It's already the 11th of January. Seeing that date probably hurts a little bit. You've probably already missed a couple days of working out or tracking that new habit you wanted to create. You've probably already had a few days you aren't proud of - I know I have. Of the 11 days we've had so far this year, I think I'm happy with five of them - I'm stretching that fifth one.
That's less than half. There have been times where I feel like this year has been a wash and I feel stupid for thinking this year was the year everything was going to be different. Then, I put on my stubborn a** hat and tell myself this year IS going to be the year everything is going to be different. I don't care what happens, what I have to do, or how unpleasant it may be, I REFUSE to let this year end the same as last.
The Game Plan
It helps to get a game plan together to know HOW exactly what I need to do to move forward in life. I have somewhat of a game plan worked out, but I am still tweaking it. I'm sharing it here in hopes it will give you a starting point, but you have to make it your own to make it really work for you.
I start with a physical planner - I'm currently using a Vertical Weekly layout from the Recollections line at Michael's. In this planner, I keep track of my budget, debt we've paid off, birthdays, sinking funds, my goals (yearly, monthly, and weekly), my weekly tasks, our meal plan and grocery list, any trips we have for the month, errands I need to run, and reviews for each month. It's my main planner.
I have another planner - this is the Hardbound Erin Condren Vertical Weekly Life Planner I purchased from TJ Maxx for a steal! This is my business planner. In here, I keep track of clients, deadlines, pitches I send, follow ups I need to do, my editorial calendar for my blog and two YouTube channels, as well as any trips or meetings I have. I also schedule out my reading progress and goals here. I mostly use the monthly portion of this planner, I haven't quite figured out how to use the weekly portion yet.
I use my Google Calendar to send appointment invites and get on the same page with my fiance. It also helps me because I can put all of the important deadlines or dates I have scheduled in my planner into here and I get notification reminders. This helps keep me on track for times when I don't have my planner with me - which is rare, or it's time sensitive.
My project management software is also incredibly important to me. Currently, I'm in the middle of Trello and Asana. I have most of my business and life set up in Trello (if you want to learn more about it, click here), but I am liking just having a running list in Asana. I think I decided to use both and only use Asana for the brain dump, while Trello is for more of a workflow and informational history use.
All of these are just tools in the grand scheme of things. They are what get me started and moving forward. Game plans are your friend. This weekend, I am going to sit down and make a plan as to what I am going to tackle first, then next, and so on. I will write down what I want to accomplish this year. Here are some reminders for you and for me to keep our perspectives in check while we go through this process:
You will never have it all together and that’s okay.
You won’t be anywhere near close to perfect and that’s good!
You will always feel behind and need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and take action.
Instagram is fake and you should glare at it in suspicion at all times.
Where you are right now and what you’re doing is perfect for your life.
God has it handled.
I am working on focusing on a certain area of my life each month. January is all about getting my non-negotiable tasks completed and establishing some consistency in my life. I'll write a post later about my non-negotiable tasks - keep an eye out for that! February is all about decluttering my life digitally. This means doing a Inbox Zero Challenge, going through my Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive accounts. It also means going through all of my social media accounts and deleting/unsubscribing from everything I don't want in my life.
March is going to be focused on decluttering my physical environment. From getting rid of things, like maybe some notebooks (yeah, right) to trashing paperwork no longer needed to reorganizing my house, I want to feel energized and calm in my home and car. Deep cleaning carpets, hiring cleaners to deep clean behind appliances, making space in my home for good feelings and happiness.
There are a ton of possibilities to make this year great. My word for Quarter 1 of 2018 is Action. I refuse to let the fact that it's already the 11th of January throw me off and ruin my entire year. It's still the first month - we have eleven more!
Take it month by month and set deadlines for yourself. It will really help you feel like you’re on top of things and can take on anything. If you’re having trouble figuring out what you want to focus on, check out the list I have below:
Social Media Accounts
Blog Posts .
Your URL’s and Links in Posts
There are literally too many to count. I know looking at that list can seem overwhelming, but look at it this way - if you pick three and start with that, you will feel and be more focused and productive than you ever have been by March.
A tale of caution - if you’re going to take the time to get everything organized and go through all of it, then set up a system to take care of it so you never have to go through this again. I don’t want you to have to circle back around to organize your Evernote or Dropbox or anything next year. Sure, you’re going to have to update your system from time to time, but make one so you never have to spend a working day - or five - sorting it out again.
What are you focusing on this month?