Life Planning: Have you heard about My Life Planner? A Review from Zesty Kits.
Posted on March 09 2020
A Review from Annie Beaudoin, co-founder and owner of ZestyKits & CookieKits
Have you ever found yourself just going through the motions? It is very easy to get stuck in a routine of only doing what must be done right away instead of working with purpose. The question is: how can I work smarter, not harder?
I’ve used a number of planners, including the passion planner, and none of them really empowered me to plan for my personal and business goals effectively and with accountability. In late 2019, I found out about My Life Planner Leadership Edition and was curious to use it and find out how it differs from the other planners I have used in the past.
After using My Life Planner Leadership Edition for a few months, I am happy to say: “It changed my life”! Its’ tools help me achieve, track and celebrate success, both personally and professionally.
I am so excited about the improvements I am seeing in my personal life and the businesses that I decided to write a series of blogs to share my experience with the planner. Through the series of blogs, I will share how I use each section of the planner as well as their impact.
My Life Planner Leadership Edition has 5 main aspects:
- Foundations: Living with purpose, not by default
- Quarters: Establishing goals, track and break down
- Months: Track, plan, review
- Weeks: Create your weeks
- Journal: Flow, inspiration
Working with My Life Planner has allowed me to incorporate business planning with my own personal planning. As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to take the time to plan and design my own life. The businesses seem to take all my planning time. The My Life Planner planner is very helpful because it has a well thought out structure to enable the management of the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Because there is so much to say about each aspect of My Life Planner, I decided to use this blog to discuss my experience with the “Foundations”.
The Foundations was a great way for me to start using My Life Planner. I want to create my life instead of reacting to it. These tools allow me to review my behaviour, plan my life and the growth of my business. My advice to fill the foundation would be: start writing, but don't fill up all at once. For me, inspiration comes as soon as I stop trying to find the answers. I found the process of filling up the foundations to be eye-opening.
It’s always a little scary to write an assessment of ourselves. It is easy to focus on 2 or 3 aspects of our lives and to forget about all the other aspects. The way My Life Planner is divided makes reflection easy. The reflection section helps me think critically about what I did well, what I did wrong and also which areas of my life require more focus this year. This section helped me realize how much my business is a part of me, and how important my personal growth is for the business.
I was looking for tools that enable me to live by design. I found the Picture This section to be key to architecting my life.
From the business side, the Picture This section allowed me to look at all the upcoming events as a whole and empowered me to strategically plan the year. This section helps me to not rush marketing campaigns, conferences, speaking engagements, and courses. It encourages me to strategically plan significant events every month.
From a personal side, this section allows me to see when I will need time off. It gives me time to think about the important personal events in my life and when they take place. By taking note of them in this section, I see which months will be the busiest personally and I can plan classes and vacations accordingly.
Exploding Vision and Clarity
Managing businesses is time-consuming and it’s easy to fall into “fire fighting mode”. I use this section to stop and reflect on my role and how I contribute to the mission of the businesses and my personal mission.
Manifest your Year
What am I looking for this year? What do I want to accomplish? What meaningful relationships do I want? The Manifest Your Year section gave me something to look for in the upcoming year. It feels really good to write down my big audacious goals for the year.
We all have routines, whether we are conscious of it or not. For me, writing down my morning ritual (and creating it) allows me to consciously design my days.
- Morning: I make sure to keep the first hour of the day to myself and disconnected from others’ lives (Facebook, Instagram, emails). As Brendon Burchard says, “every morning you train your brain to check into other people's lives - not carefully, strategically and intentionally think about yours. What you are doing is neurologically training your brain to be rewarded by comparison and distraction.” Starting every day with a planned morning routine empowers me to start each day mindfully and to plan how I will bring my best self to the key activities of the day. I found my days are a lot more productive and satisfying now that I do morning routine daily.
- Before work: I found that making my Before Work Ritual made my work days so much more structured. Being an entrepreneur, it can be hard to differentiate between my life and the business. Over time, it all just becomes one big “to-do list”. This routine gives me a clear break between personal and business activities. The before work ritual is a beautiful transition between personal and business activities and provides a time to get into my business mind. This routine aligns with what I have learned from Brendon Burchard: “You need time to prepare more strategically to win your days. Your dreams require that preparation, your heart requires that intention and that consciousness. Your work and your difference requires you to be intentional.”
- After work: This ritual allowed me to close the workday and prepare priorities for the next day.
- Before bed: I had an unhealthy before bed routine: I use to watch Netflix until I fell asleep. This doesn’t allow much time for reflection and peaceful sleep. Having to write down my Before bed ritual made me realize how important that time is and I consciously designed a before-bed ritual which includes reading, reflection, and meditation.
These routines are changing my life! I strongly encourage you to become the architect in your life and not live by default.
My Ideal Week
I never thought of creating my ideal week before My Life Planner. I would write down what I was planning to do that week but it was more a “to-do list”. I wasn’t strategically creating my weeks. Creating my ideal week gave me time to imagine and create my ideal week. This includes work time, meeting time, family time, gym time, mealtime and free time. This process let me reflect on what I love doing, what I must do and what I don’t like doing and don’t have to do. It's a great guide to find activities that can be delegated and what activities should be removed.
Annual Meeting Log
This section allows me to keep my meetings organised and not planned last minute. It’s also great to track the frequency of meetings and helps me to make sure I am giving the right level of attention to all aspects of the business.
Before My life planner, I lost the concept of time for myself. I found this page to be a great reminder of what I love doing and how I want to spend my free time instead of just thinking about work.
Quotes to Live by
This is my favorite page to fill out! At the start of every month I find a new quote to write in this section, it’s also a great time to review the quotes I wrote earlier in the year. I also refer back to this page when I feel overwhelmed, exhausted or discouraged.
After using My Life Planner for a couple of months, I find that I am more focused and work more strategically instead of harder.
Key improvements I noticed in my life and businesses from the Foundation section in My Life Planner :
- I spend more time on my areas of opportunity and grow personally consistently
- I have a better understanding of how I contribute to the businesses missions and work towards it efficiently
- I’ve been able to successfully establish morning routine which lets me start each day mindfully
- I’ve found help to work towards my ideal week. I restructured when I work on activities to maximize productivity, identified activities that can be delegated as well as activities that are now stopped.
- Plan ahead time for meetings and giving the appropriate attention to each aspect of my life and of the businesses
- Spend time on personal projects in my free time (express my creativity)
If you are looking for a planner that empowers you to create success, enables you to keep yourself accountable and encourages work/life balance, I highly recommend My Life Planner Leadership Edition.
When using the planner, I encourage you to be patient, be audacious with your goals, be creative and above all else - have fun! This is your life, own it, create it!
Next, I will share my experience with monthly planning!
See you soon!
Co-founder and owner of ZestyKits & CookieKits