How To Create A Simple Goal Focused Weekly Plan
Everywhere you look on the internet people are talking about being more productive, working smarter not harder, and all the ways to achieve your goals. There is so much content and you can probably find a million ways to go about planning and using planners. I know I have scoured the internet looking for the best/easiest ways to create a weekly plan. I honestly came up with a lot of basic information on how to focus on your goals and set priorities which is all great info and necessary but there wasn’t a lot on HOW to actually go about the planning aspect.
I have always used a planner either in school or at work but I’ve struggled to use a planner in my day to day life. I love the idea of it but to be completely honest I just don’t have THAT much stuff going on in my life that I need to keep track of in a planner. I’ve tried so many planners and so many different ways of scheduling and nothing stuck. It felt pointless to have a planner that I essentially wrote a to do list in!
Now, none of this is to say that planners don’t work because they do. In the future if I have more thins going on in my day to day life then a planner might work great. If you like using planners and they work for you then awesome, keep doing it! I just found that as much as I wanted to use those pretty planners it just wasn’t working.
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How my planning journey has evolved
The planner saga
So like I said, I tried the whole planner thing and I mean I tried for YEARS. Sometimes I would buy a planner at the start of the year, forget about it completely, decide that specific planner isn’t working, and then buy a new planner like 3 months in. Guess what? I would then forget about that planner too and then try to find a new, better planner that would work for me. You should seriously see how many half used planners I have kicking around my house. It drives my fiancé crazy!!
My go at bullet journaling
I have tried other peoples planning techniques and sometimes they do work for a time but nothing has actually ever stuck. I want low effort planning but still want it to look pretty… For that reason I wanted to give bullet journaling a try! If you know anything about bullet journaling then you will know how creative and artsy some people get with it. I was immediately thrown off because that is just not me. I literally cannot draw ANYTHING to save my life. So, my bullet journaling adventure stopped there after maybe a month of trying to be my best creative self.
It was really discouraging because I felt like a failure but also I looked at all these other people and thought why can’t I be that creative? Why can’t I draw a cute flower? I even bought a calligraphy kit to learn to do those cool letters. It was short lived. That is just not my talent.
Back to the basics baby
I eventually gave up all hope that I could ever be that super organized goddess that I see on YouTube and just grabbed a notebook and a pen. I have always been very organized at school and at work but in my day to day life I just couldn’t keep up.
I started making basic to-do lists. One for just the daily stuff you gotta do (dishes, pay the credit card, make that appointment) and one for my projects/goals (create content, edit blog post, respond to comments). I would usually make a big list for the week and then highlight anything that needed to happen sooner than later and get to work ticking everything off. And you know what? It was working. I was getting things done. It was basic and even though it was not pretty, it was keeping me accountable. So that is the start to my journey of creating a weekly plan that works for me.
My weekly planning techniques
My weekly plan was inspired by Angie Bellemare. She has a YouTube channel that is just fantastic and I highly recommend it. She also came out with a planner this year that is her exact way of planning. I love her and love her methods so I jumped on it right away.
After using the planner for a few weeks the same thing happened as it did before. This particular planner was too much upkeep for me. I kept falling behind and then would miss days. So it wasn’t working but I loved the idea behind the planning techniques so I started to shape it into my own version. This is what I came up with and what is working for me now.
How I actually create my weekly plan
First off, the most important part about this weekly planning technique is the goals. I focus the majority of my planning around 10 goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I have 10 big goals for the year that I break down into monthly goals each month. The monthly goals are written into my weekly plan.
I use a basic notebook. Personally I like the grid style notebooks but anything would work. This is how I do my weekly layout:
[GOAL FOR MONTH] – [PROGRESS BAR] – [WEEKLY TASK]
I write the monthly goal on the right hand side. If you are like me you may like to color code the goals but not necessary! I then draw a little progress bar with 7 boxes for 7 days of the week. On the left hand side I write 1 thing I can do this week to get closer to that goal.
As you can see I wrote things like posting to Instagram, blog posts, working out a certain amount of times, etc. Those are the tasks that get added to my weekly plan!
I personally like keeping track of my goals like they are habits. So I will color in the box when I work on said goal or make progress in some way! It’s great feedback when I look back at the end of the week and see I didn’t make progress on a certain goal or didn’t work on it as much as I thought I did.
I added some stickers and fun colors to make it cute. I have tried lots of different pens and markers and these markers have been my favorite! I like the decorating process but not so much drawing so stickers have been perfect!
The weekly to do list
I incorporated my basic to do list because it was simple and it worked. I write out everything I can think of that I need to do. Anything from chores, appointments, goal focused tasks, etc. I also add to it as the week goes on if new things come up. I use it as kind of a brain dump area so I don’t need to keep it all in my head. I don’t always get it all done but that’s okay because then I’ll just roll it over to the next week!
Looking at the whole week
I got this weekly planner pad and it’s been so helpful (I cant find this exact one anymore but here is a similar one). Remember when I said I don’t like planners because I don’t have that much stuff to do? Well this is perfect because I just note down my few tasks for each day, making sure to have those goal focused tasks on there. I usually have 3 or 4 things a day. Anything more is just too much. And on days where I have more time I can just go back to my master to do list and start ticking extra things off!
Tips and tricks if you want to try this type of weekly planning yourself
- Pick a day to sit down and make your weekly spread (I do Sundays)
- Keep your to-do list and weekly planning pad in sight somewhere like on your desk, on your night stand, or wherever you will see it. I keep mine on the living room table and will take it with me to my desk when I work.
- Get some fun pens and stickers to make it more exciting and creative
- Decide if you like keeping track of your goals with daily boxes or if you want to just check in at the end of the week – keep in mind that sometimes we forget what we did or when we did it so I personally think it’s better to check in everyday if you can.
- You’ll see on my weekly spread picture that some of the boxes have little lines crossed in them and that’s because I don’t always want to get all my pens out so I’ll just mark what I did that day and get the pens out when I have more time!
Doing what works best for you
At the end of the day you need to find a way that works best for you. Maybe a planner is that way. Maybe a simple to do list is best. It really just comes down to a) if you can stay consistent with it and b) if you are seeing results. The rest is just the in-between and whatever works is best! So remember that there is no one way to plan and my weekly planning techniques are not any better than yours! You do you ❤
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How do you plan your week?