A few easy ways to stay on track

My Self Check-In Checklist

As a working mom, I define success as the ability to fulfill my career obligations, while spending time with my kids each day without distractions. As many of you can relate, it can be difficult to juggle the full-time job of being a parent with, well, another full-time job. I found that creating a “self check-in” checklist makes me accountable to being present, whether at work or at home.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Here are a few ways I check in with myself to ensure I have room for quality time with my family each day:

Make the Most of Morning Mom Time

In the morning, I wake up before everyone else does in order to check in with me (just 15 or 20 minutes.) This quiet time allows me to focus on what lies ahead in my day. That way, when I wake the kids up for school I am fully present and available for breakfast together, special lunch requests, and focused on driving during school drop-offs. This uninterrupted interaction allows both my kids and I to start our day on a healthy, positive note.

Take Off The Work — Literally

When I get home from the office, before I interact with the kids, I change my clothes, wash my hands and face, and take a few deep breaths. As funny and silly as this sounds, it has become my ritual to physically and mentally transition from work life to mom life. This simple technique allows me to enter early evening with my kids without deadlines and “to do” lists on my mind. I also stick to a bedtime routine with them, so if I have unfinished business I can work between 9:30 and 10:30 to finish up the day and get a good night’s rest. Sleep is important for the early rise morning routine to work well.

When this part of my life — the mommy part — is running smoothly, I find my career and personal goals are more easily achieved.

Don’t Forget A Real Paper Checklist

During my morning routine, I will often make a short list (5 items max) on paper that I carry with me throughout the day. The gratification of checking off a physical list keeps me motivated to check off another “to do” item.

Check-In with Others Too

I am part of a group of women that meets regularly, four times a year, to check in. We are friends outside of the group, but we consider group time sacred. When we meet, we each take a turn leading the group with goal setting in all areas of life: family, personal and professional. One woman wanted to have a child, so her goals were focused on that and we went on the journey with her by being present in our group meetings. We did not offer advice, but listened to her wants and desires out loud in a safe and nurturing setting. This isn’t “ladies night” party time. It is personal work.

Setting aside this time with a group of supportive women that I can be real with helps me stay on target with how I want my life to unfold. I know that I have to come to the group and give an update on my goals. The best part is when you see results of your dear friends — our girlfriend’s baby is now a year old!

What are some ways that you hold yourself accountable to achieving the type of life you want to live?

Originally published at medium.com