Now that the holidays are behind us, let’s talk about getting back on track. As accountant moms, we had to handle lots of things during these past few months – from fun celebrations to family get-togethers, and all the exciting activities that make the holidays special.
While the holidays are great, sometimes they can make us feel a bit lost once the dust settles, especially when we know things like tax season are around the corner. After all the decorations have been put away and the kids go back to school, suddenly, we have a to-do list that seems to have magically grown.
For working moms, getting back on track means more than just catching up on work stuff. It’s about creating balance again in our lives, setting goals for ourselves, and getting ready for the challenges that are coming. It’s like getting our things in order so we’re prepared and organized for what’s ahead.
But here’s the beauty of it – this is also an opportunity for growth and renewal. It’s the time when we get to decide and commit to what’s important to us.
In fact, just because we’ve done things a certain way for years doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it that way this year. Getting back on track is about taking what you like and leaving the rest.
This week I’m going to discuss getting back on track by setting clear goals for the New Year, organizing your workspace, creating a realistic schedule, and getting back on track with self-care.
Setting clear goals for the New Year
We’re used to setting New Year’s resolutions, but I want you to think of goals as much more helpful. They’re destinations that help us navigate the path ahead and give us a sense of direction.
As busy accountant moms, our goals can span various aspects of our lives – from career goals to family goals to personal goals; here are some things to consider:
Career Goals: Consider your professional aspirations. What would you like to achieve in your job or in your business? It might involve acquiring new skills, taking on more responsibilities, or perhaps exploring fresh opportunities within your career path. What would you like to have achieved by the end of this year?
Family Goals: Reflect on what you envision for your family in the coming year. It could be about carving out more quality time together, planning enjoyable family activities, or establishing traditions that strengthen the bond among your loved ones. As your family dynamics might change this year as the kids wants and needs change, how do you want to stay connected?
Personal Goals: Don’t forget about yourself! What personal aspirations do you have? It could be anything from picking up a new hobby to focusing on your health or simply making time for activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. What would you like to accomplish for yourself this year?
Setting goals doesn’t mean they have to be monumental or unattainable. In fact, smaller, achievable goals are often more effective. They allow us to celebrate small victories along the way, keeping us motivated and inspired.
Now let’s talk about how to set goals:
Consider What Matters: Take a moment to reflect on what truly matters to you. What would bring you happiness and a sense of fulfillment? Whether it’s related to your job, family, or personal life, identifying your priorities is the first step.
Start Small: Next, you want to break down your goals into manageable steps. Instead of aiming for a vague goal like “I want to be super organized,” try a smaller, more concrete step like “I’ll straighten up my desk at the end of each day for the next 7 days.” Small, consistent steps lead to significant achievements over time.
Be Realistic: The third step is being realistic. While dreaming big is fantastic, it’s equally crucial to be realistic. Setting achievable goals ensures that you’re setting yourself up for success, boosting your confidence and motivation.
Write It Down: The last step is writing it down. There’s something powerful about putting pen to paper. Writing down your goals solidifies them and transforms your aspirations into commitments. Keep your goals in a visible place to serve as a constant reminder and source of motivation.
Remember, these goals can evolve as the year progresses. The key is to have a general direction in mind, creating a roadmap that empowers you to feel in control and ready for whatever opportunities and challenges the upcoming year holds.
Organizing your workspace
Now that we’ve thought about our goals for the year, let’s shift our focus to something equally important – our workspace. Picture your workspace like a stage where you perform your daily tasks.
An organized workspace isn’t just about keeping things neat; it’s about creating a place where you can work efficiently and feel good doing it.
The reason why organizing your workspace matters is that a cluttered workspace can make tasks feel overwhelming. Organizing your space helps you find things quickly, reduces stress, and makes your workday smoother.
Start by looking around your workspace. Do you see things you don’t need or use? It’s okay to let them go. Clear off your desk and keep only the essentials. Use physical folders or digital tools to organize documents so you can find them without a hassle.
You’ll also want to consider creating a productive atmosphere by adding a personal touch to your workspace. It could be a photo of your family, a plant, or something that makes you smile. A little personal touch can make your workspace a more enjoyable place to spend time.
I think one of the biggest reasons why you should organize your workspace is because it saves you time. The truth is that when everything has a place, you spend less time searching for things and more time getting your work done. Think of it as giving yourself a gift of extra time each day!
Now that we’ve talked about why an organized workspace matters. let’s get practical with some steps for organizing your workspace.
Step #1 – Sort and Simplify: Take a few minutes to sort through your physical space and your digital space. Keep what you need and donate or recycle what you don’t. Simplifying what you look at every day can make a big difference.
Step #2 – Use Storage Solutions: Invest in physical storage solutions that fit your space and in digital storage solutions as well. This could be shelves or drawers for your office or digital storage for virtual documents. Having designated spaces for things helps maintain order.
Step #3 – Daily Cleanup Routine: Before wrapping up your work for the day, spend a few minutes getting organized. Put away documents, clear your desk, clean up your email inbox, and make sure everything is in its place. It sets the stage for a fresh start the next day.
Step #4 – Incorporate Ergonomics: It’s more important than you may realize to consider the comfort of your workspace. Ensure your chair is comfortable, your screen is at eye level, and your keyboard and mouse are within easy reach. A comfortable workspace can also boost your productivity.
By organizing our workspace, we’re not just creating a comfortable environment; we’re setting the stage for success. Before things become hectic, it’s important to transform our workspace into a place where we can be as efficient as possible.
Creating a realistic schedule
Now that our workspace is all sorted let’s talk about another important aspect of getting back on track: creating a realistic schedule. Think of your schedule as a map that guides you through your day.
As busy accountant moms, finding a balance between work, family, and personal time takes planning and coordination. The reason why scheduling matters is that you need to learn to become more intentional with your time.
Imagine trying to bake cookies without a recipe or playing a game without rules. Having a schedule is like having a recipe or rules for your day. It helps you manage your time, reduce stress, and ensure that you have dedicated moments for work, family, and yourself.
As an accountant mom, your day might involve a mixture of bank reconciliations, attending meetings, and taking care of your family. Balancing all these tasks requires skill and careful planning. A realistic schedule helps you allocate time to each of these important areas in your life.
Now I’m going to share some practical tips for creating your schedule.
Start by making a list of your daily tasks. Include work responsibilities, family commitments, and personal activities. Get everything out of your head and onto paper.
Prioritize your tasks. What needs to be done first, and what can wait? This helps you focus on what’s most important. Ask yourself, “What items would have the highest impact?”
Be realistic about the time each task takes. As I tell my time management coaching clients all the time, “Make sure you’re being kind to the future version of you that has to get that task done in the amount of time you decided.” It’s better to plan with a bit of extra time for unexpected things than to beat yourself up for not getting it done in the time allotted.
Your calendar is your best friend. Once you’re clear about what needs to be done, what’s a priority, how long it’s going to take, and when you’re going to tackle it, you need to get better at calendaring. As I’ve shared before on this podcast, to-do lists are incredibly overwhelming to your brain, which is why you must use a calendar and not a to-do list.
Include Breaks and Flexibility: Whether you want to or not, your schedule should include breaks for you to relax and recharge. Also, allow some flexibility for unexpected events. As we know as moms, life is full of surprises, and a flexible schedule helps you adapt.
If you don’t think you have to time to create a realistic schedule, then here of some of the many benefits that you might want to consider:
Reduced Stress: Knowing what to expect in your day reduces uncertainty and stress. It’s like having a roadmap that guides you smoothly.
Increased Productivity: A schedule helps you stay focused and organized, leading to increased productivity. When you know what to tackle next, you can dive into tasks more efficiently.
Quality Time with Family: By allocating dedicated family time in your schedule, you ensure that you’re present and engaged when spending moments with your loved ones.
Time for Yourself: A well-balanced schedule includes moments for self-care. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, or enjoying a hobby, you deserve time for yourself.
Creating a realistic schedule will save you time, energy, and effort. In order to get back on track, you need to be willing to be more intentional with how you spend your time.
Getting back on track with self-care
As busy working moms, it’s easy to forget that we need a bit of care and attention, too. Self-care is like plugging ourselves into a charger chord, ensuring we have the energy to navigate our busy lives.
As I’ve said many times on this podcast, self-care is not about being selfish; it’s about making sure you have the energy and well-being to take care of everything and everyone around you.
The truth is that each of us has different things that make us feel our best. For example, my version of self-care is getting up early so that I can take care of my duties as the Community Manager at CPA MOMS, do what I need to do to build my own separate Smarter Accountant coaching business, and make sure I get plenty of sleep.
Self-care for me also looks like getting my nails done once every 3 weeks, going on date nights with my husband every single week, and having plenty of time to relax and watch my favorite tv shows.
For you, it could be reading a book, taking a walk, enjoying a warm bath, or simply having a quiet moment. Only you can identify what activities bring you joy and peace.
The thing about self-care is that it doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Even small, daily rituals can make a big difference.
It could be savoring a cup of tea, spending a few minutes in nature, or listening to your favorite music in the car after dropping the kids off at school or while you’re making dinner. These little moments add up.
It’s also important to learn how to set better boundaries. As moms, it’s common to put others’ needs before our own; however, setting boundaries is a vital part of self-care.
I suggest that you learn to say no when needed and don’t hesitate to communicate your limits. It’s okay to prioritize your well-being.
Here are some practical self-care tips you might want to implement this year when it comes to getting back on track with self-care:
Create a Relaxing Space: Designate a corner in your home as your own relaxing space. It could be a comfy chair, a cozy blanket, or a spot near a window. Having a dedicated space helps signal that it’s time for self-care. For example, I have a favorite blanket that, when I take it out, it signals to my brain, it’s time to relax.
Schedule “Me” Time: Just like you schedule work meetings and family activities, schedule time for yourself. Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, having dedicated “me” time ensures you prioritize self-care. When my kids were little, I used to joke with them that I was going in time out. It was that time I needed by myself to unplug from everyone and everything.
Explore Mindfulness Practices: Mindfulness is about being present in the moment. Explore simple mindfulness practices, like deep breathing or meditation. These exercises can help clear your mind and reduce stress. I love using apps for this like Calm. In as little as 5 minutes, I can practice mindfulness with a guided meditation.
Connect with Loved Ones: Spending time with friends, family, or even pets can be a form of self-care. Share your thoughts, laugh together, and enjoy moments of connection. It’s a great way to feel supported.
If you’re still not sold on getting back on track and prioritizing self-care, here are some of the many benefits:
Improved Well-Being: Taking care of yourself leads to improved physical and mental well-being. You’ll feel more energized and ready to tackle daily challenges.
Increased Resilience: Self-care builds resilience, helping you bounce back from stress and challenges. It equips you with the strength to face life’s ups and downs. Recovering from my recent eye surgery has definitely shown me how important self-care is during challenging times.
Enhanced Productivity: I can honestly tell you that prioritizing self-care has made it possible for me to be very productive without burning out. When you prioritize self-care, you’re better equipped to handle your responsibilities. It’s like fueling up before a long journey – you perform at your best.
Happier Relationships: When you take care of yourself, you bring a positive energy to your relationships. Self-care makes it possible for you to be present and engaged, fostering healthier connections with those around you.
As you begin this new year and focus on getting back on track, I want you to take a moment to celebrate everything you did this past year. Your work, your family; none of it would have been possible without the amazing qualities you already possess.
Remember, the journey of getting back on track isn’t about perfection; it’s about progress and finding what works best for you. Life as an accountant mom is a balancing act, and by taking intentional steps, you’ll be better able to step into success.
As you implement these strategies into your daily life, make sure that you acknowledge the small victories and be kind to yourself. The path to balancing a career and a family is ongoing, and it’s perfectly normal to adapt and refine your approach along the way.
Whether you’re organizing your desk, penciling in “me” time on your schedule, or incorporating mindfulness practices, each action contributes to a more harmonious and fulfilling life. By prioritizing self-care, you’re not only benefiting yourself but also enriching the relationships with those around you.
Here’s my wish for you: May the steps you take this year guide you toward a year filled with achievements, balance, and moments of joy. Embrace the journey, celebrate your resilience, and welcome the opportunities that lie ahead.
Getting back on track means more than just catching up on work stuff. It’s about finding balance in our lives, setting goals for ourselves, and getting ready for the challenges that are coming.
Remember, the journey of getting back on track isn’t about perfection; it’s about progress and finding what works best for you.