So many goals. So many things to think about.
FIRE. Raising good kids (ours are 3.5 years and 6 months). Eating better. Gardening. Simplifying. Montessori ideas at home for the kids? Investing. Keeping active. Keeping track of where our money is going. Working a full time job. Working a bunch of side gigs. Decluttering. installing those new lights in the house. That new outlet in the garage. Painting the baseboards. Reading those books that I checked out from the library. Minimalism. What’s my next job going to be. How do I be a better dad and better husband. I should call my Dad more.
Too many hooks.
Not enough time.
I went to the library to pick up a copy of Do What You Are – the book about using Myers-Briggs to discover your personality type to help you with your career. Not bad. Turns out I’m an INTJ (but the N and J’s are borderline). Yes I am thinking about changing jobs, but no that’s not the point here.
The point is that I picked up 3 more books on a whim, two of which I probably won’t read, but I will feel guilty about not reading. I’ll return them in a few months, unread.
Except the Leo Babauta book, The Power of Less.
Now, I’m already in the process of simplifying my physical world and getting to less, using Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
It’s the mental world that needs some work, and this is just the book that I needed to find.
I have too many projects and try to effect too much change at once (and I’m no where near completing the list I started up top). As if you couldn’t tell (or relate). The result? I shut down, have a couple of beers, bore myself on Facebook, and go to bed. And feel even shittier the next day because I did nothing. But I didn’t know where to start. And I ended up doing less, but not in the way I intended.
Making new habits is hard. This is why, in order to be successful in making changes, Babauta indicates that we must:
- focus one habit at a time
- start with an easy goal
- be able to measure what you are doing
- Keep at it daily (at the same time of day, if we can)
- be positive
- report daily (to whomever you have told about what you are doing)
Plus, you should announce what you are doing publicly (so here I am world).
Leo suggest twelve habits to focus on one month at a time over the course of a year – My first month’s goal is to focus on setting my three most important tasks each morning. In this process, he says to list all the PROJECTS that you want to complete, and then choose the top three PROJECTS, and focus on just the TASKS from those. Come back to the others later.
Now, he also says that the projects should take at least 6 months but no more than a year, but I have chosen some projects that might take less, but need to get done. And they are all inter-related, so I kind of feel as if I am cheating. We’ll see.
- Simplify. Less physical clutter and get down to only those items that bring joy. This also includes simplifying my kids’ environments.
- Get finances under control. I finally checked into Mint for the first time last night. Wooooo wheeeee! We’ve got a dumpster fire. Time to determine how to spend less money.
- Improve our food habits. Less waste. Less food consumed. Less money spent.
Well well…now that I look at this, some of these may indeed be 6 month projects. Marie Kondo’s method works well when I get decent chunks of time, which I should have with the holiday season coming up (yay for time off for gubmint workers), but there is more (uh oh) to the simplifying – I am also working on simplifying my kids’ environment. I have found great inspiration for cutting down on the toys here, here, and here. And I am trying to convince my wife that introducing Montessori methods with our kids is a good use of our time.
And finances…this seems like a quick fix, but we have habits to change (which ties into the food…)
We eat well (healthy food) relatively frequently, but our food bill was $1,000 last month. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH US. We didn’t even eat out that much. We’ll start making our menu at the end of the week (when the sales flyers come out). We need to start introducing our youngest to solid foods (we like the approach set out in Karen LeBillion’s Getting to Yum). We will start keeping track of the different foods we eat, so that we keep variety.
Once one of these projects is completed, I’ll add a new one to the list.
But for right now, I’m going to get up tomorrow, and write down three most important tasks to move me forward on at least one of these projects.
What are you going to change?
Give us your two cents!