Thank-you, Emily Ley, for sponsoring this post. Emily Ley is a boutique lifestyle brand that creates products which bring simplicity, intention and joy to everyday life.
My favorite thing about the 3rd trimester? Nesting. That almost unheard of energy for organizing, cleaning, and simplifying our life and home before baby arrives. I may not have the energy to stroll through Target at the moment or chase Brody at the park, but clean out the pantry? Plan ahead for the next few months? Or finally put away the laundry from the past season? Sign me up!
In preparation for our little one’s arrival, I have been prepping my Simplified Planner. The academic planners start fresh on August 1st. With our baby due the last week of July, I thought this would be the perfect way to begin planning for life with a newborn and a toddler. A fresh planner prepped for intentional living has this Type-A momma so excited.
To help make the transition into a family of 4 a bit smoother, I am doing two things.
- Crossing out the entire month of August. I made this promise to myself after struggling through postpartum with Brody. Future babies would mean a month off. No plans. No expectations. No deadlines. No appointments.
- Secondly, I am preparing to schedule in the non-negotiables each month thereafter so I do not fall down the trap of losing my identity, losing myself, or putting our marriage on the back burner like I seemed to do when Brody arrived. These are the things that matter most in my life. The things that bring me the most joy. The things that keep me focused.
I am using a Color Coding Sticker Set to keep track of our non-negotiables each month. I keep a little guide in the front pocket of my Simplified Planner and on my monthly planning day, I go through and make sure that everything on my non-negotiables list is scheduled in for the month. You are probably wondering what my non-negotiables are. These are my 9.
1. Date night: A babysitter (or sweet family member) is booked and I make sure JD marks the date on his calendar as well. Sometimes it is a simple movie night, other times we do an overnight staycation. Whatever it is, it always leaves us feeling refreshed and connected.
2. Tech-free day: I admittedly spend far too much time on electronics and social media most days. Once a month, we put away our phones, computers, ipads etc and have a tech-free day. It is amazing how much we check off our to-do lists on these days!
3. Family Adventure: Once a month we try to plan a day-trip to see a new sight and spend time together. Sometimes it is an adventurous trip like Antelope Canyon or Tucson, and other times it is as simple as picking peaches at the farm down the street.
4. Prep Day: I schedule one Sunday a month to prep for the following month. On this day, the blogging schedule is written, our bank accounts get balanced, I reflect on the previous month and plan ahead for the next. This is how I stay focused on what matters.
5. Lazy Day: We always schedule in one lazy day for the month. A day where we have zero plans. No birthday parties. No running around town. We hang out in pajamas until noon and do not feel an ounce of guilt about it.
6. Brody Date: I just added this to my non-negotiables list. It is pulling on my heartstrings thinking about sharing my love with another babe. I do not want to let go of the one-on-one time Brody and I have been blessed with. I am hoping in the chaos we can still squeeze in some special time together. A morning donut date, an hour at the splash pad while baby naps---anything to keep our sweet bond.
7. House Project: Making our house a home. These 5 words have lived on every bucket list, to-do list, and goal list I have written for the past year. Our monthly house projects are slowly getting us to the point where our house feels like home. This month our house project is as simple as updating the kitchen sink. Some months it is painting, and others it cleaning out the garage. It is amazing what a little bit of progress each month adds up to.
8. Play Date: Another goal I’ve been striving for has been deeper relationships with my momma friends. We go to group events all of the time, but there is something about one-on-one time that really makes bonds form. I am craving the deeper conversations, the deeper bonds, the deeper friendships. So, who’s up for a play date?
9. Me-Time: Somehow this one still ends up on the bottom of the list, but it is flat out a non-negotiable. I know that me-time is essential to my sanity, so I schedule it in. If I do not take care of myself, it is nearly impossible to take care of anyone else. Whether it is a hair appointment, a pedicure or an evening at book club—there will be some sort of me-time on the calendar each and every month.
Marking these non-negotiables in my Simplified Planner each month before anything else helps keep me focused. Everything else seems to fall into place around them. I have found that if something is schedule on my calendar, it happens. If it is not there, it falls to the wayside.
If you are not familiar with the Simplified Planner, it was created by one of my biggest mom crushes—Emily Ley. Her mantras of simplifying life, intentional living, and making time for joy are mantras I’ve been clinging to every day of motherhood. The Simplified Planner was designed with all of that in mind and has become the perfect place for this Type-A momma to make sure I stay focused on the important things in life.
And PS: She also designed one of my favorite baby books of all time!
Here are a few of my Type-A Momma Essentials for staying focus + organized.
Simplified Planner (Weekly edition is sold out, but daily edition is available!) | Sticky Notes | Icon Stickers | Page Marker | Scissors | Stapler | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up | Paper Clips | The Morning Miracle (this book was a game changer for my mornings) | Make It Happen Powersheets (I swear by these. This is my 3rd year using them) | Washi Tape | Color Coding Stickers | Cambridge Journals (I write in one of these in the morning) | Couples Goal Setting Workbook (use this to figure out your non-negotiables) | Fineliner Pens
What are your non-negotiables every month? How do you stay organized? When do you plan for your week ahead?