For the past few years, I have spent every New Year’s Eve-New Year’s Day the same way. I prepare for the new year. I set realistic goals and action items to accomplish each goal. This year, as I sit down to prepare my goals, I can’t help but be in awe of my DIY PLANNER.
A couple of months ago, I realized, “If I don’t write it down, it won’t happen.” Now don’t get me wrong, I am a tech geek. I use my phone for EVERYTHING. But, it is still no replacement for pencil and paper. I needed to brainstorm, set goals, and jot down my ideas and so my search began for the perfect planner. My search was HIGHLY unsuccessful. I am a researcher, so I searched forever looking for the perfect planner. I found them to be very expensive and still missing several key components I needed for my own planning purposes.
So, I created my own planner. I had no choice. I refused to pay up to $50 for a planner that I was not fully satisfied with. I absolutely love my new planner. I will admit, that my planner isn’t colorful and pretty, but it is fully functional, works great, and cost me about $25 to create. Maybe next year, I will attempt to be a bit more creative. Or maybe not.
I started designing my planner with a section for each month containing the following sheets:
For me the calendar is the most essential filler for my planner. I wanted a calendar on two pages with an area for notes. I printed a generic 2013 calendar with the full year to view to start my planner.
WEEKLY PLANNER SHEETS
Following each monthly calendar was a set of weekly planner sheets (4-5 sheets depending on the month). I am very anal (and not ashamed to admit my personal flaws) and I searched high and low for a single page planner sheet that started its week with Monday. In my world, the week starts with Monday.
On the back of pages, I copied lined pages. I wanted to utilize every space of my planner. NO WHITE SPACE!
I added these sheets to the front of my planner to stay completely focused on my goals throughout the year.
I added a gift checklist to the beginning of my planner and after the December calendar to prepare for the holidays.
This year I plan to grow a closer relationship with Christ and added a prayer list sheet to keep track of prayer requests and celebrations:
I filled this section with sheets to help me create goals I want to accomplish with this blog. I also included about 50 copies of a blog planning sheet (copied front to back) to organize my blog thoughts. Often times, I will think of a great blog post, but by the time I find something to write it on, the thought is gone!
I started this section with a year calendar (the same one I started the planner with) and a one year planner sheet copied back to back and year calendar (3 months on a page) with notes.
I also filled this section with 52 sheets (for each week of the year) of weekly planner sheets to plan my week in business at the start of each week. I also included a few goal sheets in this section.
The personal calendar section, blogging section, and business section were separated by a blank piece of bright orange cardstock that can also be used for notes. I created a simple cover page with my name and the last decision I made was the binding. As you guys know by now, I AM A BINDER QUEEN and I originally wanted to use a 3-ring binder to contain all my planner pages, but decided that a true planner is bound together, so I opted for a coil binding with a clear front cover and hard back cover.
If you plan to make your own planner, remember to find pages that work for you and fit your lifestyle, there are SO many free fillers that you can find to fill your planner such as calendars, lined pages, and goal strategy sheets, just to name a few. And take your time, I spent over an hour at Kinko’s making sure my pages were copied correctly front to back and flowed like a true planner. And once again, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am severely anal which I’m sure added to the time I spent at Kinko’s.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I was napping comfortably, when the texts began. My sister found a “new” Christmas tradition that she just knew Pumpkin and Ladybug would enjoy, The Elf On The Shelf. I had no idea what she was talking about and did a little research. The elf is adopted by your family, every night s/he “flies” to the North Pole to report to Santa about the day’s activities, and before the family awakes, the elf flies back to their adopted home. The elf cannot be touched or s/he will lose its powers. I was sold!!! I am not an easy sell, but after I read all the posts and stories about the Elf On The Shelf (because apparently we were out the loop), I had to do it that night. So, at 6:00 pm, I set out on my mission to find my elf. My first stop was Target and EVERYTHING was sold out.
As usual, I began to let my stress level rise. I bought a bootleg sock monkey just in case I had no luck finding an elf and planned to just download the book to my iPad. Super Auntie was not having it. Although, I was the one out like a maniac looking for a freaking elf and its book. I digress.
I ended up at Barnes and Noble that had an overabundance of Elf On The Shelf kits. I coughed up the $30 with a frown on my face and headed home or so I thought. I ended up caught in a Christmas parade at 7:00 pm. Can you say, “HOT!”? I was UPSET! Who gets caught in a parade on a Sunday night with an elf and its book? I do. I called Super Auntie and vented for about 20 minutes until the parade passed.
So, after dinner, I couldn’t wait to break out our new elf. We read the book and Pumpkin named their elf Herman (don’t ask). The kids were completely clueless and were only interested in the story. I thought my work was in vain until the next morning. The angels found Herman and were TOO excited. Ladybug couldn’t contain herself and jumped around the entire kitchen. Pumpkin was excited, but a little leery. Needless to say, Herman has now become an exciting tradition and I am so thankful that Super Auntie DEMANDED (I need to listen to her more, because her demands have become very fruitful for my family!) I start the Elf On The Shelf tradition. The angels are excited every morning and cannot wait to call MiMi (their grandmother) and Super Auntie to tell them all about Silly Herman! I don’t want to blame it on the elf, but the angels are more cognizant of their behavior and I will admit, I have used the phrase, “You know Herman is watching and will report it to Santa.” DESPERATE TIMES CALLS FOR DESPERATE MEASURES and in all honesty, I don’t feel the least bit guilty.
Below are pictures of our first Elf on The Shelf experience and I will update nightly. You may even get some great ideas yourself! Pumpkin is four and Ladybug is two, so most of Herman’s adventures will take place out of reach because as you know….the elf cannot be touched or he will lose his magic!
Herman spent his first night on our fireplace mantel. I was new this tradition and had to take baby steps.
The next night, I stepped my game up just a little. Herman was drinking Mommy’s tea out of Ladybug’s cup. She was tickled pink!
The angels had a great day back at school after being out sick and Herman decided to leave them a note praising their good behavior when they returned home from school. I wrote the note with my left hand to look more like an “elf”s” writing.
The angels almost missed Herman this morning. He got stuck in the shower curtain trying to take a shower.
Herman was stuck in the chandelier in our dining room.
This is one of my favorites. Herman was caught eating remnants of Halloween candy.
This is another favorite. Herman was found in our bathroom attempting to brush his teeth after eating a ton of candy the night before.
Herman decided to take pictures of his bottom upon his return from the North Pole. I forgot to close the copier cover and probably wasted an entire ink cartridge.
Herman decided to draw a nice picture using the angels’ crayons and easel.
The kids loved this one. Herman tried to pour himself another bowl of cereal and got caught in the container.
Herman decided to orchestrate his own “panty raid” as my Husband called it!
Herman likes hiding in all kinds of light fixtures.
Herman is reading a book to his friends.
Herman is resting as Simba and Nahla watch his area to ensure he gets adequate rest.
Herman decided to help me wash and hang some pjs to dry.
Herman returned from the North Pole and got stuck in the Christmas tree!