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Back to School Means a Fresh Start!

Sarah Welch, co-founder, Buttoned Up, Inc.

The start of the school year doesn’t just represent a fresh start for your children; it also means a return to normalcy for you. Many of you have probably given up your regular routines for the last three months to adapt to the more free form summer schedules of your children. Now it is time to get everyone (including you) back on a schedule. It also represents an excellent time for you to schedule some much-needed time for yourself.

Rule #1: Get Your Calendar In Order

A little advanced planning will go a long way towards helping you stay on top of all the extra-curricular activities and school events in the coming months. The best thing you can do to for your sanity is to sit down this week with everyone’s schedules (most school and activity schedules are available online) and put them into your master calendar. Don’t forget to put in all of the key holidays, vacations, sports tournaments and the like for everyone in the family.

Once you’ve done that, take a moment to reflect on what you need to do to keep things running smoothly in the months ahead. Think about what kind of chauffeuring you need to do and set up car pools where it makes sense. Look ahead to likely crunch times where you will need extra help and hire babysitters in advance, so you’re not out of luck when you need it most. Finally, plan at least one family night a week. I’ve learned the hard way: unless it’s scheduled, it doesn’t happen. Last but not least, schedule in some time for you. So many parents often have to give up things like gym time during the summer. So make sure you plan it into your week of appointments and activities.

Rule #2: Make Back to School Resolutions

Did you stick to the resolutions you made back in January? If you’ve fallen off the wagon, there’s no need to wait for 2012 to get here before you get back on track. Make just three commitments to things you will do now to improve your life. Whether it is eating better, exercising, or spending time with friends, now is the perfect time to take care of you. If you need a little inspiration, listen to buttoned up’s “Resolution Rescue” podcast (LINK: during your commute to work this week!

Rule #3: Check Off the Check Ups

This time of year is a great time to schedule annual doctor appointments for yourself. That way, you’ll have taken care of what’s really important before things get too hectic. Don’t forget to include dentist appointments and eye check ups and other important tests like mammograms and/or colonoscopies.

Sarah Welch, co-founder of ButtonedUp, Inc. will lead an Expert Exchange session at the 2011 Pennsylvania Conference for Women titled “Tips and Tools for Getting Imperfectly Organized.”