Jay Geier teaches his clients to be intentional about putting their families first when planning their annual calendars.

Can you believe we are already coming to the end of the first quarter of 2018? The first three months of the year have flown by, and before we dive into second quarter we need to pause and take a reality check of our progress.

If you’re like most of us, you entered this year full of incredible plans to be super-organized and productive. You might have even made New Year’s resolutions about getting more exercise or spending more time with your family and friends.  

How’s it all working out? If you find yourself slipping into old time traps, specifically the “I don’t have time to (fill in the blank).” It’s time to take a hard look at your … no not goals… your CALENDAR.

Your Best Tool for Ensuring a Successful 2018

Your CALENDAR is one of your very best tools for ensuring it will be a successful 2018 because that’s how you set your priorities; you intentionally plan how you will spend your time and energy. If you aren’t intentional about what goes on your calendar, everyone else’s intentions will fill your every waking moment! Jay often says he can tell exactly what went wrong for someone by looking at their calendar, not their plan.

Family is the best example of this. Virtually everyone says their family is top priority, but their calendars don’t reflect that. Most people start their calendar planning by adding in all their important business dates. Wrong! You need to be sure to block out time for family activities first, then fill in your business priorities. School Districts put out their annual calendars a year in advance. Find out when your kids have spring break and block out that time and plan something special. While you’re at it, block out time for summer vacations at the beginning of the year. And in really special years, plan one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips because they will provide lifetime memories for your entire family. By the time kids start High School, they often prefer to be with their friends instead of their parents, so it should be a real priority to share these times with them while you still can!

Another important layer to your calendar should be finding out when your kids’ activities are. You won’t make it to every game and event, of course, but if they aren’t even on your calendar, how can you expect to make any of them? Equally as important are planned date nights with your spouse. Put some thought into spending time as a couple without the kids!

What About Time for You?

You also have to block out “me time.” Rest and rejuvenation is critical to personal and business success. You can’t be a supportive spouse, a great dad, or an effective decision-maker if you’re exhausted and burned out. Schedule your work-outs, meditation or reading time, whatever re-energizes your body, mind and spirit. You need to treat these times the same way you treat important meetings or patient visits, or you will habitually skip them. And if you feel you simply can’t leave the office to honor these important time commitments, you need to take a hard look at your ability to delegate and the staff you have at your office. You might need to put some leadership training or professional coaching on the calendar!!

Make sure you have connected your calendar to what you want to accomplish for the year in both your personal and professional life. Creating an intentional calendar is essential to your success (and sanity!). Give it the attention it deserves.