My Action Wall: 3 Ways to Use Creative Energy to Maintain Motivation
You could call it a command center, but it’s a little more than that.
I call it my action wall because it has necessary scheduling and managed to dos, but it also has my vision board, my goals, dreams, aspirations, and big picture plans.
It is my wall centered around taking action to live my most productive goal oriented authentic life.
But the greatest part is that it is all dry erase or easy to change out, so it gives me room for changing plans and forgiveness if things might shift. I guess in a way it is my Permission to Fail Wall. And damn, does it feel good.
1st Reason to Stay Productive: My Action Wall is a Creative Outlet
It gives me the space to process and forgive myself when times might be hard.
Last weekend was a little rough for me in terms of motivation, energy levels, and a couple personal challenges that I could have (and definitely used to) allow to derail me completely.
I put some of my more concrete tasks on hold, but I dove into creating the meal planning section on my Action Wall for my daughter’s daycare breakfasts & lunches. It helped distract me from certain emotions I wanted to wallow in, while doing something productive so I still felt a sense of accomplishment at the end of the project.
I will go into detail about the meal planning system I created in another post in the near future, it’s still developing, but I do feel pretty good about it.
The lesson to focus on here is that the action wall is a place of organized productivity, but also a creative outlet when I need to shift my perspective away from something that I feel stuck on. Rather than falling into the Netflix hole of avoidance, I pivoted and still created something really useful, even if not intended at that moment.
2sd Reason to Stay Productive: My Action Wall Keeps Me Accountable
I am my own worst enemy, and not even from being hard on myself. I am the first person to give myself an excuse to not do something, even if it’s something I want to accomplish!
Like I talked about in my last post, that couch and Netflix is just so tempting so much of the time. No one is really going to know if I didn’t hang up my laundry or update my budget.
But if I can make it fun, that changes things. I love playing with different schedule designs and using different colored pens or dry erase markers or highlighters when brainstorming or making lists.
Using colors or layouts to jazz up what might otherwise be dreaded or difficult or just plain boring chores increases my likelihood of following through. I am excited to stick to a certain schedule or check off my to-do list because it was fun putting it all together.
I look at what I created and want it to actually carry out its purpose, because of the effort I invested.
1st Reason to Stay Productive: My Action Wall Helps Me Maintain Motivation
From a daily, monthly, and long-term approach, it helps keep my goals in sight.
Even if it’s a goal I’m excited about, I often need to remind myself about it. Maybe it’s due to exhaustion from my one year old, maybe I need to quit my day job, maybe I just spend too much time scrolling through social media, but things slip my mind.
I have been trying to remember to say my affirmations for a couple months now, and it just does not happen. I know the things I want out of life, but I want to remind myself of them daily.
When everything is printed out in a pleasing layout, and placed in a specific order in front of my face, on a wall I see many times a day, it is hard to forget about these things.
I see my short term and long term to do list for this blog.
I see images of the things I want to buy soon, and am actively working towards.
I see my budget printed out so I can’t ignore it or forget that it exists.
In school, we learned that your brain learns better when you process the same information in multiple ways. For me, just thinking about something does not cut it. I can make a list, but then I might lose the paper.
But if I think it, write it down, put creative effort into making it nice to look at, and stick it to a wall always in my sight, then there’s no way that I’ll forget about it, and no way that I won’t succeed.
I started building this wall about a week ago, so I will most certainly write another post about how it’s further developed in a month or so. It already gives me so much joy and motivation, and helps me get a handle on my procrastination.
So, if you want to try do develop one of your own, here is a breakdown of how my action wall is organized and some tips for putting it all together.
How to Make Your Own Action Wall
Action Wall Section 1: The Scheduling Section
This is where I let my planning & Microsoft Excel designed layouts freak flag fly.
Excel is a great, basic tool for making schedule templates. If you aren’t very experienced, they do have templates you can work from.
I usually start there when I’m not entirely sure what I want the layout to look like, or I will sketch it out and then transfer it over.
This is all about making a blank form, so no need to stress about formulas. The focus is more on formatting, so merging cells and using borders. Don’t be afraid to play around, it’s only electronic, so there’s no stakes to making mistakes!
I have a white board monthly & weekly calendar, which are mostly for big picture notes, scheduled events, and reminders.
I also have Monday through Friday meal plan cards I designed myself for my daughter’s day care breakfasts and lunches.
I’ve never been especially good at feeding myself, and now that I have a burgeoning toddler, I want to make sure she always has balanced nutrition.
I am also adding a weekly time blocked schedule, mostly because I think they look so cool with the different colors and the specifications for each day. I find that my week often deviates from this plan, but it is great to have a goal to work off of, and keep a reminder up on the wall.
There are a few pieces that bridge the gap between the two sections. They are specific goals or a goal schedule that I aim to achieve, but may not always be exact about the execution. This is where I have my Nightly Routine, my Morning Routine, and my Movement Log (where I am able to log & celebrate cardio, yoga, and meditation that I achieve day to day).
Action Wall Section 2: The Vision Section
This next section is the soul of the Action Wall.
This is where I have my vision board and the pillars of this blog (Actionable Goal Setting, Authentic Accountability, Adjust & Forgive) that also apply to my life.
I recently added my “I Want” collage with images of the physical things that I will bring into my life with abundance, and a few different brainstorm lists about projects I’m working on.
This is my manifestation section.
Not only am I putting my energy into thinking about these things, but I am also expanding the creative effort to make representations and reminders.
I am really trying to work the law of attraction here, and it feels so great to remind myself that I am worthy and capable of achieving what I want on a daily basis.
Products to Help Build Your Action Wall
I use both the Velcro ones for heavier products like white boards, and the poster ones for anything printed. I also use the Velcro for anything I might want to remove and take with me while brainstorming or planning, like the meal planning cards.
This was a super new, random idea, but I’m really into it.
There were a couple of lists that I knew would change over time and I didn’t want to stick them to the wall forever, or keep wasting command strips by removing one version of the list and putting a new one up any time I changed or added information.
This way, I stick the back of the sheet protector to the wall, and then I can just slide in and slide out anything that I have edited.
Now, I don’t play about how important my laminator is to me.
I don’t have an especially fancy one, it is about 9 inches wide (for a standard 8 1/2 inch width), and sometimes I need to pass the paper through a few times.
But, it doesn’t need to be anything fancy as long as it does the job.
For one, it increases the durability of any important document and turns a simple piece of paper into a poster. This is especially beneficial for my vision board, my pillar words, and my I Want pictures.
It can also turn anything printed into an instant white board. All you need to do is print out your template, and then you can fill it out daily, weekly, monthly, and reuse it until you need to adjust how your goals or schedules are laid out.
I use this for my meal plans, habit tracker, goal tracker, and did use it for my weekly schedule until I bought the white board one.
This is just a little breakdown of what I have on my action wall, how its organized, and some tips for how to build it.
I hope you get inspired and find new creative ways to organize your life, too! Tell me in the comments what challenges you have around scheduling, and accountability around that schedule.
How do you display your goals or schedule?
Do you find yourself often deviating from your goals, but maybe not for the better? Are you really great at creating, but not so great at executing? What do you wish you could create to make your scheduling and goal setting more authentic to you?