Planning Sweet Spot
I have always been drawn to possibility. Growing up, my favorite day of the week was Friday (and it still is, but maybe for different reasons these days), not because it was the last day of the week, but because it was the start of the “anything-can-happen” mentality. School was school, but the weekends were for hanging out with friends, for seeing where the day would take me, for fun things to happen. My favorite part wasn’t the actual events, but rather the anticipation of what could happen. The world was my oyster and savoring it all before it ever happened was the sweetest part for me. Friday was the “sweet spot” where I could reflect and anticipate whatever may happen—the possibilities were endless.
Another sweet spot includes the moment the meal you’ve been anticipating is delivered to your table, and before you dive in, you look at the colors, the display of yumminess, the scent of the blended flavors, and then, the first bite. And just this year, I realized that my favorite moment of the entire Christmas season is that sweet spot on Christmas Eve night—the “work” is done, the gift fun and the actual day are still ahead, and in those few precious moments, I kick back with my eggnog, listen to Christmas music, and bask in the glow of the Christmas tree lights, reflecting on the craziness that has past and the anticipation of the following day.
In essence, the “sweet spot” is a moment or two of hanging in the balance, where you appreciate the possibilities, savor the before (rather than reflect during the after), and just be.
And of course, the sweet spot can be found in my planner. Although I buy the following year’s inserts as soon as they’re released (usually in July or August) and get them prepped as soon as they arrive, come New Year’s Day, it is a blank canvas, an entire year’s worth of possibilities. Looking back on 2012, now complete, I know what the year has held for me. But 2013, well that’s all yet to be revealed. I can imagine any number of scenarios and outcomes, appreciate what might come to pass, hang in the balance, and reflect and appreciate what may or may not end up on those pages as we go through the year. Hence, the planning sweet spot.
My system has not changed since this time last year—I have finally found something that works for me and provides it in a way that I’m not lugging around things I don’t need. I’ve switched back to Reggie for the winter months—I’m still in love with Ms. Plum, but she needed a rest. I’m sure she will make another appearance come the spring. (My goal is to have a compact binder for every season—I need one for the fall [perhaps the brown Holborn?] and one for the summer, if there is ever a bright-colored compact available in a binder that will lay flat [so, not you, Finsbury].)
The only thing that has changed is the addition of Day Planner sheets. I decided that I need to write down everything health and food related throughout the day. I need to see how much and what kind of food I eat compared to how much exercise I do. Since I had these inserts on hand, I thought it would be a good way to start.
The front of the sheet will contain most of my information.
The “Appointments” section is where I will keep track of any exercise I do and the length of time I do it.
The “To Do” section is where I will write down anything I eat.
The “Don’t Forget” section is for additional information, like did I take my vitamin, daily water intake, and how many servings of fruits and vegetables I had.
The back of the sheets simply says “Notes.” I’ve been using this section to keep any notes about the day or ideas I’ve had. So, if I’m feeling tempted by all of the leftover holiday cookies and chocolates at work, I can write about my frustration here. Or if I had a difficult workout and am really feeling it, I make note of that too. While I do write in my journal a few times a week, I feel that this separation will help to keep me focused since all of my health notes will be in one place.
I keep a week’s worth of Day Planner sheets in my binder at a time. When I do my weekly schedule on Sunday evenings, I will pull out the past sheets and put in new ones for the upcoming seven days. I put them in front of that month’s tab (so I can find and separate them easily when it comes time to take them out) and mark the current day with a Martha Stewart tab for easy access throughout the day.
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If this system continues to work, I may create my own template and print it so that I’m not spending the money for more Day Planner sheets. Plus, since these weren’t created for this exact use, I can customize the insert to reflect how I use them. We’ll see how it goes. But for now, this is working well.
Just the other day, I had the opportunity to look back on last year’s daily inserts. My husband asked when our new appliances had been delivered, and I quickly turned to it in last year’s archive. But of course I didn’t stop there. I skimmed through the rest of the year to see what else I could find. Even my husband was entertained, and it came in quite handy in answering his question. So any complaints he has about my planner and obsession with it is now null and void.
So here we are at the beginning of another new year. Before my planner becomes full of all the details that this year will bring, I am going to bask in the sweet spot, dreaming of all the things that may happen throughout 2013.