Lots of custom calendars end up being visual representations of last year rather than being about what you aspire to in the year ahead. A retrospective calendar can be a great way to organize and share memories with family and friends (I’ll write about how to plan for that next week!), but it’s not the only way to approach a calendar. With New Year’s resolutions fresh and firm, now’s the time to lock them in with indelible ink rather than with ever-mutable pencil or pixel.
Start by thinking about how your resolution plays out over the course of the coming year. If you’re working toward a goal, break it down into mini-landmarks that you can plot in print each week. If you’ve simply resolved to make a change, enter words of inspiration to top the portion of your calendar or into the days themselves. Here are a few ideas for calendars that help you plan for success over the course of the next twelve months.
Training Goals Calendar If you’ve decided to train for a marathon, triathlon, century or any other event that takes training, enter your training runs right into the days. Scan inspirational photos from magazines for the top portion of your calendar, or do a quick search on Pinterest for whatever it is you’re working toward. Images like these will definitely get me amped up when I need a boost this coming year. Remember to shuck off any sheepishness you have about seeming vain or shallow. Photos of people doing great things and taking care of their bodies are nothing but awesome. This is your goal. Own it!
Diet & Exercise Goal Calendar Say you’ve decided this is the year you’re going to drop some weight. Choose a sane diet plan that tracks you at losing no more than one pound per week, then work ahead to see how long it will take you. Plot your goals right into the days on your calendar, adding achievable exercise plans as well. Then add whatever inspirational photos will keep you motivated, whether they’re of a person who inspires you (even if that person was you last year) or they’re photos of all the healthy food you plan to reach for this year.
Good Citizen Goal Calendar Maybe your goals are of the more altruistic variety, or maybe you have some self-facing and some outward-facing resolutions. Either way, setting goals to help others is a noble effort that sounds lofty but, at the end of the day, takes planning. I have some friends who have gone through a non-profit organization to sponsor a local family, shopping for their groceries and preparing meals for them once a week. To get organized, print a set of calendars for everyone involved including assigned weeks and shopping lists. If you have them, include photos of the family you’re helping. You can also use a calendar like this to remind you to correspond with sponsor children living domestically or abroad. Include scans, drawings, photos – and even scans of international stamps – to illustrate your good citizen calendar.
Yearlong Project Goal Calendar If you’ve resolved to undertake a yearlong project, you can track it in a photo book that you’ll have forever. But you can plan for it with a calendar made to keep you on task. Whether you’re working your way through a cookbook or hiking every trail within a 50-mile radius, plan it out using a preprinted calendar, and illustrate it with your sources of inspiration – images that represent why you’re taking on the project in the first place.
Happy Mixbooking! Happy forward thinking!