Hello everyone and happy Thursday!
Guess what? I don’t have to go to school tomorrow! :P That’s right, I’m ditching (with permission from all teachers and my homework all completed, of course). I’m getting all of my homework done tonight and packing a bag, because tomorrow we leave for a weekend trip in Chicago! We’re going to see a play, visit the Chicago Design Museum, go to a parade, see the city on a boat tour, and just have a boatload of fun *wink wink*. I’ll be taking lots of photos, of course, to share with you all!
The key to fitting in little trips when it’s not a school break is to PLAN. If you know exactly what needs to be done before you leave and you can spread that out between the days leading up to your adventure, you can keep it low-stress and high-fun. Which is only ONE of the reasons why I love planning so much and why I’m sharing my planning processes with you on this blog!
So last week I shared the 10 daily habits that I keep track of in my planner. This week, I’m moving on to weeklies and monthlies.
The weeklies and monthlies are mainly little administrative things. They’re the kinds of things that I’m very likely to put off if I don’t write them down, which results in a messy camera roll flooded with thousands of photos, a desktop cluttered with screenshots and downloads, a blank planner, and a sense of guilt about the things I should be doing but don’t want to. Sorry, that sounded pretty gloomy. But that’s exactly why weeklies and monthlies are a lifesaver! So let me tell you about what I’ve got on my list:
1. Organize photos
Back when I had my iPhone 5c, this was a necessity. I had 16GB on a phone that had received 4 years’ worth of updates, so yeah, it was a little cramped. I literally could not have more than a week’s worth of pictures and videos on my phone. With my new phone, sure, I could put that off for a few months, but I no longer want to! I love cleaning out my phone and my camera SD card regularly. I delete all of the junk and sort out the good photos between my family’s Google Photos account, my personal one, and my blog one. I edit Instagram photos, and put them in a separate folder. I upload club photos to shared Google Drive folders. All set!
2. Check bank
As I don’t have a job outside of helping my parents with their business, and I am 16 years old, there’s not much to see here xD I rarely use my debit card but I want to make sure that I am regularly checking it to make sure that there aren’t any charges I’m missing. Plus, I keep a few pages in my planner that track every time that I spend or earn money, and I want to keep that up to date. For example, I might go online and see that Squarespace billed my monthly payment, and I’ll write that down in my planner.
I guess this habit isn’t essential to me at this point, but I do think it’s a good habit to build as I get older and need to keep track of more income and more expenses.
3. Clean computer
Super easy, just clearing my downloads folder and my desktop (after I check that it’s nothing important, of course). Hearing that little Mac trash can sound is so satisfying…
4. Plan next week
I transfer all of the scheduled things from my monthly calendar to my weekly spread, and add in any tasks I know I’ll have. I always do this on Sundays, and it’s a great way to get mentally prepared for the week. Waking up on Monday with no plan of action is not a good feeling!
5. Future planning
Now that I’m a junior, I’m committing to spending a bit of time each week on thinking about my future. So for example, last weekend I put together a list of potential colleges in Spain. Later on that will include writing college essays, getting recommendations, looking for job shadowing opportunities, etc. It’s all a bit overwhelming but also veeery exciting because it finally all feels real whereas in middle school it was just some vague threat that teachers would pull out - “You all had better be thinking about college!”.
I actually recently had an internship opportunity suddenly appear when I wasn’t even actively searching for one (thanks universe!). It was a media and communications internship, literally exactly what I was looking for, and the application was due the very day that I found out about it. I’ve sent it in, now fingers crossed!!
1. Cycle Review
By cycle I am referring to the menstrual cycle. I have been journaling how I feel at each point of my cycle now for a while now (OK I’ve missed a bunch of days but whatever). Back when I did this in my journal I would then read through those entries and take notes on what patterns I saw. Now, I do this digitally. So I have an Evernote notebook specifically for this purpose and each evening I create a new note. I tag the note with the day of my cycle and the moon phase, then write down any physical, mental, or emotional symptoms I’ve noticed.
Now, at the end of the cycle I have a really easy way to quickly get an overview of the cycle, and to compare, for example, how “day 10” felt this month compared to the month before. Here's a post where I wrote a little bit more about this.
2. Journal Review
Similar to the above, at the end of the cycle I’ll read through my regular journal entries. Every evening I take some time to write about what I did that day, how I felt, what was on my mind, etc. I often have a highlighter with me to highlight any lessons learned or things to remember.
3. Clean computer
Don’t worry, you’re not imagining things, you DID already see this habit. I do quick (like, 2 minute) computer tidy-ups every week, and then one that’s slightly more involved every month. I’ll go through folders and make sure everything is filed away where it’s supposed to be, get rid of software or iPhone apps I no longer need, and unsubscribe from e-mail newsletters I no longer find useful.
4. Plan next month
Ooh, this one’s exciting! So, I really don’t have a set method of doing this yet. But here’s what I do right now:
I look over next month’s calendar and I add in anything that I haven’t added in yet. I make sure that my Google calendar and my paper calendar are in sync. I’ll fill in any weekly things, like family night on Sundays, my volunteering club on Wednesdays, or newspaper meetings on Mondays.
I set up a habit tracker, decorate it, and write in all of the habits that I JUST talked about, hehe! I set up weekly pages in advance so that if I find out, for example, about a specific task that I need to do in exactly two weeks on, I have a place to write that and don’t have to squeeze that into my monthly calendar (which really should only include big-picture things).
I have a little section for goals next to my calendar, but the last time I actually came up with 3 goals, I realized they no longer fit me about halfway through the month. They were no longer things that actually mattered to me. So until I can think of some better goals that excite me rather than give me anxiety, I’m sticking to monthly intentions. The difference?
Which is NOT to say that goals are bad, no, no, no. I believe you need both in life. But sitting down and trying to force myself to come up with goals was leaving me uninspired. So for now, I’ll be focusing on intentions to really remind myself of what I actually want to achieve.
That’s all! Again, if you haven’t checked out my previous blog post, I wrote about my 10 daily habits that help me make every day successful. I look forward to doing more posts about planning, because I'm a big planning nerd :P Anything in particular you'd like to see?
Pin this post for your next planning session!
What are your favorite daily, weekly, or monthly habits that help you stay organized and grounded?
I’ve got a yummy recipe post scheduled for Sunday while I will be away, and now, I’d better get to tackling that homework!
Have a wonderful weekend x