Have you ever bought a new planner with the idea that this is the one that will help you get everything done that you want to?
You just know that this planner is going to change everything for you.
But then you get home and open it, and it’s just a bunch of empty time slots on a page. You start to fill it out for the next few days. Maybe you even keep it with you for a week.
You forget about it one day, and end up never picking it up again.
It’s happened to all of us.
The problem is that there are so many different options and methods out there for creating a daily plan.
Picking one that works for you can put life on autopilot. The benefits of having a good daily planner cannot be overstated.
Most people are out there just flying by the seat of their pants.
Having an agenda, even if it’s just 2 or 3 things, will give you a direction to head in for the day.
How can you know if you’ve won the day if you don’t have a scoreboard?
That’s all a good planner really is. A scoreboard. And you’re playing against yourself. Over and over again.
You even get to pick what the winning score is.
Here’s a list of 5 things that you can do to help get the most out of your daily planner.
1. Start with the foundation
The foundation of everything that you do is why you do it.
There will be days when you try to plan, but nothing seems to go right.
It can be very disheartening.
That’s why going back to the basics and understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing can help.
Don’t worry about getting it just right. You will fail many times.
Trial and error is all part of it. I still fail. I fail a lot.
But that’s OK, because I know that if I’m not failing then I’m not really pushing myself.
2. Choose something that you will stick with
Consistency is the key to success.
Making small steps every day will get you much further than long bursts every few weeks.
I personally really like hard copy planners.
It might not be the best planner out there, but it works for me.
There’s no right or wrong when doing this. It’s only about what you will use.
I tried multiple different ways of planning my day before I settled on the way I do it now.
I like to put it all down in my goals journal and daily planner, and then add it into my Google calendar.
3. Take it seriously
You’re planning your day because you want to be better than you were yesterday.
It’s that simple.
This is all about YOU and what you want to get out of life.
Nobody is going to hold your feet to the fire if you don’t plan your day.
Nobody will be there to punish you if you don’t plan your day.
But if you won’t take your personal development seriously, then who will?
Being deliberate and taking action is going to give you more confidence in what you are doing.
4. Enjoy the process
Remember that this whole process is for you and you alone!
You’re planning your day so that you can get more done, but also so that you can be more fulfilled.
When you’re planning your day, it gives you time to think about each one of the big 6:
Most people will only focus on one of those things on any given day.
You’re being given the chance to do something small for each and every one of them.
Learn to enjoy life and take things day by day.
Presence is a gift that few people can give themselves. You should be one of those people!
5. Have short term and long term goals
Short term and long term goals are important because they give you direction.
Short term goals are there to help you get that endorphin rush.
They are a little easier to reach, and should only take you less than 6 months.
Short term goals help keep you from procrastinating as well.
Before I started setting short term goals for myself, I would always wait until the last minute to get anything done.
Now that I see them as stepping stones on my path to success, I keep more of a focus on the daily activities that I’m doing to be able to reach those goals.
Long term goals will take longer than 6 months, but they are great because they give you something to shoot for.
You aren’t always going to reach your goals. Having them there is important because they give you direction.
They don’t always have to be super formal. For instance, a long term goal could be to maintain a healthy weight all year.
Sure, you will fluctuate a few pounds here and there, but you’ll have that big picture goal of sticking around the same weight.
Goal setting is the first thing that you do in the Simple Progress Planner.
It’s the first thing that you do for a reason. You have to have clear intention on what you are trying to achieve.
Otherwise, you just end up wandering through each day without a real purpose.
Wrapping it up
We are all out here searching for something.
We want to have a purpose for our lives.
Give yourself that purpose by giving yourself a plan. A plan is meant to help you keep score of where you’re at and where you’re going.
Without tracking your progress, you won’t know how far you’ve come.
Can you imagine driving a car without an odometer?
You’d have no idea how many miles it had on it!
You’re tired of drifting through life, and that’s why you’re here. You want purpose. You want direction.
Well, I can tell you that the thing that helped me the most with living a happy and fulfilling life is simply planning it to be the way I wanted it to be.
It just takes a little effort.
Remember to make a little progress today!
Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below if you have any questions or comments!