Having the right tools 

I used to sell Pampered Chef.  It was a great way to make some extra money, and my kitchen is still full of great stoneware, knives, spatulas, and other things that make kitchen work much, much easier.  One of our sayings in Pampered Chef world was “having the right tools makes everything easier.”

That is so, so true.

Two things I’ve always wanted to do consistently:  journal and use a planner.  That’s right.  I’m approaching 50 and have yet to consistently journal or use a planner.  I finally realized why, though. I didn’t have the right tools.

I love journals.  I love buying a new, spiral-bound or hard-bound journal and seeing all the blank pages in them.  It’s a clean slate; a new beginning.

It’s also a lot  of pages.  And to someone who’s coming off several years of writer’s block, it’s intimidating. Another speed bump in my desire to journal is focus. In that big, thick book, I wrote about everything and I would get lost.  If I tried to focus on one thing, other things went unsaid.  If I wrote about life in general, I wound up being vague because there was just so much going on in my life.

Then I found these.

Aren’t they beautiful?

And thin?  So very doable.  Writable.  Manageable.

Because they’re so thin, I use a different notebook for different purposes.  One is my food and feelings journal. After each meal, I write down what I ate and what kind of feelings I’m having.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  I don’t count calories or carbs or even write down portions most of the time.  Just food and feelings.  It’s helping me see patterns, though, and that’s good.  And I write in purple because (as you know), it’s my happy color.

The other is my examen journal. I use this app to look back over my day, review what’s happened, how I responded, and how I can use that to connect more deeply with God.  Different notebook, different purpose.

And this planner.  Oh, this planner!  How it has saved me.  I still use my calendar to keep up with meetings and appointments through the day, but this planner?  It helps me keep the big picture in perspective.  It helps me evaluate my actions.  Were they in line with my beliefs and goals? What was my mindset? The hourly list lets me pencil the fixed appointments and create a flexible plan for how I will spend the rest of the time.  This is the yoga version of this planner, but the same company sells one that doesn’t have a yoga focus.  I love this planner.

Having the right tools is crucial and to know which tools will be right for you, you need to know yourself.  Are you a detailed person or a big picture thinker?  Do you need help not getting bogged down in thinking about all that you didn’t do?  Do you need help focusing on what really matters?  If you’re a natural born planner, then mine might not be for you, but it has made a huge difference in my life.

You were created to do good work.  Find the tools that will help you do that.


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