Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog. (This post was updated to reflect the current year planners)
It’s nearly 2012, and that means that I am in assess-and-plan mode. For the last three years, that has also meant using a tool that makes it a snap to see where I have been and where I am going. That tool is the 2013 Creating Your Goddess Year workbook and planner.
I’ve talked about it several times: I like using paper to plan. There is something about writing down the words which make them seem more concrete. And the act of writing slows me down to the point where I consider what I am saying.
There are many methods out there for planning your next year. But until I found the 2013 Creating Your IncredibleYear> workbook and planner, I had never found one that I could actually write in.
What The Planner/Workbook Gives You
This thing is crammed with great worksheets and information. Here are a few things that I found inside:
- A monthly calendar
- A look at the year past
- Creating affirmations for your new year
- Creating a list of things to do when everything sucks
- Art therapy techniques to help you work out what works in your schedule & what doesn’t
- Creative projects to help you dream bigger
- Deciding on a powerful theme for your year
- Making new year habits that sustain, nourish & inspire you
- Making goals in every part of your life
- How to make those goals actually happen & make your big dreams become true.
Why I Love This Planner
I’m a techie professionally, and that means lots of black and white, straight lines and boxes. This planner is filled with curves and colors. The whole things is jam-packed with whimsical art and it makes me feel creative.
I am encouraged to draw and scribble and dream on paper, in a way that is seldom allowed in my real job. This venture into art strikes a chord with the creative side of me, and allows me to step away from the world of logic and into the realm of possibility.
It is walking away from the straight lines that allows me to set goals. Without the freedom to be creative, I would not allow myself to have dreams I couldn’t see a clear path to.
The planner comes as a PDF file, so I can print it out and do as I wish. The first year I had an 8.5 x 11 planner. Last year I hooked it into a rollabind notebook. This year I’ve pasted the pages into a spiral notebook so I have room to add to the planner as the year goes by.
Seeking The High-Level View
This planner has been invaluable to me over the past few years. One of the stumbling blocks I have in making my dreams real is that I have trouble doing the high-level look at things. The 2013 Creating Your IncredibleYear workbook and planner takes all the pain out of that process and leads me through a journey of seeing what I did, and dreaming about where I am going.
The planner starts with a look back at the last year. It asks us to list out what we are proud of, what lessons I learned, and what came true for me.
It also asks me to look at transforming experiences, ones that may be centered around loss, but still had an impact on my growth.
The last part of looking back is creating a gratitude list. I find that making lists of things to be thankful for are an important tool to get out of a funky mood. I cease to be discontented when I look at all the things I have in my life.
Once the past year is examined, it is time to look forward. It starts with a permission slip: “This year I give myself permission to:”. What a freeing concept! This allows me to consider something I would not normally do. It functions the same way my writer’s license does, making me feel that I am expressing a part of me that needs to be out in the world.
One of my favorite parts of the planner is listing out 100 things to do during the year. This is not easy for me to do, but I find things I want to do more of, or to try, and I write them down. In the past two iterations of this planner, I have managed to do most of these things, even without considering the list on a daily basis.
From here we move on to dreams and goals, split up into the areas of financial, physical, business, creative, spiritual, social and personal. There is even a spot to write down things that you are not even sure are possible.
One of the sections of the book talks about making your list of habits. If you are familiar with Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits, this is based on the 12 Key Zen Habits. Leonie Dawson did a gorgeous poster of these, available for free at Key Zen Habits.
The planner builds on this concept and has you design the habits you want to implement to make yourself productive and peaceful.
Word of the Year
One of the things I have done even before finding these planners, is to decide on a theme to apply to a period of time. In the past it has included things like “sprout”, “bend”, “flow.” The planner has you think of a theme word as well. My theme for last year was “grow”, and a painting I made hangs above my desk as a daily reminder of this objective. I am looking forward to deciding on my word and creating another painting.
About Leonie Dawson and the Planner
Leonie Dawson is an exuberant Australian artist who shares her enthusiasm and art with the world in a large number of sharings and creations. I found her unexpectedly while researching decluttering methods, and was swept away in her warmth and colors. Her focus is on women and women’s circles.
The 2013 Creating Your IncredibleYear workbook and planner is full of her spirit and energy. And like most of her work, is aimed at women.
If you are looking for a hands-on approach to figuring out where you are going in the next year, give the 2013 Creating Your IncredibleYearworkbook and planner a chance. At $9.99 it is a small price to pay for creative dreaming and planning.