Creating an Action Plan – Visualization
You have been creating an action plan for summer? You are visualizing the perfect end of summer. The kids are getting along, their bedrooms are spotless, and those darlings bring you freshly squeezed lemonade while you are resting in the porch swing in your perfectly manicured yard. You have such great kids. You lost that pesky 10 pounds that have been stuck to your waist and thighs since Christmas, you are feeling energized, and ready for your family vacation at the beach.
Visualizing what you want your summer to look like is the first step in creating an action plan that will work. To create a summertime action plan that will not only get you super excited, but a plan that is absolutely doable, let’s discuss how to make your almost perfect summer happen.
SMART Goals for Creating an Action Plan
First you need to set SMART goals. You have probably heard and read about SMART goals at nauseum, but they are worth repeating.
- Specific: If you visualized your summer and what it looks like, then you probably have set some pretty specific goals. Lose 10 pounds, get the kids to help clean their rooms, hire someone to redo the yard (or do it yourself), plan the summer vacation to the beach.
- Measurable: You know how to measure the 10 pounds you want to lose, but what about the kids spotless rooms? Does that include purging cloths from drawers and closets? Do you need to make use of storage for under the beds? Do you need to replace bed spreads?
Make a list of things that you can check off as they get done so you can easily see progress.
- Attainable: Is losing 10 pounds attainable? What sacrifices will you have to make to do get there? The kids have never made freshly squeezed lemonade in their short but adorable lives, but they did bring you some dandelions from the local park last summer. You can find some freshly squeezed lemonade recipes on the internet and make it together as a family. If your kids are as awesome as I think they are, they will be happy to bring you some while you sit on your porch swing. You’re welcome.
- Relevant: Does the picture that you created for your summer align with your values, needs and interests? Sitting in a porch swing while your kids bring you lemonade may be a nice idea, and your heart will burst out of your chest if those little humans do that small act of service, but perhaps a more relevant goal would be to teach your kids to be more service oriented through projects and family fun.
- Timely: Can you lose weight 10 pounds in 2 months? Is there an end date to get your kids more service oriented? After a rewarding weekend of service at a soup kitchen, are the kiddos going to suddenly say “please” and “thank you” to each other, make each other’s beds, and put the dishes in the dishwasher, probably not, but you can pencil in activities that will help teach your kids valuable attributes so that they will eventually become responsible and kind adults.
Creating an action plan for summer varies from person to person and family to family. However, we have found that these 3 areas of focus can be implemented in most action plans if not all of them.
Creating and Action Plan To Develop Family Relationships:
You want your kids to help clean their rooms, participate in family activities, as well as be more kind to each other. Let’s discuss some ways we do that.
- Create times to clean and organize as well as have some family fun. Have a family meeting where you discuss your goals as a family and devise a plan to commit to spending more time together. Get out the calendar and pencil in daily routines for doing chores, and calendar activities to have family fun time. Be specific in your planning:
Monday mornings are for purging unwanted clothes, and toys from the kid’s bedrooms. Tuesday evenings are for going to a local museum or park for a picnic. Wednesday’s you will be learning fun recipes like making freshly squeezed lemonade. (You see what I did there?)
Friday nights are family movie night where everyone takes a turn choosing a movie and you make different pizza recipes. Every Sunday, you have a family meeting to reflect on progress like who was super helpful this week with the dishes, or address issues, like why we don’t put the neighbor’s cat in the kiddy pool.
- Plan the family vacation with your kids and spouse. What beach are you going to? Are you camping on the beach or are you staying at a hotel near the beach? Depending on finances, you can decide on final choices and then let everyone in the family vote on their favorite.
Once you select a destination, start making arrangements. Make this a family affair. Do you have teenagers? They can research places to visit in the area. Younger kids can help come up with food ideas like making Smores over a campfire, or sandwiches if you are staying at a hotel and picnicking at the beach.
- Complete a project together. Kids are psyched when they see something that they have been working on come together. Put together some hygiene kits for a homeless shelter, build a chicken coop for a local animal rescue. Maybe grow vegetable garden in your back yard.
These kinds of activities will enhance your family relationships while also teaching kids the importance of hard work, cooperation and team building.
Creating An Action Plan to Improve Your Health:
You want to lose those 10 pesky pounds, and feel more energized. You want to meditate on your nonexistent porch swing and enjoy nature. Let’s take a look at a possible plan.
- Develop an exercise plan. Establish some exercise goals. Do you need to buy new workout shoes? Can you achieve your goals by working out every day or can you accomplish it with more intensive workouts 3 days a week? There are tons of free HIIT videos online. Are those acceptable or would you rather go a gym and take spin classes? Do you have a gym membership? Do you need extra motivation? Do you need a personal trainer or an accountability partner because you have tried this before and you lost motivation after 2 weeks? Write down your plan in detail and refer to it every day to inspire you.
- Eat healthier. Are you able to come up with healthy meals on your own or do you need a more structured plan like eat 2 egg whites, a tomato, and some string cheese for breakfast and a green salad with vinaigrette dressing for lunch? Decide on a menu plan and stick to it. Throw out those raspberry filled donuts you have stashed behind the Doritos.
You may be so overwhelmed by the conflicting advice out there on intermittent fasting, keto or vegan diets, that you decide to start smaller.
Maybe share that raspberry filled donut with someone so you only eat half of it. Maybe you have realized that you’ve been overeating sugary foods in general. Substitute a milk chocolate candy bar for a smaller piece of dark chocolate. Or instead of a bowl of rocky road ice cream, opt for a small yogurt. Keep healthier foods on hand to snack on instead of sugar.
Focus on getting important vitamins and minerals to increase your health and wellness. You could start taking a daily multiple vitamin.
- Build or buy that porch swing. Maybe that porch swing for meditating isn’t your cup of tea, but maybe you want to take a ballroom dance class. Do something you’ve always to do. Do boxing lessons sound like fun but you have never been able to find one in your area? Look for creative ways to get healthier and have fun at the same time.
Creating and Action Plan To Improve Psychological Well-Being
You don’t want to yell at your kids because they didn’t jump at the chance to take the dirty clothes out from under their beds and put them in the laundry basket. You do want to feel energized and at peace with the world so you can take on this amazing summer. Let’s talk about a plan to accomplish that.
- Start a Gratitude Journal. Your spouse isn’t going to bring you flowers home all the time. That would get old pretty fast anyway. Your kids probably aren’t going to get along every day and bring you that lemonade unless you do a lot of hinting. But you can learn to be grateful for the blessings you have right now.
Living in gratitude will bring you great peace of mind and your happiness will reach amazing levels.
- Read Positive Literature or Self-Help Books: Maybe you want to commit to reading a positive parenting or self-help book once a month. Finding reading time is a challenge, so setting aside time like 30 minutes right before bed will help you achieve that goal.
- Work on developing that one-character trait you desire. Maybe you want to be more patient with your kids when they argue with each other, or feel less stressed about making the house perfect for guests. Find ways to work on that skill through reading, journaling or other ways we mentioned above. You’ll be pleased as punch you did.
It can be as invigorating as if you summit Mount Everest when creating an action plan to accomplish your goals this summer. Get the whole family through a family meeting and help each other focus your efforts on making the best summer yet. Please leave a comment below on how are creating an action plan for summer or any time of year. We would love to hear your tips and ideas
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