The Art Of Joyful Planning With John Paul

Welcome to a new week of sunshine, friends!

I hope that everyone survived the cray cray weather Mother Nature decided to throw our way this week. Literally, I can’t handle the back and forth between hot and cold, snow and rain. Like…make up your mind! Does anyone actually even remember what season we are in?

For anyone who is familiar with my life knows that I am constantly on the go. And that is not an exaggeration. Literally, it is go, go, GO! And you might even need to take a shot of espresso (or three) to keep up…or a nap…or both!

Working a full-time job for 40 hours a week, working a part-time job for about 15 hours a week, running 1000 miles to raise $10,000 and awareness for pediatric cancer, being musical director at my church and directing the choir, being an ensemble member in a production of “Ragtime” at Ephrata Performing Arts Center, stage managing a play at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, personal training twice a week, making plans for house remodeling, doing wash, organizing my closet…and I’ve only just begun.

Did I lose you yet? Are you still with me? Did you have that shot of espresso and nap yet in order to keep up?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the type of person who thrives on being busy. Give me the jam packed schedule, a few Arbonne Fizz Sticks, the occassional Dunkin’ Donuts hot vanilla coffee (with 3 cream and 3 sugar of course) or Starbucks White Chocolate mocha and I’m all set.




So, how does one stay organized amidst what you are probably thinking sounds like “chaos?” How does Mr. Sunshine keep the clouds and darkness away even during the most hectic of times?

Well, here are my secrets…so…grab a pen and paper (or your Iphone notes app) and pay attention!

1. Invest In A Planner.
-This is seriously my biggest secret. My planner is my everything. LITERALLY. If I were to lose it, I would probably cry like I do during the death of Mufassa in The Lion King or during the series finale episode of The Golden Girls. It’s not pretty…seriously, I would become a waterworks. I don’t ever want to lose my planner. If I could attach it to my body, I would. Call me old fashioned–I LOVE writing everything down. It also gives me a chance to show off my handwriting skills that I learned from elementary school. But seriously, a planner. The best $10.00 investment that I make each and every year.

2. Color Code In Said Planner
-Remember that list just a few paragraphs previously where I was listing all my tasks and activities that I’m involved with? How do I keep them all straight? I color code EVERYTHING. Each branch for the facets of my life that fill up the daily days has its own unique color.

Pink=Work Activities
Purple=Church Activities
Turquoise=Theater Activities
Green=Family Activities
Blue=Personal Life Activities/Friends

While this might sound elementary, it is life-changing in so many respects. Seriously, try it. Like, now. Go find some fun-colored writing utensils and get on board the color coding train because it is coming to a station near you. CHOO! CHOO!

3. Mental Mind “Pre” Brief & “De” Brief
-This might sound strange; however, I have found it to be so helpful much like the art of taking deep breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed. The art of this task is much like the purpose of a “to do list” but does not require any writing. Each morning, when I wake up, I take about 5-10 minutes to “pre” brief about the day. What are some of the tasks that I would like to see myself accomplish today? How am I feeling physically, mentally, emotionally? What are some things that I feel good about and what are some things that I don’t feel good about? To go along with this, after each day is done and I’m on my bed (or couch if you know anything about me), I do a little “de” brief about the day as well. What did I accomplish? What did I do that I felt good about? What did I do that I didn’t feel so good about? What brought me joy? This is such a simple way for me to visualize each day and connect with my inner soul. And the great part? You can do it wrapped in a blanket in the privacy of your home, in the shower, in the car…wherever you feel most comfortable. One-on-one time with just you to stay organized and focused. Glorious.

4. Outfit Prepping
-Welcome to the new trend that ISN’T meal prepping! This is one way that I stay organized in my fast-paced on the go lifestyle. Outfit prepping. I prepare my outfits on my dresser the night before. The shirt, the pants, the undershirt, the boxer briefs, the fun socks, the shoes, the necessary accessories (I do love me some fashion scarves)…it’s all laid out on my dresser prior to me hitting up dream land. The same goes for my workout clothes too–the tank top, the compression tights, the short shorts, the headband, the socks, the shoes–it’s all laid out packed in my gym bag ready to go. And just like you meal prep for multiple days of the week, if I feel ambitious, I will prepare outfits for 2 or 3 days in advance. Yep, you indeed just read that correctly. Call me crazy.


Well, there you have it. The secrets of how I stay organized in life of a fast-paced environment of going from one aspect of life to the next and none of them involved caffeine! Imagine that!

Until next week, friends!

Same time. Same place.

Write it in your planner…

…and color code it.

Sprinkle sunshine always,