Can I become a planning queen?

Surely you’ve heard that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

A lack of planning certainly doesn’t help me. Often, not having a menu plan is my downfall. When I don’t know what I’m going to eat in advance, it’s way too easy to fall back on the standard: Fast food.

It doesn’t have to be that way, of course. From various apps and magazine articles, there are plenty of tools available to help with meal planning.

One in particular recently caught my eye: Emily linked to a printable menu planning sheet she uses, from Cassie at Back to Her Roots.

Maybe it’s because Cassie is a Midwestern gal (living, she says, in a tiny town you’ve never heard of in southern Indiana — I might be able to prove her wrong on that count!), but something about her printable sheet appealed to me. And when I saw her paper-saving suggestion — to put it in a frame and write on the same sheet with a dry-erase marker each week — I was hooked.

The idea appealed so much that after work Friday, I ran to Walmart to pick up a frame. (I pillaged some of the dry-erase markers from my desk drawer at the office. I was the one who brought them in, after all.)

Menu planning made easy

Pre-planning. This might well be the simplest DIY project I’ve ever done. (That’s my chunky cat, Spirit, at her food bowl on the right.)

I thought about what’s in my fridge, and looked at the newest issue of Weight Watchers Magazine to see what recipes I might want to try.

After some thought, I came up with a plan.

Menu planning made easy

I’m not sure how this’ll hold up … or how it fits with intuitive eating. I made the menu plan based on what sounds good right now. Who’s to say it’ll still sound good when it comes time to eat?

Note that I also planned a week’s worth of workouts. That’s also based on what sounds good right now (and it fits in with my goal to do more yoga in 2014).

If you could read my messy handwriting, which I don’t expect you to be able to do, you’d see I purposely put one fast-food lunch on the menu. I also included a couple of frozen dinners, as well as planned meals around leftovers. I’m not foolish enough to think I’ll suddenly start cooking three times a day, every day.

There’s not much joy in that!

*Cough, cough.*

Now, I need to get to bed. I’d like to actually wake up in time to check out the OA meeting at 11 today. I’m really curious to see what it’s about.

Along those same lines, if I can wake up before 11 a.m. Sunday, there’s a church service I want to check out. Beacon Unitarian Universalist‘s topic of the week promises a “fresh take on time management,” and that has me curious. Another thing that makes me wonder: The Unitarian church was the only church my father would consent to get married in, yet he was a conscientious objector in Vietnam. (He served at the Chain O’Lakes youth camp near Albion.)

My parents didn’t believe in forcing religion on my brother and me, figuring we’d find our way when we were old enough to make up our own minds. I attended a private, Methodist-affiliated university (University of Evansville), and often went to chapel on campus. I felt fairly comfortable there, but not comfortable enough to make it a weekly habit.

I’m not terribly big on organized religion — any church/religious leader that says “if you don’t believe exactly what I believe, you’re going to hell” isn’t something/one I want to affiliate with. There’s too much hate in the world, and a lot of it seems to have its roots in churches.

Really, I’m more agnostic than anything. I believe (or at least WANT to believe) there’s something out there bigger than all of us … but I believe you can be a good person, with solid morals and values, without going to church.

I find myself drawn to Beacon’s statement on the home page:

The essence of this faith is to encourage the development of personal theology combined with social activism to make our lives and world more compassionate, just and peaceful. … As a non-creedal religion, we do not require members to believe a certain way.  Rather, we covenant together to create a safe place for each member to engage in his or her own personal spiritual journey.

If I’m awake, I’ll go. If I sleep through the alarm, it’s a sign I’m not meant to be there, right?

So much for going to bed early … it’s now nearly 2:30 a.m. Maybe if I set two alarms, I won’t sleep through …


2 responses to “Can I become a planning queen?

  1. LOVE the idea of putting the printable in a frame, Arlene! Good luck – I hope it proves to be helpful for you. 🙂 My chart never seems to go 100% “on plan,” but I think just having it all laid out and, at a glance, ready to adjust – makes a huge difference when life throws a curve-ball!

    • I can’t take credit for the idea, though I wish I could. Cassie mentioned it in her blog post. I just took the idea and ran with it. Managed to stick to the plan Saturday. One day down, six to go …

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