Monthly review – setting myself up for success

I had a fantastic January and I hope you did too! I had a big break from work, we had a family trip to the beach early January and then myself and the younger kids spent a lovely week visiting family and friends in Mildura.

In terms of establishing habits in January, I deliberately keep my expectations low. January for me is about resting and resetting. I tilt heavily towards family and away from work and keep the pace as slow as possible for all of us.

Then towards the end of January I start planning and organising in a slow, un-rushed manner to set myself up for the best chance of success for the year.

This involves small, simple tasks that I can do here and there, but all build up to creating an organised base. Tasks I have completed so far are:

Just knowing that I have put the work in to set up this routines and processes gives me confidence going into the new year – I am setting myself up for success.

This doesn’t mean I ignore my goal or habits completely. I still use my goal to act as a decision making tool for me. My goal this year is to invest in my relationships with family, friends and community to bring joy and connection and I feel that even while not hitting all of my habits for the month of January, I made great headway towards my goal.

I spent considerable time with family and friends, especially when I was in Mildura which gave me great joy. I was actually really sad when I arrived back in Melbourne, not because I wasn’t happy to see my husband and eldest son, but because I would miss seeing those I loved and had just had such a wonderful time with.

To switch it to a positive, I reminded myself of how truly lucky I am to be able to visit Mildura and stay with my sister and her family who are completely amazing hosts. It is no small task to adapt to having another 5-7 people in your home for a week, but they always do it and in such a way to make us feel so at home and welcome.

And there is nothing quite like catching up with some of your dearest girlfriends. I may only see them a few times a year, but the bond we have means we can talk for hours and there is still not enough time to say all the things!

HabitConnection to goalJanuary progress
To make three phone calls a week to family and friendsI am terrible at making phone calls. For friends and family that are not near me, this is a great way to stay connected and I have to change my attitude towards making calls.

The best way to change my attitude is to act, so I am going to set a target of three phone calls to make each week.

I also think there will be a natural flow on effect from making phone calls to seeing people in person more too.
I have achieved this
each week. I am not a big phone person so I have to really make myself do this.

It is strange because I do like talking to people. I think it is a hangover from my over busy days where I saw talking on the phone a waste of time.

I am hoping by the end of the year I will find this easier and my mindset towards calling people has changed
To be an active participant in a parent body at each of the three schoolsOver the last couple of years, my focus has been more inward and I haven't been as heavily involved in the kids' schools as I used to be.

This has left me feeling less connected, so by stepping up my involvement I hope to increase my feeling of connection.
For the kids' primary school I am the secretary of the PFA and I have taken on a key organising role for our biannual fundraiser. I worked on both these positions during January.

I am one of the year 8 parent reps at my daughter's school this year. I have attended one event in this capacity already with more lined up in February.

My involvement in my son's secondary school is yet to kick off.
To volunteer my time (min 3 hours a month) to a local organisationI find great joy in giving to others. My life is full and we have everything we need, many others are not so lucky.

I want to find a local organisation where I can give my time to help others in need.
This is something very important to me, however I know January is time for family and February is full of back to school stuff. My aim is to kick this habit off in March.
Host a family or friend catch up once a month at our homeI find welcoming friend and family into our home a great way to connect. I did more of it in the last quarter of the year and enjoyed it.

Once a month does not sound that much, but combined with the other habits I am trying to establish, I am wary of overloading myself.

Hopefully I can do more, but I don't want to undo my last couple of years work on slowing down by establishing a habit that I end up finding causes too much work.
We had family over for dinner in January and I did quite a bit of socializing outside of the home with family and friends which I truly enjoyed.

Do you have a goal for 2017?


I have always been a goal setter but only over the last few years do I really think I have found a system of goal setting than enables me achieve important things in my life without feeling overwhelmed or making my life so busy I have no time to enjoy the family.

If you have struggled with goal setting or a just feeling a little lost in the repetition and challenges of family life then you should definitely check out my e-course Planned & Present. It is a seven week course completed online that will take you from feeling out of control and overwhelmed to feeling planned and present. It is a step-by-step guide on how to organise the chaos of family life while still leaving space to enjoy it.

It takes a holistic approach to getting organised at home, taking you through these topics:

  • How to analyse your time use with the the 80/20 principle
  • How to set a single focused goal to keep you on track at home
  • The science behind habits and how to set up habits to achieve your goal
  • The six essential routines for the home to save you time, energy and money
  • Processes to set up to allow you to be present with your family, instead of the worker bee
  • How to track, tweak & repeat this process as family life changes so you can stay organised

Planned and Present includes seven in-depth lessons, for you to work through. And with lifetime access to the course, you can do it at your own pace if life gets in the way.

To find out more about Planned & Present and sign up for the course head here – Planned & Present. But be quick as registrations close at midnight today (Fri 10th Feb 2017).