I’m breaking away from my Mindful Living posts as I felt a strong urge to write this. As most of you know, I’ve been using a Filofax Pocket Malden as my main planner since January 2016. I may have added a companion notebook to the mix now and then, but have never switched out the planner itself since then. Oh, I’ve thought about it – many, many times. mainly because, from time to time, I craved a bit more room. Others like to do so to keep things fresh, change up with the seasons or simply as a way to give the number of planners in their collection equal time. Or maybe all those delicious planner accounts you religiously follow hypnotize you into thinking it’s time for a change out of plain ol’ boredom. But, as what kept me from switching, is the change worth the cost of retaining consistency?
If you read my post detailing my 2017 Plan For Mindful Living, I listed four areas of my life I wanted to concentrate on cultivating and growing in a simplified, yet meaningful way: Home, Health, Family, Personal. I stated I would dedicate posts detailing how I would aim to achieve these goals. Today, I’m going to concentrate on Home.
There is a popular regime known as The Miracle Morning which encourages individuals to establish a morning routine that would result in a more productive day. When I had first read about it a year ago, I loved the concept and even decided to take it for a spin by starting my morning off with the the recommended S.A.V.E.R.S (silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, read, scribe) Although I’m a firm believer in a morning routine, I had found it difficult incorporating steps that I didn’t feel would have an impact on the remainder of my day. And, I have to admit, I felt a bit silly reciting how great my day was going to be or how awesome I’m going to be at work – lol! But that’s just me. I realized I was more comfortable with a routine that consisted of steps I designed which fell in line with my plan for mindful living as well as my personal and professional schedule.
Although morning-time is the launch site for my day’s journey, I knew I wouldn’t be able to cram in what I aspire to accomplish before leaving for the office at 7:30 a.m. So rather than follow an established ‘miracle morning’, I reflected upon what I needed to have a Meaningful Day.
Hello and Happy February!
I hope everyone’s first month of the new year was a successful one as January ushers in the springboard to jump starting new beginnings, goals, intentions, aspirations – whatever it is you call them. For me, as a bookkeeper, January is synonymous with deadlines, working weekends, following up with clients, purchasing, filling out and filing forms and all that stuff I won’t bore you any more with 🙂
During my year end crunch, I enjoyed time away from social media (mainly posting on Instagram as I rarely check Facebook and have deactivated my Twitter account I barely look at) as well as set boundaries for my phone. I wanted as few distractions as possible in order to focus on not just my work, but to use my disconnect time to figure out what was important to me for this new year and make a solid plan for it. I’m opting out from making individual month-by-month goals as I don’t want to feel bound to specifics within a certain time frame, but rather wanted to map out an all-encompassing plan for me to live by. It had to be something not only realistically doable, but mindful. I wanted to chart a course for 2017 where everything I intended for the main areas of my life was going to enrich my personal growth, add to my purpose, bless me and my family, give me fulfillment and – most of all – provide me with memories and experiences that will never fade.
So, with that in mind, I give you The Weekend Wife’s:
I hate to sound so cliché, but can you believe how fast this year has flown?
I still remember writing this post about taking a break between Christmas 2015 and Jan 31st, 2016 which resulted in some serious reflection about how I wanted this past year to go. My goal for 2016 was to make it a more mindful one. Specifically, I didn’t want another year to fly by without being able to recollect anything meaningful I had done. In the past, I had consumed myself with work, deadlines and ‘have to dos’ that I rarely took the time to really pause and think about a specific moment that meant something to me. I had decided to adopt basic and simple approaches to various areas of my life and ‘cutting out the fat’ that did nothing but suck up my time and added absolutely no value. I made a conscious effort to document my days, not just with tasks, appointments and cleaning schedules, but to take time either throughout the day or before bed time to reflect on anything that had happened of note and record it either in my planner or journal.
As I sit here writing this, I have in front of me a full set of my completely filled 2016 planner inserts, journal and notebook I had used throughout the year. After perusing through them all, a smile spread across my face as things I would’ve most like had forgotten at this point were quickly brought back to mind. Some good, some not so good – but that’s okay. Life is a mixed bag. Even looking back on frustrating and stressful moments, I’ve learned to find the hidden gems within, the test of my ability to muddle through and handle them. It showed me how much more I’m made of.
Okay, enough babble. Here are some highlights of The Weekend Wife’s 2016! (warning – LOTS of links and photos ahead!)
As 2016 came to a close, I already knew I had wanted to make 2017 more meaningful. Stripping down to the basics, minimizing distractions, simplifying processes and ridding home and mind of clutter became crucial components to my plan for mindful living. But I also wanted it to be purposeful, to find joy in even the small things, to capture moments in my personal, household and family life that I could recall in an instant. Although I have a separate journal when I want to get into deeper detail, I found my daily planner becoming a wonderful substitute for logging brief tidbits about my day. In between the tasks, errands, and appointments, I would sometimes log a little blurb that reflected something other than my schedule.
Chilly nights and mornings have officially begun to seep into the northeast with daylight savings time getting dark by 4:30 p.m.! My journey towards being pro-active about my health and well-being (which you can read about here) has now reached a point of adjustment to account for the inconveniences of fall and winter. One is to find creative ways to incorporate my cardio indoors – since I’m not equipped to power walk/run on the main road in the dark! The other is to review my food journal over the past few months to see if I can spot any repetitive patterns that, if adhered to, might put me into a plateau. This led me to some extensive research about ‘flexible dieting’ or ‘macro tracking’ which is not just about the number of calories you consume, but where they are derived from. The macronutrients.
By now most of you know that I had downsized to a Filofax Pocket Malden at the beginning of the year and am still going strong. I even went one step further trying to turn it into my ‘one focused tool’ by eliminating using a companion notebook along with it. In order to accomplish this, I had to do a little re-arranging as well as play around with inserts and plain paper to get it to take up the dual-job of planner and capture tool. While doing so, I had designed some custom inserts in Excel – one of them being a yearly calendar. I had never used one before as I never had use for it, not to mention it didn’t offer enough room to enter any information. And in a pocket size, that room was cut in half!
Enter video from Kent From Oz (at 1:49) where he shows this very style calendar he made so I cannot take credit for the layout’s original idea, but I did make an attempt to re-create it. It nicely fits 3 months on each side with ample room in each box. I haven’t yet figured out what to use it for, but maybe by the new year I’ll figure something out! However, for all you pocket planner peeps who may want to give this a whirl, I’m offering it here
Just click on the link below which opens up a Microsoft Excel document with two tabs across the bottom – one for the front side, one for the back (you change the months to whatever start date you wish) The placement of the paper once you print the front side depends upon what type of printer you have. If you have a laser/ink-jet style printer, it usually pulls the paper from the try to print on the opposite side, so after the front side prints, insert it back into your printer ‘printed side up’ so that it prints on the opposite side. I printed mine off my office copier that prints on the top side of the paper when it pulls so you may have to do a test print or two. The second tab for the back side is laid out so that the lines and boxes line up with those on the front (after way too much time fiddling around with the settings!) as well as leaving enough of a margin for hole punching without cutting into the calendar it self.
On June 1st, 2016 – the day before my 54th birthday – I made the same decision which I had pretty much been making every year around this time. And that was to lose the extra 15-20 pounds I had been carrying around on my frame. And with diabetes being the hereditary culprit that sunk it’s claws into my grandparents, parents, sister and brother (almost), I didn’t want to begin the count-down as to when I was going to be it’s next victim.
No…..not going to happen.