I love planning and organization like puppies love cuddling or like, as 50 Cent once said, a fat kid loves cake. Since it’s January and 2018 is upon us I figured now would be a good time to unload my love for organization and goal setting.
I love having something physical to look at that organizes my various schedules: work, gym, and fun stuff. For the past four years I’ve been using a Filofax planner (the Domino personal size) religiously to keep all my thoughts, bits of inspiration, deadlines, and plans organized. Kikki.K has a ton of beautiful planners on their website and the Happiness Planner is one I really like as well, but ever since watching New York Minute years back and seeing Ashley Olsen’s Filofax in the movie I knew this was the right one for me.
I have four sections in my planner: agenda (a week per two pages so I can see everything I have going on in a given week); finances (a week per page to log where I’ve spent my money–this makes paying off my credit card bill each week a breeze); notes (random bits of information); booklist (all the books I read in a given year–I have a ‘to read’ list in my phone as well, but on my booklist I record the books I’ve actually read).
In my agenda section I organize everything by colour:
- Pink: life things. Plans with friends, errands I need to run, birthdays, etc.
- Purple: work and what time I’ve gotta be in to make that cash money. For people who have a regular work schedule this won’t make sense, but my shifts vary from week-to-week and bright purple always keeps my work schedule at the forefront.
- Blue: gym schedule. I recently started working at a gym and part of my benefits are a free membership to use the gym and access to the classes. I won’t say much about where I work other than it’s a great gym and the classes are phenomenal so I’ve started to schedule three to four classes a week, usually some sort of yoga that pairs well with my regular workouts.
- Green: blog. Reminders to either plan or write blog posts and keep my little web space updated.
One of my ‘personal initiatives’ for 2018 was to set up a ‘Three Weekly Focuses’ each week so that I could pay a little more attention to three goals each week.
In the photo above you’ll see that my focuses for that week were: 1. Blog, 2. Read Death and Co. (a book about bartending to increase my product knowledge at work) and, 3. See a ballet or theatre show (I’ve really wanted to get integrated in the art culture of Toronto and I think it’s also important to think about what your hobbies are, especially if it’s something you haven’t really sat down and thought about before). For this week my three focuses are: 1. Blog (I haven’t created nearly as much content as I would like to since moving but now that I’m in a regular routine I want to carve out time to write and create), 2. Gym classes (start attending gym classes and integrate a regular yoga routine in addition to my regular gym routine) and 3. Finish Death and Co.
Intentionally working towards three small goals help create a certain focus each week and keeps me motivated about my routine. I also find that since creating three weekly focuses I feel less lost or uncertain about what I’m doing or what I’m working towards. If I also find that I have some extra time in a given day I can refer back to my little list and go from there.
Not only is organization important, but having an aesthetic planner that I get inspired by and want to use is key too. When I first got my planner and once afterwards I spent some time creating little collages on the dividers. I love being able to flip through my planner and get inspired by the fashion and design among the separators. I’m a strong believer that if something looks nice, you’re much more likely to want it and use it. Hence why soccer moms buy beautiful activewear–although actually using whatever you’ve bought is another story and relies on your determination to accomplish something. I get excites about my little pink planner, and if you’re thinking about buying a planner too I suggest investing in something nice that you’re going to want to carry around with you and record all your commitments, goals, and deadlines in.
I’ve also created a front page full of inspirational quotes that I’ve come across throughout the years. When I’m having a bad day or feeling out of it it’s nice to refer back to this page and read quotes that really resonate with me and how I want to present myself. I keep this right at the front so I can see them on a regular basis and be reminded of what drives me. These quotes also help keep my grounded, not only in myself, but also the person I want to be. Being present and in tune with yourself is so important in being content with yourself and your surroundings, but also being in tune with how you want to present yourself and the person you want to be tomorrow and in five years is crucial too.
Creating a list of goals that I can refer back to on a daily basis helps keep me incredibly motivated. A few days into the new year I sat cozied up in my bed and created a list of personal, professional, and blog goals. I personally hate the feeling of stagnation or the feeling that I’m not moving towards anything, be it in a personal or professional sense. Having a clear list of things that I want to move towards and a list of skills I want to develop is extremely helpful in staying motivated but also knowing that there are skills I can develop and goals I can work towards in my current professional roles. It’s easy to get frustrated if you feel like you’re in a dead-end job or you’re not loving what you do, but you also play a strong hand in creating opportunities for yourself and in any job there’s room to learn new skills or develop yourself both personally and professionally. Really sitting down and thinking about what your goals are and how to want to achieve them is essential in getting to a point where you feel like you’re moving forward and accomplishing something.
How do you organize your time and your life? Do you use a different sort of planner that you love as much as I love my Filofax? Share your planner love below!