Holiday planning and goal-setting

It's great to be back on the blog after a week away! As I talked about in my last post, my husband and I enjoyed a wonderful break in New Zealand for our friends' wedding. New Zealand is such a gorgeous place, have you ever been? We were staying in Queenstown, and it was just stunning. I would highly recommend putting it on your list of places to visit! 

The kids had a fantastic time at home with both sets of grandparents - we are so lucky to have the ability to go away and know our children are in safe hands. Despite missing them like crazy, it was just amazing to have so much one-on-one time. I always love a break from our everyday schedules, house-hold chores and general busyness, but to have a complete break from parenthood was a pretty crazy feeling. Let's just say the wine was WELL enjoyed, especially at the wedding :) I'm here today to talk about our holiday planning and personal goal setting.

Whenever we're away from our routine, my husband and I always find ourselves brainstorming goals and plans for our lives - for the immediate, short-term and long-term. We are big planners for sure! Does anyone else do this when they're having a break from everyday routine? We tend to focus on thinking of any idea that makes our lives smoother, less stressful, happier and more fulfilling, in regards to family, work and our personal lives. I think having that break really allows you to reflect on and take stock of what's working in your life and what you may need to work on or need help with.

Today I wanted to share some of the goals that we set - there may be some ideas that you could try implementing in your own day-to-day routine to make life easier. I know that some of these are going to be harder for us to stick to than others, but there's nothing like setting some goals to make you feel productive!

Goal 1 | Create a budget and stick to it

We both recently read the book 'Total Money Makeover' by Dave Ramsay. Have you heard of it or read it? The book has been a life-changer in terms of how we look at our finances. Although it forces you to face up to your approach to money and paying off debt, it's really all about planning for the long-term. One of the most important steps is to set up a workable budget...and stick to it! We have already implemented a few of the first steps in the 'money makeover' process, and we created our budget as soon as we got back from our holiday. I can't say it was fun, but I am excited to get onto some serious debt-repayment and savings!

Goal 2 | Shop at the market and stock up the freezer

As I showed you in my freezer organisation video, we have a second freezer to hold all our meat supplies, but we really haven't been utilising this freezer effectively. Going to the market to do a huge stock up on meat will definitely save us money and time, and is something we are hoping to  do once every 2-3 months. 

Having all the meat organised into portions and ready to go will make meal prep easier and save that last-minute scramble at dinner time. I'll be showing you just how we did this in an upcoming episode of The Organised You TV, so stay tuned!

Goal 3 | Start doing batch cooking of back-up meals for busy nights

Everyone has those crazy busy days and nights when it is difficult to even get a meal on the table. My particularly crazy days are Tuesday and Thursday, so I want to have some meals pre-prepared for those nights so I can skip cooking. I am going to try two new methods - cooking 2 meals on one night (Monday), and doing big batch cook-ups on Sunday. This way I'll have the meal all ready to go. That's the plan anyway!

Goal 4 | Hire a skip and do a big clear-out/sell/donate 

Our most recent project - our daughter's bedroom makeover - has left one hot mess behind in the garage. Boo! Always the unpleasant side-result of any building project, so now it's time to get rid of the mess so we have a usable space again. I love a good declutter, so I'm kinda looking forward to this part.

Hiring a skip and getting rid of the mess, as well as selling or giving away anything that we no longer need/use/want will be a great feeling. It will also be an important step in preparing the house for our upcoming renovation early in the new year...and could earn us a few extra dollars too!

Goal 5 | Finish the kids' bedroom makeovers

We sort of ran out of steam with the kids' bedroom makeovers - so close, but not quite there! Our daughter's room really just needs a bit of touch-up painting, decorations and final touches, but my son still needs his room plastered, painted, new head-board made, shelving, curtains....ugh. The list is overwhelming.

We find it hard to sacrifice family time on the weekend for projects, but it also totally makes me itchy when things are half-finished. So we just need to suck it up and get it done already! This quote is my gentle reminder...

Goal 6 | Plan the weekends 

There's no doubt that I want to spend my weekends having quality time with my kids, our extended family, and friends, rather than always be working on the house. Although it might sound a bit extreme, we realised on our holiday that we really need to plan out our weekends on the calendar to incorporate this, as well as have quality time at home. 

Our social lives have suffered a bit having kids, but this shouldn't be an excuse, and we are determined to start hosting and organising more dinner parties, BBQs and catch-ups. There will always be something to do on the house, but work certainly shouldn't be taking up every weekend! 

Goal 7 | Make some major renovation decisions - kitchen, bathroom, bedroom

As any of you who have been through a renovation know, there are hundreds of decisions that need to be made, and I don't feel we've entirely started that process yet. The paperwork is all in with council now, so it's crunch time deciding exactly what we're doing. I feel some major list writing coming on! The image of my kitchen looking like this is really spurring me on. 

Goal 8 | Less time on our phones

This goal is more for me than Damian, but I really do feel an unhealthy reliance on my phone and find myself constantly checking it, especially for emails and work-related issues. A huge goal for me is to try and spend less time on my phone when I'm with my kids. It's just not necessary to be constantly checking it, so I'm resolving to turn off all notifications; leave the phone behind when I can; to only check emails twice a day; and to catch up on blogs, social media etc when the kids are in bed or on a Friday night. This'll be a tough one for me, but I'm determined to try harder.

Goal 9 | Get rid of our debt

Our biggest goal going into the renovation is to get rid of all our debt, bar the mortgage. The trip away has set us back a bit, but it's still a great goal to work towards and one we feel is achievable with a few sacrifices. 

So those are the major goals we've set for our personal and family life (as well as some work-related ones too). I've written down our goals and placed the list in our command centre so it's front and centre to keep us on track. We'll see how we go, but it sure is a good feeling to have some concrete goals for the remainder of the year.

>> Want to learn how to make your family life run more smoothly through routines, productive habits and goal-setting? Discover the steps in part 5 of my online program 'Making Your Paper Work'. Find out more >>