Goal Planning for the First Time
By Sharon Gubby - Design Team Lead
I love the last few days of December. The frenetic activity of Christmas is over and there's a feeling of expectation in the air. A new planner sits waiting to be setup and filled in, sticker sets are chosen and the planning begins. But one thing still fills me with a sense of unease is goal setting! In recent years a lot of time has been taken up with the day to day running of 2 busy children's schedules and all that school life entails but this year the balance has tipped and there is less for me to fill the extra time with and more time to decide what I want to do going forward. It's an odd feeling and as I sat down to plan my goals and decide what they might be and how they looked I realised I don't have a system for goal planning for me!
I wanted to get it right so I set off in search of Goal planning inspiration. I wanted something I can easily keep going and fits in with my current planning style...and I can use stickers in too. There are lots of options, some such as "Power sheets by Cultivate" offer complete workbooks that take you through a whole process of reflection and self discovery and I think that next year this might be something that I want to do and this will now be added to my goals list. Others like the passion planner offer a series of simpler, but none less effective sheets and questions to find out what it is you want to do. I have taken bits and pieces from all of the videos and planners I have seen and this is what I've come up with.
I bought an A5 Bullet journal by Scribbles that matter - it combines the traditions bullet journal dot grid format with preplanned pages that lend themselves easily to Goal setting. I started by decorating the yearly overview with my watercolour Derwent Intense pencils and adding any events I knew were coming up or things that I wanted to achieve in a particular month. Some of them are realistic and some of them are random off the wall thoughts that probably won't come to anything but I something I noticed from the Passion Planner timed exercises was that they tell you not to limit yourself to purely real goals - the more way out thoughts and goals can be a great source of creativity and give an insight into what's in the back of your brain waiting to be given wings.
There are monthly "future logs" and I'm going use these to block out bigger patches of time that are needed for project prep and planning. For instance I started planning Christmas and all its fun events earlier than normal in 2018 by accident as we had a family event in late November and that made us decorate early. As a result I enjoyed the lead up to the festivities much more because I was better prepared. So in 2019 I want to add Christmas pre-planning as a home goal and I've allocated time already for making this happen.
After this comes the "Goals" page. The weekly sections give a perfect layout for 6 sections so I chose 3 specific goals as well of 3 areas of my life to concentrate on and improve this year. More fun with my Derwent supplies decorated the pages and then added the goals - I've now added some smaller tasks in as "milestones" in those goals. I loved being able to use oddments of my favourite collections from EBDUK to highlight the main goals.
The monthly sections come next - a title page and 8 habits to track for a month. January is a work in progress and is allowing me time to find out what works well and what is sustainable. As my weekly schedule is always very fluid habits are never something that sit in neat spaces in my day so a tracker is a great idea - something new to me really.
The pre-printed monthly monthly pages give me a space to add a focus word/area for the day or on a day when nothing went as planned to add a reason why for posterities sake! A great place to use my rainbow washi and who doesn't need a well placed Penguin Joe to keep them motivated.
Finally I've re-labelled the weekly layout. Each day has been relabelled for a goal/area of focus - I'm not worried that the dates still show - and each week I'm adding in the small tasks I want to achieve that will move that forward. The to-do section is for my focus for the week. 3 weeks in and I'm feeling positive - this week I have tasks left over from last week as I suffered from a migraine and so I've added those into their correct areas in red to show they are overdue. It wasn't pretty so this is last week instead! I've still added tasks for this week but kept them smaller. A few more random favourites from my sticker stash and I'm good to go.
I'm really happy with where I've got to and that I feel in control of my goals, rather than them lurking in the foggy outskirts of my schedule - they now have a place and a focus. It's not a perfect system but I feel it's sustainable and I can build on these beginnings to complete my goals.
How do you plan your goals? head on over to the EllieBeth Facebook group and join in the conversations.