Earlier this week we had Ashley Shelly Trotier on the podcast to talk about her planners and how she built a business around how to “Create Your Best Days”. One of the features or pages from her planner that I absolutely LOVE is her creative spread. This two page worksheet shows up for every single month and to be honest, I LOVE the concept and idea behind it.
Taking Time to Create
So many times we set ourselves up for failure by trying to focus on too many things at one time. It causes us to burn out, become frustrated and ultimately fail. Worse yet, we become so consumed with our work life and responsibilities that we forget to take time for ourselves and CREATE. Alyce Keegan from Kit and Clowder first talked about it during her podcast interview, to set aside a few minutes each day to just color and create. In the Creative Spread that Ashley has in her planners, there is a space for you to write down what your creative focus is for the month. Not the day or the week, but the month. Which means, you have all month long to find some time to do what you love without the pressure.
Remove the Negativity
Seven years ago, I was going through an extremely ugly breakup with a full on violent stalker. It was during this time, that I realized I controlled what I allowed into my life; the good, the bad and the ugly.
I realized I controlled what I allowed into my life.
I sat down at my desk and proceeded to write a very long list of people in my life that had a negative and ugly impact on myself and my children. Not only were these people bringing unneeded drama into my life, I was allowing it to happen and it was affecting me, my kids and my life. When I finished, I went through and scratched each name off the list. If they called or sent me a text, I ignored them. I didn’t respond, I didn’t engage, I simply let them lay fallow. In time, the text messages stopped and they went quietly from my life.
When I saw the “Say NO to negativity and distractions” in Ashley’s planner, it reminded me of my personal list of negativity and it made me want to jump with glee. Talk about adding power to your life. Having that prompt to remind you to get rid of the negativity can be life saving. Even if it is as simple as unfollowing or unfriending someone on Facebook, not accepting the calls from the soul suckers in your life or saying no to spending time with people who bring you down and make you angry. Take control of your happiness by eliminating them from your life. You control your own happiness and you have the power to make the decision to “create your best days”.
More Than Just a Planner
During our planner focus for the month, I have discovered that planners are more than just glorified calendars. I have always used one, but they have always been something to keep the sanity of my life firmly in-check. But as I have listened to the stories from our guests, planners have become so much more. They help to give you a sense of accomplishment, pride, security, an outlet for creativity. Planners act as our own personal time machine where we can look back and see the changes and growth we have made throughout our life. They keep us focused on what is important and when we find that perfect planner, it acts as an extension of ourselves. When used, our planners hold us accountable for our tasks and allow us to maintain a balance between life, work and play.
Finding the Right Planner for You
Just like with anything in life, no two planners are the same and what works for me, may not work for you. Before you go and spend bagillians of dollars on a new planner and accessories, ask yourself what you WANT and NEED from your planner. Remember, this planner needs to work FOR you, not the other way around.
- What size do you need it to be?
- What do you plan on using it for; work, home, bills, kids, business, all of the above?
- What features would you like for it to have?
- Do you want to have space to decorate or do you want a full on traditional planner?
- Would you prefer monthly, weekly or daily?
If you are using the planner for everything in your life, you may need to go with a larger size planner, whereas, if you carry your planner with you everywhere you go, you may want to opt for an A5 size. For those of you who like to decorate, make sure you pick up a planner that has heavy paper that will be able to handle the stickers, stamps and washi tape.
If you are having a hard time deciding on a planner that will work best for your needs, be sure and check out our Planner Series Podcast. Not only do we go over the different styles and uses, but we have some fabulous resources to help you find the perfect planner for your lifestyle.
You can also find out more about Ashley Shelly on our podcast as well as her website.
Until next time,