A New Challenge

Late last year, I hosted a challenge to help people get out of a creative rut. It seemed to go okay.

Late December, I asked which kind of challenge you would prefer: one to increase your creativity or one to have a better planner. The results were evenly split.

So we’ll do both.

First up is “5 Days to More Creativity.” It starts on January 10, so this is pretty short notice. It will run through the 14th. I will post an image with prompts soon.

Second, “5 Days to a Better Planner” will run from January 21-25. It will be the kick-off event for the launch of a new JEN Enterprises Presents title on how to develop a hybrid planner tailored to your needs.

It’s a busy month. Are you ready to get to work?

2019 Goals

I know you can set goals and meet them at any time of the year, but there’s something about the beginning of the year that just seems appropriate. Maybe because it’s an external frame of measurement. Regardless, I do goals instead of resolutions and it works for me.

To provide a frame of reference for my goals, I choose a word for the year. Last year, my word was “Prosperity.” This year, I have two words. The main word is “Intentional” and a supplemental word of “Consistent.”

That said, my goals for the year are:

  1. Launch courses: 40 Days to Creativity and Journal Your Way to Creativity.
  2. Release 12 JEN Enterprises Presents titles (one per month).
  3. Publish RealmWalker: New Beginnings with The Wild Rose Press.
  4. Podcast every other week.
  5. 1 YouTube video a week.
  6. 2 public speaking gigs.
  7. 4 coaching clients.

Every year, I hesitate to make my goals public because “what if I don’t do them?” But the fact that they are public provides some external motivation to get them done.

That’s where I am for goals this year. They are listed in my planner with steps and plans to achieve them.

What about you? Do you make goals or resolutions?

What kind of challenge do you want?

I am looking at doing another challenge in the middle of January.

My question for you is this:

Would you rather have “5 Days to Increased Creativity” or “5 Days to a Better Planner”?

Leave a comment and let me know.

My 2019 Planner Setup

img_20181220_2107511501491200035.jpgI thought about this one for a while. I wasn’t going to post about it, but I’ve had several people asking about my planner, so here it is.

I’m using a Bullet Journal/traditional planner hybrid as my main planner. I’m also using Fresh Start 2019 by Amber McCue to help me get things set up the way I want them to be and 5 Second Journal developed by Mel Robbins and her team as a supplement to my planner. (I talked about the journal in a separate post a couple days ago.)

For my actual planner, I’m using a Carpe Diem A5 6-ring binder (in one of my signature colors – purple) with a printed calendar insert. Before that, though, there are several other sections with dot grid paper.

Section 1: Contact info/medical info/emergency contacts.

Section 2: 2019 words/goals, mentor notes, 90-day plan, monthly reviews, quarterly review.

Section 3: Trackers (personal and business)

Section 4: Idea log/brain dump/notes to self Section

Section 5: Calendar Section. This is where the pre-printed calendar with a week on two pages lives.

Section 6: Info for contacts (email, phone, address, industry, etc.)

I also have a thin notebook in one of the pockets that’s for my content calendar. I’ve already started filling that in.

Note: I don’t put my to-do items in my planner unless/until I have a specific date or week for it to be done. These dates are either external (appointments) or internal (self-assigned deadlines). I use my NNL (Now, Next, Later) lists in Trello to hold all those.

One thing I think is important to remember is your planner is for you. No one else has to see it. It doesn’t have to be pretty/perfect as long as it works for you.
So this is what I’m using for 2019. I’ve actually already started using it and it seems to be working well. It’s easy to adjust if not. If you want more information on setting up your own DIY planner, check out my book, Create Your Own DIY Planner, or email me about a consultation.

The 5 Second Journal: A Review

I’ve been seeing this journal mentioned all across social media. I caught it on sale and thought I would try it out.

As of right now, I’ve been using it for a little over a week. And I like it.

Developed by Mel Robbins and her team, it plays off of the 5 Second Rule. Count backwards from 5.

5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Get [Stuff] Done!

The journal came wrapped in plastic. It’s an off-set hard cover journal that lies flat. There’s a short introduction that explains some of the science behind it and an example of it’s layout. Then it starts right in.

The top of the page is the setting, followed immediately by how you feel. There’s a space for you to write three reasons for why you feel that way. It’s followed by a space for what you can do to be more energized.

After that, you jump into what I consider the meat of the journal. Your project for the day. This includes why it’s important to you and one thing you can do to move forward. You also decide what time you’re going to quit working for the day. There’s a space for other thoughts in case there’s something that pops up while you’re deciding on your project for the day.

The second page of the daily layout can be used as a calendar/schedule. Or you can ignore the times on the right side and use it just for notes and brainstorming.

It is easy to set up and quit to use. All told, I think I spend less than 5 minutes a day on this. It is not meant to replace your daily planner, but is intended to be a supplement to it.

I like that it’s ease of use lets me focus on what I need to get done. Because you don’t have a lot of room for extra writing, you’re forced to cut through the excess and figure out what is the most important thing to do that day.

In addition to some pictures of the blank journal, I have included a couple images of pages that I have filled out. I think that gives you a better idea of how to use it than just the diagrammed example provided the front of the journal.

Plan Your Writing Schedule (video)

Last week, I shared a video from Sarra Canon of Heart Breathings. This week, I’m doing it again. She has good information for writers, no matter how long you’ve been at it.

In this video, she talks about setting up your writing schedule for 2019 and being realistic about your goals.

Planning for 2019

Creative Commons via catchingcourage.com

It seems strange to think that there are only two weeks left in this year. I actually had to check the calendar after I typed that. Yes. Two weeks.

The other day, I was thinking that it was early to be planning for next year. When I look at the calendar and realize that, though? It’s not too early at all. In fact, I kind of feel some pressure being applied.

But… I’m good.

I don’t have everything in place that I want for 2019, but who does? Not only am I not that organized, I don’t want to be that rigid.

My planner setup for the year is in a purple Carpe Diem A5 6-ring binder. I’m doing a hybrid method using a traditional calendar (week on two pages layout) and Bullet Journal methods. I’ve been giving it a trial run for the past couple months and it’s working out great.

I already have my goals lined up. I will be tracking them per quarter so I’ll better know where I stand with what I’m wanting to do. I won’t share them here just yet. I will let you know some of them as they come along because it involves new books, courses, and reviving my podcast.

It’s more than keeping on keeping on. It’s growing and improving and loving what I do so that I will have more things to share with you, too.

Have you started planning for 2019 yet? What kinds of content do you want to see here (or hear on the podcast) that would help you reach your goals?