Column: This is how a Life Planner helped my Business


Being an entrepreneur is trial and error, with highs and lows. And that’s perfectly normal! Should entrepreneurship be flawless without challenges, it would be tremendously boring and anything but creative. But with some tools, you can prevent the lows, from getting too low. And so today, in her column, Cindy shares all about the life planner that helped her become a better entrepreneur.

A goal is a personal promise to your future self.

It’s okay if it goes wrong sometimes

For over 5 years I have been self-employed and made the decision to pursue my dreams. Determined, I began my adventure, and today I am still immensely happy that I made this decision. Even though I left behind a steady and well-paid income, the opportunity to work out my creativity and ideas was everything for me.

But as in every life, at some point there comes a stumbling point. A period when things get a little harder in business, sometimes also linked to your private situation. Because letting private reflex on your work is very dangerous. And last fall/winter I met myself very hard. So action had to be taken, my motivation and drive in entrepreneurship had to be clear.

So I took action. I know who I am, why I became self-employed so many years ago, and what makes me happy. I know where I get energy from, what my goals are in a few years and where I want to be. So I wrote them down. I also wrote down what made me unhappy. And I came to the conclusion that what I do today still makes me enormously happy. That photography and helping other entrepreneurs gives me tremendous energy. But what didn’t give me energy? The jumble in my head. The endless schedules and to-do lists that just didn’t get any shorter. That I could never just sit down and think: I’m completely done for today, I’m going to enjoy a free afternoon and evening now. Non-existent was this, until I bought the life planner.

What is the Life Planner?

The Life Planner is a super cheap “planner” that I bought at HEMA at 10€. Because I thought, “Suppose it doesn’t help me after all, or I don’t manage to use it, then I haven’t paid a lot on it.” So with full courage I took the planner home, opened it and I was immediately surprised!

Not only does this book start with a motivational quote “You can do it!”, you can also completely personalize your planner. You start by filling in your personal things. How you see yourself, who you are today and who you want to be in a few years. It really helps you take a moment to define for yourself all the things you want to achieve. Once you have filled all of this in, you can move on to filling in your dreams and how you will tackle them. And after that, the real work begins: filling in your actual agenda.

To make it all a bit more colorful, fun and energetic, HEMA has a matching collection of gadgets. Think about stickers, post-its and even pens. And yes: I’m totally a fan of those, too. So before I tell you further about using the life planner (this content is by the way totally non-sponsored, which I should have done), I’ll let you discover the collection.

Photo Credits:

Plan well and manifest

I think of my Life Planner as my best friend. I get up: open it and decide what I want to accomplish that day. At the end of the day, I can properly check if I accomplished everything and with what positive message I want to go to sleep. And always write down something I’m grateful for.

But how do I use the planner to organize my days? I keep my work schedule on the computer. Finally, I have to get online to finish everything. So in the life planner I exclusively write everything I want to do or accomplish privately, besides work. Including working out new projects or ideas. That way everything stays nicely separated and during the scheduled hours for work, I really focus on the effective work. Instead of wandering off to all the private things that trigger my brain.

Then, when I’m ready with my work hours, I close my laptop and move on to the next thing: what’s in the planner. But besides being a guide to better organize my days, it’s also a great tool for me to see myself grow. And to manifest certain things. Because you write them out, you make time for them and tick off what has been accomplished each time. Which is immensely satisfying!

And as an added bonus, I stuck an envelope on each last page of the month. All the little bills like 5€ and 10€ I collect in those envelopes. This way I save a small amount of money every month. And with that amount I reward myself. This can be for a dinner, something I want to save for,…. Currently, I’m already saving both January and February budgets for the coming months. It’s super motivating!

Photo Credits:

The biggest advantage of this planner is that you can completely personalize it to how you want it to help you. So as you know, this article is not sponsored at all. I’m sharing this with you because I know that if it is helping me to be a better version of myself, and helping me in entrepreneurship, it will help you too. Have fun with the Life Planner!

This article has been written by @Cindy Van Dyck

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