SALE ALERT: Your Best Year 2017 Goal Setting Workbook

Hey y'all! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and break. I'm back at it and will be buried in writing all month since I have an end of the month book deadline, but I wanted to pop in to let you know about a great sale going on today.

If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I'm all about the planners, goal-setting, and productivity. And the end of one year, beginning of another is always the logical time to do some review of what's worked and what hasn't and then make new goals going forward. This past year I used a goal-setting workbook called Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs. 

This is not a traditional day planner. This is specifically a goal-setting workbook for people running a small business. It's not specific to writers, but I find it fits well for that. There are exercises to fill out that help you evaluate the past year--what's worked, what hasn't, the whys. Then it leads you through setting goals and habits for the next year. After that, it's a month by month guide of setting goals, evaluating them as you go, and adjusting as needed. 

I've found this system really helpful for me. Sometimes by the end of the year, it can feel like nothing worked because we're all tired and a little burnt out. But being able to look back at what I set as goals for the year in January helps me to see--oh, hey, I did accomplish some of this. It also helps me see the areas I'm still struggling in. Overall, it's a great exercise in mindfulness and thinking strategically about life and work.

And today for CyberMonday it's 50% off, which makes the download only $7.50. This workbook can be ordered in print or as a download. I like getting the download because then I can put it in my own binder and reprint a page if I mess up something. (By the way, I haven't been asked to feature this and I don't know the author. Just passing along my experience with it.)

So if you're looking to do some goal-setting for 2017, check it out.

There are also some alternatives to this workbook:

If you want something writer specific, Bria Quinlan has created the AuthorLife Planner. This can also be purchased as a print book or download. I haven't gotten a copy of this one yet, but lots of my friends have been raving about it. I believe there are exercises in the front and then it has an actual planner in the back with dates/calendars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you're not an author and not running a business but want to set personal goals, I've heard a lot about the Powersheets workbook. I haven't ordered these and they're on the pricier side (the spiral bound book is $55) but they seem to get great reviews and are very pretty. If you end up going this route, let me know what you think! I'm curious. :)

UPDATE: I ended up buying the Powersheets and I'm really impressed with them. Functional and lovely. :) (And yes, I have no willpower to resist these things, lol.)

All right, now I'm off to the writing cave.

Anyone into yearly goal-setting? Have you used this type of workbook before? What method do you use?

Video Flip Through of the Ban.do Agenda and Sticker Books

Hey, guys! I didn't plan to do a blog post today, but I realized that I filmed a flip through of the Ban.do Agenda and their sticker books and never posted it here. So for you planner nerds out there, here it is!

A flip through of the large 2016-1017 Ban.do Agenda.

And here's a quick flip of the sticker books that you can buy to go with the agenda (or for any planner, really.) This one has music in the background, no narration, so feel free to mute. :)

A quick flip through of the Ban.do agenda sticker books.

Have a great Thursday! 

Unboxing the Inkwell Press Academic Planner (with VIDEO)

Earlier this week I featured 4 Gorgeous Mid-Year Planners. I've ordered the other two on the list that I didn't have, and the Inkwell is already in! So I thought I'd do a walkthrough video for those who may be interested in seeing what this planner has to offer.

Also, things you realize when you tape an up close video of your hands--how chipped your manicure has become. >.<  But anyway, here you go! If anyone is interested in buying one of these or anything else from Inkwell, I have a referral code that will get you 10 dollars off. :)

I know that I've had a lot of planner and organizational type posts lately. Be assured that in the background, I'm writing and planning new books for you guys. :)  But let me know if you like these kinds of posts and if you want more/less. Also, I'd like to know if you enjoy video posts. I'm just learning YouTube stuff, but I think it could be a fun thing to do a video a few times a month (on all kinds of different topics, not just planners), so let me know if you have any interest in that AND I'd love to know what you want to hear about in the videos -- about books, writing, office supplies, planning, etc. 

Thanks, y'all! Hope you have a great weekend!

What's Your "Escape Hatch"? The Importance of Hobbies

Today,  author Jaye Wells did a fantastic post on burnout. Go read it. I'll wait. She explains how she got burned out when her passion and escape (writing) became her job and took over every aspect of her life.

I so relate to that article. I've talked a little bit about it here, but I definitely was burnt to a crisp by the end of 2015. I love writing. It is my passion. But when it became my job and my world became deadlines and constant writing and promotion and all the business that goes along with being a writer, I lost what Jaye calls the "escape hatch."

Writing used to be my escape hatch. I started writing in high school not just because I loved reading and creating stories but because it gave me a break from the angst of being a teenager. It was an escape from every day life. That's one reason why I went back to writing after I had my son. I was a new mom who had no idea what she was doing and was dealing with a very colicky, non-sleeping baby. When I needed to take a break from all that, I escaped into writing.

That was the best thing I could've done because that's the point where my passion turned into my career. I got my first publishing contract when my kidlet was three. From that point on, writing became my full time job. 

I love it. I feel lucky every day that I get to do this for a living. BUT, it means that writing is my job. It's what I *have* to do now. That takes some of the "escape" out of it. Where do I get to escape when writing gets hard or stressful or a book is fighting me? And books always fight.

That's what led me to my burnout. I didn't have that other outlet anymore. For a while at the end of last year, I didn't even want to read because that's tied to writing. And, believe me, if I'm not reading, that means there's a major problem lol. *cue warning sirens for meltdown*

So after turning in my book, I stepped back and evaluated and took a break. I read non-fiction since fiction wasn't calling to me. I painted and redecorated my office. And I got a planner--seemingly to be more organized--but it ended up being more than that. I discovered there was this whole planning community. And it was a crafty pursuit. There are pretty pens and washi tape and stickers involved! That has become my version of an escape. It's a hobby that will not make me money, that has no pressure attached to it, and that relaxes me. From the outside, it seems like a silly thing. I mean, how many pens do I really need? This many, btw:

 My pen/pencil collection

My pen/pencil collection

 

But after reading that post, I realize--no, it's not silly or indulgent. It's necessary. It's self-care.  I found a crafty, creative outlet to be my little escape hatch when I'm not writing. And looking back, I've been doing this all along. When things get stressful, I seek out hobbies. Maybe I start cooking a lot. Last year, it was canning and pickling things. I took a photography course a few years ago when I definitely didn't have time for it. I rebuilt my website because I enjoy the process of taking things apart and putting it back together. It's even in my author bio:

"If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her cooking, watching reality television, or picking up another hobby she doesn't need--in other words, procrastinating like a boss."

But maybe it's not always procrastinating or a hobby I don't need, after all. Maybe it's making room in my head for the writing. It's giving my brain space to "breathe" and refresh. 

And I know that Jaye's post was specifically about writing, but I think it applies across the board if you're doing a job you love. Or being a parent. Or even a job you hate. We need that time to play. We need those things that don't have any stakes tied to them.

So, I'm curious. What's your escape hatch?