Reaching Goals Without an Expensive Planner

How to Reach goals in 2024 without an expensive planner.

Last year I wondered if reaching a goal was possible without using an expensive planner.  I tend to be an organized person, so this was a fair question.

When December rolls around, I find myself purchasing a new planner every year right after Christmas. It has become almost a tradition with endless options. Getting organized is unique to everyone but planners are pretty much a one size fits all.  

Many of these tools offer the allusion of accomplishing something and they come in many categories. Check it out, I have found planners for business, household, budgeting, DIY projects, homesteading, gardening the list goes on.  I often wonder with all these options why are we so unproductive? 

Without a doubt there is no excuse not to be organized because the marketplace has us covered.

I am no different from most, up until this last year I have always planned my day-to-day activity. I have even sold several gardening planners in the past.  I found it’s not the planner that keeps us from reaching our goals, it’s us. We spend so much time planning that we forget to be physically active.

So last year when we were hip high in projects and never had a minute to ourselves, just like that I ditched my planner.  I was honestly scared to do this because how would I remember everything? 

I got a simple notebook to keep track of my chores and thoughts, and you know what? It worked great!  There was no pressure, no flipping pages and I was accomplishing more than I ever thought possible.

Reaching Goals in 2024 with a Notebook

This year, I decided to continue using a notebook. I've selected another affordable yet pretty spiral that didn’t break the bank.  I've also included a couple other things that might grab your interest.

I will include shopping links below when I explain this system. My hope is that after you continue reading, you will notice getting organized doesn't need to be complicated or expensive.

Reaching goals without using an expensive planner

Begin with a Notebook and Sticky Tabs

There is something real about putting pen to paper.  Younger folks may disagree but, in our home, we have always had blank notebooks available.  We use them for a variety of things and have found that blank pages often inspire new ideas and help to organize our thoughts. 

For today I'm using a spiral notebook that I found at a discount store for $4.99. Writing things down holds me accountable and we are more likely to achieve a task once we take ownership. Begin by purchasing an empty notebook if you don’t already have one. I took the liberty to find a few online.

On the first page, write down your “focus” for the new year. This could be one thought or several, for me I currently have four and they include my garden.  I also listed raising honeybees and rabbits in addition to watercolor classes. Other things need to be written down but for this is a good start.

When I looked at my focus, I quickly realized that I needed to divide my notebook into three sections. Each space covers specific details; they are more like places to write down ideas and steps to reach my focus. Your notebook may not need to be divided, if it does then use tabs to separate the pages. 

    • The first section is for monthly goals.  These are things I hope to accomplish each month to get me closer to my focus.
    • The second tab is for my blog.  Topics I plan to write or just ideas that pop in for later. 
    • The third section is for my art.  This is an area that I want to pursue further; this space will be used to figure that out.  

Notecards with Dates

Next, we’ll be using notecards with dates to help reach those monthly goals.  I found my cards while roaming through my desk.  Being a heavier paper, they have worked great for grocery lists and things I needed to remember when heading into town.  When I leave home It takes about 20 to 45 minutes to reach civilization, having a list keeps me productive without wasting gas and time.  These cards were a game changer so I'm using them to help reach my focus in 2024.

Let me explain, each notecard has a date at the top and a list of things to do.  A good example is for January 2, I have three things to be completed by that date. This means, I no longer have a daily to do list.  

The card is my reminder allowing me to go through each day with ease and enjoy my time wherever I’m headed.  The best part I accomplish what needs to be done for that month without a daily to do list.  

So, for January I currently have three notecards that will help me get closer to my focus. 

Using notebooks and notecards to reach goals with a focus

A Quick Recap

I want to make sure you are following so let me offer a quick recap. First, I have a “focus” for the entire year that is clearly written on page one. Monthly goals are listed in the first section to break down what needs done to achieve my focus.

The next two areas are centered on additional interests and used more for research planning. Then my notecards break down the monthly goals into achievable tasks with a deadline.

I want to remind you that dividing your notebook into sections may not be necessary. The idea is to have everything in one place without a lot of distractions. Planning doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it need to feel overwhelming. This concept can be adjusted to any lifestyle, let's get started!

For those of you with a handful of appointments start using the smart phone.  There are multiple calendar apps for scheduling appointments with reminder notifications. These resources work great for the small stuff and keep from clouding our creativity.

Get focused on the things that really matter in life and start living...

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