Here we are, kicking off Day #1 of our 31 day series “Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms”!
Today’s Hack? Define your Roles, Goals and Dreams.
It may be October 1st, but I’ve been easing myself into this new, purposeful way of life management for a couple weeks now. It’s already making a huge difference for me and I’m really excited to tell you about it.
Guess what I did FIRST off, before even deciding what Life Hacks we would talk about and enact this month? I pulled out an e-book that I’d downloaded several months ago. It’s titled, “Tell Your Time: How to Manage your Schedule so you can Live Free” by Amy Lynn Andrews. <– that’s an affiliate link. But inserting it was an afterthought, not my motivation for buying, reading, and sharing this book with you. Duh, guys.
See? There it is on my iPad!
Wait, back up, let me tell you a story about a lady I know. She’s the mom of 4, a working mom, a model (really), a real friend, and just the nicest person you’ll ever meet (that’s a good thing, or it would be so easy to hate her). Her name is Crystal. I was at her house one day and gawking at some cool projects she had just thought up and executed in a matter of days (between workouts on the treadmill and pole-dancing lessons that she was taking in secret to surprise her husband with) and I said, “Crystal I hate you.” And then she punched me in the throat and I realized that she also knew karate.
I said, “Crystal, I’m going to ask you a question and I don’t want any bull crap answers. Are you ready to answer me honestly?”
I asked, “How do you do so much? How do you accomplish so much? How do you have it all together?”
And she said, “Honestly, I have one talent. One gift from God. It’s time management.” And then I punched myself in the throat.
I’ll never forget that conversation. Ever.
So when I decided it was time to “Hack my Life” and fix myself up, I went straight for the book on Time Management. Thanks, Crystal (who just gave birth to twins, shows no physical signs of that event, and remembered to text me on my birthday last month. I haven’t even seen her in, like 3 years. She also happens to be cousins with one of my very favorite blog readers. Hi Courtney! Let’s stop talking about Crystal, the girl with the sparkly life and sparkly name.)
Guess what’s fun about “Tell Your Time”? It’s short. 32 pages. So it doesn’t take much time to read it! But truly, it gets right to the point. What does take some time (and effort beyond my traditional mediocre browsing through self-help books) is actually executing the steps that the author advises.
And here is how we came upon today’s hack. FIND YOUR PURPOSE BY DEFINING YOUR ROLES.
I sat in bed one night and did just as Amy Lynn Andrews told me to do. I’m a good do-er. I thought of 8 roles that I have. She made me list “Self” and “Dreamer” but the other ones I got to pick.
So here are my 8 primary roles:
4. Sister and Friend
7. Sharer of Talents and Passions
Allowing myself to ponder which roles to list was singularly an enriching and enlightening experience. My internal conversation was fascinating to listen to.
“Hey Angie, list wife before mother, because you’ll be a better mother if your marriage is strong and happy.”
“Angie Archibald, you are NOT allowed to list “loyal drive-thru customer and friend” as a primary role. Bad girl.”
>>insert metaphoric slapping of my own wrists<<
“Yo, Ang, you really enjoy sharing your “stuff” with others. Your woodworking, your fancy-pants oils (more on that later), your green-ish thumb. It’s important that you make sure your weeks include time for that stuff. Make that a defined role, Ang.”
“Hey Angie, You didn’t list “exerciser” as a role. You have to exercise! Run! Curl-up!… But exercising isn’t a role, it’s a task that makes other roles possible and magnifies everything else. Without healthy habits, you’ll fail at so many of your goals! But it isn’t a role in and of itself. Hmmm. Didn’t realize that until right now.”
After I listed my roles, I had to answer the question, “What kind of ________ do I want to be? (fill in the role)
I wrote a small paragraph for each role and when I was finished, I felt like I had just written my LIFE GOALS. I’ve never done that before, personally, completely, and without distraction. I really dove into that activity and my heart was racing by the time I got to the part where I am supposed to have dreams and define what they are. Whoa. I had so much clarity at that point as I honestly allowed myself to dream of a few things and realize, by looking up at my other roles, what my dreams might be made of. Freaky deaky.
Do you know how I managed to carve out the quiet, alone time needed to do this exercise? I did it after the kids went to bed. My husband was in bed too. And so was I. I said, “Hey, I’m gonna sit here and read a little bit of this Time Management E-book before I go to sleep, ok?” I don’t see how “Mr. ‘Angie, You’ve Got to Plan Better, My Love!'” can argue with that.
So he rolled over, put on a black-out eye mask that we bought him recently, and tried to sleep through my finger tapping on the iPad. I sorta felt bad for him. But then again, I was having a GLORIOUS MOMENT OF CLARITY and I couldn’t be stopped.
These life goals are very personal, but hey, this cool October air has me in the mood to snuggle. If you promise to take off your black-out eye mask, I’ll share some of them with you:
What kind of mother do I want to I want to be?
I want to be a strong, loving, fun and funny mom whom the kids feel drawn to in times of trial and also celebration. I want to be reliable and consistent in things that matter to them and will anchor their confidence and self-respect. I want to teach them responsibility, hard work, patience, how to communicate when stressed, how to self-correct, how to see the best in others, and most importantly- to look to the Savior for direction, approval, joy and peace.
What kind of blogger do I want to be?
I want to be an authentic and uplifting blogger and feel personally connected to my readers. My goal is to brighten their days, help them laugh (at me and at themselves), feel normal and loved, and to feel empowered to be creative homemakers. I want to be more consistent in my blog publishing and find a rhythm to that facet of my life, whilst disallowing the social media aspect of blogging to overtake my days and nights.
Pretty deep stuff, right? I’m not accustomed to taking myself seriously enough to answer these real questions. This whole exercise was awesome. You should A) grab that e-book. B) Read it. C) Do this too.
The next step in the book is to eat an elephant. ONE BITE AT A TIME. But that’s a post for tomorrow.
This has been the first post in our “Life Hacks for Mediocre Moms” series. I’ll be sharing my own journey as a Mediocre Mom on a mission with you all month. Come on back now, ya hear?
Tomorrow I’ll tell you how I was able to move from these newly defined roles toward actual tasks in my schedule. Again, grab the ebook and try it out. It’s amazing how defining my “self”, my important roles, and my dreams has kept me focused and moving. See you tomorrow!