Back To School ChecklistAug 03, 2023
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The new school year is starting soon, and I want you to be ready! In this episode, I’m sharing my back to school checklist - not for school supplies and new clothes, but to set you up for more peace this school year.
I hope this will help you to feel like the leader in your life and give you more room in your life for fun, ease and joy.
Your Back To School Checklist
This is my 3-step process to help you figure out what truly matters to you and how to make the decisions to get it this school year.
Step 1: Intentional Focus
You’ve probably heard people talk in January about their word for the year. I like to also choose a word for the school year. It might be a feeling that you want to chase or a theme or mantra.
It gives us an opportunity to ask, “What do I want to focus on this year? What is important to me?”
If you’re struggling to answer these questions, start by looking back on the previous year. What worked for you? What didn’t?
This intention will give your brain a place to focus, and your brain will actually start looking for evidence that it is happening (yay!).
It will also point out to you when it’s not happening, when you’re off track from where you want to be, which gives you a chance to reset and refocus.
Step 2: Intentional Priorities
In order to get that feeling you’re chasing, your priorities and goals need to be in line with your intention.
I often think of priorities in categories, like home life, academics and social emotional health.
Each category can be pretty complex, and you can’t work on it all at one time. Priorities help you narrow down what you want to focus on right now. In the home life category, for example, you might want to prioritize chores, family time or better balance with screens.
Again, looking back at the past year is a great place to start if you aren’t sure what to prioritize. Is there an area where your kid is clearly struggling? What skills do you want to help them learn this year? What goals will help you get closer to that feeling you’re chasing?
These priorities will help relieve some of the sheer overwhelm of parenting. There is so much pressure to make sure our kids know how to do everything. But it is all a process, and kids have a lot of years to develop and learn.
Step 3: Intentional Routines
Routines help you actually create the thing that you want. They are the “how”.
At the beginning of a school year, I really like to think about how I want our days to flow. I look at our schedule and my priorities and figure out where these things are all going to fit.
There will always be basics that need to happen - meals, sleep, school work, bathing, chores, etc. Once these things are done, what is left in terms of time, energy and money?
This is where you can add in some enrichment activities or free screen time. Remember to also account for your own activities. Will you volunteer this school year? Are there hobbies or groups you’re involved in?
Looking back to your intention and priorities will help you determine which activities are a good fit, and the rhythms and routines will be a lot easier to figure out.
It also means you’re going to have to say “no” to some stuff. Your brain will start to do the “uh-oh” story. It will tell you that your kid is missing out or falling behind in some way. But saying “no” is not bad. It's not going to hurt your kids.
So much of what we want our kids to learn can be taught in regular, everyday life. They don’t need ALL the enrichment activities to learn how to build relationships, take risks, overcome obstacles, achieve goals or practice personal responsibility. Anything you do with your kids is valuable.
My goal for you is that you feel calm this school year, that you love the decisions you make and that you feel really clear and confident about what you're saying “yes” to and what and what you're saying “no” to and why.
You're empowered. You get to decide, and you can do it from a place of leadership, intention and by prioritizing what is truly important to you.
- My word of the year for this school year (and how you can choose your own)
- Example priorities for home life, academics and social emotional health
- Thoughts you can borrow when you’re feeling the pressure to do it all right now
- How not to be a victim to an overloaded schedule
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