Create Your One Page Life Plan (w/ free printable!)

The other day, in my other mastermind group - Blogger Buddies - we were talking about how we kind of needed a boost to get refocused and moving again with our goals. I shared an idea that always works for me when things don't seem to be moving as they should. The problem is usually a lack of clarity around what we want the next phase of life to look like. 

You see, we create the reality we have pictured in our mind and if all you can "see" is the present reality - or worse - the past reality, you're always going to be living in that and you're always going to feel stuck. So I came up with an exercise that is always good for getting unstuck and making the leap to the next step. (It has worked like magic for me - I don't know why I don't do it more often!)


1. Take a piece of paper and list the different areas of you life. This should include health, career, finances, relationships, etc.

2. Next to each area, write down what you want to see happen in that area within the next 90 days. (90 days is always a good time frame for creating dramatic changes).

3. On ONE sheet of paper, write out what your ideal life looks like as a whole 90 days from now - like a one page essay covering all the areas of your life. This is your ONE PAGE LIFE PLAN.

4. For the next 90 days, read your life plan every day. This is why it should only be one page long. Keep it in your Life Binder or wherever else you are guaranteed to come across it and read it.

To help you get excited about doing this, I made a printable for you! :)  Click the following link to download the PDF: 

How I combine my paper planner with this task management app...

I love paper planners. I love writing on paper, thinking on paper, and I believe that there is more power in writing down your goals than in typing up your goals.

However, that doesn't mean I have paper everywhere cluttering up my life. I'm a minimalist and I'm always on the lookout for digital tools and apps that can work well with my paper-based systems (like my Life Binder) and keep everything as organized as possible.

So I recently created this printable (pictured left) and it's been working really well for me and hopefully for everyone who has purchased it from me at my Etsy store (thank you so much). Today I'm digging in a little deeper on how to make this particular printable even more effective using a digital tool I just found called Todoist.

You see the parts of the printable that I've highlighted purple? This is where I record "My to-do's" and then whatever "Opportunities" happened that day along with the "Next Step".

Now, at the end of the week, I go back over the last 7 days of this printable and I transfer To Do tasks (that I still need to complete) and Opportunities (that I still need to take advantage of) over to Todoist.

Here are 4 reasons why I like Todoist more than other task management apps I've used:

1. Super simple and easy to use. This is a big deal for me.
2. I can organize my tasks into projects.
3. Lets me sort tasks by priority. YAY
4. I can make a task fall under another task within a project. This is so awesome because instead of looking at a long list of tasks wondering where to start, I can arrange the tasks in a way that wittles a project down to the smallest, first step.

I'm sure that there are other apps I've tried that have the same features, but this one really clicked with me and really helped me keep stuff from falling through the cracks. Plus I love how it helps me maximize my Ultimate Daily Planner printable in a really efficient, minimalistic way. 

Do you have a task management app that works well for you? Share it with us in the comments. :)

My Week Printable

This style of a weekly planner is one of my favorites because of the routine tracking feature.

The act of sitting down and planning your days is essential to intentional living. 

Tell your week how you want things to go! Develop good habits! Design your life! 
The pen to your life is literally in your hands. :)

This printable is only available in my Etsy store. If you'd like to check it out, click the following link: 

One way to live with less stress...

A few years ago, I had an epiphany - a moment in which I became keenly aware that if I decided to take 100% responsibility for my life, I could then make my life what I want it to be.

And it's been working.

Taking 100% responsibility is a daily commitment. Sometimes it can feel like a wrestling match with yourself.
It's a challenge. But it's better to accept the challenge of taking 100% responsibility than to accept the stress that will invade your life the second you give even 1% of that responsibility away.

The second you do the latter, you are in the "blame zone." You are in the zone of thinking: "Well, my life is this way because this happened to me or so-and-so did this to me." When you think that way, you're stuck. You have no control over your life because you won't even exercise the power you have to control yourself.

The first step to taking 100% responsibility for your life is being able to stop and say:
"I am here right now because of my choices. I am here not because of what has happened to me, but because of how I responded to what has happened to me. And I can change where I am by changing my response to events/circumstances/problems/people/opportunities going forward."

So no matter what "happens to you," stop and think: "How can I take 100% responsibility for this? How am I going to respond? How can this make me a better person going forward?"

What do you think? Are there areas in your life where you feel stuck and stressed out? You might need to look more closely and see if you've let go of your hundred percent.

My Ultimate Daily Planner Printable

I feel like this printable has been 26 (my lifetime) years in the making. I designed this little planner page because I was frustrated with failing at the little stuff...because I know that the little stuff is what makes all the difference.

I wanted a planner that would keep certain aspects of my life from falling through the cracks. Aspects like health, being grateful, staying on top of my finances, and taking full advantage of all the big and little opportunities that come into my life on a daily basis.

I have tweaked this printable over and over and over. It looks pretty simple, but that's exactly why it's so powerful. Allow me to walk you through how this thing works...

 How to use the Daily Planner Printable 

write in the date and circle the day

I find it particularly helpful to be aware of both the date and the day because I am able to flip back to "last Monday" or "last Wednesday" without having to refer to a calendar to match up the date with the day first. This helps me look up recent activities quickly and gives me a solid sense for how my week went. 
You never think: "What did I do on the 25th of August?" 
You think: "What did I do last Monday?"

write in your top 3 priorities

This is where the magic happens. Keep the most important thing the most important thing. I know that it does not matter how much stuff I get done if I don't pay attention to what will make the BIGGEST difference. Sometimes the tasks that I write in this box seem small, but I'm able to connect the dots and see just how key they are to my progress in accomplishing my BIG goals and living my BEST life.

write in your schedule

This schedule box starts at 6am and ends after 9pm (leaving you 8 hours of sleep in between, well that's the ideal anyway). I love being able to map out my day right away without any lines. If something didn't happen as planned, I go back, scratch it out and rewrite it. I don't care if it looks messy. At the end of the day, I want an accurate record of what actually happened in case I need to go back and check.

record your health & fitness

Did you know that people who write down their meals, eat so much healthier than people who don't? In this area, I've covered all my bases for what I need to pay attention to in order to stay healthy and have energy. In the past, when I wouldn't keep track of my health habits, I ended having bad habits. And it's true, your greatest wealth is your health. It's really hard to "enjoy the journey" when you feel like "blah."

record your income and expenses for the day

This section has been my life-saver. I've struggled for so long trying to find an easy way to keep track of my day to day financial activity. This it it! At the end of the day, I write down what income I've received and where it came from (I have multiple streams of income) and I write down each expense. At the end of the week, on my "Update my budget" day, I take my planner pages from the past week and simply transfer the numbers to my monthly budget printables.

write your to-do list

I don't care for To Do lists that are a whole page long. If your to-do's can't fit on a post-it note, it's too much. The boxes where I check off my to-do's are particularly important because I rarely get everything done. So I use symbols that help me manage unfinished tasks.
check mark = complete
arrow = do tomorrow
x = no longer have to do it

write your "I did it!" list

Keeping an "I did it!" list is a powerful way to realize that YES, you accomplish sooo much each day! Every day we get stuff done, stuff that we might have never even added to our to do list. Like, maybe you had a crazy day and you didn't even get to your to-do list. Well, instead of beating yourself up about it, how about reflecting on the million things you actually did get done anyway?!

record opportunities and the action step you plan to take

Every day, opportunities come our way - big and small. It could be an email from somebody asking if you are interested in working together on a project. It could be that person you bumped into at a coffee shop who wants to refer your services to a friend. It could be a brilliant idea you had for your business. Stuff like this happens all the time to you and me. We design our lives with what we do with what we get. Every day, you get opportunities to move forward, to make tomorrow better than today, to actively craft your life. But if we don't have our eyes peeled, we miss them. I didn't just want to see opportunities, I wanted to hold myself accountable to identifying the next smallest action step necessary to take advantage of them. At the end of the week, I'll look back at this section on each sheet just to see if the opportunity is still important, if I took action, and what I should do next going forward into the new week. I build my life and businesses through this practice.

write in your gratitude

No matter what kind of a day you had, there is always something to be grateful for. A study showed that people who write down what they are grateful for at the end of the day, enjoy a much greater sense of well-being and happiness than people who don't. 
When you focus on gratitude, your fears fade. 
When you focus on gratitude, you live on the abundant side of life.

This printable is only available through my Etsy shop AND for a limited time, it comes with a free bonus.
I hope this printable has helped you as much as it's helped me!
It's my favorite feature of my Life Binder. :)

5 Things to Try this Month

Check out my article on 5 THINGS TO TRY THIS MONTH over at the Female Entrepreneur Association.

Why I use my Life Binder so much

When I first started keeping a Life Binder, I went through kind of a process where I had to figure out what its true value is in my life. Do you know what I mean? There were periods of time in the beginning when I wouldn't use it at all. But I always came back to it because I realized one very important thing:
My Life Binder is always reflecting my life back to me. And the amount  of attention that I paid to my Life Binder equaled the amount of attention I was paying to my life.
So I knew that when my Life Binder was starting to get cluttered and cumbersome, then it was a signal that my life was already looking and feeling that way too. And I knew that as soon as I would make the time to sit down and get my binder in order, my life would come back to order as well.

The reason for this is simple. The Life Binder is just one awesome, well-rounded, perfectly adaptable LIFE PLANNING TOOL. The process of taking 100% responsibility for designing your life comes down to the decisions you make when you put pen to paper. You cannot consider yourself a designer based on what you have stored in your head. 

Think about it, what do designers do as soon as they have an idea for something they want to create? They commit it paper. They grab a pencil. They sketch it out. They draw it out again and again and again until all the rough edges get smoothed out. They know that if they don't do this one simple, crucial step, then they have no way of taking the next step to creating their vision with confidence.

Putting pen to paper is the beginning of fulfilling your potential. 

The same is true with your Life Binder. You are a designer - a Lifestyle Designer. And the act of sitting/thinking/writing/planning is even more vital in your case because you are not designing a dress, a cake, or a building. You are designing YOUR LIFE. 

Doing this can be hard to get used to at first. So many people find it hard even to just design the day ahead of them. And as the quote goes, "People take more time planning out their vacation than they take to plan out their lives." Every time you sit down with your Life Binder, you are deciding to be better than that. 

What do you think? Does your Life Binder reflect your life back to you?

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