At the end of January, we spent several days together as a team batch recording episodes for the second season of our podcast, Make Space to Thrive. We're so, so excited about the content coming your way. It's encouraging and practical, and we believe it will help you continue to make intentional living an intuitive part of your life. Our first episode of season 2 will drop on March 2nd, 2022 and we can't wait!
Here is a quick recap of all our episodes from Season 1, which aired this past fall. The topics of these episodes are so foundational, and a great place to start!
Planning while postpartum? At first glance it sounds over-the-top, almost an oxymoron. In the past we've even written about how the postpartum season can be an excellent time to take a break from your planner. So why did we choose to do an entire podcast episode on planning while postpartum?
You have to remember that when we say "planning", we are talking about self-compassionate planning. And perhaps there is not a better time to practice self-compassion than when you are in a season of recovery like the postpartum season. When we say planning while postpartum, we aren't talking about planning our biggest goals, or mapping our business' trajectory for the next year; we are talking about the simple, but extremely useful, form of day-to-day planning that helps us get out of our heads, sort our priorities, and let the non-essentials fall away.
Every Monday is a fresh start.
You have an entire week before you, a clean slate, and it can seem like the possibilities for productivity are endless!
But then you move through each day and it can be easy to slip back into dealing with whatever seems most necessary in each moment, and you find you’re only taking care of the small details, rather than making progress in the most significant areas.
Or maybe you make significant progress on your big goals, but meal planning and laundry is falling off your radar. How do you balance it all? How do you create week rhythms that serve your long term goals, your weekly work needs, and your family?
Before the Evergreen planner system, I (Clari) had never used a true day-planner. I had tried a myriad of different planners when I worked as an executive assistant before having kids, but they were the types that only had a small box, a column, or a couple of lines for each day. I also used a digital calendar to coordinate meetings and make sure nothing was double booked, but other than getting binged with meeting reminders, I didn’t really reference it or use it to effectively plan my days. My thoughts, plans and tasks were scattered among digital notes, emails, sticky notes, a half-used planner and to-do lists written on random pieces of paper.
But then I became a mom and quit my traditional job. It never occurred to me that a planner could be used to plan rest, to form life-giving family rhythms, or to plan intentional time with my kiddos—just as much as it could be used to make sure critical work projects or mundane home tasks were completed. I again wandered through my days doing what was in front of me, and working off one endlessly long to-do list.
In typical goal setting culture, the mantra often goes something like this… "Girl, it's time to change your LIFE. Close your eyes, imagine what you want your life to be like in five years—the sky's the limit!—and write down your biggest dreams. Now reverse-engineer those dreams into a million baby steps, and do not stop hustling until you make those goals a REALITY. If you really want something, you're going to have to get up crazy early, change your habits, and become a different person. You're going to have to set the people in your life straight, too. They're either going to have to get on board, or get out of the way. Aren't your goals worth it? And if you start feeling discouraged—because those days will come (it is lonely at the top)—you're just going to have to make sure you have a solid "why" to pull you through. So give yourself a kick in the pants, and get to work."
It's.... a lot.
The problem with this? Well, for starters, you can’t fully foresee the future. You cannot comprehend the very real tradeoffs for the goals you create on paper. Oftentimes, you'll get into the thick of it and start to wonder how you can know if your goal is truly worth it. You feel a rising tension between living intuitively and following through on the goals you set.
You want to start getting organized around the things that matter most to you. But where do you even begin?
In our first episode, we offer an effective shortcut for diving into the world of time-management and productivity—without getting overwhelmed. Listen above or on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.
Planning, Pressure & Shame
When we launched our business in 2019, something caught us off guard. After years of field-testing different prototypes with ourselves and friends, we finally had our planner system on the market. The planner had become an indispensable part of our own lives, and we wanted to get it into the hands of others. Orders poured in and we were thrilled to see how other women would use this tool to fuel their goals.
But then we started getting emails and messages from women wanting to know how we thought they should spend their time. They weren't just wondering whether they were doing this planning thing right—they were wondering if they needed to overhaul their entire lives in order to justify having bought a planner in the first place. These women were feeling both pressure to make perfect plans and shame when their days turned out differently than they imagined. Some were even feeling weighed down by the perception that their planner should look beautiful, even in the midst of their planning.
Now, don't get us wrong, we're down for an artful planner spread any day. And we believe there is so much to be learned from the planning community–hacks, tricks, best practices, etc. But we don't believe that intentional living—and planning as a means to form an intentional life—has to be laden with pressure and shame. We believe quite the opposite.
Using a planner is not about super-womaning our way to an awesome life, or about forcing those around us to bend their lives to make our dreams happen. It's not always about making a lot of money, or reaching an impressive personal goal, or cramming our life as full as it possibly can be. It's not about making inflexible plans that don't adapt as we go.
But we also know that giving up all of our power to be proactive is a sure path to overwhelm. We believe planning is about forming a rhythm that leads to a lifestyle that fuels realistic and life-giving goals, so that those goals can in turn breathe life into your rhythms. We've found this is only possible if you take a self-compassionate approach to planning.
What is self-compassionate planning? It is making the best plans you can—consistently over a lot of days—and yet having grace on yourself as you go, knowing that plans do change and that flexibility is key.
Friend, we don't know your biggest dreams, your biggest pain points, or the goals you've set for yourself this year. But we're excited to put the Evergreen Planner in your hands as a tool that you use to reach those goals.
And as for a self-compassionate mindset?
Well, we've got something for that too.
We're passionate about helping women craft intentional lifestyles that empower them to achieve their most life-giving goals. When our team gets together to support each other, we end up having these amazing conversations that encourage each of us to stay focused on the things that matter most.
So we decided to throw up some mics so we could share our conversations with you.
On October 4th, 2021 (that's this Monday!), we're launching our podcast: Make Space to Thrive.
Our first season will run for eight episodes, and will be available on all the major platforms.
We'll be talking about our four rules of planning, taking a deep dive into our R.O.O.T.E.D. goals system, discussing planning while postpartum, how we plan our days & weeks and so much more. We're so excited to share all we have learned and are learning with you all. But more than anything, we're excited about taking some of the pressure off, and bringing encouragement to the wonderful women we have met since launching our business. This podcast is for each of you, from our hearts.
In this episode, we give you a tour of the Evergreen Planner System.
There are so many planners out there—so did we decide to create another one? What makes our planner different?
We created this system because we couldn’t find a planner that felt intuitive—that brought all the different areas of our lives together. We didn’t want a planner for mom life, and another for our business, and a notebook for our hobbies, and something else for homeschooling. We wanted one tool.
So we created a planner that is minimalistic, intuitive, and extremely versatile. Instead of asking you to change the way you organize your thoughts, this planner was made to change and flex with your evolving needs.