(Just a side note before you read: I am in no way affiliated with Passion Planner. I did not receive a free planner for a review, and I am not being paid for my opinion. This is just my experience, and how it has helped me. I hope you enjoy!)
Let Me Break It Down
The Passion Planner allows you to obviously plan out your days, weeks, and months, but more importantly it helps you set goals for yourself and break them into digestible parts so that you actually move toward accomplishing them. Have you ever said, “I want to do ____ one day,” and then it never happens? I have countless times, and well honestly it’s a little bit depressing that I never put action behind my goals, and let them slowly slip away into a sad purgatory where I tell myself that I will one day revive them.
The Passion Planner says enough is enough with not being actionable on your dreams and goals! You first make a “Passion Roadmap,” where you make a wish list of everything you want in your life in 3 months, 1 year, 3 years, and your lifetime. You take all parameters and bumper guards off. This is your dream list where anything is possible.
After you make your road map, you break it down further into your first “Passion Plan.” This is where you choose the one goal from your roadmap that would make the most positive impact on your life at this very moment. From there you write down as many steps as you can to complete your goal. You take these steps and schedule them in your weekly planner, so that you hold your self accountable to meet your goal.
My Gamechanger that I think will have the most impact on my life at this very moment is to try one new thing a week. You can read more about this here.
There’s the monthly layout in the front of the planner. After each month you reflect on your month, focusing on the positives and things you learned. You also make new goals for the next month based on how you feel about the current month. There is so much power in reflection and thinking introspectively. I love that you are constantly reminded to reflect and grow through using the Passion Planner.
After the monthly layout are the weekly layouts. Here you set a focus for the week and for each day. You can prioritize your personal to-do list and your work to-do list. At the end of the week you list out the good things that happened. Something that I’ve been working on is focusing on the positive, and the Passion Planner really makes you stop and think about what is actually good in your life. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in what’s not going right. Here is your life preserver! Pull yourself out of the negativity and start thinking about what’s good.
My Plan for My Passion Planner
My best friend Joann bought me my very first Passion Planner for my birthday in August 2016. I thought it was really cool, but I had just bought a regular planner from Target to use as my teaching planner. I put it in a safe place and decided to save it for when school was finished and I could focus on figuring myself out and what my next steps would be.
Mistake #1: Knowing that this is my last year as a teacher, I’ve been living my life through the lens of when school ends and I get to be who I really am I will do _____. I’ve been putting things off and making excuses for myself. Why can’t I be myself now AND finish out the year teaching?
I don’t have to wait for the puzzle piece to fit just right before I start living the life I want to live.
To back up and explain a little more, I’ve been an elementary school teacher for four years. I started out loving it, then liking it, then feeling like this is not for me but I’ll give it one more go, then liking it again-well a little, and now to accepting that it’s time for me to move on and stop simply tolerating the school year to get to the weekends, breaks, and anytime away from school. I don’t want to go through life putting up with something that doesn’t bring me joy. Don’t get me wrong, there are joyous moments, but overall I know this is not what I’m meant to do.
So what does this have to do with the Passion Planner you ask? Shortly into this school year and me realizing teaching doesn’t feel genuine to the life I want, I started having panic attacks on my way to work simply from the dread of being there. After about a week of this and realizing that for insurance purposes it was in my family’s best interest for me to finish out the year, I decided that I needed to change something in order to make it to June.
I pulled out my Passion Planner from it’s safe hiding place and decided to give it a go. The great thing about the Passion Planner is that it forces you to be reflective, make goals, and then set and schedule baby steps to meet your goals. On the inside cover it has a place for you to set your biggest goal to accomplish this year. I wrote, “I want to feel happy and figure out who I am and what I’m passionate about. What is my purpose?”
I made another goal too. “Be true to myself instead of being a chameleon for everyone else.” Do you ever find yourself agreeing with others out of politeness, or out of avoidance of explaining yourself or defending your opinion? I get defensive for some reason when I feel like I’m being questioned. I don’t enjoy combative (even if they’re in good fun) conversations. I don’t like feeling like I have to explain or justify my beliefs. I need to change my mindset around these conversations, and accept that just because someone has a different perspective, it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong or right. It’s just an opinion and I don’t need to provide lip service or nod my head in agreement to make the conversation hurry up and end. It’s okay to offer counter arguments, and have productive back and forth discussion.
When I feel myself starting to close up I’m going to take a deep breath and dive back into the conversation. I’m going to practice active listening, but I’m not going to feel like I must be wrong if my opinion is different.
Outside of chameleon conversation, I’ve also been a chameleon in terms of being honest about activities I want or don’t want to do. I often feel like if I’m honest in the way I feel about an activity (especially if it’s something I don’t want to do), I’m going to offend or disappoint the other person. I tend to be a people pleaser because I absolutely hate feeling like I let someone down.
For example, my dad loves to go to Maple Festival in Highland County, Virginia each spring. He looks forward to it every year and constantly tells me how he wishes I would/could go with him (I live eight hours away). I will admit it’s cool to see how maple syrup is made, go to the pancake breakfast, craft shows, and explore the small town of Monterey….once. Once you have seen it one time you’ve seen it. It’s the same thing every year, the weather is always crappy and cold, and it’s two hours from my dad’s house. This means you have to wake up ridiculously early to get there before the crowds clog up the little mountain roads and make the trip even longer. I didn’t even like it that much as a kid, because there wasn’t that much to do.
I have also since realized that I’m gluten intolerant and I have blood sugar dysregulation, so I keep my diet pretty low carb and gluten free. With that said there’s no real pull for me. I don’t eat maple syrup, maple donuts, maple pancakes, maple fried chicken, or any other maple flavored foods that they may offer.
Every time I cave in, I just go along to please my dad and have something to do with him. I historically never speak up, even about silly things to my dad simply out of not wanting to disappoint him. I always feel like I’m going to hurt his feelings. I think it’s more in my head than anything, but it still makes me feel bad. What makes me feel worse though is that because I’m not really honest with my likes, dislikes, and opinions, I feel like I’ve prevented him from knowing the real me. That is a punch in the gut that I feel responsible for.
How do I stop this feeling of guilt and chameleonism? (Yes I made up my own word)
- Well first things first I need to stop all future conversations from taking this course. I here pledge to only give my head nod and agreements to things I actually agree with!
- I will be honest with my dad and anyone else for that matter when they ask me to do an activity that I don’t like, and then offer a counter activity that we can do together and both enjoy.
- I will acknowledge when I feel like I might disappoint someone with my opinion, and then realize that they probably won’t be disappointed at all. I will check back with my worries of what I thought might happen and check the reality of what actually did happen. I’m expecting that my worries and reality will never match, which hopefully will help me stop worrying and just be.
Thanks for reading. I hope you were able to pull out some goodness. Take the leap and try using a planner. It doesn’t have to be a Passion Planner. There are a lot of great ones out there. Here and here are reviews of some of the many planners out there. If you’re not ready for the planner life, at least journal in some way. Be reflective, and make actionable steps towards living the life you want to live.
Peace and love,