We are only two weeks into the New Year and I know everyone has some sort of resolution they wish to upkeep in 2017. Chances are, you probably won't meet a lot of your goals and that's OKAY. I think, at least personally, that most of us just want control over our life. For me - I have been able to feel somewhat in control by owning a planner that I use everyday. It helps me set daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. It allows me to map out what I need to do everyday and realize what is doable and what is not. I think a majority of us can relate to feeling out of control of our life and overwhelmed at the day to day things that we HAVE to do: paying bills, chores, schooling, working schedules, gym routines, doctor visits, errands, ect. It can make your brain feel like it's going to combust because just LIVING is crazy AF when it comes to remembering to do all of these "simple" things. The truth is - it can be hard and complicated to remember, without notating, to constantly do these things! I wanted to share how I cope with a part of my anxiety and also how I #adult by keeping a planner by my side 24/7. It sounds way easy but so many of us do not take advantage of this amazing thing that can help you take control of your life.
There are a lot of companies out there that charge $100+ dollars for a planner and to me, that is insane. I just can't justify a book that I'm going to write in and decorate to be more then $40. I've had a planner since the first grade thanks to attending Catholic school for my entire grade school and high school existence. It has been embedded in my everyday routine to write out what I need to do and when I need to do it - so for a lot of people they don't know how to do this. I thought I'd share a few key tips today to staying organized! I feel like if we put off really simple and even mundane things that it can pile on unnecessary stress in our lives.
BUY A PLANNER
Obviously the first step in getting your shit together is purchasing a planner! You can buy a LOT online, but I am pretty old fashioned and need to see the book physically before forking over the dough. I'm also a hipster in terms of not wanting to buy large brands for literally no reason at all - so I trekked to Michaels. They have coupons weekly that are 50%+ off an item - so it's truly amazing for ultimate savings! I landed on a generic brand planner from Michaels. It is the Recollections series that Micheals has. I decided on the purple and blue marble version because the design is very elegant and there are no cheesy sayings plastered on the front. I'm a fan of cheesy sayings, don't get me wrong, but I think they junk up things if not done properly. I prefer to keep it simple. My planner was originally $25 but with my coupon I got it for $8! SO WORTH IT. Sometimes you really shouldn't let brands dilute your common sense. The same planner is almost $50 through other companies. I will say there are tons of add ons you can purchase for this book - and those are super tempting and can add up. But I just sprung for the book itself. It comes with EVERYTHING I could need:
The front + back covers are a plastic material that allow you to write with a white board marker on them. I like that a lot. You could always paste a photo/stickers in there too!!
There is an "Important Contacts" section where you can add up to eight emergency or important people in your life.
It also has an "Important Dates" page in the beginning that allows you to list seven dates per month that are super imperative to your life! (Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, ect)
There is one entire page that is blank to write whatever you want. I'm using mine for Goals for the entire year.
Before each weekly page, there is a large calendar section for each month. It has spaces for each day to briefly write things like bills due, birthdays, weddings, vacations, events, ect. There is also a "Notes" section to the very right so you can maybe list off goals for that month or go more into detail about a specific day that is important.
There are a "Notes & Thoughts" section weekly and also a "Weekly Goals" block for you! (LOVE that touch)
At the end of each month there is one entire blank page to do with what you wish: Goals, Inspiration Board, ect
There's a Notes tab that you can do whatever you want in. I wrote more goals for myself for the year and will probably use the remainder for inspiration / brainstorming for Perfect Humans and kenNERDdy.
There are a few blank pieces of graphing paper and decorative paper at the back of the book too. I haven't decided what to do with these sections but I really enjoy they are available!
The planner comes with TONS of stickers for both decorating and labeling. Anything from "Vacation" to "Doctor Appointment" to "Happy Birthday!" and the *more* decorative stickers say "Love this!", "Plan like a boss", "Today is the day!", "Goal Met", "Don't Give Up", ect. I love that you can make this into a scrapbook to look back on. I've kept a few of my planners in the past so this makes it even better to reminisce.
This planner includes a double sided folder and pencil case built in so you can store loose documents, pens, wasabi tape, post its, highlighters, ect with you at all times!
USE YOUR PLANNER
This is the hardest part. REMEMBER to always have your planner with you. Keep it in your car if you don't carry a purse regularly. Find out a way to make it a habit but bring your planner with you EVERYWHERE. That is also why I got a medium sized planner as much as the larger size was more appealing for my OCD / controlling self - I knew I wouldn't want that with me all the time due to the bulkiness.
Each month - take fifteen minutes to map out your month. Write in your bills (Groceries, gas, savings and "fun" money included!), chores, doctor appointments, errands, work/school schedules, kid's schedules, ect! Don't be afraid to overdo it. Part of dealing with my anxiety is doing specific chores everyday and not forgetting to do them! I write in "Making bed, doing dishes, cleaning floors" ect on certain days so that I don't feel overwhelmed if I were to let that build up to a three hour event of cleaning rather then taking twenty minutes everyday to do little things. I also put in my gym time, any work meetings, ect! You may THINK you'll remember these easy tasks, but it is also just as easy to forget a few weeks down the road.
I think color coding helps an extreme amount. I have a highlighting system because even with having a planner -- I always overdo it with what I expect myself to do each day. So, bills are always in pink, chores/routines are in orange (work schedule, gym time, special events/concerts, ect), yellow means I HAVE to do that thing that day (deposit a check, make a call, ect), blue means that it's optional to complete that specific task on that day, and purple means whatever is highlighted has to do with my blog or Perfect Humans. Find your own system and implement it to the max!
Cross of your tasks, bills, ect listed above as you do them so you can feel proud of everything you do each and everyday. Did you pay rent, go to work and write a paper? CHECK THAT OFF and feel the accomplishment set in. Little things like that are taken for granted and you should feel good about yourself when you do those little "adult" things. It really helps me not take things for granted and remember to give myself a pat on the back when I normally wouldn't.
MAKE IT FUN AND CUTE
DECORATE your planner to make it something you enjoy writing in - use stickers, glitter, wasabi tape, highlighters, colored pens, ect to make it exciting for you. I know it sounds silly - but it helps.
USE YOUR PLANNER AS A DIARY / GOAL SETTER
Planners are NOT just for remembering to pay bills, go to work, hit up the gym, remember birthdays/special occasions. They are the perfect spot to write your thoughts, ideas and goals in too! I always write a weekly goal, monthly goal and a yearly goal(s) for myself. I also use my planner for brainstorming my passions: networking thoughts, promotional ideas and thoughts for pins and blog posts! I make it my hub for my entire life - not just the boring stuff.
You're going to forget to use your planner at times and that's okay. I sometimes forget and I've used a planner religiously for over two decades. Don't just toss it aside if you feel like you aren't using it "right". Honestly there is not correct way to use a planner - but it can help you take control of your life and tackle things you wish to accomplish! Stay focused and don't throw it all away in the trash if you forget to use it for a week. Continue to move forward and it'll be a habit for you in no time.
Those are the best tips for starting to use a planner. Take it from me - OCD/planning Princess. I think most people can benefit in some way from owning a planner - whether it's remembering to pay your bills, not forgetting important dates like events or birthdays or even mapping out how to make your dreams come true - we can all use a lil planner! Let me know how you use YOUR planner and #staynerdy! :)
PERFECT HUMANS' NEWS OF THE WEEK
Say hello to Perfect Humans' newest addition to the family: Valentine Axolotl. All she wants to do is give you a piece of her heart and be your forever Valentine! She will be available February 1st at www.perfecthumans.co.
TV SHOW OF THE WEEK
UMM WTF NETFLIX? Being a pretty gigantic ASOUE fan - I was nervous/excited/shitting myself for this release! Unlike most opinions, I enjoyed the smushed together-three in one film starring the fabulous Jim Carrey. I cannot stop watching this new series though! It lives up to the books to a TEE and is just..magnificent. I really enjoy the direction they chose because it truly captures the energy of the book series. I really want to reread the thirteen books sometime soon just because of this well done series. It is jam packed with a killer cast, the storyline is almost identical to the book series (for all of you people out there that are books to movie Nazis) and is just...lovely in all aspects. If you are looking for a binge sesh - look no more!
*~*HAPPY NEW YEAR*~*
*2017!* It's here, as you know. Here's me super sober at a NYE show in San Diego. I hope you all achieve what you're setting out to do and I'm sending positive stars your way!