April is a betwixt and between month. It’s not really warm but it’s no longer winter. The weather can go from sunny and hot to wet and chilly, from one day to another. I love April because it feels like hope. It’s a positive time of rebirth and amazing beauty. I definitely have spring fever!
That’s why I was surprised to learn that there is a day designated as Blah Blah Blah Day. There’s nothing blah about April! Blah Blah Blah Day is described as ~a day to do all things everyone’s been nagging you about such as quitting smoking, lose weight, gain weight, get a real job or take out the trash.
I want to reframe this day. Let’s call this day Rah! Rah! Rah! Day. It just makes more sense. It’s like I’m giving myself permission to attack my list of to-do’s and personal promises because I want to, not because someone has nagged me or I ought to do them. Rah! Rah! Rah! Day is a reminder that I’m in control, and encourages me to focus on the things that will improve my day-to-day life, long-term health and happiness. Accomplishing goals and checking off items from my to-do list also helps my mental wellbeing. Let’s give a cheer for Rah! Rah! Rah! Day!
Studies show that making lists helps us accomplish our goals. What will you add to your list to enhance your health and happiness?
Rah! Rah! Rah! strategies to help prioritize.
Step 1: Make a list of what you want to accomplish. Write it all down. It may look intimidating, but if these are the things you know you want to do, then it’s important to note them.
Step 2: Separate your list into three sections:
- Easy-and-immediate, such as planning out the week’s meals, grocery shopping and getting the car cleaned. Checking each of these tasks off your list will give you a quick win.
- Schedule-time-to-complete. Cleaning out your clothes closet or painting the bedroom are the types of tasks that take a bit more time and will need some pre-planning to accomplish.
- Long-term-effort. Examples would include going back to school, buying a new house, quitting smoking. Approach these goals with patience and planning. Even something that seems far-reaching is important to include on your list. Noting them will help you focus. Many of your goals may support each other, such as a finding a new job… that earns you more money… so you can purchase a new home.
Step 3: Prioritize within each list. What are the most important tasks you want to get done first? Which will enable you to do the next thing? For example, if you want to save money, what are the things you can do to help you accomplish this goal, such as tightening your grocery bill, eating out less and making more meals at home?
Step 4: Make an action plan for each item on your list.
- The easy-and-immediate list should be the kind of things you can get done in the next few days. Some may be things you need to do every week; so making a schedule helps you keep up with the laundry (Wednesdays) and meal planning (Sundays).
- The schedule-time-to-complete list includes listing any prep work you will need to do such as purchasing paint.
- Long-term-effort goals will require more planning and resources to accomplish. Making timelines can be helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need some help sometimes.
Step 5. What resources can you utilize? In today’s world, helpful tips and tricks are a few clicks away. Do you have a friend who can help you rewrite your resume? Is it worth it to hire a painter so the job gets done? Your time is valuable so weigh your choices. I don’t enjoy painting so I am willing to pay a painter. I like to save money on groceries so planning with DinnerTime helps me only buy the things I need and spend less of my valuable time in the grocery store. I’ve gifted myself with extra time and money by planning. Feel free to delegate tasks, who else can make dinner, walk the dog, fold the laundry?
Step 6: Mark your calendar Choose three tasks to prioritize each day. They can be as simple as plan your meals, choose a paint color, finish a load of laundry. If you complete more than that it’s gravy! Remember to re-visit your list monthly. It’s ok if things slide, but reworking your list as needed will keep that Rah! Rah! Rah! feeling throughout the year.
Step 7: Reward yourself. The feeling of accomplishment is the best reward, but sometimes it’s nice to reward yourself in other ways. Tickle your kids, read a book (without feeling like you should be doing something), treat yourself to a special dish for dinner. Whatever makes you happy is Rah! Rah! Rah!