I Write Everything Down

In class, I've been talking with my students about S.M.A.R.T. goals and how to begin to implement real change in our lives. But it has got me thinking about the ways I set goals for myself. I write everything down. I know I'm not the only one on the planet who does this, but still... I live by lists and this is not always convenient...

A current but not exhaustive list of the things I keep lists of:

  • My Instagram numbers
  • My twitter numbers
  • My workouts
  • My daily goals
  • My appointments
  • My groceries
  • My blog ideas
  • Notes and plans for class
  • My budget
  • My art projects in progress
  • Birthdays and special occasions I can't forget

It's true. I keep lists of lists. The trouble with lists is, if they are written on post it notes they are usually lose-able. And, if they are written in pencil, they fade and smudge pretty quickly which renders them unreadable. And, as hard as I try to go totally paperless, and maybe this is a writer thing, I just can't go completely paperless. I love my iPhone. I tell my students this is the location of the left side of my brain. I keep all my contacts and major appointments in my phone. My phone tells me where my car is parked! I've even found a way to do my morning devotions and journaling in my phone with a really cool app called bear. It lets you organize by hashtags.


But, when it comes to lists, as they are the daily checklist of my life, the only thing that really works for me is taking time every morning and evening to hand write and color code with extra fine sharpies or flair pens, the events in my life and the stuff I just need to get done. I don't carry a paper calendar in my purse. But the lists persist. So I was at Michael's (big surprise, right?!) just before New Years when I found the Happy Planner calendar system with all sorts of cute accessories. It's like a sticker book and a calendar all in one sweet binder.


Does anyone else remember sticker books from the second grade?


So, here's what I do. On Sunday afternoon or evening I spend a little time deciding what I want the week ahead to look like. What needs to get done? I schedule my workouts and set goals for the blog. What do I want to accomplish? And, which stickers should I use?

Then, every morning after I spend time in prayer and journaling, I lose my calendar and fill in as much information as I can and look at the day ahead. Sometimes things need to be rearranged. That's life. My stickers and I have learned to be flexible. And every evening, I glance back through to see how I did. 

It's been about six weeks now and I feel like I'm finding a healthier balance between all my jobs. And I am keeping visible track of my goals in a way that is clear, colorful, and organically organized. What I mean is, it makes sense to me and it comes naturally.

I love looking at all the gorgeous bullet journaling layouts on Pinterest, but that system felt confusing and overly complicated to me. Really gorgeous, but it's just not a great fit for me right now. Hence the happy planner which, by the way, is available on amazon!

Disclaimer: I am an amazon affiliate.

This is Not the End,