How To Be A Better Planner

Hello! Good morning!

I must admit, I am not a natural planner. Despite all the lists I make for yearly (and multi-year/milestone) goals, or special challenges, etc, I don’t always succeed at achieving everything on those lists (as my recent EOY check-in that I shared HERE will prove). While listening to a recent episode of the Best Laid Plans podcast, I came to realize the reason why. I create these large goals, and then I don’t really follow through. I don’t plan. I don’t look at the actual steps I need to take to achieve these goals, and then I get overwhelmed by how big they are and end up doing nothing.

So today I thought I would just take a quick look at how I plan (ha, no pun intended) to actually tackle and achieve my bigger goals this year, and hopefully help you (and me) to become better planners, in all areas and aspects of life, in the process.

Let’s jump in!

One of my goals for 2021 is to keep a bullet journal. I spent some time at the end of 2020 creating yearly and monthly spreads only to find that the setup I created wouldn’t really set me up for success. It was a chaotic mess and was not going to help me at all. Just another piece of evidence that my planning process needs some help. I didn’t think the task through. 

So step one is to pre-plan… This may sound crazy, but I think it’s important. It doesn’t have to be complicated or intense. Just before you create a plan, spend some time thinking through all the parts, jot some notes, etc.

Then really break it down and write out all the little pieces that have to be put together to achieve the ultimate goal. Do some of of those items have even smaller steps that they can be broken down to? Take it down to the smallest and simplest of tasks. I created an indented checklist in the Notes app on my phone to help outline my plan and the tasks I need to do to get it done.

Once you have all the pieces spelled out, it’s time to schedule them on your monthly/weekly/daily to-do lists. This was my biggest problem. I would create weekly to do lists that had nothing to do with the bigger picture. They’d be random tasks I wanted to accomplish, but none of those things got me closer to achieving my larger goals.

So this year I want to tackle my to-do lists a little differently. I’ll still have my random weekly to-do lists, but I’ll make sure to include some items that will get me closer to my big goals too. I will spend time each month looking at my list for the year, and then add one (or two) of those things to my monthly list. From there I’ll break those tasks down and put the smaller stepping stone to-do items on my weekly list. And if it can or needs to be broken down further, I’ll assign a task to my daily list so that I’m sure to be on the right track to achieve my goal with as much ease as possible.

I will report back with how this is working when I check-in after the first quarter. Until then, happy planning!

How will you plan better this year?

Many thanks and much love,

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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