Raise your hand if you bought a new planner at the beginning of December and you just couldn’t wait to start filling in all of your goals and important dates for 2019!
This will be my second year with a planner, and I’m so happy I finally found something that will work for me!
I hopped on the bullet journal train a few years ago and had a blast with it for a while—then I got tired of the time investment and stopped. (I tore out the used pages and now I keep the notebooks in my desk because they’re still really nice notebooks!)
I’ve kept to-do lists on regular ol’ paper, but that’s not as much fun as a planner.
I’ve printed out calendars, but I don’t usually have too many specific dates to remember in a given month, so by itself it didn’t accomplish much for me.
My planner is still pretty basic, but I’m still in love with it; I’ve noticed that I feel a bit more like a human being when I use it consistently.
For one thing, it keeps me from being so paralyzed by my to do list.
Adulting is no easy task, but it must be done. Laundry, work, grocery shopping . . . it all needs done.
My to do list is probably different than what yours might be; my work is freelance, and for the majority of my day, I’m watching younger siblings. My days can look pretty similar from one to the next. But running a small business takes a lot of work; there are blog posts I want to write, invoices to be sent, manuscripts to be edited . . . I love it, but it could be overwhelming!
So I like that I can break up my tasks into manageable chunks.
Have you ever had a project that you knew needed to be done, but it just felt like so much that you weren’t sure where to start? I hate that. And this helps the tasks that each day holds not feel so daunting.
Speaking of daily tasks, I also love to limit my daily decisions as much as possible.
So my weekly scheduling session includes planning out what I want to eat for breakfast!
Decision fatigue is real, and the less time my coffee has had to work its magic, the less inspired I’ll feel. It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut of the same boring breakfasts because it’s too much work to make any other decision. Not only is that sad, it could be pretty unhealthy; there’s pretty much nothing easier than pouring a bowl of cereal, and there’s usually too much sugar lurking in there. When I have a plan to fry some eggs, or I’ve remembered to start porridge in the crockpot the night before, my whole day is already so much better.
I make a point to schedule all of my exercise for the week at once, too; that way, I have a plan and I’m committed to it, so it isn’t nearly as tempting to skip.
I’m making healthier food choices, and actually working out. I feel better physically, and I feel better about myself, too!
I love checking things off of my to do list as I get them done; if I haven’t crammed the page too full, I’ll often write in the little, unplanned things I’ve accomplished, too. Because celebrating the small victories is important, too!
Not hitting snooze when all you really want to do is keep sleeping? That’s a victory right there!
Picking up a book instead of watching another episode of Parks and Rec? A round of applause for you!
When you have as many littles in your life as I do, brushing my hair and teeth before ten o’clock is an accomplishment sometimes.
I don’t leave the little things out when I make my to do list.
“Read” is usually on there, because I skip it too often in favor of the “easier” things—like watching TV.
“Wake up at 5” is another one that, despite being part of my routine, is an accomplishment every day! (Honestly, what human being chooses to wake up so early?! :P )
Some weeks go by when not as many things get crossed off as I’d like. Other things come up, or I just don’t have the motivation. It happens. I’ll be disappointed, tell myself I’ll do better, and then turn to fill in the next week’s spread.
There’s something comforting in the new week. I’m equal parts excited for the new week ahead, and comforted by the fact that—like Anne Shirley’s saying—there are no mistakes in it yet. I need every bit of the mercies that are new every morning, and I’m often reminded of them when I sit down to plan my week. A whole week full of enough love to get me through each day, no matter what happens.
I want to add journaling into my nighttime routine this year, and I look forward to finding that attitude in retrospect, not just when the day is brand new and mistake free.
Do you use a planner? I want to hear about one way your life has changed since you started using one!