Goal setting, planning, and creating habits are not just a once-a-year activity. While we tend to focus on it at the start of a new year, it’s important to continue the process throughout the year. In this episode, I share practical tools and tips that you can use to get all your dreams, ideas, and plans off the page and into your life, as well as tools to keep up with the habits you are developing.
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Remember that these are tools that have worked for me, but what’s important is what will work for you. Don’t feel like you have to use all the tools I share here. You might decide to do something totally different so this episode may simply be a starting point to help you.
My five favorite goal-setting and planning tools:
There are quarterly sections which will allow you to reassess your goals, make changes, and update as needed.
There are also sections for each month of the year, and something called a Tending List which helps you to keep track of some of your action items you’ve broken down from your big goals. It also allows you to track some daily habits, and as you know from Episode 31, habits are really the key to accomplishing your goals!
Trello is a free online project management tool, and you can also use it as an app on your phone. There are other similar tools out there, such as Asana and Basecamp. I’ve tried and used some of these, but Trello has been the one I’ve fallen in love with.
I appreciate Trello because it’s
- and you can use to do any number of things: manage a big project, plan your weekly meals, manage your business, etc.
If you’ve never used Trello, don’t worry, I’ve got a free video training that you can grab right here so you can see exactly what I’m doing and how to get started for yourself with this free tool!
Access my free training about how to get started with Trello by entering your name and email here:
3. PEN & PAPER
Okay, this might seem silly, but yes, pen and paper are still one of my favorite tools for goals and planning.
Here’s how I use my pen and paper:
- Brain dump – get all my ideas, tasks, and thoughts onto a piece of paper, without worry about having the organized.
- Do some mind mapping – connect ideas and concepts on a piece of paper.
- Map out a plan on paper and then translate into Trello.
4. PHYSICAL PLANNERS
In the past, I’ve used a gorgeous planner from InkWell Press. It’s beautiful, has high-quality paper, and also has places for goal setting and assessing different aspects of your life. If you are an all-in-one type of person and don’t want to spring for the PowerSheets, this might be a good option.
This year, I’m using the 2019 Essential Daily Planner from Amazon because it has the daily, monthly and weekly views. so that I still have space for what I’m doing each day. But it does not have a big section for writing goals, reflecting, etc.
Another paper option is bullet journaling. Some people use a basic blank notebook and create their own planners or calendars. This is called bullet journaling, and it can work really well for some people!
One of our listeners, Tabitha, shared in our Purposeful Leadership FB group about how she uses her bullet journal to help her with habit tracking. Here’s an Instagram pic of what bullet journaling can look like
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5. GOOGLE CALENDAR
When it comes to knowing what appointments I have and how my time is planned for the week, I am a diehard fan of Google Calendar. Why?
There’s a desktop version and phone app. You can add appointments right away as well as those that are repeating. It’s a visual account of where your time is going.
Here’s my process:
- set up any appts I know I have,
- add in my work hours,
- add in my personal hours,
- make sure my goals and priorities are reflected on my calendar,
- make sure there are breaks and white space.
I’ve created a video training of all my hard-learned tips and tricks about how I use Google Calendar, which is available to members of the Confident Leader Club.
My favorite tools for implementing habits:
- Tending List from PowerSheets
- Habit Tracker – make your own in a bullet journal or use a calendar and simply mark off each day that you do the habit
- Built-in habit trackers– YouVersion Bible app will help you keep track of when you reach your bible – you can see how many days in a row you’ve done
- Fitness apps – many will help you track your exercise
- Fitbit – lets me know when I’ve hit my steps, and I can see how many days I’ve done so
- Habit Tracker from James Clear – if you buy Atomic Habits, you can get access to a free PDF habit tracker. P.S. He also has a journal for habit tracking!
Other Episodes Mentioned
- Episode 24: What You Should Do Before the New Year
- Episode 26: The Importance of Dreaming and Creating a Vision for the Future
- Episode 28: Three Practical Approaches to Goal Setting
- Episode 31: The Key to Accomplishing Your Goals
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