I have a desire to develop my jewelry making skills, and I am tired of getting in my own way. What to do? First, adopt an attitude of curiosity and self forgiveness. None of us are perfect, and, I assume, we all want to accomplish things that we only dream about instead of devoting real time to make ourselves truly happy.
Next, research the available journals and planners, along with goal setting and soul searching.
This brought me to the Rituals for Living Dreambook and Planner (available at https://dragontreeapothecary.com/collections/rituals-for-living-dreambook). The couple who authored this book had a sound approach to what I was looking for: more than a daily planner, more than a journal, and more than a goal setting/mind-mapping set up could give me. It was a little pricey, but since it was the closest thing I could find, I took the plunge. I opted to buy the pdf version rather than the bound book available. I suspected that I would do better with the pdf, and I was right.
After doing the preliminary work required in the book, I was still a little fearful to actually write goals down and COMMIT to them. It seemed to me there was a gap between writing down the things that make you a happy content individual, and turning those ideas and definitions into achievable goals. That brought me to mind-mapping. Mind mapping has been around awhile now. There are even software packages devoted to mind-mapping. The most helpful site I found is http://blog.iqmatrix.com/. I need to mention that one of the most helpful blog posts is the 19 Excuses You Are Making That Keep You Stuck. Kind of a kick-starter, so to speak. After reading through the various blog posts on this site and investigating a few of the links that are listed, I found that it started to make sense.
But what about that 50 lbs I would like to lose? and what about the house repairs that need to be made? and the money I want to save and the family I want to spend time with? All doable and a place for everything.
I was able to allay my fears and just start writing down random goals and assigning tasks to each of them based on the mind mapping idea. I then could narrow down what was really important, what sounded good, and what really didn’t matter to me all that much. I found that if I concentrated on various areas in my life (mentioned in the Rituals For Living): Health and Wellbeing; Finances; Careers and Hobbies; and Family and Community, it was easy to make my way through to the important stuff. I then transferred the important goals to the Rituals for Living Planner and I was on my way.
But still not enough detail–for me. I really do want ONE book/planner/journal where EVERYTHING lives. I can’t tell you how many planners I have lying around the house. Really, they are everywhere: under the bed, in my art studio, in the cabinet in the den, at work in a desk drawer. So I knew this about myself from the start. ONE PLACE.
Enter the loose leaf notebook.I don’t like loose leaf notebooks. They are awkward–not sleek and beautiful like those pretty well-packaged journals out there. But it had to be done. One loose leaf notebook and the pdf copy of the Rituals For Living Dreambook and Planner printed on three drill paper, front and back. Now the good part: I bought a set of five plastic pockets to fit in my notebook. I also bought a set of month dividers. The dividers, of course, divided up the year by months conveniently. The pockets provide a place to store all the printouts of the jewelry projects I plan to complete each quarter.
One thing I have learned through the years is the importance of documenting your experience when attempting to create something. The instructions may say “easy peasy” and you find out it’s more “good luck with that”. Write down what you did and what you learned. Then, when the issue comes up again, you have the solution written down for yourself–or at least, you know what not to try again. So for every project I am going to attempt, I have a project page with a simple title line and date to record progress. These are in my notebook by week to fill in as I do my weekly project.
Getting closer, but still some loose threads. I need a food diary and a journal. I also want daily check ins for exercise and taking my meds. MS Excel has developed into a highly usable and customizable spreadsheet software. With Excel, I was able to design a daily food diary and journaling space, two days to a page, and include reminders about my exercise and my meds. These pages fit handily in the weekly spread that is part of the Rituals for Living Dreambook. The weekly spreads are handy because they allow you to coordinate your days and truly ritualize those plans that are important to you. It’s nice because, rather than panicking at seeing in your brain all the things you “should” do, you write it all down and realize that there is time and you truly can get things done. And it allows you to make yourself important. You are setting appointments to accomplish things that are important to you. These appointments are scheduled just like all the other “real” appointments in your life-and they should be!
So now I am a month in to my Ritualized living. It’s good. I even convinced my husband to take part. He has a copy of the Dreambook and is (sort of) attempting to put some goals together. He also has a better understanding of what I am trying to do, and because he knows what I am up to, he has good buy-in.
I encourage you to look in to planning/journaling/goal setting especially if you seem to be stuck or are not accomplishing what you feel you are capable of. It’s a great help to know that you can help yourself out. And accomplish things you want to do without pain.