to death. I found a happy medium between digital and paper planning and I love it! Yep, I said it. I pay $29.99/year for a shared family calendar. It is worth every penny! It keeps us from over-booking (we have quadruple booked ourselves before). Also, any time the kids make plans, they have to add it to the calendar. If it's not in the calendar, it doesn't exist. This makes life so much easier, you'll be hearing more about when and how we include this digital planner in our family. Also, the kids can add their needs/wants to a shared shopping list. It saves me so many unnecessary trips to the store! If you haven't used this app yet, do the free trial, you won't be disappointed! 

Planning for the Year

We start off the beginning of every year with a yearly overview. What things do we have already planned for the next 12 months? What do we need to plan for the next 12 months? This gives us a head start. We also start brainstorming our ideas for our anniversary and any big events the kids have. Since we had 4 close together, every year we end up having some sort of major milestone to celebrate and enjoy with our monkeys.

Planning for the Month

A basic overview of our plan for the month starts with my list of important dates. I have a checklist that has all 12 months where I list our friends anniversaries. When life is 'normal' 😂, I try to send out cards at the beginning of the month. 

Then I look at what we have on the scehdule. I am a volunteer in a Bible education work, so I factor in my meetings and times I will spend in this volunteer work, then I add in everything else. Our Dr. appts, plans with friends, days I run errands and get household things done, etc. all get planned next. I have a weekly routine planner I use as a basic routine; I'll talk about that more in a minute. 

Looking at our monthly schedule lets me know when I will have a change in my weekly routine. Do we have a camping trip planned, are we visiting family out of state, do we have an assembly or convention coming up? All these factors help me know where I will need to make changes when I get down to my weekly routine. 

Another thing we make time for is the kids. If you don't make the time, it is easy to have time fly by! One day each month the kids take a turn. It is their day to do what they want. Sometimes it is going on a hike, sometimes a zoo day, sometimes we stay home crafting with lots of snacks and a movie/game night to follow. Other times it is fishing at our favorite honey hole and making a fire. Giving our kids one day each month that they get to plan for the family helps us all to do things others like and it seems to draw us all closer.

Planning for the Week

Here it goes! I start every year with a fresh blank weekly routine. Occasionally throughout the year if any major changes come along I upodate this weekly routine as needed. Sometimes when I feel like it's been weeks since we have been able to stick to our weekly routine, unless we have been out of town it is time to re-do it.

I start with the most important things and time block:

  • Spiritual Routine
  1. Mid Week and Sunday Meetings
  2. Ministry
  3. Daily Bible Reading
  4. Personal Study
  5. Family Worship
  • Homeschool
  1. Coursework
  2. PE
  3. Hands on work like shop class and home economics
  4. Field Trips
  • Work 
  1. Accounting for Our Franchise, This Blog, and Rustic Health & Wellness
  2. Blogging
  3. Continuing Education as an Essential Oil Specialist and Nutritionist
  • Personal
  1. Weekly Cleaning 
  2. Laundry
  3. Detailing Our Vehicle(s)
  4. Bills
  5. Errands
  6. Family Time
  7. Rest ~ Yes, plan for this!
  8. Self-Care ~This sounds silly, and no, don't plan this as part of your rest time. If I don't plan when I'm going to do my nails, refill my medicine organizer, get to the gym, maybe get out of the house on a hike or bike ride and all those other things us girls do, it doesn't get done. I found I am more productive and more of an asset to my husband and family when I take care of myself.
Then every week on Sunday I have my Week at a Glance planning page. I use this to organize my week ahead. Am I on my normal routine, or are there tweaks, like heading out of town or an event? This helps with meal planning too. It has a daily overview, a list of suppers for that week, a notes section, and a shopping list section. I use this after I've done my shopping for the week, it's my running 'I need to buy this' list.

    Planning for the Day

    I keep 2 weeks worth of my daily planner and start my list when I'm working on my Week at a Glance every Sunday. These are the sections on my planning page:

    • Things To Do
    • Call, Text, Email
    • Supper
    • Don't Forget
    • Notes
    • Errands

    This usually covers everything for me. I use the notes section as an 'On My Mind' running list of things I need to talk to Ryan about or things I need to plan or make a pros/cons list for. In the Don't Forget section, I write any appointments I have, or reminders to drink more water or whatever it is that I have been forgetting lately.

    Organized Chaos

    Just because you made a plan, doesn't mean you have to stick with it. Don't be afraid to change it and go with the flow. Especially if you have kids, it will sap your joy real fast if you can't be flexible. If you're like me and you hate scribbles and messy pages ~ I will rewrite a whole page y'all! ~ then don't be afraid to write in pencil. 

    This might sound like a lot, but this is the foundation for our whole year and my basic planning routine. I will get into more details of my planning routine as this series continues. Do you have a similar routine, or like any ideas here you are excited to start yourself? If so, comment below!

     Y'all Come Back Now, Ya' Hear?


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