I’m a planner and an organizer by nature. There was a recent season in our lives though, that made it difficult to plan or organize much, so I swung clear to the opposite side of the pendulum and lived by the seat of my pants for several years. As we are regaining some structure and normalcy in our family, my planner/organizer roots are once again surfacing.
January is a month for this with many people. Setting goals, making plans. Organizing, decluttering. Spiritual growth. Intentions of weight loss and healthier life habits. All these and more are filling the minds of people everywhere – including me. Here are a few of the tools I am using this year to plan, achieve goals, organize, declutter, grow spiritually, and live healthier.
1. A journaling bible from Crossway. I ordered mine HERE. I like the idea of combining my Bible reading with writing my notes and thoughts right there in my Bible. I’m not very creative but this is MY Bible so my crummy handwriting and doodles won’t be seen by any one else. My new Bible is the English Standard Version. In 30 years of reading through the Bible, I have never read this particular version. I am loving reading the same stories and Scriptures in a different light.
2. The Trim Healthy Mama online membership. My husband and I started eating the THM way in January 2014. We both lost 15 to 20 pounds within a couple months. (I actually got down to my ‘goal weight’ – a weight I hadn’t seen since before my third born child when I was 25.) Then life got crazy, our traveling schedule picked up, the holidays came, yada, yada, yada… In January 2015 I got pregnant, in May, I miscarried, so I didn’t put much thought or effort into eating very healthy for all of 2015. But it’s a new year and I’m sitting at a weight that’s very uncomfortable for me so I have new motivation. The creation of this online tool is what’s going to make this eating plan doable this year. All the recipes and meal planning tools (including the shopping list) are at my fingertips!
3. My Erin Condren Planner. I first was introduced to the EC Life Planner last Spring. I bought one then and finished the year out with it. I have tried dozens of planners over the years. This is the first one I stuck with for a full year so I ordered another for 2016. Some people like to decorate and ‘jazz’ up their planner with Washi tape and stickers as they fill in the days and weeks. I thought I’d give that a try and started following accounts on Instagram and looked up ideas on Pinterest – there’s a ton. Honestly, adding some color to the to-do list and appointments has been incredibly therapeutic in a stress-filled world.
3. Ever since the creation of online everything, I’ve struggled with whether I should use a digital planner or a paper one. I’ve found I actually need both. I don’t like to carry around my EC Planner but I often need access to my calendar while on the go. This is where Cozi comes in. I transfer the whole family’s basic schedule into this app, along with my meal plans. All the details aren’t needed, I just need to know if I have a free hour for coffee or if I’m committed to running some child somewhere. One thing I LOVE about this app is that the whole family has access to our family account on their smart phones (or computers) and they can enter their schedules in so that all (read: mom) can see! If they do this – it’s magic!
5. Lastly, is the KonMari idea of decluttering. I haven’t actually read the book yet but I have seen enough to know that at least some of her ideas will be very helpful this year. We’ve now lived in our 2,600 square foot home for nearly two years. We started with practically nothing, after we had downsized twice, living in a 900 square foot apartment for several years then a hotel suite for a few months. Gradually we have accumulated more and more since those months and it. is. time. Too many birthdays, Christmas’s and sales over the last 2 years – it’s time to declutter! I found this KonMari checklist that will be my starting point.
Cheers to 2016! This year, may we become our best selves yet!
“Blessed be the name of God, forever and ever. He knows all, does all: He changes the seasons and guides history…” Daniel 2:20-21 (The Message)