Three months into the year! Wow! Time flies! After the 2016 election I have done only the basics on the computer. It was news television, social media, and technology overload for me. So I sort of pulled the plug but I continued to be productive in my happy place at home.
My themes for 2017 in the “playhouse” (my sewing studio) are:
1- Finish what you started. (Work on projects in progress)
2- You have enough. (Work from your stash of fabric and wools and purchase things that allow you to complete something in the works.)
So far I have been largely successful but I do find myself straying occasionally. I have started several monthly / weekly projects this year and only one is a completely new project with new materials.
I have returned to my old ways of organizing my schedule. Back in our Air Force days (with 2 young daughters) I kept a Dayrunner planner. My daughters referred to it as my brain and that was totally what it was. Without it I was lost. In recent years I used my icalendar on my devices. Nice that it all syncs …phone, computer, ipad…but getting that look ahead was difficult, some events were hidden if there were multiples for the same day. Not that I’m all that busy these days but it seems like when it rains it pours. One week is open and the next is jam-packed. So the middle of last year I started my own style of planner in a 99 cent composition book after reading someone else doing it on a random blog. I started feeling back in control! Last year I also started keeping a project journal too…tracking my quilting, sewing, hooking, wool projects…start dates, completion dates, and some occasional journal entries. Then I read about bullet journaling. Pretty simple and retro stuff…similar to what I did “back in the day” with everything in one place. So I have been bullet journaling for a few months now. So far so good. I still use my icalendar and sync to my devices but this method allows me to combine everything in one place, calendar, project journal, exercise & task tracker, meal planner, grocery list…it’s my brain, once again! Little did I know but there’s an entire community of “bullet journalers.” Just goggle it. I now have a Pinterest board for journaling. Naturally the journal bloggers are totally over the top!! Some of the things I see are truly works of art or so intellectual that I haven’t a clue what they are about. Yet some things I have been able to incorporate into a usable form for this “lady of leisure.”
Here’s my brain:
It’s a tablet size Lechtturm 1917. I ordered if from Amazon and it’s pricey enough that you don’t want to make a lot of mistakes. You could use a plain composition book and I may indeed go back to that more budget friendly option. This one is dotted as opposed to ruled paper and that just allows me more options for page setup.
The front of the journal has several pages of just lists…on this page my goals and themes for the year and a good foods list. Gentle reminders to help keep my priorities straight.
I also have lists for recurring tasks, a future log (overview of major events in 2017), my 2017 book list, my 2017 completion list, my “want to do” project list, a home to do list, my personal medical information. Each month also has a monthly overview followed by a set of weekly pages.
Here’s an example of this week’s page. On the left side I have each day listed and a list of events…it’s a pretty light week…right now. I put a box with each event then color in the “bullet” when complete. Then a list of what’s coming up next week. The right side is my “to do” tasks, projects, notes that I use for my personal thoughts and then at the bottom a weekly tracker. I set my tracker up for weight, blood pressure (I’m on meds with a strong family history), pulse, an apple a day to keep the doctor away (I am a farm girl!), daily apple cider vinegar (maybe grasping at straws with this one!), exercise (type and number of minutes) and I try to be creative every day. The tracker really does keep me focused. The last few years or so my blood labs have clearly indicated I need to control my environment. I signed up for Cooking Light Diets, have a goal of 120-150 minutes of real sweaty exercise each week and I hopped on an apple cider vinegar kick. Good results so far too! Weight down by 10 pounds, cholesterol number dropped 90 points and my big focus was my triglyercides which dropped from 211 to 82! At my last follow up doctor appt the comment was, “whatever it is you are doing, keep it up!” I must admit though that after these lab numbers came back, well, I let go a little…need to get back to the tracker!
This is my meal planner and grocery list. I use the Cooking Light menus that are sent to me, tweak them to suit our tastes and needs and use this…a piece of heavy card stock with decorative tape and sticky notes. I used to do all my shopping for the week at one time and have found that led to a lot of wasted food. Our schedules seem to be constantly in flux so now shopping for 2-3 days at a time works best. I’m also working on a “Go To Recipe” page. These are health conscious recipes that I’ve tried and were deemed keepers to help make meal planning quick and painless.
Perhaps this is a system for someone who has too much time on her hands but it is working for both my husband and myself. Staying organized and focused on what’s important has been good for both of us!