Why you should use our 2018 Planner to live your best year yet: because planning is an art form that requires mastery.
So, how many times have you found yourself in the waning days of another December telling yourself that “this is the year I’ll finally make THIS happen!”…
…only to come up snake eyes and promise yourself that you’ll make sure the following year will be better?
Truth be told only a few elite people don’t endure this kind of calenderial blue-balls.
It’s pretty disheartening stuff.
That’s why we’re going to share how our 2018 planner works so that you can apply it to your own personal growth.
Before We Start The 2018 Planner
You go into the new year full of pep, piss and vinegar, convinced that the world is your oyster and then, somehow (or mysteriously), all that promise seems to disappear.
Worse yet, you can’t explain why everything happened the way it did.
This is why planning THE RIGHT WAY is the key to making shit happen and not fall off the rails.
I’ve tried planning out my years in many different ways in the past and I’m very happy to share those with you now so that you don’t make the same mistakes.
So here they are in quick order:
1. Lack of realism – it’s very important to be optimistic in life and to stride with confidence…but that positive outlook must be counter-balanced with realism, the acknowledgement of risk and comparing outcomes of the past.
Let’s start with realism. I remember one year in my 20s when I saw myself traveling to X amount of countries. Being the nimble traveler that I was, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to accomplish more on 3 times less than the average traveler.
But nimble isn’t unstoppable and I fell very shy of my travel plans and actually felt quite guilty about it.
Same with when I got into business. I remember in the early goings that I was only planning how much I was going to earn month to month, but didn’t put any consideration into HOW I was going to generate all that revenue.
I was just going to pull it out of my ass through sheer hard work and determination.
2. Subliminally Giving Up – Most of us would like to see ourselves as anything but quitters. If we’re determined to reach a goal and we start falling short of the mark, giving up or “forgetting” about the goal is usually subliminal more than anything.
I’d always go in with a ton of plans/goals written down at the beginning of the year, only to look back on what I had planned for January in October of that year and realize that I had completely forgotten about some of the missions I had on the books.
Was it because I “quit”? Not at all.
Looking back on journal entries and the revised agendas for the months afterwards, those goals just seemed to quietly ebb until fading into obscurity.
One personal example I can relate to includes attempting to write three pages of a novel each morning before work.
A number of factors got in the way.
- The winter was especially bad that year, making the commute longer and requiring earlier departure times.
- I went through a break-up which disrupted my living environment and after that, started having work issues.
Which brings us to our next point…
3. Life Happens – Predicting the future can be done to a certain extent, but no one will ever nail it down 100%. From my years of experience, here are factors you have to consider and create a “what if” back-up plan should these obstacles arise:
> Job loss – whether you get laid off, fired or find work so intolerable that you absolutely must quit, this is one of the biggest factors you should have contingencies in place for.
Loss of work obviously affects your finances, but it will negatively impact your time budget (applying to quality jobs chews up many digits on the clock). You’ll likely go through stress, which is also a detriment to productivity.
For an idea of how to approach job loss or transitioning out of a shitty job, do read this.
> End of a relationship – Just as job loss can knock you off your balance in numerous ways, so can a break-up.
From the heartbreak (depending on who wants the break up and who is more attached) to separation of assets, fighting and having to adjust to a new standard of living be prepared to give up to 3 months of optimum productivity to a break up.
> Relocation – did you know that relocation is considered to be only less spiritually less taxing than suffering through the death of a loved one and enduring job loss?
Whether you forsee relocation in the near future or not, be sure to plan for chaos. Even if it’s controlled chaos.
> Injury – It was just this year that I had to sideline my fitness goals on account of two consecutive injuries. But what can you do?
When you get hurt you cannot force your way through it. When planning for all things physical, always ask yourself, “what if I screw up my back somehow tomorrow?”
On With The 2018 Planner!
Alright, so now we’ve covered what might come between you and your plans. Hopefully that section helped paint a realistic list of “maybes” for you to plan according to.
How the 2018 planner all begins – write a list of everything you sincerely hope to accomplish.
Why the use of the term “sincerely”?
Because if you listed that you want to add 30 pounds of muscle by the end of the year, but it’s something that you could live without and still be content, then you can jettison that item from the list.
This is about accomplishing things you feel you must get done in order to feel happy and genuinely fulfilled.
Here’s an example of DappChap’s 2018 goals (as well as a few personal ones):
- Secure financing so that DappChap products can be sold on ALL major platforms outside of our own site
- Launch a Kickstarter campaign to finance our own production facility
- Open monthly replenishment program
- Get 1M subscribers to the DappChap newsletter by January 1st, 2019
- (Personal) Buy land and build a tiny house in the country / establish rental community
- (Personal) Optimize back strength and lower body fat index to its lowest possible point
Breaking the 2018 Planner Down (Eating the Elephant)
Those goals are made up of many, many tiny moving parts.
Securing financing is not an overnight thing. Business plans, pitch decks and stats must be assembled, and even then, the hunt itself consumes a great deal of time.
Then you have other factors to consider, such as having sales to show those potential investors and so we are therefore designing constant plans to keep bumping our sales count upwards to prove the concept. That in itself consumes its share of time and resources.
As for the Kickstarter, that project also consumes a great deal of time. Gone are the days when you could throw up a simple talking head video. These days we’re talking about a full scale production and you can count on investing no less than $1K to get that seed money.
The health goals are also acquired through carefully calculated baby steps.
You saw that one of my goals was to build back muscle. That is something that can be built over a sustained rhythm and 3 days a week in the gym is more than sufficient.
Lowering the body fat index is what truly consumes the most amount of time and effort. It’s one thing to hit the gym to make the goal happen, but a lot of planning has to go into dietary changes and strategies that will make lifestyle changes acceptable.
For instance, eating a more vegetarian diet is very key to losing weight. My GF and I have plans to make our diet at least 50% vegetarian in 2018. Making this a reality will require that we pre-cook vegetarian meals in advance so the temptation to eat some quick and carb-heavy can be quelled.
My plan of attack? Start by programming my mornings to accommodate those changes. Here is the morning routine I am working to make stick:
5:00 – Start coffee, do some stretches
5:10 – Do a mild exercise to get blood flowing (jumping jacks or pushups)
5:20 – Coffee with coconut oil
5:30 – Write 250 for DappChap power article
6:00 – Shave & shower
6:15 – Eat breakfast / Have vitamins
6:30 – If there’s a new video to be published, use this time to do it
Looking at that morning routine, you can see that it’s only the first 90 minutes of my day.
The focus is to follow this until, I simply can’t stand the thought of missing a single step.
I’m one of those people that believes mornings to be the most important part of the day and that is why mastering the morning is most important to me.
After the 6:30 mark, anything else planned for the day is simply listed in bullet points. What this means is that I can get this stuff done any time of that day, so long as it gets done.
So that’s pretty much how the days are planned.
The daily plans are tied into weekly plans, which in turn are linked to monthly plans until all of 2018 has been completely reverse-engineered.
2018 Planner Tools To Be Used
Like a lot of modern entrepreneurs, I rely on Google Calendar, but for important milestones, I also insist on doubling-up by marking those milestones on an old-school calendar on the kitchen wall.
To help make your life a little easier, here are some apps that will help you with your own 2018 planner:
Trello – Whether you work alone or in a team, Trello is a killer way to remain on top of your progress and maintain accountability.
Spending Tracker – Speaking of accountability, this tool has helped us save a lot of money by course-correcting some not-so-great spending habits we didn’t even know we had.
Scanbot – We moved this year and seeing how much paper was accumulated was enough for us to swear off physical documents once and for all.
Dark Reader – Do you spend inordinate amounts of time in front of a computer screen? This app will help preserve your peepers and prevent you from feeling brain-drained.
SiteBlock – Rabbitholing is the leading cause of lost productivity. Find yourself returning to that one forum a few too many times? Perhaps the video bug won’t stop biting. This app will prevent you from accessing those sites for a determined period of time.