Do you feel like at the end of the day you accomplished nothing that you wanted to? Have you ever thought, “Why do these things keep happening to me?” If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, you are living reactively. Today is the day you stop reacting to life and live proactive.
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Admittedly, this is a pet peeve of mine. The people who sit around wondering why bad things keep happening to them. They wonder why the bank account is overdrawn again or blame their boss for their getting fired. The one thing they have in common? It’s never their fault.
Life just happens to them. Their account go overdrawn because the bank didn’t update their account balance correctly at the ATM. They got fired because their boss hated them.
Luckily, I know that’s not you because you’ve already worked on taking personal responsibility. However, there are sneakier ways that moms let reactive living creep into their lives.
Sneaky Reactive Living
We all have bad days when the kids don’t let us have a moment’s peace, but how many days in a row has that prevented you from completing a task you really wanted to get done.
How many times have you “lost track” of time and forgotten dinner until it’s too late to cook so you order out?
If these sound familiar, you are not alone. I’ve been right there with you. The problem is that reactive living robs you have your happiness. You feel like your life is chaotic and you have no control. At some point you have to decide that you’ve had enough and you’re ready to boss your day around like the awesome and powerful mom that you are.
That first step in proactive living is setting your goals. Admittedly this is my favorite part of life. Why? Because it allows you to really dream big. None of your ultimate goals have to be scaled down or cast aside. The sky is the limit when it comes to goals.
It’s not enough to simply think about them. You need to take out your journal and write them down. What does your dream day look like? Would you love to have a house that’s always clean? Dinner is always on the table by 6 pm and your entire family sits down to eat together. You have a brand new mansion in Malibu with both an indoor and an outdoor pool that you can spend everyday by.
Whatever that goal is, write it down. Be as descriptive as possible and include everything you can think of. Seriously, dream big here.
Break Those Goals Down
Once you know what your big goal is, you have to break it down into smaller goals. If you want a brand new mansion in Malibu but you’re living as a single-income family, you are going to have to find ways to increase your income. This could mean starting your own business, taking a part-time job, or other ways of making more money.
Of course, if your goals are smaller right now, that’s totally fine too. For example, all I want right now if for my house to always be clean. That doesn’t sound glamorous but it does so much for my well-being and eases my stress levels greatly. It’s simply what I want.
Start with Big Chunks
For example, a clean house means that:
- I have to get it completely clean first.
- Then I have to keep it clean.
How Do You Complete Those Chunks
Once you have your big chunks defined, it’s time to break them down even further. How do I completely clean the house?
- I clean each room, one at a time and purge any items I don’t use or need.
Okay, my house is clean. How do I keep it clean?
- I create systems and routines that consistently clean and organize my home.
Schedule Your Day
Admittedly, above I over-simplified the goals to give you an example. Some will have many big chunks with even more smaller chunks under them, but you get the picture. After you have those smaller chunks, use them as guideposts to plan your day. Determine everything you need to do each day. This is not limited to the actions that will help you achieve your goals. It also includes daily tasks such as making dinner, reading the kids to sleep, or packing lunches in the morning. Don’t leave anything out, no matter how small it may seem.
Write It Down
After you know exactly what you need to accomplish, put it on paper. I love a planner for this but you can also use an hourly to-do list or a dry erase board. Use what works for you. Plan out each day the night before or once a week on a specific day. Then treat that list as non-negotiable. For example, there are some days when tackling another room of my house sounds absolutely horrible, but if it’s on my list, I simply have to buck up and do it. This keeps me accountable and when I try to talk myself out of it, essentially, I’m saying that my goals and dreams aren’t important enough.
Expand to All Areas of Life
Once you begin to master living proactive in your daily life, start to expand it to all areas of your life. Set a budget or financial goal then make a plan to bring it to fruition. Create an awesome fitness goal and break it down into smaller, manageable steps. Any area of your life where you want to live proactive, follow these steps. Stop letting life just happen. Take control of it.
It may sound oversimplified to say stop reacting to life and live proactive but the concept is truly that simple. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to take a lot of hard work to get there. When you commit to truly improving yourself and your life, it’s a one-two-three step. You’ve done the hardest part and made the decision to change. Now it’s time to put it into practice in your daily life and watch a life you love begin to emerge and grow.
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