My sister Karen is always so good at keeping her priorities in check. She teaches full time, works as a Beachbody Coach and Shakeology Representative, works on TPT each evening, works out everyday and still finds time to go out with her boyfriend, family, and friends. How does she accomplish all of these things each day? I wonder if she ever sleeps?
I teach part time, have 3 children, work on TPT sporadically, barely can fit in a workout 3 times a week, and feel like I spend more time in my car or at the kids activities than I spend in my house. My husband and I try to squeeze in a date night but it is not a frequent event. So I ask myself, how can I do all the things I want to do and do them well.
The answer took a little time and some research to reveal itself. I started reading Steven Covey's book... The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. Once I started reading, everything he wrote made so much sense to me. The first thing I needed to do was to decide what were the most important things in my life that I wanted to dedicate my time to. I wrote down everything in the order of importance.
Then I took out a calendar and tried to plug everything in so that I could see where everything could fit. Once all of the important activities that I wanted to accomplish were listed on the calendar, then I added my kids activities in a different color.
I realized that I could multi task more than I realized. For example, when I take the girls to softball practice, I wear my workout clothes and go for a run. I used to get a coffee and sit and watch them practice. I realized that watching them practice was not an effective use of my time. Making a commitment to run while I am there has made it much easier to fit in my workouts. It does take preplanning in order to be a multi tasker. I multi task at school everyday but when it came time to my personal goals and carving out time for myself, I was dropping the ball.
Another wonderful thing I learned from this book was the importance of the family meeting. My husband thought the girls were talking a little sassy to us and each other. He and I discussed what could be causing this problem. We realized that as they have gotten older we haven't changed the rules that we had when they were little. Being disrespectful just wasn't an issue when they were small. Alas, times have changed and we realized that we need new rules for our growing children. Covey suggested making a Family Mission Statement.
We got the girls together and explained to them that we would be meeting every Sunday evening after dinner to have a family meeting. They were intrigued for sure. They couldn't wait to see what the meetings were all about. We started the meeting by looking through photo albums and talking about past activities and vacations we enjoyed. Then we discussed how important family should be. We discussed how important it is for us to work together as a family, care for each other, protect each other, and set goals that we can reach together. We asked the girls to give us ideas that they thought were important for our family to follow. Then we voted to choose the 8 most important ideas that would become our Family Mission Statement.
We wrote everything in a positive way so that they wouldn't seem like rules. The kids loved being part of this process and are very mindful of what our Mission Statement says. They especially loved when they got to dip their hand in paint and place it on the poster! We love that now they see the importance of our family as a unit. We start each family meeting with a question or topic that we pull from Covey's book to discuss with the kids. We do a fun activity in the middle of the meeting. Then we end each family meeting by giving a compliment to each other and putting our hands in the middle to cheer Croft Family Rocks! Every Sunday we have a family meeting. Sometimes we schedule our activities for the week during the meeting, or the kids will do a little gymnastics show for us, or we will plan a community service project to do. Last week, we decided what toys we were going to donate to Good Will. Then we painted the girls nails. It's really just a great time to reconnect and remember that family is the most important part of our lives.
We hope all of you take time this summer to relax and enjoy your families. So you can spend more time with your family...we would like to give you a Father's Day Coupon Book FREEBIE! We hope you enjoy it and make sure you spoil your husband, dad, and/or grandpa this Father's Day!