An overwhelming number of downloads of the Dream Date Planner inspired me to write some ideas to help make those dreams a reality and share some free resources to help you with your planning.
I am sure, if you are like us, during the date night, there were bigger goals you set and smaller tasks that you want to accomplish. Maybe some dreams that are vague and need to be fleshed out into an actual actionable goals. No matter what, they all need to be worked into an already active family. One of our goals was even to try to shift our family culture a bit - but all of this takes more attention and of course action. Without either, next January will roll around and you may find that list untouched.
Make It Actionable
It may have been a few weeks since your dream date, so take some time to go back and review your Dream Date planner. Look at what you wrote and see what goals need to be broken down into more manageable parts or made actionable. For example, maybe you want to try to plan a family getaway (who doesn't right). You added it to the list and even talked about some ideas, but if no one does anything toward making this happen, the year will come and go with no getaway. In order to make this one actionable, you could break it down into segments: financial (what can be allocated per week or month toward this), location (research nearby locations/options), timeframe (just a rough time frame you think would work). For additional productivity and goal hitting, plot these out over the coming days or weeks, depending on when you are hoping to head off on your vacation!
I put together a goal worksheet that can be found here: Goal Worksheet. It is another free printable. Its bright and cheery and the perfect way to keep those dreams within reach.
Planning Tools I Use
At our home, there is a lot going on, probably just like yours. I work from home and homeschool our 3 little blessings while my dear husband is finishing his Physician Assistant degree. There are a lot of plates that need to keep spinning. and adding other goals or dreams means we need some additional planning assistance.
I have been through so many iterations of planners, apps and post-its over the years to try to find the perfect combination and I am going to be honest, I still don't have it right... but I am getting closer. Here are some awesome helps we use to keep things rolling over at our home:
1.) Digital Calendar: We use gmail so using the google calendar to keep track of appointments, bills, birthdays, etc is pretty seamless (hello reminders). Some type of electronic calendar that can sync to your smartphone and can be accessed when you are on the go is helpful for scheduling and having everyone be able to see what is going on.
2) Physical Planner: Call me old school, but I love to be able to write lists down, see things on paper. I had tried keeping everything digital and it only left me with post-its all over and still feeling like I was missing something. I added the Blessed is She Liturgical planner into the mix and it has made a huge difference. It helps with overall planning, day to day lists, meal plans and more. I am not great at using it daily, but using it for weeks and month views is invaluable. Also, having a view of all the feast days at a quick glance helps in my homeschool planning!
3) Digital List App: For longer lists, bigger projects, or when I have a lot of shopping to accomplish, I like to use a digital list app called Wunderlist. Here is what I love about this app (and I have tried lots):
- It can be accessed on your phone or desktop
- Lists can be shared with others or printed
- You can set reminders
- Its FREE
- Its very easy to use
4) Homeschool Planner: For this I use Airtable. All three of the above factor into this as well, but Airtable allows me to plan out the month, week and day while I choose my themes, daily focuses, prayers to learn, etc. Then the month can be copied over and any needed items can be changed or updated. It took me a little bit to figure out how to use it (and I am still not sure I am 100% effective) but talk about a game changer! And its FREE!
What combination do you use at your home? I am always looking for ways to make things run more smoothly.
I hope all of this information is helpful for you and your families.