If You Give a Girl a Planner: Goals

If you give a girl a planner, she's going to ask you for a pen, some stickers... and maybe a notebook to go with it. I'm so obsessed with all things paper! I love trying new things and then blogging about it. So, for the next few days, I'm sharing my 2020 planner lineup. I'll talk about what I'm using for my daily life, personal goals, reading log, and bookish bullet journal. Today it's all about my PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner!

I'd never purchased a goal planner before but was intrigued by the idea of PowerSheets after following the company on Instagram. When they launched their 2020 collection, I decided to give it a try. With a baby on the way at the time, I worried that I'd use them for a month and then set them aside. But the opposite happened! Because I noticed an immediate change, I felt more motivated to continue. I'm going to go through the main sections of my PowerSheets in today's post, but Cultivate What Matters' The Anatomy of PowerSheets is another reference. Their blog is a great resource overall for ideas and inspiration. Since some pages are more personal than others, I was selective about photos. But I've embedded a video with a full flip through of the 2021 PowerSheets at the end!

One of the things that sets PowerSheets apart is the Prep Work. This section sets out to "lead you to uncover a big picture vision and the right goals for your unique life and season." It does this through a series of thoughtful questions and prompts – asking you to examine things like what makes you come alive, what's holding you back, what's worked (and hasn't) in the past, lessons you've learned, and what you want your legacy to be.

In my 2020 PowerSheets, this section is 34 pages long. The 2021 edition has been reduced to 21 pages. And looking through it, I love all the changes! They redesigned and simplified this section to make it impactful but easier to complete. It looks like it will be a little less repetitive, too. Although I find this section valuable, it's probably my least favorite part of PowerSheets. Maybe I already think enough about some of these things that nothing felt particularly eye-opening? But I loved parts of it, like making a vision board and choosing a word of the year.

Overall, I appreciate having a section that helps you prepare. Instead of diving into the details, it forces you to focus on the big picture. So, you end up with more meaningful goals and accomplish what actually matters to you.

Immediately following the Prep Work, it's time to set your goals. It encourages you to set goals that are connected to your big picture, and then it dives deeper by asking you if you realistically have the resources to achieve a specific goal and whether it's the right season for it. I love this aspect of their goal setting work. Sometimes I want to accomplish something that really is important to me, but I'd be squeezing it into a season with very little margin. I'll only end up frustrated and feeling like I've failed if I try to do it then!

Then, you've got space to write no more than 8 goals. This spread appears in the first Goals section, but it's repeated every 90 days (in seasonal goal refreshes) so there's always an opportunity to change your mind. You get to update them throughout the year! And I find it freeing to know that I can tweak and adjust as time goes on.

Once you've set your goals, there are action plan pages that help you break down a big goal into mini goals and action items. One of the changes to the 2021 edition is that these action plans are now included in the 90-day Goal Refresh, which I love. As you can probably tell above, I created my own workaround. Here's what I do:

+ Big Picture Goal: For 2020, I have six big-picture goals. The wording of these is more abstract and not necessarily measurable – like my goal to nurture my relationship with Nick and our boys. Mine haven't changed this year, partly because I made them with our new baby in mind and that's been fitting for what life is like with COVID-19.

+ Quarterly Goals: On the action plan pages, I made mini goals for the first quarter. When those pages weren't repeated later on, I just used that concept to write quarterly goals in my Goal Refresh. These goals are more specific and are actions I can take. So, taking the same big picture goal I mentioned above, my quarterly goals might be things like date nights with my big boy or checking a family adventure off our 20 in 20 list.

But how do I break down my goals even more? That brings us to the Monthly tabs!

The spread above is only part of what you'll find in each month's tab! This sections helps you track your progress, plan for the month ahead, follow through on making it happen, and then review at the end of the month.

At the beginning of each new month, there's a preparation page where you can write down important to do's, things you're excited for, what's worrying you, and what you're hoping for in this coming month. Then, there's a calendar spread, which I skip. I've seen creative uses of these pages, but none seem to be a natural fit for me right now. After that, there's space to brainstorm goals and action items you could focus on that month. This page has changed for 2021, and I think the new layout pairs even better with what comes next:

The Tending List! This is my favorite part of PowerSheets and what's made the biggest difference for me this year. This page gives you a spot to write down Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Action Items. And I'm so obsessed with it! Some months I fill up every line (like above) and others just a few. At the end of the month, my lists are never perfectly filled in. But there's progress! Every single month, I make progress. And little by little, it adds up to a lot. 

Before moving on to the next month, there's a Month in Review page to write about things where you're making progress and what you're choosing grace over guilt about right now. It's a nice way to wrap it up!

The Prep Work, Goals + Goal Refreshes, and Months are the bulk of PowerSheets. But you have the opportunity to customize them a little more with Wildcard pages! You can buy a pre-printed set or print your own (which I did above) to help dig a little deeper into some of your goals. Here are some of the options available:

+ Perpetual Calendar
+ Fun List
+ Books Read This Year
+ Relationship Tending
+ Financial Check-In
+ Go-To Meals
+ Goals At-a-Glance

I've added the Fun List to the front of my PowerSheets with my family's 2020 bucket list on it. I add the Goals At-a-Glance page to each month's tab and write down one main action item per goal for that month. I love using the Content Planning page, above, to brainstorm blog posts. My goal this year has been to share two posts per week, and this page has helped me make significant progress. I used to have a more detailed planner focused solely on my blog, but this more simplified page has been doing the trick. There are a lot of options!

Would I recommend it?
Well, I bought the 2021 version, along with their accessory pouch! For me, the PowerSheets haven't been a magical process or product – but they have been a powerful tool of accountability. I already knew what mattered to me and what goals I wanted to accomplish but didn't have a plan to make them happen. Now, I have a system.

I love the encouragement throughout that little-by-little progress makes a difference. I've seen the truth of that this year! Before, I would feel overwhelmed by things I wanted to get done and wouldn't know where to start. Or I'd get started but would abandon it if I wasn't totally consistent, procrastinated too much, etc. It's easier for me to track the changes I'm making, to see clear evidence that I've implemented new habits and accomplished important goals. At the end of the year, I'm planning to blog more about the progress I've made but you can see some of my progress in my monthly Goals posts. I've definitely found the process valuable.

Additionally, I'm excited about the changes they've made for next year, especially the streamlined prep work and how the refreshes align more with reassessing your goals every 90 days. The few things I haven't loved – elements of the prep work, the way goal refreshes were structured, the format of the section to brainstorm for the Tending List – have all been changed for 2021. I love a company that can refine their product!

If you want a full flip through of PowerSheets, check out this video below:

Do you use a goal planner? This is my first time!
Tomorrow I'll be chatting about my reading log.

1 comment

  1. I've never used a goal planner before! But it does look really cool, and I like that it makes it easy for you to set your goals, break them down and then hold yourself accountable so that you can achieve them.


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