I like to have a plan. I love the look of my day planned out on paper. It is a map that gives me my direction for the day. I am not attached to any planner or scheduling tool. I use what is in front of me and make it work. I am currently using the Change Maker’s Journal at Primal Potential by Elizabeth Benton. For the past 737 days, I have planned my days and my food. Some of those plans are detailed and some are sparse. My current planner has lots of blank space.
My plans are flexible. I often time block my days or just make general “ta-da” lists on them. I do prep work for the following day the night before. This gives me time to see where adjustments might be made. I adjust my plan if needed. My plans usually have my goals or notes from a personal development tool that grabbed my attention. My plans often include an affirmation or quote that spoke to me. I also include gratitude. For the past year, it has been 3 things I am grateful for about my husband.
My food plan is usually loose. Many days it simply says, “listen to your body and GBB (good, better, or best) choices. I do not believe any food or drink is “bad”. They are choices. Eat when you are hungry and don’t eat when you are not hungry.
Did I mention my plans are messy? I sometimes cannot read what I wrote. Does that matter? It used to. As a recovering perfectionist, I have learned the art of letting it go. I also expect them to change. I manage a house. I work. I am a caregiver. I am a wife. You can bet no matter how pretty my day looks on paper, it will not unfold as planned and that is okay. I expect the changes. I do not fight them or resist them.
After I write out my beautiful, messy, imperfect plan, I look it over and see the gaps. I decide what are the “must do’s”. Typically only one or two items are critical and anything that doesn’t happen can be moved to another day. Caring for Emily has taught me that nothing is certain. You cannot predict sickness, shitty diapers (yes, I said it), a caregiver not able to come when I have a deadline at work, and a multitude of other things called “life”. Some days I catch myself singing “Life Changes” by Thomas Rhett: “you make your plans and you hear God laughing…”
The reality is we have no control over many factors in our day. We cannot control traffic, Zoom issues, internet problems, sickness, or countless other factors. I simply make my plan and prepare to adapt and pivot. In the past year, adapt and pivot have become my sidekicks. We are quite the trio. I tell my clients that learning to adapt and pivot are amazing tools to utilize. Both are essential to learning how to create calm in the chaos. As I proof this in the wee hours of the morning, I just got an email meeting reminder that was not on my plan and the caregiver texted she is sick today. What can I do? I can adapt and I can pivot. The only thing certain is change, so plan for it and then adapt and pivot.