August 2021 📍 St. Peter Barbados
August 2021 or starting the year again
This month, I turned a new leaf and started my year…again.
Before I share more, let me introduce you to The Box That Went Astray – a small box we shipped from England to Barbados containing my writing manuscripts & notes, pandemic poetry, my Magical Jungle colouring book, some books and other creative art supplies.
The last statement we read on our shipment tracking it appears to be in the United States.
However, the courier company is unable to provide us with further information. There’s at present no way of knowing if it’s still there, and if so where exactly 😅, nor do we know if we will receive it (emphasis on if).
Growing up, I suffered a lot of losses (mostly material) which taught me the art of detachment. Especially for material possessions. I know that no matter how dear something is (sentimental or other), it’s just a thing. The thing is lost or it broke? Replace it. If not, there’s a substitute or heart memory that nobody can take away from us.
With my beautiful 2021 forest green planner in The Box That Went Astray, the past few months since my husband and I landed in Barbados, I’ve felt a bit ‘lost’ in terms of goals and planning. I did use my Google calendar but since the world is becoming more and more digital, I’m feeling an irresistible pull to reduce digital in my own life.
Therefore, when I decided to start my year afresh and make new goals (I don’t even remember what was on my vision board that I created using a double-spread from the planner even though I do have a screenshot amidst the 10,000 photos on my camera roll 😅).
Planning ahead for my life pillars
It was a real joy to choose a new one (online purchase), and my heart vacillated between the one from Hosanna Revival or the one from Morgan Harper Nichols (yes, the same wonderful woman poet who writes beautiful poems, songs, and books).
The planners arrived from USA (I live on a tiny rock in the Caribbean, remember? 😋) and for return policy reasons I ended up with both planners! I’m using one as a food journal – to track my mood, allergic reactions, physical pain and meals as recommended by my doctor – and the other to support my life holistically.
18 days in, my analog planning style is going great. My artist dates, CEO reports, remote team meetings, meal planning, client coaching calls, nap times all have their respective slots.
It’s organisational bliss.
But it hasn’t always been that way.
In version Bea 1.0 (my slightly younger self), I was constantly exhausted some weeks, or found I had too much time with nothing to do on other weeks. I was either drained, bored, or tired. At best, I was meeting all of my to-dos but to the detriment of my wellbeing and health – piling too much in one day (x 7 days x 4 weeks) led me to obligatory bedrest after numerous (and costly) medical tests and appointments/treatments.
Now that I’m equipped with coaching tools (in my line of work), I apply the principles in my own life. I ensure to be mindful of my life pillars and to be intentional when making goals, planning, and setting deadlines.
I also allow myself the permission to progress at a pace sustainable for my (nomadic) lifestyle and HSP personality.
Which date for starting the year again?
When choosing a date to starting the year again, the choice is entirely yours.
It’s important to give yourself permission to be in control of this decision.
And whatever you decide, believe that it’s the right thing for you. Really, don’t overthink this. Pick a date that feels good to you and set about to counting a year from then.
In my own experience, I had made the decision to start over again and decided to make it August. (During the 2020 pandemic, I had a similar experience of starting the year again also in August).
When I discovered that there’s actually something known as an academic planner, I was excited. Not only did it start in August (perfect timing), it ran over the course of 17 months! Until December 2022. The ideal planner in my situation.
Academic planners are helpful to students or teachers/ professors, however I see no harm in using them for my own life and small business. Like I mentioned multiple times before, I love seeing my life as an adventure, a journey. So this to me is another experiment, where I get to make the most of it, steward this resource to the best of my ability and analyse how it was.
Next time, I may carry on with a 17-month planner or I may ditch this practice altogether. For this month though, it’s exactly what I need for starting the year again.
you’re not starting from zero, but building upon good practice
Reminder: starting the year again doesn’t mean you’ve failed and have to start from zero.
Not at all.
I choose to see this as building upon the good practice I have had thus far.
Just because I’m starting my year again this August does not mean that I am building from nothing. I journeyed through peaks and valleys and practiced good habits for 2021. This was good practice! I’m building upon that.
In your own journey, I want you to reflect at the journey you’ve travelled, and how far you’ve come. Let go of anything that you don’t want to carry over in the future. Keep the good habits you want.
I hope that wherever you find yourself, that you’ll refuse to let excuses stop you from living intentionally. I pray that you continue to be mindful about the way you’re living your life.