We woke up on Saturday morning and my son was staring out the back window when he realized he couldn’t see the zipper on the trampoline across the yard. Upon closer inspection, he realized that one of the huge limbs on our peach tree had broken and had fallen on top of the olive tree next to it and on the ground. 

We didn’t have any big storms or high winds and the kids were asking if I knew what happened. Looking at the branches with peaches full of fruit it didn’t take too long to realize that the weight of the peaches – still not ripe – was too much and broke the thick limb.

This image immediately brought to my mind all of the projects, habits, and goals that I am working on right now in our home, family, garden, yard, homeschool, and business. After months of just being in survival mode, it feels so good to be making progress and gaining momentum in many areas of our lives. It is exciting to be crossing things off the list, solving some big pain points, and investing in relationships and projects that will last. But as we are charging ahead at top speed, this peach tree gave me pause about all of the “fruit” I’m trying to grow right now in my life.

There was a crucial step that we missed in caring for this peach tree – pruning.

If we had pruned some of the fruit off of the tree, the weight wouldn’t have been too much and the tree would be fine.

Instead of choosing to remove some of the fruit, we lost all of it (this would have been really sad, except this peach tree actually has a fungal infection so the peaches rot before they ripen and we were planning on taking it down this year anyway).

It was a great reminder that If I don’t do some pruning in my own life, it can be a fast track to burnout. Then all progress comes to a halt and we lose all of the fruit instead of just choosing a few things to let go of or simplify.

What does this look like practically? How do we do some pruning in our own lives – especially when there are plenty of things we don’t want to walk away from?

The secret is a quarterly review. I first learned about this concept years ago from Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism, where he recommends a quarterly offsite review. This means you leave and go somewhere away from your home and work to think about your life.

As a mom with a baby and toddler, this sounded like a fairyland ideal. However, that didn’t stop me from doing an onsite review right in the walls of my own home.

This entire process is in the Thriving in Motherhood Planner every quarter so you don’t even have to remember how many months have gone by – when you see it, it’s time to sit down and go through the process.

You can do this in one sitting or over a week or two as you evaluate your life and figure out what matters most going forward.

I walk through the entire process step by step in episode 102.

You can also learn about quarterly reviews fit in with the entire planning system process with the Plan a Week You Can Win training 

If we don’t life can start to be like a snowball that you keep rolling around and acquiring more snow – getting bigger and bigger until you can’t move it at all. Or like the peach tree whose limb snaps.

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