The 20 minute plan; A New Year’s Resolution for success

Back on track, a fresh start, a new year. That’s how most of us wanted this morning to go. We wanted to get in our cars and drive off to work or get our kids on the bus and start putting the house back in order first thing this morning and have a productive day. We hoped for minimal problems and lots of cooperation from our families, and the universe…

So what do you mean you had a “rough morning”?!?

Let me tell you another secret of mine…

I anticipate rough mornings EVERY day- that’s right, I expect them on purpose. Not in a “plan for doom and gloom way”, but in a “plan for the unexpected” way. Last night, Bob and I packed the snow gear bags for the little four (even if it’s too cold this week for it anyhow). We made sure that dinner leftovers were put away for when the kids get home from school today and we packed up a few lunches or set out snacks for the rest. I set up the coffee pot and located all the mittens and hats I could. We discussed Bob’s battery for the van being low and kept in on the radar just in case. I also checked the medicine cabinet with two of our boys fading fast last night into what appeared to be bad colds.

In spite of any obstacles this morning- I would say it was a good morning. And with 12 of us to get up, out, mostly happy, and prepared; that is not an easy feat.

Do you know that most of the time successful people (and successful mornings) are not related to fate or luck? It’s not that some people just have it easier and good things just fall into their laps – it’s that some people plan better, they anticipate better, and so they appear to be in a better spot than you.

Here’s the good news- you CAN have better mornings. 99% of the luck or fate you have on any given day is totally up to YOU.

In fact, I want you to prove me wrong on this one.

I want you to try doing what I am about to tell you for one week and then write back and tell me that I was wrong and that this idea doesn’t work; that what I am proposing is not helpful and that your mornings have not changed in any way what-so-ever after taking this advice. Because if I am wrong, I could definitely be sleeping in a bit more, hitting that snooze button a few more times, I could be enjoying some TV at night without a worry in the world about my kids book bag contents and I certainly won’t be thinking about a pair of shoes/ boots/ mittens/ school lunches because it won’t matter anyway. You will actually save me time every day if I am wrong…

Here is your plan for success. Take 20 minutes each evening and brainstorm your next move, think about your next day. Don’t skimp on this time. It’s vital to the success of your next day.

What things will you need to be able to find in the morning- if you know where they are, set them out now.

What will you or the kiddos be eating for meals- what part can you do now?

What usually gets forgotten in the rush? Put it right in front of your front door or entry way.

Consider what can or will go wrong. Seriously people. Its super cold right now in New York- could our pipes freeze? Maybe. Could our car battery not start the car? Sure. Could our kids (or us) wake up not feeling well? You ‘betcha. So I could spend time worrying about these “what-ifs” OR I could resolve myself to knowing they could happen and choosing not to “freak out” when they do. I could look at the calendar and see if I have to be to work on time or if I have a little wiggle room in the morning should something come up. I could make sure I have cough medicine or Tylenol in the house already. I could run the water at a trickle for the night- just in case.

AND NO. This doesn’t change the problems you are going to face anyway. Not one little bit actually. But here is the key- you are going to have to face the problems as they come regardless of whether or not you are ready for them. This just changes how you will tackle them. This planning gives you time to think while you have the time, not in the heat of the moment. It changes your attitude and the atmosphere of your house in the morning. It shows your kids and your family and your co-workers that “you can roll with the punches”. And it sets you up for success.

And some super good bonus news today- this applies to everything- not just mornings!

You want to lose weight this year? Plan it out, anticipate pitfalls and map out how you will handle them.

You want to quit smoking? How will you keep busy instead, what is your back up?

You want to be financially stable? You should start a budget and creating a budget IS a plan.

There you have it. A game changing resolution that will only cost 20 minutes each day and potentially save hours the next.

I promise if you don’t take the time now, you won’t have it later either and then the choice on how you spend that time won’t be yours anymore.

So give it a try and let me know how it goes! Let’s hear those morning success stories!

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