Thursday, January 7, 2016

Beginning

Practicing my lettering in the No Name Sketchbook (that I'm almost through with!)

As I mentioned in the last post, I am way too excited by the reset mentality that comes wrapped up in the 1st of the year. I find myself wondering where the year will take me and what I will accomplish, what new adventures will I find for myself and what, if anything, will be different NEXT January 1st.

Only time will tell!

To BEGIN. There is magic in those words! Do you feel it? To begin a fresh new year, a way of life, a new approach to life, or maybe just a new day. All new beginnings and filled with promise.

Underneath my sketchbook you can see my planner and the notes and scribbles already beginning to populate the page—heady stuff! Well, for me anyway, as it is a new beginning for how I will approach the new year.

I used planners in my old corporate life when my day was filled with scheduled meetings and phone calls, deadlines and projects. When I started working for myself, I didn't have a need for that type of planner and so I gave it up.

I'm not going to try to convince anyone to keep a planner nor am I advocating creating goals, tasks, steps and such. You know what your life needs far better than I.

I can only tell you that my life needs a planner filled with goals broken down into steps and tasks. Desperately. My realization that my life needed this happened when I looked back over last year. My first thought was that the year sucke...wasn't great.

Now, I am not a big one for looking back at where I've been, but I learned a rather surprising lesson this past December and I thought I'd share it with you...I had the unfortunate luck of picking up some sick person's germs and came down with the flu the week before Christmas. Stayed home for two weeks as I did NOT want to share the crud with anyone else.

Here's the lesson I learned: I was judging the entire year on the last few weeks—and those weeks were memorable only for how truly horrible they were!

But the year wasn't horrible. Far from it! When I looked back over the blog and through Facebook, I saw the fun things I did, people I met, and the goals I accomplished. It was a good year!

IF I had kept a planner where I was tracking my goals and accomplishments as well as the challenges and obstacles I encountered along the way, I would have had a much more complete, balanced picture...and who knows, I might well save myself from having to repeat history if I'd kept better track of what I did and didn't do.

Regardless, I'll be keeping a planner this year as a place to work out the next steps for what I want to accomplish in 2016. It will also be a written record of those darn obstacles that seem to crop up from time to time.

I hope it will help me to fill in those unexpected free hours with something more meaningful than wandering around lost, wondering what I'd like to do. (I'm keeping a project list of current and future projects in the planner.)

And last but not least, I'm hoping to break myself of the very annoying habit of scribbling down notes, info, thoughts and ideas on the back of any handy piece of paper. If I put it all in one place, you'd think I'd be able to access it later, right?

With no more backs of envelopes, sticky notes or scraps of paper lying around and cluttering up my desk, perhaps next January the first thing on my to-do list won't be to clean my desk!

So what about you? Will you be keeping a planner or using some other system for tracking goals and accomplishments?

14 comments:

  1. Great post! I've decided on. a similar course of action. I'm using a hybrid of a bullet journal and sketchbook.

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    1. That sounds like fun! Excellent way to make the tool work for you.

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  2. I too came to this same conclusion in late November. So I went out an got a planner for 2016. But am adding a few personal/arty modifications.

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    1. I have a few modifications up my sleeve as well! I'm determined to make it fun and functional. I look forward to seeing what you do.

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  3. Great post, and great epiphanies! As you know, I'm right there with you on the planner deal. It should help me not only get more done, but also rid me of that pesky "I never do enough" feeling, when I can look back and see exactly what I did do.I'm excited to see how I feel about my year when I can look back on the whole thing, rather than try to remember because I threw away all the previous days' pages that made up that year.

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    1. Did you ever hear of a Franklin Planner? When I was working it was the best thing EVER. Now I keep a planner/sketch/journal along with my other sketchbooks, morning pages-etc. But, they are joyful and purposely not stressful. One year I kept a log just with check marks. It just showed what activity I did each day, along with my planner, notebook etc. I always like to try new things. Your blogs are always inspiring.

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    2. KJ, I love the idea of no longer being able to say, "I never do enough!" Cool thought. I hope we'll both be celebrating our accomplishments at the end of 2016.

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    3. Janet, I used the Franklin planners for years. Then I started making my own. My problem with both of those was they were time based (appointments, meetings, deadlines, etc. My life is now "project driven" and time is not so critical. I like the idea of a log of check marks—low stress journaling!

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  4. Yes the word 'Begin' is full of hope. I need that in my life now, too. I'm am now wondering if I'd benefit from a more formal type of plan or log too... I have been feeling adrift with my goals for a few years, not being able to settle on concrete steps. I have grown in the general direction, but I do want to make more meaningful strides. Thanks for the encouragement Laure!

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    1. Not trying to push you into a planner, Katie, but I can hear myself saying almost those exact words! I am determined to have more to show at the end of 2016 and I think a planner is going to be a very helpful tool in getting me there. I'm also going to be exploring making it fun in upcoming posts.

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  5. I have signed up for No More Excuses Art Journaling the last couple of years which uses a planner to go through the year. It sort of served well but by the end of the year, both years, I found myself lagging and skipping and not doing a daily weather painting and little vignette for the day. It was too much. So this year, I again pulled out a new composition book and have penciled in Title page, Quotes, Projects, Table of Contents (thanks to the Bullet Journal process) and recipes to try. I can add more but this can organize my year by category and then I'll have a couple pages for each month to add other notes, little paintings and goings on. I'm hoping this will help me record my year and see that I have done more than just sit in my room and scroll through Facebook!

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    1. I like that idea, Timaree and I look forward to following your progress. Being able to add in what you like with a place for lots of creativity to play is bound to be fun! I liked some aspects of the NME program, but I'm too...easily distracted...to stick with a year long program.

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  6. I feel the same need you do for a planner, having used one back when my life was full of 'to dos' and appts. But I guess I'm just not smart enough to adapt to planner-dom without a 9-5 to wrap around it. I have half a dozen failed attempts laying around. Each time it boils down to me not knowing what to write, what to plan, etc. It's tough being retired :-)

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    1. Larry, you sound like a good candidate for a bullet journal! If you're interested, check out bulletjournal.com. It's a combination, customized to you of, to-do lists, sketchbook, notebook etc. I can tell you that my planner is really my goals broken down into step by step tasks and the pages allow me to keep track of what I'm accomplishing and what I'm not. I started with the big goal, and then broke it down into smaller doable tasks. After that I assigned a date to have it done by. We'll see how it works. As for retiring...congratulations, sir! Wish I could claim that too!

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