To get the year started off right, you need to have a plan. Some of us like to dream, sketch, and have a vague idea of what we’d like to accomplish; others prefer to have every moment accounted for. Ideally, we should aim for something in between!
One of my favorites is:
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” – Zig Ziglar
How do we combat this? Planning, of course! Whether you start with the end in mind or tackle the immediate, the first step is the step in the right direction!
That being said, I love to plan. I like to think things out, write it down, imagine, and postulate. At some point, if you don’t set forth to action, you are still aiming at nothing.
I was really inspired by Jenny Penton @ Planner Perfect. She offered her book in a Homeschooling Bundle of books a few years ago and offered her wonderful ebook, Planner Perfect: A Fresh Idea on Organizing Your Life. The idea of scripting my days instead of allowing my appointments and daily tasks to lead me blew my mind! I stayed so busy with little ones, house work, homeschooling activities – it never dawned on me that I could organize and plan for all of this instead of just allowing it to happen by happenstance!
Once I read her book and watched many of her fun You Tube Videos, I started assembling my own 3-ring binder of goal setting. I used my penny packets of ruled paper from Back-to-School sales, along with free calendar templates over at Donna Young’s website, with all the great free planning and cover pages from the Living Well, Spending Less website. I had a wonderful planner, filled with activities, blank pages for planning, daily journaling, and much more.
However, I found that I was easily distracted — adding more and more pages to my planner, but not actually doing the things I planned. The more I planned, the less I seemed to actually accomplish! My husband calls this analysis paralysis. What’s a gurl to do?
What I decided to do was shelve my beautiful plans. It was great to organize my thoughts, but my husband and I needed to coordinate our calendars on-line and used our Smartphones to coordinate calendars for appointments. I needed a bound, pre-filled, way to script my days, weeks, months, and year. I decided to go back to purchased calendars…
For our homeschool, I purchased this calendar from Office Depot:
I find I like the arrangement of vertical columns for our homeschool studies and the daily quotes and inspiration for my personal calendar. They both have lots of color, as well as spacious margins, to articulate additional points I want to have in our days. In my personal calendar, I draw 8 “water drops” to ensure I’m drinking 8 glasses of water per day, as well as a check box for “am” and “pm” for my medicine and supplements.
I have used many different planning tools, and I’m sure I’ll use many more.
What planning tools do you use? What would you recommend for this season of your life?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”