As you know, many people use a planner to organize their lives. A planner typically includes a yearly, monthly and weekly calendar as well as space to write down what you hope to accomplish each day.
Some planners are more involved but the focus is generally the same. Those of us who use planners can’t imagine living our lives without one. I know I can’t.
However, the idea of a Life Planning Binder is a bit different.
This is a place to organize your ideas and your dreams and more importantly, a place to chart out your goals and priorities that will turn your dreams into action and hopefully into reality.
I also use it to organize my daily tasks but the tasks that are written in my Life Planning Binder are solely focused on my bigger life plan to ensure I’m working a little bit each day towards my dreams.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Creating A Life Planning Binder
1. Start by purchasing the following items at your favorite supply store:
- A large 3-ring binder is best for this project (preferably with a front cover sleeve so you can create an inspiring cover for yourself).
- A set of 3-holed plastic sheet protectors
- A set of self-adhesive index tabs (you could use 3-hole index sheets but they may not be easy to see around the plastic sleeves).
Plastic Sheet Protectors
2. Determined Your Categories
- I follow the “Essential Life Planning & Dream Fulfillment Workbook” framework for my Life Planning Binder but you can design any framework that works best for you. The advantage of the workbook is that it guides you through the life planning process step-by-step so there’s no guesswork involved.
- Think about the different categories that would be helpful for you in the Life Planning process. Continue a little further and you’ll see the categories I use.
3. Label Your Sections
- Design your cover sheets.
- I prefer to use a little color and some fun designs on mine. I can’t help it, I like pretty things :). I find it’s more fun to use my binder when it’s visually appealing to me.
- Slip your design covers into a 3-hole plastic sheet protector. This sleeve is where I adhere each of the index tabs as well.
- Determine where you want your index tabs to go and label them.
- I label the tabs by hand since it’s quicker and easier.
4. Using Your Life Planning Binder
- The following images show you the exact categories I use and a bit about each section.
- For your convenience, the Essential Life Planning & Dream Fulfillment Workbook includes 9 section covers with these categories (as shown below) as well as 6 designed pages without categories for you to add your own. Also available in a neutral design.
I write in my Dream Journal every 3-4 months to ensure that what I really want in my life is consistent with the goals and priorities I’m currently working on. The areas I highlight are carried over to step 2 of the Life Planning process.
Here’s a copy of the journal page included with the Essential Life Planning & Dream Fulfillment Workbook and the one I’m using above. You can easily create your own. I make about 10 copies at a time. Once I sit down to write, I’ll make more copies so it’s ready to go for the next time.
I also use worksheets that I have developed for other blog posts like this one:
You can access these worksheets for free. The blog posts that currently have free worksheets include:
- Taking Action on My PINS to Reinvent Myself
- First Thing You Must Do To Prioritize Your Life
- How to Figure Out Your Ideal Life in One Hour or Less
- How & Why to Start A Jar of Progress
- Honor Yourself While Working Towards Your Goals
Here are the additional sections included in my Life Planning Binder to give you some ideas about which sections you want to include.
I typically don’t type out my plans (as shown below) but some of my sheets are included in the Essential Life Planning & Dream Fulfillment Workbook in the appendix as examples. The examples I provide in the workbook represent my current dreams and goals. I have blank pages of the Dream Resume worksheets in my Life Planning binder as well so I can add ideas as I go along.
I don’t print my copy of the Essential Life Planning & Dream Fulfillment Workbook in color. I find it just fine to work with B&W. The color on my cover pages is just enough.
Roadblocks & Barriers
This journal section of my Life Planning binder is critical. The category section is labeled ‘Roadblocks & Barriers’ but my tab just says ‘Fears.’ The bigger the dream I’m working towards, the more often I need to process my fears. Journaling is the best way I have found to do this (besides talking it through with my husband but he’s not always available to do that).
I have found that even 5 minutes of journaling can save me hours of uncertainty and anxiety that I may be feeling at that moment.
“The more we care about something, the more we dream, the more fear shows up.”
~ Robert Maurer, One Small Step Can Change Your Life*
This is another section I find extremely important. The items in this section change from time to time as my needs for different motivational messages shift as I change and grow.
Need to find your focus and start prioritizing your life? Struggling to stay motivated?
Check-out these LIFE PLANNING ESSENTIALS available for you to get started today. They can work wonders helping you recharge and refocus your life.
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