Currently I am using an Erin Condren Life Planner (horizontal) to plan. I used the vertical Life Planner two years ago, switched to a different planner, and then came back to Erin Condren. There is just something about these planners that is motivating enough to actually use them, even for me, someone who has a strong hatred for the vertical planner. On top of the Life Planner, I also use a Moleskin notebook for bullet journaling.
I believe a major key to success is planning. This gives your brain motivation and a goal to work toward. Simply write down your goals and work towards them every single day. Plan your weeks so you know what to expect. If you’re trying to lose weight, plan your meals and workouts ahead of time. If you’re trying to save money, plan each check and expense. Planning in this way holds you accountable for your actions.
Don’t think that your agenda is only meant to fill with meetings and appointments. I can only imagine that the majority of us are not that busy. I work a 9 to 5 job where I have no quarterly meetings, no business trips, and I only go to the doctor once a year. Still, I am able to fill my agenda just fine. I have plenty of bills, goals, meals, workouts, and to-do’s.
Let me break this down for you :
Bills/Checks : Most of us know the days we are expected to get paid and bills have set due dates. In order to stay up on expenses, plan the due dates, and plan the days you will pay, preferable before the due date. Also plan other expenses ahead of time like gas and food. Once you pay for something, make note. You will be able to track every penny that comes and goes.
Goals : The goals that people reach are the ones that they work day and night for, the ones that are on their mind all the time. The best way to make a goal a reality is to keep it on your mind always. Everything you do should be in a conscious or unconscious effort to reach your dream. Illustrate your goal and form a game plan everyday in order to get one step closer.
Fitness : Plan your workouts ahead of time and write them down either on your phone or in a notebook. This way you have a guideline of what you will be doing while at the gym, and so you have a record of what you have done. Also keep track of the amount of weight, reps, or miles done. This will keep motivation high when you can look back and see how far you have come.
Meals : Plan and/or prep meals ahead of time. Personally, I hate eating leftovers. So what works best for me is keeping a stock of recipes (and ingredients) for the week so I can quickly whip together something fresh. For other people, meal prepping on a Sunday afternoon and eating that for an entire week works much better. Pick what works best and stick to it… or not. Regardless, I recommend planning. Having to run to the grocery store at 9pm so I have lunch for the next day has happened to me one too many times. Or worse, I don’t go to the store and end up eating out for the next 4 meals.
Appts/Meetings/Trips/etc : Make sure to leave room in your Planner for the extra things like appointments, meetings, or vacations (the boring stuff).
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