The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2014-03-23

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Big poopy face

At the moment I'm not having planner issues, I'm having habit issues.  There are things beyond a to-do list that need to be done regularly and I struggle with them.   My daily pages are a road map of all undone failures.   I get to-do's done so much better with my Filofax, for sure, but there wasn't a whole lot of self-improvement happening.

And if someone rings the door bell at one in the afternoon and I  have no choice but to answer in pajamas with yesterday's mascara under my eyes it just feels bad... No matter how much I've accomplished up to that point, opening the door looking like a screaming hot mess turns the whole day  into a  big poopy face.

I needed a way to build habits with daily tracking as well as a global view for overall success.  I wanted plenty of room to list things needing work with room to grow (Starting small works best for me).

I decided to use the DIY Fish yearly chart; a bargain at $3.35 on etsy.


It gives me the global view with lots of room to list individual goals in left hand column. The week number rows get a dot when I've done everything I set out to do. I toyed around with writing the number of times I completed each goal per week but decided true success was getting it all done.   For things not accomplished as many times as I'd planned I will put the number of times I completed the goal.

DIY Fish yearly chart

I started with things that are all personal care; the things everyone does daily.  Don't get me wrong, I shower and dress... Just frequently not at the most opportune time. So I listed the things I do in dribs and drabs but would be better served getting them done together and earlier in the day.


To keep up with my plan I needed something to check off individual days and I settled on a post it note.  Each week I write what I want to do.

BeFunky Crop on iPhone

For things I do everyday, all week I write the date number; this weeks sheet was the 24th through the 30th.  For things I want to do twice a day I added a second row...

BeFunky Crop on iPhone

... and for things I don't do everyday I used the number of times per week.

My Filofax helps me remember appointments, to make calls, write letters, and keep up with the million bits of information I will need at a later date.  But I also think it can help me be the person I want to be.

And so the journey towards self-improvement begins...


Monday, March 24, 2014

No more limp noodles

This post took three months and three people to come to fruition; it's often like that in our planner community.  Figuring it all out takes time and only one person is rarely responsible for the innovation and success of another...  But I digress.

Ray Blake wrote a post back in December called Personal Change With Your Filofax.   It was about using your Filofax in such a way that you stay (the operative word) motivated to do (or change, or improve) something.  It made enough of an impression that it popped up into my thoughts at least once a week; it's well worth reading if you haven't yet.

The popping part was always the same, "Don't break the chain" - Something that Ray attributes to Jerry Seinfeld (so I suppose that makes four people responsible for this post).  The idea is if you mark successful days off on a physical calendar do you really want to break that chain after 15 straight days of success?

 Image from My Life All in One Place

No.  It's sort of like watching your success devolve into a pile of cold, limp noodles and that alone can be strong motivation to do something just one more time.  Changing habits is best dealt with one day, one habit, at a time.

The second person who is responsible is Josh.  Josh posted a video about accountability in December and later started a facebook group on the subject. Sticking to things, and with things, isn't my strong suit so I joined.  I posted that I was going to close kitchen cabinet doors. It isn't an earth shattering problem (although it does make my kitchen look like it's been ransacked by kitchenalia robbers)  and it's mostly due to distractablity.   I didn't think I could change but I gave closing drawers a whirl and could not believe just the intention of closing things lead me to close them 90% of the time.   I was gobsmacked really, it's been a life long problem.


This all made me think I COULD change things I thought were habits made of cement.  I needed a way to track this all so I could see a string of success that I would not want to break, starting with simple easy things like I did with Josh's accountability project.

This leads me to DIY Fish and her inserts.   I asked her if there was a single year chart for tracking things like this and she said she'd let me know when it was up.  A few weeks later, Viola!


I started last week, picked a few easy things and began Ray Blake's Chain of Success. I did every single thing I intended and feel Josh's blissful accountability washing over me , and whenever I feel the old tug to not do something DIY Fish's Inserts  remind me I'm changing my life one day at a time.

I will do a specific post on how the chart looks and what I'm doing but this post is to  thank  all the people in the Philofaxy community for their generosity of spirit, creativity, and unending support.


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