What an exciting day!! After months of work, we have:
- A brand new site (if you’re reading via email, click through to check it out – so pretty!)
- … AND… I’m finally launching my very own product… the 2016 Dreams by Design Planner!
If you’re really observant, you may remember me mentioning my Planner way back when I showed you my gold paint-pen study reveal. It’s been months of work in the making, with a few speed-bumps and roadblocks along the way, but I could not be happier with the finished result. The 2016 Dreams by Design Planner is conveniently designed as a printable, so you can download it instantly and get started right away. No waiting around for a product to be shipped to you!
First things first… all the pretties! Because you know how much I love pretty things. I wanted to give you LOTS of personal choice, so I designed a total of NINE different covers for this planner. Aren’t they gorgeous?!
So… why a planner? I will admit that I’m a planner nerd. I’ve used just about every product on the market – sometimes spending literally hundreds of dollars on a single purchase, all in search of the Holy Grail of planner perfection. Well, in all those years, I’ve never found anything that contained all my must-have features. So, I decided to make my own!
When I sat down to do just that, I had no idea what a process I was in for. Phew. Boy-oh-boy. I knew I wanted a professional product that was beautifully designed. I knew exactly what I wanted inside. I had no idea that would involve learning how to use a whole new publishing software – with a LOT of help (talk about a steep learning curve!), months of tweaking and testing and printing and problem-shooting, plus a whole new site re-design into the bargain (because of the limitations involved in the Blogger platform I was on previously, which make it impossible to sell a product on-site.) So yeah… it’s been a wild ride!
I honestly feel so proud of the finished result. It’s kind of like giving birth – a long and really uncomfortable pregnancy that goes on for about a month longer than you think is humanly decent, followed by a difficult labour where you want to yell at everyone around you, “Just get this baby out of me!!” but it’s all out of your control and you have to wait it out and breathe and trust that everything’s going to eventually be okay. And then finally the product of your labour is out in the world, and it’s just beautiful, and you want everyone else to love it as much as you do.
The thing I adore about this planner is that it starts with the big picture – your dreams for your life and goals for the coming year – and then funnels down by the month, week and day to help you actually incorporate those goals into your daily life.
Want to take a look inside with me? (Silly question. You know I’m gonna show you anyway!)
The Yearly Goal-Setting section at the very start of the planner encourages you to dream big and imagine the life you truly desire. In the words of Ben Stein, “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.” How often do we flounder around aimlessly, because we don’t really know what we want at all? It’s time to get clear on what you want, so you can take the first steps toward achieving it.
I whole-heartedly believe in the truth of these words: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” — William Arthur Ward
There’s plenty of space to brainstorm and dream, but then it’s time to get really focussed. The Dreams by Design Planner encourages you to choose three focus goals for this coming year. No more setting lists of New Year’s Resolutions a page long, that you’re going to forget all about in a week’s time.
There is something really powerful about narrowing your focus right down to the most important things, and then throwing all your energy and efforts behind them.
The Goal Planner will then help you take those big dreams and break them right down into a series of small, simple sub-tasks. Even the most complex and overwhelming of projects can be broken down into bite-sized bits. You’ll find that once you break it down, it suddenly looks a whole lot less daunting. That “pipe-dream” that has always floated somewhere just beyond your reach? It’s now realistic. It’s actually achievable.
And you ARE going to achieve it. This year, in fact.
Wow! Imagine what an incredible feeling it will be when you get to the end of the year and you’ve nailed those goals. I’m excited just thinking about it! I’m so pumped for you to achieve your goals and start living your dreams!
Flip the page and you’ll come to the Year Overview. This is a really powerful snapshot of your entire year at a glance. There’s big blank spaces to jot down notes and plan out your year. This is where you take those three focus goals and all the various sub-tasks, and see how you’re realistically going to slot them into your year.
I’ve also created a dated year calendar so you can fill in special events, holidays, conferences, and time away. This will help you clarify the time you actually have available each month.
You’ll even find a Birthday calendar and Christmas gift planner so you can get a jump-start on planning gifts for the coming year. Yeah, baby. This is going to be your most organised year ever!
That brings us to the really cool stuff – what you’ll find inside the cover of each month. There’s a gorgeous co-ordinating cover page for each month of the year, as well as a full page monthly calendar. There’s space for budgeting, and plenty of room for notes.
There’s even space each month to fill out a Master Schedule for your week. This “Master Schedule” will contain all those recurring appointments that don’t regularly change – work times, study hours, school pick-up and drop-off, kids’ extracurricular activities, Bible study group, language class, etc. It will give you a clear visual at a glance of the white spaces in your life, and where you can slot in those “extra things” you want to do to move you in the direction of your dreams. Want to work out? Want to spend some time each day writing, or working on your creative business? Here’s the place to slot those things in. If you schedule it, it’s real.
Even cooler?! – in fact my very favourite feature of the entire planner? – the Monthly Master list. Why is this so exciting, you ask?
Well, two reasons.
Firstly, if you don’t use some form of Master List already, you are causing yourself a whole lotta extra stress in life. You know how there’s always THAT LIST of stuff to do running through your brain? All those thoughts swirl around and niggle at you, sometimes surfacing, sometimes receding. They’re usually not urgent enough to stick right on your list of things to do that day – and you know you don’t have the time for it right now anyway, so you “file it” in your brain for later.
It might be the “shoulds”… I really should clean out that garage. I should call Grandma and check how she’s going after her surgery. I should check out that new reading program for the kids… Or the “need to’s”… I need to order those name labels for school sometime soon. I really need to get the business paperwork done in the next couple of weeks. Oh, and I need to remember to change that appointment time…
Mums are pretty amazing at remembering a whole heap of stuff on a daily basis, but we’re only human after all, and things slip through the cracks all. The. Time. – thus causing needless stress, and that familiar feeling that you’re not quite “on top of things.”
Enter the Monthly Master List. It’s designed as a “brain dump”, where you can list out every single thing that’s niggling at your mind at this point in time. There’s four boxes, so you can list tasks by category.
This is also the place where you’ll list out the sub-tasks that need doing this month, to keep you on track with your big-picture goals. No more setting a goal and then falling down on the follow through. Just flip back to your Year Overview, check in on what you’re meant to be covering this month, and jot it down on your Monthly Master List.
But the coolest feature of all?!…
The entire page is custom designed to fold out. So each week, when you’re planning your week ahead, you can flip back to your Monthly Master List and fold it out, so you have all those need-to-do tasks right there beside you.
You’ll use the Master List as your source when you fill out what needs to be done this week. Then, each day, transfer some of those tasks onto your daily to-do list, and tick them off as you accomplish them.
This is the feature I’m hands-down most excited about in this planner. It’s a truly unique tool that will enable you to create massive follow-through in your life. It will help you keep your goals and tasks visible and right at your fingertips, every single day this year.
No more forgetting what needs to be done! No more excuses! No more shelving those goals two weeks into the New Year! Not only have you written down your goals and broken them into manageable, bite-sized pieces, you’ve also set yourself an achievable timeline and made those goals a part of your monthly, weekly and daily routine.
How awesome is that?!
Here’s a look at the Daily Layout you’ll find inside the Dreams by Design Planner. I’ve designed it to be extremely practical and functional. It’s a week to a view, so you can see what’s coming up. There’s a big space to list out your weekly to-do’s and set three priority tasks. There’s also space every day for a daily to-do list, as well as a time-blocked daily schedule. Jot down all those appointments and recurring events for the week, then block out the times you’ll use to accomplish the goals and tasks on your to-do list.
At the top of the page, you’ll also find a Meals Planner, and a Week at a Glimpse planner / tracker. This is another really powerful little tool that you can totally customise to your needs. I’m a gal who loves having a plan. (Could you tell? Ha!) The Week at a Glimpse enables you to plan or track your week in ONE SPECIFIC AREA of your life, giving you an overall snapshot of your progress.
Here’s some suggested uses:
- Write out your exercise plan for the week
- Track your daily calorie intake
- Schedule blog posts
- Keep a daily word count
- Plan out activities to do with the kids each day
- Chart your daily Bible reading
- Write a cleaning plan for the week
The possibilities are as varied as the individuals who will use the Dreams by Design Planner. Make it yours!
Last but not least, the Dreams by Design Planner comes in two editions – the Life Edition, which has an inspirational quote each week, and the Faith Edition, which has a weekly Scripture verse. The Faith Edition also has space for you to jot down a prayer list for the week. (In the Life Edition, this becomes a “Don’t Forget!” space to jot important reminders.) In both editions, there’s a weekly prompt where you can write down something you’re grateful for. A grateful life is a happy life!
As you can see, the Dreams by Design planner is absolutely jam-packed with carefully thought-out features that will make goal-setting and follow-through a breeze.
Each copy comes with over 100+ pages, NINE gorgeous cover designs (all included with every purchase!), and a printing and assembly guide. Oh, and it’s available in both A4 and U.S. Letter size (8.5″ x 11″).
I had my copy printed at my local office supply store (because printing back-to-back at home makes my head hurt) and spiral bound. I then slipped it into this gorgeous notebook cover, because as you know… I like pretty things.
I’m already loving using mine. It really is everything I’ve ever wanted in a planner, and I know that by using the Dreams by Design system, this year is going to be an awesome one! I can’t wait for you to get started and smash those goals and dreams.
If you want to snag yourself an instantly downloadable copy, you can buy one right here.
Or if you want to take a closer look at all the features and what’s included, head on over to the Dreams by Design Planner page. While you’re there, check out my video debut as I chat through the features of this planner.
And before you go, don’t forget to have a browse through my brand new website! It’s not 100% polished-up yet, so there may be wonky bits here or there. But I’m totally loving the clean and colourful new look, mobile responsiveness (finally!) and easier navigation. Yes!!
Thanks for all your support this year, sweet readers. Here’s to 2016 – may it truly be our best year yet!