A Story of
I published this planner to spread the power of dreaming and goal-setting, especially to women from a conservative and modest background who grew up in an environment of unconscious limiting beliefs
I’m Ann Gacutan, founder of Self-made Sunday Planner.
If our paths have crossed before, it would have likely been growing up together in Manila or working together in surf, football, or media. Maybe we met through yoga, dance, art, or one of my #wastenoweekend activities. You may have also been one of my sisters from non-profit organizations I am involved in, or maybe you’re new to my world. Either way, I’m happy you’re here.
I published this personally crafted planner after using it myself for many years. I’ve combined what I’ve read and learned on my journey and integrated it into a daily planner that is practical for everyday work and inspirational for personal progress. It has been my paper “life coach” that allowed me to get to where I am today.
That was my graceful intro. What really happened was…
At 21, I was faced with a shattering life change – my very first hurts-like-hell tragic heartbreak and my dad’s heart attack that led to his double angioplasty. Health insurance was not in vogue then and government subsidy was a pittance. Our savings were wiped out, we had big medical debts and many years of follow-up medical expenses. In a snap, I felt like a prisoner with a metal ball chained to my feet.
Armed with a pen and paper, I started drafting strategies to get me out of this hole. I wrote down big dreams, including a ridiculous salary double of what I was earning. Crazy ambitious? Little did I know the universe had something bigger: I was offered a job in Singapore, which tripled my salary overnight. For context, most of us did not even have a passport at that time.
Great, I thought, this pen to paper thing works like magic. So I did more of it. Every Sunday, I would sit down in my tiny 4-bed bunker room of a government housing flat, dream relentlessly, and plan ahead. Through all of this, I unconsciously created a routine of awareness and started to overcome stereotypes associated with Filipinos, Asians, and Females and defined happiness and success on my own terms.
I progressed from paying debts to providing my family with a comfortable life and even enabled my family to travel the world and see what is outside of our beautiful yet humble home. It empowered me to compete internationally, land exciting jobs with big global companies, and even win industry awards. It allowed me to build my own investment portfolio, with a range of properties including my own vineyard lot and my private beach on an island! It also inspired me to travel extensively to more than 80 cities and 30 countries by the age of 30, despite laborious visa restrictions and all. Did I mention I also found true love and just recently got engaged?
Although we are all in a difficult situation right now, it is the best use of our time to dream and discover ourselves. What are the limiting beliefs that stand between us and our ambitious dreams? What are the patterns that prohibit us from living the life we want?
We are all a work in progress! I hope my planner can provide a tiny spark to help answer some of those questions, and become a companion in your life of awesomeness the same way it does in mine.
All beliefs are choices, and choices can be changed. You are worthy of the dreams in your heart - go dream, plan, and do!