After many days and nights of contemplation and fruitful discussions with J, I decided to put everything else aside, and just focus on finishing my thesis. I knew that if I did all of these things simultaneously, one of the multitude of things I was trying to accomplish would suffer, and I definitely did not want to 'half ass' anything. This was a very difficult choice for me because I really do want to do it all. I often aspire to be a "Yes Woman", and to have experiences in many different things. We're only on this Earth once, right? But, I know that once my thesis is out of the way, I can be free to take on anything else that I'm inspired to do.
Given that I decided to take on and FINISH such a big project meant that I had to get myself geared up. Interestingly, I have a peculiar personality in which I jump into some things on a complete whim, but other things I have to practically coax myself into doing. As a visual person, I decided to let my creative side emerge and help me put my goals and aspirations into a display that I could get motivation from every day. Over a two day span I made this whimsical inspiration board:
Inspiring, right? ;)
I placed my inspiration board on the wall behind my work desk in "the cave" (my work/study area), and I can honestly say that it has indeed been very inspiring!
Last night, as I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs I came across a section on Filofax planners. I am a big planner. HUGE. I love writing things down, making lists, updating calendars, etc. In fact, one of my favorite things about the New Year as a child was getting a new wall calendar for my room (Although I guess I wasn't very much into variety, as the calendars always had one of three things: kittens, puppies, or tigers).
Until this past year I always had my planner on me. I would scribble little notes, put in stickers and sticky-notes, highlight important things, and doodle in the margins. I was also able to check off things that I had completed. I don't know if this is how the rest of the world is, but I get an actual jolt of joy that runs down my spine when I check something off a list. It's fantastic.
But, for Christmas last year, my Mom bought J and I iPhones, and I switched over most of my planning to my iCal. I loved how I could sync my iCal on my phone with my Macbook iCal, and how I didn't have to carry around a bulgy planner. However, gone were my doodles, my sticky notes, and my satisfaction for checking something off my To-Do List (I still try to do this by placing a typed 'X' by completed items on my iCal).
Back to the story... after reading the mentioned blogger's post about how wonderful real paper planners are, I gave into my temptations and scoured the internet for paper planners until 12:30 a.m. I kept weighing the pros and cons of paper versus electronic planners and I finally decided that the only reason that I missed my paper planner was because I couldn't physically write or doodle anything in it. What if I had some big inspiration, or if I wanted to stick a sticker somewhere? No place to stick stickers and sticky notes?! No place to highlight?! BLASPHEMY!
So, before I went to bed I decided that I would keep my planning on my iCal and I would make a different notebook for inspirations and other things. Voila! Problem solved.
I found this journal in my library. I have no idea who gave it to me, but I think I acquired it sometime during the wedding planning process. For some reason I received multiple journals from various people who thought that it was the 'perfect' and most practical pre-wedding gift. It is perfect, until you are gifted six journals within a year span! :)
I cut a lavender-colored sticky note into a few sections, decorated it with stickers, and made them into tabs.
The first tab is labeled "Aspirations". This is where I write goals or challenges that I am taking on.
The second tab is labeled "Inspirations". This tab will house anything from inspirational quotes, affirmations, pictures, and more. This is also where I write what I am thankful for (ex: "I am so happy and grateful for having a healthy body that carries me through an exciting life.").
The third tab is labeled "Dreams". This is where I record my dreams. And if you knew of the crazy and vivid dreams that I have (even some that come TRUE), you would record them too!
The fourth tab is labeled "Thoughts". I'm not sure exactly what's going to go under this tab, but I'm always going to have thoughts, right? ;)
So, tell me...
Do you make inspiration boards or write in journals?
Are you as obsessed with planning as I am?
Do you prefer to use a paper planner or an electronic one?
Finally, do you make New Year's resolutions?
I stopped making New Year's resolutions years ago. Instead, I make resolutions year-round, and feel more genuine about them since they are on my own 'time' and not within the popular resolution-making period.