The Six “P’s” of My Personal Planning Session

 

In my last post, I talked a little about how I am planning for our new homeschool year. But this is also the time of year everyone is thinking about planning for the new calendar year. I have a lot of things on my mind for personal life improvements. I also have an increasing need to balance my homemaking roles and growing responsibilities as a Virtual Assistant. As I have had time here and there over the past week, I have been trying to make some plans and actionable goals going forward in the New Year. In the midst of that, I have been following these 6 steps to set myself up for success in 2018. I thought it might be helpful to some of my readers if I shared them here.

  1. Pray: Ask God what He would have you do in regards to the plans and goals you are making for the coming year. Ask Him for guidance in choosing priorities and action steps. Ask for clarity about what things He would have you pursue and what He would have you let go of for this season. Pray for Him to be ever present in your plans and goals, to the central focus of your life as you plan and prepare.
  2. Purge: do a “brain dump” of a sorts, writing down or typing out all the different goals, ideas, plans, desires, hopes, etc. you have for the coming year. Make a list of everything that comes to mind in every area of your life that needs attention and planning. You can go back after you have created this list and divide things up into different aspects of your life, such as homemaking, parenting, work, spiritual life, physical health, etc.
  3. Prioritize: Look over your brain dump and lists. Decide what your Top 3 Priorities need to be for the coming year and choose those areas to focus on in your planning. Keep other areas on the back burner for later. This may be a good time to write down a vision statement or choose a focus word to keep in mind as you prioritize and make your plans.
  4. Plan: Write down actionable steps to reach your goals under those Top 3 Priorities. Consider what habits you need to put into place and what measures you are going to take to move toward achieving your goals.
  5. Prepare: Write down new routines and schedules and post them in a prominent place. Create and use a habit tracker to keep yourself accountable. Put important dates and info into your calendar or planner. Post your focus word or vision statement for the year somewhere visible to remind you of your goals. Gather any supplies, books, etc. needed for putting your plans into place.
  6. Practice: Now it is time to put your plans into action! It sometimes helps to start small and work your way up with new habits and new routines so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Give yourself grace if you “fall off the wagon” early on. Each day is a new day and a chance to get back to work again. Follow your action steps, and you will get closer to your goals one day at a time.

If you need extra help planning and, perhaps more importantly, putting your plans into action, my “personal planning guru” Mystie Winkler of Simplified Organization has an amazing course to help you with just exactly that! Work the Plan is effective video training that will help you make a practical plan and learn how to follow through and be productive while remaining joyful and flexible on a daily basis. And, bonus! Mystie is offering my readers a 20% Off discount if you use coupon code “tuninghearts” at checkout! Happy Planning!

Simplified Organization

Planning Our Homeschool Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, it is Christmastime! And in our homeschool that means a more relaxed schedule with more fun and freedom. It also means it is planning time for me! Since we homeschool year-round and have a January start, this is the time of year I get all our new books ordered and figure out what our new school year is going to look like. I already got my first shipment on new-to-us classics, and I was so excited!

This year I decided to be a little more proactive and plan out more of the details than I have in the past, especially when it comes to our memory work and morning time subjects. That means I am choosing hymns, folksongs, poems, quotes and scriptures to memorize for each month of the year right now. Usually, I do that on a month-by-month basis, and inevitably I get down to the last day of the month and realize I have a bunch of work to do to choose, format and print the next set of memory work. I am hoping by getting all these things in order now, I will have a less stressful, more productive school year!

There are several other aspects of our homeschool that I am also currently evaluating and planning as we get ready for the new year, including curriculum choices and scheduling. The Plan Your Year kit from homeschool planning wizard Pam Barnhill is great for all this. She literally walks you through every step of homeschool planning, from the very beginning step of creating a vision for your homeschool all the way to organizing simple, streamlined school days. I have used some of Pam’s products for scheduling, and they really are helpful and well thought out.

Plan Your Year Ad

How about you? Are you making any plans for the new year? Even if you don’t start a new school calendar in January, this can be a great time of year to step back and reassess what has been working and what needs tweaked. It might even help avoid the dreaded February homeschool burn-out!