A Week In

Well, the first week of 2018 is just about over. How has it gone? So far, so good, I’d say, though not as good as it would have gone if I’d stuck strictly to my planner! But I guess that’s what some tummy troubles and exhaustion will do to ya. Still, I progressed, so that’s a good thing.

I’m always a fan of creating a game plan: a course of action to get me where I want to be. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. But at least it gets me really thinking about what I want and what I need to do to get there. For this year, I’ve decided to break down my overall hopes and goals into months. Each month I will focus on particular tasks, or areas of my life, so that I can check off the big things in that area before moving on to another (hopefully with new routines established that keep the completed areas running smoothly). Let me explain.

I started off 2018 with a lot of catching up to do. I’m WAY behind in business paperwork, and it all needs to be done before sales tax needs to be turned in at the end of this month and income tax is done shortly after. In addition, I have my cleaning and organizing projects and other odds and ends (like potty training Emily) that have fallen by the wayside. So I’ve dubbed January my “foundations” month. This month I will be focusing on catching up and laying a solid foundation for moving forward. This means tackling business paperwork: finishing all 2017 paperwork and setting up for 2018 information. This means taking care of the areas of my house that get the most traffic and need the most attention: the kitchen and living room. And this means setting up my library/office so I have a comfortable place for the kids and me to work and relax, and eventually where I can work on my writing again. (I’m super excited about my library/office — I rearranged my bedroom and got rid of a bunch of underutilized furniture so I could turn half into a library/office!)

The other months of the year will each have a theme, as well. While I haven’t filled in all of them yet, so far I’ve determined February will be focused on my Usborne Books & More business (so I can get my Educational Services Representative career off the ground), March will be focused on writing (so I can get reconnected with that part of me, market what I’ve already written, and establish a new writing routine to complete what I’ve started and create new works), and April I’m thinking will be focused on the great outdoors (getting my yard in shape, starting our garden, taking care of my new fruit trees, and maybe getting into a walking routine with the kids). Of course — and here comes the tricky part — I don’t want to lose progress I’ve made in each of these areas as I move on to the next, so as I’m going I will need to make sure I’m creating routines and putting organization into place that will make ongoing maintenance easier and practical. That’s the part that always messes me up the most. Fingers crossed!

So, a week into January, how are my “foundations” coming? Not too bad, though I have a long way to go still. During the week I made a lot of progress on my library/office: finished assembling desks and bookcases (special thanks to my parents for their buying the furniture as Christmas presents for us, and my dad for his help in assembly), put a bunch of books away on the shelves, and started putting away supplies. Yesterday I worked on cleaning up the living room a bit. And today I have the dreaded task of tackling business paperwork. Kevin has the kids today, so I’m hoping to really sit down and take care of either my Usborne Books & More stuff or my Creative Endeavors (crafts and writing) stuff. If I can finish one of them, I’ll be happy. The next time Kevin has the kids for a full day I’ll tackle the other one. I’m really hoping I don’t need more than a full day for each one, but I’ve built in a cushion should I need it.

This week I plan to work on more cleaning and organizing (I really need to tackle the kitchen), spending time with the kids, and evaluating some other areas of my professional life (like websites I’ve started, crafts and gift baskets, and non-schools and libraries areas of Usborne) to determine if and when I want to proceed in those areas. It’s a process! I’m hoping next week I’ll be able to tell you I made considerable progress in everything. Wish me luck!

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