Imagine you could turn your life around, and all you would need is a single piece of paper
This is Kalenderkind’s Life Calendar “Little Boxes”. It took 20 years of development to get the best methods successful people use into this one sheet life planner. It is big (119×84 cm or 47″x33”) and some say, intimidatingly truthful. It is handmade exclusively for people who really want to succeed. It is also the only calendar with a proven success record.
The personal story behind this calendar: how loosing my best friend lead me to discovering the one thing that makes life planning work
It was 1986 and I had just returned from Guatemala for a short visit to Europe when I got the call: “Don’t ever contact me again”.
It was my best friend with whom I had spent the last 5 years of my life. We had studied together, worked in LA, then started a non profit project in Guatemala. We were young and anything was possible. I was going to return in a few weeks and only had a single suitcase with me when I got the call. – Fast forward 20 years. Despite several attempts, I was never able to return and meet my friend or find out what happened. From time to time I would track down some contact details and send crazy emails with hope, despair and disbelief in the form of poetic irony. Sometimes I got cryptic emails back. My friend’s sharp mind is still in there somewhere, but mostly it’s been overwritten of what I assume to have been bad people and bad influences. Meanwhile I took jobs I didn’t like, I lived in towns I hated. We both lived a life that wasn’t really ours. I always thought the life I wanted would somehow materialise again as it had when my friend was still with me, but it never did. Just like Malvina Reynolds in her song “Little Boxes” (which gave the name for this calendar), I got stuck in little boxes and lived a life that fell short of its potential.
And then it struck me: When I lost my friend, I lost this outside view on my life choices from someone who is on my side. That one person asking “Is this you?”
For a few years, me and my friend, we kept each other sane and in control of your destiny. I always thought I was smart enough to continue making the right decisions on my own, but I wasn’t. And I know now why. I didn’t have someone in my life who was on my side, double-checking my life choices and asking me “Do you really want to do this job?”, “Do you really want to live in this town?”. Still to this day I can’t help but wonder what would have become of us, had we continued to be each other’s voice of reason. It’s not that we died or lost limbs. But the moment we separated, we stopped living our own lives and started living the lives other people thought best for us.
What if I could find a way to give myself this voice of reason?
I’ve created calendars for myself for the past 20 years and now I know why. Unknowingly, I was trying to create myself a tool that would replace the outside view on life that my friend would have given me, had she still been around. There was always good advice by other friends and relatives, but it was never free of fears, prejudices and judgements. It never truly matched what I wanted deep down. It took many years of lonely experimenting, and trying out lots of layouts, but I think I now have the right format for the job.
With this calendar, I managed to overturn most of my bad life decisions. And I did it with one piece of paper.
Since I have this calendar, I have stopped doing jobs I hated, I started a family, had a child and am relocating next year to a place where I decide I want to live, not where a job calls me. This is something nobody in my family has ever managed before, so it’s a huge deal. And I did it without expensive therapists, coaches, seminars or any other self-help material. All I needed was one piece of paper.
“The way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day. Get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step is to get a red magic marker. For each day that you do your writing, you get to put a red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get to a few weeks. Your only job is to not break the chain”
You can use this Life Calendar to cross off your days like Jerry Seinefeld. No other calendar lets you see your efforts of multiple years at one glance.
author of a new mini e-book, “What the Most Successful People Do at Work.” says:
“People lament that they’d love to have strategic-thinking time, but they’re just too busy!” She suggests planning over different time frames. For instance, at the end of the year, you could plan your goals for the year, and then, in weekly planning sessions, make sure you are steadily working toward those goals.”
With the Life Calendar, you can enter yearly or even multi yearly goals, then add planning sessions on individual days in that year. No other calendar gives you this complete overview over the planing of that and all other years without clicking or scrolling, even without electricity or a computer.
an American billionaire businesswoman and founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company. In 2012, Blakely was named in Time magazine’s “Time 100” annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She advises:
“You’ve got to visualise where you’re headed and be very clear about it. Take a polaroid picture of where you’re going to be in a few years.”
With this calendar and the 30 minute instructions, you can add multiyear milestones and write your mental image right next to them. Simply by having the calendar on your wall for you to see every day will keep you motivated like hell to make good use of every one of your 1200 months to work towards those images.
If the years go by and your real dreams are still on the back burner, maybe it’s not you, maybe it’s your calendar
If you are like I was, maybe you’re slowly starting to realise that the things you secretly dream of are not going to happen. And maybe you’ve had friends and family giving you well meaning advice and then you realised that it was not leading you to where your heart wants to go. And maybe you’ve also tried other self-help methods and materials but none of them really worked and are now sitting on your shelf, half used.
Here is why the usual self-help seminars, books and calendars are not working
They don’t track your work and your progress over those years it always takes to reach something big. This calendar shows more than just a year. It shows all years you have. Life planning doesn’t get more real than this.
They don’t keep you motivated every day because you don’t see the end goal. This calendar shows you exactly where you want to be in five or twenty-five years , how much time you have left and where you are right now.
They don’t keep you on track while jobs, cities, relationships change. This calendar lets you mark those up and downs without loosing site of the big picture of where these changes should take you.
They always start new after certain months or a year. This might be an advantage for having a clean slate with bad habits, but not for reaching your long term goals. This calendar shows your life as an ongoing stream, not a sequence of disconnected phases.
They usually end up forgotten and collect dust in a bookshelf somewhere. This calendar stays on your wall and is always in sight. It is also dust free.
They usually contain lots of instructions, have boxes to fill out and tasks to do, which take the wind out of every longterm planning. This Calendar is barebones simple. It only shows you what’s necessary to get motivated every day by your own goals you have added. Nothing more.
Even in the worst times, when you have no friends and nobody to turn to, this calendar will come to the rescue and show you where you need to go.
Imagine there is a job change you are unsure about, or your friend asks you to move into a different city. How many times have you stood in front of a decision like this and wondered what the right move was. Usually we take chances because we are curious if maybe this time we get lucky and things will turn out the way we want. But then they usually don’t. Now instead of gambling, you can stand in front of this calendar and hold the new option up against what you entered into the calendar of what you actually want to do in life. And see if the two can be combined, or not. And if not, this choice is not right for you, no matter what all others say.