Do you have lists upon lists on Post-its® and the backs of envelopes? Project ideas, shopping lists, and spur-of-the-moment ideas that don't have a place in your day-to-day planner?
I used to, and they were cluttering up my kitchen counter, falling on the floor and generally just getting on my nerves! These scraps of paper needed a HOME!
I've got a fabulous solution for you to give your homeless but important things a home - and you'll get creative doing it! I've got a new class coming soon to Big Picture Classes called Creative Lists for Planners where I share how I created space for my lists and found a way to express my creativity, experiment with new ideas, and capture and preserve the memories of my everyday life at the same time - and how you can too!
I'll guide you through setting up your own list book, ideas of topics to list or track, techniques for making it your own with your favourite supplies, and tips for keeping it going and keeping it fun! Add a little more organisation and craftiness to your otherwise boring lists with Creative Lists for Planners!
This class will be available next Monday, but in the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed these little sneak peeks. As well, I've got a video for you with a quick project to get you ready for class. It's a little pocket folder where you can collect those bits of paper until class begins! See you on Monday!
Stay tuned! To make sure that you don't miss a thing and to get a notification when the class goes live, simply add you email in the green tag below:
THIS is always the step I skip. It's not fun for me so I'm reluctant to do it, and I put it off, or avoid it altogether. However, when I do make the effort and do it, I'm always really glad that I did.
What in the heck am I even talking about!?
REVIEWING your Successes!
I've mentioned before how important reviewing your progress is, especially for a recurring event like Christmas.But, just because I think that something is important, doesn't mean that I have to like it!It's like eating kale, just plug your noes and do it.
Today, I'm going to talk about reviewing your progress as you work towards your goals, big and small. Looking back and reviewing how far you've come can do wonders for your self-esteem.
You get the LOOK AT WHAT I DID! sense of accomplishment.Often times we almost forget what we've already done until we stumble across it some how. A photo of your cousin's newborn baby (who is now 12) wrapped in the blanket you knit for him, or a folded poster from your High School's production of the Romeo and Juliet when you played the nurse. Those female roles were really hard to come by in Shakespeare's plays! Or maybe it's looking through last year's planner and realising you have quite the knack for decorating.
If we don't look back, it's easy to forget about all the things you've accomplished. Instead you end up focusing on how much you have left to do and how far behind you are towards your current goal. Quit doing that! Instead, celebrate how far you've come, celebrate the small, even the tiny wins and successes!
In this video I decorate a spread in my Wonder Woman planner from Paper House. I've designated this planner as my place to celebrate my wins and accomplishments. After all we don't need to fell a church tower single handedly to be a wonder woman.
Looking back at what you've done so far also shows you that you are actually making progress. Without a reference of a finished project or goal, it can be difficult to see your progress. Reviewing allows you to see how far you've come towards your goal. Take my reading goal for 2018, I want to read 52 books, one for each week. If I look at my April books so far, I'm at ZERO! I haven't finished one book yet this month! And that's because I'm currently reading the 6th book in the Outlander series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes and this thing is 1157 pages long! However, I am almost 2/3 of the way through it. That's about the same as 2 average sized books.
not one orange square for all of April
Now, if I was to only look at the fact that I haven't finished any books in April, I may get discouraged, but if I look at how far I've come in the book and if I look at my count for January through March (19 books!), I can see that I've made great progress towards this year's reading goal. Sometimes there are parts of your progress that will just take a bit more time and effort.
All this celebration of you and your accomplishments really reves up the old self esteem and that in turn motivates you to keep going. It lights a fire under you and you end up doing better work going forward.
Reviewing can also hit you where it hurts, it is not always sunshine and rainbows, a big part of the reason I dislike reviewing so much is that I don't like rehashing and reliving my mistake and where I've been lacking. BUT this is extremely helpful beccause you can take what you learn and apply it going forward.
Maybe you learn that you really can't read a book a week and adjust your goal down to 26 books and come December you'll be able to celebrate a win instead of being disappointed with yourself.
Or like me, you may realise that 10000 steps a day too much. For May, I'm going to reduce that down to 8000 so that I can celebrate that win a bit more often. Adjustments are not failures, they are setting you up for a win and the resulting motivation to keep going.
You can do some course adjustments if you review as you make your progess toward a project or a goal. If you wait until the end of the process it may be too late. By catching it early you may nip a big mistake or wrong turn in the bud.
I recently came across my very first 100 dreams list from five years ago. If you've taken my Plan Your Dreams class either at Big Picture Classes or in person at PlannerCon Europe, you know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, in my class I stress the importance of dreaming big and writing down 100 dreams so that you can flesh out the really good dreams after you written down the 'should dreams' and the 'supposed to's'.
It was so fun to read through what my 5-year-ago self had on her heart. Honestly, I was a bit surprised by how many things I have already accomplished from that list. So of course, I counted and I could cross off 22 out of 91. (Yes, 91... I apparently didn't even make it to 100! Oops!) Twenty-two!That's a LOT of action and goals met in 5 years!
There were only a few (5 or 6) that were no longer big dreams of mine (I really don't want a pink Vespa anymore), other dreams have changed slightly and a big chunk of the rest, though I can't yet cross them off, I've made progress towards.
Last week, I went to Scotland! Eeeeeeee, it was a trip of a lifetime and I will definitely go back some day. I'll move there if at all possible. 'VISIT SCOTLAND' was on my list 5 years ago, it was number 58. When, I taught Plan Your Dreams at PlannerCon in October, it was on my list I created for that class, though it had moved up to number 8. I talked about this dream in class, I don't dream of going to New York city, like many people. I don't feel like I 'should' go to New York just because that's what everyone dreams. Not me! The thought of all those tall buildings and crowded streets gives me the heebie jeebies. My dream was the wide open spaces of the Scottish Highands and it was just as amazing as I had dreamed.
Dreaming really is the first and most important step in goal setting. And it's my favourite step too! How can you set a goal when you don't even know what you really want? Writing out 100 dreams truly does reveal the big juicy ones, the ones that you were put on Earth to accomplish and share with the rest of us! Have a go at it, see if you can come up with 100 dreams and then pick one that gets you the most excited and set a goal to make that dream come true.
If you've already made a list of 100, pick a new dream off of your list. If you'd like some inspiration to come up with your 100 dreams or if you are looking for more information on goal setting, check out my class Plan Your Dreams at Big Picture classes and if you are looking for a great planner to not only house your dream list but also to help you break down your goal and really make it come true check out my latest YouTube video, my review of The Freedom Mastery Law of Attraction planner.
Use LOA15OFF for 15% any purchase. There's a free, printable version when you sign up here. This is my affiliate link.
I'm sure at one time when you've been in a rut, you've googled how to get motivated and have come up with the usual list of things that people will tell you to do. If you have googled it, you probably got things like; put on some upbeat music (which I admit is my favourite go to for motivation), make a vision board or create a rewards system. These are fantastic ideas but sometimes you may need a bit more of a push. Especially if you've used these methods before.
I've got 5 different ways for you to light that fire under your bottom to get moving, either towards your goals are just to get a dreaded task crossed off of your to-do list:
1. Spring Clean Your Studio or Crafty Space I used to think cleaning, instead of getting right into tackling my to-do list, was just procrastination. Lately, I've been noticing that other creatives are cleaning before they create and I realised that every time I clean my space, I'm very motivated afterwards and jump right in and get crafty. So, it really is a double win, you get a tidy studio plus the extra motivation. I've got a great video tour of my Craft Room here to give you some inspiration to tidy.
2. Pop in to Social Media Yes, yes, I know! Social media is the best way to procrastinate and to get completely unmotivated! It's also a great resource for accountibility. By letting everyone know what you plan to do, you will feel a big pull to get it done before someone comes asking you about your progress. As long as you aren't scrolling for hours, social media can be a great motivational tool. You could do a series of Stories on Instgram, Facebook or Snapchat reporting in on your progress. This could be a daily gym selfie, a snap of the day's progress on your painting or an hourly report of your closet decluttering. The possibilities are endless.
3. Look Back at Your Progress We are usually so fixed on what we have to do, the things left on our to-do list and all the tasks that didn't get done today, that we rarely take the time to look back and really look at how far we've come. Take a minute today to look at the progress that you have made towards your goals, celebrate the goals that you have achieved and be proud of yourself. Scroll back through your own older Facebook or Instagram photos to see what you've accomplished, I bet that you will find projects that you've forgotten that you've completed.
4. Go for a Run (or Brisk Walk) Outside Exercise is known to release tension and stress and it will put you in a good mood. Make sure you skip the treadmill and get outside, even if it's cold or raining. Nature clears your brain and stimulates your mind and creativity. You will come back refreshed and motivated to work. Fresh air does a world of good, especially these days when most of us spend so much time in front of a screen.
5. Pretend it's Spring Right now it's supposed to be springtime in the northern hemisphere. Flowers are supposed to be blooming, the birds are supposed to be singing. This year however, a lot of places seem to be stuck in winter, there may be some daffodils and birds, but snow and bitter temperatures are right along with them. If you are in the southern hemisphere or reading this at another time of the year you can follow this tip as well. Spring is incredibly motivating, everything out of doors seems to be very busy, growing and recharging after a long winter. Some natural instinct in us picks up on all this activity and we get to work as well. It's one of the reasons we spring clean. If it is not Spring-like where you are, do your best to make it seem like spring. You can buy some flowers (tulips or daffodils are perfect if they are available), have some birdsong playing from YouTube, or I'm sure there's an app for that. And of course, you can decorate your planner for spring, like I did in the video below. Be sure to use lots of butterflies and flowers! I love these stickers by Paper House.
To set up a new planner with success, you have to have just the right amount of the things you want (like that pretty new sticker kit your favourite Etsy seller just released) balanced with what you need (like lots of pockets and a loop for your favourite pen).
It may not be an easy task, but I'll be the first one to admit that it's a FUN task! And you won't know if you've got it right until you try it out for a while.
My advice?Give it your best shot! Take all the things you really want to put in, the pretty stickers, clips and dashboards, and then add in all the things that you will need to stay organised. The worse case scenario is that it doesn't work for you and you get to set it up all over again ;)
Watch these two videos to see how I set up two very different planners to work for me. You'll be sure to find ideas that will work for you.
PS. I'm travelling in Scotland this week, so if you'd like a look at Scottish culture, a bit of Harry Potter, a bit of Outlander (including my Outlander planner) and a lot of a very excited planner girl (that's me!) then follow along in my InstaStories on Instagram.