5 Ways To Level Up Your 2019 Planning Strategy
If you are reading this, you’re getting to know another side of me that I don’t often share online, but those who know me in real life know I always have a journal near by and I love to do major things spontaneously like start a business, redo an entire website overnight, or hop on a plane to Ghana. Text me at 11 pm to book an airfare to Kenya for the next year and I’ll do it (true story). Ask if I wanna go out dancing until sunrise and I’m there- even if you cancel last minute. It’s a personality trait I get from my momma. She is such a young and vibrant spirit who has always encouraged us to go full force with our dreams. Even with that type of support, dream chasing can be a struggle.
I’ve just emerged/am still emerging from what felt like four months of defeat mindset. Chasing your dreams is not for the faint of heart. Your health, your financial stability, your creative inspiration, your discipline to not only believe what you want is possible, but to also research and commit to making it happen is all your responsibility. It can easily become overwhelming if you don’t parse goals into baby steps or take time to check in with self.
Now that November just passed and I’ve made time to reflect on who I’m becoming, set some new goals and asses how I’ve been doing overall, I find myself back at my notebooks. Yes, multiple. I have a notebook for writing my dreams (literal dreams that I have while sleeping), a general notebook for everything else (business planning, affirmations, daily recaps, etc.) and for the first time in a very long time, I have a notebook planner. Looking back at each notebook helps me see how far each goal has come along and where I need to reassess and re-strategize. It all sounds technical, but it’s actually an emotional process. I am more grateful than resentful to be in the process of becoming. I am so blessed to be sitting in sunshine, belly full, with unlimited access to clean water and time to plan my dreams. I have given up lots to be here as well, and I am certainly not where I want to be, but I’m in a far better place than where I’ve ever been regarding getting clear on my worth and agency as a businesswoman.
What makes journaling and planning my fave is seeing what God does with my plans. Sure, I am a fan of writing down affirmations, writing weekly intentions and taking time to visualize exactly where I want to be, but that shit doesn’t work all the time. The real work lies in being OK with things not manifesting the way you’d hoped and trusting that God’s got your best planned. For me, true progress is a result of consistent daily practice. It’s taken months, sometimes years for me to begin to see any of my goals bloom. I still get chills when I look back on my bucket list, read what I wrote years ago and have seen actually come to fruition. There is a certain awe in hindsight, in recalling where my mind was when, unbeknownst to me, a huge opportunity was right around the corner. I’ve had a couple of those this year and I can honestly say, my head was in the books when the opportunities came along. I was planning ahead and my mind was set on executing goals. I had plan A, plan B and plan C on deck and though some of my backup plans were ridiculous, they prepared me for that moment when God swept in and blessed me with an assist. The key is to stay trying. Here are my tips on how to help you try better:
1. Use What works for you
The Horacio Printing planner* that my dear friend Pricelis gave me this March has made a huge difference in the way I plan. I didn’t get it ‘til march so I started using it late and don’t use it all the time, but when it comes to macro goals and to-do-lists, I love having a written log to look back on. This planner is a Christian faith-based planner, so for those who are not about that life, this may not be the one for you, but it has great structure and affirmative reminders. I’d love to hear about which planners you use in the comments below. It’s graph features make progress tracking easy with visual layouts. I am already planning to purchase another planner for 2019 and would love to hear your suggestions. I’m looking for one that has a lunar calendar and pockets!
2. Know Your Why
I’ve just finished reading Jen Sincero’s wildly popular book You Are A Badass At Making Money, and I resonated with her “ Know Your Why” mantra so deeply. Running a business dedicated to affirming purpose in our community requires I know the why of my business, but when it came to identifying my personal “why” I was not as clear. Now I’ve begun to write down my why and list potential road blocks and how to overcome them before I delve into any new project. Knowing my why keeps me going as I write blog posts that may not get many views or craft creative proposals that won’t necessarily land me the job. I know that what we’re building with Purposerosa is larger than any of my fears or frustrations. I encourage you to take some time to decide why you’re embarking on a goal or new venture in the first place. Make it very clear and simple to remember. Remind yourself daily why what you’re hoping to manifest matters - it’ll sustain you when times get tough (and trust me, they will).
3. Be Real
If you are anything like me, lofty dreams can become detailed and complex quickly. I get overwhelmed with new ideas often and when I do, I freeze up, over -analyze, become agitated and then look up days or weeks later wondering where time went! These days my calendar is more spacious. I’ve experienced burnout and it’s not a nice feeling. I’m doing better at giving myself space to consider how much time I need to realistically delve into a task, complete and most of all, promote it.
4. Stay Inspired
Sounds cheesy, but damnit, this may be one of the most important tips on this list. It’s how I have the energy, stamina and will to create what I see in my mind. Whether it’s designing our repurposed jewelry collections, conceptualizing and producing our postcards and greeting cards, or planning, filming, editing and transcribing our ongoing #PurposeIs Interview Series, I’ve gotta be invested in and excited by the end result of what I’m working on. If you’re following our Instagram Stories, you know I gain inspiration from podcasts, but lately I’ve been looking up artists that I adore, working out to get my endorphins up, and reading books that edify and educate me. What keeps you inspired?
5. Be Patient
Dreams I’ve put into motion and wrote months ago are just now beginning to take shape - far from complete but the groundwork is being laid. Your dreams won’t come to fruition over night. I call this phase seed mode. It’s where I’m effectively choosing which seeds I’m planting and committing to working on nurturing in the year ahead. I am growing my vision, defining my why, repeating my why, hydrating my skin, feeding my mind with best business and finance management practices, researching travel for work opportunities and generally doing my best to seek community to both support and inspire me as I work on my dreams.
So there you have it folks, my top five tips to staying on top of your planning game, and the name of the game is tailoring you needs to your realistic output. If you only have the weekends to plan, make it a point to clear your Saturday schedule to plan for the week ahead. If you are building your side hustle while you balance a 9-5, decide what days you will dedicate solely to growing your side hustle. Above all, stay inspired. Whether that’s with a digital community, real life friends, autobiographies of people you admire or pep talks in the mirror, find what works for you. We are all working on something, the better we can help one another with the tools we use, the more we’ll know. What is your planning routine, or what areas of planning do you struggle with? Let me know in the comments below.
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