Creating structure 1

How do structures help you every day? To find the answer, walk yourself through what you did yesterday, and figure out why you did what you did–does it support your goals in any way, or is it actually detracting from them? Does it take any particular effort for you to maintain that structure?

For example, yesterday I woke up when all three of my kids jumped into my bed for their morning snuggle.

  • this supports my long-term goal of having kids who are filled up with love at home, so they won’t be looking for it in the wrong places

I helped them get dressed, make sure their bags were packed and sent them out the door with a kiss and I love you.

  • this supports my goal of having them out of my hair by 8 a.m. so I can get on with my activities. And I have to make sure my attitude is healthy so I can sincerely say “I love you” and get a cheerful kiss blown back.

I wrote in my journal for 10 minutes, then did an exercise routine that I had printed out (Tuesday was a no electricity day, so I didn’t blog or do an exercise DVD).

  • this took some planning, some willpower and some support from a buddy. I don’t exercise naturally, particularly when it’s not easy to just pop on a DVD. This supports my goal to be fit and live a long and healthy life with plenty of energy and a connection with God.

etc, etc throughout the day.

Structures only work if you already have the motivation and desire to achieve something. Otherwise, you can side-step your structures. They incorporate your level of willpower and serve to strengthen it. They can also help you see what is happening to you, versus what you are intentionally creating in your life.

My top 10 structures:

  1. a calendar on my wall in the living room, where I list all my appointments for the month. I rarely forget about an appointment or double-book.
  2. a list of all meals and snacks to be prepared in a 2-week period, so I know what to shop for each Monday morning and so that we keep variety and vegetables in our meals.
  3. exercises both on DVD and written down in case of no electricity. Plus a membership at the pool.
  4. i have a peer coach, who started as a fitness coach, but is also helping me as a life coach.
  5. I have a broadband modem at home and a nice Skyping headset so I can get good connections on my ICA calls
  6. I have a small, compact purse that holds my phone, keys, sunglasses, wallet, pen, notebook. It’s easy to pick up and know I have everything I need for the day. I can even interview someone for a story and take their picture on my phone, for the newsletter I write, as I walk around.
  7. I have a water filter and plenty of full bottles of water, so I can drink water any time or take a bottle out the door.
  8. I keep two notebooks–one for notes about good books I’m reading, and the other for my devotions and exercise log.
  9. I keep this blog for my ICA classes.
  10. I have places in the house for the kids to keep their things–a box in the kitchen for all the school backpacks, a shoe container for each kid, a special cubby for the school uniforms, and a pencil cup for school pencils and erasers. These supposedly, when used, keep the morning and homework time running smoothly.

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