When you sit down to plan your week, it's good to have a starting off point. It's one thing to begin with the end in mind, and it's another to know where to begin in the first place. Today's post covers those things that will make planning easier.

When it's easy to plan, you're going to plan more often.

Planning is the way to more time.

I think we all want more time.

So, let's get started.

There are three basic steps.

The first step covers knowing yourself. You need to know what your roles and responsibilities are, as well as your current habits and tendencies.

The second step is to know your WHY. If you have already uncovered your personal mission statement, you know what to measure your decisions against. A personal mission, or your why, makes it so much easier to know if you should say yes or no. 

The third step is Habit 2 from Stephen Covey. That is, begin with the end in mind. You want to keep your end goal in focus. I'm not talking about the end of this week. I'm talking about the end of your life. This relates back to your personal mission, but it's more of a map to how you are going to go about your mission.

Then, you can take who you are, with where you want to go, and create a plan for getting there.

step one: know yourself

It can be easy to lose yourself in the day to day life of shuffling kids to school, cleaning and cooking, and caring for the little ones. But, if you want to start planning your days and taking a hold of your time, you need to know yourself. 

What is your style of planning? Do you like to plan or do you like to be more spontaneous? Do you like to journal? Do you make lists? How do you tackle your list? Think about how you like to plan. This will help you decide on what planner will be best for you.

What are your roles and responsibilities? You need to be clear on what these are. Nothing will work out until those are fulfilled. That is the truth. They are non-negotiable. It's up to you to decide how they will be fulfilled, based on what you value. There is a workbook in the Resource Library that will walk you through this. It is called Category Worksheets.

What are your current habits? Do you like your habits? Do you create lists that never get checked off? Do you add things to your list that you already did just so you can check them off? Do you tend to wait to the last minute to get things done? Do you like to do a little cleaning everyday, or would you rather get it all done on one day so the rest of the week is free? Pay attention to how you are right now. Knowing how you already operate will enable you to create a plan that works the way you do.

Spend some time journaling these. If you don't like how you do any of them, you have the power to decide to change how you are. When you know how you want to plan, how you want to show up, and how you act naturally, you are ready to move onto the next step.

step two: know your mission

What's your WHY? Knowing your personal mission statement can seem like such an impossible thing to uncover. But, if you are super clear on the first step above, you are pretty close to your mission. Knowing your mission will help you in so many different ways in your life. As I already mentioned, it will make decisions a lot easier. It will hold your values and it will inspire you to keep moving forward. 

What's your compelling reason? Your mission will provide you with your compelling reason. This will help you eliminate excuses. If you are going to plan, and you are going to be effective, you need to make sure you execute your plan. Your compelling reason will be your accountability partner.

step three: Know where you're going

What's your map? Begin with the end in mind. If you have step one and step two done, you're well on your way to knowing where you want to end up. You have to first visualize what you want your life to be like.

What do you want your life to be about? Think about your life as it is right now. If your life was a book, what would the title be? Do you like that? Is that a book you would read? If you don't like it, think about what you would like the title of your life to read, and find a way to make that your reality.

What would you be so proud of yourself for doing? When you look back on your life, what is one thing you would be so glad that you did? This is what you can set a goal toward. It can be having something or being someone. If it all worked out, what would you be so proud of yourself for doing?

Put it together

Take the time to understand who you are and how you work. Give yourself time to uncover your personal mission. Then, decide where you want to go. Who you want to be. What you want to accomplish.

This is your starting off point. This is how you begin to plan. Because now, you can sit down and plan your life. You can set a ten year goal and break that down into what needs to happen in one year. Break up your one year goal into what needs to happen every quarter. Your quarterly goal will determine your monthly goal. And from there, you will know what you need to focus on this week.

Do not trip up over the word goal. You don't have to set out to make money or run a marathon. You can have a goal to be the best mom ever. Your version of a best mom will be different from someone else's version. It's all based on your values. It's all based on your mission. Go through these three steps, and setting a goal will be an easy task.

Tell me in the comments: 

What is the hardest part about planning for you?