Phew! Happy Christmas everyone! Hope you all had a great time – we did, it was fairly low-key but it’s the first time we’ve ever hosted anything Christmassy and there was plentiful baking and decorating and some nice relaxing days before and after. Funny to think that after two months of planning, it’s all over! I was still scrabbling around at the end trying to send things to Japan (MUST write those letters earlier next year) – but that was the only thing, everything else pretty much went to schedule. Oh and I got sick and missed the last day of work, which meant I missed language time so I had some language stuff to finish up, which I now have. So I’m on track but grateful for the extra holidays – and also super-grateful that I did so much of my 2013 planning in advance during November and December as I’ve had much less time to sit and focus on that than I thought I would.
I did get some time today though and have basically finished (for now – these things are a work in progress) my vision boards for next year. I say vision boards because that’s kind of the trendy thing, but really they’re more like Mission Control Boards with reminders of everything I have to do, all in one place. I’m posting some pictures here today of the various elements – have been having a bit of a field day with the scrapbooking paper and corner-rounding punch! …as you will see! This is the large-scale visual equivalent of what was formerly the Control Journal for those who follow me back that far!
I have three boards altogether and two of them are in use at the moment. The board to the left was originally going to be my posting-random-inspiration board but it’s since been invaded by some meta-goal type stuff. “Do Not Feed The Trolls” is my favourite anti-depression slogan and there was a great picture in one of the free commuter magazines the other week so that went straight up on the background! Next to that I have two cloud-backrground goal-catchers, the lower one is for outcomes for the year as a whole:
These weren’t my top-10 goals or anything, just things that came to mind that I wanted reminders of. The great thing about these pages is that they’re scrapbook-sized so I can archive them in the scrapbook or rotate them with other pages and still have an ongoing record.
Then there is a similar page with outcomes for 1Q 2013, which I’m calling the Road To Spring. I LOVE spring, and as soon as Christmas is over and the shortest day has passed, I’m already fanatically looking forward to longer days and most importantly lighter mornings. By the time we get to the beginning of April, it’s just about starting to get light at 5am, the weather is usually better, the trees and flowers start to come out and the clocks have changed, meaning no more coming home in the dark. Experience has shown that those three months of anticipation are the very best time for me to achieve things, and I had a few big things to accomplish during that time. Getting back to LWY (lowest weight yet) is probably slightly over-optimistic, it will require losing about 35lb rather than the 27 that my 9lb/month target for the year would get me – but then there’s no better month to lose weight than January, is there?! And then there are music hours, 13 weeks at 15 hours would be 195 hours so I’ve made it up to 200 just to inspire me to give that extra push. I will have almost made 200 for the last two quarters of 2012 so this is doubling my average! The other thing I want to do is get the worst of the debt paid off (more than half of what’s left) by really reining in my spending, and also a reminder that I want to go through those first 13 weeks without missing a single workout or slacking on my music hours or savings targets. So not a full page yet but only the most important things! I want to get into a better routine with my days off too, working towards a gradually earlier wake-up time so that once we get into April I can start getting up at 5 and going jogging. That means only 13 more treks on the train for Monday swims! Motivation!
Underneath that I made a quick list of milestones I was looking forward to – that’ll definitely get added to.
The second board is the main bulk of reminders for various routines etc. Starting at the top right there is a daily and weekly checklist of things to get done/include in my schedule:
I had a bit of a dilemma about how to track things next year because traditionally I like to start my weeks on a Saturday or a Monday, and 2013 starts on a Tuesday which is no use to anyone! But then I start work on Tuesdays and my weeks are generally split into Tues-Fri work cycle and Sat-Mon long weekends, both of which have different routines. And seeing as I’ve not had any great success starting my weeks on a Saturday and aiming to “get ahead” with things like music practice in particular over the weekend, I think for 1Q at least I will try to run my weeks Tues-Mon, which means using the weeknights to make as good a start as I can on everything and then catching up at the weekend and then wrapping everything up, reviewing, planning and doing any catch up on Mondays when I have the most time to myself. This makes sense. It’ll also mean that if I get ahead on music hours, I’ll be able to schedule in proper down-time at the weekends which will be a relief. I’ll see how that goes!
I don’t have weekly checklists written up or typed-out yet so for the moment this board is all I have to remind me of what to track and what progress to check up on.
There’s a monthly list as well:
I do already have the monthly checklists written into my 2013 diary though so I should remember to do these stock-takes at the end of each month.
Then there is a separate section with specific goals for the month – this is where my cunning use of giant sticky notes comes into play!:
(EEEk still working through December goals there… four days to go…!!)
Then I have other little sections for current projects/reminders:
So far I have placeholders for:
- piano pieces to focus on
- scrapbook ideas
- weightloss targets (weekly)
- eating habits (monthly)
- presents & letters to send (weekly)
and then there’s a cheat-sheet for morning journal time just to remind me of the most important things to cover in case I am foggy-headed or short-on time (as often happens in the morning!)
There’s still plenty of space to add things as I go along but I really like the way these are shaping up. I have other things on other notepads – an A4 quarterly day-plan to get an overview of the weeks and my days off and social obligations, and then I do a twice-weekly schedule overview for work days / days off and I have the tracking lists in my Rabbit House book. In amidst all the things I want to do next year, I’m trying to keep it simple and having it up on the board means most of the time I know what I’m doing and can make the most efficient use of my spare time each day. It makes me feel calmer as well to know that my daily routine boils down to just a few things – it feels manageable. None of what I’m trying to do at this point is remotely scary! It’s just a case of being crafty and slotting everything together.
The hunt for the Magic Word for 2013 continues, however… I have been over many options, Passion, Commit, Focus, Discipline even – what I really want is a word that describes that welling up of almost pride you feel when you’ve done the right thing by yourself and are feeling the benefit of it, even when the doing was not the easiest choice and meant sacrificing other easier or more comfortable things. Any ideas?!