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Successful Goal Setting in 3 Steps

Successful Goal Setting in 3 Steps

 

Successful Goal Setting in 3 Easy Steps

 

Successful goal setting doesn’t have to be hard! It’s something we often put off because we don’t want to take the time to goal set. It can be hard to reflect on what hasn’t worked, or what we haven’t accomplished or even to figure out an action plan for yourself. Use this as a jump start for yourself into the ultimate guide for goal setting! 

 

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had HUGE dreams, got super excited about them, decided you’d start Monday and then… it’s months later and nothing has happened. Or maybe you have made a few steps towards your goals, things got tough or you got sidetracked and another year has gone by and you’ve missed those goals you set for yourself.

 

We’ve all been there. Not many people actually wake up each day and think ‘hmmm I  think I want to achieve nothing and see what happens”. Most of us decide we want more out of life or we at least want to attempt to achieve things before our lives end.

 

But how do we actually create goals that make sense for our season of life, that are attainable but still push our limits, and that bring us joy?

 

Successful Goal Setting

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Making Mom Goals Happen when you’re Busy

 

The one thing that I want to remind you when you spend time goal setting is to embrace the season of life you are in. Currently, I am in a season of being a mom of 2 under 2, running a coaching business and blog, and doing my best to be the best mom, wife, friend, and sibling I possibly can be.

 

This means for me, I have to realize that this may not be the time for me to set a goal to be a missionary out of the country but perhaps, to volunteer a few times a month locally. While I have big goals of traveling the world for pleasure, right now a goal of getting a few date nights in is much more achievable and reasonable.

 

It’s important to not only realize your season but also to not become jealous of other people’s season. Sometimes we scroll on social media and see people we knew in high school or college and, when we come across their page and see incredible things they are doing, it can make us feel inadequate or that our goals are too small or not enough.

 

Embrace the season of life you are in, realize that you are meant to be in this season right now, and create goals that compliment them without feeling envious of other seasons of life.

 

What season of life are you in? Take the time to acknowledge it, embrace it, and be ready to make goals to be your BEST in this season.

 

 

Affordable Travel is Totally Possible

 

How to Make a Goal Happen

 

When thinking about your goals I’m sure you’ve heard people say DREAM BIG but what does that really mean?

 

In my opinion, dreaming big is all about making sure your goals move you out of your comfort zone. I mean they SHOULD scare you a bit. When you think of a goal, you should say ‘hmmm i don’t know if I can do this but I’d really like to try”.

 

Do you have goals like this? Ones that scare the crap out of you but you don’t ever write down because you’re afraid of failing?

 

THESE are the goals I want you to write down today. The ones that you have always thought would be cool but have been too scared to go for. But make sure they are ones that make sense for your season as well.

 

If you make goals around spending more time with your family or doing leisure activities but are in a season where you are up for a big promotion at work which requires extra time away from your family, than maybe now isn’t the time for this goal.

 

What are things you’ve always wanted to do? What are ones that you put on your vision board  and would love to accomplish?

 

Related Post: How to Create a Virtual Vision Board

 

Using the SMART formula for goal setting

 

When coming up with your goals and taking the time to set yourself up for successful goal setting, just writing down something you want to do isn’t going to help you much. You have to write them down super specifically so that you know what you want to accomplish. I’ll be doing an additional post on how to make an action plan for these goals so the more specific you can be now while you create, the better!

 

You should work to create goals in each of the important areas of your life instead of just a few general ones. Think about goals you might have for your health, relationships, spirituality, leisure, etc… You’ll want to make goals for each of those areas as your roadmap.

 

 

When you go to make those goals, you’ll want to make sure you follow the smart formula, meaning are your goals are

 

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time Bound 

 

 

What does this actually mean to use the smart formula for goal setting?

 

Let’s use an example about healthy living:

 

Specific: Instead of writing things like “I want to be healthier” write down “I want to run a 5k” or “I want to lose 20 pounds”.

 

Measurable: Don’t use terms like ‘be better”, use terms that allow you to measure the goal. Ask yourself how you would know if you were better at something? Instead of ‘be in better shape’ you could say “I want to be able to do 15 pushups with correct form”.

 

Attainable: When I talk about attainable goals, I don’t want you to truncate your dreams, rather I want you to think about goals that actually could happen right now. If you want to make a goal around completing a triathlon, it wouldn’t be realistic to have that goal during the winter where you’d be swimming outside. This might be a better goal for the spring time.

 

Realistic: Realistic goals go back to what we talked about when we talked about seasons.If you’ve never ran a day in your life, a realistic goal would be to complete a 5k rather than an Iron Man

 

Time Bound: Time bound goals and the ones that really drive me. I make my goals for the year but then break them down for each quarter because it makes them time bound and more achievable for me. An example would be changing your goal from “I want to lose 20 pounds” to “I want to lose 20 pounds by March 30th” Putting a date on it will add that sense of urgency to your goal.

 

successful-goal-setting 

 

Get Started with the Goal Setting Formula

 

If you’re ready to use the smart goal setting formula and create goals that really matter, head over and get your free brainstorming sheet that will help you organize your goals for you! I’d love to know some you’ve come up with so leave your top goal in the comments and put it out in the universe!

 

 

More Goal Setting Tips for Moms

The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting for Busy Moms

End of Year Reflection and Free Printable Workbook 

5 Tips to Making a Virtual Vision Board

Creating an Action Plan that Works in 4 Easy Steps

The Best Way to Organize Your Goals

Successful Goal Setting in 3 Easy Steps

Podcast Episode 01: Goal Setting with the 15 Minute Formula

 

 

Goal Setting Resources for Moms

Ultimate Productivity Bundle

The 15 Minute Formula

Purpose Driven Mom Club

Make Over Your Year Course 

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

How to Time Block and Get More Done!

 

Time blocking is one of the best time management tips for moms out there! As a busy mom is can be hard to figure out what you need to get done, when you will have time to complete your tasks and how to juggle everything on your plate! Time blocking allows you to give yourself a framework for your day without feeling too structured or tied to a schedule. 

 

What is time blocking?

 

Time blocking is the concept of taking your day and breaking it into smaller chunks. Instead of using an hourly schedule (which can be helpful but not all the time) you’d break your day down based off of events that happen each day. 

 

If you used an hourly scheduling method, you might have a jam packed day and everything planned very structured and stacked. While this can be helpful when you have a lot of moving pieces, a super structured week at work or with kid’s activities, being too rigid with your schedule can make you feel overwhelmed and behind. 

 

how-to-time-block

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

Why time blocking works for busy moms

 

With time blocking, you’ll use chunks of time instead of the hourly planning. This allows to you have the best of both worlds – structure AND flexibility.

 

When I was a high school teacher, I found myself pulled in a million directions. I had to teach my classes, hold a resource room period, accommodate and modify tests for other teachers and run all of my extra activities. During this season of my life, I needed to be on an hourly schedule for my time management or I would possibly be late to something or miss a meeting I had to be at. 

 

Now that I’ve transitioned into a work at home mom running my own business, I have had to adjust how I schedule things. In the beginning, I tried to stick to this more tight schedule but after my children were born, I learned how hard it really is to be that planned. I was burning myself out with too many things on my to do list, feeling overwhelmed because we’d inevitably get behind at some point each day, and frustrated with my homemaking, motherhood and work tasks. 

 

Related Post: How to Schedule Your Day as a Work at Home Mom 

 

Time blocking really has been one of the best things that has happened to my schedule and time management! Instead of being so structured that the littlest thing would set off our schedule (and my mood), I now break my day up in chunks around events. I am able to use time blocking to be flexible and accommodate each day based on what we need to get done while still providing routine for my kids and myself so that things don’t always feel frazzled. 

 

Make the Most of Every Day - 97% off!

 

How to create time blocks in your day

 

When you set out to create time blocks for your day, you’ll want to follow a few guidelines so that you can set yourself up for success. 

 

You want to try to keep your blocks around 3-4 hours long. They can be shorter than this but, any longer and you get into a space where it’s easy to procrastinate because you ‘have the time’ to do it later. 

 

Grab your calendar and look at your day and the major events and transitions that you will come across. You’ll want to anchor your time blocks  around those events. For example, if you have to pick your kids up from school at a certain time – that’s a great place to start/end a new block. If your kids go to bed at a certain time you’ve found another good anchor for your blocks.

 

If you don’t have any events to anchor your day around, anchor around your blocks around meals. I know in the summer our days can be more flexible and, maybe you truly don’t have anything planned at all. If this is the case, you can make your blocks between breakfast and lunch, lunch and snack, snack and dinner and dinner and bed. This allows you to still cut your day up in meaningful chunks and has a nice transition time attached to it. 

 

Below I’ve given you an example of my (current) time blocks. You’ll notice that some are longer than others but each one starts at a certain anchor. I’ve listed the anchors that end my block next to each one so you can see examples of what I use to chunk a typical day.

 

5:00 am-9:00 am – drop Arianna at school 

9:00 am-12:00 pm – pick Arianna up at school

12:00 pm -2:00 pm – kids go down for nap

2:00 pm  -4:00 pm – kids wake up from nap

4:00 pm -8:00 pm – kid’s bedtime

8:00 pm -11:00 pm – my bedtime

 

You can make each day the same or have different time blocks depending on the activities you have going on. The above listed is my typical Monday-Friday blocks which changes on the weekends. These blocks are now starting to transition again this summer as my 3.5 year old is starting to drop a nap and my 1.5 year old is moving his nap up. Be fluid and flexible but allow the anchors to guide you when you make your day. 

 

Related Post: How to Fit Self Care in Your Day 

 

How to Time Block in Your Planner

 

There are a few ways you can distinguish your time blocks in your day so that it makes sense in your planner. I often will make a template of my time blocks on an extra large post-it and keep that in my planner for reference. I also use a Plum Paper planner which I LOVE! You can customize the planner to actually say Morning, Afternoon and Evening instead of hourly time which fits perfectly with how I structure my day. 

 

You can also color code each time block with a different marker or colored pen or use Washi tape to separate it! If you use a bullet journal, you’ll have total flexibility to set it up in anyway you want! Be as creative (or non creative) as you choose!

 

Here are some great and fun things to make your planner pop!

 

 

 

 

 

What do you put in time blocks? 

 

When I first fill my timeblocks for the week, I start with all of the things I can’t change. These can be appointments I have to keep, meetings I am in, kid’s activities or drop offs or events I am attending. This allows me to see the day at a glance and I can adjust what goes in the other blocks accordingly. 

 

Make sure that you also have one event in your day that is where you are working on a goal of yours. This could be 15 minutes planned out to declutter your closet, 30 minutes at the gym, or 20 minutes to read. Plan that in advance so you know that, no matter how busy things get, you’ve scheduled a little time out for you. 

 

You’ll want to add in another time block with a habit that you are working on. I suggest just picking one habit each week and then adding to it. For my morning time block, I simply write ‘morning routine’ down but in a separate place in my planner I write down all of the tasks that I want to get done in that routine. 

 

Related Post: Creating an Evening Routine for your Family (podcast episode!)

 

It’s smart to batch out the rest of your time blocks. Have a lot of errands to run? Put them in the same block! Phone calls that you need to make? Do them in the same chunk of time!

 

By batching out your tasks, you’ll spend less time doing them and take more action and actually get things done!

 

One of the biggest tips I can give you if you are going to give time blocking a try though is to NOT put too many things in each block. Each block should have 3-5 things maximum for you to work on. This way you know that in that period of time you need to get things do and can time manage yourself. Since you know that the next block is starting soon, you’ll have urgency that helps you procrastinate less!

 

Time Management for the Work at home Mom

 

So what does time blocking look like for  a work at home mom? I wanted to share with you what a typical day looks like (when all naps and stars align!) so you can get an idea of how many things I put in each block and how I structure things!

 

5:00 am-9:00 am 

  • Prayer and bible time
  • 1 Work Task
  • Breakfast and morning chores
  • Workout and Shower

 

9:00 am-12:00 pm – pick Arianna up at school

  • Daily Cleaning
  • Phone Calls
  • Morning Walk
  • Errands or Play Date (my 1.5 year old is still home with me and the 3.5 year old and 12 year old are at school)

 

12:00 pm -2:00 pm – kids go down for nap

  • Lunch 
  • Reading Time 
  • Outdoor Play/Chores

 

2:00 pm -4:00 pm – kids wake up from nap

 

4:00 pm -8:00 pm – kid’s bedtime

  • Snack and Playtime
  • Answer emails/clerical tasks for the home
  • Make Dinner
  • Evening Chores and Routines

 

8:00 pm -11:00 pm – my bedtime

  • More work tasks
  • Live calls, coaching and training
  • Planning for tomorrow
  • Reading for me!

 

As you can see, I don’t have a ton of things planned but, every day I know what to work on during that block and can be specific for what calls, errands or tasks need to be done when I plan out the next day. 

 

Time blocking is a great time management strategy to help moms get more done without feeling overwhelmed!  Post your typical time blocks in the comments and PIN this to read again later!

 

how-to-time-block

 

 

 

More Time Management Tips for Moms

Simple Steps to Make Your Morning Easier

How to Set up Your Week to Be More Productive

How to Schedule Your Day as a Work at Home Mom

How to Fit Self Care Into Your Day

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom 

Digitally Organize Your Prayer Time to Become a Prayer Warrior

Create a Morning Routine in 3 Easy Steps

 

More Resources to Manage Your Time as a Busy Mom

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman

Organize Your Life with Trello

 

 

 

 

Podcast 06 Creating a Reading Culture in Your Home

Podcast 06 Creating a Reading Culture in Your Home

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 06

Creating a Reading Culture In Your Home

 

 

 

In today’s episode we’ll chat about how you can create a culture of reading in your home. It’s so important that your kids grow up in a print-rich environment, see you reading, and have great routines that help them become great readers! I’ll break down for you how to start growing that space for them to explore books, how to find time to read as a busy mom, and how you can start helping develop your kids early literacy skills.

 

 

 

 

Episode Show Notes

6:00 Why your kids need to see your reading

8:00 Why reading is important in the home

18:00 Finding Chunks of Time To Read

25:00 Creating Habit Triggers for Reading

28:00 Using audiobooks and ebooks to read more

29:00 Creating Reading Habits with Your Kids

30:00 How to Do Read Aloud Time in Your Home

37:00 Giving Kids Book Choice

Subscribe & Review in the Podcast

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, make sure you head over and do it now so that you don’t miss an episode! 

Click here to subscribe at iTunes!

While you’re there, I’d love an appreciate if you’d leave a rating and review! These allow other purpose driven moms to find the show and help grow our community! Just click here to review, select ‘Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know your favorite part of the podcast! I’d love to feature you as our ‘Review of the Week’.

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode 

Audible – Get 2 Free Books

Goodreads – Come Join Me!

The Purpose Driven Mom Club 

Hoopla App

Overdrive App

 

Related Blog Posts

30+ Must Read Books for Christian Moms

How to Find Time to Read as a Busy Mom

20+ Motivating Quotes from the book “I am that Girl”

Episode 2: How to Find Time for Self Care

 

 

 

Looking for Help Finding Time in Your Day for What Matters? Click Here to Sign up for this FREE Series!

 

 

Join the Purpose Driven Mom Club!

 

 

If you listened to today’s episode, take a screen shot of the show or you taking action on a tip from the show and TAG ME on Instagram! 

Make sure to join our Facebook Community and continue the conversation about the episode!

How to Prepare your Toddler for Preschool

How to Prepare your Toddler for Preschool

How to Prepare Your Child for Preschool

 

It’s important to start to prepare your child for preschool before they start. If they have  been home with you since they have been born, there are some skills that you want them to have before going to preschool. While they don’t need to be doing calculus or reading  before preschool there are activities and skills you want your preschooler to have.

 

My 2.5 year old daughter will be starting part-time preschool in the fall and I’m excited and nervous and wondering how this will be.

 

Adding preschool into our lives was a decision we made for a few reasons. Our main reason was that she’s always stayed home with me and, before her brother was born a year ago our main interactions were playdates or a music class we attended weekly.

 

Since adding a new baby into the mix (and her getting older), I’ve noticed how much more of my attention she is seeking and her struggling when it comes to playing with others. We’ve had a lot less playdates because it’s just tougher with 2 babies and all the nap schedules to contend with.

 

I can tell that she is craving more interaction with kids her age and know that it will be good for her to be around others, learn from others, and pick up some of the social skills that I cannot teach her at home.

 

 

how-to-prepare-your-child-for-preschool

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

 

Tot School Activities for Toddlers

 

For the past year and a half we’ve also added some intentional learning into our typical routines by starting tot school with our preschooler. Part of this is the teacher in me and the other part is knowing that, no matter what she learns at school, she needs reinforcement from home and any added ‘learning’ never hurt anyone.

 

We don’t do anything too structured as far as home school but we have implemented some Tot School  practices into our weeks. In full transparency, it’s been much tougher and less frequent since the baby was born but, I know that any learning activities we do helps!

 

Related Post: Tot School Activities (Week 2)

 

 

We follow the curriculum from ABC JESUS LOVES ME  which allows us to have a structure of what is developmentally appropriate while fitting it into our day naturally. We don’t have a time where I announce “it’s school time” but times during the day where we do activities to promote learning. We also add in learning from the Play Through the Bible Book from my friend Liz at Steadfast Family! This book has helped us teach the bible lessons we found most important!

 

 

 

 

Preparing Your Toddler for Preschool

 

Having a more casual approach when your child is younger is the easiest way to decrease the stress for both you as the parents and them as the child. You never want to force them to do activities or make it so that it’s not fun because, let’s be real, if it’s not fun, your kids won’t’ do it!

 

We try to pick a theme for each week and come up with 2-3 activities we can do for that theme. The curriculum is great at giving ideas for what themes might work best and activities to go along with it. I print them out on Sundays for the week and keep them in a divided storage shelf so that I can easily grab something if we have 20 extra minutes in our day and want an activity.

 

All day, we also are working on learning in our environment however it naturally comes up. We point out letters, find numbers, count things, try to make patterns and categories with toys, and READ, READ, READ!!!

 

Related Post: Podcast Episode 6 {How to Create a Reading Culture in Your Home}

 

Teaching Your Toddler During the Day

 

If you’re looking for other ways to incorporate learning and prepare your child for preschool, try to find pockets of your day that allow them to be creative, problem solve, and explore.

 

This can include outdoor play, games like “I spy” or nature walks, cooking, puzzles, seek and finds and more! There are so many ways to make learning and exploring fun, and those are all skills your child needs going into pre-school!

 

The more you can talk to your child, explain things you are doing, and share new words with them, the more that they will pick up! My daughter has learned so many new words simply from me saying what they are (“Ari, this is a spatula! We’ll use this to stir”), having her repeat it (“Watch my mouth when I saw that word. Good, now you say it”) and using it whenever it comes up in context (“Can you pass me the spatula? Oh we need to stir… hmmm what could we use?”)

 

 

 

How to Teach Your Preschooler Social Skills

 

One of the things we are working on now is all of the social skills she will need when going into preschool. We know that sharing is hard for any toddler and that she’ll learn how to do it when those moments happen but, that doesn’t mean we won’t work to help her learn those.

 

When preparing your child for school you can help them by reinforcing manners during the day. Toddlers are completely capable of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and by reinforcing that AND modeling it when we speak to them and everyone else in the household, it helps them make manners a habit.

 

You can also help them learn about sharing (we use the phrase ‘it’s time to take turns” all day in this house) as much as possible. We are struggling A LOT with this right now, particularly as her favorite thing to do seems to be to take whatever toy her little brother is playing with at the moment. BUT, that doesn’t mean I won’t try to take as many teachable moments as possible.

 

 

Toddler and Preschool Activities

 

If you’re looking for some activities you can start with your toddler now to get them ready for preschool, look no further! I’ve rounded up some super fun activities that you can incorporate into your week and that your toddler will love!

 

#1 Cereal Color Sort Mat from A Purpose Driven Mom 

 

 

 

#2 Matching Games from Becoming Shultz

 

 

 

#3 Fine Motor Skills from A Purpose Driven Mom 

 

 

 

#4 Tracing Activities from Meraki Mother

 

 

 

#5 Magnetic Counting from From Engineer to SAHM

 

 

 

#6 IXL Activities from Theresa’s Reviews

 

 

 

#7 Sticker Matching from A Purpose Driven Mom 

 

 

#8 Lace and Trace Activities for Fine Motor Skills

 

These are great because they keep little hands busy and help with their fine motor skills! These are the ones that we love!

 

 

 

#9 Basics skills such as using glue and scissors

 

We do a lot of play and practice with regular glue and glue sticks and just ordered a great book to get her practicing with safety scissors.

 

 

Did these tips help you??? Make sure you share them with another mama on your Facebook and PIN them to come back to later!

 

 

 

More School Tips for Preschool Moms!

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School 

7 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes

Free Printable Preschool Activities 

20+ Ways to Teach Handwriting to Your Toddler

 

Best Resources to for the Preschool Mom!

Teach Your Preschooler to Cook: 10 Snacks Your Preschooler Can Make Today

Huddleston Academy Virtual Learning

 

 

 

 

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Podcast 04 Creating Summer Routines

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 04

Creating an Summer Routines for Your Family

 

 

 

Let’s chat about creating summer routines today! As we dive into summer, it’s key to come up with a vision for your summer and routines that allow your summer to be fun and joyful – and not super stressed.

 

 

 

 

Episode Show Notes

1:30 Review of the Week (and special gift!)

3:33 Let’s talk about summer routines!

5:27 Why you need summer routines

7:30 Create a vision for your summer

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How will your schedule change?
  • How will the kids schedules change?
  • Will you have a more relaxed summer or rushed with activities?
  • Do you want to plan a lot of activities or let them free play?
  • How about tech time?
  • Learning Activities, reading or a break?
  • What’s your summer budget?
  • Will you take any vacation time?

11:08 Do you need a summer bucket list?

13:30 How to Stop Comparing Your Summer to Another Mom’s

16:30 What things do you want to do over the summer?

17:50 Involving Your Kids in Creating a Summer Bucket List

18:42 Communicating Summer Expectations with Your Kids

20:48 Conquering wake up and bedtime in the summer

25:00 Using time blocking for your summer schedule

27:00 Creating a chore schedule for the summer

31:00 Learning Activities in Your Summer Routine

40:00 Tech Time During the Summer

43:00 Meal Time Routines During the Summer

45:00 Creating a Summer Budget

47:00 Moments for Mom in the Summer

Subscribe & Review in the Podcast

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, make sure you head over and do it now so that you don’t miss an episode! 

Click here to subscribe at iTunes!

While you’re there, I’d love an appreciate if you’d leave a rating and review! These allow other purpose driven moms to find the show and help grow our community! Just click here to review, select ‘Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know your favorite part of the podcast! I’d love to feature you as our ‘Review of the Week’.

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in Today’s Episode 

Audible – Get 2 Free Books

Play Through the Bible Book

Hero Training Character Study  use code APDM20 for 20% off until the end of June 2019

Ultimate Theme Night Guide 

Khan Academy

Busy on a Budget E-Course 

 

 

Related Blog Posts

4 Steps to Cheap Summer Activities

How to Survive When Money is Tight

For the Mom Who is Struggling in Her Finances…

30+ Must Read Books for the Christian Mom 

Using time blocking for a simple weekly schedule 

20+ Ways to Teach Handwriting to Your Toddler

Using the Beginner’s Bible to Teach Your Toddler

 

 

 

 

Join the Purpose Driven Mom Club!

 

 

If you listened to today’s episode, take a screen shot of the show or you taking action on a tip from the show and TAG ME on Instagram! 

Make sure to join our Facebook Community and continue the conversation about the episode!

How to Get Your Kids Ready for Back to School

How to Get Your Kids Ready for Back to School

How to Get Ready for Back to School 

 

It can be hard to start to know how to get ready for back to school. With summer coming to an end it’s important to create a back to school routine that you can slowly ease your family into. Depending on your kids’ ages and grades, this will look different in every home but, no matter what, I believe it’s so key to have a routine.

 

Summer can mean later bedtimes, loosened schedules and ice pops for lunch… (what? Just in my house) and the transition back to structured days, early wake ups, and responsibility can be hard.

 

In my home, we are starting the back to school routine transition for my 11 year old stepson (who is with us every other week) and has a 40 minute commute to school each day. For him, this means waking up pretty early (around 5:30 am) and getting homework done in the car or on the way to sports practices.

 

This year, my 2.5 year old daughter is also starting preschool (eep!!!). She’ll be going to school 3 days a week for 3 hours and it’s most definitely going to be an adjustment. Luckily, my 11 month old still naps 2x a day and, fingers crossed, will keep his 9:30-11:30 nap so that I can have those hours free to work on my blog or do some housework. Her going to school also means moving nap time a bit and only having time to run errands on the days she’s not at school.

 

With my baby boy turning 1 in September, I also plan to start Tot School with him! We use the incredible curriculum from ABC Jesus Loves Me  that lays out a flexible learning schedule that is age appropriate. I’ll be remaking out routines to make sure that me and him get some 1:1 time to do his ‘school activities’ too

 

back to school routines

 

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Tips to Helping Your Kids Sleep Better

 

The #1 back to school routine and adjustment that most of us will have to make with our kids is bedtime. Even for my littles, we’re more flexible on bedtime (maybe an hour later if we have an event) because of all of the fun things going on. My stepson is allowed to set his bedtime in the summer and the weekends and typically is in bed by 10:30. (We allowed him to do this because it gave him some responsibility and freedom but we all knew he couldn’t hang that late so it worked out for us!)

 

Related Post: How to Create a Bedtime Routine for Your Kids

 

Tip #1 Slowly Adjust Bedtime and Wake Up Times

 

I would start transitioning your kids 2-3 weeks before school goes back in session. You’ll want to start with pushing their bedtime up a bit. If you start early enough, you don’t need to do anything drastic. Figure out what time they are going to bed now and what time you want to them to go to bed (in our case it’s going from 10:30 in the summer to 9:30 during the school year) and maybe push bedtime up 5 minutes.

 

Do that for two nights and then push it up 5 minutes more (so 10 minutes altogether). If you are doing a slow transition like this your kids might not even notice, and if they do they probably won’t freak out because ‘it’s only 5 minutes earlier than yesterday!” and you can slowly start to get them ready for their school bedtime.

 

You can do the exact same system with wake up time. If you’re like us that you most likely don’t wake them up at a certain time (though some mornings he does a camp and has to be up by 8. In this house, we are all early birds, so it is rare anyone is still sleeping by 8 am)

 

Start by waking them up 5 minutes earlier, wait 2 days and then 5 minutes earlier than that. If you give yourself 2-3 weeks before school starts, the transition can be painless!

 

 

 

Tip #2 Lessen the amount of electronic time at night

 

Before bed tends to be our heaviest tech time. Everyone is pretty burnt out from the day and myself and my husband like to decompress with the kids in front of the TV. I also work at night after the little kids go to bed (normally I work from 8:30 – 10:30 or later) so I tend to be in front of my computer and not setting the best example.

 

Studies have shown that decreasing your electronic use before bed really does help you sleep better and fall asleep faster! Start to limit the amount of technology that you are all using to help get everyone’s brain ready to sleep.

 

You can do this by either picking a few days a week where there is no tech from dinner until bedtime or slowly scaffolding back the time like we did with bedtime. Start with no tech 10 minutes before bed and then move to 20 and 30. Ideally if you can have everyone off technology at least 1 hour before bed, you’ll really be setting them up for a good night’s sleep!

 

Related Post: How to Use Habit Stacking to Make Routines that Stick 

 

 

 

So what can you be doing during those few hours?

 


Find something that ties them out and keeps them active. Go for a family walk or do a workout at home, play a game in the backyard or visit a playground together.

 

One thing we’ve just started doing is having game or puzzle time after bed. My husband loves puzzles and my toddler is following in his footsteps (she’s already up to doing 54 pieces with a little help!)

 

Since it takes her a LONG time to finish a puzzle, we can sit together and complete it and she’s forgotten about watching any tv at all! It’s harder to find activities my 11 year old likes so we try to play a game or have that be family reading time. He’s been really into comic books lately so we’re trying to encourage as much reading time as possible and before bed is a great time!

 

 

Related Post: 4 Steps to Cheap Summit Activities 

 

 

 

 

Tip #3  Avoid Sugar and Caffeine Before Bed

 

When preparing a routine to get ready for back to school, you’ll want to limit sugar and caffeine before bed. Honestly, this tip is one that I need to listen to better. I am a coffee addict  and probably have my last cup at 5pm. Granted, I’m up until somewhere between 11pm – 12am but still, that 5pm cup doesn’t need to happen. My plan now is to switch that cup to decaf for a while, then go down to a smaller coffee cup, then to herbal tea, and then just eliminate that need for a beverage completely!

 

Related Post: Gifts for a Coffee Loving Mom 

 


You can do the same thing with your kids! If you can have a good 3 hour gap between caffeine and sugar and bedtime, you’ll really be setting everyone up for success.

 

This means that you need to do an inventory of what everyone is drinking at dinner. We don’t drink Soda but my 11 year old will either have a cup of juice or sparkling water at dinner so it’s time to get rid of the juice completely. You can do a slow transition (have you noticed a theme here with changing habits??) and go from soda to juices to sparkling water to regular water over the remaining weeks of summer.

 

 

back-to-school-routine

 

 

You should also do the same thing with post dinner snacks. I grew up as a ‘we always have dessert after dinner’ family and I know that is a bad habit that I am working to change as an adult. I’ve been following the 2b Mindset program  now for 2 months (and down 13 pounds oh yea!) and it’s helped me be ‘dinner and done’. I want this habit for my kids as well so it’s up to me to enforce it.

 

You can start by changing what they are eating for dessert first. If they are snacking on ice cream or cookies an hour before bed, they’ll struggle to fall asleep. You can limit their choices to fruit, veggies and dip, or crackers to start with. After that becomes the ‘new habit’, start to make dessert a ‘few times a week treat’ so that you can help them have healthier habits too.

 

Remember, if you don’t buy it THEY CAN’T HAVE IT. I work with so many moms who will say things about tantrums and how their kids won’t drink water and I have to gently remind them that they are the parent, they buy the food, and they CAN help shape and change poor eating habits for their family (and themselves).

 

Don’t try to change everything over night or you’ll have a rebellion on your hands but, decide which habits you want to change (either sweet desserts or dinner time beverages) and do them one at a time. If you don’t make a big deal about it, your kids might not even notice!

 

 

Creating a back to school routine doesn’t have to mean that summer fun is all gone or that everyone struggles to wake up when school starts again. You can create a great routine that helps them get ready for school, without any crazy drastic changes, and sets them (and you!) up for success!

 

 

More Back to School Tips!

The Best Way to Get Organized for Back to School 

Activities to Prepare Your Kids for Preschool 

7 Ways to Homeschool on a Budget

How to Save Money on Back to School Clothes

 

Resources to Get Organized for Back to School!

Organize Your Life with Trello

Ultimate Productivity Bundle 

Design Your Day: Time Management for the Busy Woman