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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How I use the Monthly Goals pages in my Plannerisms planner

On several of the reviews of the Plannerisms planners, people have commented on the two pages between each month asking, surely nobody expects me to have this many goals each month?

And no, you're right, the purpose of those pages is not to fill them with goals. It's to track your goals, and do your mid-month and monthly reviews (if you do them).

Tracking and evaluating your goals are the most important, and most frequently neglected, steps in reaching your goals. Without tracking the data and evaluating your progress, how will you know if you are reaching your goals or not? The monthly Goals pages give you space to do this, so you can track your progress all year. I give some specific usage tips and ideas in my post on how to use the Goals pages in the Plannerisms planner.

This doesn't have to be as hard-core or disciplined as it sounds. To give you some examples, here is how I use the monthly Goals pages in my Plannerisms planner:

One of my goals last year was to get on a cleaning schedule at home. So on the right page of my monthly Goals pages I made a kind of chart of what needed to be done each week, every two weeks, and every month.

Then I designated a week (shown by a circle) when I needed to do each task. Every-two-weeks and monthly tasks had a circle on the week when I needed to do them, to avoid piling up too many of these tasks on any particular week. Or if I had an especially busy week that month, I made sure not to schedule extra tasks during that week. This served three purposes: I saw when each task needed to be done; I had a record of when I actually did each task; and I could easily see when I procrastinated tasks (shown by arrowing-over to another week). You can see I procrastinated a fair amount, and failed to record often. Work in progress.

Another ongoing goal I have is to save money. Part of that is tracking finances. I keep a list of regular monthly expenses in the booklet in the back pocket of my Plannerisms. But extra or unexpected expenses get written in the bottom left quadrant of my monthly Goals pages. This includes payments for my kids' dance and music lessons (which only occur every three months, and on different schedules), when we fill our heating oil tank, electrician or plumber bills, etc.

Another purpose of these monthly Goals pages can be to schedule household maintenance tasks like replacing furnace or air conditioner filters, checking/ replacing CO2 and smoke alarm batteries, and other regular household tasks that need to be done annually or on an otherwise irregular schedule. This will keep you on top of these without too much time passing (with potentially dangerous consequences). It will also give you a record of when you last changed the batteries or whatever so you know when they need done again.

Other potential goals tracking for these pages: blood pressure/ sugar levels, miles run, weight/ body measurements, credit card/ debts payments, and anything else you need to keep track of. It's a handy landing place and great way to reference your progress.

So in a way, the monthly goals pages are mislabeled. It should say Goals Tracking, but that would look cluttery on the page so I left it at Goals.

I hope that helps answer questions about the purpose of the monthly goals pages!

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