by Karen Tarango
Five Steps to Planning with Meaning
There are those who plan to get things done and that’s fine. And there are those
who plan to decorate their plans and that’s fine too. Allow me to give you another
option which is to plan with meaning. These are things that touch your soul. They have
special significance and put a smile on your face.
The first step for your consideration is to incorporate in your planner quotes or
bible verses that inspire you. These are positive words that you can read through out
your week. Words that are meaningful to you. We have enough troubles and negativity
in the world, but it doesn’t have to be that way in our planners. For example, say some
one gave you a compliment that really touched you, why not use that as a quote in
your weekly layout? How uplifting it would be to read that compliment every day! So
be sure to reserve a space for those inspiring words.
The second step in planning with meaning is a vision board. However, you would
instead create it on a page then insert that into your planner. If you don’t know how to
make a vision page let me tell you how simple it can be. It is similar to a collage, a
collection of photos all in one place. First, you want to think of a few of your goals or
dreams to put on your vision page. Then you can either use some magazines and cut
out photos or print some pictures from the internet and tape them to your page. You
will also write down next to the photo the details of your vision/goal. Once you have
your vision page done pick a spot where you know it will be seen often. When you
look at your page of dreams and goals, visualize yourself accomplishing them. Live it
out in your mind. And don’t give up!
The third step in planning with meaning is adding journaling to your daily page.
Writing down a highlight of your day adds a new aspect to your calendar. Wait until the
end of the day to journal. Pick something that was positive or note worthy. If you don’t
have the room to journal, simply insert a lined page or tape in a life card and write on
the back. Get creative! At the end of the week review all your journal entries. It can be
very enlightening and good for your soul!
The fourth step in planning with meaning is to personalize your planner. Go
beyond decorations and color coding. Consider what you really need and make your
planner work for you. If you need more ziplock-pouches, get those in there. If you
need more pockets get those in there. Write a list of your top three needs then fill
those needs. You will happier with your planner and more productive. For me, I need
lots of checklists stickers, especially on Mondays and Fridays. I have a lot of “to do’s”
on those days, so checklists stickers are a must for me. What about you?
The fifth step in planning with meaning is to choose your word of the year. The
idea is to pick a word that would be your theme or focus for the year. For example;
If you believe it is time for you to grow in all aspects of your life then your word
may be, “grow” or “step up” or “stretch”. As a reminder to yourself, write your word at
the top of your monthly and weekly layout pages. To incorporate it more in your life
you can also journal about your word of the year and what it means to you.
Last word, you do not have to incorporate all five steps. Yet, I’m sure a few of
them jumped out at you though. Try a few of the steps and see what happens and let’s
make this the best year yet!
Karen L Tarango an avid planner, Pastor and author of several christian books. She is happily married to her husband Art. They reside in California with their two spoiled dogs and a cat.