The Perfect Planner for My Crazy Life

Yesterday, my older son had a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day. I scheduled it ages ago and I’m not sure what I was thinking – middle of the day appointments of any kind are the worst. They knock a hole in your entire day.

Tomorrow, my younger son will have his pre-surgery doctor’s appointment, something I’ve been trying not to think of, since it means the surgery is growing ever closer (it’s a week from today). We’ve also had several other stressors going on, which has disrupted our sleep schedule and made life crazy for a while.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when I sat down to work yesterday morning, only to find I couldn’t focus. I sat at my computer and started writing a post, but when I needed to look up something to make sure I was being accurate, I got sidetracked. Over and over, I’d start one project only to realize half-way through the second or third or fourth that I’d jumped around again.

Finally, I walked away from the computer. I sat down with my real, hard-backed, well-loved Create Your Shining Year Planner, and looked at my week.

My Planner


I love the Shining Life Planner – for years, I purchased planner after planner, only to set them aside because my life didn’t fit neatly into 15 minute boxes. For me, this is perfect. I have space to plan a business and plan dinner, and list the boys’ schoolbooks if I want, and nothing about the planner screams, “You’re using the space wrong.” Which is what it felt like sometimes with the usual planners, especially the ones with a separate place for this and another place for that.

When I opened the planner yesterday, I noticed something was wrong. Except for the two doctors appointments, my week looked bare. I hadn’t done any of my usual preparation, no meals planned, no posts scheduled, no work notes. No wonder my life was feeling crazy!

Without the computer to distract me, with real pens and real paper, I sat down and planned out my week.

First, the menu for the rest of the week to feed my ever-hungry boys. And then, the step that has become my favorite part – my every day checklist:

Believe-listGif of my everyday checklist

The checklist is the best tool I’ve found for staying on track each day. I know people who swear by their To Do lists, and I’ve tried to use one repeatedly, but to be honest, I flunk at them. So instead, I created a list of the things I wanted to do each day. It doesn’t matter how long I spend on each item – just that I remember to include it. If I have 10 minutes free and read a book instead of playing a game, then the list is serving its purpose.

The best part is when you have one of those days that feels like you haven’t accomplished anything – and then you look back at the checklist and realize that you’ve checked off each item. Here is a free PDF of the checklist. Feel free to use it and share it. And if it makes a difference in your daily life, I’d love to hear your stories.

Here is my affiliate link if you’d like to check out the planner that I use. I also have and love the two workbooks – Create your Shining Life and Shining Business. I won my planner and Workbook in a drawing, but I’ll definitely be buying the set next year. To say that the books are life-changing would not be overstating things. ❤️

Affiliate Image for Shining Life


This entry was posted in Featured Image.


  1. Sunny March 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    I really enjoyed your writing on how overwhelming life can be in the day to day of trying to schedule everything, and then discovering that sometimes “less is more”
    I have always been a To Do list maker, but with my health situation not at optimum I find many times I just am not able to get to everything on my list. I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it though.Being kind to myself is just as important as being kind to others. Tomorrow’s another day. I just add my unfinished items to the next day so I can work on my biggest priorities, which happen to be very similar to your “Believe” list. It all gets done eventually.

    • Te-ge March 4, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

      Thank you, Sunny! 🙂

      “I just am not able to get to everything on my list.”

      That’s the problem I seem to run into repeatedly with lists.

      One thing that I’ve found that helps me is to list the steps instead of the whole project. As I get the steps accomplished, I can see the progress, even if the whole goal isn’t finished as quickly as I’d like.

      I love this: “Being kind to myself is just as important as being kind to others.” So very, very true! ❤️

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