Reviewed by: Amanda Carroll, Business Development Director-PCR Business Systems
Review: Note- This review is a little longer than our usual Wednesday Reads review, as I wanted to provide some background and struggles I was having. This review is very personal and I hope you will take the time to read it. I think you will find many of these things relatable to your own life.
In a business setting, I am a goal setter. I come from a sales background, so my entire career has revolved around setting goals. Our business is run by setting 10-year, 5-year, 3-year, annual, quarterly and weekly goals. We measure our progress and see growth by setting and achieving goals.
One of the areas I was struggling with the most was how to balance everything. What the heck is this “work-life balance” I keep hearing people speak of?
I also used to be a New Year’s Resolution setter, usually revolving around something superficial such as weight loss, with no real action plan on how I was actually going to achieve that goal. Three months into the year, and that resolution was already a distant memory.
In January, I attended a goal-setting workshop at my gym with TrAk Athletics (which I am a huge fan of) and realized that while am I am well-versed in setting goals for my business, I wasn’t setting and achieving any of my real personal goals.
One of the areas I was struggling with the most was how to balance everything. What the heck is this “work-life balance” I keep hearing people speak of? Not unlike everyone else, I wear a ton of different hats: I am a business owner, a wife, a mother of three kids, a PTA member, a “Girls on the Run” coach, a household manager, and so forth. I could go on, but you get the picture. I often felt like I was failing at least one area of my life at all times.
At the goal-setting workshop, Dave Regula, owner of TrAk Athletics, was discussing some of these challenges that everyone faces. He suggested I read the book The Perfect Day Formula by Craig Ballantyne.
GAME. CHANGED. I immediately downloaded and listened to the audio book. And I am so glad I did.
(TIP: Listening to audiobooks while in the car is a great way to multitask when our busy schedules don’t afford us the time to sit down and read).
So here’s the deal … Ballantyne basically outlines a formula for planning your perfect day (and then perfect week) to accomplish everything you want, and more! And the kicker is, you start by planning for yourself and your family first, and then work last!
My husband, Pat, also read the book and we are on the same page with this planning process. We have both implemented some minor changes that have made a HUGE impact on our productivity. Here are a few of the changes we’ve made:
Early to Rise: I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again the benefits of getting up before your competition. I did, but I still refused to believe I was a morning person. Now, Pat and I both get up at 5 a.m. He tackles work projects, and I go to the gym or take those quite hours to get some meaningful self-improvement work done.
Weekly Planning: We sit down every Sunday and plan our week. More details below if you want to keep reading (I hope you do).
Early to Bed: We try and go to bed around 9 p.m. most nights. Getting enough sleep is extremely important for health and productivity!
If you can relate to any of my story, I really think you’ll take a lot away from reading The Perfect Life. If you would like a free copy, just fill out the form on this page and let us know! We’ll get your book in the mail today.
After you’ve read it, please let me know what you think! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just in case you’re interested, I thought I would breakdown how I have applied the simple formula in this book to my life.
Amanda’s “Perfect Life” Formula
- Annual Goal Setting
This isn’t part of the book but it all ties together. I sat down and really thought about what I wanted to accomplish for MYSELF and MY FAMILY this year, and here is what I came up with:
- Specific fitness goals (too many to list here)
- Take two vacations every year
- Plan dedicated family or one-on-one time with my kids each week. This can be as simple as eating pizza in the living room on Friday nights—the important part is finding the time and making it feel special for your kids.
- Go on at least one date night with Pat every month
- Read (or listen to) at least six nonfiction books
- Create monthly goals
- Implement Sunday weekly planning sessions with Pat
Some of these goals might seem silly, but how often do you look at your kids and think time is slipping away?
- Monthly Goal Setting
At the beginning of each month, I sit down and think about each of my annual goals and set specific action items to get me close to these goals. Here is an example of my March goals:
- Complete the PCR Corporate Challenge (a fitness challenge we are having in conjunction with TrAK Athletics)
- Hit the gym 4x/week
- Weight Goal
- Schedule two Family Fun days. Sounds simple, right? It isn’t. Our weekends are super busy this month and if we didn’t plan these days it would be easy to do our own things. It’s important that we all do things as a family, and to do that we have to get these scheduled or they won’t happen.
- Start the book A Personal Mission Statement – *Note: Future Wednesday Reads topic
- Create weekly plan every Sunday
- Improve my work planning
Now this is where The Perfect Day (and soon to be released The Perfect Week) comes into play … each Sunday (or Saturday), I sit down with my notebook (see image) and write down my weekly goals. This has been the critical component in helping me achieve the goals.
(Here is a sample of Amanda’s Perfect Day)
5 a.m. Wake
7-8:30 Morning Routine (shower, pack lunches, drop off kids, etc.)
8:45 Arrive at work
***Planning my work day is a whole other area I am working to improve***
4:30 p.m. Pick up my little one from daycare
5 Homework, talk to kids, prep dinner
6 Dinner (we also plan our menu on Sundays)
6:30 Clean up, family time, kids’ showers
8 Kids in Bed
9:00 Amanda in bed (again, sleep is important, people!)
Taking this approach may seem a bit rigid at first; however, it has seriously changed my productivity, how prioritize my time with my family, and has completely lowered my stress level, because I take the time to plan my week and am realistic about how much I can accomplish. There are no surprises.
As you can see in the image, everything in written in pencil … why? Because STUFF HAPPENS!
Kids get sick; sometimes you don’t feel great and just need some extra sleep, etc. For me, there is something about writing it down that just makes me more accountable.
Interested in learning more? Let me send you a free copy of The Perfect Day Formula (just fill out the form on this page), or check out these great resources:
Podcast: Early to Rise Radio
Do you have a goal-setting tip that works for you? I would love to hear it!
Thanks for taking the time to read my journey.