Instead of our regularly scheduled program, this week I am going to open my planning sessions for the new year.
So I’ve taken a look back. Now I have a blank landscape ahead. I made a list of 100 things I’d like to do in 2013. We’ll call these contours in the landscape in front of me.
But where am I going?
Once I know where I am, I can starting thinking about where I want to be. I can look forward to the year ahead and dream about what’s to come.
My planner starts looking forward by giving me tools. Such as strategies for when things just aren’t going well: by making a list of solutions, I have a place to start when all I want to do is crawl into bed and start the day over.
The personal planner encourages me to make days for things that I need more of in my life. The examples are things like “early to bed” days and spa days and switching off days. I thought about it. I need more time away from my computer, so I have decided I will have a no-tech day. I love my Sunday spa nights. I like restoring order to my house on Thursdays. I want a movie night with my family.
The business planner has asked me specifically about where I want to be…and then how I plan to get there. My only complaint about the business planner is it left out the instructions from the personal planner about how to make the goals! But I know how…
In each area of my life, I have been asked for what my goals are. What are my financial goals? How abut body? Work/business? Creativity? Spiritual? Relationships?
I put the big things down here. I know no one will read them, so I can dream big. It is here that I can admit how much weight I want to lose. It is here that I can write down that I want to publish one of these books I have been working on. It is here that I write down where I want to take my business…and where I see it taking me in the future. (Hint: it means no more 9 to 5)
And then what? I get to break these down so that I can take action. They come out of the realm of dreams and become real points on the landscape. And there are faint paths I can follow to each of them.
The business planner is more specific: where do I want to be financially? And how can I get there? Where do I want to be publicized? How many products do I have to launch? How big do I want my social outlets to be? The dreams are there, but they are then backed into specific actions I can take.
I can tell you now exactly when my blog vacations will be. They are on my calendar.
I can tell you when the products will launch. They are on my calendar.
I can tell you how many blog posts I will write, how many newsletters I will send, and how many guest posts I will do.
It feels good to be concrete.
Building the Habits
Left to my own devices, I am not very focused. I could sit down to print a single document and end up spending an entire day researching something I didn’t even consider the day before. And we won’t even talk about LOL Cats. I removed all the games from my computer because I was playing them. (Same for my iPad).
So I need structure. But the structure has to be of my own making. So making a list of habits is a great way to stretch myself.
The planner starts out with Zen Habit’s habit list, and then shows Leonie’s habits. I make mine so the bar is so low it is barely effort, because if I make it too much, I won’t do it. My own habits have been pretty consistent over the past three years:
- Exercise 10 minutes per day
- Focus and single-task
- Plan the night before
- Be positive or neutral
- Choose your activity
- Drink 6 glasses of water
- Eat 3 fregges (fruits or veggies)
- Write every day
- Clean/clear the house 10 minutes per day
This year I’ve added two more: bed at 10:30 and be grateful.
The business planner also has habits that apply to business. Some of them are the same for me: focus and single task; write every day. But added into that are choosing 2 things to do first before doing anything else. (These are calle MITs: Most Important Tasks).
These habits are going to get me moving in the right direction, instead of me running in circles.
Why My Calendar Is So Important
This is the first year I have used the Neu Year calendar. I love this calendar because I can see the whole year at once, and it’s laminated so I can change my mind. I was able to figure out when I was taking blog breaks, and space them evenly throughout the year. I can see when product releases are coming up, and when I need to get applications in.
Without that whole year plan, my life would descend into a one-week focus.
So the dreams are written down. The landscape is out there, and I have a general path to follow. It doesn’t mean I have to follow it exactly, but I can use it as a guide.
Tomorrow I will talk about what this means for my home life and my blog.
Photo by davedehetre
My Tools For Success
- The Personal Incredible Life Planner
- The Business Incredible Life Planner
- My NeuYear Calendar
- Gel pens, with a healthy dose of glitter
- Dry erase markers in fun colors