SingleDad.com founder, RJ Jaramillo, helps single fathers and single parents plan out a happier 2010.
As a new year begins, many people like to make New Year’s Resolutions. Setting goals and achieving them gives us a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Last year, SingleDad wrote about a family goal setting program called, Family Plan 2009. This program is designed around discovering what really makes you happy, your “core happiness”. Once you discover that, you begin the planning stages of establishing your goals and activities based on what makes you happy. You then begin to see how your life is filled with sustaining energy, ongoing achievement, and overall happiness.
When reviewing last year’s Family Plan, I discovered that I was a lot more productive when my “tasks” correlated with my core happiness. What is my core happiness, you ask? Well what makes me happy is the following:
- I am happy when I am with my three children
- I am happy when I travel
- I am happy when I am healthy and exercising
- I am happy when I am active with SingleDad.com
With those items in mind, I took out a calendar and structured my activities around my work week and throughout the year. It took a little practice and discipline, but after a few weeks, I got in the habit of planning my day the night before and making sure I was rewarding myself with my core happiness activities. Taking the information from above, I was able to map out three, one on one vacations with each of my children at different times of the year. I was able to incorporate exercise four times a week into my work week between my two jobs and joint custody schedule. I was also able to balance my two careers with equal attention. And when it came to my personal life, I had a great year of romance. Because of the Family Plan program, I never felt overwhelmed or out of control and I am very excited to get you started on your 2010 Family Plan.
Finding your Core Happiness
For most of us, finding out what makes us happy is not very hard. What makes the core happiness important is finding what makes us happy and keeps us motivated throughout each day, week, month and year. Many people have different ways of explaining this experience of core happiness. The best way for me to explain is to share my feelings on where I found mine. My first is I love being a father.
I love my children and I know they are not going to be around me forever and I must treasure each moment with them. They make me happy and I want to set aside time and have my own special relationship with each of them. Second, I like to travel. I like the way I feel when I am traveling. Traveling makes me feel excited and adventurous. Third, I like to stay healthy and fit. Being healthy allows me to enjoy my family life and travel schedule. Fourth, I love my two careers and want to balance my SingleDad activities with my other business opportunities. And fifth, I enjoy my social life and my personal life that brings me love and connection.
Outlining your Calendar
Once you have established what makes you happy, think of 3 to 5 activities that allow you to experience this happiness. Then sit down and map out a schedule that incorporates those events or activities into your day, week, month and year. Take a broad approach and make your first draft simple. You can always add more detail as you incorporate your standard “required activities” around the core happiness activities. Things that already have a place in your schedule are called “required duties” – you already know you have to do them. Having your personal calendar already on your computer or cell phone is ideal for this planning. Google Calendar and Outlook Calendar are great examples of flexible calendar programs that allow you to set tasks and activities.
Set the Schedule
The key to this program is simple: place the Core Happiness Activities FIRST, and then schedule your standard required activities around them. The idea is to show you how to view your life differently and ultimately how much more flexible your schedule can be. Schedule the core happiness activities throughout the calendar year and try to be as detailed as you can be. After you have exhausted these core items, begin the process of building your required activities around them. Don’t be surprised if your first attempts to balance both required and core activities becomes a little discouraging. Just stick to the plan and look for the gaps to reward yourself on a weekly basis with your core happiness activities.
Tips and Reminders
As you begin this year with your Family Plan 2010, be sure to take the time the night before to review your commitments to your core happiness and the schedule you have planned. Some days require you to change and be flexible, so make sure you have given yourself the time to make those adjustments. Before I go to bed at night, I print my daily schedule and take it to my bedroom where I get all my thoughts and reminders on the paper. I have learned from this experience not to take work thoughts into my sleep. By putting all thoughts down on my schedule, I feel like I have given myself the best opportunity for a restful sleep. Always use a pencil when adding or editing your schedule, this allows the flexibility in your planning.
Good luck to you and your Family Plan 2010. I wish you a great new year and look forward to hearing your feedback on this exercise. I will also post my video about my Family Plan 2010 and will continue to share my progress with all members on SingleDad.com
If you are interested in learning more about Single Parent Coaching Sessions or would like to know more information on our “One on One” coaching services, please contact by email: email@example.com
Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”