Inspired partly by a friend’s homemade calendar and partly by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, this year I decided (albeit not until February) to make my own 12 month calendar to set goals and monthly focuses. Goals would be short-term, one-time tasks: write a letter. Read 4 books. Do X errand, memorize Y poem, try Z recipe. Month-long focuses would be either project-related or, drawing from Rubin, something I wanted to devote more time to.
It was these– the extracurricular focuses– that I was really excited about. These were the things that drove me to make this calendar. Mostly, they’re things I’ve been wanting to learn more about or learn to do better forever, and have always told myself I would, but never made the time to. Things that interest me, fascinate me, or would simply be useful to know: how to dream lucidly. Read Latin. Apply better, more professional makeup. Create ciphers. Analyze handwriting. Grow rosemary and saffron. Long have I meant to look up the latest fashion trends, learn all the guitar scales, study body language. Etc. ad infinitum. There is much to be said for letting Interest be your guide, and, in addition to enjoying the activities themselves, I could easily see any of these things finding their way into my fiction.
This is what my first month ended up like:
I used soft pastels to mark off the days, coloring each box as I went. This month I may try something else.
The rest of the calendar follows the same general format through December: large chart for days (just right for the stickers I’m imagining for Nanowrimo and other word count jaunts), space on the right for listing goals and focuses, and of course an artistic splash of pictures, relevant or impulsively chosen.
Do you keep monthly goals or focuses? What are you working on this month?
Oh, and one last perk to keeping this style of calendar: Since I knew I wanted to share my completed February (i.e., on my blog), I made sure to complete all the goals I listed first. One of them I’d been putting off, but having that accountability motivated me to wrap it up on the last day of the month!