A very warm welcome to my now-daily post where I share something useful in order to benefit you and your life, and even your business if you have one, during this “unprecedented time”.
If you are new to me, an extra special welcome. My name is Karen Knowler. I’m a Hay House author, a world leading diet and life coach, an award-winning business coach and I’m based in the UK where I live with my 17 year old son, Luke.
The purpose of these posts is to contribute, inspire, support, guide and ultimately – I hope – genuinely help – to make your life and diet the best they can be during the weeks and months that follow. And hopefully beyond!
If you want to go back to the beginning (recommended)…
And now onto today’s topic – how to consciously direct your days moving forward.
It’s Friday 20th March 2020. Things continue to change quickly worldwide.
Today, after yesterday’s announcement, all UK schools closed until further notice, and this afternoon notice was given to pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and gyms to close indefinitely as of close of business hours today.
I knew it would come soon but I didn’t quite expect a few hours notice!
In any case, the writing has been on the wall, and so today’s planned post is more pertinent and important than ever.
Yesterday I promised to help you answer the question:
“How am I going to spend this time exactly?”
What follows is for anyone who now finds themselves:
- Working from home
- In self-isolation
- Having more spare time than before because the places you usually visit or spend time at are now officially off-limits to you
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONAL CURRICULUM
One of my favourite things to do is help people create a life they love.
This is because I have personally reinvented my own life way more times than I can possibly count, and I love the fact that we can do this whenever and as often as we choose.
Whether you already had a life you loved or you’ve been feeling less than inspired by it recently – or even for a long time, what I’m about to share with you will give you lots of great ideas to reinvent your life and spend your time very differently during however long you have to stay at home.
In fact, this could be the most fun you’ve had in months – or even years!
The concept we’ll be exploring is that of creating your own personal curriculum.
What I mean by this is that you decide UP FRONT what you want this time to mean for you.
From there you then hand-pick the pieces/activities etc. that will enable you to fulfil that curriculum.
Net result? You end up making the very most of this time you have away from “normal” life and will learn a lot about yourself and what you really want for yourself during this time, and out the other side.
In short, you will get to know yourself and what you want in a whole new way and have a lot of fun doing it.
For my part, I consider this the best possible use of this time while you are playing your part in keeping yourself, your family and the rest of the world healthy and virus-free.
Here follows the step-by-step process for you.
And special note: Yes, please feel free to share this blog post with anyone else who you feel could gain inspiration and value from this as I’m pretty sure that just about everybody could!
So without further ado:
STEP 1: Choose one specific period of time that you will create your first curriculum for
If you’ve never done anything like this before, you might begin with a weekend, 3-days, 5-days or a week.
If you’re more used to personal development work or this kind of thing, you might choose two weeks or even anything up to 3 months.
If you’re not sure what to choose, just start with the 2 or 3-day option so that you can have a play with the concept, try it out and learn what worked well and what didn’t. OR you can download today’s free gift (see end of post) and try it for just one day.
STEP 2: Choose a theme/focus for this period
There’s so many options here, and I’m listing many below, although absolutely, feel free to add your own.
I would suggest beginning with the one that would make the biggest immediate improvement to your health, wealth or happiness. This way you can see and feel the immediate benefits of taking this approach, rather than just bumbling through your days wondering what to do with yourself.
- Contribution/volunteering – more about this in a future blog post
- Diet improvement
- Home decluttering/detoxing
- Home decorating/improving
- Improving a particular relationship
- Self-care intensive
- Fun & games
- Book reading
- Film watching
- Project catch-up
- Home-study completion
- Writing a book/poetry
- Starting a business
- Refining a business
- Growing a business
- Starting a side hustle
- Yoga & meditation
- Going through a photo collection/personal memorabilia
- Getting organised
- Life planning
- Financial planning
- Catching up with friends
- Spending time in nature – walking, running, cycling (if permitted)
- Making music
- Painting or drawing
- Starting or revisiting a hobby
- Decluttering your tech – e.g. cleaning up your phone/apps, your iPad, computer/laptop
- Emotional clearing – journaling, talking, writing a letter you may never send, punching a pillow
- Writing your will or all the letters to loved ones you never got around to writing
- Having the conversations that need to be had
- Planning your wedding/birthday party/Christmas 2020
- Planning a sabbatical or adventure holiday
- Creating and starting to tick off your bucket list
- Working on your car/bicycle/motorcycle/caravan/mobile home
As you can see, the list just goes on and on!
You might even choose to spend the entire 2-3 days in bed! (When did you ever do that before, apart from when you were ill? Hmmm… Maybe I don’t need to know!)
The point is – this can be FUN! This can be creative! This can be doing all the things you never got around to, kept putting off, need to do, want to do… whatever you decide. This is YOUR time, use it, maximise it, LOVE it!
STEP 3: Give this time period a name
This is completely optional but I like to do this as I find it fun, and it also inspires me to get even more creative with the Step 4.
Let’s say you choose the area of fitness to focus on and you’re going to focus on it for two consecutive days.
Depending on your specific focus, you might choose to call it:
“My best fitness plan EVER” – this would be if you set the goal to create the best personal fitness plan for yourself you’ve ever created.
“Setting new personal bests weekend” – this would be if you already were engaged with a sport/fitness activity that you had previously measured in some way and dedicated the two days to beating existing personal bests.
“Running like I mean it” – this would be if you’ve been wanting to up your running game for a while and are now ready to take it more seriously.
“From Average to Athlete” – this would apply if you consider yourself average fitness and have now committed to taking it much further to where fitness is now a serious pursuit that you plan on maintaining for the long-term.
“20 miles in 48 hours” – you’d use this kind of name if you wanted to travel a certain distance on foot or bicycle and wanted to reach a specific goal.
“My Wonder Woman Weekend” – this is a bit more fun, and might look like creating a personal workout program for yourself as if you’d gone away to a fitness bootcamp and were following a specific timetable in order to leave the two days looking and feeling like Wonder Woman herself.
Hopefully you get the idea!
The name can be as straightforward, quirky, imaginative, funny, serious, tongue-in-cheek, or whatever, as you like. The name is only really for you anyway, but it does set a tone and give much more direction to your final curriculum than just simply picking a theme.
STEP 4: Get into the specifics
Once you have your time period, theme and curriculum name, it’s time to get clear on what exactly that’s going to translate to.
This is the time to brainstorm all the different things you COULD include in your curriculum.
So let’s take a different example this time.
Let’s imagine Sandy has opted to create a 2-day at-home-retreat dedicated purely to self-care. She’s been feeling exhausted recently and the current events have left her feeling very upset and even more frazzled, and so she knows she really needs to take some serious time out and look after herself.
Because she loves all things beauty-and-body related she’s created the name, “Sandy’s Sassy Self-Care Salon”. To her this means that she’s going to have fun, be creative and turn her bedroom and bathroom into spa-like environments as if she had taken herself away for the weekend.
Yes, I know. Let’s all go and hang out with Sandy for the weekend!
When Sandy starts thinking about what she might include in this weekend she lists the following:
- Extra long shower with body scrub and leave-in hair conditioner
- Body brushing
- Full multi-step facial including deep cleansing, exfoliating, face mask, face steaming, toning, moisturising, spot treatment.
- Hair styling – maybe putting it up or braiding for the first time
- Foot treatment and massage using home spa equipment + foot scrub, lotion etc.
- Full manicure and pedicure
- Cucumber on eyes
- Lip scrub and moisturising
- Full body self-massage and moisturising
- Anti-cellulite treatment
- Relaxation time reading a book with relaxation music playing in the background
- Eating only fresh fruits and vegetables with a little raw chocolate when required 😉
- Drinking 4 litres of water per day with orange and cucumber wedges in large water jugs
- Drinking water out of best wine glasses
- Bed at 9:00pm and using my satin pillows and bedsheets
As you can see, Sandy is going to have a pretty epic time of it! I challenge you to do even better 🙂
STEP 5: Refine and schedule
From this stage it’s time to take a fresh sheet of paper, or a spreadsheet on your computer, and schedule out your time.
Key things to bear in mind:
- Be realistic – most things always take longer than we think, so budget for breaks, meals, rest, possible interruptions and just the fact that things take longer than we think!
- Think about the ordering of things carefully. You might need to order your schedule around what other members of your household are doing, or maybe the availability of something you need, or if you need to leave the house when the supermarket or wherever is actually open. And then there’s the practical ordering of something. For example, you’re not going to moisturise your body then get in the shower 😉 Well, I wouldn’t recommend it…
- Boundaries/time/space – if you need peace and quiet, a specific room to yourself, or to be left alone completely, have these conversations politely and as early in the planning as possible. Most likely other people are making plans too, plans that they may not be communicating to you at this time at all, and so you want to make sure that your plan isn’t going to be negatively affected by what someone else wants to do or expectations that they may already have about you and your time and availability.
STEP 6: Commit, prepare and get excited!
Once you have your plan/schedule mapped out, and on paper it really works, essentially you are all set. Yippee!
Now is the time to commit to actually following through on your plan, doing whatever you need to do to be ready for it (e.g. buying supplies, gathering materials, having conversations, etc.) and then, just as importantly, getting excited!
This is a wonderful thing that you are doing for yourself, and hopefully you’ll inspire others to do the same.
On that note, hopefully you have given yourself the gift of creating what you really want – as opposed to a compromise – because, let’s face it, we all deserve to have some great stuff happen at this time, especially in the light of everything that’s going on in the world.
Also – if this is relevant to you – please, drop the guilt. If you are currently in good health and feel bad about being well when others are suffering and even dying, please don’t. To let go of guilt doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person or that you don’t care. We all know that you do. And, most importantly, you know that you do. No-one feels good about the current situation, and that’s no secret, but we have to make the best of whatever life gives us, always. You don’t have to put your own life on hold thinking that that is somehow being respectful to those who are in a different situation to you right now, nor should you.
The truth is, the best place you can put your time and energy right now is into YOU, the people that mean the most to you, helping others where possible, and doing your part to keep the rest of the world safe by staying inside if you’re not a medical worker. Better still? Be inspired and inspiring while you do it! Feeling guilty serves no-one.
Think of it this way: If you got sick tomorrow, would you want your partner/child/sibling/parent/neighbour to feel guilty and stop living their life because they are not sick? Exactly. So enjoy the health and the extra time that you have while you have it. That is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to others right now. Be positive, be creative, live your life to the fullest and be an inspiration. You may never have this opportunity again in your entire lifetime AND, regardless of what else is going on in the world at the moment, none of us knows when our number is up. This could be my last ever blog post for all I know. But I’m sure glad that I wrote it!
MY OWN PERSONAL CURRICULUM
Every day I am sharing a bit about my own life and how I’m putting the topic of the day into practice.
At time of writing, I have not yet got the stage where I have the next X weeks mapped out, because, to be quite honest, the past four days have all been a bit of a blur. I’ve had many things to take care of, things that couldn’t wait including a hospital trip, food shopping, checking on my nearest and dearest, and then, yesterday, thinking that I was about to lose my grandfather. It’s only today that life has felt relatively normal.
As such, now that the gym has closed down, tomorrow morning, instead of walking the treadmill and lifting weights, I’m going to create a whole bunch of personal curriculums! (And yes, one of which will definitely involve fitness because I cannot go however many weeks without keeping up the grind!)
On that note, one extra tip I do want to share with you on this topic of curriculum is to use it as an opportunity to stretch yourself.
For example, if you’ve been on a weight loss journey recently, why not set a powerful short-term weight loss goal that really challenges you to step up your game?
Or maybe you’ve been procrastinating around cleaning out your garage, basement or attic, and now you have the chance to go at it Marie Kondo style, by taking everything out of it and only putting back the things that spark joy?!
This is indeed a time of radical change, so why not ride the wave and make a few radical decisions and actions in your own life too? I know I will be…
Life can be the most fun and exhilarating when you step over your edge 🙂
Try something new. Live a little… or a lot.
All this being said, one thing I do know that I’ll be doing for sure is working my way through my own 6-week program called “My Spring Renewal”. I came across this program again last week when sorting out a huge stack of papers. It dawned on me yesterday that NOW would be the perfect time to share it with the world, especially as TODAY is literally the first day of spring. How perfect.
So, if you want to make the next 6 weeks some of the most fun, refreshing, en-lightening and magical weeks of your year (and to get to hang out with me in a more intimate setting), I do invite you to check out the program ASAP as doors actually opened today.
We officially start on Monday with Module 1 of 6, and right now you can snap up the entire program at a very special price that I’ve purposefully lowered to (hopefully) make it even more affordable for those who want to join.
With every post I share a free gift that I feel is pertinent to whatever I’ve been writing about.
This is great news for you as each gift is juicy, highly usable and valuable, and also it genuinely makes me feel good to gift it. So it’s all a win-win 🙂
There is no opt-in required, just click on the link below and enjoy.
Today’s gift is another one of my favourite workbooks (PDF file): How to Create a Perfect Day for Yourself
I absolutely LOVE using this workbook, and I’ll be honest, I did wonder about giving it away 😉 But hey, this is what life is all about, especially right now. Share the love and good stuff, and don’t hold back, right?
This workbook will walk you step-by-step through creating ONE perfect day for yourself (like a mini version of what I’ve shared with you today) and includes a type-able one-day schedule. In fact, the whole workbook is type-able. So you can save this first copy as a master and then duplicate it and use the fresh one to actually plan your first perfect day! Or just save this original file multiple times to your computer. Whatever works. As I share inside the workbook, you can then go on and create as many Perfect Days as you wish. When you add this workbook to the information I’ve shared with you here in this post today, you will have even more juiciness to play with. Enjoy!
Click to open PDF or right-click to save.
Want to dive deeper and spend more time with me?
Two options are currently available:
Raw Magic & Mastery – 4-months, already 1/2 month in. Suitable for those who are already into raw food and want to eat more and change their life in profound ways.
My Spring Renewal – 6-week program, starts Monday 23rd March. Suitable for anyone!
Want to get an update on when each new blog is posted? Click here to receive immediate notifications when blog posts go live.
Want to be on my email list so that you receive additional goodies, articles, bonuses, recipe downloads and more? Click here to opt-in and select GIFT: GRFAD (Go Raw for a Day) to receive a welcome gift right away.
Coming tomorrow: What is the greatest gift YOU can give the world right now?
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
I’d love to know…
- What Perfect Day are you going to create for yourself?
- What about a 2/3-day retreat or a longer personal curriculum?
Please spill all your juicy ideas and wildest dreams! Take the stage, own it! (By this, I mean the comment section ;))
This isn’t about me… this is about inspiring each other 🙂 Share your ideas with others and they benefit too. Plus it feels good! And I really DO want to hear from you…
And if you feel this has brought value to your life and you want to share this post, YES! Please do. Thank you in advance. I want this series to reach as many people as possible because it’s as divinely inspired as can be and it fuels me to keep going. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Most importantly: Have FUN!