You’ve pretty much established the basics for successful planning and you’re ready to take on a new year, right?
To be successful in achieving your goals requires a plan of action to help get you there. That annnnd the consistency and willpower to continue.
Everything from trying to find the right layout to suit your needs and how to personalize it to make sure it works for you are all necessary things.
But what about when that motivation runs out?
Well, it’s the end of January at the time of writing this post… so if any of those New Year’s resolutions have already started falling by the wayside…
Then this post is for you.
Perhaps you dove into the new year with great intentions, inspired and all starry-eyed about the person you hoped you would become by the end of the year.
You would be in your imaginary ceremony thanking the academy about how wonderful this year turned out. But the reality is… most people can’t stick through to their goals.
And this is a little bit beyond finding your Why, though I feel like having that is a very integral part of goal setting. But there is also a few things that go unnoticed when people are goal setting.
The fact that we’re not robots.
I’m pretty sure that most of the population is not 100% productive and on their A-game every second of everyday.
And you know what? You shouldn’t have to be.
Understand that you are going to want to have fun, you have a right to enjoy yourself and the journey you take while achieving your goals.
In fact, it’s really important.
That’s what keeps us from burning out entirely and not constantly looking at the tasks that we do as chores and dreading working on them.
So how do you do it? Exactly how do you incorporate successful planning? How do you make sure that you achieve all and everything that is really important to you?
Here are a few of my tips for successful planning in the new year.
For An Amazing New Year!
Take A Break!
Taking a break is essential to successful planning.
It’s a way to recharge and refresh your mindset in your journey.
Taking a break ensures that you are giving yourself the time to stop and really love yourself while on your journey instead of breaking yourself down to love yourself after your journey.
Ways you can incorporate taking a break into your successful planning includes:
Nothing is more irritating than spending thirty minutes trying to think of everything all at once to start scheduling into your planner. Give yourself the permission to stop.
If you can only think of what to do on Wednesday and Friday and can’t think beyond that, then stop and come back to it later.
If your planner check in is starting to take too long and you just want to take a nap, then STOP.
Go take that nap, go take a drive, go hang out with or without friends for a few hours. And come back to it with a newly refreshed and recharged mind.
Your planning will be so much more intentional and meaningful when you give yourself time to rest instead of spewing out generic information because you’re just trying to hurry up and finish.
Leave Time For Fun
Taking a break means doing something more fun than what you’re currently doing, right? So when I say take a break, I don’t mean launch into another life-sucking chore.
Have FUN! Successful planning will be so much more attainable when your days are not filled with dread trying to accomplish your daily chores.
Some days will be task-heavy with chores and other tasks you need to get accomplished and that’s quite alright. Having responsibility is what being an adult is.
But just because we’re adulting doesn’t mean that adults can’t have fun. And it absolutely doesn’t have to be planned. Leave yourself a little time for some spontaneity.
Or, if you are a fickle planner, schedule in some fun. It will be worth it in the long run.
Remember What’s Most Important: ACHIEVING IT
Understand that part of being realistic is knowing that sometimes, you’re gonna slow down.
There will be days where you procrastinate, you detour away from your plans, you just straight up wing it and that’s ok.
But that doesn’t mean you should just toss away your goals altogether just because you strayed away a little (or a lot). Remember that the reason why you wrote that goal down is because you wanted to ACHIEVE IT.
And it doesn’t matter if you took a 3 month detour to another country! Come back to it and work on it. Don’t leave it completely. Remember why it was important to you to begin with.
Don’t Over Extend Yourself
Perhaps you’re not accustomed to the wonderful world of the Planner Community… or maybe you are.
And if you HAVE been around the planner world a bit, than you know that there are tons and tons and TONS of variations of planning styles that will draw in without mercy!
It’s so very easy to feel like you need a planner for everything and in turn, will shove you into a world of being ultra productive and super consistent.
And ultimately, it will start to wear on you and weigh you down.
You might even stop planning together! And we don’t want that right?
We want to be successful in our planning, and here is how you can keep from over extending yourself:
Delegate When You Can
To family, to friends, to automated systems.
If you have a consistently busy schedule and you feel like you’re all over the place… enlist help.
Your phone can be of great assistance when needing to keep reminders on appointments and other events. Put your bills on auto pay if you can if it’s too much for you to keep track of when to pay.
If you run a business, of course, see if there are ways where you can start automating your business. Wherever you can delegate to free up more of your time, do it.
Keep It Simple & Intentional
And also, don’t keep up with so much stuff to begin with. At least, as simple as you can get it.
It’s really not that helpful to have so much information in so many different areas. Some people manage it very well, myself somewhat included.
But it can be very hard to keep up with things that are obligating too much of your time. If it feels even slightly pointless in the beginning, you most likely won’t keep up with it throughout the year.
And I would also like to say you SHOULDN’T keep up with something that feels slightly pointless. That is energy being wasted on something you may not be ready to work toward in this season of your life.
Make every season count! Whether that one thing is necessary in life or not, one day it WILL hit you.
For example, in 2018 I was very focused on finances and that was primarily what I planned for. 2019 I was focused on my business, and that’s what I kept up with. And so far in 2020, I am a lot more focused on health and wellness.
So don’t feel shamed that you can’t keep up with something you feel is important. Because eventually, it will be important.
My advice? Plan for the things you care MOST about at that moment.
Self Evaluate and Reflect
I feel when you are aware of your own patterns and habits, that’ll make it easier for successful planning.
Part of the reason why I love holding on to old planners and using multiple planners is because of the information I gain by looking through them.
I uncovered my emotional spending habits back in 2018 by budgeting every month. In 2019, I discovered that I procrastinate a lot in my business which was all connected to how I felt about myself and how I felt others would receive it.
And so far I have uncovered that I really missed strength training and I yearn to build upon my community since keeping my self care planner this year.
Knowing that I emotionally spend allowed me to adjust my budget accordingly and to challenge myself to get better and save a lot more money.
Discovering my reasons for constantly procrastinating helped me reaffirm my why in starting a business and stick with it.
These little patterns help to shape your journey and allow you to find ways to work WITH your weaknesses. And in turn, this will make successful planning a lot easier and here is how you can incorporate this:
Review Older Entries And Look For Patterns
As I mentioned above, look through your old planners and notebooks and look for patterns. Look for emotional patterns, shopping patterns, working patterns, recreational patterns and see where you can improve.
Perhaps you actually DO play a lot and need to build more structure into your daily life. Or, you might ahem eat out a lot and need to work on incorporating more home cooked meals (looking at myself here).
Maybe it’s more emotional and you find that you talk down to yourself quite a bit, and you get frustrated that you don’t achieve all that you set out to do. And perhaps that will show you that it’s time to be a little more loving toward yourself and incorporate more fun and try new things.
These patterns will help you recognize where you are falling short and that’s how you will grow and improve.
So no, don’t be so quick to chuck those old planners. They might have a lot of insight that you could be missing out on.
Start Small And Grow Organically
Do you ever get a new planner and feel obligated to come up with a snazzy idea for every single page before the new year starts?
I’m telling you NO. Do not do that.
It’s better to allow yourself to grow into your planner organically.
Setup the pages you know you need and will use and everything else, set it up as those needs come to you.
Remember, you have 365-366 days to come up with something.
It’s completely fine if you don’t have it altogether and thought out come Day 1, ok?
To have successful planning for the new year, you must practice being intentional.
You really do.
I’m sure it’s a very rare case of someone just stumbling upon a championship gold medal at an Olympic event just from winging it.
No, they knew what they were aiming for and were intentional about what they set out to do.
And you and I would be no different.
Luck, for most of us, is as good as non-existent.
The bulk of your successful planning will come from planning mindfully and being intentional, and this is how you can incorporate it:
Keep A Scrap Sheet To Brain Dump
Your brain dump is where all your mental fluff will go.
All those generic thoughts racing around, some pointless, some impacting will all go here. Jot down any and everything that comes to mind.
And from this page, you can withdraw the more meaningful ideas that you want to continue forward on.
Schedule Time To Work In Your Planner(s)
I have a lot of personal experience with this one. 😐
You’re not being intentional when you’re winging it.
And winging it isn’t bad.
A lot of times I do it and I come out just fine! It’s a nice way for me to see where I naturally put my energy and I come back to planning with a more rejuvenated outlook.
But just don’t wing it for too long. Set time aside, even if it’s just 15 minutes to map out your plans and look over your goals.
Continue to make them real to you. Don’t just leave them inside of your planner left on a desk to collect dust.
Start With Your “Why” And Work From There
There are two types of planners in this scenario: the planner that just likes to keep a schedule, and the planner trying to achieve something.
If you are trying to achieve a goal, then you will find much success in planning when you start from your “Why”.
Why are you keeping a fitness planner, a meal planner, a business planner, a memory planner, etc? Why was this topic so important to you?
Are you keeping a budget because you want to get out of debt? Are you keeping a faith planner because you want to build on your spirituality? Are you keeping a meal planner because you want to learn how to cook or just cook more?
Why are these planners important?
Once you start there, it makes it easier to create the tasks associated with it that will help you grow. (If you want to keep a social media planner to help grow your business, then on Monday you need to make sure to write the blog post, edit the video, check comments, etc).
I find that having my Powersheets Planner helps the most with this. I do a lot of my initial brainstorming and detailing of my monthly goals there.
And then I add them to my catch all planner and delegate the rest of my tasks with my other planners from there.
And ultimately, my last tip for you is that if you fail/stop/burnout/whatever… just get up and keep moving forward.
Just like when Beyonce trampled down those steps and STILL kept the pace with the dance routine to the end of the concert.
It’s going to be okay. And at the end of the day, what matters is you achieving your final goal… doesn’t really matter how many detours it took you along the way. Just. Get. There.
And Happy Successful Planning!
Have you had any success in planning? What works for you? What doesn’t?