Getting Started - How long's your timeframe?
Good planning involves thinking about both the longer term and the shorter term. But in my experience really long term planning rarely works. Have you ever seen a five year plan last five years? Things change and you therefore need to be flexible and adaptable in your planning . . .
I was talking a number of years ago to an international advertising agency about planning. Their use of of a "rolling" 9 month system really resonated with me. It works on the simple basis that you plan for the next 9 months - and then every three months your "refresh" and publish a new/amended 9 month plan. Believe it or not, a lot can happen in three months - particularly when you are embarking on a personal change programme. This system therefore allows you to constantly have a plan that is real, relevant and timely.
Getting your plan out of your head . . .
OK so once you have agreed your planning timeline, document your longer term goals (whether it be 9 months, a year or something else) based on your mission statement. So for instance if you have decided in your mission statement that you will be financially self-sufficient, then you may set yourself a goal that . . . by March next year I will have started my first business. You then need to think about what actions you need to take to reach this goal - what, when and how. So for example you might decide to carry out some research in August by talking to similar businesses, attend a marketing course in September, write a business plan in October, hook up with a business mentor in November etc etc.
The point is - you are tying together: a) your mission statement, b) your longer term goals and c) your shorter term actions. In other words - planning!
There are some really amazing (and free) planning tools available on the web. Take look and spend some time before making your decision. Because once you choose one planning tool - its hard to change!
Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk is essentially a to-do list. Created in 2004 by a two-person Australian company. Now has 5 millions users.
Remember the Milk allows users to create multiple task lists. Added tasks can be edited (or not) to include various fields; locations can be added, and an integrated Google Maps feature allows users to save commonly used locations. Tasks can also be organised by tags. Users must pay a subscription to synchronise among multiple devices more than once a day. Remember the Milk offers integration with Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and other services.
Lifetick allows you to add and track multiple goals, build plans and steps for each one, and then look back on your progress over time to see how well you're doing . You can filter your goals based on the part of your life you want to work on, and review your progress in each individual area.
Todoist is one of the more established sites which allows you to manage your planned tasks across a variety of devices. There is a free version or your can pay extra for more options.
You can create "projects" and then tasks and actions within those projects. For instance your project may be to be an inspiring parent - and within that project you may choose to take your son or daughter to places that make them them think about the world they live in - and then you may have subtasks of planning visits to an office of Greenpeace or an upcoming exhibition. You can also track your progress on a daily or weekly basis with Todoist Karma - you even get "points".