My last post set out some hefty goals and expectations for this year. I have had several people say they look forward to seeing the "how". Here I will share with you just a few of the thoughts and plans I have for truly making this the Year of Less. First, I have to share some of my inspiration. I suppose the ball got rolling with my decision last fall to read On Wealth and Poverty, followed up by St. Basil's On Social Justice. Talk about convicting a person to simplify one's life! Around that time, I also ran across one of the best organizational books I have ever read: Organized Simplicity. I can see God's hand in each area, as He guided me to the right book at the right time. I have worked chore charts, I have made schedules and routines, I have planned ways to organize my household; but Organized Simplicity takes a great approach, first dealing with the issue of "stuff" and then giving very practical advice for how to evaluate your home and the things within. With all of these ideas rolling around in my head, the Year of Less seemed like the right direction to head.
So, how am I really making this the Year of Less?
The big picture first:
I have taken out my calendar for the year and created a master list of all of the major commitments I already have for this year. This includes church feasts I usually help coordinate, attending a cousin's wedding, making a wedding cake for a family friend, further training for Sunday School etc. All of the big things that have a fixed date and will require my full attention. I then evaluated those. Was there anything I could eliminate? I managed to cross a few off the list, which left me with the things I really had to do. I have typed that list out and am handing it over to my husband. He will hold me accountable in this area. I have promised him I will not accept any new obligations beyond this list without having a conversation with him first.
I took a look at all of the possible travel dates we have for the year (travel for above mentioned cousin's wedding, our region's parish life conference, a hopeful trip for husband and I etc.). We looked over dates and determined which ones we were committed to, and let the others go.
Finally, I have gone back and made a brief list of smaller goals for the year that fit within the overall goal. Using A Mother's Rule of Life's five "P's", I have listed what I want to change or accomplish in the areas of prayer, person, partner, parent and provider.
Armed with these three lists, I can now look at my year more closely, and begin to consider the days. I am currently experimenting with a daily planner page which promises to give me the guidance and structure I need along with the flexibility of real life. As I work out the details, I hope to share more soon!