The Planner I'm Using For 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This post is for all you planner-nerds out there because that's exactly what I'm talking about: The planner I'm using for 2018. Right now, I'm feeling very focused on what tools and strategies to use to achieve my goals for the year. This is one of them.

Last year, I played around with bullet journaling for a while, then, once I got sick of having to manually draw out weekly layouts, I bought a large, 8" x 10" spiral-bound planner, which I used for only half the year before abandoning. It had too much space, and because it was too big to fit in my purse, I'd often forget about it.

I learned what I use a planner for the most. It's actually not for keeping track of my daily schedule. Instead, it's primarily for weekly to-do lists and monthly blog planning.

I kept this in mind when hunting for a planner last month so I could find one that I actually liked enough to use for the entire year. I bought one that's approx. 6" x 8", big enough to write what I need to but small enough to carry around in my purse with me.

As an added bonus, the name of it is pretty fitting: Inspiration.

The first handful of pages prompt reflections on 2017; highlights, achievements, lessons learned, gratitude. It also prompts planning for the year ahead; top priorities, specific goals, things to do more of and less of, habits to change.

These pages are easy to ignore. I could fill them out and then forget about them. Or I could skip them altogether.

I don't want to do that, though. I filled out each field as much as I could. And I'm going to keep these goals and priorities in mind as the year progresses.

Top Career Goal: Keep learning. Ensure happiness.
Top Health Goal: Exercise regularly in a way that feels good.
Top Relationships Goal: Be present. Be thankful.
Top Finances Goal: Continue saving money.
Top Community Goal: Stay involved. Try new things in the area.

The weekly layout was the most important to me since I knew it'd be the section I used the most. As I said, I wanted it to be less about what was going on each day and more about the week overall.

So, I chose a planner with all seven days condensed onto one page. That's all the room I need.

The second page is where most of my focus.

Top priorities: Sometimes these are external, a task to get done; other times they're internal, something to keep in mind.
Weekly goals: I tend to keep these wellness-related, such as "no dwelling" or "get enough sleep."
To do: I feel better when I think about to-do lists in terms of weeks rather than days. It feels less overwhelming that way. It doesn't matter on what day XYZ gets done, as long as it's done by the end of the week.
Daily gratitude: For a while, I kept a gratitude journal, listing three things every day to be happy about. After some time, even though I liked the idea, I fell out of the habit. (No surprise there. I often get excited about something then lose interest after a bit. It's a miracle this blog is still alive after 2.5 years.) Having daily gratitude in a place I'll look every day will be a good way for me to get back into the habit of pinpointing at least one positive thing each day.
Dinner plan: I use this section to plan out my lunches for the week since I somehow forget fairly often that I need food to bring to work.
Habits: So far, I haven't been using this section that much. The only habit I've recorded is working out.

I may have discontinued monthly wrap-ups on the blog, but they are still alive and well off the Internet. With this planner, I still end the month reviewing the highs and lows, appreciating the positives and learning from the negatives.

What's your 2018 planner look like?

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