My 2023 Planner Setup & Review

time management Jan 12, 2023

A new planner can be a special treat, whether you pick it up at Target or open your front door and discover a package waiting for you. In case you're not with me, this video may not be for you. 


Today, I'm sharing with you my process for setting up my planner for 2023. 


The planner that I use, and I'm going to share with you today, is the full Focus planner by Michael Hyatt. I've tried a bunch of different styles and I keep coming back to this one again and again and again. You're going to see why as we go through this video. 


There are different in the cover design. They even now have a spiral-bound version.  I start by going back to Q1 of 2022 and looking at my annual goals. I do feel the one thing that this planner is missing is the annual review.  There's a place to do a quarterly preview because it's broken down into a quarterly system. So at the end of December, I was just looking at where I was for my Q4 goals. I created a process for a yearly review is check in with my roadmap for life.


Another critique I have is that I would like to be able to see my goals on a daily basis. Inspired by another full focus planner user, I created a bookmark that has my goals listed. Instead of using the little ribbons that come with this, I will just move my bookmark around. 


The planner has space for 12 annual goals. I think this is dangerous. 12 goals is way too many. I had committed to 12 goals in 2022 because of this setup. I'm not doing that again for 2023.


Next, we get into goal detail. They use the smarter goal framework: specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time-bound, exciting, and relevant. Gosh, that's a lot. Here you have the chance to write out your keynote motivations. Don’t skip this. A goal you want to achieve must be driven by a strong reason. When things get tough, you're going to need to tap into that reason why. 


Next, you list out your next steps (for your goals). This is so important. What I want to point out here is to make that very first, next step, something really, really easy because goal achievement can be so challenging. You need early wins to make you feel that sense of motivation, that sense of winning, that keeps you working on that big goal. After I have detailed all of my goals for the year, I put them into my project manager. If it is a project, sometimes it's a habit goal, and that's a completely different subject for another day.


The next section in this planner is the monthly calendar. It's like an old school calendar that you would put on a wall, but it appears as a spread in the book. I've gone back and forth on how much I use this. I did fill it out for Q1 of 2023. What I like about it is when I actually have to sit and pencil out the important dates and big projects that I have going on on an old school calendar, I see more of the conflicts that might be arising.


I have an example for you. The first weekend in March my daughter is at a dance competition. For this particular one, we don't have to travel, but I also have a zoom for my Unbusy community. I'm crossing my fingers that she's not going to have some sort of dance competition at the same time. If so, I kind of at least have a heads-up. I can make sure now that my husband or my dad or another dance mom is available to fill in for me on that particular day.


After the monthly preview, they have something called rolling quarters. There’s space for 6 months and then numbers one through 31. Again, this gives you the visual to see what's coming up. I can see, oh gosh, summer vacation is only two quarters away. Do we have all of our plans detailed? 


There is a section on daily rituals. As you can see, this one is not filled out. I have still yet to do this, but I think this is really important, especially for the morning ritual and the workday shutdown. If you're creating a habit, identifying those rituals of starting up and shutting down are a good place to put those habits into your day. 


Next up we have your ideal week. I actually have an entire post about how to create a time budget, which is what the ideal week is all about. This is crucial. It makes you get serious about how you're spending your time. 


Now we get into the daily pages. You fill out your date at the top. It goes Monday through Sunday, week after week. You get a space for your daily big three. If you listen to my reset routine, you'll hear me talk about how you should never have more than three top priorities on a daily basis. There's space for other tasks, to block time block throughout your day, and for notes. One thing that I do when taking notes over here is star things that I want to come back to. During my weekly review on Sundays, I make sure that I pay attention to those stars and either take that action or move it into my project management system.


At the end of each day, the reset routine kicks in. I sit down and make sure my tasks, are checked off, there's an arrow that moves them to another day or a dash that means it's been delegated or waiting on somebody else circles all the way through, which means it's been delegated, and an X is something you've deleted. I make sure that everything on this task list has one of those symbols. I go back when I do my weekly review and check all of these as well to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.


Next is the weekly preview. It has an after-action review. You go back and identify what your big three were for the week, and how far did you get on them, and you even measure your percentage of completion. I love it. Consider what worked well and what needs to be changed. Then I reprocess the tasks that I may have missed. On the second page, you identify your top three for the following week. 


One last comment.  There's a rubber band that helps you keep the planner closed, but there's nowhere to keep a pencil. I've attached these little stick-ons that I can slide my pencil into. 

Let me know how you set up your planner in the comments below.

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