I’m a goal setter and enjoy the process of planning. As such, I love planners and usually end up buying a couple before the start of the year. It’s fun to have all sorts of things to look forward to, and my planner serves as a chronicle of what I’ve accomplished and a road map for next steps. I appreciate the accoutrements that make for a creative planning sessionthe stickers, the colored pencils, highlighters, stencils. A few weeks before the new year, I’m like a little kid, ready for school to begin, with a pencil pouch filled to the brim, excited to give it my all to writing down every single goal, task, event and deadline. I particularly like to cross things off my agenda with a flourish. Being able to take my colored Le Pen and put a definitive line through something I’ve completed or achieved is highly satisfying. I enjoy the colorful visual of seeing my weeks and months being filled up with exciting activities and get motivated by all the potential. I know for a fact that when I break out a big goal into bite-sized tasks and plan timelines around accomplishing them, I see positive results. By planning, I can keep myself on track and achieve gargantuan goals faster. For example, about two years ago, when I had to plan a retreat for 100-plus people, everything from the strategic discussion topics and breakout sessions to the dinner menus and bowling teams for an evening of competitive games went in a planner I bought just for the occasion. I carefully logged every single detail of what needed to be done and without it, I would have been lost. The event was successful because the smallest of details were addressedthanks to planning out the vision and knocking off the to-dos. Sure, there were last-minute things I hadn’t accounted for but dealing with them was easier because I had the things I could control in control.

I am religious about writing in my planner and generally stick to pouring in the details … for about two to three months, and then life gets in the way. So, around March, the mad crush of something or other consumes me and weeks go by and “I don’t have time,” to enter in all the exciting stuff I need to do and that I have accomplished. Because I feel the guilt shining through the blank pages of the planner I started at the beginning of the year, I end up buying a new planner mid-year to start fresh. And, thus, the vicious cycle begins. Again.

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