Monday, December 6, 2010

Looking ahead: Creating Goals and Mini Goals

I've been frustrated lately that I am not moving towards my goals.
I'd like to have the sort of home where when a friend calls and says "I'll be over in 10 minutes" I'm not scrambling to get the kids dressed, clean the living room and pick up all the clothes on the bathroom floor. I'd like to hear "I'll be over in 10 minutes" and be able to take that ten minutes to bake some cookies and make my friend feel welcome.
I KNOW I need to take time everyday to do maintenance. But I'm too exhausted at the end of the day At this point though, just maintaining is not going to cut it. I need to do a "big" job everyday too.
How do I stay motivated when the results are slow coming?
Answer? I don't.
That's why I've never been good at losing weight. (Though I'm getting more serious about it in the new year, I swear.)

So what can I do?
Checklists motivate me.
So rather than work towards the big goal of "being a Martha Stewart style home manager" I need to break it down into little goals like "clean living room"

I'm going to try to get into the habit of making a checklist every morning.

Today I want to:
Tidy the living room
Vaccuum the girls room
Put away the craft table I set up (it's become a dumping ground instead of useful space.)
A least one load of laundry

How do you personally stay motivated when a Mother's Work is never finished? (even if you're not a mother)


  1. Well... the first thing I've learned is that no one really cares what your house looks like... especially if you have cookies :) But I do know what you mean about not having to worry about it. I'm interested to see what ideas people have... hmm ;) The one thing that I do with my youngest now is include her in the housework. She is the one who make at least 75% of the mess around here. Turning off the TV helps too. I'm usually in the middle of TV withdrawl & just want to get my housework done so I can go veg & cuddle again :) If it makes you feel any better I need more than a 10 minute head start on company... it's more like 2 hours :P

  2. Night Owl,
    I need close to 2 hours too, but ten minutes means I can collect the stuff I'm really embarrassed about.
    I need to start taking action on my patterns. There's often a collection of diapers on the floor beside the couch. I should just put a garbage bin there.

  3. I have a horrible time staying motivated. sometimes I call my sister that works and ask her what I should do. or I make myself a checklist. oh dear. or I don't do it.

  4. There are not enough hours in the day! I feel the same way as you. I am excited to have friends over and then when I realize I am not prepared I get a pit in my stomach. I have resolved myself to realize that some people make home-keeping their hobby... but I already have a hobby that I love. When I look back at my life I am not going to wish I had cleaned more. I am going to wish I had used my talents more. That being said it is still important to have a tidy home in order to find things quickly, have space to live-work-create, and stay healthy.

    I read a lot of self help and improvements books... How to clean green, get organized in a year... I have picked up a lot of tips from those and am slowly applying them to my life. It is all about finding what works for you.

    I love google calendar. I put daily, weekly, monthly goals in there and I can cross them off as I get them done, or move them to the next day if I didn't get to it. I try to find things I can multi-task- (IE: I do dishes while food is cooking, or fold clothes while I am on the phone with a friend or watching tv.) I also never underestimate the power of 15 minutes. A lot can be done in 15 minute spirts. It helps to break down big jobs into 15 minute sections and just widdle away at it. Eventually you find yourself moving down your list.

    Another example. We have a basement full of boxes from when we moved that we never opened, and I tend to hang onto a lot of things. Sorting through things and purging is always on my list. I make it a goal to go through at least one box in the basement in a week. What once was overwhelming is now manageable. I take unused items to consignment, sell on ebay, or donate. It feels great to simplify!

    Okay, that's enough rambling... onto my next 15 minutes! (Going to tackle a growing pile in my closet!)