Planning for life…

I love a new planner. This year, I got two. I bought one for 50% off in October in preparation for the New Year. Unfortunately, Zoe ate it. So, I’ve spent hours searching out just the right replacement. It should be here on Wednesday.

I’ve been thinking about how I want to use my planner. I don’t need it as a calendar as much as a place to build intentionally into my life. You see the things that have dates and times attached are pretty easy for me. I show up for work every day, I rarely miss an appointment, and when I make plans to meet with a friend it always seems to happen. It’s the things that don’t have dates and time associated that cause me trouble.

A planner helps me focus on what matters. But I have to decide what my priorities are. There are hundreds of online tutorials where bloggers show how to use their fancy new planners. I noticed, however, that there are very few to help you decide what really matters. They can show you how to decorate your planner with stickers, washi tape, and colored markers, but they don’t help you identify the things that matter most in your life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my priorities for the coming year.

Peace– Pursuing peace isn’t a passive activity for me, but a commitment to order and simplicity. It’s about taking responsibility for my hours and my days. In my life, peace starts with a lack of internal conflict. Am I where I should be, doing what I should be doing? Am I living in a way that reflects my deepest values? I am I striving or am I resting?

Joy– Finding joy in the ordinary moments of my life can be an elusive chase. Leaning in, slowing down, and fully committing to the exquisite mundane somehow opens me up to notice, to enjoy. This doesn’t happen when I’m running at a hundred miles an hour. I need to show up for joy.

Love– Relationships require time and attention. While I can commit to love for my part, the true warmth of friendship and trust only happen when we put in the time. It can’t wait for someday, it needs a space to grow now. My calendar needs to reflect this priority.

This year I am committed to a gentler lifestyle. I want to build in some rest, some relaxation, and some fun. I want to say no to frantic and say yes to a more sustainable pace. In order for that to be true, I will need a plan. I will need to mark off times to withdraw, to write, to read, and to relax. I will need to say no to some things in order to make room for this quiet reflection and meaningful relationships. This is the good stuff, I don’t want to miss it.

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