The #1 reason people don’t get much done is..
..is because they don’t have a plan, so they don’t have an idea what they should be acting upon. I’ve fallen prey to this more times than I’d like to admit. You have this vague idea of what you want to accomplish and then when your head hits the pillow, you realize you haven’t accomplished much. Even though you’ve “done” things. I hate that feeling.
I’ve had this sense of urgency since I was about 12/13 years old. The feeling that I’m running out of time to accomplish everything I’ve set out to accomplish and it has stayed with me to this day. And when I feel like I could’ve done more, it just really bothers me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels they can be more productive and what I’ve found is that when you don’t have a plan, you tend to drift aimlessly.
Don’t be a hamster in a wheel.
I’ve heard it called the “rat race” also. You know what it is. The hamster running full speed in the wheel and yet going nowhere. To be fair, though, the hamster doesn’t really have a choice.
But we do.
Every single day.
So, how do we develop a plan?
First is the decision. I’ve read somewhere before that decision leads to action. I disagree. Decision leads to planning and then planning (hopefully) leads to commitment.
Then, alas! It’s commitment that leads to action.
But, I digress. Now that you’re committed to act, what’s next?
Second is figuring out what you need to do- the planning part.
How Long Does The Plan Need To Be?
Now I know a lot of goal-setting books talk about having a 5 to 10 year plan. I’m going to be frank with you guys: I cannot do that. There are just so many things that can happen in a year that can cause the need for a goal to be adjusted. If this is possible in a year, what more in 5 to 10 years? Plus, desires change. That’s my biggest reason for not having a super-long term plan, point blank. When I was in my early teens, I wanted cars, multiple houses, jets, the whole 9. That was how I measured success.
It’s a bit different now that I’m almost in my 30’s. I want to build a “dream” school instead of having a McLaren and a Ferrari and a Rolls Royce. I’d rather invest my money in things that will help the world rather than investing in a mega yacht. Nothing wrong with those things and if those are your dreams, by all means, please go for it. But, those just aren’t my desires anymore.
It’s not to say that I don’t know where I wanna be or the type of life I wanna live–I still want success, financial freedom, and the ability to enjoy life to the fullest. I just don’t equate enjoying life to the fullest to having 44 cars and 9 houses anymore. So, yeah, this is why I don’t plan that far ahead. I detail plan for a year. Anything after that, I just need to know if what I’m doing yearly will contribute to my general idea of life 5 to 10 years down the road.
Dividing Up The Tasks
With that said, here’s how I do my planning:
1. I create yearly goals. Then I work backwards. I break it down to every 3 months (quarterly). Then I break it down further to monthly, then weekly, then finally daily.
What would you like to accomplish in a year? What needs to happen in order for you to hit your goal? List everything down. If you don’t know, take your best guess. Ask people who have what you want. What did they do? What could they have done better?
2. Once you have the list, break it down to a three-month block. Take your list and prioritize.
What do you need to do first in order to get you moving on to the next tasks? Write them down. Months 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12.
3. When you have it broken down to 3-month blocks, take the first block and break the tasks down to monthly tasks.
Same as Step 2. Which tasks do you need to do in the first month to help you complete tasks in the second month and so on and so forth?
4. Then, when you have your monthly tasks, break it down weekly. Once weekly is done, have a daily to-do list.
Try and avoid perfection.
You don’t have to have it down to a T. Besides, you might have to adjust anyway. What you’ll have is just a guideline so you can take actionable steps every day. Or at least weekly. This way, you won’t be left wondering how you should spend your time.
Starting the first of January, I started writing in my new journal. It’s my activity notebook. I write what I have accomplished every day and, every Sunday, I write my weekly goals so I know how to structure my daily goals. And, every 1st of the month, I plan on writing my monthly goal so I know how to structure my weekly goals.
For added motivation, I like to put Day 1 of 365, Day 2 of 365, so on. At the time of this post, it’s already Day 5 of 365. (Is anyone else extremely pumped for what’s to come this year, though?!)
Also, I bought a Best Self Co. Planner. 😀 I’ve never used it, but if you guys would like to try it with me, you can purchase it here:
(Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link. If you do purchase the journal from this site, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you.)
Do you have any goal-setting tips to share? Comment below if you’re excited about what you’re going to accomplish this year! And, if you liked this post, please share with your friends and/or subscribe for the latest updates. Thanks!