When I was working, I was like a machine – up at 5am and going til 11pm, maybe midnight. I was enjoying my life, but, at the same time, I wasn’t focused on my personal growth whatsoever. So when Ryan and I decided it would be best for me to stay home instead of working once we moved, I was ecstatic. But transitioning from career woman to stay at home mom wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The newfound freedom was a little bit debilitating. When you have all the time in the world, there is no rush to accomplish goals, especially when they are just your own personal goals. I knew I wanted to make the most of my time at home, but still feel like I was getting to enjoy every moment. So instead of setting a strict time schedule, I created an aspirational schedule for myself.
An aspirational schedule is about cultivating feelings and experiences versus accomplishing tasks on a timetable. These are the moments I would to create on a consistant basis in each of my days. Because there is no set time for each action, I can fit in unexpected tasks as needed without disrupting the flow of my day too much. Here’s how you can do the same:
- Establish which committments you have in each day and what positive actions are gained from these committments. Eating breakfast is fuel for your body. Meetings with your coworkers are an opportunity to lead. The time you spend commuting to work or class is time to contemplate.
- Determine where in your day each of these actions need to occur. Breakfast or fuel is most likely going to occur earlier in your schedule while a pampering activity like a bubble bath might occur later in your schedule.
- Choose the more aspirational actions you would like to cultivate in your day. Have you completed your academic career and you miss having the opportunity to learn? Is your day always hectic and you need to regain your focus? Distinguish which positive feelings are missing from your daily life.
- Fill in your remaining aspirational actions in the blocks left in your day. Do not try to fill every block with an action. The flexibility of your aspirational schedule is jeopardized when every moment is filled with a predetermined action. Be discerning with which actions best follow another. Maybe a motivating, energizing moment of inspiration should occur early in your schedule so you can allow it’s positive effects to be felt longer. Or a relaxing moment is best at the end of your schedule as it helps you sleep better.
- Assign possible tasks to go along with your aspirational actions. Share could be your time to email friends, post interesting links on social media, or talk with a family member about their day. Refresh could be a long, hot shower or a quick splash of cold water on your face. The best part about an aspirational schedule is the flexibility so give yourself multiple activities to go along with each positive action.
Once you have set your aspirational schedule, use it as often as you see fit. Maybe start with just weekends and then work it into your workdays. Progress at your leisure and don’t feel pressured to make each day perfect. Develop it further as it becomes easier. Remember that the whole purpose is to help yourself strive towards betterment; you can’t master an aspirational schedule as it’s always continually evolving along with your progress.
I am going to be start doing some live broadcasts on Periscope (username – @LaurenEtc) to showcase the aspects of my aspirational schedule and how they differ from day to day. I am SUPER new to Periscope, but I’m excited to start using it. Follow me (and I’ll follow you back!) and we’ll explore this awesome new edition to the social media realm together!