I have a confession. I’m finally in a good place with the Magna Planner, but it took me a while to get here. Sometimes I forget that I spent months and months testing methods, testing myself, and testing my peers before I got into a good rhythm. It didn’t happen overnight, and I don't want you to expect this of yourself either!
There is a lot of good information packed into the Magna Planner and it can be a bit overwhelming at first glance. That is certainly not our intention, especially since we designed it to help you feel the opposite. It can take some time to get the hang of it, and that is ok. With my running habit, I didn’t wake up one day able to run 4-5 miles straight; it has taken conditioning, practice, and discipline. We are here to help you through it and are designing a curriculum to get you started. (More information below.)
When you begin any new system, jumping in all at once isn't usually very sustainable. Using a new planner, especially if you haven't been using one consistently, is kind of like starting a new eating style or a new exercise routine. You're likely to give up if you don't give yourself some time to adjust. Don't worry about using every part of it all at once. It's a process!
The first step is self-awareness. When I did my time audit and learned where my time was going, I was shocked and relieved. It takes noticing something before you can do anything to change it and I realized I actually could change it!
So. Wherever you're at on your planning journey, I invite you to take notice and start writing it down.
Audit yourself by filling in the blocks after the fact. Notice, how much of your day is spent doing tasks you choose, and how much is spent reacting to other people's needs and requests? What are you doing with your extra time? Of course, we have obligations and jobs that require giving of ourselves, but I encourage you to take ownership of your yeses and your nos.
Further reading: Proactive Vs Reactive Behaviour — You Choose by Luke Jones
Personal trainer Luke Jones nicely summarizes some practical tips for applying a proactive mindset.
- Notice your reactive behaviour. Begin with the little things, not with the death of a loved one or the suffering of innocent people. Just the everyday situations; in work perhaps, or in your relationships. Notice your reactive behaviour when it occurs, in the moment. Also note how many others do the same, and how easy it is to be reactive. Don’t judge, just watch.
- Alter your language. Our language tells us a lot about our level of reactivity or proactivity. Reactive people tend to use “I can’t”, “If only”, “I have to”. These phrases are shifting the blame to outside circumstances, getting rid of responsibility. Consciously change these to more positive, empowering phrases. “I can”, “I will”, “I want to”. A simple change in language can make a big difference.
- Analyse your past mistakes. Whilst you can control your actions, you cannot always control the consequences. Invariably, you will have made mistakes in your past — we all have. But we cannot change the past, so dwelling on those mistakes is a form of reactive behaviour. Instead, accept that you made them, take whatever you can learn from them, let them go, and move on.
- Make commitments. Making goals and working towards them can help empower you and reinforce the control you have over your life. If you achieve what you set out to, you realise that you can be responsible for your circumstances, regardless of the external forces.