Themes of remembering, relearning, and embodying how we are embedded within living systems are central to my overlapping roles of ecological designer, mother, partner, farmer, entrepreneur, and writer.
When I think of the mainstream calendars that structure our lives, they inherently omit the changing nature of the ecosystems around us. None are designed from the outset to allow the nature of constant change to guide, and even shape, our lives. Precious few account for the messiness and intersected-ness of our multiple roles in lives that are increasingly both complex and disconnected.
Circular, or cyclical, calendars are designed to do just that.
In early 2020, like many others, I felt like the world was falling down around my ears. I felt stressed, overwhelmed, and had simply TOO MANY projects on the go. I had an 18-month old daughter, was launching a new business, running a small farm, caregiving, and beginning a new teaching job.
One day, I sat down at my desk, feeling unable to pick a clear place to get started. I had 90 minutes before my daughter's nap would be over. As a desperate measure to just get started, I picked up a single sheet of paper, sketched a circle, divided it into four... and began a journey that continues to develop every day.
🌱 I discovered how to plan my year using a visually appealing and regenerative approach that fit with MY unconventional brain, my messy life, and my constantly changing conditions.
🌙 I learned to embrace the power of cycles at many different scales, seeing clearly where they connected and overlapped so that they could support rather than conflict with one another.
🌿 I created a methodology to help me align my personal and business goals with the natural rhythms of life, rather than trying to contort my "business" goals into my "life" goals (or vice versa).
📆 I was able to vastly simplify my overwhelming calendar by using circular planning to manage my time and energy more effectively throughout the seasons.
🌳 I could finally let nature guide my planning! I now use the inherent beauty of circular calendars to support my farming, gardening, business, and personal projects.
💸 I could finally use the information available to me - about my energy, external cycles, natural rhythms around me, my family - to create recurring revenue and generate more consistent income throughout the year, without the panic of a looming holiday or "opportunity" coming upon me suddenly.
Since first developing my circular calendar framework, I've consistently received excited, positive, curious, and even relieved responses from creatives, entrepreneurs, regenerative business owners, farmers, and even scientists and students. Friends and colleagues have used them to help their clients create regenerative livelihoods, scheduling their time and energy based on their values rather than external pressures.
In an increasingly online, disconnected, and troubled world, the importance of viewing ourselves as part of living systems cannot be overstated.
By mapping out a year with multiple aspects -- as diverse as gardening, lunar cycles, seasonal weather patterns, writing, livestock breeding, business planning, and personal projects -- circular planning has become a way to create meaningful, neurodivergent-friendly, and visually appealing calendars that are easy to pick up any time of day and apply at any time of year.
Does a Circular Calendar take a lot of time or expertise to create?
Not at all! My first circular calendar, which really got me hooked on them, was on a single sheet of paper, with a ballpoint pen.
Even my more elaborate calendars, with multiple intersecting wheels, colour-coding and lots of different cycles to incorporate, only require the simple materials outlined in the course. Altogether you MIGHT stretch to spend $15-40 USD on materials... but you'd have materials for YEARS' worth of calendars, plenty of mistakes, and to share with your friends. You could easily get started with what's already in your home if you have some cardstock, a pencil and pens, and a pair of scissors.
What if I'm just learning about the cycles around me, e.g. lunar calendars, seasonal patterns, gardening, etc.?
Great! I definitely "learned as I grew". Actually using the cycles you're curious about in your planning process is a powerful way to learn them, in a way that integrates your knowledge with your day-to-day life. And guaranteed, as you learn, you'll find more ways and more cycles to bring together in your planning. It's truly a lifetime learning journey.
Do I need special materials or to order anything to make one? I want to get started right away!
Not at all! (See above). The materials list given in the course is all you need, and you could buy everything at your local hobby store or even a grocery store with a decent kids' or arts and craft section. Cardstock, pens and pencil, perhaps a child's math kit for protractor and compass, is plenty to get going!
"I think what's cool about this is it's really customizable to yourself. That's kind of one of the best parts about it."
— Chris Faroe, The Creative Mapping Project
“A game-changer for those seeking a more holistic approach to organizing their lives.” - Karryn Olson, Regenepreneurs, coach and trainer, and one of the first to experience and highlight its alignment with her teachings in helping her students build their "thrivelihoods".
What you’ll get inside the Circular Calendar Templates and Guide for just $9:
🌳 Two recorded replays from previous workshops (2021 and 2023) with full access to all future recordings and replays
🌳 Complete and summarized transcripts from replays
🌳 Detailed instructions both online and as a downloadable PDF
🌳 Printable cut-out templates for easy creation of your own circular calendar in both metric and imperial measurements
🌳 Complete materials list including both necessary and “nice to have” items
🌳 Quarterly updated spreadsheet with themes, dates, holidays, lunar calendar, biodynamic schedules and more
So who are circular calendars best for?
While part of me wants to shout "EVERYONE!", I've observed that people that come to circular calendars with the most enthusiasm are those who...
Most of my most enthusiastic "takers" are, like me, some combination of those.
Who would circular calendars NOT be suited for?
Make your own circular calendar for 2024! Simply print the PDFs, trace and cut out your wheels, fill in with your own information, and you're ready to go for the year ahead.
A dynamic spreadsheet for content creation and planning. Updated quarterly.
I understand that I am purchasing from Susan Cousineau, DBA The Farm Ecologist.
308 Calle Converse, CA 93010 USA
Main website: https://www.thefarmecologist.com
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