The Self-Care Planner
If you love to plan (or wish you did), you are going to love The Self-Care Planner. The clean, simple design offers structure without compromising space for creativity. Organize your notes, make lists, create a vision board, track your goals, and capture your brilliant ideas as they come to you. Learn how to establish and maintain an uplifting self-care practice without feeling guilty about it, and achieve your goals without sacrificing your health in the process.
There is no wrong way to use this planner. There are no concrete rules — only tips and ideas to help you organize your life in a way that makes sense to you. Use these guidelines as a starting place, and develop your own planning style over time.
Before you begin using your planner, there are a couple of things you can do to break it in. (Yes, I know this might sound a little over the top, but it’s important.) Start by opening your planner to the center and press down firmly along the fold to flatten it. Now, do this again halfway between the front cover and middle, and the middle and back cover. This will help the planner lay flatter and make it easier to write in.
The next important step is to add your name and contact information to the first page. If you happen to misplace this little gem, you’ll have a better chance of having some kind soul return it to you.
The 8 Dimensions of Self-Care
Spend some time getting acquainted with the 8 Dimensions of Self-Care. Consider how each of these key areas play out in your life and read through the Rate Your 8 instructions on page 11. (You’ll be using this tool on a daily basis when you reach the weekly pages.)
Begin thinking about the year ahead. What are the activities, events, and tasks that you’ll need to complete to reach your goals and keep your life running smoothly? Consider the items on your “to do” list that you do every year without fail, like meeting with your financial adviser, getting your teeth cleaned, or taking a family vacation.
Use the Yearly Calendar to map out those important events, such as birthdays, holidays, goal milestones, product launches, or important appointments.
Theme Words & Core Values
Theme words are intentions — those words that reflect what you want to invite into your life. Some people choose a single word to focus on throughout the year, while others choose several. Danielle LaPorte’s book The Desire Map (affiliate link) is a great resource to help you identify your core desired feelings. These are powerful words that help guide your decision-making all year long. For example, if an opportunity comes my way but doesn’t align with my theme words or core values, it’s a good indicator that I should say ‘no, thank you’ and wait for something better to come along.
Theme words change periodically, sometimes even more frequently than once each year. Core values, on the other hand, don’t change that much. They are part of who we are and we protect them closely. Here are some examples of core values:
Examples of Theme Words & Core Values
Abundance | Acceptance | Accuracy | Achievement | Adaptability | Adventure | Affection | Agility | Appreciation | Awareness | Balance | Beauty | Beauty | Belonging | Blissfullness | Boldness | Bravery | Calm | Charity | Cheerfulness | Clarity | Collaboration | Comfort | Communication | Community | Compassion | Confidence | Consciousness | Connection | Contribution | Cooperation | Courage | Courtesy | Creativity | Curiosity | Decisiveness | Delight | Dependability | Determination | Discretion | Diversity | Drive | Duty | Education | Efficiency | Elegance | Empathy | Encouragement | Energy | Enjoyment | Enthusiasm | Equality | Excellence | Experience | Expressiveness | Fairness | Faith | Fame | Family | Flexibility | Flow | Forgiveness | Freedom | Friendship | Frugality | Fun | Generosity | Grace | Gratitude | Growth | Harmony | Health | Honesty | Honor | Hospitality | Humility | Humor | Imagination | Independence | Influence | Innovation | Inspiration | Integrity | Intelligence | Intimacy | Intuitiveness | Joy | Justice | Kindness | Knowledge | Leadership | Learning | Logic | Love | Loyalty | Mastery | Meaning | Mindfulness | Modesty | Nature | Openness | Optimism | Order | Organization | Passion | Patience | Peace | Perseverance | Persistence | Pleasure | Positivity | Power | Precision |Preparedness | Preservation | Privacy | Proactivity | Prosperity | Punctuality | Quality | Relationships | Religion | Resourcefulness | Respect | Responsibility | Safety | Security | Service | Simplicity | Spirituality | Spontaneity | Strength | Success | Sustainability | Tradition | Trust | Truth | Unity | Wealth | Wisdom
8 Dimensional Plan
The 8 Dimensional Plan provides space for you to consider how you will attend to each of the 8 dimensions in the coming year. What are your long-term goals in these eight areas?
Your vision board is a reflection of your desires. It’s a visual representation of where you are heading, what you are working toward, and what you are inviting into your life. Flip through magazines, search Google, or scroll through Pinterest to find images that draw your attention and represent the future you want to create. Then use a glue stick or tape and affix them to the pages.
I review my vision board on a daily basis as part of my morning practice to stay in touch with my goals. This practice can be an especially powerful motivator during life’s heavier moments.
Join our private Facebook community for more ideas and inspiration for using your planner.
Breaking the year into quarters can be a useful exercise, especially for entrepreneurs. Map out your product launches, marketing plans, or content strategy. Consider your goals and priorities for each of the four quarters to simplify your focus throughout the year. Pay attention to how much time and resources you’ll need to devote to your personal and professional goals during each quarter and make adjustments to your self-care plan as needed.
Now, think about the month ahead. What are the activities, events, and tasks that need to be completed this month? As an entrepreneur, you may add social media campaigns, sales targets, or upcoming networking events. As a parent, you may add school meetings, extracurricular activities, or family outings. As an individual who values self-care, you may choose to add activities that support the 8 dimensions.
Don’t forget to add the month on the left lower page for quick reference, and then fill in the dates on the calendar.
The Monthly Planning pages allow you to drill down further into the month’s activities. Enter the month on the top left page of each of the twelve monthly pages and use the dotted spaces as lines or grids to sketch out your plans and ideas. Use your creativity or be analytical.
Next, consider the month ahead and map out the self-care goals you want to focus on for the month.
Use the Monthly Tracker to measure your progress toward your goals for the month. Place an “x” or “check mark” on each of the days in which you complete the activity. In the blank space at the end, record the total number of days the task was completed to measure your success. You can also use the grid below the monthly tracker to track additional goals.
With so many of us using online calendars these days, you may choose not to include your appointments in the planner. But if you do happen prefer to use it to organize your daily appointments, you have the flexibility to add times to the left of the weekly columns. Be sure to also add dates to the daily columns on each of the weekly pages.
In the left upper-hand corner, add your own motivational quotes or weekly focus. Below that, use the bullet points to map out your top 5 goals for the week, and list additional items below the bullets to get a head start on the following week.
Begin each day with the Rate Your 8 exercise, rating each of the 8 dimensions on a scale of 1 to 10. This exercise will help guide your self-care activities for the day, calling attention to your greatest needs. You may also enter the sum total of your scores in the center of the circle to track your ratings over time. (80 is the highest possible score.) This can help you identify needs earlier — before they become serious threats to your well-being.
Use the dotted grid on the far right page to sketch out ideas or makes lists.
If you’re like me and you take a lot of notes, I have an easy solution for you. You’ve probably noticed that there isn’t a lot of room for journaling in this planner — there’s a reason for that. One of the most frustrating things I’ve discovered with other planners is that I run out of space too quickly. Journaling is a big part of my morning practice, and some days I write more than others.
So, here’s my trick: I use these slim notebooks (Amazon Associate link) that slip right inside the planner. When I fill one up, I simply write the date range of my entries on the back and grab a fresh one. I can easily refer to notes that I’ve taken from past appointments by searching for the associated calendar dates in my planner.
Thank you for stopping by and taking a peek at The Self-Care Planner. This project is near and dear to my heart, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Once again, these are only guidelines. There is no wrong way to use this planner. Think of it as your very own personal idea book. Be creative. Make it pretty. But most of all, make it your own.
We’d love to hear from you! Please share your ideas and comments with the Living Upp community and tell us what you think.