Your Routine: Turning “To Do” to “Done”

Hello Readers!  Take a deep breath before we tackle today’s topic: the ever-dreaded to-do list.  I know.  It’s tough sometimes.  I, too, find myself with a list of tasks to tackle each day and this overwhelming sense of doom as I think of where to start.  And with our son Sean underfoot as he learns to walk and gets into everything, it’s rough.  I often feel frustrated with my house because I finish picking up one mess only to turn around and find another one with Sean in the middle.  I pick up the books that he’s pulled off the bookshelves and turn around to find all of my plastic storage containers strewn across my kitchen floor, or the dvds all over the living room floor, or potting soil tracked around from the tipped-over plant.

Even I spend my day cleaning up after a kid and look back at the end of the day at my house to wonder why I even bothered.  But it can be done.  There are ways to improve the situation, and even I can do it.  So, let’s think about our “To Do” list.

First of all, it’s ludicrous to imagine that you will be able to master everything on your To Do list.  More often than not, we find more and more to put on our list as we start writing it all down.  This is typically where we all suffer from the overwhelming sense of doom and give up.  After all, what’s the point of starting if it never seems to end?  But if we gave up before we started anything because it would have to go on indefinitely, we would never get married, or have kids, or go to school, or learn to do anything new.

So, instead, focus on having only ten tasks on the following to do lists:  To Do Today, To Do This Week, To Do This Month, To Do This Year, and End Goals.  Start by listing your end goals.  What do you want to accomplish in life?  My End Goals are as follows:  Be Healthier, Have a Happy Family, Be a Great Mom and Wife, Be Happy and Fulfilled, and Keep a Tidy Home.  Most of these are broad and general, but they give me an outlet to focus on.

After getting the End Goals, I focus on how to achieve my goals this year.  I typically start thinking about it for the following year in October or November so I can break down my To Do lists easily before the year begins.  For 2017, for example, my yearly To Do List looks as such:

  1. Maintain Workout Regime
  2. Maintain Healthy Diet
  3. Care for Sean/Help him grow
  4. Maintain/Create Bucket Lists and Complete Tasks
  5. Focus on Family Events
  6. Maintain Cleaning Schedule and Menu Planning
  7. Work on Spiritual Journal and Bible Study
  8. Blog 2017
  9. Challenges for 2017
  10. Recipe Book

This seems like a lot, but most of it is what needs to be done every day in small doses, or it’s tasks and challenges that I’ve agreed to do for others, such as my mom and her declutter challenge.  The recipe book is a large project that will involve creating a master list or index of all recipes in my favorite recipe magazines, which will take a long time to organize and create.

So, after creating my Yearly To Do List, I turn my focus toward breaking down my goals to my Monthly To Do Lists.  I research my workout regime, my calendars, and my personal challenges in order to figure out what’s best to do and when.  For example, I like to have a long-term workout strategy in mind to motivate me to continue, and I have already scheduled it into my online calendar to ensure I stick to it and know what’s coming next.  I also look through my “Better Me” board on Pinterest for inspiration and I think of how the seasons and my monthly events might affect my To Do List tasks.  For 2017, for example, my basic To Do Monthly List looks like this:

  • January
    • Workout regime: 7, 8, & 9 Reps of Morning Crossfit Routine
    • Distance:  Walking 4 Miles 3-4 Times per week (treadmill if necessary)
    • Continue Winter Bucket List from December
    • Clean out Files and Reset for 2017
    • Drink Water: 2 32 oz bottles per day
    • Think Positive Thoughts- Write down 5 positive thoughts/blessings per day
    • Start Spiritual Journal and Bible Study
    • Start on Recipe Book: January/Winter options
  • February
    • Workout regime: 10 Reps of Morning Crossfit Routine
    • Distance:  Walking 5 Miles 3-4 Times per week (treadmill if necessary)
    • Continue Winter Bucket List from December
    • File Taxes
    • Prioritize Breakfast/Eat a Healthy Breakfast Every Morning
    • Keep a Food Diary
    • Continue Spiritual Journal and Bible Study
    • Recipe Book: February/Winter Options
  • March
    • Workout regime: 10 Reps of Morning Crossfit Routine
    • Distance: Walk 6 Miles 3-4 Times per week (get outside)
    • Create/Start Spring Bucket List
    • Spring Cleaning
    • Cut Out Added Sugar/Rely on natural sugars
    • Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night
    • Recipe Book: March/Spring Options
  • April
    • Workout Regime: 21 Day Fix Extreme
    • Distance: Jog 2 miles 3-4 times per week
    • Continue Spring Bucket List from March
    • Switch out Wardrobe and clean out clothes
    • Keep a 21 Day Fix Food Diary
    • Make it a Meal Prep Month
    • Recipe Book: April/Spring Options
  • May
    • Workout Regime: H.I.I.T. workouts
    • Distance: Jog 3 miles 3-4 times per week
    • Continue Spring Bucket List from March
    • Switch bedding/linens for warm weather options
    • Recipe book: May/Spring Options
  • June
    • Workout Regime: H.I.I.T. workouts
    • Distance: Jog 4 miles 3-4 times per week
    • Create/Start Summer Bucket List
    • Summer Cleaning
    • Eat more Fruits and Veggies
    • Drink 16 oz. water first thing every morning
    • Recipe Book: June/Summer Options
  • July
    • Workout Regime: 21 Day Fix Extreme
    • Distance: Jog 5 miles 3-4 times per week (use treadmill if necessary)
    • Continue Summer Bucket List from June
    • Clean out Pantry/Cabinets
    • Downsize plates at each meal/maintain smaller portions
    • Recipe Book: July/Summer Options
  • August
    • Workout Regime:  H.I.I.T. workouts
    • Distance: Jog 6 miles 3-4 times per week (treadmill if necessary)
    • Continue Summer Bucket List from June
    • Carpet Cleaning/Shampoo Carpets
    • Observe Meatless Mondays
    • Go Junk Food Free
    • Recipe Book: August/Summer Options
  • September
    • Workout Regime:  H.I.I.T. workouts
    • Distance:  Jog 6 miles 5 times per week
    • Create Fall Bucket List
    • Fall Cleaning
    • Begin Meditation
    • Recipe Book: September/Fall Options
  • October
    • Workout Regime: 21 Day Fix Extreme
    • Distance: Jog 6 miles 5 times per week
    • Continue Fall Bucket List from September
    • Switch wardrobe/ Clean out clothes
    • Savor your meals/take longer to eat each meal
    • Recipe Book: October/Fall Options
  • November
    • Workout Regime: Crossfit & Killer Cardio
    • Distance: Jog 6 miles 5 times per week
    • Continue Fall Bucket List from September
    • Switch bedding and linens to colder weather options
    • Do a Turkey Trot
    • Do a weekly electronics cleanse/no social media on Thursdays
    • Recipe Book: November/Fall Options
  • December
    • Workout Regime: Crossfit & Killer Cardio
    • Distance: Jog 6 miles 5 times per week (treadmill if necessary)
    • Advent Calendar
    • Create Winter Bucket List
    • Prepare for Holidays
    • Maintain meal times
    • Get More Sleep
    • Recipe Book: December/Winter Options

And then from this I break it down to weekly tasks to complete these ones, and then I break it down into daily to do tasks to do.  For example, my monthly goals on distance say 3-4 times per week, which is based on training every other day.  And my workout regime is based on what I already do or am working to do later on.  Some of these tasks are easier to do as time goes on because they are repetitive, but it is easier to maintain and create my to do list when I already know what my end goals are.

I hope you will take the time to choose your own end goals and begin breaking down your goals like this, too, to make it all manageable.

Until next time,

-BBM

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