Planning tools and hacks that will help you reach your daily and yearly goals
Planning for the New year can be overpowering and sometimes hard to keep up with the plans as seasons and circumstances changes. However, I heard it once before ( probably from one of the books that I read ) that having the right tools and knowing how to use them can save you time, money and headache.
Needless to say that I couldn't agree more with that idea, considering I have put it to the test myself.
Being a wife, mom of four, and running a business is a dream come true but can also be overwhelming and things get derail very quickly if you don't have a plan.
Winston Churchill had this beautiful saying, " Failure to plan is planning to fail" and if according to Murphy's law " anything that can do wrong will go wrong", it is better to be safe than sorry as some would say and plan not only for the future but for every day.
I have been planning my day for a little over six year and I can safely say that if it wasn't for planning I would not be able to raise my family and run a business simultaneously from home. To be able to have a thriving business I had to get disciplined and organized with not only my time but also my children's time.
Both my husband and I work from home and we have the ability to make our schedule which is great but we also have to be disciplined with the time we wake up and go to sleep. Many believe that when you work for yourself that you can sleep in and start the work later. BIG NEGATIVE! You wake earlier and go to sleep later but that's a subject for a different blog article.
So, with that being said, in this article I will be sharing with you tools and tips that helped me and that I believe can also help you plan for a successful year so you can stay on track of your goals and plans.
In order for the tools to work for you, you must be willing to work for your plans. That means you will have to be:
You will have to be resilient in the sense that you have to be aware of your emotions and surroundings, be responsive to your goals and plans and persevere even when things don't go exactly as you planned.
Honestly, this is the main core of staying on top of your goals, everything else is just a compliment but without those three attributes there is no tool in this world that will help you.
Now, if you need help becoming more resilient so you can persevere and not give up on your goals, take a look at the 67 steps: A guide to the good life series on my blog where I share my experience with the program created by the multi millionaire Tai Lopez.
This program changed my life! I went from working a 9 to 5 job to landing my dream job as a blogger and content creator and retiring my husband from working as an electrician. Not to mention all of the valuable lessons that I have learned and I am still putting it into practice til this day.
Tools to help you plan for the new year
1 - Daily Planner
I don't know where I would be without a daily planner! Some people like a digital planner but I prefer a paper planner that I can write on, physically grab it and make adjustments as I need.
Now, whether you prefer the digital or paper method that doesn't really matter. What really matters is that you nurture it as if you were nurturing your own life because YOU ARE!
On your daily planner I would suggest you add EVERY activity that must get done, doesn't matter how big or small the task is, just add it to your planner. That includes doctor appointments, parties, kids events, reminders, etc.
Find a day of the week that works best for you to plan the following week, for me that day is Sunday. I take a portion of my Sunday, usually late afternoon, to plan for the following week. I add trip to the grocery store, writing articles, editing videos and literally everything that needs to be done that week including having some fun!
I like to use different color pens to write different tasks, it helps me visualize things better.I got this set of 100 colored pens on Amazon and I love how it allows me to organize my tasks and even the level of priority by color.
Let's say I have something that is absolutely urgent and must be done first thing in the day, I would write it in red so I automatically look at that first on my planner. I like to use stickers too, mainly because it looks cute but it also motivates me to keep on using the planner and to help draw attention to important tasks and dates.
If you are a visual person, you will probably like the idea of stickers as well. Here's an idea of how I use stickers and colored pens to help me stay organized.
I love my planning method and it works for me but it doesn't have to necessarily be the way you use your planner. Maybe you like doodling on your planners, maybe you like writing motivational quotes, whatever works to keep you engaged with your daily plans.
The goal of your planner is to get all your ideas and tasks from your head and get them to paper so you can better organize them into your life in a way that you will be able to use your time more efficiently.
Now, this is the planner I will be using for the New Year. I love Disney themed anything so when I saw the Disney Villains theme daily planner by Happy Planner available on Amazon I jumped right on it and I am super happy I did. Watch a review I did for it here.
I like to keep my entire life compartmentalize which means that both my business and personal life are all arranged together in one planner. That works for me but if you feel you may get overwhelmed then I would suggest you get a daily planner for your business and one for your personal life.
Need a little help finding the perfect planner for you? Here's a full list with planners and I have also created a few planner collages to get you the one that fits you best.
2 - Vision board
A vision board is simply a visual layout of your goals and it can be displayed in different ways to adjust to each person's needs. One of the ways can be incorporating it with your daily planner so you have easy access to it or you can create an actual board and display somewhere you can see it every day.
I framed my board and hung it right next to my side of the bed, that way every day when I get up from bed, my vision board is the first thing I see. Watch my youtube video how you can create your own vision board.
3 - Financial Planner
Keeping track of your finances is another crucial step to having a successful year. The best way to ensure you aren't spending more than you earn is by keeping track of both your expenses and earnings.
A good financial planner will help you organize your expenses by categories, your bills by dates and even keep track of debt.
In the same list with the planners, you will also find several financial planners available on amazon.
Apart from having a budget and a good financial planner I would also recommend that you set up an auto payment for your regular bills such utilities, mortgage, insurance, etc. This will ensure that those crucial accounts are always taken care of.
Another tip to help you stay on top of your financial game is checking your bank account everyday. Not only you will also know how your electronic financial situation looks like but it will also minimize your chances of getting fraudulent charges on your account.
4 - House Planner
Whether you are a homeowner or not having a house planner is going to help keep everything related to your home organized in one binder.
When was the last time the A/C filter was changed? Just look it up in the house planner to find out. I have created a house management book where you can keep track of all the details about your home, including expenses such as pool cleaning company, landscaping and more. Watch the video here and download the template here.
The home management book will also allow you to easily analyze your home energy and water costs per month, keep track of remodeling and repairs done.
I have also included a tab for contractors and service contacts for future needs.
5 - Meal Planner
If you are like most of us and you cook the majority of your meals then planning and prepping your meals ahead of time is going to save your sanity.
It is also the best way to avoid eating out or reaching for unhealthy foods. There are great meal planners on Amazon or you can also get a digital planner like E-Meals that sends you meal inspirations each week with recipes as well as the option to send your entire grocery list to your favorite grocery store. You can even arrange for the groceries to be picked up or delivered to your home.
This is legit a luxury that allow myself to enjoy because it saves me so much time and it gives me peace of mind knowing that my family is eating healthy foods freshly cooked at home.
6 - Accountability Partner
Get yourself an accountability partner if you are the type of person who needs someone to push you to accomplish your goals. This can be your significant other, your mom or dad, a friend, an accountability coach or an accountability app.
I like to use MeisterTask to remind me of my goals and to-dos. I have the desktop version as well as the app. The great thing about MeisterTask is that you can even share it with others. So if you want to keep track of activities being done as a group and you want to ensure everyone is aware of the information, then you can easily invite people to that specific calendar.
Like MeisterTask there are many others, this is just the one that I prefer using and it works well for me. In my opinion is easy to use and the template is clean and efficient but search around and pick the one that best suits your needs.
7 - Leave yourself a note
Keep yourself inspired and motivated by leaving messages in your office and house. It can be an inspirational quote, a reminder, a task that must be done or even a personal message to yourself.
Use a chalk board or an acrylic writing board to write a message. I use these chalk pens that work on chalk, on mirrors, acrylic boards and pretty much any non porous surface. I love how they work on multiple surfaces but also that they don't rub off on your clothes like chalk does.
These notes are a great motivator for me and so versatile because you can erase and write a new one as often as you wish.
Now that you have the tools you need to get organized, I would recommend that you visit your daily planner everyday, financial planner once a week, meal planner weekly, house planner as needed but at least once a month.
I hope these tips can help inspire you and motivate you to reach for your goals and dreams but also get you to act on them because nothing is acquired by doing nothing.