5 Steps to Change Just About Anything

5 Steps to Change Just About Anything - Keeping it Simple

Alright, so we know we need to make some changes and we know why, right? The key is to break it down into manageable chunks. Just how do you do that? Here’s a plan of attack to try.

Step 1: Decide What Needs Changing

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Pick one area for now, time management or organization. You can do the other one after you complete the steps for this one. Make a list of what needs to change. I want you to be specific here. I will give you a some examples.

For organization you may have:

  • organize and end paper clutter in the house
  • organize the homeschool/craft/hobby/gardening supplies
  • organize our laundry system
  • organize the kitchen

For time management you may have:

  • consistent hours for reading/working/playing
  • stop being late everywhere
  • end procrastination

Step 2: Prioritize

Remember how I talked about priorities yesterday? Well, they really are important. You can NOT do it all at once. No one can. So, take your list and rank your goals (you do realize you just set some goals in step one, right?). Like this:

  1. Organize the kitchen
  2. Organize the homeschool supplies
  3. Organize our laundry system

Make sense? Good. Next step.

Step 3: Break it Down Now

Take your first priority and dissect it. What you need to do is break it into chunks. Identify the major contributing factors to the problem. I also want you to include negative consequences that you have right now because of this problem area. You want to change these.

Again, be specific. Write these down. Think hard about this and be honest with yourself. Let me show you a possible break down.

Goal: organize the kitchen

  • the sink is always full of dirty dishes
  • table is cluttered
  • fruit goes to waste because it gets buried by other stuff
  • we eat out most nights because the kitchen is a mess

Step 4: Again, I Say, Prioritize

Take those contributing factors and rank them in order of priority. Maybe take the most annoying or difficult of them to tackle first. Or a to rank them in order of size from smallest to largest.

The point is to set your plan of focus. If you have the time to tackle a big project first, go for it! The feeling of accomplishment will be great. If you are overwhelmed by the scope of your goal, start small and work your way up. As you check things off your list, your accomplishments will keep you motivated to keep going!

Now, put your negative consequences underneath your list of contributing factors. This is WHY you WANT to change. Alternatively, you could put the opposite down, if you are more motivated to work towards something. I tend to work better at something when I remember that I really don’t like what happens if I don’t.

Step 5: Just Do It!

Work through your list. Do first things first. Do not move on to the next task until you have the first one down or completely finished. I can tell you this, it really is easier to maintain all of your things each day than to continually run damage control on them individually.

Find solutions that work for your family, don’t give up if you try one way of doing it and it doesn’t work. You really can change this. It just takes one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Keep putting that best foot forward and getting up WHEN you fall.

Tomorrow I’m going to answer a question you might be having about the content of this series. See you then and don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers participating in the series!

Finding Value in Organization & Time Management

How do I teach organization and time management skils when I have neither? Part one: finding the value (5 day series)

Today I’m starting a series called How Do I Teach Organization & Time Management Skills…When I Have Neither? Each day this week, I will be breaking this down and sharing some ideas to encourage you in these two areas.

I will be honest with you, these are the areas I struggle with most in my homemaking, homeschooling, and life living. Well, I can do organized. It’s the maintenance that is the hard part for that one. Time management was/is a little harder for me. I have had some victory in this area, thanks to God.

One more thing, I’m not God. I don’t know your heart or thoughts. I simply write from my perspective trusting that God will use the words how He sees fit. If my words do not resonate with you, that’s fine. I do not write for everyone because, well, that is impossible.

The Heart of the Matter

It really comes down to how you look at it. I am a stubborn, selfish person by nature. I like to do what I want, when I want. This worked just fine for me until I realized this does not work when you have three example followers (AKA kids) living with you.

Can I just take a moment to tell you that “do as I say, not as I do” is not an effective parenting model. Unless you are wanting to train your children to not listen to the words coming out of your mouth. Then, by all means, run with it.

This is why the very first thing you need to do, is change your view of organization and time management skills. Easier said than done, right?

How Do You See It?

Let’s ask ourselves this. When I look at someone who is organized and usually on time, what is my first reaction? Am I happy for that person? Do I mock their efforts with sarcastic comments (aloud or in my head)?

Why? Typically, we react this way because we are jealous or feel guilty. Never a good place to react from.

So let’s try this next question on for size. Why is that other person organized and usually on time?

The answer is simple, really. They prioritize organization and time management because they see value in those skills.

Whether You Know It or Not

You have priorities. We all live our lives based on what is a priority to us. When our priorities are working for us, we call them goals. When they don’t, we call them bad habits.

Think about it. Do you eat? Why? Because fueling your body is a priority. Without eating food and drinking water, you die. Therefore, it must place somewhere on your priority list daily.

Poor organization and time management skills probably are not going to kill you, but they do make your life much more hectic feeling and stressful than it needs to be. And that can actually have a negative effect on your health. So they are more important than I want to give them credit.

Another way to look at it. If you could change something in your life to make it run more smoothly, is that valuable? I think so.

Tomorrow, we will be looking at some baby steps to point you in the right direction, on time. 😉 See you then!

Psst, I’m not the only one doing a five day series this week, check out the other bloggers to see what they are talking about this week.

The Importance of Discipleship

I'm partnering with the Teach Them Diligently bloggers again to bring you The Importance of Discipleship

“disciple – a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another”

With homeschooling we are blessed with and challenged by the freedom to choose exactly who or what doctrines we adhere to. The question for the Christian homeschool family then becomes, who is our homeschool a disciple of? Who or what are we following?

Are we  disciples of a homeschool philosophy?

Are we disciples of learning styles?

Are we disciples of curriculum?

Don’t get me wrong here. These things ARE good things and we would do well to study them. They are not the problem in and of themselves.

The problem comes when we know more about them than we know about God’s Word. When we study the philosophies and teachings of man more than the teachings of Christ. Or more simply, they become more important than reading the Bible, praying, or worship.

It really all comes down to this, doesn’t it? The constant checking of our life to see if we’re keeping our eyes on Jesus. That dying of self and putting Him first.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33”

And since I do not count myself an expert on your heart, this is where my words end and I simply encourage you to seek the will of the Father for your life and homeschool. Because sometimes change really is necessary.

I’m linking up with the Teach Them Diligently bloggers again this week.

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention 2014

Mom Tested Family Approved Homeschool Blog Hop #3

Mom Tested Family Approved Homeschool blog hop #3 - Back to School

Mom Tested Homeschool Blog Hop #3

Welcome to the August edition of the Mom Tested, Family Approved Homeschool blog hop! This is hop number three and this month we are talking back to school. Bloggers, bring us your best back to homeschool posts!

Readers, enjoy the encouraging words of your fellow homeschooling mamas!

Mom Tested Homeschool Blog Hop #2 Features

Featured on Mom Tested Family Approved blog hop

Last month we had 37 posts linked up. Here are the three featured posts, chosen by the readers:

Back to (Home) School at the Vicki Arnold blog

I have talked a bit about our new homeschool year here on the blog. Here’s a good place to start:

Sometimes Change is Necessary - Come be encouraged and read why our #homeschool is changing @ www.vicki-arnold.com

You can check out my homeschool category for more homeschool posts (like the Lego Library series).

Mom Tested Homeschool Blog Hop – Back to School

Mom Tested Family Approved Homeschool Blog Hop #3 - Back to School edition

Be sure to check out what my fellow co-hosts have to say this month – Dollie @ Teachers of Good Things and Cassondra @ Beyond the Cover

Do your thing, bloggers. 😉

Sometimes Change is Necessary

Sometimes Change is Necessary - Come be encouraged and read why our #homeschool is changing @www.vicki-arnold.com

With 5th, 4th, and 2nd graders, we are entering a new phase of our homeschool. I’ve mentioned before that we are pretty laid back for the early elementary years and around 4th grade, we start structuring things more. I will show you how that looks in our day-to-day homeschool life later, but today I want to share the heart of the matter with you.

Stick around and be encouraged…or learn how to pray for me. I’m good with either. 😉

Routine? No, Thank You!

This is the biggest change for us and the focus of this post. I am a rather random person. Delight directed learning appeals to me because I am a squirrel chaser. And I have been very resistant to adhering to any sort of schedule. I don’t like being told what to do, and routines are bossy.

Now, I love planning things. I have sat down and made schedule after schedule, list after list, and change after change. The problem I have is that I get so stinking B.O.R.E.D. after a few days or weeks and drop it.

After seeing my many charts, someone (actually more than one someone) referred to me as Type-A and I laughed.

At each one of them. I am nothing if not gracious.

I am a Type-A wannabe. I WANT to be organized. I WANT to be a go-getter. But the truth is, I am messy and rather relaxed when it comes to time frames. Yes, that can be a nice way of saying I am frequently late, but it applies to much more (not all negative, thankfully).

How’s that for transparency? You’re lining up to hear my tips for walking in the spiritual discipline of diligence now, aren’t you? 😛 <—That’s me blowing a raspberry.

No Routine Gets You No Where

Well, that header kind of gives away where I have ended up. After the Holy Spirit’s forehead smacks nudging, I finally realized I needed to change. It happened overnight…HA! I wish.

Truth is, I am still struggling with it.

I have moved from the “why am I not getting anywhere?” and “alright something’s gotta give” stages. I’ve passed the “I know what I need to do” mark. I am now camped out in the “I have tasted change, want more, but can’t quite grasp it” part of the process.

I know that the path I’ve walked for many years no longer works. What I still struggle with is the want to…the motivation. Breaking the habit of letting things wait until the last possible moment has been tough. I’ve tried on the mantra “why wait when you can do it now” and, frankly, it fits like a crew neck t-shirt. (Suffocating, in case you are wondering.)

However I now realize that it truly is easier to maintain something than to do a major clean up every so often. So…slowly…that crew neck t-shirt is loosening it’s grip.

Routines Aren’t All Bad

Wondering when I’m getting to the homeschooling part? Well, I never left it. While this effected my housekeeping most, there was overflow into our homeschooling. It’s unavoidable, whatever effects your home is going to effect your HOMEschool.

Please don’t get me wrong, I do not regret our homeschooling choices. We have truly enjoyed our time learning as we went. I’ve learned things that I never would have simply because one of my children was interested in it. It is just time for a change.

I will be talking more about our daily routine in a guest post coming up at Upside Down Homeschooling, but basically it comes down to my decision to embrace change.

This makes me laugh because my very first One Word WAAAAY back in 2010 was Change. I’m a quick study, huh? Seriously, I’m sitting here with my headphones on laughing at myself. My kids think I’m nuts.

So be encouraged, homeschool mamas. God will bring the seeds He plants in your heart to fruition, no matter how slow of a learner you are. Just look at me. 😉

Time for #homeschool changes @ www.vicki-arnold.com

P.S. Head over to the Teach Them Diligently blog to see what changes others are making in their homeschool this year.

Real Refreshement Retreat Sampler

Mom Tested, Family Approved Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop #2

The second ultimate homeschool blog hop from #MomTested. Bloggers, share your best posts. Homeschoolers, find awesome resources and encouragement for your homeschool journey @ www.vicki-arnold.com

Mom Tested, Family Approved Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop

And we’re back for another round of the ultimate homeschool link-up. Be sure to check out last month’s edition of the Mom Tested, Family Approved Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop! We had a lot of bloggers link up some great resources.

We have three posts to feature that were the most clicked links from last month’s blog hop:

  • Tot School Planning Form from Wildflower Ramblings :: This is such a great resource for planning Tot School, a concept that I’ve recently become exposed to. I am currently exploring it for my youngest. If you have a “must have” Tot School resource, PLEASE be sure to tell me about them in the comments.
  • The Free List from Only Passionate Curiousity :: This is a huge list! I know from experience that these things take a lot of time to put together, so be sure to drop a thank you in the comments to let her know you appreciate it! (Bloggers LOVE comments…just saying 😉 )
  • Montessori Geography Stamp Sorting Box from Hands-On Homeschooler :: What a neat tool for homeschools!

Homeschool Newsletter

Don’t forget to sign up for the Homeschool Newsletter that launches next week! I’m working on an exclusive giveaway just for subscribers as a bonus to my 12 Days of Christmas in July giveaway series that I announced yesterday.

Subscribe to the Homeschool Newsletter!

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Join the Mom Tested Family Approved Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop #2 @ www.vicki-arnold.com!

Calling Homeschool Bloggers!

You are cordially invited to link up your best three homeschooling related blog posts in the linky below. We want your best! Have more than three? Save them and come back again next month.

We currently have three co-hosts for the Mom Tested, Family Approved Homeschool link up. Your link will be shown on each blog when you enter it below. Then next month we will feature the top posts from the previous month in each co-host’s blog.

Meet my co-hosts: Dollie at Teachers of Good Things and Cassondra at Beyond the Cover.

We would appreciate a link back to one of the co-hosts’ main posts (like this one) to help spread the word about the link-up. After you drop your link in the linky below, please be sure to hop around to a few other blogs and comment on, tweet, pin, or share your favorite finds. This is what makes a blog hop FUN and beneficial to everyone.

If you would like to add a button to your blog for the Mom Tested Family Approved Ultimate Homeschool Blog Hop, fell free to grab this photo and link it to https://www.vicki-arnold.com/category/mom-tested-family-approved/:

Mom Tested Family Approved - a family of blog hops for home, homeschool, and soon recipes!

Bloggers Link Up!

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices {2013-2014}

Looking to make homeschool curriculum decisions? Come see what we are using for 5th, 4th, and 2nd grades. #homeschool post @ www.vicki-arnold.com

Homeschool Curriculum for 2013-2014

I have 5th, 4th, and 2nd graders this homeschool year. I am finding it hard to believe, really. When we started out, I was nervous about what I would do when they reached middle and high school. Now, with five official homeschool years under our belt, I am excited for the things we will be learning!

For the grades K-3, we lean more towards eclectic unschooling. I believe strongly in the value of play in a child’s educational life. My kids (and I!) have learned a lot by following my children’s interests. I teach them how to read, basic math, and we do Bible study. Everything else is covered by life and the library.

Starting around 4th grade, we start with more scheduled work. I say around because we are open to this being different based on a child’s needs. I’ll explain a little about each of my students when I share my curriculum choices for them.

I am using my curriculum planning pages for my subjects. Our discipleship program is a work in progress that you will be hearing more about later this fall. I’ll be sharing more about that with my homeschool newsletter subscribers, so be sure to sign up for that.

Disclosure: I do use affiliate links in this post.

My 5th Grader’s Homeschool Curriculum

My 5th grader is the “tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it” type student. She loves checklists and her planner. She loves reading, writing to her pen pals, and taking care of her siblings (and anyone else she can mother). We are focusing on her math and spelling skills this year. She is also learning to write in cursive because she really, really wants to.

She will also be completing her 4-H projects throughout the year as part of her curriculum (art, life skills, etc.). Her projects include photography, sewing, and food.

My 4th Grader’s Homeschool Curriculum

My 4th grader is the “tell me why I need to know this” type student. He is very, very interested in learning, but very, very UNinterested in learning things he already knows. He is a deep thinker who does well with science, math, and spelling. My focus with him this year will be on penmanship.

Again, he will be completing 4-H projects as part of his curriculum. He has not decided on what those will be just yet. We will be trying out Homeschool Programming for a review and I think it will be perfect for him.

My 2nd Grader’s Homeschool Curriculum

My 2nd grader is a sweet, spunky, loves to wiggle kind of girl. She is a very good reader and seems to pick up math skills almost by accident. She is still in the learn by play part of our homeschool, but she will be participating in a lot with us because she likes to. Her 2nd grade year is more structured than my first two students, but she is ready and willing so on we go!

She is too young for 4-H, but will be doing Cloverbuds. She has not chosen a project (she may do up to two).

So there you have our homeschool curriculum choices for the 2013-2014 school year. We start our year the week after the 4th of July. Along the way I will share free read, read aloud, and supplemental booklists; coordinating printables; and glimpses into how our homeschool works.

You can sign up to get posts directly in your email on the top right of the blog.

Homeschool Newsletter

I’ve officially announced it and would like to remind you to sign up for the homeschool newsletter!

Subscribe to our mailing list

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More Curriculum Choices

This week, the Teach Them Diligently bloggers are talking about curriculum choices. Be sure to head over to the blog to see what curriculum they will be using in their homeschools this year. You can also purchase curriculum online with Teach Then Diligently Marketplace Online now!! I will be sharing more about this later in the month.

Come see what homeschool curriculum the Teach Them Diligently bloggers will be using this year.

Encouragement for Moms Homeschooling Young Children

Encouragement for Moms Homeschooling Young Children - a guest post I wrote for Hands-On Homeschooler

Today I am over at Hands-On Homeschooler. My post of encouragement for moms homeschooling young children is up today. Here is a snippet of what you will find!

Encouragement for Moms Homeschooling Young Children

The questions filling my inbox lately are from mothers with young children looking to start their homeschool journey this coming fall. Most are feeling called by God to homeschool their child. Most are overwhelmed, wondering if they really can do this. They have questions about curriculum, approaches, and how to get it all done in a day. This is my encouragement for moms looking to homeschool their young child for the first time.

For more head over to see the rest of the post at Hands-On Homeschooler!