By Brooklynne Michelle
How we get from today to our dream life is one of the most difficult things to sustain, mostly because people take on too many habits or have no guidance along the way. You could hire someone to help you with this guidance or to tell you what to do, but what if I told you that you could offer yourself your own guidance without any fancy new inserts or another planner, or specialized planner?
My favorite thing about this method is that you can do it easily in whatever you are using now, whether you are using a Bullet Journal, Filofax, Happy Planner, or some other system. It works in functional planning, pretty planning, minimalist or crazy art journal planning. You only need two things: a dream, and a desire to live that dream.
Self-coaching is the process whereby one coaches themselves through regular question-asking and honesty, so if you are unable to be honest with yourself then this isn’t going to work. It’s all about recognizing that without working on things our lives are not going to change, and if we don’t think about how we act today, next week is not going to be any different. But by making steps to change today then we are moving closer to achieving that dream we so desire.
This system is really all about how things distill down. One dream is really multiple goals achieved, and each goal is multiple habits – either short term or long term – stuck to and improved upon. Equally one month is really just fourish weeks, and each week is seven days, and each day is 24 hours full of multiple habits. So how does all of this combine into creating your dream come true? It’s all about how we think about the future and utilize our planners.
Each month I start off by looking at my dream (starting my own coaching business) and what steps I need to do to move closer to that dream being a reality. From there I decide what my goals are for the month. In April I have a final for the coaching course I am working on, I have a coaching opportunity, and I want to move toward having my website done by June 1st. So, from that come my goals of:
- Get an A on my final exam
- Write Website Copy
- Take on Coaching activity
This was easy because I had tangible steps visible from looking at my life, but what if you are at the beginning of your journey and you are unsure on what your goals are that will move you towards your dream? This is where the number one coaching tool you have comes in and that is questions. Below are just a few I ask myself every month:
- What is my Dream?
- Why do I want this?
- How has it changed since last month?
- What are the goals I have to succeed in this?
- Which goals need to come first?
- Which goals do I want to do first?
- Which are the easiest to do?
- How many goals do I need this month?
- How many goals do I want this month?
- What pressure do I feel?
Through answering these questions, you should be able to come up with some goals and have clarity on what you are needing and wanting to do. Depending on your personality you might need to mix some fun and not-fun or easy and hard goals for your month. There is no wrong way to do things here; if you want you can start with only one goal. I’d recommend slow changes at first.
Monthly goals are the easy part and most people can and do this already, but when we self-coach It’s all about questions and the way we ask them. It’s important to look at these goals and decide how they are going to break down into weekly achievements. I like to have one to four achievements each week that, if all are reached, means my goal is crushed. I do this for each of my goals and the number of achievements is determined the goal and their ease. Looking at my goal to get an A on my exam, this is how my weekly achievements would look:
- Week 1: 10 hours study and 1 hour on essay
- Week 2: 10 hours study and 1 hour on essay
- Week 3: 10 hours study and 1 hour on essay
- Week 4: 5 hours on essay and turn in Final.
The most important thing at this point is that they are all achievable, given my current work load and events that might be coming up. Also, these need to flex into each week’s schedule and balance with the other goals I have that week.
We continue in this fashion to filter our goals down to daily tasks that need being done to achieve those weekly goals. On days I have less to do I do more work on my goals and vice versa. So, week one of my goal to achieve an A might look like this:
- Monday: 2 hours study
- Tuesday: 2 hours study
- Wednesday: 1 hour study
- Thursday: 2 hour study, 1 hour essay
- Friday: 3 hours study
- Saturday and Sunday: No study
This takes into account that I don’t work Thursday and Friday this week but have lots of meetings on Wednesday. Sorting this all out in advance means that when I sit down to do my planning first thing after coffee each morning, I know I need to work my study into the plans.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to plan out monthly goals in a way that means you will succeed, lets talk about planning around these goals. I personally put down each step of these goals in my planner in this way: on my monthly page I have all my goals for the month listed, on each of the weeks again listed, and finally each day of the week my to dos for each goal listed.
Now I am a die-hard daily planner and, in my opinion, this is vital to my successful goal attainment. It might not be your thing and, you know, fair enough. But what does need to happen is, each morning before you rush off to attend the children or get ready for work, you need to spend time with your planner to look over what you need to do and what your day looks like.
When you’re in there looking at that list, visualize yourself successful in today’s list, and then follow that through to the successful goal completion and how that leads to achieving your dream. Sit in that moment, feel that passion and happiness, and let that guide you through your day. That feeling of success to start your day will fuel your successful day, month, year, and dream life!
Brooklynne Michelle is an American living in the green wonderland that is New Zealand, with her dog and many friends. She is a Life and Creativity Coach who also works at a temporary housing non-profit for single low-income women in need. When she is not at work, playing with her dog, or at the gym, she can be found on YouTube ,Twitter, Instagram, or her website.