When I moved into full-time entrepreneurship, running Encircled and Retail Bliss, the first thing I de-prioritized was self-care.
I gained a solid 15lbs in my first year working full-time at Encircled and Retail Bliss.
I stopped going to the gym.
The McDonald's employees at Dufferin/Dupont knew me by first name -- as every day I grabbed an egg mcmuffin + coffee en route to work.
Forget about manicures, pedicures, yoga...
Every spare moment I had was full of work.
Monday evenings? Work.
Work work work.
Part of my insane work hours was driven by the fact that I'm a hard worker. I've always been (even when working for others), one of the last people to leave the office - frequently working on weekends, and taking on extra work. When I'm all-in on something, I'm fully present.
I believe that's one of the drivers behind why I was able to be so successful in my career. I worked my butt off. I've never claimed to be the smartest in the room, but I'll be damned if someone works harder.
The other part of my overworking was knowing that if I didn't do something in my business - no one else would. For the first 6 months of my full-time adventure in entrepreneurship, I was solo. No employees for Encircled, and also hustling with Retail Bliss. Blogging, and doing consulting gigs here and there.
And I had big plans for Encircled. BIG BIG dreams.
And apparently, I don't have an off button.
Last year, I knew this needed to change.
Not only were my stress levels sky high but my sleep was terrible, my health was suffering (hello, almost got an ulcer!) and I felt burnt out all the time.
Moreover, my priorities felt all over the place. Every day when I opened my inbox, my whole day would get thrown off with a bunch of urgent and non-urgent stuff.
In late 2015, I bought a Danielle Laporte Desire Map Planner. Yes, an old-school (but beautiful) paper planner.
Even though I'm a digital native, I still LOVE writing down to-do lists and mapping my days out in pen.
As a long time follower (and reader) of Danielle Laporte's books -- Desire Map is one of my FAVS -- I knew I'd love her planner just as much.
Her planner puts your desires on the maps, and helps you plan your days and weeks according to how you most want to feel.
The way it should be.
Where most day planner systems are straight dates and to do’s, this planner is so much more… Based on the wildly popular book and workbook by Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map, this planner system incorporates your soul and your to-do list; your gratitude and your goals; your deepest desires with your day-to-day.
For me, putting my soul back on the agenda meant scheduling in workouts, and outsourcing what I can (from cleaning my place to food), and setting clear daily and weekly priorities that were aligned with my core desired feelings.
So, if you're interested in getting your soul on the agenda this coming year, I invite you to check out her planner collection. The 2017 Desire Map Planner Collection is live for sale on her site -- there's a weekly or daily edition.
(I use the daily, shown below)
Perfect for highly detailed thinkers (and type A personalities) like moi.
If you're a bigger picture thinker, try the weekly planner as shown below)
Here's a sample of a page from my planner from the 2016 daily edition.
It's recommend (by me) that you do the work first to discover your core desired feelings (her book, the Desire Map walks you through this process).
For me, I took an entire morning and covered my floor in pillows, and plotted out with post-its my CDFs.
Eventually, I ended up with 4 that live on my window sill -- Luminous, Fearless, Abundant and Present.
The goal is to every day take action that builds you towards feeling how you want to feel.
All too often we focus on goals, without considering how the achievement of that goal will make us feel.
For me, feeling luminous means taking care of my body - eating healthy and working out. So, now I make sure that I schedule that into my weekly calendar.
Being present means taking time to plan out my day in the morning and sticking to that plan as much as possible.
Practicing abundance is all about being grateful for what you have and how far you've come. I recently heard Tony Robbins talk about a 'gap back'. The idea of looking back at how far you've come instead of focusing on the goals you want to achieve (and seeing sometimes how far off those are).
Feeling fearless is something I've had to learn to embrace as an entrepreneur. Often, as a boss, you're operating a business that feels like a bike running down a hill without brakes. That's the only way to describe it. For some, that is exhilarating... but for the less risky, it's terrifying. I'm the latter -- and learn every day to embody this feeling somehow and turn it into a positive.
Just the act of writing out your CDFs, will make them top of mind.
That’s what this planner does for me. You can buy yours today and start planning the life you’ve always wanted.
Get yours today. I promise you will not regret it. It's pretty rare that I talk about products that I love, and this is one of them. RESERVE YOURS HERE.
Feel free to reach out on Instagram or in the comments below with any questions.
So, how will you put your soul back on the agenda this year?