Sunday, February 9, 2014

Live your Life: Quick Cleaning Routine, so you can enjoy your LIFE!!

Ha!! I was playing a game with my kids and a dear friend called Truth Be Told.  You pull a card and everyone has to guess which response YOU wrote. So, I got a card that said, “Truth Be Told, on a Saturday morning I mostly look forward to…” The responses everyone put were sleep (yes, but my body really only lets me sleep until about 9am anymore anyways), budgeting (ok. I actually wrote this one. I know, budgeting? I can’t help it, whether it’s our budget or someone else’s that I am helping out with, I really love budgeting, and often times wake up with my best ideas on Saturday mornings for budgets. LOL), getting coffee (this one is good, and since I have Alex with me on Saturday mornings, I really do enjoy our Saturday mornings at Starbucks). But here’s the kicker, and the point of this entire pose. One of them said CLEANING!!! I mean really?

I remember when my son was little, he also told me that he thought I loved to clean. Now to be fair to them, I usually do have us doing some cleaning and projects around the house on Saturdays, because that’s the best day to get things done. 

IT IS true that I enjoy a clean house. I am definitely not OCD about it though. Anyone who has visited could attest to that. We usually have tools out for projects and craft projects that are being worked on linger for a couple of weeks. I find that I can focus better when my house is clean. It gives me a serene feeling when I can sit on my cozy couch, sip my coffee, and enjoy my surroundings.

But to think that I LOVE cleaning, they’re crazy!!! No, I like the result. Anyways, I have recently completely revamped my weekly routine to help me with having a clean home, with little effort, and I thought I would share. It actually came from this episode of Deals on the Live Well Network, but I have tweaked it to fit our lifestyle, getting a little cleaning done through out our normal routines, and then doing a focused task each evening after work.

Wash Dishes: Everyone in my household now does their own dishes rather than letting them pile up in the sink. If the dishwasher is dirty, they put them in there, if it’s clean then they wash them by hand and put them on the towel to air dry. I wash all the dishes from breakfast, lunch and dinner right away every day, and they go on the towel to air dry. I do try to have the dishwasher emptied, and hand washables put away every day. The kids do this.

Wipe Counters

Shine Sink: (this is a FLYLADY step)

Put things where they belong: This is probably the most difficult for all of us. We’re used to bad habits of  coming in and putting things on the table, leaving shoes everywhere, or leaving bathroom laundry on the floor.

Make Bed: I already do this, as I like my bed to be made, but I do need to get my kids in this habit.

Mail: Mike says to put mail somewhere till you process it later. I process my mail daily. It’s just a habit I’m in.  It takes 2 seconds.  I put things to be filed in one place, and have my shredder right next to that.  Then it's just a matter of putting the envelopes in the recycling bin.

Spray Shower & Squigee: Mike didn’t include this, but I made this homemade shower daily spray, because I don’t want to have to scrub the shower too often…yeah I’m lazy that way!!

MONDAY: Kitchen Day. I am completely following the show on this, cleaning out my refrigerator for snacks or lunches, and just cleaning.

TUESDAY: Bathroom day. I tend to do a quick wipe down every day anyways as soon as I’m done with my morning routine, so this will just be deep cleaning stuff for me.

WEDNESDAY: Laundry day. I am going to follow the show on this too. My kids do their own laundry, so it’s really just mine, Alex’s and any house laundry, such as kitchen towels, bathroom towels, etc. Doing it every week all the way through- meaning clean, fold and actually putting it away- should really help to keep the pile from getting out of control.

THURSDAY: Paper Day. This is the day for me to make sure the budget is written out for the next month, write any checks, file, reconcile my checkbook registry, clean out my e-mail queue on my computer (I do this regularly on my phone, but ignore my computer), and making sure there are no major paper piles around the house.

FRIDAY: Pick up Around the House. This is just to tidy, sweep, dust (something I rarely do), and vacuum around the house; the details.

This may seem like a lot, but I have to say that I have already found that doing this once a week, really keeps the work load light. It pretty much stays clean, and I just take care of detail stuff, working through a couple of the detailed items from the FLYLADY zone lists each week will also allow me to have the stuff I would want to hire a MAID for done.

This has been a great change!!  I am loving the results!!  It is my goal to get cleaning done in around an hour each day, allowing me to focus on the areas of life I DO enjoy.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Life Planning

I have been very fortunate to be able to write up curriculum of several Lifestyle Management type courses for a local business, such as: Healthy Living, Financial Fitness, Decision Making, and more. As I was creating these, I found that there was a common strand. You need to know what your goals and dreams are in able to really make decisions in these areas. If you don’t know where you are going, and what you want to achieve in your life, then you can conquer some battles in some of these areas for a little while, but it’s really hard to win the overall war.

This lead me back to Zig Ziglar’s wheel of life. It’s a wheel and it’s kind of a bank too. You can add or take away success “coins” in each of the 7 main areas of life: Finance, Family, Spiritual, Career, Physical, Mental, and Personal (not necessarily in that order). Because this is a wheel, if you are off balance with Career having most of your success, then the other areas are suffering, and the wheel can’t turn. If you are balanced, but we only have ones or twos in each category, then you are depleted, and need to find a way to add more energy into your life, your wheel is certainly not moving quickly; it needs more steam. You can’t be perfect, but you want to get your numbers as high as you can, and try to keep balance in all areas.

What does this have to do with life goals? Everything. Let’s say that you and your spouse sit down and discuss what your financial values are, and you decide you don’t care about all the goals that have been imposed upon you by everyone around you, and instead it is your life goal to travel to exotic places to hike famous trails. There are a lot of decisions you need to make based on this.

Let’s look at it with the Wheel:
• Finances: You may decide that you are going to value living on less. You either rent a smaller space, or perhaps you are able to purchase a smaller home. You choose to live a frugal lifestyle with everything you do: food, clothing, furniture, d├ęcor, utilities, cars, etc.
• Family: This is what you guys talk about. You dream, and plan. If you have children, you talk with them about this. They are brought up on “travel” doctrine, so to speak.
• Spiritual: Everything you do, you are told to do it as a form of worship, so this is how you look at your value of hiking, or perhaps you could attach this goal to a mission type trip, perhaps you have a skill that could be used in another country, and the trip could do double duty.
• Career: You may pick work based on this goal, or you may decide to only use your vacation time for these traveling events.
• Physical: You can’t just go for a huge hike. You have to train and go on smaller hikes first. • Mental: Again, you can’t just go on a huge hike. The smaller hikes will prepare your mind for the larger ones, plus the discussions you have would be based around this topic with your spouse, friends, family and even your children.
• Personal: The likelihood is that you will want to meet like-minded people. It’s much easier to have a goal like this if you have people around you, who support you and perhaps go with you.

Ok, so this may seem like an extravagant dream, but hey, why not?

My point is this, more than anything, is that you and your spouse need to make the decision together of WHO you want to be. HAPPEN to your life, don’t let if just HAPPEN to you. Even if it’s just being the “Cool” parents to your kids’ friends; this doesn’t start when your kids are teenagers. This goal is something you work on from the way you plan your house set-up to when your children start school-inviting their friends over to hang out and planning fun events for them. OR having money when you retire; you have to actually plan for this-with Social Security being insecure, and Medicare on the brink of destruction, how can you think you will have money, if you don’t do something about it yourself?
So, take a few minutes, I will attach the Life Wheel activity in Zig Ziglar's Born to Win here, sit down with your spouse, and see where you are with your life. Are there things you need to improve on? That’s ok. You’ll be in the same boat as most of us; however, if you look at this every 6 months or so, and see that you have an area to work on, but you’re growing in another area, you will be much better off than if you never look at it, and just “go with the flow.”

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