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A new year is upon us, can you even believe it? Where did 2016 go?!
2016 for us was quite a busy, crazy year but full of many wonderful and lasting memories. Unfortunately, due to many unexpected things, I was unable to blog as hoped. I’ll admit, some of the reason was pure laziness. I was so busy and tired that when I did have time to blog, I just didn’t want to (yes, that was said in my whiny two-year-old voice). That will change this year. Blogging is something I really enjoy and I already have a great group of followers, I just need to make time!
How am I going to change? How is this year going to not end up just the same as 2016, me being lazy and not prioritizing my time efficiently?
This is how. Introducing the Happy Planner!I purchased a Happy Planner by me & my BIG ideas (MAMBI) last year and LOVED it. I did use it (most of the time) but not religiously. Regrettably, I did not use it to its full potential and that is what I am changing in 2017.
My resolution this year is to use my planner each and every day. Ultimately, I (along with 97% of the world) want to get more organized, budget better, and become debt free. However, my resolution does not include those things, my resolution is to develop a better routine. I know that by nailing down my routine, I will be able to achieve those other goals as well. I WILL be in the 8% of people who keep their resolutions. My sanity depends on it.
What is a Happy Planner and how is it different than every other planner out there?
Last year I did a lot of research on different planners- if I was going to really get into planning, I wanted one that I actually liked! There are many options out there, along with hugely varied price points. I did not want a cheap dollar store version (although those work great for many people) but there is no way I was going to pay $50+ for a planner! I needed something that was beautiful, affordable, easily customizable and motivating- I believe I found my perfect match.
The Happy Planner is a disc bound system. Pages are easily removed and added while being very secure. Each month has a “dashboard” page, a monthly view, and weekly views. It is an 18 month planner (July-December) but I purchase it discounted in December/January, rendering it a 12 month planner. This works for me as I use the previous 6 months in other areas of my planner (such as my DIY sticker book- post coming soon). Even if you end up tossing the previous year 6 months, it is a great deal at less than $20 on Amazon. (I purchased mine for $14 at Michael’s)
How will this help me develop a routine?
With three kids, two being in school, a farm, gardening, daycare, blogging, and all the home “stuff” to keep organized, my brain is maxed. I used to do a pretty good job of relying on my memory or a few post-it notes scattered here and there. That ‘aint working anymore.
The monthly view is where I jot down when my bills are due and pencil in appointments when they are made (starting in February the monthly view will become my blog planner to keep me on track with posts). My weekly view has reminders for school, sports practices, daycare schedule, appointments, events, birthdays/anniversaries, etc. I also include a few checklists (water, exercise, cleaning) because I like to check things off as they are done.
Me and My Big Idea also sells extension packs that you can add to enhance your planner. I purchased the Home Planner extension. They also have Fitness, Recipe, Wedding, as well as blank 6 monthextension packs. There are pocket folders, extra covers, discs, graph/lined paper, and much more available to make your planner your own.
So far, I LOVE the home planner extension pack. Included are tabs for meal planning, to-do lists, house cleaning schedules, and budget. I may add the more in-depth Budget extension pack in the future but for now, this is perfect.
Are the “extras” worth it?
As far as embellishments go, there is no need to go “hog wild” with expensive stickers, washi tape, quote cards, etc. (although they are ADORABLE and really fun!). I purchase many of my stickers and such from the dollar store, on clearance, or with coupons. Etsy and Pinterest also have awesome (many free!) printables that can be printed on sticker paper or cardstock (and then glued in your planner).
Customizing and embellishing your planner is so fun and makes it enjoyable to look at multiple times a day but, again, totally not necessary. The Happy Planner is gorgeous all by itself and does include some pretty awesome quotes and images!
*It is not necessary to purchase a special hole punch to add pages in this planner (although there is one available). Creating your own is easy with a dollar store hole punch and scissors. *
Cheers to a year full of memories, fun, health and (hopefully) an extra slice of sanity!