Keeping Track – Setting Yourself Up for Personal Victories
May 14, 2012 ~
As a parent, days are hectic and evenings can seem too short. Keeping track of school, sports and family commitments takes a great deal of organization. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine without stopping to set short- and long-term goals and recognize accomplishments along the way. Here are a few tips for how to keep track of everything from daily goals to personal and family milestones.
Tracking the Day-to-Day
A little organization can go a long way. The first step to being organized is figuring out what needs immediate attention and what can wait. What has fallen through the cracks and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later? Keep a master calendar of commitments and deadlines and make lists that are divided into short-term and long-term goals. Keep them in a format that works for you, whether it’s a sticky note, notebook or checklist on your phone. The more comfortable you feel with your system of day-to-day organization, the more likely you are to use it. Another tip to keep you organized and on track is to set up automated bill payments. Online options such as Mint.com keep clutter to a minimum, help track spending and manage budgets.
Tracking Family Mementos
Bigger life events are sprinkled in throughout the year, and tracking these should also be a priority. How do you preserve your family vacations, milestones and history? Many people enjoy scrapbooking, but for those who are less inclined toward scissors and glue, there are many online resources for creating memory books — from the built-in bookmaker in iPhoto to websites such as Pinhole Press. If you prefer your memories to be a bit more prominent, create a family bulletin board and place it in a central location in the house. Attach important daily reminders, notes of encouragement and recent family photos. The bulletin board can be an ever-changing reflection of your family life.
Tracking Life Goals
What are the larger goals that you and your family wish to accomplish? Are you trying to eat better and work on your fitness? Is your child aiming for Kumon’s Advanced Student Honor Roll? Are you hoping for a promotion at work? Whatever the goal, achieving it involves breaking it into smaller steps and then tracking your progress along the way. For the Internet-inclined, online goal tracking has never been easier. Websites such as Lululemon’s Goaltender help you set various types of goals and break them down into manageable pieces. Additionally, sharing goals with your family keeps everyone accountable. Have regular check-ins so each family member can discuss his or her successes and challenges and offer support and advice.
Embrace your inner record-keeper and you may find that the puzzle pieces of life start to fall into place. With the many resources that are available today, whatever your personality, there is a way to simplify and organize with the touch of a button. When you organize and track your life, important milestones won’t go unnoticed, and you and your family are set up for success.