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So, just how important is planning your day? Ponder this for a moment: The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline. No plan, no deadline. Let’s put aside the big bucket list of dreams and goals for now and talk about our day-to-day activities…fitting in a solid workout, getting the piles of paper on our desk organized, making healthy meals for our family, spending quality time with our kids, clearing out our email inbox, etc. The days go by, and your never-ending to-do list never gets done. Does this sound familiar?

From WebMD articles on weight loss to the advice of successful people like Peter Bregman (contributor to Forbes, CEO of Bregman Partners), it’s an agreed upon fact that planning your day is the key to achieving your goals. According to life coaches all over the world, without a purposeful plan your daily and long term goals will be hard, if not impossible, to achieve. Here are 6 ways to apply purposeful planning to your daily life!

1. Develop a Routine: With kids, husbands, work and social lives just finding the 15 minutes to make a daily plan can be challenging. Start making it a habit to wake up a half hour earlier to spend quality quiet time planning out your day.

2. Keep to Your Goal: Start each day writing down your long term goal. Is it a job promotion? More quality time with the family? Weight loss? Whatever it is write it down first and make sure your daily plan is focused on getting you closer to that goal.

3. Make an Ordered List: Brainstorm all that you have to do in the day, and order it by priority. Save time in the morning and brainstorm your next day’s to-do list before you hit the pillow. Put it in order in the morning. (photo credit here)

Sticky notes on wall.

4. Do the Hardest Thing First:
Maybe it’s getting motivated to workout, or a phone call you really don’t want to make, but start your day with whatever is the most challenging thing you have to do. When it’s done and crossed off your list you’ll be feeling like Wonder Woman and your motivation to get everything else done will increase exponentially.

5. Name the Place and Time: Pick your next top five to-do items and decide the time and the place you will do them. When people commit to a time and a place they are twice as likely to accomplish their task.

6. Refocus: Throughout the day take a minute to refocus yourself. What’s left on your plan for the day? What haven’t you gotten done that you thought you would have by now? Read your long term goal over and keep your eye on the prize! (photo credit here)

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It takes two weeks to form a habit and 60 days to make it part of your lifestyle. Commit to making these 6 steps a part of your daily life and you’ll be amazed at how much more you will get done in a day with purposeful planning!