This post is sponsored by Corie Clark / Purposeful Planner, but all opinions are my own. This post also includes affiliate links.
Let me first refer you back to this post, where I state it pretty clearly: I am not naturally a planner. I don’t like to think through questions and details. It all leaves me with a sense of overwhelm. Why not just wing it, you know? Things will get done eventually.
Recently, though, my “winging it” hasn’t been cutting it. More often than not, I found myself answering my husband, “I forgot,” when he would follow up about something he’d asked me to do. Our house was in disarray, and I found myself more stressed than usual, plus always pressed for time.
When we went to our church conference, something really clicked. Without prompting, I chose to attend a class on calm in a busy world, knowing full well they would talk about scheduling. God definitely puts things on our hearts for a reason.
Today I’m sharing with you my planning makeover. Not everything has changed, but I would say life has gone from random to purposeful in a lot of ways in the two weeks since the conference.
My decision to change came from the realization that I tend not to plan out of my own laziness and selfishness. That’s not everyone’s problem when it comes to planning, but it was for me. Planning isn’t easy – it takes time and effort to set up schedules, make notes and talk things through.
It was also convicting to realize that my lack of planning hurt my relationships with God and my family. By not planning, I was losing time to read my Bible and pray. Our house wasn’t in order, something that I consider to be part of my job description. (Not perfect, mind you, but also not weeks behind on laundry with overflowing trash cans.) Finally, being behind schedule and stressed made me cranky. My husband wouldn’t know what he was coming home to – a happy wife and son, or a frustrated wife, hungry son, and a mess in the kitchen.
How did you go about it?
The fun part came first – picking out a planner. There are a number of them available online, but Corie Clark‘s Purposeful Planner stood out. It helps to organize your life in a simple way; but moreover, it has the mission to help you live life peacefully and with purpose, as God intended it. I love this quote from their website: “…God has graced you to do amazing things and loves you too much to let you live a complacent life.” Yes yes and yes.
Corie Clark was kind enough to send me an Academic Daily Purposeful Planner to try. Usually I go with a weekly or monthly planner layout. But a daily planner actually suits my needs really well. Not only that, but I found some surprising benefits from taking a more purposeful look at my day, not just my week or month. (Although they have a monthly calendar in this planner, and a weekly calendar option if that works best for you!)
Next, I set aside time with my husband the very day I got the planner to look over our schedules. He was pretty shocked. We went through all our plans for the week, and scheduled in a few things we wanted to happen. I planned out the meals and made a list of items we needed, something I typically do in a rush before I go to the grocery store.
The next day, first thing, I wrote out my day in the planner. It has space for your entire schedule from 6am to 10pm, plus three daily goals, your health, your water intake, praise and prayer for the day, retail therapy (which I use for any money I spend, not just luxuries), and a “brain dump” note section. One of my favorite features is the daily inspirational quote with some encouragement for the day.
And every day since then, I’ve been taking a little time to plan my day. Sometimes it comes in the morning, and I have lots to write down. Other days, I have less to write, and end up making some things up as I go.
What are you learning?
Valuable things have come out of this time for me.
- Writing down goals for the day actually helps me accomplish them. They stay on my mind, and I feel more motivated to check them off my list. Even if the rest of the day is unstructured, I can usually at least accomplish what I hoped to.
- It makes me connect better with my husband to be able to sit down with him and plan our weeks. He appreciates it too. He’s noticing the change, and has been commenting on it. We’ve been communicating our plans so much better.
- I’m getting a better feel for what I can and can’t say yes to. It’s always been hard for me to say no. As a stay-at-home mom, I can tend to say yes to helping out with something, or even blog commitments because I feel like I have more time than most. But having a real look at my schedule helps me to know what I do and don’t have time for, and it’s helping me think it through.
- It’s making me appreciate the moment so much more. Over the past couple weeks, I have found myself so grateful for small moments with my little guy and husband. I’ve been more joyful overall, more at peace, not as cranky 🙂
- I can have grace with myself and my schedule. It doesn’t mean rigidity or being constantly on the go. If something doesn’t happen right away, if I don’t accomplish a goal, if my day doesn’t turn out as planned (which happens a lot!), I don’t have to panic. There’s always room to add things tomorrow, or change things around.
If you’re in need of a planning makeover, and are looking for help, I definitely recommend the Purposeful Planner. I’ve come to really enjoy that quiet moment of writing out my day, with a cup of coffee, of course. It’s organized, and has handy features, but ultimately, it’s been part of the process of bringing purpose and peace to my day, and I love that the most.
Thank you to Corie Clark for sending the Purposeful Planner for review. All opinions are my own.