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!

 

 


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? 

Mindmap

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!

Molly-christmas Molly-card


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. 

Handout-pic

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?

Planner-stack

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.

3-planners

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

    Stack-top

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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