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Spring planning- Knowing what you don’t want to do is important, too

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Featured, Home & Garden

Published on April 13, 2016 with No Comments

We did not have a harsh winter, not compared to others that required days of seemingly endless shoveling of snow. Yet nearly everyone I have spoken to has remarked how much they are looking forward to this spring.

Spring has officially arrived. The temperatures may not feel like it, but the calendar says that that vernal equinox, or spring, sprung upon us on March 20. We sprung our clocks forward 7 days before the first day of spring as we beckoned for the longer days to show us daylight past 6 p.m.

How is it that the winter days seem to drag on, but our spring and summer days zip by with such zest and seem to go in a flash? Maybe it is because we pack so much activity into the warmer days, the days when we have more daylight.

It is a fact that there is so much we can do in the spring and summer that we cannot do during the cold, dark winter days. I have a list roaming in my head of what I want to get done around the house and yard this summer, including cleaning, clearing out, repair jobs and painting. I also want to make the time to enjoy the wonderful weather ahead and do some things that are meaningful to me.

As important as it is to know what you do want to do, it is important to know what you don’t want to do. I know that I do not want to let the weeds get out of control like they did last summer. I know I also don’t want to spend an entire weekend pulling those wild weeds that took over too much of our landscaping. I have decided that this year I will get an early start on pulling the unwanted greenery and planting the flowers I have been longing for all winter. Looks like I must be shooting for May 15 to accomplish that.

Spring cleaning can be my April project. June is a good month for painting. I can help my mother clean out her garage in July. What about those things I want to do for myself? How many years have I said I wanted to ride my bike again? What weekend trips will I take and where? What friends and family members do I want to spend time with and what would be something new to do, a new place to see?

I love spontaneity and I really do not want to plan each and every day months ahead. Besides, I know that as John Lennon so astutely wrote, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” He reminds us all that our best laid plans can be changed in a moment due to unforeseen occurrences.

Knowing that most of us may not accomplish everything we would like to this spring and summer, it is important to know what is most important to us.

First, make a list of the projects that you want to do. Then, look at each item and ask yourself this: “If when September arrives, and I have not done this, will I be okay with that, or will I be disappointed or upset with myself?” This question will help you prioritize what you truly want to do or feel you must do.  Plan for when you will do those projects. At least decide on which month you will complete the task. If you know how many days to allow and can plot those on your calendar, even better. The more specific you’re planning, the more apt you are to complete your project.

Now make the list of things that you want to do for yourself, that are not so task oriented, such as visiting friends, planning family or vacation time, doing some day or weekend trips.  Take the same steps as you did with your project list. With each item you have listed, ask yourself: “If when September arrives, and I have not done this, will I be okay with that, or will I be disappointed or upset with myself?” You can again prioritize what is important to you. Take a look at your calendar that already has your projects listed and see where you will add in your “for you” items.

It feels so good to have a plan and to visualize what you will accomplish. When you have a plan, and stick to it, you will find that you have even more time to do what is important to you. If something unexpected happens, you can usually readjust your calendar and still accomplish do what you had planned. Just remember to keep that calendar handy and visible, so you can remember what you planned and when and can follow through with that each month! When September rolls around, you will be proud and very satisfied at what a good summer it was because you accomplished what was important to you.

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About Easter Becker-Smith

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

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