How Your Calendar Can Make You Happier

Do you have too much to do – and too little time to do it in? If so, welcome to the club! I get how easy it is to thrive on the feeling of being busy. You can blame your upbringing for that! We’ve been told over and over that hard work equals success. In school and the workplace, long hours and hustle is rewarded. But at what cost?

A busy work life may lead to big career or business achievements, but this path can be costly.

When your belief system automatically priorities work, the rest of your life gets resigned the left-overs. And when you’ve given your all to work, it’s hard to find the energy, time, and enthusiasm for everything else. This is how areas such as your relationships, health, mindfulness, finances, and home life can all take a tumble. Ouch!

The reality is lasting fulfillment isn’t found in promotion after promotion. Instead, we need to feel successful in ALL areas of life. That’s the real power of shooting for work-life harmony.

Good news! This is something your wall calendar can help you achieve. Let me show you how…

1. Where are you now?
When you’re pulled along by day-to-day commitments and you’re stuck in a routine, it’s easy to overlook the bigger picture and ignore any niggling doubts.

We’re creatures of habit and we feel comfortable with what we accept as ‘normal’. That’s the power of gifting yourself a benchmark. You can’t ignore what’s staring you in the face!

Use the BestSelf Benchmark to rank all areas of your life on a scale of 1-10 [10 is AMAZING and 1 is a DISASTER!] When you’re finished, you’ll be able to see what areas of your life are working – and which aren’t.

Your Benchmark score reveals opportunities for improvement and ways to create more happiness and success. Armed with this knowledge, you can set new goals, establish different routines, and make the choices that will increase joy in each life area.

2. What do you want?
With your BestSelf Benchmark score in, you can decide what you want to work on.

For example, maybe your work/career score is high, but your relationships or home life are flagging. Perhaps it’s time to focus on your finances or dedicate more time and energy to your health and wellness.

Take a few minutes to think about what you want – and write it down. Here are some prompts to help:

  • What would a 10 look like for each life area?
  • What do you want more of on a day-by-day basis?
  • What’s on your bucket list that you’d like to tick off in the coming months?
  • What goals do you need to set?
  • What habits do you need to establish?

3. Make it happen
Show me your calendar and I’ll be able to tell you about the kind of life you live.

Life IS busy. You will feel pulled in countless directions and you won’t be able to do it all. But the reality is, what gets planned gets done.

If you fill your calendar with nothing but work stuff, how can you expect to create the best relationships or be in the peak of your health?

In comparison, if your calendar allocates time for your kids, your partner, your writing passion, your weekend adventures, and your daily run, there’s a much stronger chance it’s all going to happen.

That’s the power of your wall calendar.

A simple, but highly effective tool for creating work-life harmony and ensuring ALL areas of your life get the attention they require to thrive. Yup, your calendar can be your ticket to happiness! Here are five top tips for getting the most of yours.

  1. Pin it on the wall – you can’t ignore what’s staring you in the face!
  2. Plan in time for your bucket list items – don’t say you’ll go skydiving, visit Italy, take a pottery class, or write your book ‘someday’. Instead, use your calendar to make it THIS day. Get it planned, and it will get done.
  3. Schedule protected time – do your kids complain because you’re always working? Does your partner complain that you’re always tired? Don’t leave time together to chance. Scheduling date nights, kids play dates, and conversation time doesn’t mean you have ‘problems’. Instead, it means you care so much about these parts of your life, that you refuse to give them the leftovers.
  4. Plan in planning time – a busy life can keep you stuck in the weeds. When you’re always fire-fighting, you overlook the big picture. Schedule time on your calendar to get clear on where you want to go. Book in planning dates with yourself and also your partner or family. When your vision is clear, it’s harder to head out on the wrong path.
  5. Make time for fun – you always turn up at work and you don’t miss those important meetings or business events. In the same way that you mark these on your calendar, write down fun activities too. From trips to the theater to a mystery tour next weekend, these fun events fuel happiness.

4. Don’t forget the nitty-gritty
Your wall calendar is perfect for keeping the big picture top of mind.

But don’t lose sight of the day-to-day.

Time is your most precious resource. The way you allocate your minutes determines the life you create. A planner [such as the Self Planner or SELF Journal] will help you get granular with your time. Use this tool to:

  • Schedule time for work and play
  • Make time for your daily run or yoga class
  • Create space for your mindfulness practices such as meditation or journaling
  • Prioritize meaningful conversations with your partner or your children [the Intimacy and Little Talk Decks can help with this]
  • Make time for YOU

Remember, what gets planned gets done.

It IS possible to find the time to do more of the things you want. You don’t have to let work be the center of everything. Use your calendar and planner to keep you accountable to your priorities and you’ll find it easier to think bigger and achieve more while you enjoy today. That’s a promise!