Each weekend I engage in a practice that I call Planner Play. This is where I sit down with my Passion Planner and write out the design for my week ahead. In addition to filling in scheduled appointments and to-do list items, I also create a Happy List. This is a list of things that I have to look forward to throughout the week. When my planning is complete, I take a step back and cross reference my Happy List against what is on my calendar.
This process is illuminating because it allows me to identify work and personal activities that bring me joy. What’s even more instructive is when there is something on my calendar that was scheduled with the intent to bring me joy, but it doesn’t make the Happy List. This lets me know that I’ve fallen into committing to something because I think I should, instead of because it is something that I really want to do. Here are some strategies to support you in doing an alignment audit of your actions and activities in a given day or week.
Planner Plan. Whether you use a digital or paper planning system, set aside some dedicated time before the week begins to intentionally design the experiences you want to create. Add some elements of joy so that it won’t feel like work. For me this looks like using the perfect juicy pens or markers, stickers, and enjoying my favorite snacks while I plan. Sometimes I make it a social event by inviting friends to bring their planners, office supplies, and a dish to share.
Intention Inventory. When we plan activities, we may go in with the intention of achieving success or having fun, but it’s important to pause and make sure it is based on our definitions. When you really tap into who you are at your core, you may discover that a quiet evening at home brings you far more joy than afterwork drinks at a bar with friends. Many things that we plan seem like a good idea at the time but give yourself permission to reassess your decisions and to change your mind.
Righteous Release. Cancelling plans or commitments may feel challenging because we don’t want to disappoint or let people down, but what about you? How are you impacted when you forgo your peace, rest, and joy? Integrity goes beyond the simple definition of doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it. Integrity is also communicating when things have changed. Honor and respect your overall well being through the righteous release of activities that are out of alignment.
This week I challenge you to conduct an alignment audit on your calendar and adjust your commitments accordingly.
I am participating in a practice of intentional planning that accounts for rest and joy.
I am investigating the impact of my intentions.
I am honoring my energy, health, and peace through righteous release.