In today’s episode I want to share with you five of my favorite tools, what they do, and why you should care.
If you wanted to build a house, you would want to have great tools. Ever try to cut a 2 x 4 with your hands? Or drive a nail in with a rock? Yeah… It’s doesn’t work so well.
Same goes for our daily lives. We need to outfit ourselves with GREAT tools if we want to make the most of this experience called life.
Today I share my favorite tools and what they do best. So let’s get started…
WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER
To enjoy this experience called life, it’s best to equip yourself with the best tools possible
I’m sharing my top 5 tools to help you succeed
The best tool to overcome resistance and build healthy new habits
You are the best investment you can make – so do it!
FEATURED ON THE SHOW
Hello hello and welcome to Happy Productive Episode No. 10. I cannot believe we’re already at Episode No 10. And today I’m going to be talking and sharing with you 5 super effective tools, my favorite tools that will help you succeed. And I’m going to tell you why they’re my favorites what they do, and really why you should care. Now, if you want to build a house, think about this for a second, you want to build your dream house, you’re going to want to have great tools. If you’ve ever tried to cut a 2 x by 4 like with your bare hands or even a handsaw, or if you’ve ever tried to drive a nail, and you do that with a rock. Yeah, it doesn’t work out so well. Can you do it? Yeah, but why, why not have amazing tools. And the same goes for our daily lives. We need to outfit ourselves with the best, most amazing tools that we can get our hands on, so that we can make the very most of this wonderful experience that we call life.
So today I want to share some of my favorite tools and what they do best. So we’re just going to dive in. So tool number 1. And you guys if you know anything about me, I’m the founder of Best Planner Ever. So of course, my favorite favorite tool is going to be a daily planner. And we all need to have a really, really good one. And this is why. It’s of course your go-to tool for planning your day. Because time is your most valuable asset. You guys, we can always make more money, but we can’t make more time and so having a really good tool to plan out our time, I think is imperative. But we’ve got to go a step further. So yes, we want to manage and plan our time. But we also want to manage our minds, our minds, okay. It goes further than just time management, it’s also mind management.
And before I first created my planner, I’m going to tell you like my desk, it was a disaster. So I had a I was getting stuff done. But my desk I remember looking at it one day, and I was just like, “Oh my God, this thing is a disaster!” And so what I had was, of course, I had sticky notes all over the place. I had a separate journal, I had pages in there for my visualization, my vision board, I had a $10 planner that I had gotten from Walmart, that was all for my appointments and my scheduled time, my commute, time blocking. And I had all of these different things all over my desk, and I would use all these different tools. And because I needed to manage my time and my mindset I wanted to visualize where I was going, I wanted to map out my goals and then of course I needed to plan out my day.
And so this is what inspired me to create the best planner ever because one day I was just like “I can’t I can’t do this anymore!” I sat down I designed the first draft of the best planner ever I started using it in my own daily productivity and time management. And one day I said to my husband, “Oh my God, this is the best planner ever! And I was like, “You know what, I’m going to call it that.” And he of course, thought I was crazy. But that was okay. And so I looked in the domain was free. I was like “how does anybody not have bestplannerever.com, right? And so I grabbed it. And then from there, I started using it with my coaching clients. And the rest is kind of history.
But here’s the thing. The lesson that I learned was that I was wasting so much time using all these different tools. And I wasn’t managing my mind, my mindset, right, getting myself into a place where I could be super productive and I could really succeed and I could have all areas of my life kind of accounted for. And so that’s where best planner ever came from. But here’s the thing, guys, I don’t really care which planner you use, just invest in a really good planner. That does more than just making a giant giant To Do list or does more than just allowing you to time block.
And in fact, planners that I’ve used in the past that had a giant To Do List they were actually hurting my productivity because I was trying to do too much, and the things that I was doing or not my high priority tasks. And so for those of you who already use the planner, you know, that on the day, the daily to do list, it’s not that long of a list and it’s prioritized by ABCD so that we can be very, very specific with our time, and making sure that what we’re doing is going to have the biggest and highest impact on our life.
Now for some of you who I was one of you to where I would spend you know $10 on a Walmart planner every year and I was just like “oh my gosh, you know, I don’t really want to spend more money than that.” And I’m going to tell you right now get over it! Like find a good planner. On average best planner ever is going to run you about $50 for the year. If your life for a year isn’t worth $50 to invest in a really good tool that’s going to help you manage your time and manage your mind. Then just don’t even complain about what you get, okay?
Just find a planner, there’s so many out there to choose from that incorporate all the areas of your life that are important to you, find the planner and spend the money, okay? Spend the $50 or whatever it is, this is your life that we’re talking about. And you need a good tool. This is a tool that’s going to serve you every single day. Okay, if you don’t have a best planner ever and you want one, just the bestplannerever.com they’re really easy to come by you guys.
Okay, so that’s our tool number 1, tool number 2. Here’s the thing. So as we go through life limiting beliefs, and this could be in lies that we bought into we’ve picked up since childhood. Limiting beliefs are going to hold us back in so many areas of our life, if we don’t uncover them and then work to eliminate them from our thinking. Think about this for just a second. Okay, so let’s say that you have a limiting belief. And it’s something like, “I have to always be working so hard to prove my value,” or “I can’t make money easily.” “Money is always been hard for me and I have to work really, really hard for money,” or “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve to have it all.” Like, whatever it might be for you. If you are carrying these limiting beliefs, and we all are to some level or extent, no matter what you do, that belief is going to be true for you if you don’t get rid of it.
So if you’re going through life with a limiting belief, like “I have to work so hard to prove my value,” you’re always going to be working so hard to prove your value. And the only way to get rid of it is going to be to discover what that limiting belief is. And then once you figured it out, you need a tool to work through it and to heal it and to get rid of it. One of the best tools that I’ve found for this to discover these limiting beliefs is journaling. And I wasn’t a very big journaling person until I found the exercise which inspired me to create my Best Journal Ever. And it truly is the perfect companion to my planner like the to go hand in hand. And they work so beautifully together.
Because here’s the thing, if you are really pissed off or you’re angry, you’re frustrated, you’re upset, you’re mad at somebody, somebody took advantage of you, somebody lied to you, like whatever it is, you can go to the journal to work that stuff out. And the beautiful thing about journaling is that when you allow yourself to open up and really, really go there, that’s a place that you can discover those limiting beliefs because if something is upsetting you, it means a button is getting pushed, it’s getting triggered. But if you don’t know why or what it is, you could just really enjoy go through life with this stuff affecting you in a negative way. But the process of journaling, and it’s this specific kind of journaling in the Best Journal Ever, or you can do it with any notepad too right, you don’t have to buy anything, you can get a notepad and a paper and pen or pencil.
And so with this journaling exercise, wherever you’re feeling upset, or you’re feeling any kind of negative emotion, you’re just going to sit down and set a timer for like 20 minutes, and you’re going to journal all that stuff out. But the reason why it’s a safe space. And the reason why it really helps you open up is because when you’re done, you’re going to tear up the pages. So in the Best Journal Ever, you won’t see this and I’ve never seen it in another journal, the pages are actually designed to be ripped out so that you can get in there, get into this stuff.
Now, if you are in there and you discover something and you’re like, “Hey, this is a limiting belief that’s coming up.” You can of course keep that and hold on to it to work on later. But then the rest of it you get to just rip up the pages and throw them away. And this was such a powerful exercise that I used to create the journal and I love it so much because it gives me a safe space to work out any of my feelings, any of my emotions. And then when I’m done working through it, I can just rip those papers up and throw them away. And I can keep any of the good stuff that I want to work on.
Now, when I first created the journal, I used it this way, a lot, daily. Sometimes it was a couple of times a day, or if I was going through anything that was really upsetting. But now I’ve learned how to manage this stuff. And so really, I only use this journaling exercise occasionally when I need it. But now what’s happened is I’m still journaling every day. But sometimes I’m journaling before meditation, sometimes during a meditation, maybe after a meditation. I’ll use the journaling now to flush out anything in my vision. So if I’m not quite sure what I want, I can just use that journaling space to corner kind of flush out all the different options and really, really get clear.
So journaling is such a beautiful, safe space to be able to work out anything that you need. And you can discover through journaling, really what’s going on under the surface. But you won’t discover these things if you don’t give yourself a safe space to really open up and let it rip. And so you might be asking, “okay, that’s all great, Jennifer. But why do I care?” Well, you should care about this because if you don’t have a tool in place for identifying, healing and eliminating your limiting beliefs, you’re going to stay stuck in one or more areas of your life. Think about it. If we’re building a house, we want a super sturdy foundation. And it can’t be built on a lot of lies and limiting beliefs. And so journaling is that perfect tool that you can use to get in there, figure them out, identify them, heal them and get rid of it so that you are building your house on a super strong foundation.
Okay, tool number 3 is a momentum grid and I’m going to tell you how to get copy of a momentum grid for free at the end of this podcast. So just stay tuned. Now you might be asking “what the heck is a momentum grid, Jennifer?” Well, it’s kind of like a daily habit tracker. But it’s really designed to help you get momentum and everywhere in any area where you might be stuck. And so the grid is really simple. And so you basically just have, you know, days of the week, and then the actions that you’re going to take and then you just get to check the box that you did it. And the beautiful thing is that as you do it, it’s really fun to like, check those boxes, and it starts helping you get momentum.
So let’s say that you want to start exercising so on the momentum grid, you’re going to break your actions down into just like super small, easy things. So you might put on your momentum grid and let’s say you haven’t exercised at all right? You know, you should or maybe you’re used to when you were younger, and you’re like I want to start exercising again, but it’s just so hard right to get going, especially when you haven’t done it for a while. A few years ago, I broke my foot and so I had to off of it, no weight on it for two months.
And you think when you break a bone like, “Oh, I have to be off of it for two months, and then it’ll be healed.” Yeah, no, the bone might heal in two months, but all the tendons and the ligaments and the muscles and everything around it probably took at least over a year to really get fully healed. And so during that time, I really got completely out of the habit of exercise. Then once I started back again, I got a heel spur and the other foot so all these like obstacles, keeping you from exercise, so I know how hard you guys it was for me to get back into the habit and what did I use? I used a momentum grid.
Okay, so here’s how it works. Let’s say you want to start exercising again and you can use this for anything in your life. So on the momentum grid, I would just put, you know, put on my workout clothes, and that was it. That was absolutely it. So I get up every day, I put on my workout clothes. And that was it and I got to check the box. And I would do that every day until I started feeling more motivated to do a little more. And so once I got up for a few days and I put on my workout clothes, then it was like, “Okay, well, my workout clothes are on. So now let me go do some form of movement for two minutes.”
And I’m not kidding you guys, you set the bar very, very low. And say okay, so I put on my workout clothes and now I’m going to go move for two minutes, and I would just start with some stretching. And then after I would stretch, several days later, it would be alright, I put on my workout clothes I stretched for a couple of minutes. Now I’m going to work out for two minutes. So I would lift some weights or walk on a treadmill or whatever for two minutes. But the idea is to keep these actions really small. And in fact, you want to almost quit while you’re ahead. Why? Because it leaves you feeling super good. And you feel really motivated and your brain is going to want to do that again and again and again, when it feels good.
The other thing that the momentum grid helps you do is it literally helps you program new grooves into your brain so that you can make any new habit easy. And here’s what I mean by this. So, as we go through life, and we have our basic core programming, it literally creates these groups in our brains. If you think about it, you get up in the morning, you go to the bathroom, you brush your teeth, it’s just something you do. And you don’t even really have to think about it. And you’ve just got a program that runs in your brain, like this is just what I do. But if you’ve ever tried to create a new habit, you might be like, “Hey, I was good for a few days, and then I fell back into my own ways.”
Or maybe you were good for a week and then you fell back into your own ways. I know this has happened to me so many times. And it would just be like this resistance almost in my body in my brain of like not wanting to do something new, and not allowing that new habit to kind of stick over the long term. Might be good for a few days a week or two but then I fall back into my old habits and I’m sure maybe you’ve experienced this as well and it’s really frustrating that like you know, you summon the willpower to make a change and you’re good for a few and you think you’ve got it. And then this happens, and that happens and our excuses start popping up, we fall back into our old ways.
So the beautiful thing about the momentum grid is it’s helping you literally program new grooves in your brain. And when I’m using it, that’s what I’m thinking. I’m like, I’m just programming a new groove making the new groove. But I’m doing it in a way that super easy and super fun. And that’s why with the exercise example, it’s like, okay, “I can get up and I can put my workout clothes on. That I can do, it’s super easy,” and it lowers that bar, and I do it again the next day and the next day, until I feel like doing a little more and then I do a little more and do a little more. And before long, you’ve started to actually build the foundation for a new habit. And you’ve programmed, literally, a new groove in your brain.
So why should you care? Because this is the perfect tool for overcoming resistance. If you felt that resistance, man, it can be can be really awful that you work hard and you sumon your willpower and then it you get that hit that resistance and you kind of fall back. And it just sucks. And it’s really, really frustrating. But a momentum grid is truly the perfect tool for overcoming resistance in any area of your life. You set the bar super small, you literally show up for two minutes a day. And then the two minutes are going to build and they’re going to build and they’re going to build until you’ve just essentially made a habit out of whatever it is that you’re working on. And you’ve done it in a way that felt good and was fun. And now you’ve got a new groove in your brain. Alright, so that’s my favorite tool number 3.
Tool number 4 is podcasts! And if you’re listening to this one, thank you, thank you, thank you so much! And the reason why I love podcasts as my number 4 go to tool is because they are such an easily consumable form of personal growth and you can listen to podcasts. You can do it while you’re working out, which I do every day. I’m working out I’m listening to something you can do it while you’re doing driving, if you’re commuting, if you’re grocery shopping. I will even listen to podcasts while I’m in the shower.
So instead of, you could do this too, instead of wasting time on social media, I read something the other day that said, “the average adult spends two hours a day on social media.” Now, I am not average, I am not on social media for two hours a day. But I know people who are on there for way more than two hours a day. And so I’d rather take some of that time that might be wasted on something like social media, or you know, Netflix or anything, and use it on listening to a podcast that’s going to improve myself.
And the beautiful thing about podcasts is that you can learn and grow in any area that you want to, right? If there’s something you want to know, or a problem that you’re having in your life or in your business. There’s probably a podcast about it. And you can search the episode so you don’t have to listen to all of them. And this is one of my favorite things, when we talk about tools. One of my favorite tools is my intuition. And it should be one of your favorite tools as well. And so if there’s anything that I’m working on for the day, I’ll ask my intuition. I’ll ask myself, “okay, where’s the information that I need? What should I be listening to? Where can I learn today?” And I’ll just go to my favorite podcast episodes and scroll through the episodes, find the one that calls to me. And that’s the one that I’ll listen to when I’m driving or when I’m working out or doing anything like that. So you’re not listening to podcasts, I would really encourage you to add this to your tool chest. They are great, great resource and so convenient. And that downtime you might have in a day, it’s a great thing to just even 15 or 20 minutes a day, listen to a podcast.
And tool number 5 kind of pairs upon this, which is personal growth programs. Because really, what are what are you doing? To learn more? If you’re listening to this, you’re doing something and yay, congratulations for you! And what are you doing to improve your skill set? What are you doing? To overcome any challenges in your mindset, your health, you know? Anything around your own personal growth. And the beautiful thing is that personal growth comes in so many forms, right? You can do this through reading. One of my favorite sayings is “leaders are readers.” It always reminds me to read every day. So I do listen to podcasts, but I also try and read every day for at least 20 minutes.
I even did a personal growth program on improving my reading speed so that I could consume more in the 20 minutes. And my goal is to get up to a book a week and I’m not too far off from that. So that feels pretty awesome. And that came from a personal growth program. You can do personal growth through listening, like I mentioned on podcasts, or you can watch and participate in numerous personal growth programs, you guys there’s so many of them out there. This is also what inspired me to create Goal Achievers, because in the Goal Achievers program, what I did was I outlined all 12 areas of life. I covered everything money to your love life to emotional health, your friendships, your environment, and everything else in there. And we broken those down into one topic per month. And that’s really part of the fun part is that we’re diving into one topic per month. But why? Why should you care, right? Because you can always, always improve in any area of your life.
And so let’s say let’s take an area like money. Let’s say you dive into it, you make some great progress, you better understand your money, you start using a momentum grid, you start setting up some healthier habits, and you make some progress right in that money area of your life. Well, fast forward a year, when you come back to that, you’re always going to be able to improve your money situation more and more and more. And so that’s why we just do a rotation one topic per month, and then we repeat it year after year, because you can always be improving. But what happens is that when we get in there and we’re like, “Hey, I’m going to fix my life.” There’s so much involved that it starts to be really overwhelming. And when we’re super overwhelmed, we’re just like, “Forget about this, I’m going to go back to back to Netflix and like my bag of potato chips.”
But instead, if we take it one area at a time and we dive into it, we really understand it and learn to understand ourselves better. Then we start, like, let’s say using a momentum grid, right, and we start taking small actions and we start to build new habits. And before long, what happens is that you actually start seeing amazing things happening in all areas of your life, because what a lot of people don’t realize is that all 12 areas of our life are connected to one another. So you might be struggling in one area, but it’s really coming from another area. And so that’s why it’s important to always be dipping a toe, right, into each area of your life. And this is a process that you can repeat over and over again. Like talk about an amazing tool.
Because here’s the deal, you guys you are really excited. Really the best investment that you can make. And when you invest in your own personal growth, you’re almost guaranteeing more success, more happiness in your life. And when you invest in your tool, tool chest that comes with you, you know, having a great daily planner, having a journal, a journaling tool, so that you can work out any stuff that you need to be able to work out and have a process for going through that, right. Using a tool like a momentum grid to build those healthy habits. When you put those healthy habits in place, success becomes inevitable because when you’re doing those small daily habits every day, it’s setting you up for that success.
Listening to podcasts doing a personal growth program like Goal Achievers where you’re just committing every month I’m going to look at an area of my life and I’m going to just improve it a little bit. Doesn’t have to be 100% improvement and that’s where we get overwhelmed and that’s where we get tripped up. Even if you focused on a 1% improvement or 5% improvement in every area of your life.
I read a stat and it said, “if you just improved 1% a day, every day, by the end of the year, you’d be 37 times better.” That’s pretty significant. And imagine doing that in all the areas of your life, and just getting a little better and a little better.
Okay, so I said I was going to tell you how to get a momentum grid for free. And if you already have a Best Planner Ever, you’re going to see the momentum grid, I added these to the 2020 planners. So if you’re using a 12 month planner, it’s on the weekend page because the weekend is consolidated in a 12 month planner, so we could get 12 months in one bound book without being super, super thick and bulky. If you’re using the 6 month version, or the large format, 8 x 11.5, or even the 90 day undated planners, you’re going to see the momentum grid on the My Week page. So it’s that My Week page right before Monday, every single week.
So there’s a momentum grid actually built into your planner, or you can visit either of my websites. You can go to jenniferdawncoaching.com or bestplannerever.com, go to the blog. I think they’re both under the About if you go to the blog or just go to the Podcast page and from the Podcast page, there’s a link there to go to the blog, find Episode No. 10. And you’re going to see a link on either of my websites to download the momentum grid for free.
Okay, you guys, I really hope that you go and you grab a grid, I hope you put it to amazing use. That is it for today. Now get out there and go have a super Happy Productive day!