Do You Spend Enough Time Planning?

I used to believe that I wasn’t good at sticking with new habits and goals. The voice in my head still tells me that on occasion. It seems my habits and goals are constantly changing along with my circumstances and it can feel difficult to keep up. Over the years I have realized that this feeling is a signal I need to spend more time planning.

What I’ve come to understand is that setting goals or visioning, and planning your days, weeks, and months is a never-ending process, and it deserves a whole lot more time than we give it. Observing and planning your routine has to be a part of your routine.

When is the last time you re-evaluated your habits, goals, and dreams? All of these things are naturally shifting, and if we don’t carve out a significant amount of time to reassess we can end up spending months and years doing something that pulls us further away from what we really want.

Consider how much time we spend planning for a week-long vacation. Unless you are someone who is apt to fly to a place, rent a car and wing it, you probably spend hours and hours planning your vacation. I’d say it’s quite reasonable to spend a full day researching places, buying tickets, browsing restaurants, etc. for a week-long vacation. That’s equal to 15% of the time you’re actually on vacation. And many people spend much more time than this. The same goes for deciding where to eat (at least for me…). How much time do we take planning a 90-minute dinner??

Now, let’s think about a year, or a month, as it relates to planning our life goals. What if we spent just 10% of that time observing and planning? In a year, that would be roughly 36 days. A little over an entire month dedicated to observing, evaluating and planning.

If we are planning our month that would be 3 full days. Dedicated to observing and planning. Is there something more important than planning for and creating the life you want to live?

Regardless of how much actual time you spend planning, most of us would benefit from scheduling more time for the following:

Observation

Which routines are working really well?
Which habits can I remove to increase the quality of my life?
What small changes can I make to save time, money, etc?

Make some observations about what is going well and what could change. Don’t feel pressure to figure it all out and make a ton of changes – that’s part of what prevents us from doing this. Don’t make it a burden. Practice making simple observations.

Planning

Define the things you are committed to doing every single day.
Plan your entire days – work, errands, space for free time, etc.
Define your number one priority for the week.
Define your 2-3 top priorities for each day, and give yourself enough time to complete them.

If you can make planning your day a part of your nightly, weekly, and monthly routines, I promise you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish in just a few months.

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