Plan the Year. Then the Month. Then the Week. Then the Day.

Finally I found time to envision what I wished this coming year will look like. It was easy, because I have a combination of interests at hand that clearly set the direction. And it was difficult because I have no clue whatsoever of what will happen in summer, when I will finish my studies and be released into the real world.

The Year in Visions

I took some time the other day, between the semesters, to work out goals that I want to achieve and habits I want to implement. I used this workbook. It helped me a lot to see the empty months in front of me and next to it my list with things that would be really nice to come true. All I had to do was transfer them from the to-do list into the months sections. Like that I will have a fixed time to get ready for action and make them happen.

The months in habits

A very good practice is to think of the habits I want to take to and work on only one per month. This is my month of writing. So as I get more and more used to jotting down 500 words first thing in the morning, other things which seem equally important have to wait in line. I will focus on fasting not before February and running will be picked up again in March. By that time, writing will have become a habit already that sticks with me.

The Week according to my Goals

It is nice to have it on paper. Like that I can always review everything, and I should, especially when I plan my week. I will remind myself of what I wanted  to happen this year. I will review the monthly steps towards it. Then I can focus on what to do during the week, what to squeeze between my schedule, which outcomes to aspire.

The Day on the Way to Completion

Often I even line out my day, according to what I need to accomplish during the week. It is really comfortable because I have actually already set things out for myself. And since I spread things over the whole year, nothing is overwhelming.

Four very important Things…

…to keep in mind while doing the planning are these:

ONE

You will not be able to finish everything. Things usually take longer than expected, and even if you put in enough buffer time, some tasks will definitely remain unfinished.  But as I  keep that in mind from the beginning, I cannot be too disappointed in the end.

TWO

The more important something is, the earlier it should be done. I am typing this before seven o’clock in the morning, just because it is a priority of mine. In that way, I will experience the great feeling of having something accomplished even before breakfast. I also know that by four in the afternoon, I might already have used a lot my of power and brain and will be able to check mails or clean the room, but maybe not write an article for university.

THREE

Luckily, life holds a lot of surprises, and something extra will always pop up. These things are chances to be embraced. Interruptions can be very inspiring, if we take them positively.

FOUR

Do not try to make up for what you missed doing yesterday. This will put you in an endless continuation of catching up. Yesterday was yesterday. Today we can start afresh, from zero, giving the best we can.

And then: Change it!

With all the benefits of planning, the number one principle is to be flexible. Nobody else but I myself made these rules and plans, so I am the one to change them, too, when they become too overwhelming or if something unexpected happens. That is why I usually plan with a pencil, not a pen.

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