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Goal and result oriented planning for success
Welcome to the Virtual 2020 Plan Party! It’s where we come together to contemplate our goals for the next year, share strategies and inspiration, and turn our goals into actionable, measurable, time-based tasks that lead to results and progress in our personal and professional lives. Below is the calendar of our planning assignments.
We may be sharing some intimate details of our dreams, so the first order of business is for everyone to introduce themselves and a reminder to please be respectful of each other’s privacy. Also, I realize that everyone is very busy and that life and things come up. The two planning weeks are supposed to help and not be a burden. Please share as much as you want and lurk as much as you want. I look forward to supporting all of you as far as you want to take this planning party and celebrating with you!
Let’s turn our wishes and dreams to plans and goals.
Here are planners, journals, materials, and apps that some of you asked about to help facilitate planning.
Passion Planner: Lots of women in medicine have been loving the Passion Planner loaded with prompts to stay focused on goals and 40 pages for additional notes (20 blank, 20 gridded). I chose to link to the undated one for more flexibility. The photo below links to the a pretty pink version but I think it’s dated. Check out and download pages of the Passion Planner here to see if it fits your style. Sign up for their emails to get notifications about deals.
Smart Planner Pro: This is similar to the Passion Planner, but for some reason it draws me more. I haven’t tried this one or the Passion Planner yet because I have a pretty set day time schedule, so I don’t find the daily schedule useful. If I have a more freelance/variable life, I will probably get one of these. If you prove your purchase and review on amazon, their website gives a 10% off coupon for all future purchase!
JARBO Bullet Journal: Just about the only thing consistent from one person’s bullet journal to another is that it’s numbered. I figured, why not outsource that to the printer then right? This journal comes numbered which saves time. With 192 pages/96 sheets, this seemed to give me the most bang for my buck. It’s also dotted for more flexibility and has a hard cover for durability. The inside cover contains an envelope for additional storage of loose papers/post-its – all the above planners do, too.
Minimalism Art: After much deliberation (maybe too much), I might settle on this journal which also includes another common element of all bullet journals, an index section. It has 124 numbered pages in a ruled format, which I felt ultimately fitted me better than the dots since I write more than I draw, jot down more words than create a fancy designs. The unnumbered version has a pretty soft pink color option that I like, but the numbered version has a lavender pink/purple that is not my style. I went back and forth between the two for a few days. Ultimately, my final pick by this brand was the gray covered numbered version to minimize the work I had to do.
Some of the apps we have mentioned in the DM thread are – Trello and Slack. Here are a few websites that compare Trello, Slack, and other management tools. Review 1. Review 2. Review 3. To be honest, my impression is that these tools are more for working on projects and communicating with remote team members rather than personal planning tools. I would love to hear if anyone has successfully used any of these apps for their own goals.
Google calendar is another tool we had mentioned. More to come on that later.
11/11: Reflecting on 2019
Write down the top 3 things that went well & why, what kind of support did you have to get this done?
Write down the top 3 things that didn’t go so well & why, what kind of support would you need to do this better?
Get feedback from people who know you to see what their thoughts are about why something worked out well or not; or share what you have written and see if they have additional thoughts/agree or disagree.
I’ve shared a photo of my answers in our group Twitter DM as an example. No obligation to post anything. Share as much or as little as you want.
11/13: Writing down 2020 goals
The assignment: Write down your top 3 goals for 2020 & why (why is that a priority goal more than other goals), how will your life be different when you achieve that?
Categories for inspiration: career, side hustle/hobby, financial, spiritual, family, self, based around a word (priority, travel, self care, writing, growth, streamline). A mentor once told me to narrow down the topics I am interested in to just 5. This was very useful advice because as a pediatrician, I am interested in EVERYTHING!!!! Breastfeeding! Asthma! Autism! Obesity! Vaccines! STDs! Periods! Concussions! Constipation! Okay, maybe not so much the last one. 🙂 By narrowing down my interests, It’s easier to let go of some opportunities and stay focused on mine and set goals that are aligned with them. I will share mine in the Twitter DM.
Questions for inspiration: What would your ideal year look like (vacays, work schedule, conference)? What does your ideal work day look like? What didn’t you get to do in 2019 that you want to do in 2020? What did you do in 2020 that you want to continue doing?
Questions for determining practicality: Are these goals that you can break down into small, shorter monthly or quarterly tasks? Are these goals that you can measure?
11/15: Sharing strategies
We may not feel 100% ready, timing may not feel 100% perfect, to start planning our goals, but it starts with imperfect action! I’ve sent a link in the Twitter DM with a google document that reviews a couple results focused strategies to setting goals with examples. They include SMART, OKR, and a tip for getting rid of your to-do list! Please feel free to share other strategies that you found helpful – i.e. templates, routines, accountability buddies, apps – or comment on your experience with using strategies that others have shared.
Try a new technique and put a goal through a few of these models to clarify ways you can measure it and a time frame to accomplish it. Test out different ways to dissect your goals into actionable chunks. Figure out which strategy works best for you and your goals – and you may find that each goal fits best under different models. This exercise will make the next part of planning so much easier when we break down our goal into quarterly and monthly tasks.
Lastly, think about what you can allocate to the next few years as well. If there was an amazing goal you had in mind but you know it’s just impossible to do this year, put a future year on it. Stay motivated and still feel excited about that future pursuit, but also stay focused on the more immediate year’s goals.
11/18: Breaking goals into tasks
Now it’s time to map out those goals and split them up into quarterly and monthly actionable items. Below are some samples of various formats to schedule and actionable items.
If you prefer post-it notes, then this format might be for you!
I suggest filling out the first quarter and 3 months tasks in pen or pencil, but definitely fill out the rest in pencil. That allows for adjustments and flexibility later on. Reassess goals, tasks, results, and progress at the end of each quarter and make adjustments accordingly.
11/20: How to say NO
Scheduling this topic at this point in the planning process was very intentional. Once we have our goals written out with details and timeframes, it’s a lot easier to stay focused and say “no” to the things that don’t align with those goals. It may still be very difficult to say “no,” but that’s no excuse to not strive to get better at it. Here are some strategies to say a firm “no” while maintaining a good relationship with those who hear it. Below are some books for additional reading on this topic.
I would love to hear what some of you have said “no” to and how that worked out. Share in the Twitter DM thread or in the comments of the Linked In article.
11/22: Plan reveal celebration!
Have you made it this far? If not, let me know what you struggling with the most and/or where you are feeling stuck. If you have, take a moment to sit back and celebrate 2020, because it’s going to be the best it can be! Then, “don’t get cocky kid.” Take imperfect action everyday. Don’t wait for the right conditions or the right amount of time. Just get it done and watch your action turn into results, and watch those results turn into success!