Get “Snorganized” in 2015…
By: Hope Stuart, Apple A Day President and CEO

January is a great month for making goals that are SMART, getting the new year off to a great start!

Ah yes, January… time for reflecting on the past and looking forward to a new year with new aspirations and resolutions. From organizing your children to setting goals that are SMART, this post will prepare your thoughts and things for all the January happenings. So get ready to be inspired and transformed into a goal-oriented person with organized children. January 2015 is sure to be a memorable month as you transform yourself into a person who finds success in the little accomplishments that translate into worthwhile goals.

What Exactly is a GOal?
A goal is an accomplishment that people of all ages work toward achieving. Goals may be short or long-term in nature, depending upon your overall objective. Goals should be timely and meaningful, realistic and relevant. They should also be challenging, yet achievable and should include an outcome that can be measured in order to for you to track your overall progress.

Goals can focus on just about anything that is pertinent in your life, including: health, work, relationships, charity, family, spirituality, education, organization, and so on. Do you have goals in mind? If not, now is the time. On your mark, get ready… (to set) some GOals!

There’s “Snow” Goals Like SMART GOals!
Whether you develop goals related to health and wellness or goals tackling your cluttered living space, your goals must be measureable and include steps that will determine your progress. An effective way to ensure progress toward any goal is to make SMART GOals. SMART GOals are: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Results-driven and Timely.

· Specific – simplistically and clearly define what you are going to do

· Measurable – include a unit of measure that helps you determine your progress

· Attainable – should be slightly challenging, yet achievable

· Results-driven – focused on outcomes by measuring progress

· Timely – linked to a timeframe that determines when the results will be achieved

Tracking Your SMART GOals with Action Steps
SMART GOals enable you to track your progress due to the clearly defined outcomes and measures that are inherently included within. By breaking down your goals into smaller action steps, you increase your ability to track your progress and achieve your goals. Action steps are the things you must do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that are directly associated with each goal.

There’s “Snowthing” Like Organized Kids!
Developing SMART GOals shouldn’t be an activity exclusive to adults. Supporting children in the goal making process is a terrific habit to develop at an early age. By capitalizing on the formative years, parents have fabulous opportunities to instill good habits in their children that come with lifelong benefits. Children can have goals related to reading, homework, exercise, an organized room and so on.

Getting your children to develop good habits related to organization is a terrific real world application of the SMART GOal process. From organizing their rooms and toys to organizing their backpacks and sports equipment, there are endless opportunities where parents can nurture their children’s organizing abilities.

First and foremost, it is important to include your children in the process of developing organization goals and action steps in order for them to own the process. Procedures are only sustainable when expectations are consistent and all stakeholders are involved; including your little organizers. Make sure the expectations are challenging, yet attainable. Attach measures that are linked to age-appropriate timeframes. Finally, revisit the organization process to determine progress and possible adjustments.

Let’s Get Your Children “Snorganized”!
So… what does the process of organizing your children look like? Let’s bundle up our ideas and roll out our plan:

Goal: To keep an organized and clean room for one month. This includes making my bed each day and putting toys and clothes (both clean and dirty) in their proper locations.

Action Steps:
1. Inventory all the stuff in the room, including everything from toys and clothes to art supplies and sports equipment. Save time by grouping like items during the inventorying process.

2. Determine what stays in the room and what goes in the donation bin… or garbage. Donating to those in need is a great experience for children!

3. Group like items into bins, drawers, baskets and containers that work for each space. Don’t forget to label storage areas.

4. Make the bed, place dirty clothes in the hamper and vacuum the space.

Once the room is cleared of clutter, organized and super clean, a picture is taken to serve as a measurable model of the final product.

Check out a child’s bedroom before and after an Apple A Day Makeover
(before on top; after on the bottom)

beforeandafterClick on this link to obtain strategies for organizing your child’s closet…
The Apple A Day Way!

apple a day 2How Are We Measuring Up?
Once the rooms are organized, cleaned and picture “permanent,” it is imperative to measure the progress toward/maintenance of each SMART GOal. Performing regular “room checks” will track the status of the room(s). Once a week “room checks” are best, perhaps on the weekend when there is time to revisit storage procedures and locations, as well as opportunities to tidy up. Using the “after picture” is a good way to compare the model of the room with the room’s current status. Have each child place a sticker or smiley face on the calendar for every time their rooms are found in tip top shape. Turn it into a contest where the child with the most stickers gets a reward for their dedication to the SMART GOal. Perhaps the winner earns a special day with mom or dad, a trip to the library, or the privilege of choosing the movie to be watched during family movie night.

There’s “Snowone” as SMART as You!
The process of establishing SMART GOals is a super smart and effective way to ensure your resolutions last throughout 2015 and beyond. SMART GOals will help your family develop good habits that have longevity; coupled with long lasting benefits. Remember, practice makes permanent. On your mark, get ready… (to set) GOals! You will be so glad you did! Here’s to a totally terrific 2015!

Hope’s Apple A Day Story:  hopestuart
Once upon a time, there was a wife, mother and principal all rolled into one individual. Hope loved all these roles; working diligently to find a perfect balance for all three. She spent as much time as she could with her husband and son, affectionately referred to as her “boys”, while tackling the challenges, demands and responsibilities associated with her principal role.

After turning 40, Hope reflected on her life, realizing that the idea of balancing all three roles was more of a fairy tale than a reality. The truth was that her son was growing up with a mom who struggled daily to be joyfully present. It became crystal clear: her attempt to be everything to everyone was taking a huge toll on her family’s overall health and well-being. As the clarity of reality set in, Hope decided something had to give. After 15 years in education, with 9 years devoted to school administration, she made the heart wrenching decision to “resire” (Hope’s term for resigning and retiring) as a principal.

Although Hope gave up a lot, she also gained a great deal in return. She was finally able to be joyfully present with her “boys”, while following her passion via the official launching of Apple A Day. Apple A Day melds Hope’s vast educational experience with her sheer passion for organization. Apple A Day specializes in efficiency. “Why efficiency?” Hope’s answer is twofold:

The average American spends an hour daily looking for items they know they own but can’t find.

Just 8 minutes of daily disruptions to classroom instruction equates to OVER a week of lost learning time within a school year.

These stats do not have to be your reality with Apple A Day as your Organized Efficiency Specialists. If you yearn for more family time, Hope will design organized procedures that engage all family members. Are you a teacher who wants to maximize instruction? Hope will transform your classroom into an organized, efficient, student-centered learning environment.

Contact Hope and enhance your home, office or classroom efficiency today: (845) 986-4416 or Hope@appleadayusa.org. If you are interested in hosting a H.O.P.E. for Homes Home Organization Party, contact Hope for details about hosting benefits, including 4 hours of free organization services.

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