Fearless Leader Jon’s second missive arrived a short while ago.
A WHAT goal is great. It’s a fun start, but it’s not enough. We need a WHY goal too.
What’s a WHY goal? It’s the heart of the reason you actually want to accomplish that goal.
To quit smoking for a month is a WHAT goal.
To make sure you’re always around for the people you love is the WHY goal.
To pay off your debt is a WHAT goal.
To be able to take your kids to Disney with the money you save now that your student loans are done is the WHY goal.
So, WHY are you doing what you’re doing?
The reason answering this question is so important is that WHAT tends to wear out eventually. Come day 8 or day 18, WHAT won’t feel that important. Life will be busy again and you’ll be tired again and that goal was silly anyway. WHY on the other hand lasts longer. Under the true light of life, WHY goals tend to buoy us better than WHAT goals. (Read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” for more on the importance of this concept.)
Here’s an example, using my life because it’s the only one I have:
I want to lose 5lbs this month. That’s my WHAT.
My WHY? Because I feel better when I’m in shape and exercising. I feel more confident, have more energy and am in a better mood when I am working out. I also write more when I am in shape because when one part of my life is hustling the others tend to follow suit. Those are my WHY goals to support my WHAT goal.
Today, in your journal or notebook or Facebook group, answer this question,
“WHY are you doing this?”
My “Why?” came a lot easier than my “What?” I sat down with my bowl of oatmeal and my prayer journal and wrote down all of my “Why?”s. Here they are.
Why do I want to develop a morning routine?
1) I want to be more productive. A morning routine will set the tone, especially if it includes 2 housework and 1 writing tasks.
2) I want to live more purposefully and mindfully. A morning routine will prevent me from letting my mornings just “happen.” I will make them happen!
3) I want to be a good example to my girlios. I want them to see what a fruitful life looks like. If I am happily productive from the moment they are awake, they will (hopefully!) want to be likewise.
4) I don’t want to spend any more days in “panic” or “catch-up” mode. Not when they stem from my own disorganization or procrastination. Emergencies are one thing; “oh no, it’s 10 a.m. and I’ve done nothing today!” is another.
5) I want more time to do the things I’m currently not doing (or not doing enough of) because I’m caught in panic or catch-up mode. Things like knitting, school volunteering, playing my bass guitar, blogging, and exercising. If I use my mornings better, I may have more time for such things.
6) I believe that by getting my mornings under control, I’ll make way for other changes I want to make in my life, like better money management, better health, and more service.
So there’s my “Why?” And here’s hoping that the “Why?” will help keep me focused on my morning routine goal when that goal seems kind of silly (and I suspect Jon is right, and at some point it will seem silly if not pointless).
Now, a brief update on Day 1.
I did everything in my “Evening Must-Dos” except for getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Actually, that’s not true. I did get to bed at a reasonable hour… I just stayed awake too long. And by that, I mean that I purposefully forced myself to stay awake to read a silly recap of Top Chef (which I missed last night, darn it!) instead of letting myself fall asleep. Fail on my part.
However, I did get my kitchen cleaned up, my coffeemaker set up, a loaf of bread started in the bread machine, and the breakfast fixins set out on the kitchen table.
That last one was interesting. We have 2 kinds of cereal (regular and honey-nut Cheerios) and oatmeal. Eric usually eats regular Cheerios with frozen blueberries; the grilios eat honey-nut Cheerios (well, E sometimes eats regular instead); and I eat oatmeal with peanut butter, apple butter, and salted caramel sauce. (The latter is a new addition. Mmmmm.)
So I had on the table, along with our bowls and spoons, a container of regular Cheerios, a container of honey-nut Cheerios; our package of oatmeal, a 1/2 cup measure, a small plastic container with dry milk and salt (I add about a tablespoon of dry milk to my oatmeal to make it a little creamier), and our jar of peanut butter. I also poured 3/4 cup of water into a glass measuring cup and set it into the microwave.
I suppose I could have put the 1/2 cup oatmeal, dry milk, and salt directly into the bowl rather than separating it all like that. I’m not sure why I didn’t, actually. I may do that tonight. Haha.
Anyway… Eric thought it was a little odd, I think. He even suspected that the girls did the breakfast table setup and was surprised when I told him it was me. (I agreed that it did look like the sort of thing they would do!) I explained that I was trying to make mornings go more smoothly and that my lazy not-a-morning-person-ness made me all but resent having to get the girlios breakfast in the morning. I said that I thought setting it up like this would make the task seem less onerous, as all I would have to do is pour the cereal and milk.
I think he still thought it was a little weird, but he rolled with it as he always does. (I love my husband.)
Anyway, I think that all my efforts definitely paid off this morning. I had set my alarm clock for 5:30 for some strange reason (I didn’t actually have to be up that early!) and turned it off immediately, grumbling a little. But then I couldn’t really get back to sleep, so I decided (after about 15 minutes) to go ahead and start my devotional reading in bed. After getting a cup of coffee.
When I finished, I wasn’t really in a journal-y sort of mood yet. I was going to read some more Money Saving Mom posts about making the most of your morning, but then I remembered: morning routine. And I realized that I needed to get myself out of bed and, at the very least, get dressed.
So I did. And almost immediately I felt more like doing stuff. So I sat down with my journal — I suddenly felt more journal-y, go figure! When I finished, I jumped back up and pulled the comforter off our bed, as I had decided last night that I would wash our bedclothes today. I threw the comforter into the washing machine, then stripped the rest of the bed down to the mattress pad. Those went onto the floor, but I wasn’t done. I went to the linen closet and pulled out our extra set of sheets and immediately put those on the bed.
That way, if life intervened and somehow the sheets never made it into the dryer after I put them into the washing machine until past bedtime, we would still be able to sleep on sheets.
After I put the comforter in the washing machine, I sat down again with my laptop and banged out a newsletter for one of my freelance jobs. I finished it in about a half-hour. That might be a record.
Once I was finished, I returned to the laundry room (okay, it’s more like a laundry “closet,” but never mind) and removed the comforter to the dryer. Then back into the bedroom I went to retrieve the rest of our bedclothes to toss into the washing machine.
I had told myself that after I wrote the first newsletter, I would have my oatmeal. So I ate my oatmeal and wrote the “Why?” you see above.
That brings us to now, with me writing this blog post and you saying, “Boy, it’s a good thing she didn’t say this would be a short entry.” Because I was going to start this post by saying that this would be a short entry compared to yesterday’s.
Which just goes to show that I’m really not capable of writing short blog posts. This might explain why I don’t blog more often. *sheepish grin*
How was your morning?