It’s Hard to Look Ahead
One of the toughest things about setting goals you can keep is planning out further than a single week. Life is messy, and plans change. Sometimes it feels like the month can fly by and I have no idea where all that time went. If you are familiar with the bullet journal, you probably know that the original system encourages setting monthly goals when you set up your monthly log. But I, like lots of other people, found myself migrating those goals over and over again. I would put off those items until the end of the month, which is not a great way to get things done! That’s when I decided to fix that by creating a Master Plan.
How Does it Work?
On the page immediately after my monthly log, I dedicate a spread to my Master Plan. The left page is where I list out my goals, both personal and work goals, while the right page is where I break things down. I separate the page into four categories one for each week of the month month. Then I look at my goals and figure out how I can break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks.
For example, let’s say I have a goal of preparing for a trip. In week one, I’ll write “create packing list.” Then, in the second week, I’ll add “do laundry” and “write travel itinerary”. The third week will have tasks like “pack” or “get cash from bank.”
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This dissection of a big goal into smaller tasks not only helps me feel less overwhelmed because everything is less abstract, but it helps me actually work toward the goal in a reasonable time frame. I have always struggled with big projects or goals because I don’t always know what to do next or when to do it. The reason creating a Master Plan is fantastic is because after it has been created, you don’t need to put much brain power behind the goal – you just do it! I don’t need to fuss over what to do next to plan for my trip, because I just need to check my Master Plan to see what is next on the to do list.
This little planning technique is perfect for school projects, work assignments, household chores like spring cleaning, or any other big task that needs more than a single day to complete. I wish I had thought up a Master Plan when I was still in school! I was the queen of last minute projects done in the dead of night. Allocating small pockets of time over a month is a million times less stressful than waiting until the eleventh hour – trust me.
Setting Up the Master Plan
You can set up your Master Plan to be as simple or elaborate as you like! I try to keep mine pretty simple, but I do like to keep the colors and style within my monthly theme. I’ve used Tombow Dual Brush Pens, watercolors, and good old fashioned black ink brush pens to set this spread up.
If you want to see the process of setting it up, check out the video below!
Setting Goals You Can Keep
Besides dealing with tasks and responsibilities, creating a Master Plan can help with your personal goals. For years, I struggled to begin working towards my big goals because I never felt that I had time. Like I said earlier, time has a way of slipping past you, and before you can blink a few days can turn into a few months. This makes it so difficult to make any progress with health, art, budgets – you name it.
That’s where the Master Plan comes in! Make a weekly goal of doing one or two small things, like going to the gym or sketching for 30 minutes. Write them as weekly goals in the Master Plan, and then they are tasks, not some far away goal. You can achieve them week by week instead of as some abstract goal. These small, actionable steps can go a long way towards making progress you can actually feel. This is especially powerful when paired with the habit tracker. A few steps each day or each week can take you places you never imagined!
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