6 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Goals Top of Mind

Keeping your goals top of mind in your every day life is so important in actually achieving them. It's the little steps, that you do every day, that help you get there. There is no such thing as over night success, instead, it's a long journey made up of every day moments. 

In this video, I've decorated a weekly spread in my Commit30 planner, a fantastic planner for tracking goals and keeping it top of mind.

In her book, Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin had this to say:

"...often, when we consider our actions, it's clear that any one instance of an action is almost meaningless; yet at the same time, the sum of those actions is very meaningful... True, any one visit to the gym is inconsequential, but the habit of going to the gym is invaluable."

To help you reach your goal, you must keep it close, keep it on your mind in your every day life, so that you build the habit of working towards it.

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Here are 6 tips to help you keep your goal top of mind:

1. Write it in Your Planner  Schedule in the actual steps, the ones that you can cross off. If you are like me, and are motivated by to-do lists, then if it's in your planner, you're more likely to get it done. Schedule it in the way that motivates you the most.

2. Make a Dashboard or Sign of some sort A pretty reminder everytime you open your planner or see the sign in your house. Pretty things motivate me, so give it a try!

3. Set a Daily Alarm on your Phone I have so many alarms on my phone it's embarrassing! Seriously, some of them are hard to explain when I'm away from home for the day or on vacation. If you want to declutter every day, set an alarm for a time when you know you can declutter and keep hitting snooze until you're done! If you want to go to bed earlier, set an alarm on your phone telling you it's time to get ready for bed.

4. Attach it to a Habit you've Already Established  There are things that you already do in the run of a day, that you probably don't even realise are habits anymore. Like brushing your teeth or locking your car. If you are trying to start something new, do it along side a well established habit. Trying to drink more water? Have a big glass full every time you brush your teeth. Want to stop losing your keys? As soon as you lock the car, they go in a bowl by the front door.

5. Set Reminders Around Your Home As simple as post it's to as sexy as lipstick on the mirror. Leave your self little notes so that you can't forget to do that thing you want to do!! It doesn't have to be a written reminder, setting out your gym clothes makes it a lot easier to get ready for a workout first thing in the morning, or the gym bag on the passenger seat acts as a reminder to hit the gym on the way home from work.

6. Give Yourself a Small Reward This could be any little thing that brings you pleasure, just make sure it's not counteractive, like giving yourself a cookie if you've worked out or buying a trinket if you are decluttering! If it's something that you do/have on a regular basis, anyway, something you won't be able to do/have unless you've completed your goal's task for the day, then it's similar to number 4, atttaching to an already established habit, but with a bonus! :D Maybe you buy yourself a new book if you've consistently gone to bed earlier for a whole week, or you check facebook while you are on the treadmill or after your workout, or your 10am cuppa can't happen until you've decluttered for 15 minutes. 

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Mind tricks help you remember long enough until the habit becomes better established, so try these and see which works best for you!

Happy Planning!


The Biggest Secret to Achieving Your Goals in 2017

2017 has not been too nice to me so far!

January-goal-FB   notice how nothing is checked off yet?

I’ve been knocked down and out with the flu. I haven’t been this sick in a long time, and I mean many years!  and even when I did get sick, it was alwyas a 24 or 48 hour thing. This time, it’s been the better part of the week now, and I’m only starting to feel a bit better today.

Now, I could look at this 2 ways, one, I could moan and complain about how I wanted to attack my new 2017 goals right from the starting gate and now everything is ruined.

OR… two, I could realise that set backs ARE GOING TO HAPPEN and that this is only normal. I need to learn to not only expect set backs but prepare for them. 

So I’m going to give myself a pass for the days that the flu has prevented me from making progress on my goals and just keep on going. My planner’s goal page may look exactly like it did when I first decorated it, and that’s okay, tomorrow is another day, hopefully without any aches, pains or alternating chills and fever and I can begin tomorrow. 

Here's a peek at how I decorated it:

 You don’t need a Jan 1 or a Monday or tomorrow to begin your goals. All you need is NOW.  

 If you’ve gotten off to a faulty start on your goals, don’t just give up! 

We tend to start off all gung ho, mostly biting off more than we can chew, so maybe it’s best to slow down, take a step back and see what is possible, do-able and go from there.  

If you resolved to go to the gym 5 times a week for 45 mins, but only made there once, ask yourself why. Is it because you haven’t done any exercise in the last few years, besides running to catch the bus or to the fridge during commercials?  Then, maybe start with walking for 20 mins instead and build yourself up, first.

If you resolved to declutter every day (like me) and haven’t stuck to it religiously so far. Think. Is it because the habit isn’t quite installed in your brain. Habits take a long time to build up, so it’s easy to forget to do a new habit. Find a trigger, set an alarm and give your self some grace. It will come with time and hard work.

If you resolved to get more sleep and are still burning the midnight oil, don’t beat yourself up. You need to find the reason why you aren’t sticking with it and go slowly. If you’ve been going to bed at 1 or 2 am for a long time, your body will not be geared down for sleep at 11pm and you’ll be wide awake. So slowly reset your clock, by going to bed 10 minutes earlier for a few nights, then subtract another 10 minutes for another few nights and so on until you are going to bed when you feel you should to get a good nights’s sleep.

 If you’ve resolved to do something else, but can’t seem to get moving toward your goal, ask yourself why, really dig deep and then once you know what is holding you back, make slow, steady progress towards that goal instead of jumping in with both feet then beating yourself up when you don’t meet the impossible standard you’ve set for yourself.

The bottom line and big secret here is this: start small, work steadily at it and don't give up!

What resolutions are you struggling with keeping? Post them in the comments if you are having trouble figuring our why or how to go slow and steady and we can help!

Good luck and HAPPY PLANNING!

 

 


Start the New Year off on the Right Foot with a Free Goal printable

How are you with resolutions? 

Do you set them on New Year's Eve with the best of intentions, only to completely forget about them by Jan 5th? 

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Yah, I used to be like that too, but now I've got a great system to keep me going all year long and actually accomplishing things from my list. 

I dream big, write it all down. I make huge enormous list and then take this big list and narrow it down to what I really want to do with my year and what is actually doable. I then make my plan and even if I don't follow it completely, I'm still way ahead of where I would have been if I simple made a short list of resolutions that I immediately forgot about. 

I've got a free printable for you to help brainstorm your list and make 2017 the year you keep your resolutions!

Click Here for the Prompt Printable

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Print it out and follow the prompts to really dream big and reach for the stars, then decide which dreams you want to come true this year.

Happy New Year and Happy Planning!


Wishing you a Very Molly Jolly Christmas

From my home to yours, we wish you the merriest of Christmases!

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Free Planner Printable to Keep You 'Calm and Bright' this Crazy Holiday Season

Are you hanging in there?
How are your Christmas plans coming along?

Plan

It really is hard to keep cool during the busy-ness of the holiday season. Us ladies are in full on action mode the second Halloween is over, getting ready for Christmas. We are buying, wrapping, crafting, baking, decorating, cooking, shopping, entertaining, packing, driving, cleaning, mailing and that is only what's on the to-do this for this morning! ;) 

So how are you really getting along with your Christmas preparations?

Are you stressed, or on top of things?

Would you like some help?

There is always sooo much to do and never enough time or help. However, it is possible to be able to enjoy the season at the same time.  If things are getting pretty hairy and your shoulders are permanently up around your ears, then try this. Stop... take a deep breathe and let those shoulders relax.

I've got a freebie here that will help you. 

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Put the kettle on, print it out and sit down with your favourite hot drink and fill it out. The questions will help you figure out your game plan so that these last days until Christmas will go much smoother and you'll be less stressed.  

Click Here to Get the Handout

If you need more help, check out my class at Big Picture Classes.

Happy Planning and enjoy your Christmas preparations!


7 Thoughtful Gifts You Can Make Tonight

Are you stuck for a gift for someone special on your list this Christmas?

How about a planner?

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Now, don't worry if they aren't even a planner girl, planners don't always need to be used just for planning!

Do you know someone who is getting married? Pregnant? Just had a baby?
What about someone who is moving? Renovating? Or going on vacation?
Maybe there is a teen on your list that just started High School. Or one who is in their last year of school.

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Here are 7 different gift ideas using a planner that you can create quickly:

  1. Wedding planner or memory keeper
  2. Pregnancy journal
  3. Baby's first year
  4. Home improvement planner
  5. Moving planner and memory keeper
  6. Vacation planner and memory keeper
  7. High School memory keeper

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Follow these 4 simple steps to make a gift planner tonight:

1. Your first step is to decide who is going to recieve the planner, and then decide what the purpose of the planner will be. You can chose from the list above or come up with your own ideas. Now, here comes the fun bit of this lesson! Let's go shopping for a planner! 

2. Decide on the types of pages that you will include in the planner. Do they need a calendar? Pages with spots for journalling? Pocket pages to add memorbilia and photos? Once you know what to add you can buy some or print some from the internet.

3. Time to doll up that planner and personalise it! Depending on the theme you've chosen, there are lots of things that you can add and decorate, including dividers, journaling and photos, lists of prompts, section topics, and ideas that, once the planner is in their hands, they can use to complete the planner.

4. This is my favourite step! Add lots of little fun goodies to make the planner extra special. Some ideas are: a package of sticky notes, a little bundle of stickers, washi, a pretty pen and planner clips. Use your imaginiation or add your favourite planner goodies.

That's it! Now, you've got a fantastic personalised gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list. If you want more help, more theme ideas for other people on your shopping list, pop on over HERE.  I've a got a new class at Big Picture Classes, called the Gift of Organisation, with lots more ideas and themes for using planners as gifts as well videos, handouts and instructions to help you create your planner.

Happy Planning!!

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My Secret to Achieving Anything You Want and a Freebie for You!

I often get compliments and questions about my brush lettering. I'm not a pro by any stretch of the imagination. There a lot of very talented ladies out there that can do magic with their writing. I do, however, feel like I am finally happy with my progress. It took a long time to get here, and a lot of practice.

I learned pretty much everything I know from Olivia from Random Olive

Practice-practice-practice

She has a fantastic Brush Letter Practice Guide that I practiced over and over, watching her on IG and periscope, practicing the tips she shared. 

Now, I am far from being an expert like Olivia. However, it simply comes down to learning the how-to, then PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE, as with anything that you want to improve. And I've gotten to the point where I've practiced enough that I am generally happy with what I'm creating. My kids love for me to write their names and their friends' names in my 'special writing'. Or course, I am still making mistakes and there is always room for improvement. With Olivia's help, though, I am proud of what I can do now.

Olivia has generously created an exclusive free printable traceable practice page for you with one of my very own quotes!

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Pop your name and email in the boxes below to get your very own copy to practice with.

 Print off as many as you like and practice practice, practice. Please tag me @caravincens and Olivia @randomolive on IG so we can see what you've done with it. 

These pratice sheets not only helped me improve my brush lettering, but having the letters to follow gave me confidence. I was able to nail the lettering a lot eaier than if I was winging it on a blank sheet of paper.

Orange-practice

After practicing with Olivia's sheets, I was able to tackle the blank page. I then scanned it, shrunk it down and made a dashboard from it :D

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What will you do will you do with yours?


Your Planning Made Easy with my 40% off Black Friday Sale

To many Americans the arrival of Thanksgiving means that Christmas is not far behind and it’s time to start preparing, NOW!  Things are getting real, people! Everyone is starting to get plan (read: panic!). 

Now, as a Canadian, I must say ‘Silly Americans, Thanksgiving was in October!!’  ;)

Planner-side

All joking aside, Christians around the world are starting to get ready for the holidays! It’s so much fun! but there is soooo much to do. 

Since it's Black Friday, I’m going to help you with your Christmas planning with a big fat sale!! 40% off to be exact!

I’ve got happy little hand drawn printable stickers to help decorate your planner. Three different sets. They will spruce up your pages, sprinkled in amongst the tasks and to-do’s, cheering you on and invoking the Christmas spirit.

Yummy-stickers

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There are also 3 designs of printable Christmas cards. I’ve done most of the work for you, you just print, sign and you are good to go! I’ve made it so easy for you!

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While you are there, don't forget the printable gift tags!

But, to make it a no brainer for you, I’m having a 40% off sale. Simply pop over to my Etsy shop and use the code: black40 and then have fun!

Happy Planning!!


My Dirty Little Christmas Secret

Let me tell you a secret.

I used to hate Christmas.

I really did.

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Long ago, I used to love it. I used to anticipate it every year and actually annoyed people with how jolly and excited I got. I had jingle bells everywhere, on my keys, on my coat, and I sang carols off-key where ever I went.

Then, I had my own family, and I wanted to do everything and make it sooo much fun for my children. I wanted to do ALL the traditions. I wanted to deck the halls, go skating, trim the tree, stuff the stockings, make my own decorations, do December Daily, make homemade gifts and bake every cookie possible! PHEW!

For so many years, I over loaded my plate and I ended up dreading all the things I needed to do.

My to-do list my was enemy.

Then, I tried to scale back, but I ended up omitting so many wonderful tradtitions. I did only the bare minimum and my house wasn't even decorated because it was all just so overwhelming and I was a grumpy Grinch! I was Mary Steenburgen in One Magic Christmas.

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Eventually, I did try to make an effort for my children, to make it wonderful for them. However, they ended up doing rushed crafts with a stressed out mama, or being plunked down in front of a Christmas movie, pleading with me come watch with them. Instead, I'd answer,  ‘no, Mama’s too busy, sweetie!' I'd over compensate with too many toys that they never did play with. I know they could feel my stress and resentment towards the holiday and that’s not what Christmas should be like.

Have you been there, done that, and bought the reindeer antlers?

Pockets

Stressful Decembers suck! Let's make it Merry and Bright again! If other women can learn from my experience, I'd love to help them ENJOY the Christmas season instead of simply surviving it. I want everyone to really celebrate the season, instead of only concentrating on getting it all done on time.

So over the last few years, I’ve changed things up, I’ve devised a system that is working for me. I’m deciding what is a priority, and what can be simplified, if not eliminated.

I'm that girl who annoys everyone with how much she loves Christmas again!

December

I made my to-do list, my friend. You know the fun friend who wears jingle bells at Christmas time, sneaks Bailey's into your coffees when your husbands aren't looking and not onlycomes over to help you wrap but brings treats and a fun holiday movie, too.

I re-discovered my joyful, childlike love of Christmas!

If you have struggled with getting everything done for Chirstmas, or even ended up like me, dreading it all, I'd love to help! I’ve put everything I've learned into a class for you, called Plan Your Christmas, so that you don’t have to take the long way round. You can simply plan a wonderful holiday season. 

In the class, you will learn:

•Ideas for putting the magic back in Christmas

•How to make a doable list, and how to check it twice

•How to plan each day, so that it is calm and joyous

•How to look at your Christmas tasks, activities, and obligations with excitement and joy instead of resentment and dread 

•Steps for achieving the mindset that Christmas doesn't have to be all have-tos and obligations

• Why it truly is important to decorate your Christmas planner

•How to decide what really matters to you and yours, to make Christmas merry and bright

•How to keep the "grinchy" feelings at bay as we get closer to the big day

•Tips and tricks to make sure next year will be even better

Come on over and have a look! If you have a Big Picture Classes Membership, then you canget started right away. If you don't ahve a membership already, you can start your free trial. It'll be long enough for you to finish my class!

PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS

See you there

Happy Planning

Christmas-to-do 


Plan your Planner Decorating! It's what we do!

I follow a formula each time I decorate my planner. Not having to reinvent the wheel every week makes it a lot easier on myself. Using different products makes sure that the result is different each and every time.

I walk you through my formula and decorating process in this video:

Feel free to copy my formula to make decorating easier for you, or simply use it as inspriation to create your own formula.

 

HAPPY PLANNING!!