5 Simple Planning Tips to Reduce Stress in Your Life
5 Simple Planning Tips to Make Your Life Easier
Have you ever heard the saying, if you fail to plan you plan to fail? Sometimes it does feel that way when we don’t plan. Sometimes everything just seems to go wrong. Then, when we do plan, life can seem a lot easier. Sure, there are things we can’t plan for that happen, but a little planning can go a long way to make your life easier. Using one or all of these simple planning tips can help you make your life easier. We certainly can enjoy less stress and more joy!
1. Have morning and evening routines.
A routine is simply a few tasks that you do in a certain order at a certain time of day. A morning routine helps you to get your day off to a great start. For example, my morning routine consists of getting up, getting water, exercising, getting dressed, and working on my blog. Then I eat breakfast, start a load of laundry, and start school with my kids.
My morning routine helps me to stay focused, organized, and get important things done. It is a tool to help me be productive and not forget anything.
The purpose of an evening routine is to wind down your day and help you set up your next day for success. For example, my evening routine consists of looking at the calendar for the next day, laying out my clothes for the next day, getting ready for bed, and reading for a bit before I go to sleep.
A routine can be very simple. The number of tasks or the length of time it takes are not relevant. Remember, the purpose of a morning routine is to help you get your day off to a great start and the purpose of an evening routine is to help you to be ready for the next day. Keep them simple and make them work for you.
If you want more details on how to set up morning and evening routines, Create Simple Morning and Evening Routines and Transform each Day has more detailed information to help guide you.
2. Make a meal plan (and check it in the morning).
Ah, meal planning. Is this something you do with ease, something you struggle with, or something you avoid? Meal planning is something I didn’t do for a long time-until we had more kids and I started planning our meals to make my life easier. Boy, did it make my life easier!
So, what is meal planning? Meal planning is simply planning what meals you will have for the week or the month. Some people like to plan ahead for a month. I like to plan for a week.
How do you make a meal plan? Just get a piece of paper and plan out the meals you want to have for the week (or the month). Look at the food you have already and see what needs to be eaten soon. Plan meals with the food you have.
Then, plan other meals for the rest of the week. I often do this during dinner one day of the week and ask my family meals they would like to have. I write down all the meal ideas. Then, I take inventory of the food we have already so I know what we need to buy to make these meals and I make a grocery list of what we need. For example, if we plan to make pizza, I check to see how much flour we have for the dough, crushed tomatoes (to make the sauce), cheese, or canned olives, and canned pineapple. If we are missing any of these, I write the needed ingredients on the list. I do this for each meal we plan to make.
The last step is to decide on what days we will have which meals. I write the meals on our family wall calendar in the kitchen for easy reference.
Be sure to check your meal plan the day before so you can pull out anything that needs to be defrosted so it will be ready in time for dinner the next day.
If you have not tried meal planning, give it a try; it can save you a lot of time. Also, having a grocery list will help you avoid (or at least minimize) those quick runs to the grocery store because you forgot to buy something.
3. Use a planner.
A planner is certainly a favorite tool of mine. I use my planner to keep track of appointments, notes, goals, and plans. Having a planner helps me to keep track of things on paper so I do not have to keep all the things all in my head. I don’t want to forget anything!
I use my planner to plan out my week ahead of time so I know when I will get things done. For example, if we have an appointment in the afternoon one day, I know not to plan a dinner that takes a while to prepare that day. I won’t have enough time. If we have a homeschool event one day, it is convenient to stop by the library as well since we are already out of the house. If I have a project I need to do at home, like pull out the clothes my older boys grew out of so I can see what will now fit my youngest son, I can plan to do that on a day when I am home.
But, you do not need a planner to plan. You can also use a pen or pencil and paper to write out your plans and goals for each day. Writing out your plans and goals for the week is what is important, no matter how you do it.
Important note: remember to plan some fun time as well as time for the important tasks you need to get done. You need to plan time to rejuvenate yourself, too. 😊
If you would like to use a planner, you can buy a planner or use planner sheets that you can print off to find out what style you like. Some planners have a timeline for each day. Others have a box for the day without a timeline. There are many different styles and formats.
You can find many different planning pages online for free that you can print off and try to see what will work for you. (See Day Designer’s website for examples.)
The Day Designer Planner from Blue Sky is the one I am using for the new year. It has a timeline and a space for notes each day. For me, this is the best of both worlds!
I have created a planner page you can get for free. You can see a picture of it below and sign up to get your pdf copy. You can print it off as many times as you like.
4. Make time for self-care.
You are part of your family. Do you think of yourself that way? You are an integral part of your family. Just as you work hard each day to take care of your husband and kids, you also need to take care of yourself.
When one of your kids is getting cranky, you may get them a snack or settle them down with a book to read so they can rest. Do you do the same for yourself at times when you feel cranky or out of sorts? Do you give yourself some downtime each day to help you avoid getting cranky or overextended in the first place?
Self-care is not self-indulgence or selfishness. It is care. Eating right, getting exercise, getting enough sleep, and doing activities that you enjoy and that fill you up are just a few ways you can take care of yourself-just like you take care of everyone else.
5. Make time for prayer.
When something is important to us, we make the time for it. Making time for God is very important.
If you are not in the habit of praying daily, that is okay. Start with adding one prayer to your day. Perhaps you can say a Morning Offering when you first wake up in the morning, a Memorare at noon, or family prayers before your children go to bed. Pick one prayer time that will work for you and make it part of your daily routine.
As that prayer time becomes part of your day, you can add more prayer each day. Having a simple prayer routine that is meaningful helps you to grow closer to God and connect with Him each day. God loves you so much. He died for you on the cross. He wants to be a part of your life.
Including God in your life each day in prayer will help you to draw closer to Him and be more mindful on Him in our life. ❤
How to Pray More Every Day has some more tips and ideas for you.
Use simple planning tips to make your life easier.
When you are feeling a bit stressed out and want to make some changes in your life to make things easier, try any or all of these planning tips: Have morning and evening routines. Make a meal plan (and check it in the morning). Use a planner. Make time for self-care. Make time for prayer.
Each one of these tips an make a positive difference in your life. Try one out today, then add another one next week. Make any changes you need to make them work for you. One day at a time is all you need to do.