Failure to Plan, Is Planning to Plan

dsc04857When I entered middle school the teachers gave us day planners and required that we write down our assignments and their due dates. The teachers checked it and gave us grades to ensure that we kept track of things.

At first I scoffed at the idea. However, my Type A personality soon grew accustomed to the idea of keeping a day planner. After a while, I loved it. By the time I reached high school I had a whole color coordinated system for my planner. I used pink for exercise; Blue for school assignments; Purple for theocratic events; Yellow for my part time job at Kroger Food Store; Orange for bills. I kept track of everything!

However, after 4 years of college I was burned out. I couldn’t wait for the day I graduated. I imagined getting rid of everything- textbooks, notebooks, highlighters, my backpack, and day planner as soon as I walked across the stage to recieve my Bachelor’s Degree. Freedom at last! No longer would I be a slave to a schedule!

So I thought.

Upon graduation, I threw out everything and watched my life fall apart in a matter of months. I missed my cellphone payment due date and ended up paying late fees. (Ouch!) I was late to my dentist appointmemt because I only rememberd when the receptionist called the day before. All of my coupons expired before I had a chance to use them. I missed a friends graduation party because I didn’t write it down. I was rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off because I was unprepared. My life was totally disorganized and I was more stressed out than when I was in school. I didn’t know what to do, or how to make things better. If this was adulthood I quit! Send me back to college. At least there I had routine and order.

That August, I walked past the back to school section thinking wistfully about college. Oh how I yeard for colkege days again! ¬†When I spotted the day planners it hit me- it wasn’t college I missed. It was the organization, structure, and order that I missed. I grabbed a dayplanner, some highlighters, and a pack of pens and got to work. In just a few weeks things were ironed out and I was back to my routine. I had learned my lesson.

“Failure to plan is planning to fail.”

With the new year, many are setting gosls for themselves. This is great, but I know first hand that if you don’t take the steps to plan for those dreams/goals, there is a good possibility that you won’t reach them. So what are some practical steps that you can take?

  1. Keep an electronic calendar or physical calendar. (My husband likes Google calendar because you can sit it on multiple devices. I use a paper planner.)
  2. Set an over all goal.
  3. Break your overall goals into smaller ones so that week by week you’re moving forward.
  4. Map out your week so that you can prepare for that upcoming appointment, party, event in a timely manner.
  5. Look at your calendar/planner the
  6. Don’t plan out every hour of your day. Leave room for rest and relaxation.
  7. Make it fun! Set reminders on your devices or add stickers to your calendar.

For the past two years I’ve enjoyed using my personalized Erin Condren Life Planner. (Vertical Layout) I add stickers, washi tape, and flags to make my planner more fun. I love the Bible stickers from plannermania. I divide my day into 3 sections: School, Home, Personal. At the back of my planner I keep my weekly cleaning routines which helps me maintan my home. There is also a clear pouch where I store all of my grocery, Express, Gymboree, Gap, and Bath & Body works coupons. This has really worked for me and helps to keep my life organized! Feel free to Recieve $10 off your Erin Condren Life Planner by using my referral code:

https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/jennifergilmore0308

I really like Erin Condren. However, it doesn’t matter which planner you use, just get organized! Remember failure to plan is planning to fail.

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