Before I give the intentional, yet strategic planning checklist… I OF COURSE have to give my “why.” We can’t just do things to do them, right? When I was writing this initially, I was going to basically give a little download and let you be on your way.
I then realized my biggest mistake going into my schedule, was that I used it as a measurement of myself, a measurement of my worth and therefore, I let it rule me. I hope we can continue to dive into a realm of consciousness and take back authority like never before. These realizations are just the beginning of further transformation. A way of allowing our true selves to show up more and more and contribute in this world.
Plus, I give my tip at the end of how to stay on track. Little hint, it has to do with this gorgeous JORD watch I am wearing. Cute, right? (You have a chance to get $100 off of one… but that is supposed to be a surprise).
It also has a LOT to do with reminding me of the importance of owning my own time.
Time is something I used to declare an enemy. There was never enough time, and that was most definitely my mantra.
Along with that mantra, came a slew of shame that there was not enough time.
Not having enough time, meant I could not do what I felt was enough. It meant I was not enough.
Striving was also the biggest part of my life for so long. As you know by my post on perfectionism and well… all my posts, I longed to be seen as full and whole. Not just by my own definition, but everyone else’s’ as well.
Along with my therapy of asking hard questions, I implemented some new habits. Habits that state I have enough time. I have been gifted enough minutes, enough hours and anything that does not fit inside of it – is simply not going to fit.
No expectation for it to, an acceptance that it simply does not. An allowance that perhaps those things were not serving anybody and were not serving myself anyway.
I started saying “no” to a lot of things. I dwindled my life down to merely saying yes to time with family, a few close friends, work (not an eighty hour work load, fifty at most) and to creativity. I also started saying yes to one day a week of adventure (by adventure I mean the zoo, of course).
This was hard. I loved being “THAT GIRL,” the one that did it ALL. I would insert the lengthy list of all the expectations I tried to live up to by constantly “doing,” but even typing it exhausts me.
When I took a step back, I realized my motives were not as pure as I made them out to be.
Quitting was hard. I AM NOT A QUITTER. Or so I told myself, but it turns out… I am! I am a quitter, and it revitalized me. It revitalized me to quit saying I did not have enough time; to stop doing things out of a need to be applauded, to stop living to please a society and community. It revitalized me to say no more shame and fear of not doing enough in order to make myself “enough.”
It revitalized me to say I am enough. Not because of what I do, but because of WHO I am, WHO I am created to be… ME!
So these new habits I put into place… they are not simply logistics. They are sacred actions. It is that preservation instinct we all have. That one that can rule us or serve us. I choose to serve with by preserving my time, my relationships and the natural outcome of that is preserving myself.
This is preservation from freedom.
When we do this, we get to then be filled up and pour out. Not giving just remnants of ourselves, but all of ourselves.
YOU are worth it. YOUR contribution is so key to this crazy, beautiful life. YOUR energy is so desired and beautiful, but we need YOURS.
Not the energy of your checklist, not the energy society gives you through pressure and shame. Your energy from freedom. The one that says YOU are enough to give and therefore YOU want to be the one giving.
To do this, we need to take back authority of time, authority of our schedules and say that we have ENOUGH and ARE ENOUGH. Regardless of the boxes checked off.
The below strategic planning guide, is meant to take back authority. I will warn you, a lot of the below contradicts our current society. It is a big “screw you” to the constant checklists, self-promotion and the sacrifices it asks us to make in order to be praised and known and seen. To me, it is worth it. Before you do this, ask yourself if it is worth it too. If it isn’t, it is just another expectation on that to-do list.
TAKE THAT DEEP BREATH. REPEAT “I HAVE ENOUGH TIME. I AM ENOUGH.” Let’s go…
Write your non-negotiable list.
This list never changes. Every week, you will incorporate these things. If you want to get really into it… have your daily non-negotiable and your weekly. If your eyes just got really wide and your heart started racing, stick with weekly. It will be okay!
Your non-negotiable list is essentially what you value in life most. I will warn you, this will reflect what you actually hold near and dear most. Maybe you will hate the list you write and realize you actually want to care for other things, maybe you will realize you do actually love the core of your life. Whatever it is, make sure it is true and attainable.
My list looks a little like this:
Three nights to myself
Four nights with friends and family
My Daily Routines (I won’t overwhelm you with that list)
Five Hours to Clean
Three Hours to Run Errands
Blog (that has its’ own list as well)
Yoga three days
Cardio three days
One day of Nothing but Adventure
You get the gist…
I know… this looks like a lot. But EVERYTHING does when you write it down. This is life to my soul, though. This CREATES space. So go ahead, don’t be afraid and write those sacred things down.
Evaluate the week before.
What is left from your to-do list that you did not get done? Write it down.
Check in with your monthly and yearly goals.
This is especially where I start to panic. Have I done enough? Am I behind? Then I reset by saying my “I am.” I take a deep breath and think about what I truly want to focus on that week in order to further these goals.
Write your goals (this is probably a to-do list) for the week.
Include something that will keep you working toward those monthly and yearly goals.
Write down your centering statement.
That sentence you will repeat when you get overwhelmed. It reminds you that you have enough time, that you are enough. It is the statement that lets you go to bed, even if everything is not done.
Write down your appointments and events that are already scheduled that week.
Write down the friends and family you want to make time for (maybe you have a list to remind you to text or call so and so like I do).
TIP: Get to your relaxing place. For me, this is essential oils in the diffuser, maybe some Palo Santo burning and a glass of wine. Deep breath and…
Block time for your appointments and events (I use google calendar and my moleskine planner).
Include the time you need to get ready & get there.
Block time for your non-negotiable list.
This is where I sometimes reschedule some things and realize I accidentally scheduled something every night of the week and bailed on myself. Whoops.
Break down my to-do list / goals to do something (no matter how small) every day.
These are often confined to my time to clean / run errands or blog.
Write that centering statement wherever you need to, in order to remember it.
Set reminders. Do you want pop up notifications on your phone? Do you prefer to go moment by moment and check it each morning? Do your thang.
Just remember: stay flexible. Each night, I evaluate if I finished my to-do list. If it is time to get ready for bed and I did not – I decide if I need to rearrange the following day or just save it for next week). Most things, I have come to find, can wait. Just do that gut check consistently while planning. Ensure you are making decisions out of having authority and not letting your schedule have authority over you. You can rest peacefully this way, because YOU can choose to.
*Tip 2 (because I can): Every week, I plan WHEN I will plan my next week. Typically, it is Sunday afternoon. I am finding it is hard for me to do it then because I am already thinking and stressing about Monday. I am thinking of switching it to Saturday or Friday night, when I am still in weekend mode. Planning when I am already stressing is just not helpful or encouraging. When do YOU plan? Help, please :)
Stay on task. See that watch in all my photos? It is ESSENTIAL to owning my time these days. You know what used to own it? My phone. I always go to check just the time and mindlessly open an app that then reminds me to do this or that and OH… I forgot to text so and so. You get it. Some things need to stay the way they were… like when people wore watches to manage their own time.
So put that phone away (unless it is scheduled phone time) and get yourself a cute watch. I love THIS ONE from JORD Wood Watches because it is the perfect casual, classy style. It is perfect for my San Diego life, especially as a girl that goes straight from the office to a beachside happy hour. I am wearing the Koa and Ash one, you have to go check it out. They have so many different styles and options. I think my next one will be engraved with “that girl.” Necessary… Right?!
The best news yet? You can enter to win $100 off a JORD watch below. So excited to see what watch the winner selects!
Contest Ends on 9/16. This contest is a partnership with JORD. As always, thoughts and words are all my own.
Here for you!