Anyone who has known me knows that I love myself a good planner. I can’t help it, Capricorn/Virgo, yo. I’ve tried a lot of them, Erin Condren is awesome, as is the Best Self Journal which also tracks habits you wish to form. For the past couple of years, I sadly resigned myself to keeping an electronic calendar because my job demanded it.  I still kept a journal and wrote in it more or less daily, but I missed that nice orderly row of boxes with room for positive affirmations, a pretty to do list and a place to jot down what I was grateful for.

So I decided to get another planner, a hard copy planner that would encourage my desire for a holistic life. Because I have done so much at home work (And now days, who doesn’t/), I have always jotted down fold the laundry next to interview anecdotal source or finish essay for history next to write 2000 words for WIP. When I was going to school and working and writing, it would all go on the same weekly list and then get broken down into daily lists. I was an advocate of life work balance before it even had a name.

I am also not a do a little bit everyday kind of person. I like doing my gardening/yardwork or housework in two to three-hour slots. Not only do I feel like it makes more of an impact that way, but I like focusing on task for an extended period of time…which is one of the reasons writing 500 words a day is so difficult for me. I like a three-hour chunk in my day to write no matter how many words I get.

With 2020 being such a topsy-turvy screwed up mess, I felt the need to return to a hard planner that encompasses my whole life. I’ll still use the electronic calendar to keep my work appointments in order and frankly, my manager requires it as I work mostly remote now. But for the first time in three years, I found myself looking to buy a planner.

Friends of mine have used Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner for years. Her planners are like a combination scheduler, life designer, gratitude journal… oh, everything all together. Kind of like me. Kind of like you. The premise is to identify your core desired feelings first, then identify the actions that make you feel those things. The outcome is pretty powerful. And yes, that’s a lot of woo for one planner.

One good friend started using it and within three or four years her life is completely different. She left her very repressive church, started working out, getting outdoors, went back to school to get a degree in the medical field, divorced her husband, and came out as bisexual. Now, obviously, the planner didn’t do all of those things and I’m sure that much of what she went through was brutally hard. But it started with her being honest with herself about how she wanted to feel.

We have one life, people. (Or maybe many, but right now, this is the one we are in.)

I’m not looking for huge life changes. I’m really pretty happy with the life I have—the work I have been given and the people I am connected with—but I am looking to grow and I think this planner will help me do that for the next year.  And I just love planners. Like I told my daughter, my core desired feeling is to feel the way I do when a shiny new planner comes in the mail!