Post No. 3 for The Lifestyle Project

Hi All! Caroline is back today with her third post for The Lifestyle Project!

Hi everyone!

This post is going to focus on calendars. I will warn you however, if you are looking for advice or tips then this may not be the post for you… although you may learn what not to do when setting up a new system!

As I have been learning about the tools I need to implement to move forward with my recovery, I became a bit overwhelmed. I am not the kind of person that naturally leans towards a daily routine. Because of my illness, I don’t work full time and when I am working, my shifts are sporadic and different every week because I work in a bar.  Because of this, I have trouble sticking to doing the same things everyday; on the day after a shift I might feel too tired to get out of bed, and on the day of my shift I may be full of anxious energy because I know that I have to stay up late. Pro tip: try not to work in a bar if you are recovering from ME. 😉

Anyway, I am working on calming things down a little so I don’t feel so up and own with my energy from day to day, which is where the daily routine comes in.
My days should consist of yoga, meditation, EFT (google it, it’s very very interesting!) and other psychological techniques to change thought patterns and beliefs. On top of this I still have many things to learn, and new tools to implement, so a calendar is what I thought I needed to stay on top of things.
I use a monthly calendar to track what I have done each day at a glance. I use little heart stickers to remind me to love myself everyday, and be gentle with myself. Cheesy but there you have it! I apologise for the shakiness of the photos… I was in bed: 50% ME and 50% laziness!


As you can see, I started mid September, and really had to ease myself into doing all these things everyday, and I haven’t quite got there just yet. 
This bit is working well, and I have continued the same system for October
Next up was the weekly planning calendars… take a deep breath…


Now I love the inserts from DIY Fish but this was waaaaay too much! I was so overwhelmed and all that space let to overplanning. The time slots meant I was trying to shedule my day hour by hour. Too much! I get stressed just looking at this. 
As a planner addict, I have a few unused calendars lying around from the beginning of the year, so I thought I would try them.


These are pages from the Organised Mum Life Book (I think??) I just ripped them out and punched them. I liked the way I could use a section for each time of the day. It wasn’t as rigid as hourly time slots. I simply organised by AM, PM, and EVE, with a space for notes.
However, I was overplanning again!
Next I ripped out some pages from an Uncalendar I had lying around, with similar results…


I really really dislike the colours on the Uncalendar, and as a visual person that was quite distracting. However I persevered long enough to fill in all my stuff. And hated it. Everything was.. everywhere. What do I put in all those tiny boxes?!!! Overwhelm again!
By this point I was super stressed and realised I was making things way too hard for myself and piling on a lot of pressure to get things done; the exact opposite to the state I wish to be in. I realised I was re writing the same stuff everyday, and it wasn’t exactly productive. Whilst I love calendars and planners, they can become quite a stressful obsession for me. I am not naturally organised; I am an artist a right brain thinker. Putting myself into all these little boxes wasn’t doing me any favours. So, for now until I can decide what to do (with minimum stress PLEASE!) I have started using a monthly grid.

I have given up writing down my routine everyday. I know what I ‘m meant to do and the monthly calendar with the heart stickers tells me if I’ve done it. Instead, I write one or two things I could do each day, depending on whether it’s the day after work. I have also got two areas I like to work on every week alongside my health: Art and Growth. They are both linked: My goal when I am recovered is to start my own business as an illustrator and workshop educator. That’s what the growth stands for. I like to spend a little time on those days on promotion, researching grants and updating my website ( if you’re interested). Art is for art days. 🙂
I am also considering the week plus notes from Qimmis. I love the cupcake one! But until I have figured out what the hell I am doing, I don’t want to spend any money. I am trained in bookmaking and graphic design, so I might just make my own calendar next year and combine it with an art journal. That would be fun! Even if I move the calendar section out, the rest of the binder is working so well and I am really happy with it.

If anyone had any suggestions on how to ease my planner angst then please leave me a comment!

Until next time!

Leave a Reply