“Maybe paper planners can make me a better person?” I wondered after binging on planner YouTube videos, a mere 9 months ago. Since then I’ve used 7 different planners, purchased 6 sticker books, met more than 40 fabulous, planner ladies, went on one planner weekend retreat, and did my share of start and stop planning.
Not ready to nominate my planner for a Nobel Peace Prize (yet), but things are looking up.
1. Better Grace. I know “better grace” isn’t a real thing. But y’all. Some of my spreads have been cringe worthy. Some of them are blank. And you know what? Just turn the page.
This planner mantra has seeped into the rest of my life. Hurt someone with something I said? Apologize and turn the page. Nobody responded to a social media post? Turn the page. Didn’t meet the impossibly high standards I set myself at work? Make a plan to do better next time and Turn. The. Page.
I still worry about things, but I spend a lot less time these days berating myself for mistakes. As Martha Stewart would say, turning the page is a good thing.
2. Better Parenting. At night, I add a comment in my planner about a meaningful part of the day. Often my comments are about my daughter. Almost like a practice of gratitude, my meaningful comment helps me be on the lookout for positive things in my life and little moments of connection with the people that matter most to me. Not sure if I’m a better parent, but I certainly feel better about parenting.
3. Better Adulting. Not quite sure how I can be so awesome at work and so mediocre on the home-front. Now I look forward to getting my car oil appointment set up- cause I get to use a cute oil change sticker from Splendidly Imperfect. My calendar has an update on when to change the AC filter so it happens more often than once every two years. And last month I learned from Jamie Marquez Bratcher that you can use your planner to schedule when to use your gift cards. No more wasted gift cards!
Interestingly, adding cleaning tasks to my planner did not magically make my house clean. And jumping planners like a 7 year old at a trampoline park – has put a damper on long term tracking.
4. Better Integrity. My planner reminds me of who I am and who I am becoming. Tracking habits that bring a sense of peace into my life. Decorating with pretty stickers because they bring me joy. Reviewing my monthly calendar to see if I’m making enough time to connect with friends or working on projects that are important to me. Taking time to plan – because I’m worth it.
5. Better Stickers. Girrrrrrrl. For real. The stickers. Be picky. And enjoy those stickers!
How has planning impacted your life?