Notebook with "2018" on the cover and a thought bubble behind it

I Never Thought I’d Be Using a Weekly Planner Again

2017 was a tough year for a lot of us, and while it’s easier for me to focus on what went wrong (we’re all our own worst critics, aren’t we?), there were also a lot of moments of “Hey, that went really well.” and “I should make it a habit to do more of this.” At some point in my life, I thought it would be a good idea to simply go with the flow with all things personal, while maintaining a general practice of aiming for “balance” when and where I can. Well, apparently my place of equilibrium is to ignore my gut, fill my calendar, and create ALL THE THINGS – balance be damned.

Not okay.

While cruising through 2017 on auto-pilot, one of the repeating experiences I had that I’d like to address this year is the feeling of being overwhelmed. And after some heavy self-reflection, I realized I’d actually done a solid job of balancing my time, but a fairly crappy job of putting it all into perspective. That’s a cruel way to move though life. Without defining checkpoints to reflect on different areas in my life where I wanted to grow, I created a pile of goals that were never celebrated as I accomplished them, and the journey became several months of mush where all I could do is look back and say, “Whoa. It’s been a big year, and I should have been more present.”

I happen to be a huge advocate of failing and learning in order to succeed, so in an effort to be prolific in my search for a method to provide me a greater perspective of my personal and professional growth, I’m going to start with something I’ve loathed for my entire adult life, and that is setting resolutions for the beginning of the calendar year. :: gasp! :: BUT only because it’s the perfect time to dig into one of my old favorite ways to capture ideas and plans, which is using a planner. And for those of you aren’t familiar with using planners and journaling – think trusting a Type A with a planner is a lot like feeding the bear. To save my blood pressure, over the last decade, I’ve been slowly shifting my actions to align myself with more of the Type B+ flavor, but who am I kidding? Carpe diem.

When considering the tool I’d be handling on a near daily basis to check-in with my brain, I wanted it to be charming, delightful, and something that is easy to customize. While 90% of my life is digital, this would need to be something that I could fold, write in, draw on, etc. I basically wanted a sketchbook with built-in scheduling and counseling. Possible? Yes. Well, at least I found a planner that I’m willing to give a try to for a while, and I’ll see where it goes. It’s a planner by Danielle Laporte, called “What I Will Do to Feel the Way I Want to Feel”. I can dig it. It’ll serve as a way to keep up with my goals by creating them based on how I want to feel throughout the year. Makes sense to me. Why do I make the decisions I make throughout my life if not for how the results make me FEEL at the end of the day. Secure? Proud? Satisfied? Inspired? If I can start to identify which intentions reign supreme, I can better focus my decision-making and track where that leads me over a period of time.

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