It's the new year and you want to start using your Enthusiastic Change Maker planner! You are so excited to start, maybe you have already started, or maybe it's a new habit that you don't know how to incorporate into your daily life yet.... it's okay I get it. Here are 5 tips on how to make using your ECM planner your first new change in your life.
1. Keep it open! Have your planner open to the current weekly spread you are on. Don't close it. The goal in this whole process is to make small changes simple. I mean real simple! I mean if you see your ECM planner and it's closed, that is one more step your brain has to process before using your planner. Silly I know, but that is what we are aiming for! Steps so silly that it causes you to laugh at how easy it is to make changes in your life. When your planner is left open it is easy to see what you have going on in your life which leads me to my second tip.
2. Look at your planner! Take a glance at the weekly spread that the planner is left open on. Get your brain to start processing what is sees. The more you start seeing the 5 key components starring at you the more likely they will be thought about during your day. This goes for when you are using your planner and if you haven't started writing yet. The other component to this step is in order to see your planner you must leave it in a location you look at regularly. Like at a home office, on your nightstand, or coffee table, basically anywhere you can see it everyday, but also somewhere it doesn't become your child's next colouring book or your pet's new chew toy.
3. Start Small! Now when you are ready to start using your planner take it slow. I know it's easy to want to come flying out of the gate and do all these amazing new years resolutions and changes, but trust me that will be your fastest way to not achieving your desired changes. I still encourage you to do so when you feel inclined, but when the motivation wears off, start again slowly. What I mean by this is try not to use your planner as a planner... yes I typed that correctly. Try to use it more like a diary or journal. At the end of each day or whenever you have a few minutes write down what you did. Not what you are going to do/plan, but simply what you have already done. It's easy to write what you have done because you know the information therefore you're simply reflecting rather than trying to come up with anything new. This will start to do two things. 1) You will get in the habit of writing in your planner and 2) You will start to see the overall view of where your good habits are and where your not so good habits are.
4. Plan small! Okay so you are tracking what you do in your planner and can easily see where you want to make some changes in your life. Again, please don't go trying to change your life in one week. It took you your whole life to get here, please don't expect quick massive changes all of a sudden. We are going for the long game, the habit building, actually making changes in your life game. When your'e ready to use your planner as a planner, then make it easy for yourself by having your goals to use your planner. This can be set out in your Change Making Section or Weekly Priorities. Give yourself the satisfaction of checking those items off when done, because who doesn't like that tactile feeling of checking an item off of your goal list. It will help you feel successful as you use your planner!
5. Lastly, but not least, have the talk! What does this mean? Well you want to get real change results through using your planner of course, but change and preparing yourself for change can often feel like a vulnerable process. You want to be able to be as real with yourself as possible. You want to be able to write down any thoughts or feelings you are experiencing. For some of you this is no problem, but for those who live with partners, roommates, or children who want to look over your shoulder, you may get caught up in the trap of writing down what you feel is socially acceptable instead of allowing yourself to write freely. So having the talk, is about letting the people around you know that this is an important space for you and you need it to be respected. Not only will this benefit you but most likely the changes you want to make will probably in the long run benefit those around you too.
Good Luck on your new Enthusiastic Change Maker journey!
Comment below on ways you find it helpful to get in the habit of using your planner!