Planning Session: 2017 Goals & Plans

I knew that I wanted to write a post all about my plans and goals for 2017. I knew that I wanted to start a new blog post series this year. After my last post on planning, I mulled both of these things over I realized that I can smash the two together and have a post series based on something I love: Setting goals and making plans. 

Planning Session #1: 2017 Goals & Plans - How to make the most of your new years goals and create an action plan to achieve them.

Right now you hold in your hot little hands (or scrolling across your screen anyway, sue me, I like the phrase!) the inaugural post in what will become The Planning Sessions! My aim is to make this series as informational as possible while still staying my light and airy self. So what better way to kick off than with goals & plans, right? After all, it is the new year and people everywhere are rife with resolutions! So let's get started shall we?

Before we dive in to my own plans & goals for 2017, let's touch on a few of the benefits to planning and goal setting:

  • You can see your life, laid out and written up in easy to manage, bite sized pieces, ripe for the conquering!
  • Planning with a physical planner helps keep the item/event/to do at the front of your mind. By writing down your tasks and whatnot, you can visualize it in your own words. 
  • Planning ahead: the only way to truly meet any of your goals
  • Bonus: You can decorate your planner and it doubles as a scrapbook!
  • Large tasks can be broken down into monthly, weekly and daily goals/plans. This allows you to score in that end zone sooner than if you just stared at the intimidating large goal or project.
  • Planning allows everyone to see what's happening on any given day at a glance (note: only so long as all parties communicate!)

Now that we've covered the benefits, let's talk about setting realistic goals:

I like to take some time and write down my goals in complete depth before I even begin to plan out how to accomplish them. By making sure I have listed every last reason why meeting this goal is important to me it will be much easier to break it down into obtainable results. 

Example: One of my 2017 goals is to get fit and stay healthy. That's the simple version anyway. What my goal sheet said was a lot more detailed and gave numerous reasons why I want to get fit and stay healthy along with all the ways/things I am (and even am not) willing to do to accomplish this goal. Rather than make it vague (as I did above), I instead specified that I wanted to exercise daily, meet my FitBit step goal daily as well as participate in at least one weekly challenge and to cut the toxins from my life. If you'll notice, that one sentence is already broken down into actionable steps. 

The trick is to set realistic but specific goals for yourself. Saying you want to save more money or to lose weight is unachievable because you haven't even specified how much weight or money. If you don't have an end goal, you can't create a goal plan. So if your goal is to save money in 2017, try putting down that you want to save $2500 per quarter (know your own budget here and be fair to yourself; I'm so not a financial adviser). If you want to lose weight, put down what your goal weight and clothing sizes are. End goals are beautiful things.

Listing the end goal first allows breathing room when you break them into an action plan:

Your goal is to save $2500 each quarter. That's $100,000 for the year. Now it's time to figure out just how you plan to do that. First and foremost you'll need to take a god look at all your financial paperwork. What comes in? what goes out? Next, decide what method you're going to use to save; spend less or earn more (or both!). If your goal is to spend less, you'll need to break down what you're spending on and decide what you can cut from your budget. Total up how much money this will save you each month. Is it your goal amount? If not, it's time to add to the bank roll. Maybe this savings goal is the perfect time to launch the side hustle you've been dreaming of (which also hands you another achievable goal!). 

What you're doing here is creating a goal setting action plan: 

  • Evaluate what you already have
  • Evaluate what your needs are
  • Evaluate what your wants are
  • List the ways you can meet this goal individually

Now let's take that action plan and start planning to make these goals a reality!

If your end goal is to lose 12 pounds and you've already listed the ways you can do that, it's time to plug these things into your planner as tasks. These tasks are not optional either! They should be treated as if they are any other important item inked into your planner. Put "Pinterest clean eating recipes" or "home workout" into your planner. Better yet, time block it in (more on time blocking in a later post)! From 1-2 pm you will sweat to the oldies and feel great! Bonus: it feels soooo good to check things off a to do list - especially when it means you're one day closer to meeting your goals!

What I'm using to reach my goals this year:

Day Designer has a goal sheet that I just printed out, punched and stuck in the front of my planner (get all the printables you could ever need here). I listed my "big three" for the year at the top and each month I can write down my progress. To create an action plan I am using the blank notes pages to list the break down for each of these goals. Each week during my planning session I refer back to both the end goal page and the action lists to plug in tasks that I need to complete in order to make sure I really do meet these goals this year!

Yes, it's that easy!

How will you be handling your 2017 goals? 

Until next time,

Signature - 2017 Goals & Plans blog post





Want more ways to stay productive and build your #girlboss empire? Sign up for the Better Business Newsletter for exclusive tips, tricks, business guides and even printables to take your business from BLAND to BRAND!


Elle Ay Esse

I'm Elle, a California girl transplanted to the Midwest with a goal of landing in New Orleans some time in the next five years. I'm self taught in all aspects of design, harking back to the bygone era of MySpace custom flash layouts. I have an eye for pattern and a love for color that makes me a perfect candidate for working as a web designer. Combining my love of design with coding and helping others and I am a natural teacher of all things blog related. My first ever blog was created on AOL Hometowns back n 2003 so I have had a lot of time and experience watching Blog Land grow and evolve and become a place of sharing stories, reviewing products and even making enough money to help support their families.