Plan October with me!
Welcome everyone! As we are about to end the month of September 2021, it comes with the realization that this year has flow by. I’m wondering what has been your experience?
Has this been a celebration type year? I know a few people who were able to have their weddings after a delay because of the pandemic! Or, perhaps you’ve made some major changes? Similar to those who created history during the ‘great resignation’? And, on the other hand, I’m sure there are those of us who experienced loss this year. Either in our communities, or perhaps in our own families.
One of the ways I’ve learned over the years to cope, with memories or with anxiety over the future is to plan. Having always been a driven person, wanting to experience more, achieve more and learn more; planning has been an important part of my life as far back as I can remember. For me, it has allowed me to be more mindful in each moment. Prepared going into a situation, and able to compartmentalize any past I’d like to forget.
Through mindfulness during planning, I also try and sit with any emotions that pop-up. You know, those pesky anxieties or blah feelings when you put something you DON’T want to do on the calendar?! I find it to be important to recognize those emotions and tamper them down, or put them in check. This helps when I finally get to the task or appointment I’m not looking forward to, to just remember it will be over soon. Or to reprioritize and put something better in its place.
Lastly, in relationship building, I find planning to be extremely important. To be able to look ahead, sometimes farther than others and be intentional about the time spent with friends makes a huge difference. It helps to know your schedule and a birds-eye view of the calendar to know when and how much energy you might have to pour into fellowship.
After all, life is about more than just achievement. It’s really about building connections. With all that in mind, let’s plan October together!
Step 1: Calendar & Appointments
Starting with the literal calendar, I take a look at the month, which dates land on weekends and any special occasions (such as Halloween). I pencil in all appointments I know about and take note of any which need still be put on the calendar. Of course, if you are the planner for your family unit, be sure to include all of their appointments and moments in there too!
Once you have this completed, you’ll have a high-level view of the month!
Step 2: Travel & Travel Prep
After putting any major milestones, appointments or special occasions on the calendar, it is time to mark down any travel. If you are like me, and have a job where travel isn’t always planned in advance OR you are having to wait for additional restrictions to be lifted; instead be sure to mark down any place you think you might need to go.
Also, at this time, mark down any personal travel. The reason I do this, is because it typically requires more focus and attention. Generally, more thought when you are going out of town – either to be sure you pack appropriately for different weather, or to prepare for a specific meeting. The energy need required to travel is higher in my opinion than simply going out to dinner.
Step 3: Prioritize
At this point, I take a step back and determine how full things look, as well as if timing could be improved. For example, sometimes I’ll have two appointments in the same day, and perhaps the first one is going to be draining. I’ll go ahead and try and move the second one just so I can be sure my focus is in the right area. Remember my favorite post about our pilot lights?
Over the years, I’ve met people who are uncomfortable doing this, however I have found it to be key to making things smoother and feeling better about the use of my time! Always keep in mind, that this is literally your life. The time you spend doing things, and the areas which you give your attention to, are all up to you!
Step 4: Goal Setting & Habit Trackers
At this point, I am sure to do weekly goal setting and make up my habit tracker for the month. Sometimes, these are simple like “walk 1 mile a day”. Or “less screen time.” Other times, it is more serious especially when it comes to health, nutrition and mindfulness. I find having a habit tracker helps me immensely, even if I take a day off, it motivates me to get back on track!
Step 5: Intentions and Purpose
If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, you already know my passion for intention setting and being purposeful. At this point in your planning process, you should have your month mostly organized! Therefore, it is time to name intentions for each week and add the purpose behind each day. This helps so much whenever I get side-tracked or lose my focus. I can go back to my calendar and clearly see what I intended for in the week, and what the main purpose of the day’s activities were.
If you decide to follow this method, or have anything you’d change or add, I’d love to hear from you! Connect in the comments below 🙂