You know what they say, April showers bring May flowers! And while I am sure this is true for Mother Nature, it actually applies to so many areas of life. This is one of my favorite simple reminders that the work we put in now will lead to incredible benefits later, and all that rain will soon be so worth it. As summer closes in on us, and we find ourselves already 1/3 of the way through the year, I’m turning my attentions this month to putting in the hard work now to receive results for months to come in all areas of my life.
It is so easy to ride the “I’ll do it tomorrow” train, but more often than not, “tomorrow” never comes, so taking action now is vital in achieving your goals—large or small. So you want a beach ready bod? Better start working on it now! Want to have an amazing family bucket list for the summer? Start planning now because the kids will be out of school in no time! Need to get your finances on track? Start a budget today! Want to cook healthier meals? Now’s the time to start!
This month’s theme is all about prepping and planning because we know all too well that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” No matter how hard we try and get around that truth, it’s unavoidable. ANYTHING we want to accomplish—that summer bod, learning a new skill, working out more regularly, eating delicious AND healthy meals, quality family time, writing that novel that’s been swimming around in our brain for years—takes prepping and planning! Whether it’s something you want to accomplish in one day or in one year, you have to consciously plan and prepare yourself for the achievement.
And I’m totally with you guys—prepping and planning is about as fun as…well…it’s not fun. However, like with anything you strive to accomplish, it’s all about taking those baby steps…one after another, and actually STARTING with that first little step. It’s about making and keeping those small, simple promises to yourself…one after another. So to get you started on making your summer dreams and beyond come true, here are some of my favorite prepping and planning tips and ideas to start NOW in April:
Let’s start small…
Meal planning: Try planning one meal (breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner—whichever is easiest) each day for 3 days of the week. I like to repeat meals—it makes planning and meal prep super easy! Write them down some place where they won’t get lost, make sure you’ve got what you need, and move on to prepping. Once you’ve got 3 days down, move on to planning more meals each day or more days of meals!
Meal Prepping: Once you’ve got your plan in place, choose a day of the week and prep the foods for those three meals you planned. Get them ready to go as much as possible. I love the Grab N’ Go options from The TRANSFORM App! They are literally grab n’ go to you right out the door (even if your kiddos are pulling you in a million directions). But since every meal can’t be grab n’ go, plan and then prep some that are super quick to put together right before mealtime, like in 10 minutes or less.
Chop, cut, and cook (we use the slow cooker a ton!) everything you’ll need to put those meals together. You’ll feel great, and your family will think you’re Rachel Ray!
Family Schedule: Oh my. This one can be tough! With 4 kiddos going in so many different directions, plus our crazy busy work schedules, our family calendar seriously looks like a huge, beautifully colored kaleidoscope. (That sounds much nicer and way less stressful than an overwhelming bunch of colored boxes on my screen 😉 ). But Chris and I have learned the hard way that if it’s not in iCal, it’s not gonna’ happen—no way, no how. And we’ll inadvertently end up with multiple things going on at the same time! #itshappened… So take a few minutes each night or first thing in the morning to map out that day’s activities, and take a few seconds to add anything new to the calendar RIGHT when you find out about it! Sticky notes can fall off of the fridge, papers with your kids’ sports schedules can accidentally get thrown away or lost in a mass of emails, science projects will all of a sudden be due TOMORROW, and remember—you’re not the only one who needs to know where everyone needs to be! When everyone knows what’s going on, there’s a lot less stress and anxiety in your family. Trust me on this one.
Exercise: Put this at the top of your to-plan list! Have a Plan A, a Plan B, and even a Plan Z if necessary. Have a contingency plan for anything you can think of that might happen (because, darn it, it will!) so you WILL be able to get in your workout. And remember—even four or five minutes of movement at a time can really make a difference!
Nutrition: If eating veggies is not really your thing, buy some of your faves, prep them, and then promise yourself you’ll eat X number of servings a day. Remember…keep it totally doable. If drinking water is hard for you, set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink, get a cute new water bottle, try our 10-gulp rule, or fill up your water bottles first thing in the morning and then don’t go to bed until they’re empty! Whatever part of nutrition is hard for you, work on that—in small and simple steps.
Me Time: Yes. I’m including this one. Because if you’re not taking regular care of yourself, how are you going to take care of everyone who counts on YOU? With littles around, it’s hard to even go to the bathroom alone, so grab on to and take advantage of those few minutes where you can be alone and just breathe. Plan a few minutes here and there to work on that new hobby you feel passionate about, take a walk, meditate, write in a journal, or simply. just. breathe. Whatever will help you fill that often-empty bucket even just a little bit.
Your #1 goal—that thing that you feel passionate about achieving: Don’t try and bite off more than you can chew for this one—that’s way too overwhelming! Which is why you probably haven’t crossed this one off of your list yet. 😉 Plan one small, simple thing you can do three days this week to take a teeny, tiny step towards this goal. Often, beginning is the hardest part, so let’s get you started!
I know there are so many other aspects of life I could include in this list, but I hope I’ve got you thinking and brainstorming. Choose ONE thing to work on, make a plan, do any needed prep, and go!
Are you excited about April yet? I know I am! Let’s work together on this one! Share your planning and prepping tips below—I don’t think you can ever get too many of these! And when you keep those small, simple promises to yourself, share it on social media and use the hashtag #prepandplanwithHeidi It’s going to be an amazing month!
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