I've been loving my course: Soul Garden, which is about planning your life through art. Our teacher, Suzi Blu, leads us through a process of goal setting for each month. Although I'm a pretty goal oriented person, until I started this process, I didn't realise how much I wasn't doing about things that are important to me! I don't do this process monthly, but rather make plans for each block of time that I am home between tours. Here's my plan for this block, between my last tour and when I head overseas to New Zealand:
On the right is a calender where I mark events and any jobs that need to be done on a particular day. On the left I have a master list each for general jobs, admin, garden and art. I add to these as I think of things I want to do in this block, and when I'm making my daily to do lists, I check these master lists and pick items off them to include. I've also got a section for my exercise goals - I colour in each circle as I achieve them. Eg each time I go for a swim, I colour in one of the circles, and my goal is five swims in this block. I've got a similar section for foods I want to cook, and for some of my art goals. Top left, I added a little green swirly tab, so that I can easily find this page. Just having my goals so clearly set out like this, with little spots to tick them off, is making it much more likely that I actually achieve them.
Every night, I spend 10-15 minutes creating a page in my planner. I've made myself some sticky labels (printed at officeworks onto label paper), that have my artwork on them, and a space for me to write down what I've eaten (I'm tracking my food at the moment and need a detailed record), and space for to do lists. Here's my page for 8th Sept:
All the elements on this page are sticky labels that I printed in advance, and then I handwrote on top the items relevant to the day.
With the to do list, I choose a new sticky label for tomorrow, create a list of tomorrow's tasks based on my master lists and items I didn't get done today, and then I keep it handy through the day, for quick reference and to tick things off as I go. When I go shopping, the list is in my pocket. At the end of the day, I stick it down into my journal.
Sometimes I draw in dolls, or stick down affirmations and patterned papers:
I don't prepare my pages in advance, because some days I want the freedom to write a lot and fill a few pages, other times I just want a page or even only half a page, to record my day. The pre-printed labels make it very quick to do a page if I'm tired or short of time.
I've also been including pockets on some pages. Here you can see where I created a pocket and included cards relating to my trip to Brisbane for Brisbane Writers' Festival. I created a food plan for my family, and on the back of the card was a shopping list of the things we'd need to buy when we arrived. I had another card as a packing list. The great thing about the card is that they can easily be taken out, for the shopping trip, or stuck on the fridge at the hotel, and then returned to the journal for safekeeping in between.
Overall I'm finding this process very enjoyable, and I'm definitely moving forward with my goals in a way that I wasn't before. The process of identifying what I needed to do to make my life better and take charge of everything, and then breaking it down into small steps and creating a planner page based on that, has been fantastic. Also I love my journal - the colours, the artworks, the pretty things. It makes me WANT to stay on track!