My Shining Year Hybrid Goal Planner

Welcome to Part Two of my Goal Planner For 2017 series. Last week I showed how I made myself a journal to use for the coming year with re-purposed materials. This week I’m going to take you through how I’m using the journal in conjunction with the Shining Year Life + Biz Goal Planner Workbooks 2017 by Leonie Dawson.

I bought the downloadable version of the planners because I knew I wanted to work her format into my own journal. A place where I would feel okay to do the writing I would need to do. You can read bout how I overcame my resistance to writing thru using an art journal in this post. I chose Leonie Dawson’s planner because it has wild joyful colours, her enthusiasm for wanting to help women, (and her straight forwardness), and the Facebook community around the planners is very supportive.


Last week you may recall that I had this cover done. Since then I have done some more work on it by adding some rub-ons and stickers. Not that that is really important but I know some eagle eyes would have spotted a few differences. All things in my journals are open for some extra doodling or embellishing as I see fit.

I had an idea to put a fresh young shoot, full of promise and potential on the front.  The little bird is too big for the sapling but it is hopeful too. All my papers and collages are made from gelli printed papers as I find this the most satisfying way for me to work intuitively, and quickly.  I seem to be in a hurry to create at this time.


Today, before I sat down to create this post I had an inspiration to do another collage on the back of the journal cover.  It only  occurred to me just now, the significance of the imagery on both covers, as I was typing in the last paragraph. A fresh sapling growing into a strong tree makes sense as I learn how to use a planner. I see now I have to put a bird up in the tree branches. When I see these seemingly random things revealing a story, I get a sense of knowing that 2017 is going to be amazing and I’m heading in the right direction.

So, one of the parts of the planner asks us to consider what our word of the year would be. Until I saw that blank space beside the tree I wasn’t sure if I’d put to much attention to one word. It seems I have, all of a sudden, lots of words to get out. But this word – CAPABLE – has been whispering in my ear and making a subtle appearance every so often. I have made Capable my word for the year. Now, everyday whenever I look at this book I’ll be reminded that I am making goals, and writing them down, and I am CAPABLE. Want to know something else? I’ve never until today bothered too much with making pretty my front and back covers. First time, ever! This book wants to be made.


What happens from here on in is not about the pretty or the nice. It’s about what is significant to me. It is about getting it done. It is about expressing my thoughts through whatever imagery or words need to come out. Having the planner helps with my structure, because honestly if I was left to my own devises I couldn’t put this into an order that made sense. How planner people can create a plan is a total mystery to me.

To the average Joe this might look like a hot mess, but to me I see sense in the chaos. I see it because I made it and am connected to it. The guts of my Nursery Rhyme book I used for the covers did not go to waste. I cut out the Jack and Jill image and wrote my own story. I have a thing for trees  and I immediately saw how I could make one appear on the hill.  I also read a great quote about the direction of your arrows, which unfortunately I can’t recall at this time, but I know that all those upward directional arrows are a reference to that quote. I will re-find it at the right time and make an art page for it.


One of the first sections of Leonie’s Planner is an in depth reflection on 2016. I don’t care for anyone to read any of what I have written, but I thought I’d show you how I have set some of my journalling pages up.  These two pages I have set aside for writing about the reflections as marked out on pages 21 and 22 of the e-book.  I don’t particularly want to re-read any of it so if the words become unreadable that’s okay. I want a quiet time to fill these parts in and just let the words flow out unimpeded. I’m sure I’ve left myself enough space for these exercises, but if not, washi tape is excellent for taping in an extra page….or two.


Leonie gives us some great tools to help with this goal planning process, and one of them is to have a closing ceremony for 2016.  I was immediately won over with the concept and recreated a likeness of her flower design with collage, into my book so I could do the same. Without wishing my life away, I must admit I am looking forward to closing the 2016 chapter. It was very challenging, stressful and just plain old tough. But through the trials I believe I am now set up for something better because of it. My cup is empty and ready to be refilled to overflowing.

My blue page was set aside for some other writing and I made a mistake by using it for some art work. But really there are no mistakes, are there? My art inspiration came from a quote posted this week at Colour Me Positive, a Facebook art challenge group. This is the best place for this quote, don’t you think? Time to focus on new beginnings as I’m closing out the year.


If I was going to close out 2016 in glorious colour, then I’d have to issue in 2017 in a positive fashion.  This page is very much a work in progress. I think the phrase rainbow vomit would describe this page in it’s current state. Just putting it out there anyway. In the workbook Leonie asks us at the bottom of page 25 if we are ready to make plans for a Shining Year ahead. She left such a tiny place for our yes/no answer. (Does anyone ever say no?) I wanted a whole page for YES!!! So I made a whole page for it.


Time and space for gratitude,


Okay, a little reveal here, with my unhidden words. Feeling vulnerable is okay. A few months ago I would have been too scared to show any of my written thoughts. But as you can see most of what I have written here is stuff that many of us feel anyway, so nothing shocking in it really.

But regardless of the words, this is how I journal and work through some of the sections and questions from the workbook into my journal. I paste in a piece of painted paper the size that I think I’ll need and note the page number. I won’t be doing all sections as I don’t feel I need to do it all. What I’m already doing is a huge step in the right direction and I take what is relevent for me at this time. I keep in mind always that this book is here to serve me, not me serve it. I give myself permission to do this in my way.


Some pleasing colour and pattern inspiration never goes astray. Whatever it takes to keep me motivated it a good thing.


There is a section of the planner about Oracle readings for the months of 2017. Ummmmm……….yeah!? No, I don’t get it. It turns out this is a tricky one for quite a few of the planner users. Some suggestions are to pick a quote or a Psalm. Some suggest using a free online service to get a reading. Honestly, none of it was gelling for me. Then I remembered I had stuffed a set of inspirational quotes into one of the pockets of my journal.

I got them as a gift from a recent women’s get-together. I randomly selected out 12 face down and flipped each one over as I pasted it into my pages. I may set up a page for each one as the months come to pass. Top half I’ll add the quote that I’ll focus on for that month and the bottom half I’ll add my reflection and check-in notes once the month has passed.


I have a special section that I have taped the edges of the pages with decorative washi tape so I can see it even when the book is closed. I’ll collectively call it The Big and Little Things. This page is where I will write down my biggest, craziest, wildest things I want to achieve. The seemingly impossible ones. I’ve got some huge ideas to write in here.


It’s also where I write out my 100 Things list. That’s right. 100 Things! I don’t know about you, but every year I think to myself, I would like to do this, I should try that, I must go there one day. And. I. Never. Do. Any. Of. It. Or if I do it just melts into the memory mists.  Just like my YES page, I want this to be big and unmissable. I taped in extra pages to make a large fold out spread. It’s BIG! It’s huge! Every time I achieve one of my hundred things I’m going to slap a big glitter star in the space to celebrate.

Some of these things aren’t particularly huge, and most are quite small, but it’s about taking positive mindful steps to creating a life I’d like to be living. Some are goals I nearly achieved but couldn’t quite make happen because something got in the way. Will writing it down and reviewing it make a different? Who knows, but it’s time for me to do things differently.


This is without doubt the most planning I’ve ever done and I feel a sense of achievement for having had the courage to come this far with it.  I still have lots of sections to work through but I don’t feel the need to have it all done by January 1 2017.  I don’t have a business as yet but it is part of my plans so I’ll drag some of the guided sections from the Biz planner into my working journal. I’ll weave my collages into it to reinforce my ideas and continue to add my marks to the pages to bring them to life.

I’m feeling really positive about the community of Shining Year participants. I’ve already been in contact with a few of the local participants and we are going to have planning days to support each other. Why do it on your own when you don’t have to? I want to hear about other women having successes too.

Do you use planners and goal setting tools to help you set your intentions? Or like me have you struggled to get your words down onto the page? I’d love to hear your thoughts about planners and how you use, or don’t use them. If you think you’d like to try the Shining Year Life + biz Workbooks and Planners click on the link and see for yourself if they will be right for you




Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 175 other subscribers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “Goal Planning for A Shining Year Ahead – Part TWO – Using My Homemade Journal

  1. Your artwork and interpretation of Leonie’s planner is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing it and have a wonderful 2017!

    Posted on December 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm
    1. Thank you. I happy that you find it so. 🙂

      Posted on January 31, 2017 at 4:54 am
  2. I love the way you’re using Leoni’s workbooks. I like so much about her workbooks, but they’re not an entirely perfect fit for me. I’m very particular about things being right for me, so your approach gives me some great ideas. And your work is beautiful, too!

    Posted on December 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm
    1. I love the concept of the workbook and I’m so happy to have found a way to work them into my comfort zone.

      Posted on January 31, 2017 at 4:56 am