The Calendar Process That Changed My Life

Warning: I'm a little bit passionate (and geeky) about organization, planning, and calendaring. You may want to skip this blog post if you don't want to witness the geek in me. 

If you've read the warning and you still want to read this, let's dive in. Yay!

Let's start with why this matters. 

Well, if you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed with all the things on your to-do list, that stress and overwhelm is directly affecting your weight loss goals. 

Remember, our thoughts cause our feelings. And our feelings cause our actions or inactions. 

So, if we're feeling stressed and overwhelmed, our action may be to reach for the box of cookies. 

With that said, let me start from the top.

It feels like yesterday...when my life felt completely out of control. 

I was trying to manage family life, a toddler, my marriage, myself, work, cooking, cleaning, laundry, working out, and all the things that come along with owning a house. Plus, making time to connect with my family and friends. And maybe having some fun here and there. 

I was drowning in things on my to-do list. And I felt completely ready to give up.

Until, I discovered a calendar process that changed everything for me. There's 5 steps to this process.

Step 1: Weekly Planning Meeting

Every Monday morning at 9:00am, you'll find me in a planning meeting with myself. It's quick, painless, and usually lasts 30 minutes. 

I start by sitting down and writing down everything in my brain that I feel I need to do. And I mean everything.

This includes everything on my short term to-do list and my long term to-do list. The big goals and the small ones. Everything in my personal life and business life. Everything. 

And, WOW, does it feel good to get it out of my brain and onto a piece of paper or Google doc.

My list is so specific that it even includes cleaning the kitchen sink once a week. 

Step 2: Review and Delete 

Next, I review my list. And I delete anything that I decide isn't important to me.

It's interesting. I used to feel so overwhelmed with all the things on my to-do list. But realizing that I don't actually have to do any of it, is super empowering. 

I don't have to clean the kitchen sink once a week. I want to. 

I don't have to change the bed sheets once a week. I want to. 

I don't have to clean the toilet once a week. I want to. 

It may sound weird to think about wanting to clean the kitchen sink, or change the bed sheets, or clean the toilet. But I do. Why? Because I want a clean sink, bed, and toilet. That's why. 

So, I get honest with myself. And stop telling myself I have to do these things. I want to do them. 

And anything I decide I don't want to do, I just delete from my list. 

Step 3: Prioritize 

Taking a look at my clean list of things I want to do, I start to prioritize them in order of importance. Specifically, I prioritize them according to when each thing needs to get done.

Step 4: Calendar

Now, I open up my Apple Calendar and start to calendar everything. 

(Side Note: You don't have to use Apple Calendar. You can use a paper calendar or another app. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you actually take your list and calendar everything.) 

The goal of calendaring is to have a specific day and time scheduled for every single thing on the to-do list. Even if that day and time is a year from now. It's on the calendar and out of the brain. 

And if there are things that need to be done consistently, I make sure they're setup as recurring on my calendar. 

Ok, I've got a REALLY IMPORTANT TIP for when you're calendaring. Make sure you really hear me on this one...

The things in your calendar should be RESULTS you want to achieve. Not just tasks. 

For example, on Thursday at 6:00pm, I will clean the kitchen sink and my result is a completely clean kitchen sink. 

Or on Saturday at 12:00pm, I will change the bed sheets and my result is a fully made bed with fresh bed sheets. 

Or on Sunday at 4:00pm, I will clean the bathroom and my result is a sparkly clean bathroom. 

Step 5: Take Action

It's Thursday at 6:00pm and you're scheduled to clean the kitchen sink.

But you don't want to clean the kitchen sink. 

This is normal. 

You've got 2 options: 

  1. Don't clean the kitchen sink. Delete it from your calendar. You'll likely feel a little out of integrity with yourself. And you'll just have to get used to living with a dirty kitchen sink. 
  2. Coach yourself and take action to clean the kitchen sink. Mark it as complete on your calendar. And celebrate your commitment to your plan. You'll likely feel like you've honored yourself and you'll feel a sense of trust in yourself for doing what you said you were going to do.

Check Out My Calendar

Here's a fun little sneak peak of some of the recurring things on my calendar. I didn't include all the details but I think you'll get the point. 

Sunday
  • With family all day
  • Meal Planning (once a week)
  • Clean entire house (once a month)
  • Grocery shopping (once a week)
  • Clean kitchen sink (once a week)
  • Video call with friends (once a month) 
Monday 
  • Planning meeting (once a week)
  • Work all day (my calendar tells me specifically what I"ll get done each hour) 
Tuesday
  • With my son all day
  • Clean both bathrooms (once a week)
  • Laundry: Sheets and Towels (once a week)
  • Online courses and learning (every week) 
Wednesday
  • Work all day (my calendar tells me specifically what I"ll get done each hour) 
Thursday 
  • With my son all day
  • Mow the lawn (once a week)
  • Laundry: Clothes (once a week)
  • Online courses and learning (every week)
Friday 
  • Work all day (my calendar tells me specifically what I"ll get done each hour)
Saturday 
  • With family all day
  • Dedicated family time from 9am - 1pm (we do a fun activity each week and focus 100% on each other)

The Wrap-Up

So, there it is. The calendar process that changed my life. And a little glimpse of what my calendar looks like. 

I really hope you found this helpful. And I know you'll love seeing this process in action in your own life if you follow all 5 steps consistently each week. 

If you do start to use this process, you'll find that the first few weeks are the most intense. Expect the process to take an hour or so. But if you schedule things on a recurring basis, then future weeks will get easier and quicker.

The biggest bonus of this process is that it'll free up space in your mind to focus on other more important things...like HAVING SOME FUN! 

Are you ready to create your calendar?

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