The Plan: Making Mini-Goals

(Psst…I’ve updated The Plan page.)

I’m the kind of person who loves making plans, writing lists, figuring out how to get from A to B. Problem is, if getting from A to B takes too long, I end up thinking C or D look pretty good, and I lose focus. I need smaller, attainable goals to keep me going in the right direction.

In thinking about The Plan, I’ve decided that I need monthly goals. Something attainable that keeps me moving in the right direction. I also really need a way of keeping track of my progress.

May I introduce you to my friend?

This is my Hipster PDA. I am officially in love. It’s like a super low-tech, no fuss way of keeping track of–anything. At its simplest a hPDA is nothing more than a stack of index cards held together with a binder clip. There are websites that offer all manner of amazing printables for this thing. So many that you have to be careful or you’ll end up turning your no-fuss doohickey into something too complicated to deal with.

 Here’s what I have in mine:

  • A one-page to the week card. It’s outlined in blue.
  • A to-do list. It’s outlined in yellow.
  • A financial card to track my spending. It’s outlined in green, and can hold up to a week’s worth, depending on how much I spend.
  • The whole current month on two cards.
  • A card with The Plan’s daily, weekly, and monthly goals outlined on it.
  • A card with The Plan’s main goals outlined on it.
  • A perpetual shopping list that I add to, cross off of, and then rewrite when I run out of space.
  • A couple of really neat little “potential project” cards that have lines for writing down the idea, and then 2/3 of the card taken up with grid lines for drawing it out.
  • A job tracker card for each of the three online writing sites I write for that lists website, log in info, goals, and records payments.
  • One card marked off in 18 numbered squares that is my countdown to when I can make the big changes I’m barely holding back from right now.
  • Five or six blank cards

The colored cards are the ones I use the most, and are super easy to find in the stack. I just used one of Ruby’s markers to line the long sides. I keep my to do list on the outside.

I’m going to make up some sort of card with concrete monthly goals. These are different from the tasks I’ve set up. So, for instance, don’t eat gluten wouldn’t be a monthly goal. Bake a loaf of gluten-free bread would be. Make sense? Not write an hour a day, but finish the rewrite on such-and-such story.

I’m also going to make some sort of fun chart to keep track of savings. I don’t think I can fit our whole 18-month goal on one 3X5 card, but I can fit mini-goals. Maybe tack them up one on top of the other as they add up. Something along those lines.

I made one of these for Adrienne and one for Kevin for Christmas. I’ll let you know how that goes. I think they’ll love them, and Adrienne especially will think it’s a fun way to keep track of her savings, her assignments at school, and the freelance writing jobs she’s been picking up.

Here are my January Mini-Goals:

  • Self-Care: Buy the necessary flours and gums to start experimenting with gluten-free baking. Budget some grocery money for this.
  • Frugality: Make a master list of the items we normally buy in a week and begin to imput sale prices each week to start a price book.
  • Simplicity: Make a list of my three biggest time and energy drains, and three ways I can simplify each one.
  • Sustainability: Spend at least $10 per week on stocking up our pantry.
  • Life-long Learning: Learn how to use the zipper foot on my sewing machine. Have Kevin help me make a duct tape dress form.
  • Joy: Earn $100 from freelance writing to put into savings.
  • Forgiveness: Write out, privately, the problems I’m having at work so that I can start to move past them and find forgiveness for the people who have hurt me.
  • Housekeeping: Orgainze the bookshelf near the front door, making sure to leave one shelf for The Plan resources.
  • Career: Finish the final read-through on Devil You Don’t (novel) and get it sent back to publisher.
  • Spirituality: Search out a UU forum that I can participate in.
  • Relationships: Call Carol.
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