8 tips to get started with your CEO of My Own Life® planner
* This post has been updated | January 2021
If this is your first year using a CEO of My Own Life® planner, you are in for a treat as it has been designed with a very specific purpose, - to enable you to effectively plan for every aspect of your busy life: business & career | home & family | health & fitness | personal. Therefore encouraging and promoting a better work/life balance, helping you to become better organised, which leads to feeling less stressed and more ‘in control’. Yes please!
If you are on a mission to get things done this year, then you’ve joined the right planning family!
In today’s post we will cover the basics , - how to set up your new planner in eight simple steps. And the below applies to all of our editions; weekly, daily, dated and undated. Let's begin!
1. Make a commitment to use your planner daily
This is the first step to you being and feeling ‘in control’ and organised, - make a conscious decision to use your planner daily for the entire year. It is as simple as that. Think of it as your personal assistant, a diary, a life planner and everything in between.
Make it your own too! If you love to decorate, go to town with stickers and artwork! If you enjoy a minimalist look, that’s okay too. Your planner is yours to do as you wish.
Also do not stress, do not feel the pressure to keep your planner packed with a large number of to-dos and goals. You may be a person who has fifty to-dos per day or you may be one with just five. This is not a competition and both scenarios are completely natural. Planning is all about good time management, not how to be 'busy' every minute of every day.
These days, the pressure to be/appear busy is overwhelming. So let me say it again, owning a planner is not a challenge to keep it packed with to-dos, use your planner to plan your life.
2. Add your personal information
Jot down your name with an email address and/or phone number. Fingers crossed you don't misplace your planner, but should it happen, hopefully, whoever finds it will contact you to reunite you with it. Better be safe than sorry, I say!
3. Read through “How To Use This Planner” page
You know you have a good life planner in your hands when it comes with its own How-To page. Well, I am joking, but, you will find lots of tips on how to use your brand new CEO of My Own Life® planner there. It covers all sections in great detail and gives you tips on what to do annually, monthly, weekly and daily.
4. Set the tone for the year ahead
We are now on the 'Start Here' page - this is where it all really begins.
On this page, you will set the tone for the year ahead. Starting with deciding on your ‘My Word For This Year’. I have intentionally kept this page again as I really believe setting a positive and inspirational word for your entire year brings a lot of value.
The word you pick for this year should have a special meaning to you. Something you can refer to in the good times and the bad. So, whatever you go for, make sure it has a special meaning to you.
Did you know, according to the latest statistics, there are 171,476 words in the English Dictionary (currently in use)! Wow! So there are plenty to choose from, but if you are a little stuck, we have put together a selection of inspirational and motivational words you can refer to below.
As far as the rest of the page goes, keep it high-level and to the point. This is not a page for goal-setting – this is a page to set the tone for year ahead.
5. Write down all your key dates for the year ahead
Gather and write down all key dates you need to be aware of in the ‘My Dates’ section. Then if you like, transfer them to the relevant Monthly Outlooks and daily/weekly pages too.
This could cover:
- Appointments: dentist, checkups etc.
- Business/office key dates
- Car insurance renewal dates
- Local events you are going to be attending
6. Write down your key phone numbers
Ten years ago, I knew phone numbers of all my family members and could recite them at 2am in the morning if required. Now? Not one! Not something I am proud of, but that’s the reality. So, if you are anything like me, write down key phone numbers in the 'My Contacts' page. Should you not have your phone with you, at least you will have a back up plan to reach someone in an emergency.
Same goes for addresses, - very useful should you want to send a Christmas card, a Thank You card etc.
7. Where will you go next?
Are you one of the lucky ones who’s already booked a holiday? If so, enjoy planning it all out in the ‘Time For Adventure’ pages. If you are like me, I tend to book breaks last minute, but I love browsing various holiday destinations and making wish lists.
In addition to the above, consider:
- Colouring in countries you have already visited on the map
- Adding photos/ artwork of places you wish to visit this year
- Planning your next holiday's spending or how much you need to save for (you can add this information to the Financial pages, - more on that in the future posts).
*Written pre-Covid. Let's hope we can travel soon again!
8. Review last year's goals
Refer to your previous planner and review your last year’s goals and their progress. If you were using a CEO of My Own Life® planner last year, do not forget to complete the 'Review' pages at the back of the planner. Reflect on your last year's highlights, life lessons, what you are grateful for, who and what inspired you and then, - start thinking about what you want to accomplish in the new year.
This is where Part Two of this series comes in, in next week's post I will be covering How to Set SMART Goals. I will share one of my favourite goal setting techniques, which I have used for many years.
Don't own a CEO of My Own Life® planner?
The all-in-one CEO of My Own Life® planners are carefully created to enable you to be better organised and more productive every day in each area of your life. With the well structured annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goal setting worksheets, habit trackers, financial planning pages and self reflection projects, you will be on top of your goals and to do lists in no time. If you enjoy bullet journaling, then this is a pre-made version!