Thursday, November 12, 2015

Seasonal Planner Tutorial 101

We kicked off a Tutorial this week at The Seasonal Beehive Group where we chit-chat about The New Seasonal Beehive Planner. 

I decided to place it RIGHT HERE so you don't have to go any further to see how to purposely, intentionally, and mindfully use those planners. Or if you didn't order a Winter Edition (now sold out) because you weren't sure how to use it or what it entailed, you can see all the nuts and bolts in one post. (Keep checking back as we aren't finished discussing it.)

Consider you are on the cutting edge of this creative endeavor and I certainly need your input to make it better. I don't want anyone lost and I don't want any planner sitting unused.

I'm listening...and I've heard you.  The Spring Edition will have that illusive monthly time line. Sorry it's lacking in the Winter. I was really hoping to get us away from being too "boxed in" but I guess that's defeating the purpose of being Seasonal. ;-)  Planning within timeframes is necessary and structure/routine is golden (as taught to me by my middle grandson).

So let's get those planners out.

We want to make sure they're worth your time, money and seasonal planning. God love you!

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Remember: This is a seasonal thing. Don't think too far into the future. Unlike yearly planners, this one centers you in the season, in the moment. I suggest getting a good set of bright pencil colors...especially for those who have the black and white planners. ‪#‎seasonalplannertutorial‬

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Each month has quotes which guide you in a focused thought for the season. Winter's focus is GRATITUDE. The mini-month-at-a-glance is self-explanatory. I cannot even begin to plan if I can't quickly turn to the month in its fullness. The Spring Edition will have grid lines charted, per someone's request
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Each month you're presented a page like this. We can begin our planning here. It says "share your accomplishments this month" but I think of it more as a goal sheet. This is your planner; use it either way. For the sake of not fearing our planners, let's begin now and use it for setting our top goals for next month. If you choose, in January you may prefer to use it at the end of month to write your accomplishments. Whip those pens out and put that pencil to paper. I got my p...urple gel pen cause it reminds me (intentionally) of the Christmas Novena I commit to every Advent season (if other prayers fail, this is one I'm committed to). Yes, we say Christmas around here. There's a good link for the novena here for those of you wanting to pray it with me. 
Start jotting down what your goals are- what do you want to accomplish in December-what kind of diet are you looking at- what book are you committed to reading (hopefully writing it down will keep you from over purchasing another Christmas book (like I do). ...or treat yourself to one book you've been wanting to get your mittens on). See that question mark? I want to hear what book you chose to read this season.
Notice at the bottom of page I put my own NO FAIL PLANS! ? You don't have to do this. You can note whatever you want, but I cannot let the month of December slip by without reading this little  book to my babies and creating a confectionary gingerbread house with them. Complete with Mortimer the Mouse and His Christmas Manger, it's a beautiful, simple, yummy tradition at MayMay's house every December (and lovingly includes the holy family into the fun smile emoticon ). I make note of it because it me and to those little boys! Last year we added ice cream cone decorated Christmas trees. This year I'm looking for an easy cute mouse confection to make with the boys. It's just not complete without Mortimer...and a package of wet wipes. ;-)

The Work Project Box...I am the DRE @ our local church. That is considered my "work" outside the home which clearly (for me) needs to be "boxed in" to prevent it epping into other areas of my crazy life. But I don't want that to become unintentional and crazy either. What do I want those children to walk away with in CCD next month...outside of all the crazy, busy crafts and coloring sheets and candy they will receive in the classroom? My "intentional planning" is to plan and present a lovely, thoughtful reflective meditation on the Nativity that will (hopefully) fill their hearts and minds with wonder and gratitude about the beauty of the Nativity story. I really don't need to plan anything else beyond this work project. THIS ONE THING is what matters! 

Here's an Annual Holiday List Reminder from Coffee Tea Books and Me that I thought worthy of sharing.
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I was going to start this page with a red gel pen (you know, Christmas red). Couldn't find it. So I looked for a red pencil color (you know, berry red). Couldn't find one. So looked for any red writing instrument (you know, peppermint red). Nada! Y'all see where this is going, don't you? I could have just walked away defeated before I even began...or junked the planner in the trash...but that would only defeat myself and the dreams I had when I created this planner or---in y'alls case---when you purchased it. We can get so bogged down with our preceived expectations and appearances that we loose focus of the purpose. The secret for sucfess is: use what you have. I used a purple and green pencil color. And added a candycane sticker to keep me jolly.

I've been asked about this page and "where does one write their monthly plans?" (No fears, there will be set planning pages in the Spring) For some reason I assumed everyone already had a tried and true favorite planner they dared not part with and this was a supplemental thing. I wasn't in the market to compete with your best planner; only to enhance it. I learned quickly that a-planner-is-a-planner (especially when labeled as such...which is probably why I originally labeled it a beehive rather than a planner)...but I digress.

Back to the purpose of this page...the HEART LIST PAGE, as I call it, is really for anything YOU choose to use it for. Since there is already a gratitude list page and a prayer list page in the planner, I'm planning to use my hearts for planning the important concrete stuff. But if you need more space for gratitude or prayers or booklists...but all means...use it as such. This is your beehive to use however you like, for whatever you like, and (most of all) wherever your lies.
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We're going to flip to this sheet in your planner. Each month has a PRAYER PONDERING PAGE. When you come upon this sheet it is time to get out those pencil colors and break open the Word and ponder for a moment in time what Christ is telling you. This page is purposely meant to pause you in order to set some prayer time into your month. All you need is your Bible, your seasonal planner, and pencil colors. Don't worry that it doesnt look a...s good as the fancy ones you see online (I'll share my first try in the comments). The goal is to focus on the the Word of God. This isn't an art class or contest (though I'd very much love to see your work). Let's get creative with those colors and that page. Embrace ‪#‎theWord‬. NOTE: beginning in Spring Edition there will also be a ready designed Scripture page for you to color on as well as some motifs my daughter is creating for you. Enjoy #theWord
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The Seasonal Planner offers a NATURE OBSERVATION AND SKETCH PAGE each month. It is meant for you. Why? This is a tried and true concept taken from the pedagogy of 19th century English educator Charlotte Mason:
*"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without."
*"Do not send them (the children); if it is anyway possible, take them."
*"Here is the mother's opportunity to train the seeing eye, the hearing ear, and to drop seeds of truth into the open soul of the child..."
So going out of doors is healthy and educational....and necessary. And mothers need this as much as children do. So the Nature observation/sketch page is for you...the mother. Your child would have his/her own nature journal. Maybe you have one as well...which is awesome...but it's a known fact that mothers don't have time for drawing and sitting out of doors to the same capacity our children do. The seasonal planner reminds you each month to make time for it. In your alone time or with your child.
And that sweet little black missal you see, was introduced to me by Jennifer Gregory Miller and I absolutely love it. It's a treasure! The title is Rural Life Prayer Book compiled by Alban J. Dauchauer, S.J.
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The Winter Edition has a MEAL PLANNING PAGE for Christmas (of course) and I started on it recently while sitting at the hospital waiting for my husband to get out of surgery.

‪#‎theseasonalbeehiveplanner‬ fits snug in your purse and it's a good thing to whip out so as to focus on better things than sick gallbladders.

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Do you choose to be Grateful? The Winter Edition of ‪#‎theseasonalbeehiveplanner‬ focuses on ‪#‎gratitude‬ . Each month reminds you to count your ‪#‎dailyblessings‬ on the GRATITUDE PAGE. A life of gratitude blocks negative thoughts and behavior. ‪#‎plannertutorial‬

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The Winter Edition of #theseasonalbeehiveplanner focuses on #gratitude and we're talking about those #hiddencorners where we recreate, remake, recharge, restore, and reward ourselves and where we gain the courage to take on a new day. I need these corners, perhaps more than the average person. I admire people who fly thru life without a need for corners and solitude; but I also admire a God who made me so uniquely different from others. #seasonaldepression #winter #planners HT to @annvoskamp who has taught so many of us the life changing beauty of gratitude. Tag your #hiddenbeehives

My good friend Dawn has a knack for discovering and enjoying Cozy Corners. So if you need inspiration or a reprieve from Life's Busy Beehives of Activity...go see Dawn @ By Sun and Candlelight.
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The DAYBOOK PAGE. These are quite popular on blogs. I reworked some of the areas and placed a daybook in each month. Per a request I'm considering placing one daybook per week for each month in the Spring Edition. Daybooks are done once a week and are simple casual prompts for capturing a moment of life. These were common for ladies of yesterday to keep, probably the first diaries. I find them fun to do. Daybooks can be done in one sitting or at intervals. Interruptions don't matter and don't make a but of difference, and they're fun too read over years later.
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I had a lady at a recent holiday show gasp when she saw the CHALLENGE PAGE and say,"oh, no! I could never do that." I think it scared her away.
I purposely set the bar on this challenge to be 10 days instead of 30 (and buyers of #theseasonalbeehiveplanner are welcome to make copies of the sheet to extend it to 20-30-40-50 days...however high they project their success rate) so as... to make it do-able, baby steps. It should not be viewed as a burden. It's only for your accountability.

Perhaps you want to keep your house a little cleaner. Perhaps you want to relax with some movies or books you normally don't take time to watch. It can be used to keep track of your prayer time. Perhaps you want to challenge yourself to watch your diet intake so as to enjoy Christmas eve and Christmas day. Then there's always those exercise goals we commit to.

Each matter what you commit to...assists you in keeping track of your water intake. That's something I struggle with because I dislike the blandness of water so I purchased some drink enhancers in thise little squirt bottles, hoping that will encourage my water intake.

Don't let these Challenge pages scare you away. No one needs to see your chart but YOU! And even if, at the end of 30 days, you only have 10 days recorded, you will be able to say, "I did that much! I'm sure I can do 10 more" rather than wondering if you did any days at all.

So what's your Winter Challenge? #plannertutorial
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There is a BOOK PAUSE PAGE in ‪#‎theseasonalbeehiveplanner‬ prompts you to keep a booklist or write your own review of a book you read recently. The plan for future ‪#‎seasonalplanner‬ is to deliver a book review to you. That's the plan. I hope you'll share with me some books/series you love and write a brief review of them. What books turn your towards home and family?

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This is what I call the CAPTURE PAGE!
December 1st is right around the corner. Spread those planners open and make use of the prompts within. Not too much, not to little. I believe a well-used planner helps to balance our lives. This page helps you capture what you would normally not remember by the time January 2016 rolls around.

Stay tuned. We're just getting warmed up with this tutorial. Lots more to come. :-)

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