Get the Look! 5 Planner Styles You Can Copy Today

Are there planner girls out there who knock your socks off every time they post? They have a certain style and way with their stickers that makes you swoon every time. I'm going to break down 5 different planner styles so that it'll make it easier for you to copy them in your own planner. 

Clusters-YT

No matter what the particular theme or colours a planner girl is using, everyone has their own unique style. 5 planners can be decorated in green with St Patrick's Day themed stickers and embellishments but they will look completely different depending on who made the spread. 

Here are 5 planner styles plus tips on how you can incorporate these styles into your own planner pages.

 

The Sticker Lover
These pages are covered with lots of little shaped stickers that reflect how the planner girls feels and what she has going that day.


Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 18.25.15Plannermania

To get this look:
It may seem easy to achieve this look, but once you start placing the stickers down, it may end up looking messy or like the dreaded sticker sneeze. The best ways to get your stickers to look good is to make sure they aren't floating all over the page. You can do this by clustering them together to look coherent or adding them to the very edge of the boxes (even over lapping the lines).

 

The Hand Lettered or Scripted Style

Lots of bullet journallers fall into this category as well as ladies like Jenny Penton who like to script out their day instead of following the boxes. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 18.46.10viacalligraphy

To get this look:
Practice practice preatice! Handlettering is so pretty, but it's not easy. Try writing a few lines every day to improve your lettering.

 

The Matchy-Matchy Kit 
On these pages they usually only use one kit and if not, anything else that has been pulled in will being in matching colours and theme.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 18.54.38yespleaseplanning


To get this look: 
Using one kit can be an easy way to get a great looking planner spread. The key is to not go too overboard and leave some white space (that doesn't have to be white).

 

Theme-y

These pages will be centred around a certain theme, usually a holiday or specific event. Here, it's an adorable rainbow and unicorn theme.

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 20.39.25MrsPlannerAddict

 

To get the look:
Use like colours and motifs when going 'theme-y' otherwise you can risk a hodge-podge-y feel. The unified colours and motifs will pull your theme together.

 

Clusters

For me these pages are quite like scrapbooking, and I think a lot of girls who decorate their planners like this have come from the scrapbooking world. Me included!!

Clustersby me!

To get the look:
Use variety in colour shape and size in your clusters to add interest. Plus, having 3 clusters of 3 different sizes and shapes on your spread will balance the spread.


Pop the kettle on and make yourself a nice hot drink and watch this video for an example on how I acheive this: 

I've got a treat for you, coming soon, stay tuned for a cluster cheat sheet! It'll help you make foolproof clusters on any of your paper crafts. Sign up in the tag below to make sure you don't miss out!


My Dirty Little Planner Secret

Before I tell you my little secret, I have a fun announcement! I'm back on the Hip Kit Club Design Team for another term! I'm so excited, their kits are my absolute favourite. Everything is perfect, the colours, the style, the products, I LOVE all of it. And the ladies on the team are all so awesome.

16999149_10155887897939778_1036142389736090113_nHere is the very first project I made for this new term:

Dashboard

Ok, now on to the juicy stuff!

Some people think I have it all toegether, and honestly, I do... for the most part... on a good day! :D However, I can't do it all. I have 6 children for crying out loud!

And so, I DON'T do it all.

If I want to have my cake and eat it too, I'm going to drop some of those katrillion plates that I have in the air. 

So, my secret? 

I abandon the plates before I even think about spinning them. I pass them on to someone else or drop it all together if it's at all possible. I keep it simple doing what needs to get done as well as things I want to add to my life, like planning!

When it comes to planning, I don't decorate everything! Actually, I barely decorate anything... I want my planner to make me smile, I also want to stay productive and actually cross off the tasks that I've written in my planner. So most days, I just don't decorate. 

When I do decorate, I really make it count. It's go big or go home! It's often things that will stay in my planner for a long time, like an insert cover or a dashboard, so that I see it every day, compared to daily pages or even a weekly spread that is seen once and then often forgotten. 

So what does my planner actually look like? 

Let's pull back the velvet curtain and have a look shall we?
eeep, so embarrassing!

Bare-bones-planner

Nothing glamourous here! Lots of scribbly scrabbly bits, but to me this means PROGRESSI love looking back through my planners and seeing things crossed off! It's such a great feeling to know that I've accomplished all those tasks. Little tasks that bring me closer to the big picture, the big dreams. I know that nothing happens over night and by crossing off one little task at a time I can get there in the end.

Ok, so back to the pretty eye candy ;)

Dashboard-close

Do you like the cutfile I created? I had a dashboard in mind when I came up with the idea.

February-cutfile

Here's my process video so you can follow along and make your own dashboard.

Design Team Badge
HAPPY PLANNING!


7 Steps to Create a Morning Routine that is Peaceful, Powerful and Perfect for YOU

Creating a Morning Routine can be TOUGH!!

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Having a morning routine has made my life run smoother and I'm happier in my day to day life. Gretchen Rubin writes in 'Better Than Before' her book on habits that she wants us create an :

"...everyday life in Utopia. Everyday life with deep, loving relationships and productive, satisfying work; everyday life with energy, health, and productivity; everyday life with fun, enthusiasm, and engagement, with as little regret, guilt, or anger as possible."

There are so many experts out there telling you to create a morning routine, which sounds a lot easier to do than it actually is. I've been there many times, creating and recreating my morning routine and now I'm here to help you create your own morning routine! And I have a free workbook to help you do it! It seems to be the biggest trend right now, there are lots of tips on what to include (meditating at 4:30 anyone? no? ok.), but not a lot of help in actually creating one that suits your unique life and how to implement it.

Most of those morning routines consist of getting up at 5:15, doing an hour of yoga, reading a spiritual book and then meditating. Now, I'm not knocking all of this stuff, I even do some of it myself, just not at 5:15 in the morning. The problem with this routine is that it would just not work for me! And it probably won't work for most of you. Most other people's routines won't work for me or anyone else. We must create our own morning routine that is as unique as we are.

The key is to create a routine that flows easily for you, that makes your life easier and to do the things you want to accomplish. The goal is not to try and cram as many things into the shortest period of time, you don't want to be a slave to a constaining, demanding schedule. It should serve you and make your day run smoothly.

Here's my rountine that I shared a few weeks ago. 

Morning-routine

I absolutely LOVE this routine, but I'm sure it would NOT work for everyone! Or even ANYone else. Heck, it may not even work for me in 6 months' time ;)

 

Let's create a personalised routine for you shall we?

Here are 7 steps to create your perfect MORNING ROUTINE. It doesn't matter if you work from home like me, or outside the home of if you don't work at all. These steps will work for everyone. We are going to set the first 3 hours of your morning so that you can get your day off on the right foot to make the rest of it run smoother.

  1. Look at what you are already doing in the mornings. We are going to start slow and work on the first 3 hours after waking up. If you have a rough base of a morning routine already, then feel free to build a longer rountine, but if you are starting from scratch, don't go over 3 hours. If there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to what you are doing in the morning that's ok! That's what we are going to fix!

  2. Analyse the good and the bad, in other words, what you want to keep and what you want to change. One thing I highly suggest is getting up at the same time everyday, even on the weekends (give or take an hour)!  It will set your internal clock and you'll get more consistent sleep and feel a lot better. My Dad doesn't need an alarm clock because he's gotten up at the same time everyday for years. I wake up at 5:45 on weekdays and about 6:30 on weekends. I honestly cannot sleep later unless we have been out really late the night before. You can get up at 9am or 4am, it's all up to you, but just make it consistent throughout the week and weekend.

  3. Make a list of the things you would like to do in the morning. Estimate the amount of time you need or would like to spend on each task. Some of the tasks will be things that need to get done and already take a certain set amount of time. ex: shower, breakfast dishes or the drive to work/school etc., so allot the time needed to finish those tasks.

  4. Look at this list realistically and compare it to what you are already doing and want to keep. (from step 2). How much of it is actually doable first thing in the morning? Can you tweak the timings so that it'll work? If you have to cross some things off of this list, it doesn't mean that you can't add it in a few months from now or that you can't do them later in the day. It just means that they don't fit into your morning routine right now. That's ok!

  5. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and write your tentative schedule. Leave some space to write in edits and tweaks as you live with this schedule.

  6. Live with the schedule for some time to see if it is working well for you, I suggest 3 weeks. Feel free to tweak and change things as you see whether they are working or not. Give yourself some grace in the beginning. It's hard to change old habits. Don't worry about sticking to the schedule to the minute, this isn't the military! However, if you find that you are always 15-20 minutes late for the next step, ask yourself why and maybe tweak the schedule.

  7. After you've been able to follow the schedule to a T, with no more tweaks, for about a week, then you are probably ready to set it in stone... or at least in your planner! D

Ok, that is a LOT to tackle right? Well, no worries!! I've got a free workbook that walks you through the steps!

Click Here to get your Morning Routine Workbook!

Here are a few extra tips and tricks!

*If you have children, I highly suggest that you wake up before them. There is nothing worse than a child with endless energy bounding into your bed to wake you up. You will be bleary eyed and still sleepy and his energy will be a dramatic contrast, making you cranky and reluctant to cater to his needs first thing in the morning. Instead if you are awake even 5 minutes before his arrival, then you are ready to meet him with love and kindness instead of dread and resistance. Ideally, I like to be up and dressed before I greet them, because then I'm fully awake and ready for hugs and cuddles.

*If you want to get up earlier on a regular basis, give yourself some grace, it may be hard to do at first. Make sure you are going to bed at a decent hour to get the sleep you need. If you are finding the shift difficlut then maybe setting the alarm 15 mins earlier each week until you reach your desired time might be a kinder way on your body.

*Remember that you are the boss, this routine is supposed to help you start your day off right. If you feel like you are a slave to your schedule, and that it's the routine that is ruling you, then that's a sign that something is not right and needs to be tweaked. Are you rushing to finish all the tasks in the allotted times? Then give more time for each one. 

 *As you learn to live with this new routine, give yourself grace and don't expect to be able to follow your routine every single day. There will always be exceptions, appointments, emergency calls, last minute costumes to finish, etc. This past week, for example, I had something come up every day and I wasn't once able to complete my routine, that's ok! I did what I could and next week my routine will still be there. The point is to be as consistant as possible to get your day started on the right foot. 

I told someone just the other day, that my whole day feels off if I don't get those first 3 hours of my morning routine done.

Remember that this routine can work well for you now but, life changes and evolves so don't feel like you need to stick to your routine longer than it is working for you. 

Download this worksheet right now, to help create a Morning Routine of your own!

 

Click Here to get your Morning Routine Workbook!

 

Here is an example of the Morning Routine worksheet filled out. This lady, let's call her Abigail, decided to try this method to come up with her own morning routine and this is her workbook:

MR-workbook

hmmm, she seems to have similar handwriting to mine and the same Cyberman mug as I do ;)

In this video, I walk through a blank version and then the one that's been filled out:

After a while your morning routine will become second nature and you'll simply do it without thinking.

Right now, the second  half of my morning routine is still pretty new to me, so I've got it listed in my planner reminding me to keep up with it. As you can see in my planner perfect planbook here, I remind myself each day to check it and crank it out. 

Morning-routine-PP

I've got a quick video walking through my thought process of decorating these pages (which you can also use to decorate your morning routine page or any planner page).

Or there is this video, where I decorate my morning routine.

You can also check out the blog post from a couple of weeks ago where I walk you through the evolution of my current morning routine:

2 Lessons I Learned from Being Jealous Over an Instagram Post

Once you are settled into the first 3 hours of your day, feel free to add to your morning routine. Then, you can move on to evening and afternoon routines. Don't be worried if these are different for each day depending of activities, just try for as much consistancy as you can. Let me know how you are getting along! Feel free to email me pix of your worksheets and routines at cara@thehootingpirate.com. You can also email me if you have any questions at all. If you post your Routines, please use the hastag #hootmorning on IG and tag me @caravincens. Can't wait to see what you come up with!


Where will you be in 2018? How to get where you want to be.

Let me tell you a story.

Bujo-cover

It's about two women, named Mandy and Eliza. They are the same age, each have 3 young children and work full time jobs. This past January, without knowing, they set themselves identical New Year's resolutions:

  1. Lose 20 lbs
  2. Redecorate the Living Room
  3. Sleep and eat better
  4. Knit and scrapbook more

 

Come February, this is their progress:

Mandy has set herself a plan for her resolutions. She know that life is busy so she's given herself some grace and decided slow and steady is better than nothing. She realised that 20lbs in a year is less than 2 lbs a month and if Rome wasn't built in a day then the living room redecorating could take a few months too. 

In January, she realised that she had a few too many brownies after school with her children as they recounted their day to her and decided to cut back.  She has made a Pinterest board of ideas for her living room make-over. She decided to go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night and so far it isn't happening most nights, but she has made it once or twice a week. She is also paying attention to where she is wasting time and where she can sneak in some crafting instead.

Eliza on the other hand has lost her list of resolutions. She started off the year by deciding that she would only eat salads. She lasted 3 days, and she was starving so she ate 3/4 of a pan of brownies, declared her diet a failure and now that she's eaten all those brownies feels like it's too late. She started browsing online for living room makeover ideas, but quickly got sidetracted down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. She thought to herself 'Oh I really should go back to the Living room ideas' but Buzzfeed quizzes were calling and instead she found out that she is Pheobe from Friends, Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and Miss Piggy.  Taking all these quizzes in her bed, she's stay up way too late... again! She clicks over to Facebook and writes a grumbling post, complaining that she's always tired.

 

March is in like a lion and Mandy is still chugging away at her goals, slowly, but steadily.

Mandy has started doing yoga for 20 minutes, twice a week, while her baby naps. She has found and ordered new light fixtures for her living room. She is consistently going to bed 15 minutes earlier, give or take a night here and there. She's able to do this by cutting back on Facebook and instead doubling up and watching one episode of The Crown on Netflix with her husband while knitting on the couch or scrapbooking on the nights he is away on business. 

Eliza on the other had has completely forgotten all about her resolutions.  She complains about her ugly, dated living room on Facebook and then scrolls through her feed many times a day watching cat videos and then posts again saying that she wishes she could find time to scrapbook. Then she stays up until 1am binge watching The Crown on Netflix.

 

By April Mandy has lost 3 lbs, has installed the new lights in her living room and added some new cushions and a pretty new tray. She is trying to go to bed another 15 minutes earlier and has knitted a hat for her daughter. Nevermind that it's too warm to wear it now, it turned out a bit big, so it'll be perfect for next fall and winter. She has also scrapbooked 4 pages.

Poor Eliza has gained 3 lbs, her sons were jumping on her couch and have ripped it, so she just turned the cushion over. On Instagram, she posted a photo of the new scrapbooking supplies she bought while late night online shopping early in the month, however they are still in a bag on the floor in the corner of her bedroom where she crafts. 

.......

These months will pass whether you plan them or not.

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."  -Earl Nightingale

Mandy went slow and didn't do things perfectly. It's not about perfection, it's about progress! Because of her commitment and planning, come December, Mandy will have made a big dent in her resolutions if she hasn't nailed them completely. She can then make new resolutions for 2018 while poor Eliza will repeat the same resolutions only to fail at them once again. 

Continuously failing at resolutions really eats away at our self esteem. A lot of people no longer set them, which I do find a lot healthier than setting random resolutions that feel more like fantasy then something that's actually do-able.  You don't need January 1 to set yourself some resolutions. Instead, set yourself a plan of action, make those resolutions into goals and chip away at them when you have the time and energy so that they will come true.

"What matters is to be moving in the right direction. There's a great satisfaction in knowing that we've made good use of our days, that we've lived up to oue expectations of ourselves." -Gretchen Rubin

If you want some help with your dreams, goals and resolutions check out my class at Big Picture Classes Plan Your Dreams. You’ll learn how to figure out what your goals actually are (big ones and small) and how to break them down into manageable steps. My tips and tricks will help you work these steps into your schedule and get you on the right track to achieving your dreams!

In this video I walk you through how I've decorated the insert where I put my dreams, goals and plans for 2017. This book stays in my traveller's notebook all year long and having a pretty book like this cheers me up everytime I open it and motivates me to open it often to review and plan. 

Don't forget to pop over to Plan Your Dreams if you want some guidance in making 2017 the year where you cross those resolutions of off your list!


2 Lessons I Learned from Being Jealous Over an Instagram Post

Jealousy is an ugly thing. I'm not a jealous person by nature. Really I'm not. I love my life and I'm not one to look at someone's else's purse with envy, or wish my home looked like the neighbours' or keep up with the Joneses and in any way. I know that I love the purse I have, it's pretty and the inside is organised the way I like it. I know my home is decorated in a style I love, even if it will rarely be tidy with 6 children at home.

I also know that when true feelings of jealousy crop up, it goes deeper than just wanting a new handbag.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 14.20.09photo by April Bowles Olin

So, when I saw this fantastic photo on Instagram that April from Blackburg Belle posted the week before last, I got a big wave of envy. I couldn't even bring myself to like the picture and instead I clicked my phone off in a huff, not even sure why I was feeling so crappy.

This photo stayed on my mind, though, and I realised I was jealous. So I went back to look at it and I asked myself what about it made me so jealous. I knew it wasn't the pretty handwriting or the awesome bullet journal because I like my pretty handwriting and my own bullet journal. I knew I wasn't jealous of April herself, even if she is pretty awesome! If we swtiched lives her dogs would suffer because I hate going for walks and I love ice cream too much to give up dairy ;)  There was something else that way bugging me, something bigger. 

I soon figured out that I was jealous of her schedule!

Not her specific schedule, but the fact that she had one that was so clear are organised. My own daily schedule had been getting realy fuzzy around the edges lately and I was already feeling out of sorts before I saw April's picture, it only brought everything to the surface. For the past few months, I've only been doing what needs to done, going from event to event, deadline to deadline. Putting out fires if you will. Prepping for Christmas takes soooo much time for me. Then, I got sick in January. Now that things are settling back into normal days, I have a lot less on my plate. Eventhough I have more time and lots that I'd like to do, I found that I wasn't actually accomplishing any thing at all.


Pencil-routine

I sat down last Saturday and really worked out what I wanted February to look like, what I wanted to accomplish and what I wanted to feel. And I set myself a new schedule... in pencil. I've been using that pencilled out schedule for the past week and a half to see if it was actually do-able. I did a little tweaking and I'm feeling pretty great about it now. I know that all of these things won't happen everyday, if I have an appointment or some other thing that needs doing I won't be able to stick to the schedule. and thanks OK!  Even in the few days that I've been following it, I've gotten a lot more accomplished than I imagined when I set out last weekend.

In this video, watch me as I decorate my morning schedule. I keep the style light and spacious to reflect the feeling of calm I want to have in my mornings. I also pull in a touch of April's style to remind me of her inspiration. I'll add it to my Traveller's Notebook to have on hand until it becomes second nature. 

Because I sat down and took the time to work it all out, my days run much smoother and my heart is grateful and no longer jealous. I LOVE that!

Morning-routine

So, what are those 2 lessons that I learned? 

Here they are:

  1. If you are jealous of something, ask yourself why. I'm sure there is a deeper reason than 'their purse is prettier'. If it is a handbag you are envying, for example, maybe it could be because money is tight for you right now and you'd like to be able to afford a new purse. If it's because their purse is small and minimal while yours is stocked full of diapers and toys, maybe you are just looking for a little break and an outing on your own where you won't need to take snacks and diapers. Knowing why you are jealous may not lead you to be able to fix your problems immediately. Maybe with a little work, you can improve it, like I did, maybe not. However, simply knowing what is deep in your heart can relieve that looming feeling and set your heart a bit at ease.

  2. If your schedule isn't working for you, even if 6 months ago it was completely perfect, set aside some time to figure out why it's not working. What's missing? What is too much, right now? And what do you really want your day to look and feel like? It's more than ok to tweak your schedule or change it completely. If you are starting with a fresh new schedule, know that it will take quite awhile for you to adjust to these new habits so give yourself some grace and some time.

 I've created a new post on the topic of schedules, the popular morning routine, in particular. Everyone says that you NEED a morning routine, and I'm here to help you figure out how to find one that works for you. No worries, there's no getting up at 5:15 for yoga and meditation if that's not your thing! And if it is, well, then, I've got you covered too! Pop on over to this post to not only learn how to create your own peaceful, yet powerful morning routine, but also to get a free workbook to help you along the way.

7 Steps to Create a Morning Routine that is Peaceful, Powerful and Perfect for YOU

Happy Planning!


Sting like a Bee, Plan like a Butterfly

I adore butterflies and always have.

ButterflyDB-FB

 My wedding dress has butterflies all over it and my signature is even a butterfly.  After I started dating the hot French exchange student at my university, he told me that most people in France had some sort of scribbly-scrabbly thing as their signature instead of writing out their full name. My cousin helped me combine my initials C.B. at the time to form a butterfly and then I added antennae to add a V. after I married that hot French exchange student.

Wedding-pix

See! I told you he was hot!!

Butterflies are elegant and graceful and inspire hope. They often represent beauty, femininity and transformation. Who doesn't like butterflies?

I really feel that butterflies are reflected in my style. I use them a lot in my designs but I feel that my style of organising and planning can also be compared to butterflies. Some people may see my method as a little bit scattered, I see it like a mass of butterflies taking off... there is beauty in my day when you look closely even if the whole seems turbulant and busy.

Even my personality could be compared to a butterfly, I'm a hopeful, glass half-full kind of girl who can be a little bit 'flighty' at times :D

Since I love butterflies so much, I try to make as many projects as I can using butterflies, like this 2 sided dashboard in the video tutorial below:

Another thing people think of when they think of butterflies is the transformation they go through in thier cocoon. They also represent change in 'the butterfly effect, which is the concept that small causes can have large effects. Initially, it was used with weather prediction but later the term became a metaphor used in and out of science.' Wikipedia

I like to think that we all have the ability to set off the same sort of ripple effect. That every little action we do can have a big effect.

Right now, I'm doing some big changes back stage, I'm revamping my Practically Perfect Planners course. I want it t be even better and more helpful for women to find a planner that truly works for them. If I have to transform the class completely I will. 

If you have anything that you would like to see in the class, please let me know in the comments. What are you looking for from a paper planner?

Happy Planning!


The Importance of Finding Your Reset Button

You've been having a bad day!

It's been an extremely rough morning. Absolutely everything seems to be going wrong and it just keeps on coming at you full force with no signs of stopping. First, your coffee machine broke and then you forgot to leave enough time to scrape the ice off of your car, so you are running late. Your were wearing your favourite scarf when you left the house, but it's somehow dissappeared. A dog ran out in front of your car, leaving you both startled and scared, the children have been fighting since they woke up and piece of ice just flew up from under the wheel of the car in front of you and it must have had a rock in it because now you have a chip in your windshield.  On their own, each of these incidents is pretty minor, but piled all toegther like this, they make for a crappy way to start your day!

If you are faced with a day like this, then your reaction to it all this can play a huge role in how the rest of your day will go. The more frustrated and upset you get, the more bad things seem to happen and the worse you are able to handle all the dificulties that are being thrown at you.

This is when you need a reset.

FebruaryFB

So how does this reset thing work exactly? Wouldn't it be great if there was a big friendly button (bonus points to the Whovians who catch that reference!) with the word RESET on it? Of course, we all know there isn't, but if you can figure out what works best for you to 'reset your day' then it can be almost as easy as that button.

You are going to need to figure out how to reset your day, week, month and maybe even your year. It's different for each of us and may even be different for you depending on what you are trying to reset, day, week etc.

Let me tell you how I tend to do my resets and then I'll give you some more ideas that you can explore to help discover your reset buttons.

If my morning is crap, and my little geeklings wake up too early and are climbing all over me while I'm trying to do my pilates and then refuse to eat breakfast and argue with each other instead, I can get incredibly grumpy and those are the days we end up rushing (running even) to catch the bus. Maybe my tea will spill and my computer will only spin that aggrevating coloured circle instead of load my video that I'd like to edit. So I decide to let it sit and go advance the laundry, only to find that I forgot to start it that morning because the little ones were distracting me. My blood starts to boil and I step on a lego. 

I'm definitely in need of a reset. In this case, I've tried changing gears from video editing to laundry, but that didn't work, so this is when I bring out the big guns. I need to step back and take a minute. I'll put the kettle on, make a big strong cup of tea (milk, no sugar) and grab a bite of chocolate (Côte D'Or... man, I love living in Europe!) and my phone and give myself an extra 15 minute Instagram break. Seeing all those pretty pictures and simply sitting down and resting for a minute usually changes my mood enough so that I can jump back in and things will go more smoothly. 

The key is to get out of the funk, to reset your mood and that will then reset your day.

Some funks will be harder to turn around than others.

This past month, I got the flu. Usually I bounce back after a few days when I get sick, but not this time. It was 3 weeks before I really got any energy back and was no longer taking 2 hour naps and going to bed at 9:30. That first day (last Monday) I felt like I had super-human energy, when really I was barely back to normal levels. I told my friend I felt that I could run a marathon, scrub the house with a toothbrush and then conquer the world!  In this case, I rode that energy wave and the stuff I got done on Monday motivated me to keep going the rest of the week. I could have just as easily said to myself 'there's only a few days left of the month, maybe I should just wait and reset on February 1' but I didn't because I know myself and if I did that, I would fall deeper into my funk and would do nothing for the rest of the month and then come Feb. 1, I'd barely accomplish half of what I set out to do or even half of what I did last Monday because I would have got myself into the habit of under accomplishment.

I'm also going to pretend that February 1 is the beginning of the year and I'm going to spend the next few days filling up my planner with my goals for the year. This is my process video as I decorate my February monthly spread.

 

Can you relate to these scenarios? Are you someone who needs to reset by powering through? Or taking a nap? 

There are lots of different ways that you can hit your reset button, but you need to find what will change your mood and therefore change your day, week, month. Here are some ideas:

Call a happy, glass half full, friend.
Spend 15 mins (or an entire afternoon if need be)  crafting, reading, or doing whatever hobby makes you happy.
Take a nap.

Go for a walk.
Pet a cat or dog.
Play with your children/grandchildren.
Go on a date night.
Clean something, I like to scrub my kitchen to within an inch of it's life.
Declutter something.
Go for coffee with a friend, or if you are an introvert like me, go through the Tim's drive thru and take it home).
Take a break and check Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest (with a time limit).
Make your favourite tea and light a candle (Have you seen the candles with rings inside? My new obsession!)
Do a tough workout.
Or go easy on yourself and do some nice stretches.
Take some photos of your favourite things around your house, neighbourhood, town. This helps to really notice and appreciate these things.
Listen to your favourite music.
Have a dance party for one, or many!

This is only a start. What makes you happy, what can turn your mood around? Let us know in the comments, because it could help turn someone else's mood around and reset their day too.

Happy Planning!


Find out if you are Planning the Correct Way?

Is there a right way to plan? Of course there is! But you may be surprised at what the correct way actually is!

Tassel-FB

First, let me ask you this: 

Why do you plan?

Is it because playing with your planner and stickers makes you happy?

Is it because you love to be organised? Or need to be organised?

Is it because you love to collect planners?

Is to keep your children's activities straight?

Is it because of the planner community?

Is it because you get a little 'me time' out of your busy schedule to just play?

Is it a mix of all the above?

If you answered YES to any (or all) of these questions, then you are planning the correct way!

There is NO wrong way to plan. Sorry if I scared you there for a minute, I'm such a brat ;)

There are no rules and no one is keeping score. If you are happy with your planning then you are doing it right.

Planning has so many benefits. Maybe what works for you and makes you happy doesn't appeal to other planner girls and that's ok. Planning should relax you and it should be enjoyable.

*If you plan solely because you love buying the latest and greatest planner, that's fantastic.

*If your planner is free of stickers and colour and it's minimal, clean look makes you completely giddy because you keep on top of your schedule and are organised, that's fantastic too!

*If your planning lies somewhere in the middle of these two extremes and you are happy with it, then that's fantastic too!

As long as your type of planning makes you happy then keep on enjoying this fabulous hobby!

If there are things that don't exactly make you happy in your planning routine, things that you would like to improve upon, I have a bunch of fun classes that will help you.

 

If you are just beginning to plan, and find it completely overwhelming and just don't know where to start then try my Planner Newbie Cheat Sheet, it's FREE!:

Planner Newbie Cheat Sheet

or my Planner Noob class:

I'm a Planner Noob. Now What?

 

If you'd like to up your decorating game as well as get organised then check out my Planning Class

Planning Made Pretty Yet Practical

If you are looking to add a bit of fun and interest to your planner, check out my tutorials and technique classes:

Planner Clips

and 

my FREE Take Along Memory Keeper class

and my YOUTUBE channel has a tonne of fun tutorials, including this one:

YouTube channel

 

And if you are ready to reach for the stars and make your wildest dreams come true, then join me in my Plan Your Dreams class:

Plan Your Dreams

I walk you step by step, from the dreaming all the way through the action step so that you are on your way to the life of your dreams!

Let me know in the comments which class you've taken and enjoyed, or let me know what class that you'd like to see.

HAPPY PLANNING!

 

 


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.

Jan-16-weekly

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. 

Bow

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!