The Life I Want: TOOLS: Planners

It’s one thing to want to have a better life tomorrow than we had yesterday, or even today, in some vague sense. It’s another thing altogether to want a better life and to see it in our mind’s eye and to be able to move toward that life volitionally (a word I prefer to “intention,” which has become all New Age-y).

Last year I wrote about discovering Lara Casey’s PowerSheets. This values and goal planner has been of greater importance than I could imagine, when I wrote that post just over one calendar year ago. It has helped me find the courage to move, to be able to articulate WHY I was moving, and what I intend to achieve by making this choice — and HOW to actually go about making those achievements a reality. I’ve ordered again for 2021 and am at work on the first, preliminary section of the book, and this week I’m mapping out my January goals and mini-goals.

This is a goal planner. It operates by helping us identify the dimensions of our lives (family relationships, the spiritual life, work, money, etc.) and inviting us to evaluate our current experience in each, to consider what we can do to strengthen the most important, and to brainstorm how that can be achieved. There are monthly and quarterly evaluations and re-sets, indicators for accomplishments, and other prompts that help us to define what is truly important and to realistically care for each. Lara also has additional supplies like a spiritual journal, sticker books (not my big thing but very adult and usable), washi tape, notepads . . . whatever you might need in order to enjoy the process, make it attractive and usable for you.

My other major tool is Jenny Penton’s Planner Perfect. I love this because it’s NOT your standard planner. Jenny warns against reducing a planner to a mere To-Do list, and I’m glad because that’s my guarantee of failure. Instead, this is a planner that one can design to use according to one’s needs and values. She offers not only a choice of size and cover art but also of interior layout and paper type (unlined, lined, dot grid). You can use it for the old To-Do list, or a spiritual journal, your own art, or a goals tracker, or (here’s what I love) ALL OF THE ABOVE, for a more personalized use. There are a lot of YouTube videos of planner setups that show a wide range of uses for this system. I can see myself creating a more specific blog post to do the same thing; for me, it’s an excellent accompaniment to keep track of appointments, lessons, ideas, mini-goals, and whatever I happen to need to keep track of at any given time. I started with the 1-year planner, decided I need more room per day and am currently trying out her monthly planner subscription. It’s a bit more than I need, including stickers, washi, and tip-in cards, but it’s material I can use or resell through the Planner Perfect Facebook page (I haven’t yet but it is an option).

These are my two planner go-to sources for my new life.

#CultivateYourLife. #WriteABetterStory

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