Refresh Your 2016: Mid-Year Planners and Goal Setting

Anyone else ever notice how everyone seems to be in a slump come April? The excitement of a new year and the fire of chasing down goals starts to sputter out around now. This is typical, and nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something you should fight with all your might. Lately, I’ve felt so meh. I’m not as far as I wanted to be on some of my goals, and it’s disheartening to the point I’m unmotivated. But I’m not letting it continue on, and I don’t want you to either. Instead, I’m calling for a refresh, reset, and recenter in all areas of life.

The goal setting pages in the 2015 midyear Day Designer -- They're the ultimate tool for overcoming a slump.

The goal setting pages in the 2015 midyear Day Designer -- They're the ultimate tool for overcoming a slump.

In the past, I’ve always found this is best done with one tool and one activity. The tool - an amazing planner. If you don’t currently have a planner or don’t feel the one you have is doing you any good, you’re in luck because Day Designer is about to release their midyear flagship in several gorgeous covers (I personally love the palm leaves, and it’s about to be restocked on April 20th!). I’ve seen, used, and reviewed a lot of planners, and I do mean A LOT, but Day Designer has always been my absolute favorite. Plus it’s pretty much the only daily planner on the market.

So once you’ve got your new planner ordered, or your current one ready for a reset, it’s time to reflect on the goals you set for 2016 and the progress you made on them. Even though the year isn’t up, it’s important to dedicate time to reflection here and there. Personally, I like to reflect at the end of each month and set new goals for the coming month according to the revelations I have. You can choose to reflect quarterly the way businesses do, weekly if you have the time, or whenever you simply feel the need to reflect. This time of the year is one of those when everyone just needs to take a moment to reflect.

Okay, so what exactly do you need to reflect on?

Well, hopefully you have your goals/intentions/ambitions/resolutions for 2016 written down somewhere. If not, take a second to jot them down. Then grab a notebook, a pen, and ask yourself some questions.

  1. How close are you to achieving these goals?

  2. How often did you work on these goals?

  3. How could you have done more?

  4. Do these goals still excite you?

  5. In the future, what can you do to ensure progress?

Once the reflection is done, you can turn your sights to the months to come and map out a plan for achieving your old goals (if you decide to keep them) or some new ones.

  1. What are some new goals you want to focus on?

  2. What can you do every day and week to work a little bit towards your goals?

  3. How can you break down your goals into more manageable and quantifiable steps?

So how does all of this tie into a Day Designer planner? Well, there are two goal setting pages at the beginning of the planner where you can write down your goals and track them throughout the year. Having a designated spot and worksheet for goal setting in the planner you use every single day is so beneficial! It keeps everything in one place, which I’ve found helps me thinks of tasks I can do each day to get my closer to my goals. The Day Designer is amazing, and what I choose to use everyday, but any planner can do the same for you as long as you use it that way. Simply write down your goals and the steps you’ll take to achieve them on a blank note page or staple a piece of paper in the planner if it doesn’t have space for you.

Quick side note: Another reason I recommend buying the midyear Day Designer - if you preorder it, you also receive a set of exclusive stickers. I preordered my 2016 DD, and the sticker sheets included are the best stickers I've ever used (And that's saying something because I am NOT a sticker fan). The stickers aren’t necessary, but if you thrive off of organization and color coding they can really come in handy with goal setting and tracking. You can assign each goal a specific color and use it throughout the year to mark the tasks, events, and dates associated with that goal.

The key to methodically working towards your goals is to be consistent and dedicated. Each morning you should ask yourself, “What can I do today to be closer to my dreams tomorrow?” With a plan to follow, regular self-reflections, and a little work ethic you can still achieve the goals/intentions/ambitions you set back in January. Heck, you can achieve even more than you originally planned if you want to!