I get asked a lot how I do it all. How do I raise 4 kids, work outside the home full time, manage a home and family schedule, work on my marriage of 26 years, and still find time for Families with Purpose. And my answer is always the same, I don’t do it all, only the important. And for the important I have set up very specific systems to help manage it all.
My goal in life isn’t to do it all, but to do what’s important. I focus my life on doing what excites me and what I feel I have been called to do. Here is how you too can determine what’s important and how to do a better job of fitting the important into your life.
Get Crystal Clear on Your Values, Priorities, and Vision and Be Unwilling to Compromise Them
Before you do anything else you need to get crystal clear on what’s important.
You might not necessarily know how to get there, but if you know where you are going and what is really important you will figure out how to get there.
That is why we have a family mission statement, created a family vision, and why I have my own personal mission and vision for my life. That is why Joe and I have been very deliberate in choosing and teaching our core family values.
Clarity is what keeps you from floundering and flittering from one quick fix to another. Clarity is what will keep you focused.
Keep It All in Perspective
I know it is hard when you are excited about your life, have lots you want to accomplish, but can’t seem to find time to work on your projects or accomplish any of your goals. Babies who aren’t sleeping through the night or kids’ activities that take up all your spare time will make accomplishing your goals harder. But the reality is that someday your kids will sleep through the night and someday your kids will need you less and you will have more time and energy to work on your projects.
So TRY to be present in the moments you have now, enjoy your season of life, and find little ways of continuing to work on your personal goals and ambitions. Just small actions like reading books, taking short classes, or setting aside time every week to work on your own goals will help keep your own dreams alive. Try not to lose sight of who you are or what you want to accomplish in life in the midst of the busyness of raising a family.
Let the Unimportant Go
I know this is easier said than done and it took me a long time to learn how to do it, but if something isn’t tied directly to your vision and values you either have to eliminate it from your life or find ways of simplifying it or delegating it. For me I had to learn how to let go of the idea of having a spotlessly clean organized house. Too much of my identity was tied up in how clean my house was even though nowhere in our family vision did we indicate that this was important to us. It was something I thought a good mother and wife should do. And though I truly appreciate a clean picked up house I didn’t necessarily enjoy doing it or sacrificing my time that I could be spending elsewhere. So I simplified it by scaling back what I tried to do each week and delegated some of it to the kids.
And what really helped me learn how to let the unimportant go was learning how to get excited about my life and the things that were most important to me. Things like being the mother and wife I wanted to be, being present and available when my family needed me and helping other families through the FWP community.
What in your life are you excited about?