Welcome to the third part of Goal Planning. If you’re just joined us, it’s not too late to start with the first email in this series on goal planning. The hard part is over and now and it’s time to learn how to plan a date for it and get your goals into a datebook or electronic calendar. We’ll do the following:
- Plan your “me” and “we” time into the year
- Break your goals down into smaller tasks
- Plan out the first three months of the year
This post is updated from an original that was posted in December 2015.
Plan Me and We Time
I’m sure some are shocked by the thought of putting ‘me’ time first, but it’s so important. Along with any spouse that may be in your life, you need to plan out vacation time, birthdays and anniversaries and any other special dates that may happen during the year. Trust me, it will be easy to fit everything around your ‘me’ time. It’s much harder to add that time in once you’ve filled the calendar with everything else.
This is also something you should do for work. Schedule a meeting into your calendar, always for the same time if possible. Daily is preferable, but at least one is better than none. You are scheduling yourself some time in which to not be disturbed. No phone calls, no drop-in meetings, and the door is closed. It’s your time.
Maybe it’s just 15 minutes to organize your day. Or to take a break between different projects you’re working on. You might even arrange to spend 60 minutes just focused on your most important project without any interruptions.
Break Your Goals Down into Smaller Tasks
Two weeks ago, the work of creating your lifetime goals was completed. Last week this was broken down further into 5, 3, and 1-year segments. Now is the time to start planning the actual work which will take those goals one step closer to reality.
For instance, if you plan to write a novel this year, think about how many words you want to write and when you want it completed. Then divide that time into days and weeks. Figure out how many words you need to complete each week and each day.
Sometimes, things come up that interfere with being able to complete what you planned for one day, which is why it’s good to have a weekly goal. On some days, you will probably exceed your goals. But the breakdown gives you your minimum expectations.
Now figure out when you plan to do this each day and get it into your calendar.
Now, do this with all your one-year goals, breaking them down into manageable components. Include any events from the Me/We Time section above. Any vacation planning, party planning, etc. need to be included here so you don’t miss it.
Plan Out Your First Three Months
Here’s an easy step. Don’t plan anything in your calendar to start earlier than January 5th. (Unless you have an event that you need to plan.) Finish out the holiday week and start on January 5th, or for those who like their calendars to start on Monday, then start on January 6th. This way, what you start has a full week ahead.
Also, if this is your first-time planning goals like this, it helps to move this away from any connection with New Year’s resolutions. Your goals are not resolutions, they are meant to be fluid and can change depending on circumstances. Resolutions are usually hard and fast (until they fail on January 1st.)
Some guidelines for filling out the calendar:
Do give yourself a break by not filling the first week up with too many tasks.
Do include your plans for your special events.
Do remember to include white space or downtime in your days and weeks.
Don’t feel a need to follow my rules exactly, find what works for you.
Now it’s your turn. Transfer your information into your calendar. It’s good to try to plan out three months at a time, this leaves you enough room to either change course or slow down if life throws you a curveball. You have to be flexible when that happens. Do just what you can and don’t try to accomplish it all.
For instance, in September and October of 2015, any plans I had to increase my social media presence went out the door when my sister became ill and died. I was just barely getting out two blog posts a week and that was all I could manage. That’s why I encourage you to plan some downtime, make room for the unexpected.
Next week we’ll start having fun by creating a vision board to support your goals.
If you are looking for a datebook and you’re not sure what to use, I recommend the Passion Planner. It has monthly calendars and weekly pages along with other pages to help you determine and follow your goals. With additional blank pages, you can also create mini Vision Boards right into your datebook.