It’s a Q&A Episode!
1) Planning sustainable and enjoyable holiday seasons
Going to take a card from Kendra Adachi of Lazy Genius fame and say: start by NAMING WHAT MATTERS (to you!)
I will also add my own card which is: Space out the fun!
Sit down on a quiet afternoon SOON (yes September!) and write out what is important to you this holiday season. You might choose:
- a special meal with family
- cookie baking/exchanging
- community celebrations
- gift giving
- sending cards
Be honest – are some more important than others? Are there things you have held onto just b/c you were doing them before? Are there things that could be simplified (example: use an app and do a gift exchange instead of a million individual family gifts, or just do uniform gift cards for all?). Are there budget constraints which make a lot of this stressful, and places you could pare down?
Then for the ones that DO matter, create a realistic timeline. The point of this stuff is that it’s supposed to be FUN! Not just for others but for you, too!!
Set boundaries in a kind way, and with enough notice. Example — hosting others: Is there a way to place boundaries around this? Either decide on meeting at a mutual place instead of your home, or shortening the duration? OR, if people are staying, creating some shared responsibility around mealtimes etc?
I think the fact that you asked about it is a great start towards being intentional this year!
- holiday cards – will work on updating address list in Nov (put note in planner)
- will send cards electronically
- will delegate hanukkah gift buying (lol . . but to the extent possible) and stick to an ‘easy’ framework
- will enjoy making 1-2 dishes for thanksgiving
- will try to take at least one full day off WITH childcare (camp) over winter break b/c I know I will need it!
2) Tips for tracking (and not forgetting to track)
First – tracking is optional! Do it if it helps you or brings you joy. DON’T do it if it doesn’t 🙂
Here is my prior episode on tracking: (#88) – Tracking: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Personally I do find it motivating though tend to stick to shorter term trackers more reliably! I definitely support working on tracking just one habit at a time if tracking has been difficult or you are trying to figure out what works.
If you use a weekly planner and look at it regularly, it’s probably the best place for your trackers! My suggestion is either to use the monthly calendar OR if you’re more likely to actually turn to your weeklies, make a mini tracker there! You could make a tiny grid with the habits (maybe no more than 3) on one axis and the days of the week on the other.
You can also build tracking in as a ritual — for example, you could link tracking your reading to something you do right before checking email for the first time each day, or when you plan out your day.
ALSO: sometimes having an end point can help! Seems like a more finite less overwhelming project
Personally: Reading is something I have mostly enjoyed tracking on a monthly spread so I can see the progression! ALSO remove any pressure to be perfect. I am definitely highly imperfect with my trackers! Maybe work on the idea that if you miss a day, it’s fine to pick up later 🙂
3) Planner matchup request: daily pages with gridlines + colorful tabs?
Golden Coil (so much customization!)
4) A system to keep special memories + achievements long term
OOOOH I love this idea!
One idea would be a 5 year journal – but even that can have a lot more than just “highlights”. Sort of love the idea of a book that goes from year to year, perhaps one with removable pages that captures highlights (and yearly lists all in one place — swoon!).
I think a binder might be best! Something durable and nice that you can add pages to over time. Maybe an Erin Condren ring agenda filled with blank paper Maruman or if you wanted to go SUPER luxe/special, I’ve been looking at Plotter (https://plotterusa.com).
Finally – could do a special “long term” notebook where you put things to celebrate. Would be a really cool scrapbook to build! Could have sections like:
- work victories
- highlight reel (photos)
- personal achievements
- experiences to remember
5) Planner matchup request: planner for a middle schooler
1- Mochithings makes great and fairly portable planners with weekly layouts! You could get them a (cheap on sale) 2022 to try, like this one.
2- Erin Condren Academic! Pricier but lovely quality and very functional: here. This is what Annabel has currently!
3- Passion Planner: lots of teens love this layout – perfect for tracking lots of time commitments and activities but also prioritizing fun.
4- Amanda Rach Lee’s bullet journal style planner is great but no academic release (only yearly).
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Keep your submissions coming — or submit a speculative entry about what didn’t work this year and what you HOPE might bring PP in 2023.