When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure what I was doing or where I was going. While I still don’t know that I have a clear answer to those questions, I do know that September, October, November, and December are the easiest times to “live seasonably” considering the season changes and numerous holidays. In the past, I have struggled with the month of January. Sure, my birthday is at the start, but once that is over there’s not much left to “celebrate”. …or so I thought.
If we listen to National Day Calendar when they said “celebrate every day“, we know there is always a reason to celebrate. And, even though January doesn’t have many celebratory holidays, and it isn’t deep into the Winter season, I have since come up with a new way to think of this seemingly unseasonable month.
In the past, I would have said that New Year’s Resolutions are dumb. But, perhaps that’s because my resolutions were dumb. The same can be said for failed resolutions – they only fail if they are set up for failure. Expecting a total change in behavior simply because of the change in date is unrealistic. However if we change the way we view resolutions, and create a realistic vision for how we want our new year to unfold, we might find success.
January is a time of renewal. To me, living life seasonably in January means setting achievable goals. I have several things I would like to see pan out in the new year. The first one is that I would like to create more personal and meaningful interactions with the people in my life. One of the ways I wish to do this is by sending birthday cards in the mail; not an e-mail, not a text message – real mail. This is something I regularly do but I will be honest, I am so spotty with this. Some years I skip people, some people never get a card from me at all, some people always do. No, it’s not a subtle hint at your ranking in my life, I struggle with memory! Is it because I have a lot on my plate and struggle to juggle it all? Is it because I have an autoimmune disease which causes brain fog and memory recall issues? Is it because I’m a space cadet? Who knows. Either way, I needed to come up with a plan that I thought would work.
First, I created a list of everyone who I would like to mail a card to. (Click here to see the bullet journal page I created) Then, I bought cards for THE WHOLE YEAR. Yes, the entire year.
Quick Quiz – Can you tell the difference between these two cards aside from their content?
Hint: They’re the same size. They’re both Hallmark cards. They both came with an envelope.
Here’s the difference – I paid $3.69 for the card on the right and $.50 for the card on the left. Sure, Hallmark stores do sell cards for less than $3.69. However, the cheapest Hallmark cards I have found (where I don’t have to sacrifice size or quality) is at the Dollar Tree!
Since I am following Dave Ramsey‘s Baby Steps, this is a price for which I can get on board!
So I thought, if I write and address all of the cards ahead of time, I won’t have last minute conversations with myself that sounds like, “Shoot! I forgot to buy a card for ___.” and “Their birthday is only a few days away. By the time I get to the store and mail it – Ugh, I guess I’ll just send a text this year.” Except, even if I have the cards and even if they are all filled out, will I remember to mail them?
That’s where Google Calendar comes in (or iCal if you’re into that). I can’t remember anything without an alarm prompting a reminder from my phone. So, here’s what I did:
I entered every single birthday as a Google Calendar event on my phone. Whenever you enter a birthday event into your calendar, make it repeat yearly! You’ll only have to enter it once. But, here’s where it gets good.
Because I know I will still forget after the first reminder, since inevitably I will become distracted and then forget, I always set two reminders right within the event settings.
This may seem like a little much to some of you. And, it may seem like more work than it’s worth. However, it’s worth it to me. If it’s worth it to you, you’ll do it. As a teacher, I am always encouraging my students to use different strategies to help them complete a task. For someone forgetful (me), this is a strategy that will help. Yes, sometimes I have students who take twice as long to complete a task because they are utilizing more strategies or support materials than other students. However, all of my students complete the task. This year, I will complete this task! (My teacher friends are laughing at my “all of my students complete the task” comment. Okay, maybe it’s not an entirely truthful analogy but work with me, people!)
Do you do this? Does it work? Comment below! Also comment If you’d like to know what else I have set up in my Google Calendar.