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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Planner Art

From this blog, you can see that I'm interested in a lot of things. (Curiosity could kill the cat indeed) I get interested in a lot but I don't always have the commitment to brush my knowledge up to a level that I want. For eg, the violin. I like the challenge of playing it, despite how bad I am, but I don't feel I practise enough to reach a level that I am satisfied with. Why don't I do so? Numerous distractions abound, but Facebook and TV spring to mind first... 

This year, I pledged to achieve more of my personal goals instead of just letting them languish holiday after holiday. I've used this blog as a way to keep myself accountable to me and to my friends, but I cannot use it on a daily basis. I don't like looking at screens all the time, my battery will run flat several times a day and more importantly, I can do more pretty things on paper than on the phone, heh. 

So I've been keeping an informal planner to help me keep track of my personal goals and to help me plan my week and this is the planner page I've done for the week 18-24 April:

There's very little content because I never meant it to be a daily diary, just a simple one to note when I did something relating to my personal goals. I do keep one thing constant though, which is to note Gratitude, Focus and Goals.

For Gratitude, I note one thing in the day I'm grateful for. This reminds me that life is not all bad, even on its worst days and reminds me to see the good as well. Sometimes there's one big thing I'm grateful for, sometimes it's small, like a quiet cup of tea. It all works to the same effect.

For Focus, I note what I did to achieve my Focus for the month. This month, my focus is on Writing, so I might note whether I blogged in this blog, or others. 

For Goals, I note which of my other goals I managed to achieved, like practising the piano or exercising. Again, the success of this varies. Some days I did it, some days, I rediscover the joys of TV...... 

Why do I have two separate yet alike sounding themes like Focus and Goals? There is a slight difference for me. Because there's so much stuff that catches my attention, I want to focus on one a month and take that month to go more indepth into the subject. So for my Focus on writing, I might read up more on writing skills and techniques and (try to) blog more frequently. Hopefully, after the month of focus is up, some habits and knowledge become more ingrained.

However, other than writing, there are other stuff I like to do and I feel are important enough to continue doing. Exercise is one, so it becomes a goal. I continue doing it but I don't bring all my focus onto it and exercise 5 days a week at the gym. That for me is the difference.

It's not a perfect system of course, and I'm not all that disciplined in carrying out all my goals, but I do feel that there's a difference when things are jotted down on paper. You feel that much accountable to yourself and I also make more of an effort to reach them. Even if I don't reach all my goals, it feels good to know there is some progress still, better than nothing. 

And of course it always feels good as well to look at a pretty planner page, haha...

So I'm going to continue with this habit for a while. It's a simple way to exercise creativity in both art and writing and also to keep track of my goals. At the same time, I can also exercise mindfulness and gratitude for the little blessings that make my life a bit easier. It requires little effort, does no harm and I end up with a pretty little page at the end. Why not?

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