How to Set Up The Reader’s Notebook

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Book lovers need a planner especially designed to help them keep track of what they read through the year. In this video I show you how I set up my Reader’s Notebook Planner.

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Okay, now you’re ready to set up your Reader’s Notebook.

Here are the supplies I used in the video plus a few extras you may want to use!

Let me know if you have any questions or feel free to share ideas for setting up your pages, I’d love to hear from you!

Happy reading and planning!

How To Stay on Top of Your Game When You’ve Lost Motivation

With two and a half months away from the end of my degree, and I kid you not it’s a wonderful thing to be so close I can almost taste it but it’s also hard to keep myself motivated these last few miles.  You know how it is when you’re working out and you’ve only got a few more reps, a few more seconds, a few more steps to the finish line and if you can…just…keep…moving…just.a bit…..longer,…you’ll *panting, catching breath*…make it!  Yeah, that’s pretty much where I’m at at the moment.  Motivation to keep up the pace is slowly ebbing away and I do more daydreaming about being done than I do actually doing the work to ensure I finish well!

No matter if you’re nearing a particular finish line, you’re trying to stay afloat in a daily grind that doesn’t seem to have a definable game plan, or your gearing up for a new project or adventure, staying on top of your game can be super difficult sometimes.  Too often, motivation requires motivation.  That’s like a whole other brand of energy and where are you supposed to get that??  As I near my educational finish line and gear up for life after college, I’ve recently tucked a phrase into the pocket of my adulthood to keep me pressing forward –

Want it. Claim it. Do it.

I uttered these words during a conversation with the BF a while ago and liked the way they sounded.  I wrote them down and liked the way they looked too.  Motivation to get or stay motivated requires a starting point.  These words have since become a way to find that starting point and run with it.  Here’s how I break it down and apply them now.

How to Stay Motivated

WANT IT 

First, you’ve got to decide what exactly you want to do.  Are you trying to shift gears into a new wake up/work out routine?  Are you trying to find ways to boost productivity at work?  Maybe you’ve got ideas for a new start up or you’ve got a business plan to rework.  Are you trying to make time for a new hobby or take up an old one?  Are you trying to stick to a study schedule to ensure that you turn in your work on time and never have to race to meet a deadline? (Oh, me! Me! That’s meeeee!)  Write it down. Make a list.  Write down what you need to do in order to finish a project.  Think about what’s necessary and what may be extraneous or unneeded.

When I was planning my new blog and a couple of the other projects I’ve got simmering at the moment, I spent a lot of time sketching out my ideas on big white poster boards in different colored markers.  I scrapped poster after poster until it looked the way I wanted it to.  Physically writing things down and mapping them in bright colors is how I plan things out.  You may do just as well with a legal pad and a No. 2 pencil or a stylus on a smartphone app.  Do whatever works for you in order to get your thoughts out of your head and in front of your eyes.  But definitely WRITE IT DOWN. Want it in print.The more you see something, the more you’re apt to pay attention to it.

When it comes to plans for our lives, always pray and ask God if this is something you should pursue.  We may want something that He may not want for us.  Make sure that you’re following His lead and not just grasping at things that don’t have a place in your life. You may need to get someone else’s trusted opinion.  Depending on what ‘it’ is, you’re going to need varying degrees of counsel on the matter.  There’s an obvious difference between changing up your morning routine and choosing whether or not to accept a new job offer.  Whatever the case may be, take the matter up with God and seek His wisdom and leading.

CLAIM IT

Here’s where I usually fall off the wagon.  I want a lot of things in my life but I don’t claim them.  I don’t talk about my goals.  I don’t think through the action steps that are necessary to make ‘it’ happen.  I don’t plan, strategize, or make time.  Sometimes I don’t think enough of my wishes to make them come alive in my everyday.  After years of wanting and wishing, I finally decided that this kind of lax behavior wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

When I settled on Purple Ink Studios, I started talking about it like it already existed.  I treated it like it was already a part of my life.  I revved up my blogging research, wrote down my ideas, and made plans to make changes to my social media.  Purple Ink Studios existed to me way before the blog went live.  It was scary cause I didn’t know what I was doing some of the time, but I knew it’s what I wanted to do, so I claimed it.

Once you’ve decided you want something, treat it like it’s already  important even if you’re still at the drawing board.  You don’t have to know what you’re doing for it to be meaningful.  Do your research.  Create space to make ‘it’ happen.  It may require giving up something else or reprioritizing.  This is where you evaluate if this is something you really want to do.  We make time for things that are important to us.  If you want it badly enough, you’ll claim it as your project, goal, or lifestyle change.

DO IT

Now you just have to do it.  Easy peasy, right?  Nope.  This is the hard part.  Now you have to put everything into action.  It means changing up your schedule, acquiring a new skill, breaking a bad habit, taking on a new one.  Whatever ‘it’ is that you’re trying to do, if it’s something new, it’s going to take time to get a rhythm going.  You’re probably going to fail once or twice or ten times before you get where you need to be but don’t give up.  Just keep doing it.

One thing that’s so important to remember and it’s something I wrote about in my post, What 2015 Has Taught Me So Far, you have to allow yourself some grace for when you goof up.  Mistakes are a part of life.  We don’t have control over everything so we do the best we can with what we’ve got and when we fall, we pick ourselves up and keep going.  There’s no shame in failure or missteps, but there is shame in giving up simply because ‘it’ was too hard.  You’re better than that.  The path to success isn’t lined with daisies or *insert preferred flower here*, it’s lined with hard work, discipline, and experimentation until we find what works best.

Remember, if you want something badly enough, you’ll claim it and do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If you want something -CTT

So, have you got some goals floating around in your brain but you haven’t quite committed yet?  Or maybe you just need a push to keep going down the path you’re already on.  Start doodling to figure out what exactly what you want.  Do your research, ask around, talk about it, pray about it.  We all need change every once and again.  If something’s tugging at you and you want to make a move toward life improvement, go ahead and really want it.  Then claim it.

Then do it.

Happy Tuesday afternoon!!