Life sucks sometimes, and it’s up to us to make things better. What’s the best way to make amazing things happen?
To plan for them, of course!
Okay, maybe you don’t agree with me. Allow me to try to convince you.
Plan For The Life You Want
I’m a planner at heart. Always have been. When other girls were dreaming of their weddings, I had a 15 year plan that would take me through my BA, Master’s, and PhD before I was 30.
I’m 34 and only one of those happened. Which just goes to show you, you make plans and the universe laughs.
You might think that would mean I’d deride planning, or think it’s worthless. Just the opposite!
For me, planning something doesn’t mean that’s exactly what happens. Planning is like creating a road map for the most epic road trip ever — and being open to the various possibilities that might occur.
“Ok, we’ll go to Seattle for 2 days, then on to Portland for 3, and San Francisco for 5.”
But what if in Seattle you meet up with an old friend who tells you about an amazing event in Spokane (ok, just bear with me, I know Spokane has had at least ONE amazing event in the past decade), for the next 5 days? Do you slavishly stick to your road map — your plan — that you started with? Or do you let adventure take you where you least expect?
The answer, of course, depends on the purpose of your road trip (maybe if you have an actual deadline to meet in each city, you can’t just take off to a new one), and your disposition for change. (Me? Love it. My husband? HATES it. We make it work.)
But the point of this illustrative analogy is — the plan isn’t necessarily what happens. The plan is what you work out to figure out what you really want. It’s the time you take to ask your inner self what’s important to it. It’s a road map — not scripture.
Sometimes the Life You Want Isn’t What you Thought
Sometimes our plans don’t work out because opportunity knocks and we realize there’s something even better around a different corner for us. Sometimes they don’t work out for less fun reasons, like lack of money, or time, or a relative falling ill.
You need to remember two important things about this.
- It’s not your fault if the plan doesn’t work out.
- There are no grades for following a plan exactly. This is not a test.
Planning is for us.
I sit down with my planner on a daily basis — or, okay, I try; having a new puppy has made that a losing battle most days — and I use that time to get in touch with myself.
“Couldn’t you just journal?” you might ask. I could! And actually, I do use my planner as a journal in some respects — I note what happened, how it made me feel, what my original plans were for the day.
But a planner gives me more. It lets me:
- see the day, week, and month at a glance, and know exactly what I think is in store for me.
- decide where I want to focus my energy the most.
- give myself permission to take days off.
- keep my commitments — to myself most of all.
- make a book really pretty — and if it’s pretty, I’ll use it, and if I use it, I keep my commitments.
Why I Needed a Planner in 2020
There were a lot of jokes this year about how the most useless purchase anyone made was a planner. Of course, in a worldwide pandemic where most of us lost our entire social calendar, it does seem kind of strange to have a paper planner.
But for me, the most important purchase I made this year was of my planners. (Yes, plural. I use more than one.)
The Moonology Diary I got helped me remember to note my gratitude, even if not all the time. It taught me to live with the phases of the moon, and how to manifest with her cycles.
The Witches’ Datebook I got was a refreshing window into my past — it used to be my go-to planner at all times — and it reminded me there’s magic in the world, even if I can’t see the whole picture.
The Polestar Business Planner I bought helped me plan out a year that ended up not happening, which taught me even more lessons. It helped me keep track of word counts, and it helped me realize that in our new paradigm, I need something different from my planner. (I still really love the Polestar, and do recommend it.)
When the pandemic hit, I was lost and confused and sad — a thousand different emotions, roiling about in my skull, in my chest. Suddenly the life I knew I wanted didn’t seem like it would ever be possible again — through absolutely no fault of my own, or anyone I knew.
How do you plan for the life you want when everything is up in the air?
“When You’re Going Through Hell — Keep Going”
I kept planning. I kept at it. And slowly I realized that the life I knew I wanted would have to change, and that was okay.
Mourning was essential, of course — you can’t move on if you don’t let yourself mourn.
The truth is, if you want to create the life you’ve always wanted, you need to plan for the life you want — and a planner can help you do that in a way that a journal just can’t, in my not-so-unbiased opinion.
Mid-year, I bought a 2020 Passion Planner on super sale. And that was one of the best decisions I’ve made this year.
Getting a Passion Planner helped me realize that they are the planner for me. I’ve been flitting around like a bee for so long, trying to find the right flower, and finally I realized — this is it! I get more done with Passion Planner and I like my life more.
I’ve been very blessed this year to become a Passion Planner Ambassador as well, which means I get to share my love of the planner while making a little extra money.
If you want your own Passion Planner to see what all the fuss is about, today is the best day to get one — they’re having the biggest sale of the year on all their products, only until 10am Pacific November 23rd — and my discount code stacks with the sale.
Go here to check out the very wide range of what Passion Planner has to offer. (Seriously, they keep adding and it’s ALL AMAZING!) When you check out, enter the code KATJE10 to get an extra 10% off your purchase. You’ll be making a positive change in your life, trust me (and supporting a local bookstore while you do!).
(And yes, I still use plural planners. I have three Passion Planners — a weekly dated for business, a weekly undated for spirituality, witchy stuff, and religion, and a daily for more personal things. It works for me to compartmentalize like that, especially as it means I don’t have to cram a thousand things into one book with my terrible penmanship that trends BIG across the page.)
Planners Unite! Separately, In Our Own Homes, Over Zoom, Because There’s a Pandemic On
So, have I convinced you yet? Maybe you’re just not a planner at heart — that’s okay! It takes all kinds to make a world, after all.
(Fellow planners, though — hit me up on Instagram. I share a lot of planning stuff, as well as knitting, crochet, and books!)
If you’re still not a planner, maybe we can bond over our mutual love of wall calendars? I can’t be the only person in the world who always tries to buy three each year, right? One for every room, obviously!
No? Well, that’s okay. We’ll find something to become friends over!
-Kat, resident not-actual-cat of Wolffy’s Book Den, mommy to Sirius, Store Dog
PS: wait, don’t go, I really want to tell you about some fave wall calendars!
Mom, of course, always gets a wolf calendar, EVERY year, without fail. Sometimes more than one, because I always try to give her one as a gift, and, well, she tends to get one herself. (This one is bilingual and very pretty, but of course it’s not available online — so useful! I really wish we hadn’t lost our Coles in town. But I might get this one for her — it’s ALL pups. Puppies!)
My fave is Llewellyn’s Witches’ Calendar (companion to the Datebook — the artwork is gorgeous!), but I’m also partial to funny ones, so the Dog Shaming and “I Could Pee On This” and Other Poems By Cats ones have caught my eye.
Mind you, so has Wanderlust, the Hubble Space Telescope one, or literally anything else full of pictures of places I won’t get to visit any time soon; and then there are super practical, earthy ones like this Gardening one or the Kitchen one…
Right, obviously we’ll be here all day if I’m allowed to continue. Maybe I should do an entire post about wall calendars?
What’s your favourite type of wall calendar? Super practical, or just full of incredibly gorgeous pictures or artwork?
A note on affiliate links: every time we link to an outside store, we use an affiliate link so that if you do make a purchase via somewhere else, you’re still supporting Wolffy’s Book Den and the pack of book-loving wolves behind it! We know it may seem strange to support a small, local bookstore with a purchase at a big store, but that’s how things work these days — at least until we get all our wholesale accounts sorted out, which we’re working on!