Hi friends,

In 2014, I found Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Life and Business Workbooks. I think I followed a link from Tamara Laporte’s ning site. Anywho, given my love of planners, I bought the pdf versions, printed them at home, and got to work. The workbooks are available every year and you can buy the 2016 digital version here. It is an affiliate link, so I get a little bonus when you use my link to buy the workbooks. Today’s post is part review and part how I use these workbooks.

These are massive tomes, coming in over 100 pages each and chock full of planning goodness. It starts with a review of the previous year, prep for the new year and then dig into all manner of lists and things to do in all areas of your life in the next year.

In 2014, I dutifully completed both workbooks and set about re-opening my Etsy shop.  I got a few months in and bogged down with stuff and slowly, the workbook review slid to the end of the year. That’s not to say that I didn’t achieve some goals, but take for example, the 100 things to do in the year.  If you manage to come up with 100 things, you’d have to check off 1 every 3 days to get through the list by the end of the year. That might work for some people, but that’s just too much pressure for me.  I work a full-time job, make art, have chores, I gotta eat and sleep some time, watch a movie or two and spend time with the Mister.

I didn’t buy the workbooks in 2015. I went back to 2014 and started ticking through the lists.  My main issue with the 2014 version is there was a lot of repetition and I found that I removed a lot of the pages in order to focus on the main topics.

I also incorporated Mayi Charles Life is Messy Planner (another affiliate link) then simplified and merged them into my Minimalist Planner, which was really more of a portable goal poster/book. I’ll review the Life is Messy planner another day. The point is, I decided I needed to focus on one item at a time. Once I checked one item off the list, I would pick a new goal to work on.

My Minimalist Planner didn’t work (I need a calendar, who knew?) so I picked up 2016 Life and Biz workbooks. These were much improved over the 2014 version. Less repetition, more resources, and organized into sections. As I worked through 2016 workbooks, I decided to use them as a 5 Year Master Plan.  Once again, I purchased the pdf versions, printed them at home and put them together in this binder.  It’s an Avery presentation binder, 1.5″, so I had to remove the pages I wasn’t using to make them fit.

I find Leonie’s whimsical, hippy watercolor art very charming. Here are my words for the year.

And, a partial shot of my list of 100 things. I’m pleasantly surprised to see I’ve ticked through quite a few items.

I’m using these workbooks as a Master Plan and I transfer the current goals I’m working on to my Happy Planner.

Unlike a planner, Leonie’s workbooks get you thinking about the life you want to live and helps you organize your goals. You still have to figure out and do the actions, but it’s so empowering to go through the workbooks, I found myself excited to get to work. I recommend these, depending on your needs.

Do you have a system for planning out your life? Leave a comment. I’d love to know what you use.

Happy planning!