Timeline and Tools: Goal Planning Process Step 3

Once I’ve finished the second step in my goal planning process (https://wordpress.com/posts/my/nikolebreault.com ), I’m ready for step three. This is where I set my goals to my timeline and figure out which tools I’m using to get there.

I look at the timeline the way I did in the previous step and commit to where the goals will go. I look at the total timeline for the quarter I’m working in and decide which goals go into which month. I then look at the weeks within the month and figure out what I need to accomplish each week in order to accomplish the goal within the month. I don’t go further than that because I know that things will come up and if I’ve told myself I’ll accomplish a specific thing over a certain two days, but wake up with a migraine those two days, I know I will need to take those days to recover and have a few heavy workload days after. It’s a huge mental boost to let the days of the week be fluid, because I know I can handle what comes up either personally or with my family and not feel like I’m failing because I miss checking something off for one day versus another.

I’m also simultaneously in this step of the process deciding what tools to use while I achieve these goals. I love planners and find a lot of motivation and accountability in having my goals written down. I also have a Kanban Board that I use to track what I have to do, am doing, and have done. I’ve also got a wall with a dry erase board for notes and overall lists, a monthly dry erase board, and a yearly dry erase board. I’m a very visual person (my teacher side also particularly loves these tools) so surrounding myself with reminders of what I’m working on and what it’s all adding up to is hugely helpful to me. Deciding which tools work and which don’t is a really helpful way to work on goals. I used to have an electronic Kanban board, but found it didn’t work for me. I also tried putting my monthly goals into my Google calendar, but that is a tool we use heavily for my family and putting my writing work in there was to overwhelming and things got lost in the shuffle. Still, I double-check with myself that the tools I’ve been using are still useful to me or if I find I need to add or drop a tool. I like to have my tools set before I start doing the work of making my goals happen because I find I’m not distracted by my tools when I’m working. Once all of this is done, it’s time to move onto the next step in the process.

In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

A word on this series. Goal planning is a process and this series of blogs is a look at what mine is. It’s a process I’ve created based on countless articles, motivational speeches, goal planning systems (both paper and digital), etc. and advice from writers, authors, friends, motivational speakers, mentors, etc. given or read across all kinds of platforms such as social media, in books, etc. over decades of being a student, writer, human, etc.

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