Wednesday Wellness: Success Log

Greetings, Friends!

I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I noted how many of my creative friends struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my quest for wellness as I stumble along the way– literally!

Accidental Planner

If you are reading this you likely already know that I am sort of the Accidental Planner, as a creative spontaneous type I eschewed formal list-making and such, until I became a mom.  I happened upon the Planning Community only two years ago and it really has changed my life.  Now I enjoy planning!  There are so many creative tools available to personalize your planning experience.  There are so many etsy shops with creative and functional stickers. There are Facebook groups and instagram for sharing layouts and ideas. It has taken me a little while to get into the groove, but now I know how to really USE my planner- in a way that works for me.

good_vibes

Good Vibes

 

What Works for Me:

I use a vertical weekly planner with 3 sections and no time stamps.  I like to list and use color, and of course, sticker! This was working very well for my life and life/work management.  I wanted to keep work details separate, so I keep a work-only notebook on my desk.  I used to keep To Do lists, but I found that to be somewhat anxiety-producing, so now I keep a Success Log.

I keep a running list of what I do all day, as I do it. This allows me to feel more accomplished.  Instead of getting stressed about what I need to do, I feel satisfaction at having completed it.  At the end of the day, it looks like a To Do list, only it’s all Done.

success_log

Success Log

When I Stumble

Recently I took a bad fall and had to recover at home for a week.  My planner was a great tool for me during this time, as I had previously decorated it with inspiring stickers for the week. I also used some stickers that said “Over It” “Survived Today” and “Let myself rest.”   And my daily list became Reminders: Rest, Meds, Ice, Repeat.

got_ice

Got Ice

But What About Deadlines?

I do keep deadlines & priorities in the forefront of my mind by using the weekly sidebar on my life planner.  For my Success Log at work, I use a project management spiral notebook which has a blank sidebar, and numbered lines.  I also use the reminders feature in Outlook to keep my digital work calendar up to date.

Memory Keeper & Gratitude Journal

My life planner weekly spreads are so fun to create and decorate!  I often write in what we actually did, and even name the shows we watched and food we ate (or the amusement park rides we rode!).  It then becomes a memory keeper, which I can reference as I write in my separate Gratitude Journal. This is a good practice to keep staying positive.

Quotes of the Month

There is a blank page following the last week of each month in my planner.  I use this area to write funny or significant quotes that my family members say.  I found this was a really neat way to memory keep, as well.  Each member of my family has a different color for their events and quotes in my book.  My daughter is pink, and my son is orange.  So I can tell at a glance who said what.

How do YOU stay organized?

Please let us know in the comments!

Read about my Plan to Have Fun philosophy here.

Read about my 15 -year Historical Spreadsheet for Holiday Gift-Giving here.

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Wednesday Wellness: Planning Ahead for the Holidays and Gift-Giving

Happy Wednesday Wellness, Friends! I started writing about wellness as I noted that so many of my friends and creatives struggle with balance, as do I.  Join me on my wellness journey!

I haven’t always liked to plan. I’d been spontaneous all my life, until becoming a mom.  Then I started seeing the value of planning, researching and mapping out. I discovered the crafty stickering planning community. I still love the shiny sparkles of whatever whims, though, and the stickers really help!  (Read more about my planning here.) Yes, organized chaos is a too a thing.

I just dusted off my 12 year historical gift giving spreadsheet, as I do every September.  I review the prior year for completeness, copy and paste a new year, and clear the contents.  I also add any new recipients, and sadly, hide anyone necessary. I don’t actually delete anyone, I just hide the row.  I may need to check what I got beloved Aunt Barbara before she passed away, as it may be a good idea for somebody else in the future. I also study last years budget vs. spend.  If I spent less for somebody, maybe that’s my new budget.  If I spent more on somebody, maybe that’s my new budget!  My niece became a teen this year, so her new budget is now the same as her older brother.  See?

This is a gift-giving list, reference, and budget, all in one. My own family has a ton of birthdays September through January, so I track those here, too. Many times as my own children approached certain ages, I’d scroll back and look at what I got my godson when he turned 12, for instance. Or, where did I get that musical teapot that all two year old girls seem to love?  Scroll back- and I see the store and the price.  Have I already given so-and-so my favorite book?  Scroll back to that year I gave most everybody the same book… oh look, so-and-so wasn’t on my list yet at that time.   See what I mean? Super helpful.

Here is a snapshot of a clean year.  I started on Excel, but I moved it to Google Sheets last year.  (I blacked out my budget so that my dear family members won’t see what I’ve budgeted for them.) But you can see from this template what I’m doing.  Many of my family members have two entries for their two occasions.  So I start shopping in September, and spread my shopping budget over ten paychecks (through January).

Pro-Tip: Enter your spouse and children’s gifts in white font, so they won’t see it on the printout.

list

Nota Bene: Creative Gifts. Two years ago I made necklaces for my best friends and sweet cousins. So last year I made a different kind of necklace for them.  Earlier this year, my daughter and I made her a memory quilt using her favorite t shirts that she had outgrown.

quilt

We made this Memory Quilt together!

As my godson approaches college age, its something I’d consider doing for him.  But I may outsource such a big project.  This may change my budget.  Or, I may bookmark that for his Graduation. I’m learning how to knit, maybe I will knit scarves and give some out as gifts!  Oh hey, I WROTE A BOOK THIS YEAR! maybe I can give somebody on my list a copy of my book.   (Maybe I can afford to outsource that quilt after all.)

I hope you enjoyed learning about my planning tool.  Let me know if you try it this gift-giving season!

How do YOU organize your shopping?

 

 

Wellness Wednesday

Happy New Year, Friends!

This year I am managing my money better.  Manifesting Money and Letting Go of wasting money. Now that I’ve written it down and posted it here, I gotta be accountable!

Here’s what I’ve done so far.

  1. Posted new, unread books for sale on amazon.com marketplace
  2. Cancelled FasTrak (toll account) and am expecting refund
  3. Cancelling unread magazine subscriptions
  4. Signed on as a coach, now getting a 25% discount on my fave shakes
  5. Finished returning extra holiday gifts that I didn’t give out
  6. Finished returning holiday gifts received that didn’t work for me
  7. Shopping and dining with gift cards & credit received
  8. Traded DVDs and VHS tapes at the local record store for CASH
  9. Got just manicures instead of mani-pedi’s
  10. Followed up on gift card prize and deposited checks for music

If the books don’t resell on amazon quickly, I can either reduce my asking price, or just trade them in at the local Half Priced Books store. Now that I have seen how much money the DVDs brought in, I am very excited to go through my remaining DVDs again.  Honestly, I don’t use all my exercise DVD’s, I can totally trade in about 12 right there.

What are YOU doing?

Do you have any great tips to share? Please comment below!

 

Wednesday Wellness: Plan to Have Fun

Today for Wednesday Wellness I am writing about planning, that is, planning to have fun.  Despite being an extreme INFP (this means non-planner), I have found that taking the time to plan is invaluable.

I am an Administrative Assistant by day, and a Manager of a household of a family of four. I manage my executives’ expenses and calendars, as well as my family’s. When I map out my weekends, everybody has what they need and everybody gets to their activities on time.  Managing a household of a family of four people- each with divergent needs- presents its own challenges.  OH, and I’ve managed my Christmas/Birthday Shopping List by spreadsheet for um, 12 years now.  Hey, it works.

But sometimes I just want to not plan and relax.  Guess what, I have to plan to do so.  Like for my birthday, for instance.  There were no outstanding obligations, and then it rained (in California!  Wuhoo!), so I was delighted.  I planned to meet my besties for my annual birthday brunch, then I picked up a special light bulb for my new piano lamp (birthday gift from my husband and kids) and then I played piano in the afternoon.  For dinner we met up with my parents and my sister’s family to celebrate my own birthday, as well as my mother’s and father’s birthdays (yes, we all have out birthdays within 8 days, the week before Christmas!  My poor sister- the June baby- at least she has the month all to herself!) Then afterwards we headed over to the award winning Christmas Lights crazily lit house  in the next town.  Delightful Birthday.

I have a new planner by Bloom, which I love because it has some cool reflection pages.  Here’s how I am managing this week.

PTHF

PLAN, to have FUN!

Here at my day job, one of the six documents to be presented at this afternoon’s board subcommittee arrived late.  Four others had last minute revisions, some multiple revisions.  Good thing I planned to hang out on campus today, in case I was needed.

Now I can write a nice green check on my planner:  next to Write Blog Post.

How do YOU plan to have fun?