How to Set up Your 2023 Planner & Get the Most Out of Your Year!

Jenny from Commit30

Hi – I’m Jenny, Founder of Commit30! We provide goal-getting tools that have helped thousands of people achieve their goals! Our products are designed to help people keep the new year momentum going all year long by breaking down goals, projects & positive habits into 30 day challenges & effort throughout the year..

I want to share with you some tips on how to set up your 2023 planner.

I use my Commit30 Planner every. single. day. and can’t imagine my life or business without it—and I want you to feel the same way.

So today, I’m sharing my complete step-by-step process that will help you set up your Commit30 planner in a way that works best for you!! There are so many different ways to use and customize it and I want to share with you how I and some others use it.

How I Use My Planner

My planner is the first thing I reach for in the morning after my yoga/meditation/workout time, the last thing I check at night, and I look at it dozens if not hundreds of times a day. If I don’t write it down, it genuinely may not happen. I’m a busy working mom and I have mom brain fog on a regular basis. I constantly need to do what I like to call a brain dump in my planner – all the things swirling about in my head – getting it down on paper frees up mental space to meditate and be present with my family.

Planning the year at my desk - How to Set Up Your 2023 planner

First thing in the morning: I check in with my planner as part of my morning routine to review my scheduled tasks, meetings and to-dos & our family calendar for the day.

  • Throughout the day: I like to leave my planner open right beside me while I work so I can clearly see my schedule, to do list and check off to-dos as I do them.
  • At the end of my workday: I take a few minutes to write out my schedule and to-do list for the next day so I can hit the ground running. It’s the last thing I do before I end my workday.
  • Now the fun part – setting up your planner to make it yours.

At the beginning of each year (usually a few days before January 1st) but you can do this at any point – I go through a rather extensive goal review of the previous year and planning session for the upcoming year in as much detail as possible. I look at my goal list to see where I hit the mark and where I didn’t. I look at our budget – how’d we do with our spending overall and our savings goals. I look at how I spent time & energy in all of my 12 vision circles – do I feel I gave attention & energy to all aspects of my life?Planning my day

Start with Your Vision Board and Goals

Now with my new planner the first thing I do is create a vision board in the front of my planner – pictures, quotes, things that inspire how I want this year to feel like & look like. Check out our blog for tips on how to make a vision board if you’ve never made one before!

Commit30 daily planner Vision boards - How to Set Up Your 2023 plannerNext, I will write down my top 3 goals for the year. I set yearly (top 3 in both personal and business) goals. Your goals should be milestones that you can work toward to help you live your best life. You can’t have 45 different goals and expect success. You need to be laser focussed on 1-3 goals that by reaching them will bring you closer to your life vision & big dreams.

2023 planner vision board - How to Set Up Your 2023 plannerPowerful goals are built on your core values – the things that are most important to you (family, community, freedom, etc.). It’s also important to figure out the “why” behind your goals. Ask yourself, “why do I want to be healthier? – to be able to live a long & healthy & active life with my children & grandchildren.” What will it feel when you get there? Visualize reaching that goal?

In my vision circle pages I write down category specific goals or projects that will help me live out a well-rounded year. What do you want this year to look like and feel like? Ask yourself what do I want to accomplish this year, what adventures do I want to have, How can I affect greater change? For example, under marriage/partner – weekly date nights & at least one trip away together without the kids. I’ll do this in all 12 categories.

Plan Your Family and Home Events First

Next I’ll go through and write in things like birthdays, anniversaries, school events, school vacations, family vacations, business deadlines, launches, meetings, doctor’s appointments, holidays, date nights, self-care days, and long weekends. I’ll also add post-it notes about each month about things that I’ll need to remember or spend some time on.

Here’s an example – in April I know specific big bills will be due. And I know that in late April or early May we’ll have to do all of our spring yard work; fire mitigation and clearing out the irrigation ditches. These tasks will take several weekends so I want to make note of that so we don’t overbook ourselves with guests or too much out of town travel during that time.

In September I know that I will have to plan our son’s birthday party, order halloween costumes and help with classroom parties. I know that the first few weekends in November are theater shows that we’ll need to be around for.

How to Set Up Your 2023 planner

Get started on Your January Goals

I’ll then get to work on my January vision board & monthly goals. What specific things do I want to accomplish in January? What can I do this month to begin working or jumpstart on this year’s overall goals? What will I commit to this month? And what specific projects or tasks do I want to attempt to complete this month – I’ll pull from this monthly list to create work & life to do list priorities each week.

I also like to use the notes section on the monthly page spread for either a vision board or a monthly specific goals list.

I also figure out what my 30-day challenge is going to be this month. Then I’ll break down my overall goals into 30 day challenges – what can I do for 30 days that will help move me forward towards my overall goals. I’ll plan out some monthly goals (eg. Dry January or March No Spend Month) and I will use the 30-day challenges to help track my efforts towards those specific goals. Check out all of our free 30 day challenges here.

30 day declutter challengeOne of my Home goals is that Less is more – continuing to be thoughtful about what comes into our home. So I might tackle a 30-day declutter challenge. I’ll also look at healthy habits or challenges I can do each month to keep me on track towards my overall goals & wellness. I will also use the 30-day challenges to work on creating positive, healthy habits (eg. drink 640z of water a day or meditate for at least 10 minutes a day).

Think about what morning & evening routines you will need to have in place the coming month to work towards your goals. Write down those tasks & routines in your planner until they become habitual. What positive, healthy habits do you need to incorporate throughout your days & course of the year to support your overall dreams & goals?

Start Filling Out Your Weeks

Each week I’ll set weekly & daily commitments to my goals and make specific plans for how, when & where I’ll work on my goals. I suggest waking up early to focus on your goals. Be specific & consistent but also know when to rest or readjust. Make time to work on your goals everyday for at least 30 minutes. Plan out your day in detail the night before – your top priorities, your workout (when & where), your meals, etc.

Customize it to Make it Your Own!

For each weekly section I use the customizable rows for $ spent, workout tracking & dinner plans. You can use them however you want – some people use them for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner meal plans; some for top 3 tasks of the day or as a gratitude journal.

Sticker booksI love to use our stickers throughout the week – Colorful stickers add a little color and fun to the WORK pages of my planner. Use them to make important dates or events stand out, but don’t use so many that you can’t figure out what you wrote down for each day’s tasks and to-dos or don’t have enough space left over for actual goal-getting action steps & tasks.

Don’t Forget to Review Your Daily, Weekly, Monthly & Annual Progress

At the end of the month I’ll review what I got accomplished and what I didn’t – what might have to be moved to the next month. I’ll review my commitment to my 30-day challenge and reward myself for a job well done.

Each month I’ll look back at my yearly vision board and vision circles and check off things I’m making progress on or completed or schedule in some time to work on other areas in the upcoming month!

In the back notes pages, I’ll have a section for meeting notes; birthday/gift ideas; holiday plans; home project lists; budget/spending tracking & more.

Remember, the key is to make this planner work for you & your life & your goals.

Don’t forget to check out your Free 10-step goal getting guide (automatically included with your Goal Planner purchase – the link for this will be in your order confirmation email).

Join our private Facebook Goal-Getters group with thousands of commit30 goal-getters supporting, sharing + cheering each other on!

I hope these tips help you set up your Commit30 planner for motivation & success this year!


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