We all have goals in life, both big and small. The thing we don’t all have is a process for achieving those goals on a regular basis. That is where a daily planning process comes in. A consistent daily planning habit ensures that you are spending your valuable time and energy moving toward your goals. Daily planning allows you to identify what is most important and to work towards it before everything else.
Why Spend Time Planning?
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say they are too busy to plan. They are constantly on the run and feel that planning time is wasted time. They’re wrong.
If we are constantly moving from one thing to the next without a prioritized plan, we are going to get the urgent things done, but not the important things. The important things are what keep our lives in balance and help us achieve our goals. In addition, if constantly running is our lifestyle, we will eventually burn out.
Ben Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” We need to make planning a regular part of our routine so that we make sure we’re spending our time and energy on the important things.
Shouldn’t I Be Hustling Hard?
I don’t believe that you have to be constantly hustling to accomplish great things. The secret to goal achievement lies in a consistent planning process. When you organize your life around your goals, planning becomes simple.
You don’t have to burn the candle at both ends to reach your goals. Instead, you need to be intentional about where you spend your time and energy.
The Planning Process
Set huge lifetime goals. Think up your goals then take them times 10. The sky’s the limit. Make sure your goals really stretch your capabilities. Remember, if you shoot for the moon, you’ll at least end up in the stars.
Now, work backward from those huge goals to what you can do today to reach them. If you’re going to reach huge goal A, where do you need to be in 5 years? To be there in 5 years, where do you need to be in 1 year? What are the detailed steps you need to take to be there in 1 year? Once you have your detailed list of tasks, what quarterly and monthly goals do you need to set? What tasks need to be done when? Finally, put the tasks on your weekly/daily task lists and mark them as a priority to be completed.
One note of caution, you can only realistically focus on 3-5 goals each quarter. You will need to prioritize your goals and decide which ones you want to work on first. Then, assign your goals to the quarter(s) that you want to work on them. This same 3-5 rule applies to your daily task list. Pick the 3 most important goal related tasks and put them at the top of the must do today list. Add 2 more goal-related tasks to the “B-should do” or “C-could do” portions of your task list to work on if you have extra time.
Click the photo to get a copy of our daily planning process. You’ll get the instructions for the daily planning process, with the forms to streamline it, that only takes 15-30 minutes each day. Trust me, those will be the most productive minutes of your day.
Consistently plan each day and before you know it you’ll have accomplished your quarterly goals. Stack successful quarters of consistent daily planning to get all the way to your original huge goals. What do you do if you don’t reach a set of quarterly goals? Assess what your problems were. Did you put too much on your plate? Were you not consistent with your daily planning and doing? Whatever you determine was the reason, note it and figure out a solution. Then, reset your goals. A setback doesn’t mean you have to reevaluate your goals, just the timeline. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again.
On JLC Solutions, I discuss all aspects of planning from the choice of the planners we use, to setting goals, and time/task management. Spend some time on the website finding information that is helpful for you. Check out the training page for courses and a membership that will help you create and maintain a great planning system.
If you have questions or need some advice, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to hear from my readers and will be happy to help you find answers and resources to reach your goals and dreams. After all, you’re the reason I do this.
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