The Art of Planning

So it’s a new year! Are you ready? Do you want to be ready? Let me show you a simple way to get organized in your planning process for each year. I hope it is a new and effective concept for you like it has been for me!

I do want to make a confession right off the bat ,though, I am NOT a time management life coach…so…I am sure many of you have complex goals that would require additional work. I would encourage you to seek out help if you need it, write down your journey, and keep record of all that you are accomplishing!

This time of year EVERYONE has on their mind what goals they want to set and how to achieve them. They are usually weighty and lofty goals that sound good until you go to add them to your daily routine and decide it’s just too much MORE to do and you end up leaving it on a list you will get to “some day”. I have been there and it leads to bad feelings. I feel it to be a calling to encourage you and myself to let the bad feelings go! Let’s start and end the year with good thoughts, hope, and no shame no matter what happens in the world.

So I have 3 prerequisites before we get to the DOING part of our TO-DO lists

❤️GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE…. this will be my motto from now on so get used to hearing it!! I have spent too many years of my life worrying about all of the THINGS I have NOT done yet, instead of pausing and living gratefully in the moment I am in right now, today, in the time that God has guaranteed me, this one breath.

❤️ Keep your TIME MANAGEMENT expectations SIMPLE. If you don’t, you will set yourself up for failure. Don’t be your own worst enemy!

❤️ When you set new goals, start from a place of ABUNDANCE. What does that mean? Take time to look at all you already have, things that used to be on your list of goals…like…are you married? Do you have children? Do you live where you want to live? Have you taken a vacation this year? Did you read that book? Did you visit with those friends who mean the world to you? Were any of these goals on a list? There…when you see all that you have and have done and have been blessed with you are now abundantly fulfilled.

All that you want to own, do, gain, or let go of doesn’t have to come from a place of urgency. You have already achieved so much! So take a moment and take a deep breath. You are blessed. We are all blessed if we are breathing aren’t we? Shouldn’t we be thankful even when it’s not Thanksgiving?😉

Here’s how we get started. This is a 3 step process. And remember GRACE, SIMPLE, ABUNDANCE!

Let’s look at what our lives entail. For most of us there are about 7 categories we all want or need to spend time “doing”. For simplicity, work at putting everything into one of these categories, or feel free to change the names!

1.Finance

2. Home

3. Family

4. Friends and Hobbies

5. Work

6. Spirituality

7. Health/Physical

First we will Brainstorm . It goes like this…take a blank piece of paper or use the template I have made for you and start writing everything down. All of the things you HAVE to do, WANT to do, WISH to do, are EXPECTED to do, etc. This can take a while, but I would encourage you to do this on a monthly or bi-monthly timeline, so you don’t have to feel like you won’t remember it all at once. I would keep these pages for you to review at any time.

Think of brainstorming as the de-cluttering part of organizing. It may look a mess but when you see what goals and ideas you have, you can start breaking it down into manageable bites. (You can’t eat an elephant in one bite!).

Next, use the form I have provided and start Prioritizing

You will not be able to do ALL of the items on your Brainstorming page in 1 month…unless you kick it in the tail…but my guess is the next month would be real sad😩

Think of prioritizing as the sorting part of organizing, you are putting all like items together, putting some order to the chaos brainstorming can cause. Highlight in yellow all of the things you MUST do. Circle in red all of the items that have a TIME LIMIT on them. Circle your personal goals in green and just scratch off anything that doesn’t really amount to a hill of beans, but has been clogging up your brain space. And let it go…. Put all of these items in the corresponding TO DO lists.

Ok, the last step is where the rubber meets the road…Daily Planning. This is the “putting things in pretty containers” part of organizing. If it seems daunting to do this EVERYDAY what about WEEKLY planning?

The first thing to consider with this step is HOW you will plan. Will it be digital or paper planning? Second, pick a day each week to sit down and become intentional with your time, that’s what it boils down to, being intentional. Start by looking at your Priority list and filling in each day with what you know you HAVE to do like work, doctors appointments, workouts, kids activities, meal planning. Go back to your Priority list and see what feels urgent to you. Is it time with family? Your health? Quiet time or meditation? Take this time to schedule what feels urgent. Then as you see you have empty groups of time, pick one or two things from the TO DO lists for each day. Remember if you work that day, that is one of your TO DO lists completed.

Daily/weekly planning is IMPERATIVE if you want to accomplish your goals. But you must remember the following.

✅It is OK to not fill in every hour of every day.

✅Give yourself leeway in between tasks so you are not feeling pressured on time.

✅It is OK if you don’t get it all done that day. Perfection is a myth, get it out of your head!! Life happens, we get tired, have lazy days, sick kids, emotional overloads, extra work loads, family emergencies.

✅Be kind to yourself. The object of having a planner is not to set yourself up for failure, but to keep track of all that you HAVE DONE (yes I give you permission to write things in AFTER you do them😉)

✅Give yourself the validation you deserve for all that you have done!

✅Remember we are all in different seasons of our lives, what are my priorities are not yours and that is OK. In this day and age where everyone shares everything on social media it’s easy to get lost in what others have and are doing rather than focusing on your goals and intentions. Stay focused!! God has plans for you. Don’t stay so busy you can’t hear His plans for you!!

So here are the downloads to help you work through this process! Have fun and let me know what you think!!

2 thoughts on “The Art of Planning

  1. What a comprehensive and informative piece. I myself only segregate my life into three main categories: physical, spiritual, mental. If I take care of those, the other parts of my life take care of themselves. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    Like

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