Outlook is Everything

Sure, like most of you, for me the new year brings resolutions to live even healthier, workout even more and maybe even take on a new hobby or read a book, for that matter. But 2012 brought with it a new – and successful! – resolution for me that was, indeed, revolutionary. I’d go so far as to say it was life changing.

In early 2012, I made the transition from old-school paper calendar tucked neatly in my diaper bag to utilizing my Microsoft Outlook calendar and my smartphone for all their worth – I went digital in my organization, and that was a huge undertaking.

It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure, but once I got my first few reminders and scheduled a few “meetings” with not only clients but my hubby and my trainer, I was hooked. And it has since become key to managing my time, and especially my “me-time.”

The Perfect Date: You!

At some point over each weekend, I attempt to map out the week ahead. And one of the first “appointments” I put in says “workout.” Yep, that’s it. No detail, no specific length of time, but most important is the reminder I add to the entry.

When that reminder beep twinkles its pretty tone, I know that in an hour I have a date – with myself! Now it certainly takes a lot of effort to stop mid-project or mid-laundry or mid-The View and react when the final notification goes off, but it’s never disappointing.

Actually, it’s that much more rewarding! I have been known to text my mom and BFF: “My Outlook told me to get off my ass and workout, so that’s what I’m doing! Go me!”

Planning (and Outlook) is Everything

For me, planning always feels good. So planning my workouts was a no-brainer, but a habit that has taken me years to embrace. Many weeks I just can’t figure out when to set that “appointment,” but I do my best. That’s all someone desperately seeking balance can ask for, right?

And the irony of using a program called Outlook isn’t lost on me either. Outlook satisfies my slightly obsessive need to organize and plan, and it also reminds me that my outlook on life matters. Let’s do our best to plan, but also realize that life does get in the way.

If that reminder beep starts singing and the final notification pops up when I’m on an important conference call or cleaning up a kid, sometimes it just has to be shifted to a different time slot. And sometimes it just might be “dismissed.”

But there are always tomorrow’s beeps and another chance to feel the satisfaction of a great organizational system and a great workout, too.

Only 42 minutes until today’s Outlook reminder starts twinkling.