Here at the Quilter’s Planner, we want to help set you up for success in 2022. Our Planner Setup series will help you get familiar with your planner, walk you through starting to fill it out, and teach you how to make the most of your year. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part One: Getting Started.
Part Two: Adding to your calendar pages
We did a little marking in our planners last time, but today we’re really going to use those writing tools and dive into our year!
Add Important dates:
First, think through important dates, anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, and add them to the following places: Your ‘important dates and deadlines’ page at the front of the planner, into the monthly goal planning page of the month it falls in, onto the monthly calendar spread, and onto the weekly spread.
Here are some things you will be able to put into your calendar now:
Birthdays, anniversaries, planned vacations, medical appointments that have been scheduled in advance, scheduled car and home maintenance appointments, renewals for memberships, guild and club meetings, special work events, school start and end dates, and special school events.
Add reminders for important dates and events:
It’s no fun realizing you have a birthday party TODAY for a special child in your life and you haven’t even thought of what you might like to get as a gift for them! (ask me how I know!) Schedule a “head-ups” note for yourself one to two weeks in advance of an event.
Examples of this: Got a trip planned? Mark the date you need to confirm travel details and schedule a time to pack. Upcoming birthday? Schedule a shopping trip to find a gift. Creating that space ahead of time really helps you feel less blindsided when the time comes.
Schedule tasks that happen at regular intervals:
Even if you don’t have a set appointment, you can still add reminders in your calendar for things that need to happen at regular intervals.
Some examples are: Making hair appointments, getting car services done, home maintenance tasks, or doing your finances. For these things, I decide how often they need to happen, and then place all the reminders in my calendar at the beginning of the year (I use the weekly spread for this).
Schedule some fun:
We all start the year with the best of intentions, thinking and dreaming about how we’re going to make it the best year ever. But I find that if I don’t intentionally set aside time for rest, reflection and recreation, the overwhelming wave of things I ‘should do’ drowns them out. We ‘planner people’ tend to be task and productivity oriented, but life should be more than a list of appointments and tasks!
If you don’t have time away from work scheduled, schedule it now! No need to have a plan for that time yet- you’ll figure it out. Just get it scheduled and blocked out on your calendar and come up with a plan later. Sometimes it helps to just have a vague idea; “Two days away for my birthday” or “Day trip to see fall colors”. The details can come later.
Another thing that helps me be mindful about my ‘down time’ is to really think during the year about what I want to do with my free time. I tend to do this twice a year: once heading into summer and again in early fall before the holiday season hits.
In summer, think, “What activities will make me feel like I’ve fully enjoyed the nice weather?” Now add those activities to your calendar. For instance, if the answer is hiking more, decide how many hikes you want to go on, and then schedule all your hiking days so you’re sure to get them in.
In early fall, I sit with my family and discuss which activities we want to do that year- and what activities we can do without. This could be a family baking day, pumpkin farm trip, going to see a show, decorating the house together, or going for a drive to get Starbucks and look at lights. Once we decide on what is important to us in that season, we add those activities to the calendar so nothing else crowds them out.
I don’t do this at the beginning of the year (although you could). But I can set myself up for success now by scheduling the planning sessions. One to two hours is sufficient, and snacks are always a welcome addition!
Now that you’ve added the important things to your calendar, you’ve given yourself some structure and can enter 2022 knowing that you are prepared to make the year great! Next time, we will work on filling out the project section of our 2022 Planners.