Can A Planner Help With My Weight Control Issues?
A planner can definitely help with managing your weight and dietary habits.
To help understand how this would work, here are some details and benefits on setting up and using a planner.
It is miraculous how many ways something as simple as a planner can change your life.
What stops many people from using one is being a little intimidated by it, not knowing how to set it up, and feeling like they won’t be consistent with it.
Worry no more! This simple guide will guide you through the basics, including benefits of using one, how to pick the right planner, and of course how to set it up.
Why Everyone Should Use a Planner
You might be aware of the basics about using a daily planner, but have still not discovered the many benefits. Take a look at the reasons why everyone – including you – should start using a life planner.
It Helps with Time Management
Do you find that there is never enough time for everything? If so, it is probably because you are not scheduling your time effectively. This happens when you just run constantly, going from one thing to the next, without really thinking about everything as a whole.
Using a planner allows you to schedule each event, appointment, errand, and task, so that you know what to expect and don’t run out of time. Set specific due dates and deadlines for everything to help you stay on track, and have extra time left for yourself and family.
You Can Improve Your Productivity
This is important for your personal and professional life. While many people think of productivity as it relates to their job, you also want to be productive at home. This might include getting cleaning and home organization done, or working on projects you keep putting it off. Regardless of what it is, planners help you to stay on track with each individual task you need to complete, and encourages you to move on to the next one effectively and efficiently.
They Provide Excellent Stress Relief
Stress has many forms, but one thing they all have in common is that it comes from being overwhelmed. You are often stressed due to a hectic schedule, having too many demands, or just putting too much on your plate. Outside influences do also affect your stress level, but think of how different it could be when you actually have time for everything and are able to seamlessly go from one responsibility to the next without having to worry about missing something, being late, or having to back out at the last minute.
There are a Multitude of Health Benefits
As you might imagine, planners help you stay healthy in a wide range of ways. It helps your physical health by helping you track things like diet and exercise, you can schedule regular doctor and dentist appointments, and make sure you are getting enough fresh air and vitamin D by scheduling days spent outdoors. You get mental health benefits by reducing stress and anxiety, and even having journaling pages for when you just need a good brain dump.
More Time for Creative Activities
Another benefit of using a planner is that because you are sticking to a schedule for all the mandatory responsibilities, it leaves a little free time for your artistic endeavors, whether that means working on a hobby or trying something new.
Tips for Choosing the Right Planner
Using a planner on a daily basis provides an excellent way to organize your life, relieve stress, and complete goals. The very first step is to choose the type of planner that will work best for you. Here are a few ideas to start with.
Consider the Size
This is one of the most important factors, not only because you need to consider where you will be using the planner, but also what printable pages to include. While many people who offer printable planner pages allow you to choose from different sizes, it is still something to consider.
There are small, medium, and large sizes to choose from. The larger ones are great for a desktop, so if you want to keep it on your desk, it’s a good option. Otherwise, one of the smaller ones is ideal to keep in your purse, car, or anywhere on the go.
Look at the Layouts
While you will probably fill this planner with more pages as you think of additional things to track, look at the layouts of pages it comes with. This is when you think about what you will be tracking, and how many pages you need for writing or adding your own custom information.
What Pages do You Want?
As you are looking at layouts of the pages, look at the different types of pages as well. Some planners keep it very basic where it is primarily the monthly and weekly calendar pages, while others fit in a lot of extras, such as blank pages for journaling, to-do lists, task lists, and a lot more.
What is it Being Used for?
Still not sure what planner you want? Think about what you are going to use it for. This might be for your daily life and schedules, work and projects, home life, personal or a combination of all of these. This determines everything from the size to the type of pages included in your planner. It will also help you figure out if a store-bought planner works, or if you will get a binder and just use printable planner pages.
Think About Room for Extras
It is always good to choose a binder-style planner with extra room to add additional pages. Many people offer some amazing printables so that you can customize any planner to your own needs. All you need is a printer, paper, and 3-hole punch.
Tips for Setting Up Your Planner
After you have purchased your planner, the first thing you need to do is set it up. Here is a quick guide to doing this efficiently, while also keeping it a simplified process.
Gather Your Tools and Supplies
The first step to setting up your planner is to gather everything you need. Aside from your planner and any printable pages you are adding to it, you will need something to write with.
If you are color coding, using some colored pens is a great tool to have, but this isn’t necessary.
Some other tools you may need include:
Ruler (for custom pages)
3-Hole Punch (for printed pages)
Stickers or embellishments
Highlighters (for color coding)
There may be some other accessories you need, but these are the basics to grab for now. When you start working on different pages, you will decide then if more needs to be used.
Decide What to Track and Where
Next is to decide what you are tracking in your planner, if you haven’t made this decision already. This is often something you will think on before you even buy your planner, but it is good to make notes of the main areas of the planner you want to use.
Perhaps you just want to use the monthly and weekly calendar pages for now, or you might want to use it for home or work projects, or setting goals, so you would like pages for listing to-do lists and task lists.
Use the Monthly Calendar First
Now that you are ready to write in the planner and start setting it up, always start with the monthly calendar for the current month. It is good to start with birthdays and anniversaries, since those are pretty straightforward. You can then start adding in other events or appointments you already know about.
You may add more to the monthly calendar later, but the basics is all you need for now. Fill out as many of the monthly calendars as you want, or you can just stick to this month to keep it simple.
Make a List of Goals and Tasks
Before working on the weekly schedule pages, it is good to make a list of any goals or tasks that need to be done this month. This can be added to the monthly calendar, followed by more details added to the weekly schedule.
For example, if you have a goal to finish school shopping for your kids by the end of September, then you will probably have tasks like setting a budget, finding sales, hitting certain stores, things like that. This makes it easier and less overwhelming for you.
Add More Details to Your Weekly Schedule
Now it is time to set up the weekly section of the planner. Use your monthly calendar to plan out what needs to be done each week, and on which day. The weekly pages usually have larger sections for each day of the week so that you have enough room to write down details like to-do lists for completing certain tasks, or things you need before an appointment or event.
By now, you have completed the main part of the planner. You can decide to stop there, or continue with other details. You might want to do some color-coding, or add additional pages for other productivity requirements you have.
Have fun planning!
Want to start a planner, but still a little confused about what should be included? A good place to start is by looking at the typical things people like to track, then go from there. This list might give you some ideas.
Schedules and Appointments
The first thing to track is all important dates, but think about more than just birthdays and events. Try to think of your schedule on a weekly and monthly basis, and about all those things that tend to come up. Maybe you want to plan on spring cleaning in March, or you want to get a head start on a work project for the fall.
Really take the time to go month by month, write down important dates, then backtrack and have more detailed to-do lists leading up to the event so you are always prepared.
Some things that might go in your calendar or schedule include:
Kids’ sports events
Vacation or days off
Doctor and dentist appointments
Goals and Tasks Lists
Another great thing to track in your planner is any goals you have. Choose both short-term and long-term goals related to work and your personal life. After you select the main goals, start fleshing them out to where you have tasks that need to be completed for those goals, then schedule in each of these tasks. This allows you to complete your goals by the deadline, and stay on track without becoming overwhelmed.
Daily Affirmations or Journal Entries
Many planners or planner pages also allow for writing down anything you want. This might be blank sections with enough room for a few sentences, or full blank pages. Take advantage of these for gratitude, journaling, and taking notes. Maybe you want to write down an affirmation every day to keep you in a positive mindset, or you have areas for daily or weekly journal entries.
Additional Page Ideas
There are so many different things you can track based on the type of planner you want to get, and what it is being used for. Home and family planners might have pages for your budget and savings or cleaning lists, while a daily life planner often includes work to-do lists, places you want to visit, or making plans with friends. Think outside the box and include pages to track anything and everything that often gets passed up.
After you have chosen the planner you want to use and have some basic ideas of what to include in it, consider organizing even more by color coding. This involves using colored pens, highlighters, or stickers to make each section or item a different color. Here are some reasons why this is a great idea.
Your planner is helping to keep your life more organized, but why not organize the planner as well? When you look at a monthly calendar and see a lot of text all in the same color, it tends to blend together.
If you want to focus on certain things, or have a better idea of what is related to finances, home, family, work, or other areas of your life, it helps to use colors for each area. There are many ways to color code different sections of the planner to make it more effective for you.
Having Fun with Customization
Color coding isn’t just about organization, but it is fun to do! Your planner becomes something you love working in because it’s pretty and you get to use different pens and artistic tools. Make it a creative project so that it is not only helping you be more productive, but becomes a fun creative outlet as well.
Keeping Areas of Your Life Separate
Another excellent benefit of color coding in your planner is to help keep different areas of your life (and schedule) separate. If you are filling out task lists, it might get confusing when it is all written in black. If these tasks aren’t necessarily related or even for the same goals one day, it can make it easier to use different colored pens for each type of task on the to-do list.
Deciding What to Color Code
You can color code anything and everything in your planner. This might be changing the pen color when making a to-do list, using stickers or highlighters for certain sections ono the calendar pages, or even separating the planner into sections based on the color of the pages.
Have fun with it, and remember not only to make it fun, but to be sure you are making it more effective, instead of distracting. There is a balance here between being helpful, and going a little overboard.
Start small by taking your monthly calendar for each month, and separating
each area into a different color. This might be for things like work, family, and
personal life. Or type of event, like holiday, birthday, appointment, or due date.
Set and Stick to Your Goals with a Planner
Among the many different benefits of having and using a planner, consider using it for setting goals. You can have pages dedicated to listing all your short and long-term goals, tasks to complete those goals, and even a schedule of what to do when. Keep reading to learn how you can use your planner for this purpose.
Decide What Planner to Set Goals in
This is a big decision to make, and is often dictated by the types of goals you have. If you are keeping your goals fairly simple, they can definitely fit in your ordinary planner. However, some people like to be more complex and actually want a journal-style planner for setting and detailing their goals and the tasks involved.
Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goals Method
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time specific. These goals are not just some big, elaborate dream, but something that is achievable. You want a goal to be realistic and something where you can measure the level of success. It is also good to set a time for completing the goal, which encourages you to keep up with the tasks and have a clear set path.
Be Specific with Tasks and Deadlines
Here is where people often go wrong- they set a goal, but it is open-ended, and doesn’t really include instructions on how to complete it. When you set a goal, you should also have a broad look at tasks required to complete that goal, then each of those tasks might have more details about how to complete them.
You might want to start an online business, so tasks often include setting a budget, creating a website, and stocking inventory. For the website, there are even more tasks required, like choosing a domain name, hosting, and web design.
Schedule All Tasks
Another important part of setting goals in your planner is to schedule the tasks. This is one of the benefits of using your planner for your different goals. Each time you list a task to be completed for that goal or project, set a deadline. After the deadline is set, add it your calendar pages, including the monthly and weekly calendar areas.
This is going to keep you on track, reducing stress, and offering more organization and
structure in your life. Each day when you check in with your planner, you know what is
expected of you on that day.