Planning is fun. It’s the best part about laying out your goals.
You can daydream about what life will be like once you get to where you want to be.
Planning allows you to get creative and really give yourself some great ideas for how to spend your time.
But planning is the easy part.
If you’re like me, then you’ve probably spent a bunch of time planning and then end up totally forgetting about your plan a month later.
Execution of your plan is the toughest part.
You’re not always going to be motivated.
You aren’t always going to want to do the things that you need to do.
It might be because you’re tired.
It might be because you’re stressed.
It might be because you think you’ve just done enough for the day.
But then one day passes, and another, and then it’s been a week, and then a month, and you realize that you had all these goals set for yourself but you haven’t achieved any of them.
You sit back and start thinking about why you just can’t seem to reach your goals.
It’s because consistency is hard.
10 tips for being consistent with your planner
There are a few things that can make it easier to stay consistent with your planning guide.
I’ve found these 10 tips to personally help when I notice myself slipping off the path to my goals.
1. Review your whys
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, then you know that I believe that finding your whys is the foundation to everything that you do.
Knowing why you are doing what you are doing is almost like a cheat code to staying consistent.
Waking up 30 minutes early to exercise is hard, but if you know the reason behind that quick exercise in the morning is so that you can stay healthy long enough to play with your grandkids, then it becomes a lot easier.
Cutting back on eating out can be tough if you’re a busy person, but if you know that the reason you are cutting back is so that you can save an extra $2,000 this year for a vacation to the beach, then it becomes a lot easier.
Take some time to develop your whys, and you’ll have a great foundation to fall back on when motivation starts to fade.
2. Do it at the same time every day
This tip is super simple.
Just pick a time that you will review your planner every single day and stick with it.
You brush your teeth every day right? Probably at about exactly the same time every day.
Just make reviewing your goals journal and planner as automatic as brushing your teeth.
3. Keep it accessible
Sometimes the hardest part about getting started on something is to take the time to find it.
Do you ever catch yourself sitting on the couch while your phone is dying, and it feels like too much effort to go to the other room to get your charger?
Don’t lie, we’ve all been there!!!
Well, being consistent with your planner takes the same effort.
If it’s right there in front of you, then you’re much more likely to open it up and work on it.
4. Make the planner work for you
We have developed a simple progress planner that is a goals journal, habit tracker, daily planner, and weekly planner all in one.
It might work for you, but it might not.
And that’s OK! You can take what works for you and forget about the rest.
It’s like anything else in life, there’s no reason to try to force a square peg in a round hole.
Take the pieces that can make a difference in your life, and build them into your routine.
5. Make sure your goals are SMART
While one of my favorite quotes is “Never rule out a goal that you think is unattainable,” I also think it’s important to break your goals down into achievable steps.
That’s why one of my favorite goal setting methods is the SMART method.
Taking your goals and breaking them down into specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound steps will insure that you aren’t simply spinning your wheels.
6. Think short term and long term
Taking things day by day is the foundation of personal development.
You are simply trying to be better than you were yesterday.
Having short term goals and long term goals in your planner will help you to see the big picture as you are breaking things down into daily activities.
7. Include all of the big 6
Burnout is a real thing. That’s why it’s so important to include all of the big 6 categories in your planner.
Make sure your daily and weekly planner includes something for each of the following categories:
Each of these categories work together to create a fulfilling life.
Leaving one of them out can make you lose all motivation to do anything.
Can you imagine just focusing on work while you forget about the rest?
You would get burnt out extremely quickly.
You wouldn’t want to follow any plan that doesn’t have your friends or family included.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of some of these categories, but don’t let yourself leave any of them out.
8. Learn to be OK with failure
Achieving everything on your list isn’t going to always happen.
You’ll fail some days.
And that’s OK!!! Failure is part of life.
If you have a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset then you’ll understand the value of failing.
Pushing yourself to be better than you were yesterday isn’t always going to be a winning endeavor.
There will be days when you try as hard as you can, but just can’t seem to get anything right.
The more quickly you accept failure, the more consistent you will be in following your plan.
9. Just take action
The hardest part is the first step.
Take action. Start being deliberate in everything that you do.
Put one foot in front of the other and keep yourself moving even when you don’t feel like it.
If you’ve ever built a snowball, then you know it starts with just a handful of flakes. You can build it as big as you want it to be, but you have to start somewhere.
10. Enjoy the journey
We can build things up in our heads and make them extremely stressful for ourselves.
Remember that you are in this for the long haul. Life is one big journey. Do you want to be stressed and anxious, or do you want to be happy and fulfilled?
Building a plan is part of the path to fulfillment, but remember to take yourself a little less seriously sometimes.
You will thank yourself for it.
Wrapping it up
Being consistent with your planner isn’t always going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.
Remember to keep yourself moving in the right direction. Just make a little bit of progress every day.
It doesn’t take massive action to become the person that you want to be. It takes small daily habits to cause true change.
If you are looking for a good way to plan your goals and turn them into actionable steps, then check out our Progress Made Simple Goals Journal and Daily Planner.