Sunday, December 30, 2018

Simplify 2019: Start with a Plan

“If you don't know where you are going,
you'll end up someplace else.” 
― Yogi Berra

2019 is upon us - Do you have a plan?

The key to achieving goals is to have a plan.  The key to an effective plan is identifying what works for you.  You may be an all digital planner, all paper or perhaps a combination.  Bullet journals, spreadsheets, or a simple paper planner or wall calendar may be the key to your success.  

Step 1: Identify the most effective planning method for you.  Take some time to evaluate what you have used in the past and what works best.  You may find you need to adjust throughout the years. I use a combination of digital and paper planning.  For the digital part, I use Google calendar, which I share with my husband.  We can each add and change events and see the changes in live time.  I also love that our school and some of the kids activities use Google calendar as well, which I sync up to our calendar.  

I have tried many paper planners throughout the years.  There are so many amazing choices out there.  This year, I went with the Tools 4 Wisdom 8.5x11 Hardcover Planner.  I love how the week is set up and the goal setting pages in the beginning of each month.  It comes with stickers, and I also love the affordable price.  If you are focusing on money saving goals for 2019, you do not need to spend $50+ to have an effective planner.  Many different cover designs are available.

Step 2:  Carve time out of your schedule to plan & make that planning time routine.  This is essential to seeing your plans through!  If you do not have a part of your week, or part of each day set aside for planning, your plans will sit idle.  I like to go over my plans in the morning as I start my work day.  I open my planner and go over the goals and schedule for the day.  I also evaluate my plans every Sunday as I prepare for the week.  I adjust my schedule as necessary and update both the Google calendar and the paper planner.  Include not only calendar appointments, but carve out time for you.  Include time to prepare meals, self-care, time for daily household routines, quality family time and rest time.  Yes, plan to rest and recharge!  So many families suffer from over scheduling.  Blocking off open time to focus on family and rest is a way to help prevent over scheduling.  

I love the Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pens.  They erase really well!  Just be sure to not leave your planner in a hot car as the gel will melt.  

Step 3:  Re-evaluate if your planning system is not working for you.  Tweak things until you get in an effective planning groove!