I have a new love.
A new passion, actually. And I can’t go a day without it.
Yes, it’s my Passion Planner.
And it’s changing my life.
At the end of 2017, I was feeling a force — an unseen momentum that was trying to propel me forward. But I didn’t know how to tap into it. I knew I had more in me than what I was currently giving. I knew my days could be full of things that make me happy and successful.
But I was living in the grind — wake up, do the things, go to bed.
I wasn’t exercising.
I wasn’t reading actual books.
I wasn’t staying within my budget.
I wasn’t eating healthy foods.
I was just trying to get my work done and keep my family alive. It’s not that anything was terribly wrong in my life. It’s just that nothing was terribly right.
You know the feeling?
I wouldn’t even say it’s the worst place to be. I’d take the blah lifestyle over major challenges any day. But I think our souls are made for more than blah. They don’t love staying in stagnant places. I knew things could have been much better, and the only thing holding me back from better things was myself.
When you write for a living, you don’t really move very much — unless you make it a priority. Back at the end of 2017, I was sitting still almost all day. There were days when I felt my body screaming at me to just… MOVE.
Kind of like that scene in Seinfeld when Elaine gets stuck on the subway and we hear her inner voice yelling at the train to MOVE! MOVE!
The planner helps you take your bigger goals and break them down into manageable goals with deadlines you’ll actually meet.
On New Year’s Eve, I sat down and did some mind maps. I came up with some career, exercise, family, and personal improvement goals for the year and went through the exercises to figure out what I needed to do to meet those goals.
I then went and put the necessary steps into the calendar. With each day broken down by half-hour increments, I’m able to figure out how to more easily fit in all my to-dos.
And I’m staying on track!
I’m taking a writing course to improve my copywriting skills, and I know exactly where I should be in the program each week because the planner helped me sort it all out.
I’m budgeting — and checking in on that budget every week.
I’m finding time to read real books (as opposed to Facebook — although there’s still plenty of time for that somehow).
And I’m MOVING!
My body is pretty thrilled about that.
I’ve been doing at-home fitness routines, walking daily (which has been shown to boost your mood and your brain power), and choosing healthier foods.
It’s a slow ease into fitness. I always want those grand results, but when I took the time to plan out my goals for this year, I realized I just don’t make room in my life to achieve those grand results. Partly, it’s because I’m a working parent of three who also volunteers at school and church. Partly, it’s because I like Netflix.
But putting my goals on paper helped me realize I don’t have time for fitness perfection. And surprisingly, that’s kind of a relief. I don’t have to feel guilty anymore that I’m not an extreme fitness lover, because I can clearly see my time is being spent well in other areas.
But should I give up on fitness entirely?
Otherwise, Elaine will start yelling in my head again.
Putting things into my planner helped me see the gaps in my schedule — and I found I actually have quite a bit of time for planning healthy meals and exercising. I’ve now prioritized exercise and I know where it fits into my life.
Of course, I’d love those big results, but I’m happy that for now I’ve figured out how to do a slight combo of strength training and cardio.
I don’t have to be perfect, but I can get stronger and build endurance day by day. One day, when my schedule opens up or my priorities shift, I can intensify my fitness efforts. And my body will be ready for that next level because I’m making room in my life right now to treat it right.
It feels good to make progress, even if that progress has turned out to be different than I thought I wanted. It’s amazing how prioritizing not only makes room for what you want and need to do, it also gives you permission to kick guilt to the dusty curb.