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Organized October – First Steps: How to Plan / Where to Begin

First Steps: How to Plan/Where to Start

The purpose of planning is to complete goals in every aspect of your life. Planning allows you to prioritize the events and tasks throughout your day so you can do the things that matter most first. However, in order for you to understand what matters most, you must first have a goal in mind.

The idea of goals and goal setting can be intimidating because past experience tells us we may not reach our goals and therefore may be wasting our time. Goals require you to change your routine and step away from your comfort zone. In order to do that, you have to truly want that goal, so your goals had better matter deeply to you. The essential elements of a well planned goal are: in line with your values, has a time deadline, clearly and specifically defined, and realistic. Notice the first of these is “in line with your values”. Before making goals, then, we have to figure out what our values are.

Governing values can be people, interests, knowledge, standards, virtues, ideas, and more. They’re the root of why you spend your time the way that you do. To find your governing values, start by making a list of the people, places, ideas, and desires that matter most to you. Next, ask yourself why those things matter. For example, if you love being outdoors, ask what it is about that experience that you love most. It may be the peace and quiet, fresh air, or time to think. Whatever it is, write it down. Now that you know what matters most to you, you can create goals that align with these values. For example, if one of your values is “provide for family”, your goal to get a promotion at work will hold new meaning and motivation as you keep this value in mind.

If you’re still struggling making goals, try our Goal Planning Forms. They’re a great way to keep your goals accessible in your planner and keep track of your efforts and progress. These forms help you break your goal into steps, set deadlines, and remember the corresponding value you’ve assigned to your goal.

Goal Planning Form

For a more in-depth explanation on how to identify your values, try our Planner Training Course.



Meet Tanya M. She’s a bookworm, foodie, soccer mom, and big time planner.

Tanya M

Here’s her Franklin story:

“I’ve always been an avid list maker and when I was working full time outside the home, suffering with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and we were raising three young boys, all I had time for was to make lists in my planner. My lists served to make sure my family was fed and healthy, the biggest fires fought and the squeakiest wheels oiled. We were in pure survival mode and time flew way too fast.

Before I knew it, our oldest son was nearly a teenager, my chronic illness worsened because of my job stress, and my husband and I decided enough was enough. I quit my job to stay home with our boys in 2013. That’s when I started using planners in a different way. Not just to make lists but to improve our quality of life….I became a total planner and productivity junkie. I read all the productivity and time management books I could get my hands on, including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Getting Things Done: The Art to Stress-Free Productivity. They really helped me get a handle on what I needed to organize all the ideas, to dos, and goals in my head onto paper so I could achieve stress-free productivity. A state of zen where I knew exactly what I needed to work on at any given moment and I could knock it out.

So then came the quest for the perfect planner to help me achieve that and I finally dove into the Franklin Planner system in January of 2021. I had heard of it before, of course, but never took the time to learn about how the system worked. I took the free online training and I was hooked….What I love most about the Franklin system is that it’s value-based. Those first exercises in the training of identifying my values and what that looks like in my life was life changing. Even those most mundane tasks like decluttering and cleaning house are more meaningful, rewarding, and worthwhile…”

You can hear more from Tanya on her blog, Mom’s Small Victories, or her youtube channel where she shares tips on planning, productivity, goal setting, and living with chronic illness.  Mom's Small Victories logo

2 Replies to “Organized October – First Steps: How to Plan / Where to Begin”

  1. This is great to read, very realistic and relatable. Reading this gives me the motivation to know I too can start this and change my habits to start achieving my goals. Life can be busy, overwhelming and seem like road blocks are encountered daily and then years pass quickly but this story is hopeful.

  2. Thank you, this is very helpful, both my husband and I are following along. Looking foraward to the next post!

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