Now that we’re officially back in the swing of things after our small respite after the holidays, I wanted to share with you some reflections I have had over the last few days about how I’m approaching my planning for this upcoming year. I’ll give you a hint: one of Penny Post’s gorgeous (and helpful) planners is playing a part!
I’ll be honest: while I like to plan and relish opening a new agenda each year, I have a hard time sticking to calendaring all year round. At some point my mind decides it yet again wants to keep it all stored inside rather than on paper, which ends up stressing me out to no end. If I fail to keep up with my agenda, I have to think extra hard to remember which babysitter is coming which day, when our Q1 taxes are due, oh and what was that thing I meant to get to this week… *drawing a blank*. It all ends up flooding out at night just as I’m lying down for bed, which is exactly not when you need to remember that you forgot to call the vet again.
I’m also taking this year to focus on a few more personal goals. 2019 was a big year for our business in terms of meeting its goals and setting a new bar for our work and I’m incredibly proud of what our little shop accomplished. That being said, I can recognize that the work we did came at a bit of a cost on the personal side of things. While I am quite good at creating spreadsheets for tracking financials and projects, I am less astute at formulating “soft” goals for myself and tracking their progress. When you run your own business, you don’t exactly have someone sitting down for an annual performance review so it’s important to devise a strategy for tracking your own personal accomplishments – otherwise, all that work you do just gets swept into the day-to-day.
So, this year I got things started by visiting Penny Post to pick out my annual planner. I can’t say I intentionally went in looking for a goal-oriented planner, but by a happy surprise I ended up liking the cover and layout of the 2020 MiGoals planner Amy has stocked. Upon flipping through its clean, well-organized pages I realized it is full of amazing goal-planning tips and strategies for getting the most out of your planning. The first few pages are dedicated to breaking down the type of person you want to be, what types of goals you have and why, and what feeling you’re pursuing with the goals you have. I particularly like that final element of forcing you to define not just the tangible goal, but the emotive one. In the end, what’s the point of a goal if you don’t feel good when you achieve it? This is especially useful for me, since I have a terrible tendency to meet a goal… and immediately downplay it, telling myself that it must not have been that big of a goal if I ended up meeting it. Crazy, right? And so self-defeating.
I really love that these elements are also strung throughout the planner section of the book, meaning that each week I’ll be planning not only my to-do list for our contractor, but I’ll also be surveying my own habits and moods to gage how things are actually going. By keeping these trackers side-by-side, I’m much more likely to stay on top of both of them (and to take better interest in what the product of my work is giving me on a personal level).
If you’re looking for a refreshed approach to planning the mundane tasks of life, consider a goal-oriented planner like the MiGoal one. I think it will prove informative at the very least, and hopefully progressively cathartic in another way. And, best of luck in achieving your 2020 goals, whatever they are! We all need all the help we can get 🙂
Alexandria & Company is an Old Town-based workshop and design studio specializing in creating and restoring fine jewelry and silver hollowware. They are the in-the-know jewelers of Alexandria and have been serving clients out of their small workshop for decades. Tucked in their historic building on South Royal Street, the team at Alx&Co. brings a personalized, modern approach to their craft – this is not your average stodgy jeweler or antique shop. Visit them during their walk-in hours or online to view their collection of handmade fine jewelry or to drop off a repair project; or, if you’re feeling creative, make an appointment to talk about that custom design project you’ve been imagining.
121-B South Royal Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Design Studio Walk-In Hours (all jewelry services): Wednesday – Saturday 12-6pm
Silver Workshop Walk-In Hours (all silver repair and restoration services): Wednesday or Friday 12-6pm, or by appointment
Appointments encouraged for custom design.