Self-improvement

Passion Planner

Source: Kickstarter

Yesterday I shared my belief that pros live and die by a calendaring system. This post tells you mine.

Let’s get this out of the way immediately: I’m not getting paid by Passion Planner.

One of my best friends recommended it to me a few weeks ago, and I’ve since adopted its approach.

I love it, so I thought I’d share it with you.

This planner is unique because it goes beyond tracking your time.

In addition to keeping a daily schedule, it recommends that you set a weekly focus, record good things that have happened during the week, and establish personal and work to-do lists. It also has you establish long term goals and conduct monthly reflections.

Now, I can’t afford the actual planner, so I’ve been using Google Keep. Here’s what my weekly intention looks like. I look at this almost every day:

Passion Planner

The bottom link goes to a Google Doc where I record how my week went and relate it back to the monthly goals I established at the beginning of January.

At the end of the month, I will write a monthly check-in, answering the following questions:

  • What was the most memorable part of the month? Describe it.
  • What were the three biggest lessons learned this past month?
  • Review your monthly priorities. Are you happy with how you spent your time? If not, what steps can you take the next month to adjust them? 
  • How are you different between this past month and the month before it?
  • What or who are you especially grateful for this past month? 
  • Name three things you can improve on this upcoming month. 
  • What concrete actions can you take to work toward these improvements?
  • From 1-10, how do you feel overall about this month?

I still have a lot of work to do to get my time management where I want it. It takes constant work to be the best person you can be. (And if you’re doing it right, you’ll always notice room for improvement.)

To ensure proper management of my time, I also follow a nightly routine of laying out my clothes for the next day and setting a to-do list for the next day based on my deadlines over the next week and a half.


Thank you for reading, my friend! If you enjoyed this article, please consider signing up for future posts by clicking the menu button in the top-left corner.

Five days a week you’ll receive messages that inspire you to live your best life. 

Your time and trust are precious. My promise to you: always strive for honesty, empathy, goodness, and usefulness.

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If you text someone regularly and you’re always the only one asking questions, that person is displaying that they’re uninterested in understanding you.

If you put in a lot of work to make someone feel welcome or special and your work is complained about, you’re unappreciated.

Stand up for yourself. Command respect.

Self-absorption is, unfortunately, an all too common characteristic today. Here are 15 signs of it.

Selfie culture is vain culture. Don’t fall prey to the desire to please the wrong people.

The right people – good people – are encouraging. They’re generous. They’re thoughtful. They’re caring. They’re merciful. And they attempt to be positive influences.

Your time is the most important thing you can share. The moment you feel like you’re wasting it on someone who isn’t worth it, express your concerns.

And if the situation isn’t remedied, show bravery by walking away.

Photo by Andrew Amistad on Unsplash


Thank you for reading, my friend! If you enjoyed this article, please consider signing up for future posts by clicking the menu button in the top-left corner.

Five days a week you’ll receive messages that inspire you to live your best life. 

Your time and trust are precious. My promise to you: always strive for honesty, empathy, goodness, and usefulness.

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The high of something new can make it seem like you’ve transformed.

You experiment with a new style, and you think to yourself, “This is me now!” (The attached image is from Bob’s Burgers.)

But time passes, and you discover that what seemed like a good music genre a few months ago just doesn’t bring the same listening pleasure it once offered.

You might feel like the right thing to do in these moments is to cling desperately to some idea of who you once were, to keep listening to Bob Dylan because you know folks think he’s the greatest even though you don’t like his voice.

But a healthier approach is to just stop and try something else.

Getting up day after day and doing things that you know no longer make you happy is insane.

If journaling daily is a chore rather than a release, a break will allow you to reset and come back with fresh motivation.

Be happy. Switch things up. Lean into who you are this moment. It’ll be okay.

 

Developing a healthy lifestyle is not about living perfectly. While some rare eccentrics can wake up every day, follow the same routine, and eat exactly 1,900 calories a day, chances are you can’t do that.

It’s more likely that if you try to live a “perfect” life, you’ll be miserable and end up failing or going off the deep end.

One time I bought two large triple chocolate Sundays from Oberweis because I had been following such a strict routine. Don’t let that happen to you. It’s not fun. Very nauseating.

A much more realistic and sustainable approach is to treat yourself occasionally. On Fridays, eat some fries. Or some days, just do nothing.

Help yourself be a better you in the long-term: practice moderation.

When Ted Danson was on Cheers, he was known as the playboy.

But he was uncomfortable in that role. He didn’t see himself that way at all.

Eventually, he learned to fake it – to act despite the discomfort.

That’s the appropriate route to take the next time you feel not good enough.

Don’t worry about the fear or insecurity or worry, just act.

Folks won’t know the difference.

  1. Accept people despite their flaws.
  2. Talk little about yourself.
  3. Be kind.
  4. Believe people when they tell you who they are.
  5. Avoid unsolicited advice.
  6. Keep a small circle of advisors and trusted critics.
  7. Show up for family.
  8. Be genuinely interested in others.
  9. Seek to understand before being understood.
  10. Don’t apologize for feeling.
  11. Stand up for yourself.
  12. Practice generosity.
  13. Find a creative hobby.
  14. Embrace hard work.
  15. Be gentle with yourself when you make mistakes.
  16. Say please and thank you.
  17. Make time to connect with strangers.
  18. Make time for people you love (or might love.)
  19. Say, “You’re right, I’m wrong” as soon as you realize it.
  20. Take a moment when you’re frustrated or hurt so you mean what you say.
  21. Cultivate romance.
  22. Establish traditions.
  23. Listen to your gut.
  24. Smile at strangers.
  25. Say you’re grateful.
  26. Learn good habits.
  27. Leave your comfort zone.
  28. Never be afraid to say “I don’t know” or “I need help.”
  29. Know that it takes longer than you think.
  30. Understand that new things are hard to do (like drawing or yoga.)
  31. Practice empathy by seeking diverse perspective.
  32. Let go of the past.
  33. Reflect on your life.
  34. Learn the vices, virtues, and seven deadly sins.
  35. Don’t allow others to make you feel bad, recognize your control.
  36. Be responsive, not reactionary.
  37. Take risks.
  38. Love without condition.
  39. Walk away when necessary.
  40. Kiss passionately.
  41. Read often.
  42. Only read books you like.
  43. Shop local.
  44. Make your bed.
  45. Play.
  46. Forgive.
  47. Hold the door.
  48. Eat fruits and vegetables.
  49. Minimize sweets.
  50. Call people on their birthday or, better yet, send a card.
  51. Say “I love you.”
  52. Push through the discomfort.
  53. Own the weirdness.
  54. Watch classic films.
  55. Grow continuously.

Ultimately, that’s the best determinant.

The most precious thing you can share with someone (or waste) is your time.

So think hard before you return that $5 lock you bought or before you pick up the phone for that person who doesn’t really appreciate you.