One of the overarching themes of 2016 for me has been shifting things, looking for new rhythms and patterns that feel supportive and nurturing. I entered the year feeling like I wanted to do things differently, and decided to kick things off by using a new calendar/planning system and also switching things up with how I work with the new and full moons. That felt like a foundational piece I needed to get in place, and then I went about overlaying other changes/shifts as I felt inspired. Underlying it all was (and still is) the feeling that everything has changed energetically and I don’t want to be responding with old systems.
Past the half way mark of the year I can report mixed results.
I started with Living by the Light of the Moon by Beatrex Quntanna, hoping that this would be one calendar planner to meet my needs. This was a sort of leap decision – I just stumbled upon it online, and knowing I really wanted something honoring my lunar cycle orientation, I took a chance. While there are definitely some things I like about this – it offers an interesting process for working with new and full moon intentions, and it offers the necessary moon/astro info, and some interesting numerology info – it doesn’t really meet my planning needs. I have both tasks I need specifically scheduled and those I can be more flexible with fitting in wherever I can, so I like to have a place to list what needs to get done, as well a place to keep track of client appointments. Although I continue to work with this as a lunar planner/journal, it’s definitely not my daily/weekly scheduling tool. And I’m not sure I’ll buy another one next year. Finding something lunar I like is proving much harder than I thought.
The inkWELL press Quarterly Planners have proven an almost right-fit for my planning and scheduling. They’re a smaller size which I like, but there’s room for lists. But they’re not lunar oriented so that’s a minus.
An additional thing I’ve been playing with is Rituals for Living Dreambook by Dragontree Apothecary
I’ve really been using this more as a quarterly planner. It’s actually set up to be more a yearly dreaming/visioning journal, then with quarterly breakdowns, and then further weekly breakdowns. There are things I like about it, and it’s actually been helpful for organizing my business plans/ideas/schedules, but it’s definitely not useful to me as a calendar/schedule/planner.
So the truth is, I haven’t found my perfect right-fit covers-everything-I-need/want system yet.
And equal truth is, I do have a rather elaborate system I work with before the beginning of each year, wherein I sketch out major plans. I choose 5 or 6 categories/focus points I’m going to expend my energy on, infuse them with the values/energies that are important to me, and hold that container.
Big plans are then broken down into actionable quarterly plans, and those quarterly plans sketched out as monthly tasks. At the end of the month, I take a look at what I’ve accomplished, and what’s upcoming and make adjustments.
I thought this year I wanted something different – some fresh system to accommodate the fresh energy of this ever-changing world we live in. But I think I got that one wrong. I think what I actually wanted was a new way to move through the energy pretending I could organize/calendarize my way through what seems more fluid and changeable and malleable than ever before. The new energy is here, and trying to control my way through it is pretty much useless, as I think we’ve all come to understand. I’m just going to have to give up pretending a calendar/planning system is anything more than just a tracking system.
But I’m also not giving up. I keep returning to something William James said:
“We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone, until those smiling possibilities are dead. Whereas ten minutes a day of poetry, of spiritual reading or meditation, an hour or two a week at music, pictures, or philosophy, provided we began now and suffered no remission, would infallibly give us in due time the fullness we all desire. By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves a little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.”
I most certainly want the blessings of poetry and art, spiritual practice and connection with those I love. And if I have to put them on the calendar to make sure they don’t get overlooked, I absolutely will. But I rather like knowing they are actually part of my internal rhythm, already calendarized in my blood.
What about you? What “C” thing is capturing your attention today? What sort of system(s) do you use for planning and scheduling? Do you have time for the things that really mean most to you? Does anybody really know what time it is?
Aaahhh Deborah, calendars and planners have become such personal things. There is no “one size fits all” anymore! I have three of them, one for routine home reminders, one for my transcription business and one for my “creative” creature side. Have you tried making one of your own?
LOL – I so get your three separate planners Janet. That’s sort of what I’m like with my journals – I have dozens of them ongoing, each for a specific purpose. And yet, there always comes a time when I think, maybe I should try to consolidate. Forays into that camp never last long though.
Still, I’m holding out for the perfect planner even if you assure me it doesn’t exist. I have partially created my own, by tipping in pages I’ve created into existing planners, but I’d really rather expend my creative energy on actual projects than a planner to plan my projects. 🙂
WOW! Getting a peek inside your brain and how you think in regards to planning was so fascinating to me! Also, I had not heard of any of these types of planners so that part was also interesting.
LOL – it IS always fun peeking into one another’s brains isn’t it?! I always love that. And I’m always open to hearing any planner recommendations so if you’ve got something you use and love, please share.
c thing for today …. cantaloupe!
We are about at the end of getting really wonderful cantaloupe and I bought two today. That’s whats for lunch!
Oh yum Cynthia. I just had some for breakfast as well, and it made me want to paint something that color.
Deborah, I can so relate. I never use calendars as they were designed. Lately, my method of choice has been large sheets of paper stuck to the wall (that I probably spend more time creating than completing) with a large year-long coated calendar I can write on and erase. I still have the one I walk around with (no – it is most certainly not on my phone – there’s something about writing things down that makes life much happier and memorable for me), but I’m finding bigger visuals I can glance at often are better for recall and action.
On a “c”word, I guess mine this month is best dubbed “courage”. Working on stepping out of my comfort zone on some things I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t. Maybe I ought transfer the “pending” bravery moves to a calendar ;-).
I’m always interested in hearing about people’s systems Nanette, and it sounds like you’ve got one that works for you. Yay! And yay for courage and stepping outside your comfort zone. Sending you tons of encouragement and best wishes.
I started off 2016 with big plans – losing my job after 27 years was not a totally bad thing. I could concentrate on what I want. So – I dutifully filled in a calendar – wrote all my blogs I planned on doing – and all these other things. But then life set in – I spent 5 months going to my mom’s every day until we got her in a memory care place. Luckily – I wrote everything on post-it notes – and I was actually in the process of setting a new schedule up. One thing I did was join a couple of book clubs – and I actually went to the one at the library last night – knowing the date of it was 8/16 – I honestly thought yesterday (8/9) was 8/16!!! So – I had to get back to my calendar – so I kind of giggled when I saw this post – makes me realize as I move into 2017 – I need to be more careful!
How funny Vickie! But I think I may actually have you beat in the early bird department – lately I’ve caught myself writing and thinking of the year as being 2017. Yikes!
Just starting to catch up on your posts and loved this post about your planning and calendar methods – it is facinating to see how much planning you do for yourself for the year! I’m impressed and INSPIRED to see how much energy you put into your yearly planning and I’m quite inspired to work harder at it for myself now, especially after seeing the lovely journal from The Dragontree…but I do understand how challenging it can be to find the kind of planner that works with all of ones needs, as I tried a new type of planner this year and didn’t get very far with it =\ I guess I’m continuing my search along with you!
Planning is such an interesting dance isn’t it? I try to think of it as a helpful container, to help keep me from floundering yet I never want to be at a point where things feels inflexible. Always looking for balance aren’t we?! I hope we both find perfect-for-us planners – that work for us and are lovely as well.