Happy New Year, y’all!

I am so stinkin’ excited for a new year, aren’t you? It may come with sub-zero temps here in Illinois/Iowa and a thick blanket of snow…but it just screams new possibilities to me!

Time For A Reset

Years ago I realized I actually regard my birthday (in August) as the beginning of my new year, so that’s when I like to set new goals for myself. That means the New Year is more like a (nearly) 6-month reset for me; time to review those goals, and use that “New Year/new possibilities” feeling to attack them with renewed vigor!

Serious Stuff

If you’ve been around me – or Grace & Sass – for any time, you know I’m a planner. I don’t just jot down some New Year’s Resolutions on a piece of paper. Oh, no…..this is serious stuff! I’ve been planning for 2018 for nearly 2 weeks now. *beams happily* Planning is like knitting for me: it’s a creative process that results in a beautiful finished product. There’s a simple satisfaction in the doing of it, ya know? Honestly, I could (okay…I DO) get completely lost in creating lists and making pretty planner pages….but while that’s fun and relaxing, it’s not the best use of my time. There is a time for planning, and a time for acting…..and ya gotta’ find a balance to make it all work. Otherwise, you just end up with a 15′ scarf! *giggle*

The Biggest Benefit

While I find a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction in the planning process, the biggest benefit of planning is the time I spend in introspection and in quiet time with Jesus. I can make all the plans I want, but if I don’t seek out what God wants me to do, and how I can best use my time and talents to His glory, it’s all for naught.

There is a fair amount of praying and erasing before I actually write “my” plans in ink, but when I do, there’s a rush of excitement that comes with it….knowing (or at least trusting) that the plans I’ve come up with are in line with God’s will for me in the coming year. So whether they’re big or little, if I’ve done it with a right heart, that’s something to be excited about! 🙂

Planning Tips

I don’t know how you plan, but here are a few of my favorite planning tools right now:

  • I live and die by my planner. (Just kidding. Uhhhhh…actually no; pretty serious.) Right now I’m using a Passion PlannerturnedBullet Journal. I’ll be honest and say I wish I hadn’t spent the money on another pre-printed planner last year, but I did, so I consider it a challenge to make it work for me this year. Back in 2015, I was all excited to try the Living Well Planner, and since I was using a Bullet Journal at the time (for 2 years, actually) and could stop whenever I wanted, I started it in September, when it was released. It was okay for one year, but it didn’t meet all my needs, so I switched to an undated Passion Planner. It was an adjustment the first couple months, and for over a month now I’ve been considering going back to a BuJo. Then I saw a YouTube video about making a pre-printed planner work as a pseudo-BuJo, and I was determined to do that, too! Wanna see how? Watch Facebook this Saturday for my first K.I.S.S. post of 2018! I’ll show you how I am re-working it to be 2 planners in one: Part 1 is my biz monthly editorial calendar, and Part 2 is my personal weekly planning pages….with some custom BuJo pages thrown in for good measure. I think it will be cool. And if not, I will just file it away in a month or two and consider it a lesson learned….and go back to my trusty Bullet Journal. *wink*
  • I am never without a little notebook of some kind. I keep them in my purse, in my Bible, in the truck, next to my chair….anywhere. You never know when inspiration might strike, so I believe we should all be good little Scouts and be prepared! 😉 I’ve decided this is the year I will invest in a Traveler Notebook: a beautiful (hand-cut leather?) cover that holds 3-4 little notebooks (and more) inside. I’m kinda in love with this one. And just look at these adorable refill notebooks. Now you want one, too, don’t you? *giggle*
  • One of my most-frequently used apps on my iPhone is Wunderlist. I love how easy it is to use, and being able to make checklists for shopping. It even has a sharing option. (Not that MHH wants to actually “do” Wunderlist with me, but I could conceivably share his To-Do list with him if I wanted. *giggle*)
  • Listography books – These are just highly addictive for list-makers like me! There’s one for everybody’s niche.

Intentional Living

So now that I have you thinking about planning for the new year (although I’m sure you already were, but let’s just pretend I’m responsible, okay?), let me leave you with this final thought: Whatever you decide to do in the coming year, I hope you make it a year of intentional living! Don’t just coast month after month; make a plan and make it happen! Try something new. Become better at something you already love. Cut out what hasn’t been working for you. Give more to those in need. Serve others with a joyful heart. And most importantly, listen for God’s whisper in your heart for what He wants to bring you to in 2018….then, as Pastor Kirk used to say, Get after it! And remember….

Extend grace. Receive grace.