Day 30 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge
First off, I want to say WHOHOOOO nice and loud because I did it! I wrote every day for thirty days! There was a hicouggh or two due to my host provider and one day when I was out of town and just couldn’t write. But otherwise…I did it. I wrote every day for thirty days! This is HUGE because I proved to myself that I could write every single day which is something I know writers need to do to improve their craft. I also proved to myself that I can be a blogger even while other things are happening in my life–such as wedding planning. This challenge was self imposed and I’m so glad I stuck with it and completed it.
Onto today’s post. I have decided to get into planners, which strikes me as strange because one of things that I used to hate about my job (I don’t hate it as much now) is how timetabled and structured it is, leaving me no flexibility in my hours or breaks. So I wanted none of that in my life outside of work.
Two years ago however, I found a day planner I really loved at Indigo. It had affirmations printed on every week, girl power stickers, and along with holidays printed on the calendar it had other national days like “sibling day” or “best friend day” and I found it very motivating and fun. I have been using that for two years, the first for 2018-2019, and then for 2019-2020–even with Covid, I recorded online staff meetings in there, my rabbit’s vet appointment etc and I also kind of use as memory book because I’ll write down things like “we went to the beach” or whatever in it.
And you know what using a planner taught me? Especially during Covid? It taught me that I need to start using my time more effectively. There are so many more things I can get done if I only I made better use of my time. And a lot of it would really benefit my self care and outlook on life.
A plethora of Planners
I have noticed in the past year or two that there are a lot of different planners and organizers out there. There are budget planners, mom planners, wellness planners, fitness planners, goal planners and that’s just to name a few. And although 2020 is far from done (though I know we all really want it to be) I decided it was time it get myself a new planner. Planners are usually 18 months and the one I currently am using goes up to December 2020 but I started using it back in September 2019 and I like to start fresh once school starts again. I’m a teacher and it’s a new school year, so that is why I archive my planner every September.
I found a really nice planner at Indigo again, although it’s a different brand from the one I have been using for the past two years. But it also has stickers (I just love stickers) and the layout is a bit more organized and soothing. Then, while I was at Michaels I stumbled upon two other planners I thought would help me zero in on specific areas of my life. The first one was a goal planner and I thought it would be perfect for my blogging goals and planning. The second is a wellness planner and I thought it would really help with documenting my self care and being mindful. I expect once I return to teaching kindergarten that I will need this. Especially this school year.
Using a Wellness Planner
There is no right or wrong way to use a wellness planner. The one I purchased has goals for the year, goals for the month, self challenges, pages to track your morning routine, habits and moods. It is kind of too much I think personally, because I already have a morning routine and a night routine and that part of my self care is healthy; however, this would be great for someone who is looking to get better at those things. I don’t intend to use that part but I do want to track habits, moods and set wellness goals. So I am not married to it’s layout and ideas. There are some pages I am going to skip.
The key thing with using a wellness planner is sticking to it and being honest. Take the time to really sit down and think about your goals. Is to lose weight? To develop better habits around how much you use social media? The planner then helps you comes up with a plan of action and acts as a reference point for you to go back and check. It’s a way (I think) to practice mindfulness because you do have to return to it daily to record things like your moods and habits.
In Summary …
To use a wellness planner, I recommend that you find a planner that suits you. If you are inspired by the layout, the patterns and kind of information you are tracking, then it’s likely a good planner for you. I also recommend that you are consistent and use it daily. Otherwise it’s not going to be useful to you and you won’t notice an improvement in your overall mental health or change in habits. Consider your goals seriously. What areas of your wellness are most important to you? What are you really trying to achieve? And remember too, that having a lot of goals isn’t necessarily better than having two or three. Sometimes goals are big and take time and effort to achieve so three might be enough. Re-evaluate your goals and plans monthly and make changes as needed. Not meeting that weight loss goal despite exercise and a healthy diet? Perhaps to help you meet you goal you might want to see the doctor and get some blood work done to rule out things like hypothyroidism or hormonal imbalances. Be kind to yourself. Habits take time to change, and improvements in self care is all about baby steps. Keep making those improvements and your overall health and wellness with improve.
Do you use planners? Let me know in the comments which are the most helpful.