As the saying goes: a goal without a plan is just a wish.
In order to turn goals into reality, you need hard work and an action plan. The tool to help you with this goal setting process is a goal planner.
If you’ve never used a goal planner before, you might be wondering what the fuss is all about. What’s so special about a goal planner? And how is it any different from a daily calendar or a plain old notebook?
A daily planner is great for scheduling tasks, errands, deadlines, etc. But a goal planner is specifically designed to help you identify goals and design action steps into achieving them.
Here are some of the reasons you may want to use a goal planner over a daily planner, if you're serious about being successful:
Setting short and long-term goals
A daily calendar or planner is useful for managing your day-to-day affairs. But if you’re looking to keep track of your short and long-term goals, a goal planner is your best bet.
With a goal planner, you can stay apprised of the big picture as well as the micro actions that go into achieving a goal. You can set monthly, weekly, and daily targets and check on them regularly to confirm that you’re making headway.
The key difference between a goal planner and a regular planner is that a goal planner helps you put your goals at the forefront. You’re more intentional and strategic about your time, which helps ensure that you’re taking small steps towards the finish line.
You can also use your goal planner to schedule errands, tasks, and other daily items, since this can help you better manage your overall schedule and be realistic about how much time and energy you have, and how much you can take on.
A goal planner enhances your productivity by helping you focus, identify your priorities, and stay organized.
One of the reasons that we tend to dilly dally on tasks is that we’re not sure where to start. A goal planner like the Ink+Volt Goal Planner asks you to identify your tasks for the week ahead and your top three priorities.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed that you have to do everything, this to-do list helps sharpen your focus for the week. And when you have clear targets, you can take care of business.
How to use your goal planner
You can use your planner to define your goals and intentions for the year.
The Ink+Volt Goal Planner includes reflective prompts to help you brainstorm and name your goal. Questions like “What would it look like if this year went perfectly? What would you have/be/do?”
While a lot of people use New Year's and January as a time to define their goals, it’s okay to set your goals any time of the year. Some people like to set goals during transitional moments in their life, like on their birthday or at the beginning of the month or at the start of a new season or even after a break up. You can choose any moment that feels auspicious or significant—the only thing that matters is that you’re in the right frame of mind, and excited to pursue something new.
So when you have a free hour or so, take some time to think about what you want to bring into your life and the goals you want to accomplish.
Then record these goals in your planner. When you write down a goal, you’re more likely to accomplish it. Think of it as making a contract with yourself and then committing to that contract.
Sunday planning sessions
To help you stay on top of your goal, make sure to check on it regularly with weekly planning sessions.
Many people like to conduct Sunday planning sessions as a way to get organized for the week ahead.
You can use your Sunday planning session to do the following:
- Review what went well the week before: What did you accomplish? What did you learn? How can you build on your progress?
- Review what needs to be done: What are the tasks that you didn’t get a chance to knock off your to-do list? What can you do this week to get you closer to your goal? Take note and then add them to the upcoming week’s to do list.
How to pick your goal planner
To help you choose the right planner, ask yourself: What is it that you would like to achieve this year? What would need to happen for this year to be your best one yet? Here are some planners that can help support you, depending on the kind of year you envision for yourself.
Yearly goal planner
You can use our Ink+Volt yearly planner to set your long-term goals for the year like “run a marathon” or “write a draft of a novel” or “start a side hustle.” These are big goals that will take time and effort to develop, and a yearly planner can help you stay on track for the entire duration. A yearly planner is also good for setting short term goals and monthly challenges like “read four books this month” or “try a new recipe a week.”
3-month goal planner
The Ink+Volt 90-Day Goal Planner is great for setting quarterly goals or for planning big projects.
Sometimes, a year-long goal can seem so far away, or a weekly goal feels like it’s not enough time to make a difference. A 90-day goal is a great compromise. It’s not so far off into the distance that you forget about your goal, but there’s still a significant amount of time for you to make progress.
You can also use your 90 day planner as a habit tracker. New habits may not take right away but the key is to develop it like a muscle. Habits like reading 20 books in a year or making healthy meals every week or meditating every day can be monitored and worked on until they become a routine part of your life.
You can use a fitness planner to set a specific workout goal like “run a marathon” or to help you establish a regular workout routine.
You can create accountability by logging your workouts and recording data like time, duration, reps, weights, etc. You can also record the meals and snacks you have before and after a workout to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need.
A fitness planner can also help increase motivation. When it comes to long-term fitness and health goals, you’re unlikely to see significant results right away. Keeping a fitness log is a great way to take note of all the micro changes that seem trivial at first, but then have big impacts over time. You’ll witness just how much you’re improving on a daily basis.
NotebookDon’t underestimate the power of a simple notebook. This is an ideal option for those who want the flexibility to customize their notebook as they see fit. Use it as a habit tracker, a fitness journal, a place to monitor long-term goals or as a central location for all of these projects.