Are you looking for an easy way to make a plan and stick to it? I know it’s hard but that doesn’t mean it’s not doable.
In this post, I share 8 different ways to make a plan and stick to it and I also share why is it hard to make planning sticks and 13 easy hacks to fix it.
Doesn’t matter what you’re making a plan for even if your plan is about taking a vacation all year long!
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How to make a plan and stick to it
1- Borrow from the future
Rather than focusing on what you want at the moment why not borrow from the future? That means you want to plan from your future vision, and your end goal but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Maybe you want to stay healthy or travel the world, what does that look like for you? Starting a plan from that mindset will make it easier to stick to your plan during setbacks.
Sit down and vision the next version of you, doesn’t matter if that version is 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years from now.
Here are some prompts to help you:
- What do I want in the next 3,5,10 years?
- What don’t I want……..?
- What does my future self looks like or does?
2- Start small
After figuring out what you want for yourself you’ll be overwhelmed and that’s okay. What you need to do is to start small.
Focus on one area that you can do right now and narrow it down one by one, here’s what I mean.
Say your next vision is to work from home or be a stay-at-home mom.
To make it manageable and easy to set a plan for it you want to focus on a part of that vision.
In the case of working from home or be a stay-at-home mom is to plan to find jobs that can be done from home or make your own project.
Now, let’s break it even further cause the goal is to stick to whatever plan you make.
Starting your own project can be broken into:
- Find what you’re passionate about.
- Search among your community for a common problem and how you can fix it.
- Search online for projects for stay-at-home moms.
Did you know you can also break those into even smaller steps? That way it’ll be easier for you when you make a plan.
3- Put the results on the calendar
The biggest mistake you can make when making a plan is to make a to-do list, to-do lists are intimidating and it just makes you hustle to be able to tick that task off.
Here’s a better solution!
What is Calendering?
Calendaring is a way to make a plan but not intimidating as a to-do list.
You put the results that you want in a time block, that way you’re making it easier for you to stick to the plan.
How to do Calendering?
Write down what you want to achieve this week, note that this is not just saying go shopping, work on the project, or eat healthy.
Instead, you want it to be like the following:
- Sit down and write for 1 hour.
- Make one healthy breakfast each day.
- Go to the gym and do a strength workout.
That is what it means to put the results that you want to accomplish, all you have to do is to put those results on your calendar in time blocks that work out for you.
4– Being list
One of the best ways to make a plan and stick to it as I mentioned at the beginning borrow from the future, this one is similar but it focuses on “you” instead of the outcome.
Being list is a list of who you’re being and who do you want to be? Cause actions alone won’t get you the results that you want.
It’s a way to make sticking to a plan easier.
How to start being list?
First, what kind of results do you want?
Do you want to be toned and have a strong physique?
Or, do you want to travel solo around the world?
Then make a list of the person who has that result
The person who is toned and has a strong physique:
- Is committed to being healthy.
- Follow through with what they say they’re going to do.
- Is someone who goes to the gym every day.
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And for the result of traveling solo around the world, that person is:
- Confidence in themselves.
- Make decisions without looking for validation.
- Prioritize self-care and self-love.
So every week preferably before doing the calendering part is to write down who do you want to be? Who you’re being when you have the results that you want?
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5- Make it a habit
It’s easier said than done but the truth is if you want your plan to succeed and stick to it you need to make it a habit.
I wrote a post before on how habits work and how to start a new habit but I’ll explain briefly in this section.
The easiest way to make any habit work is to do it right after a habit you already have.
So to make planning a habit you need to find a habit that you already have and do it right after. All of us brush our teeth twice a day, right?
You can decide which habit you want to add after
Brush my teeth then I get dressed and go to the gym.
Drink coffee then write down for 1 hour.
And so on.
Just figure out a habit and stick to it.
6- Set milestones
Milestones are like landmarks when you go to a new destination, it makes it easier for you to reach that destination faster.
To make sticking to your plan easier you need to set milestones No matter what your plan is.
Look at your plan and figure out which milestone will help you realize that you’re making a progress.
In case of making a plan for weight loss, one milestone could be losing about 1 pound every 2 weeks.
Or, if your plan is to increase your income a milestone could be your expenses decrease each month.
You don’t have to set one milestone you can have as many as you want as long as it makes sticking to your plan more effortless.
7- Always Track
The reason why making a plan and sticking to it is challenging is people forget to track their progress and see if their plan is actually working
There are so many ways you can track your plan and there is no right or wrong way as long as you can see progress or nothing is working.
How to track your goals?
First, you need to measure the results that you want, if your plan is to lose weight one way to track is to Take monthly photos.
Or if your goal is to be a mom then a way to track your goal is to measure the uprise of your fertility
How would you know your plan is working or failing is the way to track.
Why is it so hard to stick to a plan? And how to fix it
The reason why sticking to a plan is hard is linked to many different things, here are 13 reasons why planning and sticking it is hard and how to fix it.
1- Did you Identify your goals?
Problem: The number one reason for not sticking to a plan is not knowing where you want to go. Imagine you have a car and GPS and without putting the end destination you’ll go nowhere.
Solution: Always, always, have a clear picture of what you want, that way it’ll be easier to stick to any plan. Saying that you want to be healthy and make more money is not gonna work.
You need to be very specific with your goals* like (going to the gym 4x a week or making $5k from an online business).
2- What about your mindset?
Problem: Your mindset plays a huge part when you’re planning for any goal, if you can’t change it, your life will stay the same.
Giving a chance to look at things differently is the goal, keeping your mind flexible will get you ahead.
Solution: Change the story you tell everyone about your goal, instead of saying you struggle to lose weight try to say I’m doing my best to lose that extra weight.
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3- What are Your motives?
Lack of motivation could be another reason you can’t stick to a plan, you don’t want to plan for a goal you don’t believe in or do it cause everyone is doing it.
Problem: Not knowing what you want from a plan or why you doing it could be the reason it’s hard for you.
Solution: Before making any plan always ask yourself why are you doing it? And if you’ll keep going no matter what.
4- Do you Manage your time?
Managing time is crucial to success not just for planning. If you don’t allow yourself the time to make a plan and do the work, how do you expect to get results?
Problem: Not setting the time to stick to the plan or what you’re going to do once you set the time to work on the plan.
Solution: Always put your plan on your calendar in time blocks after you break it down.
5- Are you Looking for efficiency?
Progress is progress no matter what even if it’s 1%. Efficiency in your plan is the key to sticking to it.
Problem: Focusing too much on major progress instead of minor progress.
Solution: Aim for progressing at least 1% every day, and ask yourself how can I be a little better today?
Read this post to learn more about improving 1% every day
6- Set a deadline
Did you know that any plan is doomed to fail by 70%!
Okay, I made up that number but the truth is if you keep your plan to your goal open without a deadline, you’ll push it back, and maybe one day if at all you’ll start to work on it.
Problem: Not setting a time for when you’re going to finish that plan.
Solution: Set a time and a place for when you’re going to finish the plan.
7- Do you have a strategy
A strategy is different than a plan at least in self improvement world, a plan is the road map of the end destination but a strategy is how you’ll use the roadmap.
So your plan could be to go to the gym 4x a week but your strategy is you prepare your workout cloth in the morning, eat 30 minutes before, get ready and go to the gym.
Problem: Not having a simple strategy to follow your goal.
Solution: Set a strategy for any plan and make it as simple as you can.
8- You’re not taking a break
This one is hard to admit and might sound contradictory to the whole idea of planning but taking a break is as important as working on your goals.
Problem: Not pausing and celebrating the small progress that you make.
Solution: Always take an efficient break and reward yourself after small wins.
9- Stack the habit
If you ever had a hamster you probably noticed that they sometimes never get on that wheel but once they step on it they never stop.
The same goes for your goals it’s only about that first step and then you can keep going.
Problem: You don’t have the right environment for your goals.
Solution: Find a habit that you do every day that you can add 1% of your plan to work on it.
10- you keep changing it
Most people including me at one point in their life lack confidence in their goals and that could make them juggle from one plan to another one.
Changing your plan will not help you get results faster.
It’s gonna push it away and will make it hard to stick to any plan you make.
Problem: Looking for minor issues and trying to change the plan when it’s not working.
Solution: The result is gonna show up once you keep working on it. Always ask yourself what the next step to take.
11- Plan for success
When you make a goal you want to stay focused on that goal no matter what, cause we tend to make a plan B in the back of our minds.
This could be the problem is you’re not pushing yourself enough.
Problem: Focusing on too many goals and keeping a backup plan.
Solution: Make one plan and stick to it!
12- Stay visual
Keeping your plan in the back of your mind is not gonna get you results, so it’s important to remind yourself of your goal every single day.
Problem: Not having a visual representation of your plan.
Solution: Do a mind map of your plan or put a tracker on the wall to remind yourself and to tick off every day.
You have to track your progress otherwise you wouldn’t know if your plan is actually working.
There could be something on your plan that stopping you from sticking to it.
Problem: Not pausing on your plan and reviewing it.
Solution: Set a time for when you need to review your plan and keep a record of your progress over time.
Conclusion on making a plan to stick
There is no right or wrong way when it comes to making a plan and sticking to it as long as you see progress but that doesn’t mean you should change the routine. By compound effect, you’ll see even better results.
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