One of the top questions I get (besides “How did you get your hair like that?” and “What hair products do you use?” ) is “How do you find the time to work on your dreams?”
Two years ago, I used to ask the same question. As a new grad who was just getting into the rhythm of working a full-time job, I felt completely overwhelmed at the thought of making time for my goals. Then when I got engaged, finding the time to do anything for myself seemed even more impossible.
Yet at the beginning of this year, I made a commitment.
January 2014, even though I had just gotten married and now had to manage a relatively new job AND a new husband, I decided that enough was enough. If I didn’t commit to going after my dreams then, when would I?
Life was only going to get busier — I would never “have the time.” At the beginning of this year, I realized I would have to make the time instead.
And that’s what I’ve been doing! As 2014 winds to a close, I look back on everything I’ve been able to accomplish and I’m genuinely happy with my progress. I’ve grown this blog, met some amazing people, and in two weeks, I’m even hosting my first Think & Grow Chick event! Below is a summary of the top 9 ways I’ve been able to “do it all”:
1. Get up earlier. It stinks, but there is just no way around it. For the past 3 or 4 years I’ve been getting up at 5am, 6am at the absolute latest. The latest I let myself sleep in on Saturdays is 7:30am, but I still shoot for 6am. I’ve found that if I do the important stuff first in the morning, even if I don’t finish it, I have a much better, less stressful day. How long is your commute and how long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Subtract that time, plus 30 minutes from the time you start work or school and start getting up at that time. As soon as you wake up, spend the first 30 minutes working on your goals, no excuses. Set a timer if you have to. Then get dress, and head off to the rest of your day!
2. Plan for the week, on the weekend. I don’t know about you, but if my household is crazy during the week then I almost never work on my goals because I’m so disorganized and distracted. To beat this, I get up early on Saturday, spend the first few hours working on my goals, then I clean up, do laundry/pick out clothes to wear to work next week, come up with a meal plan, go grocery shopping, and try to cook as much as I can ahead of time. By Sunday, my goal is to have the house clean, dinners prepped, work lunches packed, clothes washed and ironed, and work outfits chosen. This allows me to hit the ground running come Monday and work on my personal goals without worrying about basic stuff (what am I eating tonight? What should I wear tomorrow? etc.). This also helps with getting up earlier.
3. Schedule “goal” time. If there is something you really need to work on, put it on your calendar. It seems silly but if you treat it like any other appointment it will get done. During the weekend when you are planning for the upcoming week (see above), look at all the things you have to do and take note of the windows of free time you have. Do you have an hour on Thursdays between classes? Or how about those two hours you usually spend vegging out when you first get home from work? Identify those times and schedule “goal time” in your calendar.