To make this summer really special, let's come up with a plan.
- Start with developing a vision. What is most important to you this summer? How do you want to feel? What do you want to do? Do you want more family time? Do you want more "me" time? Do you want that special vacation or a series of day trips? Have a family meeting to get everyone's viewpoint, then make your bucket list. Now prioritize it because you probably can't do it all.
- Brainstorm all that has to happen for this summer vision to come true. What family routines will be maintained and what ones can be relaxed? What events need prior reservations? Who will be responsible for the listed tasks? What is the budget?
- Sort the tasks on your brainstorm list. Find the ones that are similar. Group those tasks together. For example, if phone calls need to be made to schedule events, write a list of all calls and schedule a time to make them. If outings - to the pool, parks, concerts - are part of your list, put together a basket or container for items needed like beach towels, sunscreen, bug spray, coolers, and summer hats. Have a designated place to keep that container.
- Now pull out your calendar. First put in all of the nonnegotiables. Put in all doctor appointments, summer camps, and other prior commitments. Next schedule the fun stuff on your bucket list. Then schedule time to prepare for these fun events. Schedule the time to make calls, pack, shop, etc. Don't forget that even if you are on a relaxed schedule, you still need some time to clean, shop, cook. Look at the schedule now. Is it too full? Have you allowed some down time just to read a book on the deck? When the calendar is complete, post a copy for everyone to see. If something comes up after the calendar is complete, and it will, have another meeting and decide if the new possibility is worth dropping something already scheduled. Remind all family members that if an event or outing is not on the calendar, It isn't going to happen.
Jonda S. Beattie