“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”
~ Yogi Berra
In Australia the expression Sunday Session is most commonly associated with a lazy day of hanging out with your mates, consuming rather a lot of alcohol. Preferably in a beer garden, with some live music and decent food.
That is not the kind of Sunday Session I want to share with you today. (Although it’s a lovely bright Sunday morning, and this close to Christmas a social gathering over a few beverages, be they tea or beer or something else, sounds rather marvellous.)
No, I want to talk with you about my kind of Sunday Session, which involves me, my planner, a couple of pens and a little quiet time.
Almost every Sunday, starting from when I was still in high school, I have conducted a short Sunday Session. I pull out my planner and spend anywhere from five minutes to an hour planning my week ahead.
Now that some of you are working with my Year of ME 2016 – Planner, and seeing that it is Sunday here in Australia, I thought I’d quickly walk you through my process.
- Some time on a Sunday I make myself a cup of tea OR I take myself to a favourite cafe.
- I sit down somewhere quiet with my planner, my oracle cards, my beverage of choice, and my pencil-case full of neat pens, stickers etc. (I confess, stationery addict and pen nerd.) If I can’t get a quiet place, I use my earphones with a white noise program.
- Firstly I orient myself to the week ahead. What’s happening? Any major events, celebrations or stresses coming up? Time off?
- Then I read through my goal for the year, and my One Big Thing that I am currently working towards. I refresh my memory about my plans, and what needs doing.
- I assess my energy and health. Or as I call it, check the charge in my batteries. I’m always cautious and realistic. If I’m running on a flat battery I will make different choices to a week where I am fully charged. Is there a crisis or situation around me that will need my energy. I take that into account too.
- I pull one card for my week ahead, and think about what guidance and insight this card reveals to me. This also shapes the decisions and choices I will now make about my week ahead. I spend a minute or two and journal that.
- What is the most important thing I need to focus on for the week ahead? I decide that first. For me this week it’s about getting my Year of ME online course up, and supporting that to work smoothly. (Fingers crossed!)
- I then work out my Lucky Dip. A Lucky Dip is a little ordinary pleasure. My equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. This is important. It’s not something that can be done if there’s time. You make the time. Why? As my dear friend Angela sobbed in my arms before she died two months ago, she listed all of the things she regretted that she would never do. Simple things like restaurants never visited, books not read, beaches not walked on, food not eaten, time not taken, places not visited. Every week I choose a Lucky Dip, and I do my best to make sure I am living my life and finding joy, even in the craziest or hardest of times – which is actually when you need them the most.
- I write a list of the things that need to be done or remembered this week. Anything critical I didn’t do last week that needs to be carried over to now? I add those bits first. Then I think for a minute on each of the major events. Christmas Day this Friday. I add tasks to my to-do list that will support those events. What do I need to do? Thursday – Ice. Buy seafood. Fresh fruit. Take sneaky hidden presents and put under tree. Phone or text guests with reminder. Then I look at my diary and work out when I can get jobs done, or who I might delegate tasks to. I begin to pencil things in to more specific times in my Planner/Diary if I am well and know I can plan ahead. If I am unwell, or tired, or things are in a state of flux, I just leave everything on my Running Sheet, my giant to-do list.
That’s it. That’s my Sunday Session. It can be done in just five minutes if needed, but those five minutes still orient you to your week ahead in ways that make your life more clear and purposeful.
If it’s a big week, like mine is this week, I might spend up to an hour on my Sunday Session, but then my week is laid out in front of me and it reduces my stress, knowing that I have a plan that is flexible and adaptable and which will help keep me on track and get me safely through to next Sunday!
I can’t over-emphasise the importance of my Sunday Sessions. Thank goodness I am now well on my way to recovery. But while I have battled Lyme Disease, and living with the ramifications of an acquired brain injury from that condition, plus having Hashimotos Thyroiditis (lesions on brain and brain fog make for a very unreliable memory!), this planning session and my list meant that I could keep functioning in the world, even as ill as I have sometimes been.
PS – Occasionally my Sunday Session morphs into a general planning session, brainstorming and the generation of new ideas, courses or stories. That’s fun too. Think of Sunday Sessions as like your own private science lab for concocting the magic of your life!