Why I Can’t or Won’t Fit in a Box

arm-1284248_640I’ve done my 2017 planning and set my intentions and I’ve made the process very simple. I’ve had to. Because I can’t or won’t fit in a box.

I would like to be both blogging (writing) and podcasting (speaking) on bigger virtual platforms than just my own where I currently do it, so that I can reach and help a bigger or wider audience.

The podcast would take the form of a radio phone-in where people could ask questions about their businesses and get an opinion which would help them solve their own dilemmas. I already do this in my Small Business Big Magic mentoring group. I love it. It works very well, but I would dearly love it to be useful to many more people.

That’s ego Judith talking there in both of those. Bigger. Better. One of my very earliest plans for myself as a coach/mentor was to be writing and speaking, both of which I do. So intentions work.

And since I wrote that short 2-bullet list for next year, I’ve added a third. I want to become an app! And I know how I am going to do that. No sooner had I written down the intention than the “how” appeared.

My other more personal plan says “luxurious travel with passport only“. That means that I have a home at either end. And possibly – just once – I’d love to go on a private plane. One of my (relevant) colleagues has said to me “and so you shall” in a sort of Cinders-will-go-to-the-ball-kinda-way.

And there you have it, that’s the full extent of my 2017 planning.

But before I took up a biro (30p) and wrote that down in my fave A5 notebook (£1.20), I’d had a mooch at all the 2017 planners which are available. You know the sort of thing – workbooks which you can buy or download and fill in. I was quite tempted by the Pi Life Journal on Amazon and I remember finding a journal I loved so much way back in the Noughties that I bought a handful of copies and gave them to everyone I cared about. They pretty much ignored them!

I can’t find one that suits me and I know why that is… it is because I am unable to fit into the sorts of boxes created by other people. Either I can’t. Or, more likely, I won’t. It feels restrictive and none of them are quite right. And I’m not even fussy, generally speaking I’m quite a bish, bash, bosh, anything’ll do, don’t-make-a-fuss-specially-for-me low maintenance kind of a person. So it’s a form of rebellion on my part. No change there then. I’ll own that.

Pretty much the majority of my clients have a system, either one of their own, or one of someone else’s that they’ve adopted or adapted to fit. Bullet journaling is currently popular through I found the instructions FAR TOO COMPLEX.

Artist and Illustrator Michi Mathias has even gone into digital production with a version she’d created for herself and she had people waiting to get their hands on a copy. Here it is. What a brilliant idea! Make your own.

Here’s one from artist Tara Leaver which Alice recommended, I shared and Rhian enjoyed. I then downloaded it but it wasn’t right for me (this is getting boring now). Good for artists.

In the past I have successfully used and recommended a process in a book by Jinny Ditzler called Your Best Year Yet, but no more for me, too long, too intense, too prescriptive. But still great, and it works if what you are looking for is a process. I used that for several years running, way back in the last decade.

Susannah Conway helps you to find your 2017 word and she’s got a planning system somewhere too that I’ve done in the past and enjoyed. A good December activity when I’ve got more time on my hands than normal.

The brilliant and inspirational Sarah Arrow has been talking about and rounding up and recommending all the best planners for a while now – check this out. If you can’t find one in Sarah’s definitive guide, then you can write yourself off as being as hard/impossible to please as me.

And on the crowdfunding platforms, planners are all the rage and have been for a while now, take the Passion Planner as an example with more hot on their heels. They all look very covetable, like something I’d like to own but probably never use, sadly. I know myself all too well. Like the 2015 wall chart I bought, put up on the office wall and left blank for all 365 days. It seemed like a good idea at the point of purchase and stationery is so very covetable.

Do not overlook Leonie Dawson’s colourful downloads either.

The proliferation of planners appears to denote the strong need we feel to be able to order our thoughts and feelings on paper, and to plan for our new year to be different better. I wonder too if there isn’t a direct correlation between the more uncertain we feel about life generally, the greater our need to create the illusion of safety and all being well by having it all planned out? Planning brings a sense of order and control which, given how my life pans out, I find quite laughable actually. Bonkers, even. Still, different strokes for different folks.

What I do love is the commercial opportunity out there, just waiting to be filled. There’s a desire for planners and if you are part of the solution, now’s the time to be stepping up just as the rump are getting into planning journals and workbooks. Grab your moment. It’ll be something else soon.

This year I am keeping my plans simple and short and no sooner had I decided to do that than another inspirational woman, Lisa Warner, found her way to doing the same thing:

“I am having a quick tea break and decided to start planning 2017. I love planning for a new year and it often takes me weeks to get it right, but this year I think I have cracked it in under 10 minutes. I started making a list of things I wanted to do/achieve next year then I just crossed the whole lot out and wrote- In 2017 I intend to be a powerful creator! This is all I am going to focus on – everything else will follow.”

Amen to that. Lisa is a woman after my own heart. I love that she decided to plan 2017 during a quick tea break!

When your intentions are as simple and as powerful as that, you don’t need a special book to write them down in and you don’t need to cram your wonderful, beautiful and unique self into someone else’s idea of a good planner. Although… it might be tempting to write or type your one intention onto a big piece of paper using colouredy ink and stick it up on your office wall if it is not already tattooed on your soul or you worry you might forget. [If you’ve got the intention “right”, by the way, you won’t forget.]

If you are a rebel who’d like to plan your 2017 during the course of a good conversation, let me know and we’ll find the best way to set that up together.

Your Biz Your Way

If you have enjoyed reading my words here, you might also enjoy my book - Your Biz Your Way: Learning to Trust Yourself. Relax! You've Got This. Get a chunky free sample and/or buy the book here Read My Book

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