Like most people, I feel like my days and life can easily spin out of control and productivity seems like a dream I’ll never attain. With that in mind, I was really eager to review (affiliate) The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner ($24.95 retail plus shipping) from the The 7 Minute Life with the hopes that I’d be able to organize my life and no longer feel like I am spinning my wheels and getting no where. Below I’ll share about the planner as well as how it is being integrated into my life.
What is the The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner?
At first glance, one might think that the The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is just another ‘calendar’ to list out your obligations and help you stay on task. However, this 7.3″ by 8.5″ physical planner is way more than a calendar holding your appointments. Matter of fact, you might not even HAVE many appointments listed on the daily pages.
Instead, The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is a tool to help you achieve your goals.
The first few pages of the planner actually walk you through The 7 Minute Life which has the sole purpose of helping people learn to alter behavior so that you are constantly working towards your goals (or some might say dreams!) Allyson Lewis shares her approach towards life in the pages and has created the tools which will help you work towards goals, whether business or personal. This can be used by any adult or even a motivated teenager to help them move towards that end.
Specifically, the planner is poised to help you define your values, discover your purpose, set written goals that fit with your purpose, monitor your physical health, get rid of clutter in your life, have a daily written plan of action, and track your progress.
If that seems like a LOT, then I’d definitely have to agree. Thankfully, between the introductory section of the planner and videos available on the 7 Minute Life website, you can work through the process in short order and be well onto your way of seeing progress in your life.
How You Get Started with the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner
The introductory section of the planner walks you through the different processes needed before you begin using the 90 individual daily progress report pages.
Prioritize Your Top 10 Values
Like many, I have more than 10 values in my life on which I place importance. Allyson has a page dedicated to the process of identifying and prioritizing. Picking which values have a place in my life was easy….just reading down the list and checking off had me done in a few minutes. The prioritization took a little longer and required some time in prayer.
At this point in my life, I have a high value upon security, both in relationships and in the material world. That means that security, trust, financial security and relationships made my top 10. My role as a homeschooler is also up there in value, so other values rounding out my top 10 included learning, serving others, family, advancement, teaching and making a difference.
Discovering Your Purpose
Taking those prioritized values, you then come up with your purpose in life. I see it almost like a mission statement for YOU just like companies and organizations have their own mission statement.
I’ll admit that this was a stumbling block for me as the two areas (security and teaching) seem to be at odds with each other. This is a battle that has been playing out for a while as I struggle with the decision to continue homeschooling versus returning to the work force. For years, I’ve tried to find a middle ground (work from home or part time work that allows for a balance.) But, putting it all into a statement on my purpose in life has me at a loss. I’ll admit it….I was so hung up on this step that I saw the days ticking by for the review and really needed to move to using the daily planning sheets. However, as I was penning this review, a brief purpose in life statement struck me (as seen in the graphic below.)
Establish Your 90 Day Goals
If you do not have concrete goals, then you’ll never get where you want to go. These are specific and achievable things (ideally easy to measure, too!) Now, as I was spinning my wheels on the purpose statement, coming up with specific goals for 90 days is a challenge. However, I knew that for certain areas of my life I could set specific goals. So, I focused upon business 1 (blog and other activities that make money for the family, business 2 (homeschooling 3 of my boys), and personal (what do I want to do which will improve our home and my personal well-being.)
Organize Your Life Using the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner
Once the groundwork is laid, you can start taking action on a daily basis. The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner offers several micro-actions both on the daily progress report or on other pages included in the planner.
All of these micro-actions (unfinished tasks, mental clutter, home repair, life connections, annual projects and tasks, 12 month calendar, meeting planner, note pages, exercise progress and the daily progress report) meet a definite need in my life. While I don’t have a lot of meetings to plan, I do have a few volunteer venues where I need to lead a meeting and this is helpful. However, the true ‘meat’ is that daily progress report.
This page has several areas on it and you can customize it for you. I love the water check off spot as I am notorious for forgetting to drink water now that the temperatures are cooling off. I also like the reminder to make a few connections (3) with people in your life every single day. I’m adding people who are not in my household to this list and it could be as simple as reaching out with an email. And, a reminder to thank others (whether it is something small or big that they’ve done for you) definitely fits into my need to build relationships.
However, the section I really LOVE is the 5 before 11. Here I list out 5 things that I will get done by 11 am. These are the HIGH priority items which also help me work towards my overall goals. So, paying bills that are due is perfect for helping with financial security while working on our ILPs (shorthand for individual learning plan) for the older boys is part of business #2. Finally, a task like cleaning the bathroom helps with my goal of improving family life.
I feel like I am still getting the hang of this approach and plan to continue so I might grow and see progress over time. If things continue to improve, I might even consider investing in Allyson’s The 7 Minute Life™ System which includes enough daily planners for a year’s time.
Want to see more about this? Check out Allyson’s 12 minute video:
Start the Process & Organize Your Life
Eager to get started? You can buy Allyson’s books and copies of The 7 Minute planner here:
Do you have a ‘mission’ statement for your personal life?
How to you go about setting goals and then breaking it down into manageable ‘bites’?
What system do you use to organize your life?
Other posts to help you organize your life (or at least specific aspects of it!)
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit the The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner post on the Schoolhouse Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this and other self-paced courses.