I’ll likely never forget shopping for clothes for the first day of 6th grade. One of my best friends, Heather (who, by the way, I thought was sooo cool), told me that the in style was a collared shirt with a tie and vest. So my mom took me to Kids R Us in Pleasant Hill to pick it out. And I rocked that outfit in 1993 and even wore it for picture day.
[Note: This is not the tie and vest outfit but even worse. Like a typical 6th grader, I colored on my face in the yearbook so I won’t post that photo.] I think Heather and I were the only two in our school yearbook with that look – but we looked good.
Preparing for that first day of school reminds me a lot of what I do on a nightly basis now: planning. Every night before I go to sleep, I quickly strategize about four important activities for the next day at work to make sure I am prepared.
What the Heck Am I Going to Wear?
So most days I do not go to work in a collared shirt, vest, and tie. But I do typically wear undergarments, a stylish (if I do say so myself) outfit, shoes, and maybe a jacket. I hang my outfit and lay out my accessories in the bathroom. This preparation drastically reduces the time it takes me to get ready in the morning. Yes, I even lay out my undergarments as it requires much less thinking in the morning (color, style, etc.) when I’m tired and maybe even running late.
I also love Le Tote – “it’s like Netflix for clothing” as I always say. For a monthly fee, you can customize how many outfits you get in each box. I do the classic box which consists of 3 articles of clothing and 2 accessories per box. And depending on how quickly you are able to turn a box around, I typically get 3 to 4 boxes per month. Le Tote gifts me the freedom and excitement to change my wardrobe often with trendy and stylish clothes. I’m obsessed.
What the Heck Am I Going to Eat?
Meal Planning is sooooo exhausting. I get it. It is challenging to do it and it has to be done week after week after week. It is so mundane. But meal planning is very important to save money and be prepared. I use an online meal planning program (Real Plans) that incorporates dietary needs and considers the number of diners in the household. The calendar is fully customizable with drag and drop recipes, a recipe box, a customizable shopping list, and the ability to add notes such as “Lunch with Jaime.” The best part is it tracks all of the ingredients that you need for your selected recipes for the week and prepares a shopping list that matches your recipes and the quantities that you need. When you’re done preparing the week, it wraps it all up in a beautiful PDF with the schedule, the shopping list, and all of the recipes attached. I’m old fashioned so I print it out, but it is also accessible via the app or online.
To further help with planning dinners, I love Gobble’s service and business model. Delicious meals prepared by a Michelin starred chef and usually take 10 – 20 minutes to prepare.
How Can I Lose These Pounds!?
I’ll admit I am very diligent about working out. Most days I think “what workout class fits into my schedule today?” Not “ugh, I’ll get around to working out if I can.” I think part of the motivation is that I prepare for my workout the next day and I hold myself to it like an appointment. It also helps I enjoy the classes I take. Everything from kickboxing to pilates to uJam fitness to Zumba® to body pump. I have a gym bag always packed that contains the necessary gym items: tennis shoes, towels, toiletries, extra make-up, hair brush. Then within that bag, I have a clothes bag packed (workout shirt, pants, sports bra, and socks). Each night, I re-pack that bag to take to work with me and then I bring back the to-be-laundered clothes at the end of each workday. Having the system in place as well as knowing I have everything I need to get in a workout and even shower before returning to work motivates me to follow through with my workout plan.
What About My Kids?
Finally, I have to plan my kids. This is also the opportunity to teach your children the tips and tricks of planning in advance and being prepared. My boys are still young so we aren’t quite checking off to ensure homework is done, but obviously when that is applicable we will be doing so. For now, my planning involves laying out their clothes and shoes for the next day – with their help and input. Their school will often tell me verbally at pick-up “we need supplies.” At the time later that evening I am working with them to prepare for tomorrow, I remember the school’s request and gather what is needed for the next day. In the past, I also gave the daycare provider slips of paper that had check boxes for shirts, shorts, pants, jacket, diapers, wipes, etc. It made it easy for them to check off a box and notify me of what they needed.
Ironically, I am preparing to send my oldest son to his first day of kindergarten soon. Time really does go by so fast. As they say with small (all?) children, the days are long and the years are short.
Bottom line: planning ahead and having systems in place allows for a smoother time getting ready each morning. I’d love the opportunity to assess your current routine and see if there are areas that can be adjusted for a smoother and more efficient time getting ready in the morning. Feel free to contact me to schedule a consultation today.
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