Wednesday Wellness: Plan for Magic

Happy Mid-Week, Friends!  I started writing Wednesday Wellness because I noticed a lot of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my journey to wellness, complete with detours and lucky pennies along the way!

My friends, I started creative planning only a couple of weeks ago, and I have already noticed the magic.

I spent most of my life resisting planners and organizers, preferring the spontaneous creative INFP lifestyle.  But I did learn a few planning tricks in college and in grad school.  Then when I became a mom, I learned how mapping out the weekends got things done.  That’s how I came up with Plan, to Have Fun.

I discovered the crafty/ creative planning community and was delighted.  There are scores of stickers and embellishment products to add to the planner of your choice.  And there are MANY planners to choose from.  I use Leonie Dawson’s Shining Year.  People love their Passion Planners, Happy Planners, Erin Condren planners, Bloom, etc. You can get inexpensive versions at Target and Michaels.   Mochi Things has a nice undated planner that you can start using at any time.  I follow a few planners on instagram, and we post photos of our weekly spreads.  It’s inspiring.  I found a local group on Facebook, and signed up for a Loaded Envelope Swap.  I was so lucky to be partnered with a friend from high school, and we sent each other our #loadedenvelopes of #happymail: tabs, stickers, decorative paper clips and washi tape.

I  love the fun of adding stickers and embellishments, but that is not for everyone.   There’s great magic in just planning with pens! (Hello, Bullet-Journaling! #bu-jo) Writing itself, is a kind of magic.  I do think that organic handwriting is a bit more magical that electronic planning, but that’s me.  I rely on my smartphone for alerts, that’s for sure.  But I am excited to decorate my weekly planner!  I found a cute sticker for  keeping track of how much water I drink daily.  I found sticker kits on etsy with themes of Book Lover Girl, Office Girl, and Stargazer Girl.  I purchased some basic, functional stickers, and I still write with my trusty 4-color pen (pink, sky blue, purple, and  lime green) and gold calligraphy pen, as well.  This Mix Tape Washi Tape is the best, isn’t it? (See pic below.)

Here’s the thing.  Once I started planning creatively, the magic started to happen.  I was accomplishing my tasks and goals. I noted my gratefulness, and set intentions. Visually I could see that everything was possible. Not only that, but I saw that I had room for more.  Did you see that? Room for More.  Room for whatever I want.  Me time: read a book, write another book (!), listen to webinars, plan a vacation, follow more dreams.

During this time I also did some decluttering. I have resisted this forever, too, but once you start, it becomes easier.  I’ve decluttered at work, the kids’ rooms, my car*. (*in progress)  I have a ton yet to do at home, that’s for sure!  Don’t tell me about that Marie Kondo book, I tried reading it, but it didn’t work for me.  I keep things that give me joy.  The trouble is, that all of these things  bring me some amount of joy, or I wouldn’t have them!   Am I right?

I also started reviewing my finances.  I looked hard at what I can lessen or do without.  I  cancelled some monthly and annual subscription/ memberships and updated my credit card so that any auto-renewals won’t happen.  Are you ready for this?  So far, I am collecting over $250 in immediate refunds.  I have to decide about two more subscriptions. Maybe I can find something cheaper than McAfee, for example.  And Shutterfly’s ThisLife may be redundant now that we have Google Photos, right?  I stopped monthly drips to the tune of $173 a month.  Drip Drip Drip.  I decided to increase my 401k contributions, and since less take-home money is being taxed, I’m seeing an increase in my paychecks. Win-Win. (I am NOT a tax advisor- check with a professional if you are considering doing this.)

Here’s an example of my weekly spread before I start planning:blank_week

Here’s my current week:current_week

What magic can you start planning?

Do you use a planner?  Leave a comment and let us know!

 

 

 

Wednesday Wellness – Scheduled Maintenance

Hello Wednesday!

Today I lamented a bit, I admit, as I didn’t have a fresh, new wellness topic to share with you all.  I went on with my day and reviewed how I was doing so far.  I guess you could say it was a Maintenance day.

Today I paroused through my lovely Bloom calendar, which I’d neglected to complete for a bit.  At this point it becomes more of a journal of What I Did, vs. a plan of what To Do. That’s okay.  It gives me an opportunity to be grateful. I rather enjoyed writing “Finished Reading Harry Potter Book #4 with Dear Son!” because that was a special, memorable milestone in itself.

I also reviewed my personal finances. After last week’s money manifesting, reselling of items and canceling of subscriptions/ services, I now have to follow up with these companies- as I am not seeing the refunds credited to my accounts just yet.    (Item #10 from last week was: Claim What’s Mine!) And now I can go back to Half Price Books to trade in my Goblet of Fire cassettes for cash.

It was a good time to revisit my goals and set my intentions.  I want to review my mantras and uncover what I am really saying to myself.  What goals are left over from last year?   What can I do about them?  What new goals have found me?

I didn’t complete my Guam novel last year, but I did visit the island, made connections,  and developed more ideas.   I got a new idea for another creative nonfiction book: short stories with recipes (very do-able!).  Also, I flirted with writing a jukebox musical.  This one intimidates me, I admit, but honestly I have so many ideas here, it’s time to just do it.  (Hello, three day weekend!)  Something that I really enjoyed last year was an online course.  I love learning.  It’s like school, in the privacy of my own home, under a blanket! I am considering one or two courses that I can take in 2016.

I reached out to my friends and family.  Connecting is so important.  Chatting with my Bestie and my sister keeps me grounded.  Chatting with my new writer & reader friends is so fun and exciting.  I found a new Twitter thread to follow and even participate in.  I have identified a photo to contribute in a future Monochrome Madness photo call. I scheduled the next few guests for my Friday Friends series.

What can YOU do to make yourself more balanced?