Oh hi April, you came around quick - I could swear it was snowing a week ago? But no, here we are, it's officially Spring and we'll all be wearing sandals and drinking Pimms before we know what's what. Can't ruddy wait.
Okay, so don't punch me for asking this, but now that we're three whole months into 2016, how are your New Year's resolutions going? Not good? Join the club, pretty much everyone else in the world's already a member anyway. Because here's the thing - New Year's resolutions don't work, at least not unless you're one of those freakish super women of the world who have so much will power they could probably make themselves sprout wings and fly if they set their minds to it. If that's you, you have officially already won at being a human and I can't help you. For the rest of us, suddenly deciding on January 1st that we're going to become perfect overnight and keep it up FOR A WHOLE YEAR is, sorry to be blunt, mental. We can't do that. We can change, of course we can, and become better at the things we feel are lacking in ourselves, but not all at the same time. That's not realistic.
So what's the solution? Well, I've spent the last month following a different goals system and man I feel SO MUCH BETTER it's ridiculous. Throughout March I've managed to work harder, start exercising again (after about five years of embodying the dictionary definition of a couch potato), eat more healthily, lose a little weight and, last but certainly not least, start my own blog after years of procrastination. I barely recognise myself. And the best thing? I think I like myself more now, as I've started to appreciate my body and my mind for the things that they have achieved rather than beating myself up for not living up to some unrealistic expectations.
I saw this whole bullet journaling thing go viral, and whilst it looks great I just don't think it's for me. I'm a musician, I travel a lot, I try to log my workouts and make music/work notes, shopping lists and to do lists. The idea of having everything bunged into one little notebook makes my inner OCD self feel a bit sick (okay I'm not even slightly OCD, but I do have to leave volume on even numbers so I'm obviously a bit nuts). However, my old system of various notebooks, iPhone notes and Filofax lists - yes I'm an old lady and no, I don't care - clearly wasn't up to the task. Don't get me wrong, I love me a list, and get a bit okay all the stationery in the world be mine now please thanks from time to time, but I was getting confused and hang on, which list is more up to date? Not good. I needed a different solution.
Enter the Passion Planner. At the beginning of March, I saw this photo of one of these babes on Instagram, and my obsession snowballed pretty darn quick. If you can get past the mega cheesy, slightly cringey name, a Passion Planner is pretty much all my organisation/stationery dreams come true in one sexy little black book. Check out their website here for more info and shots of the real deal.
In a nutshell, it's a sort of desk diary with a funky twist. Each week view has allocated segments for a weekly focus, daily focus, personal and work to-do lists in order of priority, a 'good things that happened' section and a 'space of infinite possibility'. There's even a weekly inspirational quote. I die.
The number one best thing about the Passion Planner for me, though, has been that at the start of every month you sit down and think about what you want to achieve, write out your goals for the month and a plan for how you're going to make it happen. I thought maybe it was a bit new-age-y and yo Girl Boss for me, but, holding my hands up here, was I wrong. It's making such a difference to my life. For example, at the beginning of March I made my goals to start getting a bit fitter and to set up my blog. By the end of March I'd done both those things, and still had time to fit in all my work and travelling and chill (and Prosecco). If you'd have told me that a month ago, I'd have said you'd had too much to drink.
Unfortunately I haven't actually got my Passion Planner yet, as they're shipped from America and I haven't been home to collect it since it arrived - one of the many joys of travelling. But thankfully, after you order one you get access to a PDF version that you can have on your phone or print out and play with using ALL the coloured pens. I've been doing that in the meantime and am sooooo excited to finally get my hands on the real deal and see what I can do next month. Here's this week's inspirational quote to start you off.
I'm learning that we're all capable of achieving pretty much anything we want (except maybe not the flying) so long as we cut ourselves a little slack and make realistic short-term targets to bring us closer to our ultimate goals. Also, organisation is KEY. If you're anything like me, y'know, with all these ideas of things you'd like to do but you can't ever seem to find the time to start, give this a go for April. I promise you'll see a difference, and please come back to tell me what OMG AMAZING things you've done with your April. Happy fresh start!