We don’t hear often enough that it’s okay to bin perfection, that it’s okay to just be good enough. The Imperfect Life® Planner is the tool and handy roadmap you need to take a breath and slow down – and acknowledge that we live our best lives when they are imperfect.
The very idea of “perfection” is a myth, an unattainable goal. Yet it’s something so many of us strive for, partly because it’s all-too-easy to make everything look perfect from the outset – a social media update has virtually become the only tools we have with which to prove ourselves – and usually, it screams of accomplishments. As humans, we’re constantly put under this monumental pressure to tick off perfection “goals” leading to a never-ending cycle of anxiety and lack of self-worth. The truth is that no one ever tells us the reality – that getting by is good enough and that in many areas of life, imperfection isn’t just permissible, it’s positively beneficial. We only really learn and grow as people from mistakes; we get joy from the randomly placed freckles on our children’s faces, from their gloriously imperfect re-enactment of school plays an endlessly yearn for just “rolled out of bed” hair we can never get in a salon. But instead, many of us are living the lives we’re told to have, instead of the lives we really want.
So, how can we break the perfection cycle? Before you can break the habit, the right tools are essential. Which is why, when I stumbled onto the fabulous The Imperfect Life® Planner by talented designer and now savvy businesswoman, Kerry Lyons, I thought I might finally be able to give myself a break.
Described as a “quarter-life thrive guide,” it’s intended to help you document hunting imperfection, as opposed to perfection, with tips and motivational tricks not only to help you find your direction and create goals, but to ask you to identify why you want those goals, how you can reach them with realistic challenges and mess – the imperfections – that come with them. Call it a sidekick, a place to vent, but it is a genuinely helpful guide to helping you let go of perfection goals.
We sat down with Kerry – who as well as creating, has also beautifully designed the planner herself – to explain the premise behind the Imperfect Life movement:
How did you come up with the concept for The Imperfect Life Planner?
I’d always been hell-bent on perfection, but when I became a mum, I could physically feel how much it had been holding me back my whole life. Trying to do everything perfectly just wasn’t going to cut it anymore, and I wanted to do something that would make a difference in people’s lives – a purposeful business if you will. I’ve researched the idea of perfectionism and life crises for over 10 years since my own quarter-life crisis, and only got it off the ground in the past 12 months. You see, so many people are quick to dismiss this form of anxiety and shrug it off as an issue that couldn’t seriously affect their mental health, when it can often be the opposite. People are brushed aside or told they “shouldn’t” speak out due to stigma or fear of being dramatic. But it is real, and I want to be that happy place to fall, between coping with it alone, to needing professional help.
What’s the goal of the planner?
It’s designed as something to help you cope when you feel the daily stresses are getting too much as you try to tick off every box in life. Because do you really want all these boxes ticked off, or do you just think you should have them ticked off? There’s a big difference. The planner is trying to help you come to terms with those differences your own way. I’m also offering free bonus monthly mentoring workshops for anyone who wants a sound board or some guidance. I don’t consider myself an “expert,” I prefer the term “mentor” because I’ve been there, done that and I want to use my life experiences, market research, and learnings to help other people. The idea of the planner, is that it will give you your own form of guidance – at your own pace – for the year so that you get the structure that you want for your life.
How does the planner work?
The day-to-day part of the planner makes it super-easy to plan and feel in control of your time throughout each week, and it can be used as an everyday scheduling tool (with areas for your schedule, your to-do list, your meal plan and your scribbles). There’s also a weekly mistake log that helps wipe out any perfectionist tendencies by helping you see the value in your mistakes, and three key sections for your personal development: Fear Journal, Master Plan and Thrive Guide. Each one is designed so you can work at your own pace whenever you need them. You can erase any fears that might be holding you back, plan your 2018 goals in a way that actually helps you reach them this time, and there’s a stash of pocket-size pep-talks for whenever you need some reassurance and motivation along your way implementing positive change in your life.
Where can you buy the planner?
I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project as it’s such an intricate product to manufacture – and it can, of course, be delivered to Ireland. Here you can order a planner of your own – it’ll also make a beautiful gift – or you can pledge any amount just to show support. Interested readers may wish to consider choosing the rewards’ UK delivery option, and organising an additional service like AddressPal or Parcel Motel for more cost-efficient delivery charges. The response so far has been incredible; and that in itself has been remarkable validation. Just to hear it’s having a positive effect on peoples lives is the reason I wanted to do it in the first place.