Yes. I admit. I have an obsession. I love all things stationery and have a special fondness for journals and planners. In 2018, I worked to use bound paper in lots of forms...at last count and final count, I put pen to paper in 9 different journals!
Considering one of my goals for 2019 is to have measurable goals, I spent the last two weeks selecting my tools for the New Year. I thought I would share my research with you. Here's where I landed.
1) Moleskin soft cover notebooks (I like the grid boxes best) for all my big ideas...and I have lots of those. My Moleskin (www.moleskin.com) notebooks are also where I take extensive notes for planning purposes. I actually use my Moleskin as a bullet journal with an index and page numbers.
2) The Day Designer Day Designer wins as my daily planner. It is hard to find a robust planner that has plenty of room for keeping track of meetings and meeting notes. This tool gives you room for identifying your three "big rocks", keeping track of expenses and expressing gratitude.
Day Designer’s tagline says it all..."Find focus, increase productivity, and open up time for what truly matters most!"
3) And last, but not least, is the Five for Life Planner (https://fiveforlife.com) designed by my friends Molly and Angela. I've actually sent this planner to my besties as a holiday gift this year!
This journal has a unique focus. "Five for Life™ is a philosophy, a lifestyle and a plan to build the habits of a HAPPIER, longer life. Backed by science, the five daily actions are proven to increase longevity and improve the overall quality of life."
“Never begin the day until it is finished on paper.” ― Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker
I love the idea of having a journal to look back upon my day. The journal gives me space to reflect on the following action items: ‘moving, learning, sharing, giving and letting go.
With a good planning tool in hand, here are some suggestions on how to approach setting goals for 2019, and making planning a positive experience.
1) Review the Past Year
To plan for the year ahead, take some time to review your 2018. Yesterday, I took my 9 notebooks and went through them page by page. You can do this if you use electronic tools as well.
Look for those great ideas that you jotted down but ran out of time to execute upon. Document the names of people you had intended to connect within 2018. Find a way to carry over your best thinking into the new year.
2) Plan How to "Sharpen the Saw" in 2019. Google and Outlook calendars allow us to schedule our appointments. But, how do we tackle planning for other areas of our lives?
Stephen Covey coined the term "Sharpen the Saw" in his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." This seventh habit is about seeking continuous improvement and renewal professionally and personally. The framework is simple. One hour of every day should be set aside to take care of one of the following areas of well being:
1) Physical - eating, exercising and resting
2) Social/Emotional - making social and meaningful connections with others
3) Mental - learning, reading, writing and teaching
4) Spiritual – spending time in nature, expanding the spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer or service
Don't get overwhelmed with this one. I love the idea of picking one thing that will make a difference in helping you live your best life. The key is committing to the practice of this approach. Any of the journals I mentioned above can provide you with the structure for planning this in 2019.
3) Pick One Big Hairy Audacious Goal for the Year. Go for it! I know it’s scary but it is also motivating to plan for something big that could be a game changer for you personally or professionally.
Write this down! Write it in the front of your planner or make it your screensaver. Find a way to remind yourself about this on at least a weekly basis.
4) Share Your Goals with Others. There is a ton of research out there on accountability partners. Having goals shouldn't be a solo activity. People who are successful in their lives share their goals with others.
Accountability accelerates your performance. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability. What they discovered is that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you share it with someone else. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a coach or other mentor, you will increase your chance of success to almost 95%!
Working with a coach ensures that you have an accountability partner. As a coach, my goal is to help you design an internal compass that will guide you in setting priorities and plans. Agreeing to an accountability process ensures that you will get to where you want to go in the year ahead.