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“Behind every impossible achievement is a dreamer of impossible dreams.” -Robert K. Greenleaf
“Your brain has the ability to change and develop physiologically, and it does so based on how you use it. You have the ability to strengthen and develop your brain by thinking about a compelling future for yourself, by regularly and repeatedly thinking about an inspiring vision where you emotionally connect with the life you desire. You can train your brain to act on your vision just by thinking about it. The first step is creating an inspiring vision and learning how to stay connected with it.” – from 12 Week Year
For me, training my brain to act on my vision is found in the routines. We are creatures of habit and as Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.”
What you think about – you bring about!
This happens whether you are being intentional with your thoughts and actions, as with following a morning routine, for example. Or whether you are unintentional with your thoughts and actions, which by the way turn in to habits…
the habit of sleeping in because you can …
the habit of taking a shower whenever you think about it …
the habit of sitting on the couch all day, because “Why not? I have no where to go.”…
the habit of self-imposed isolation which can and does, lead to depression.
For the 31 Days of Planner Fun Challenge, I am sharing my morning routine with you here along with a free printable you can use in your planner to help you get started with creating your own morning routine. Or if you already have one, perhaps this can help you keep it front and center whether you actually place it in your planner or hang it on your wall next to your bed so you see it each morning (I may or may not do this) 🙂
I find scheduling my morning routine into my planner helps me stay accountable to myself, my vision. The truth is, whether you have a morning routine or not, your body and life will show it. Having a routine will help your brain TRUST that you will take care of it…this goes for other routines as well, evening and sleep routines, work routines, family obligations and chore routines, the list can go on and on.
When your brain trusts you, it is free to turn off the “flight or fight” survival mode and focus on strengthening and growing in the areas you are being intentional about. Your vision and goals become a reality when you are less stressed or have an effective routine for dealing with stress.
A morning routine can help to start the day in an optimal state. I focus my routine on three areas of my life, Being, Body, Brain. Actually, all of my planning and routines revolve around these three categories.
When I am consistent with my routine, I am more alert, engaged, productive and able to handle the stressors of life. Because let’s face it, stress happens but how we respond to stress determines the outcome.
Download your FREE PRINTABLE here and tag me on social media with how you are implementing it.
Join me this month for all things planner related, OneBookJuly2018 and 31 Days of Planner Fun on social media at:
Facebook and Instagram as @theorganizedmiss
YouTube @Deanna – The Organized Miss and check out
HIP HIP HOORAY!! If you are not cheering along, it may be because you have no idea what I am talking about…Read this history of One Book July that will get you up to speed with this year.
Whether you are already well ensconced in a system that works for you, or your system is made up of a thousand pieces of paper and post it notes, I believe One Book July will teach you something new about yourself and your planning routine!
I am excited to see what I learn through the experiement of One Book July this year!
Are you planning on participating? Please find me on social media and tag me, I would love to see what you are doing!
You don’t have to be Miss America to use pageant queen principles to prioritize your life. These principles will help you organize your time, manage your business and get things done!
Pageant participants realize that only one girl will walk away with the crown. While it is a competition, the true competition is with themselves; being the best they can be. All the preparation they put into the competition helps them focus on their strengths and passions preparing them to seize all of the opportunities that cross their path whether they are awarded a sash and crown or not. They understand they are always wearing an invisible crown and operate accordingly.
So how do pageant queens manage to juggle school, jobs, oftentimes a small business, community service which can number in the hundreds of hours, family and relationship obligations, all while maintaining a health and wellness routine giving them the confidence to cross a stage in a swimsuit?
Balancing all of their responsibilities requires preparation. They prepare in 4 areas that are pretty consistent across various organizations and I have identified them as Being, Body, Brain, and Success. As a result, I set my planning routine around these major categories and coach others to do the same.
I like to start with Success.
Pageant Queens understand that a “crown” merely provides a platform for delivering their message. In order to have a successful pageant season, they must identify their passion and purpose which will drive and motivate them to reach their goal. Then they envision reaching their goal by employing the strategy of visualization. They dream of seeing themselves standing on stage, hearing their name called out, walking in their evening gown with new sash, crown, and flowers while waving to the audience and thanking the judges. They even practice their “I can’t believe I just won” face…why?
Studies show visualization improves motivation, coordination, concentration and has been understood since Aristotle described the process over 2,000 years ago, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”
Once she has the vision, a Pageant Queen will assess her strengths, weaknesses, and resources. She will create a plan of action to reach the crown and set up a system for tracking her results based on her identified passion and purpose.
Since titles are passed on to a new Queen each year, her deadline is clearly defined and she can set up a timeline for reaching mini-milestones that will all take her to her ultimate goal. Sharing her vision with others…that journey may or may not result in a crown and she knows that. Her actions align with her purpose.
Mini-milestones are defined in three major areas of Being, Body, and Brain. Her planning routine is broken down to reflect this all while moving her towards her intended goal … the coveted crown.
Being covers her spiritual house, so to speak. Her relationships with others and is also known as her network. It includes her platform, also known as her community service, and how she intends to make the world a better place. She will need to track sponsor relationships and fundraising in addition to her volunteer hours.
Body covers her physical house. Her health and wellness, nutrition and fitness routine and trackers for maintaining an appearance ready physique and giving her the confidence to stand tall, smile and shine the light of her crown on what matters most to her: her goal of helping others.
Brian covers her mental house. This is her scholastic focus and personal development and may include entrepreneurial goals.
As you can see, each of the identified areas allows for a framework of creating a self-management system that is flexible enough for Pageant Queens to tailor but structured enough to provide a guide for reaching her potential. This empowers her to prioritize her life, organize her time and manage her business and it can do the same for you.
Let’s break the title of this article down into manageable sections.
“How to…” – I do not claim to be an expert at productivity. The opposite is true, actually. I am very well versed in the art of failure and as a result, have learned numerous ways of how to and how not to do things. My aim is to show you how to move forward with your goals by using a planner.
“…successful…” – After much trial and error, I have learned that the first step to success in setting and reaching goals is identifying the end result. I set values-based SMART goals which allow me to able to focus in on the tasks I set for myself. Who am I? What do I believe? What do I stand for? Hopefully, you have identified those values for yourself. Assuming you have, you need to ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” Be specific. How will you know when you have achieved it? Set a standard by which you will measure your progress. Document your starting point. Once you have identified your starting point and your end goal, ask yourself, “Is this attainable?” Are you able to reach this goal in one effort or do you need to break it down into smaller goals? Is this a realistic goal to work towards? Or do you need to gain additional skills or resources before you can start working towards it? What is the timeline for reaching this goal? When do you want to reach this objective? Remember, a goal without a deadline is a daydream.
“…daily…” – Repetition is key. Once you have established your goals it is easy to determine if you should begin a certain project or not. Will it help you reach your values-based goals? If yes, it is time to identify the daily tasks that will create momentum and do them.
“…steps forward…” – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
“…good habits…” – Whether you realize it or not, you are already engaged in a variety of habits. And while they may or may not be BAD for you, they may not be serving the purpose of helping you achieve your goals. Each time to watch television or eat a meal or sit down at your computer, ask yourself, “Is this helping me reach my goal?” If the answer is yes, repeat it daily. If the answer is no, stop doing the thing that is standing between you and your goals and replace it with one that will help you reach them.
“…planner.” – Show me your calendar and I will tell you what your values are. A planner is more than a calendar. A planner houses your calendar, for deadline specific events and tasks, and your project management system. Project management can be as simple as a list of to-dos for your annual spring cleaning or as elaborate as a forecast and analysis of your instances of headaches to days of rainfall. Planning systems and styles are unique to each individual, but I have identified the two major categories of planners based on learning styles: left and right brain. Most people are either a logical list-making, left-brain planner or an intuitive, creator-designer, right-brain planner. Some are a combination of the two and utilize what I call a “Bilateral Planning” approach. I use this style of planning and it has revolutionized my life…this is not an understatement! It seems simple, but you would be surprised how many people struggle with using a planner to organize their hopes, dreams, and wishes into actionable projects. If you think you would benefit from bilateral planning, check out my series on YouTube to learn more.
For the sake of this article, let’s set a SMART, values-based goal.
“I will let ten pounds go by summer.”
One of my values is to be healthy, strong and flexible. The goal is specific. It is measurable, as I can stand on my scale and record my starting weight and in 3 months, at the end of my timeline I will stand on the scale again and record my progress. Since summer is 3 months away, this is an attainable goal and realistic because I do have ten pounds I could give to the universe. (Notice I didn’t say lose, because I have no intention of finding these ten pounds after they’re gone.) Now what? Pray that the scale moves in three months? No! I must set a plan of action in place and create tasks to help me in my endeavor. I will call this my Summer Body Project (“Body”).
Within the project section of my planner, I will have a section tabbed “Body” in that section I will list out all the actions that will need to take place in order to reach my goal.
- Diet – What kinds of food will I/won’t I eat? How often will I eat? Will I intermittently fast?
- Exercise – What kind of physical activity will I participate in? How many days a week?
- Rest – When will I schedule my body time to recover?
Once I have determined all the components necessary to reach my stated goal, I will add at least one task to my calendar, daily. At the end of each day, I will review how I did and what worked for me/what didn’t and either repeat the day’s actions or make a change. At the end of each week, I will gauge the outcome of my efforts and decide how I can improve for the following week. When I reach my deadline, I will evaluate my progress. Did I reach my goal? Did I fall short? Did I surpass it? What will I do moving forward?
What planning and organizational style do you employ to manage goals in your planner? Tag me (@theorganizedmiss) on social media with your goal planner and use the hashtag #bilateralplanning!
Need a way to track your health and wellness goals? Check out how I track my fitness goals!
I have finally turned the camera on during my planning sessions to show “HOW” I plan. Making a video (series of videos) on my planning structure has been on my to-do list for a while but it wasn’t until I watched a video by MissVickybee titled, “Where is Planning?” that I decided to do it. In her video, she mentions all the “Plan With Me’ videos available online and how beautiful the art of pretty planning is but she wanted to see the structure, “what was being planned” too often she would see planners that were decorated but not set up.
I am all for decorating and pretty planning for the sake of self-care and creative expression (I love stickers) but planners need to be functional or else they are not planners but scrapbooks. This is where I should mention that I love watching scrapbook process videos, but when I am interested in personal development and looking for new ways to be more productive or efficient with my tasks, I want to watch and learn from a planner who is employing replicable organizational strategies and techniques.
In addition to my “How I Plan” video series, I am making my Weekly Review questions available for you to use in your own planning routine. To learn how I use this invaluable tool, check out my weekly review video.