Rebecca Peterson Studio
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Free Download | The Essential Life Planner

I’ve been working so hard over the last few months to create something for YOU that would be beautiful, functional, and fun to use. What started as a one-page daily planner has evolved into a complete set of monthly, weekly, and daily planning pages to help you manage your to-do list, organize your life, and reach your goals. Best of all? It’s 100% FREE and it’s going to rock your world.

This planner is what I have used to manage my own schedule over the summer. I use it every single day and I really can’t live without it! All the details are below:

The Essential Life Planner Overview

♡ Printable PDF (8 Pages Total)

♡ Instant Download

♡ Printer Friendly + Binder Friendly

Featured Pages

♡ Monthly Planning

♡ Weekly Planning

♡ Daily Planning

♡ Monthly Budgeting

♡ Meal Planning

♡ Weekly Journaling

♡ Goals + Projects Planning

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Clean + Simple Design

I love simple, modern designs, and I know you do, too! Each page has just the essential elements you need to plan successfully. I want the Life Planner to take away from the stress and overwhelm in your life, not add to it! The minimalist black and white design means that it won’t use up all the ink in your printer. And there’s plenty of white space with room for your own notes and ideas.

How To Use Your Personal Life Planner

The entire Personal Life Planner set is 8 pages long. I’ve included a cover page for those of you who may want to put your pages in a binder, but it’s not necessary.

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Where to Start

I recommend looking over the whole Life Planner on your computer or phone before you print. Get an idea of what pages are included and where you want to start. If it’s the middle of the week, just fill out a Weekly Planning Page and schedule time later in the week to fill out the rest. Don’t worry about doing too much right away, just start where you are!

Displaying Your Life Planner

I find that I’m more successful in my goals and projects when I’m reminded of them regularly. I HIGHLY suggest putting your Life Planner somewhere that you’ll see it every day. I like to display the Monthly Planning page and Goals + Projects page on the fridge so I look at them every time I get something to eat. The other pages I keep in a notebook by my bed, so when I wake up, I can start planning right away.

Let’s Do It!

What are you waiting for? Fill out the form below to have the FREE Personal Life Planner sent directly to your email. Along with the Personal Life Planner, you’ll receive one email from me every month with relevant advice/inspiration to make your life beautiful (and I may include more freebies). I promise to add value to your email inbox, and if it’s ever too much, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Sign-up to Receive Your FREE Personal Life Planner

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Things I Have Organized in 2017

I’ve been on a major organization kick lately. I made a goal to improve my physical environment this year, and to me that meant cleaning and organizing literally everything. It’s been a huge project because (a) I’m already pretty organized and (b) because I have REALLY limited space and A LOT of stuff. So with that introduction, here’s a list of all the things I organized in 2017!

THE BATHROOM

Our bathroom is teeny tiny with absolutely no storage. We don’t even have space around the sink to balance my hair straightener. I have to put it on the toilet seat while I do my hair. My goal was to organize everything without making it hard to access anything.

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I bought these white baskets from Target that fit perfectly on the shelf above the toilet. There’s a big one beneath the sink for toilet paper, but I forgot to get a picture of it.

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I found a cute hack on Pinterest for storing my makeup brushes. You put rocks in the bottom of a jar so that the brushes stand up on their own. It has actually helped a lot!

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Next . . . UNDER THE SINK

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me organize this space in real time. It was a little overwhelming because there was SOOOOO much stuff, but I found an awesome tutorial that inspired me to get started. I bought the silver stands/baskets from Amazon and I think they were worth every penny! I love how neat and clean everything is.

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In my dream world, all of these cleaning supplies would be color-coordinated, like the tutorial. Haha my husband tells me I’m a nut, but I don’t mind!

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THE REFRIGERATOR

Can I just say that cleaning out the fridge is so gross? I feel like I’ve been pretty good about wiping it down every once in a while, but it was still filthy!

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I used the same baskets from Target (I’m kind of obsessed, if you couldn’t tell) and I tried to keep it simple. There’s one for cans and leftovers, one for produce, one for cheese and bread, and one for miscellaneous items.

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I haven’t figured out what to put in the actual produce drawers. We were kind of low on food when I did this, which honestly made it a lot easier to organize!

STORAGE BINS

I don’t know what to call this project. We have a built-in bookshelf in our living room with open space underneath that I use for storing big stuff. I have one bin for Christmas decorations, one for sheets and linens, one for extra bags/luggage, and one for creative tools, like my laminator and glue gun.

I cleaned out every bin, threw stuff away, and reorganized everything to fit better.

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Along with these bins, I organized the bin (I refuse to call them tupperwares) with all my harp music. Which led me to organizing . . .

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MY MUSIC

Dun dun dun! This was the most difficult organization task BY FAR. I had binders and books and random copies of music all over the place. They were organized at one time in my life, but not now. Nothing was labeled correctly, all of the sheet protectors were falling apart, it was terrible.

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I took everything out, recorded the song titles, composers, and parts (solo, duet, what instruments, etc) and then put them in fresh, new sheet protectors in alphabetical order. I’m honestly so proud of this. I have one binder with Christmas music, and one binder of everything else. Everything is labeled and I have a massive table of contents so I know exactly what each binder contains.

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If you have a lot of music, I highly recommend doing this! It has made me eager to practice again and it also helped me feel accomplished because I have so many beautiful songs in my repertoire.

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Well, there you have it, folks! Everything I have organized (so far) in 2017. Because I’ve tried to tackle one project every weekend, I feel like my house has stayed a lot cleaner and feels more open and inviting. Here’s what’s left for me to do:

  • Under the bed
  • The cupboards
  • Shelf in the closet

I feel like organizing those spaces won’t be too bad because they’re not food/bathroom areas. I’m excited to see how happy and organized my apartment feels after going through everything and making it new again!

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca

Why I'm Getting Back Into Blogging

Hi. It’s me again.

I’ve been taking a blogging break. Actually, let’s call it a blogging sabbatical. (I think I always planned on coming back.)

 
 

When I started “blogging” in 2014, I did it as a way to showcase my design skills and demonstrate my industry knowledge. I thought it gave me more credibility when I met with recruiters in college. Maybe it did. But I quickly got bored. There are sooooo many design bloggers out there with tips on DIY logo design and squarespace hacks and I just didn’t feel like I had much to offer in the way of entrepreneurial design/freelance work. But I HAVE been feeling the desire to blog again. I work full-time so I won’t have a consistent writing schedule, but I just really enjoy coming up with ideas and crafting a blog post and designing images to go along with it. I’m not as interested in sharing my thoughts regarding design, although I’m sure that will come up from time to time.

From now on, my blog posts will fall under the creative/lifestyle category. I won’t share anything REALLY personal because I want to protect my privacy and the privacy of my family, but I’ll share things that I care about and (hopefully) give you a glimpse into my life.

Some of the things I want to tell you about:

  • My incredible job at The Younique Foundation
  • Decorating my apartment
  • My goals and what I’m doing to reach them
  • How I’m finding my creative style/voice
  • Getting back into exercising after sitting on my butt for literally 5 years
  • My hair journey (get excited for this)
  • Trying to live a more inspired life physically, mentally, spiritually, etc.
  • Tackling my email inbox
  • Setting boundaries on social media
  • Learning to watercolor and feeling like a real artist!
  • My curated Instagram account
  • Waking up early and taking responsibility for my life
  • Trying to do less boring stuff and do more fun stuff in 2017

Just writing out that list made me so excited! I’ve been learning so many new things and finding my voice and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca


 
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Beating the Blahs & Finding Inspiration

Note: This is part three of my series Getting Things DoneCreatively, a collection of time management and project planning resources for creative individuals. To read parts one and two, click here! 

Every year when Christmas ends, I feel depressed--for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because I know that the holidays are over and I don't have anything exciting happening for another 4 months. (My birthday is in April and I always look forward to that.) I watched this #HowToBeHappyJanuary video by Nikki Philippi and it inspired me to find new ways to enjoy the new year and really use this time to really get creative. I want to tell you what's helped me stay fresh and actually enjoy this wintery season.

1. Set Goals
Like I mentioned in this blog post, setting goals helps me find direction in my life and forces me to fill my days with purposeful activities. My goals right now are to find fun ways to exercise and develop my creative skills.

2. Go Shopping
Even though I'm trying to be less materialistic (another one of my goals), visiting my favorite stores and seeing new inventory helps me get ideas and feel refreshed. As a designer, I'm very aesthetically driven, so I feel very inspired by colors and patterns and even the layout of a store. I also enjoy buying a few fun things that are on my wish list, like these adorable shoes I ordered yesterday. Shopping with friends is great because it doubles as exercise and a social activity!

3. Simplify
I like to think of January as an opportunity to "prune" my life. I try to take the time to sit down, evaluate what my priorities are, and then try to eliminate as many of the little branches that get in the way of me becoming the kind of person I want to be. For example, I cut out "doing dishes" by buying a bulk package of paper plates and I cut out "getting ready" by cutting my hair. It might sound silly, but these little actions have helped me make room for bigger ideas and other goals.

4. Clean & Organize
I know everyone wants to get organized in the new year and I'm glad! I think cleaning your physical space helps you clear your mind and find new inspiration. If you want to really go crazy with cleaning this year, I would recommend this book.

5. Find New Music
Since I've been listening to Christmas music nonstop since September, January feels very quiet. I made a playlist of songs that feel wintery and fun that I've been trying to listen to whenever I feel a little off. I think music is a great way to bring a little pizazz to your life and it's fun to find songs that sound like "Winter" without sounding depressed.

6. Devour Pop Culture
January is a great time to visit a museum, watch the Oscars, or get into a new TV show. And obviously, don’t forget to read a good book! As we all know, inspiration can come from anywhere, so it's a great idea to go somewhere new to get new ideas. Bonus points if you document your experience with pictures or a write-up.

7. Hang Out with Friends
I think one of the biggest reasons I feel sad after the holidays is because I got so used to being surrounded by my family and friends. When everybody went home and I had to go back to work, I just about lost my mind. Find people you enjoy and spend time with them. There's nothing more inspiring than good people.

There's a lot of other ways to "beat the blahs," but if I had to sum everything up, I think the best thing you can do is find one thing that makes you excited and DO IT. Buy a new lipstick, take a staycation, make your own salsa, rearrange your bedroom, go hot tubbing, doodle in your journal, etc. Try not to waste time feeling sorry for yourself, get out there and do something!

For a bigger list of creative ideas, check out The Little But Really Useful Guide to Creativity by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.

Creative Reading Recommendations

Note: This is part three of my series Getting Things DoneCreatively, a collection of time management and project planning resources for creative individuals. To read parts one and two, click here! 

I've been cultivating a list of reading material my mentors and professors have recommended to me. I love reading and I think it's good to read a wide variety of material. Here's my reading list for at least the next five years haha! (The books are organized by categories for convenience.)

 


ORGANIZATION

Organizing for Your Brain Type by Lana Hakone

 

FINANCIAL

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

 

CONSUMERISM

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

Born to Buy: The CommercializedChild and the New Consumer Culture by Juliet B. Shor

The WalMart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works and How It's Transforming the
American Economy
by Charles Fishman

The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do
by Clotaire Rapaille

Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age by Michael Shuman

 

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy By Eric Mataxas

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King

Persepolis: The Story ofa Childhood by Marjan Satrapi

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Wells

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
by Simon Winchester

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Addie Fadiman

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James Hunter

Feeding the Rat: A Climber's Life on the Edge by A. Alvarez

Into the Wild by John Krakaur

Hitchcock and Bradbury Fistfight in Heaven by Dave Eggers

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

 

HEALTH

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal by Eric Schlosser

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

Sugar Blues by William Dufty

Wheat Belly by William Davis

 

RELIGION

The LDS Gospel of Light by N. Eldon Tanner

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeline L'Engle

The Book of Mormon by Mormon/Moroni

Yearning for the Living God by Enziano Busche

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Dhammapada: Essential Teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha by Dge-dun-chos-phel

The God Who Weeps by Terryl and Fiona Givens

The Crucible of Doubt by Terryl and Fiona Givens

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The Hannover Principles: Design for Sustainability by William McDonough

The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry

Requiem For a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change by Clive Hamilton

The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Hunter Lovins, Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide by Claudia Thompson

American Canopy by Eric Rutkow

Design For the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change by Viktor Papanek

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie

Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough

CREATIVITY

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value is Remaking Commerce, Culture, andConsciousness by Virginia Postrel

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel S. Pink

Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands by Kevin Roberts

No Logo by Naomi Klein

A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young

Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design by Audrey Bennett

Spark: How Creativity Works by Audrey Bennett

Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein and Christopher Lane

Neil Gaiman's "Make Good Art" Speech by Neil Gaiman

Art as Experience by John Dewey

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono

The Genius Machine by Gerald Sindell

Design and Truth by Robert Grudin

Visual Thinking by Rudolf Arnheim

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer

Asymmetric Typography by Jan Tschichold

Never Use White Type on a Black Background: And 50 Other Ridiculous Design Rules by Anneloes van Gaalen

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey


ADVERTISING

Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Advertising by Luke Sullivan

Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning by Jon Steel

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends and Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries


HISTORY

Liberal Facism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

The Story of Ancient History

The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin


UNDERSTANDING MAN

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Frank I. Luntz

How To Hug a Porcupine: Dealing with Toxic and Difficult-to-love Personalities by John L. Lund

You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws, and the Politics of Identity by Robert Lane Greene

The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by Arbinger Institute

Mind Wide Open: Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life by Stephen Johnson and Steven Johnson

Hug Your People by Jack Mitchell

Wild by Cheryl Strandberg


SOCIAL ISSUES

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition by Wendell Berry

Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

The Harmless People by Elizabeth Marshall Thoma


Everything I Know About Goal-Setting

If you're like me, you are probably looking forward to the new year as an opportunity to evaluate your life and make some new goals. I love thinking about my goals and what I want to accomplish. I don't think it's really necessary to write an in-depth article about setting goals because there's already so much good information out there. I believe one of the best ways to learn is by finding good role models and following them. 

A great guide to setting goals that actually motivate you to achieve them! (Photo courtesy of Rekita Nicole)

A great guide to setting goals that actually motivate you to achieve them! (Photo courtesy of Rekita Nicole)

These are my favorite goal-setting role models and resources:

1. Zen Habits A Simple Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Life Goals http://zenhabits.net/a-simple-guide-to-setting-and-achieving-your-life-goals/
2. Harvard Business Review Making Your Work Resolutions Stick https://hbr.org/2014/12/make-your-work-resolutions-stick
3. The Happy Manager Elementary Goal Setting - Make It Up and Make it Happen!  http://www.the-happy-manager.com/articles/elementary-goal-setting/
4. Stephen R. Covey Start Small with Goal Setting http://www.stephencovey.com/blog/?cat=46

Here's a copy of Stephen R. Covey's instructions from several years ago.


Start Small with Your Resolutions for 2010
The start of a New Year is always special. There is a feeling of renewal as we look to a new year, a new beginning and there is a sense of excitement for making changes or adopting new habits. However, do you ever find yourself making New Year’s resolutions only to abandon them? If you do, you are not alone.
 I want you to be successful at one goal, only one goal this year—and that is accomplishing one small goal you know you can accomplish. I say start small so you can build the confidence and strength to do more. It’s all about taking what I call “baby steps.” Start small, keep at it, and stay consistent until you’re ready pick up the pace.
 I also suggest that you work on your goal on a weekly basis. For instance, if you are setting a goal to reduce your sugar intake, set a goal to reduce the number of sugar-rich drinks you consume during the week. If you are in the habit of drinking soda pop everyday or several times a week, decide at the beginning of the week how many drinks you will reduce in your diet. If you go too fast and eliminate all your drinks, you may just fail at it because you are not emotionally, mentally or physically prepared to do so. So start small. Make a promise and keep it…make a promise and keep it. And soon you will enlarge your strength, confidence and capabilities to discipline yourself to achieve other goals.
 Many years ago, I went on a sugar fast with a group of students. You can’t believe how difficult it was at first but as we achieved small victories, our will power and passion for achieving our goal became stronger and stronger. We actually found strength in saying “no” to sugar because we felt an inner strength, a strength that inspired us to grow our confidence and abilities to grow our character, our sense of who we wanted to be.
 As you set your small goal, you may want to enlist the help of someone close to you. It’s important to have some support, encouragement and a system of accountability. You might even invite this person to set a small goal that you can encourage them on. Work together and create synergy to help each other.
 I wish you well on your journey in 2010. You have the potential for greatness in you! Go for it! Start small. Make a promise and keep it.

I love that. I like hearing from Stephen R. Covey and other people who really know how to achieve their goals. These people accomplish major things and they all recommend the same stuff:

  • Set short-term and long-term goals
  • Make little, tiny "baby steps" to help you reach your goals
  • Set goals based on your priorities
  • Set less goals - 1 or 2 at a time, MAX
  • Work on your goals weekly
  • Conduct weekly reviews to evaluate your progress
  • Tell people about your goals - be accountable
  • Reward yourself for every milestone you reach
  • Take time to relax and rejuvenate
  • If you get off track, get right back on!

So, if you're ready to set some goals, here's what you do:

  1. Get out a real pen and a real piece of paper.
  2. Write down everything you accomplished in the last year, big and small.
  3. Write down everything you would like to accomplish in the next year, big and small.
  4. Write down one goal you would like to focus on right now.
  5. Write down one thing you can do this week to get you closer to that goal.
  6. Share your goal with someone and ask them to hold you accountable.

I'll be sharing my own goals here next week!