Game Planning - A Guide to Life & Business

Last week I shared how I believe that we can do “all the things” if we choose to implement a few steps to simplify our lives.  One of those was planning. I believe this to be the biggest factor in determining both success and maybe even sanity in our fast-paced world.  I want to share with you some valuable strategies I have learned over the last few years in hopes that you too can find structure whether it’s in everyday home life or business.


Get A Calendar

Yes, I know you have one on your phone.  No, that is not going to work. You NEED an actual planner.  It is proven that we learn best and are held accountable when we physically write things down.  Why do you think we were taught that way in 13 years of grade school and for many of us college?  It sticks a lot better, I promise. In last week’s blog I shared a few of my favorite planners. Before you read any further, if you don’t have a planner, check out those options and purchase one.

Have To, Need To, Want To

First, let me explain the 3 terms:

  • Have To- Someone is going to die if this doesn’t take place.  No but have to eat, sleep and do something to make an income.  These are pretty non-negotiable in my book.

  • Need To- You could do the task, but if you have a partner/spouse they could do it. If it gets skipped, the world will not stop turning.

  • Want To- It’s pretty self-explanatory and it usually consists of fun.


Like anything else in life there are things we have to do, need to do and want to do each week.  Often times we choose the “want to’s” more than the “need to’s” because let’s face it, they’re probably more fun.  Most don’t opt out of the “have to” aka your job, because it likely pays the bills, keeps food on the table and provides for your families needs and wants.  The problem is we tend to make time for what is important even if that thing is not vital to moving us forward mentally, physically or emotionally.  

Let me give you an example.  In my business there are many folks who start as a side business with hopes of it becoming a full time job.  The problem that arises is that they allow their “want to’s” to take precedence over working the business. This often happens due to a lack of planning.  Here’s my simple 3 step process to planning my week.

  1. Go through and write down everything that I “have to” do (sleep, eat, school car pool).

  2. Now I write down the things I “need to” do (cheer practice drop off/pick up, dance drop off/pick up, PTO, grocery shop)

  3. I write down the things I “want to” do (pedicure, dinner with a friend, shopping).

The white space that’s open aka time left is when I would work my side business.  Now if your business is your “have to” you would obviously block that time off accordingly.  Bottom line, by clearly laying out everything that has to be done during the week and checking the items off as they’re completed, it helps to ensure that nothing is put to the side.  How successful would you feel to look down and see a week full of check marks or crossed off items? I know it makes me feel like a million bucks!

Set A Goal

Everyone states they have “goals.” But many times we confuse dreams with goals.  This is because goals should be tied to a number and a deadline of some sort and dreams are things we hope can happen. By setting a clear goal with a number, you have something that is measurable.  Tangible goals often have a higher rate of success since you can actually see what you have achieved.  

Action Plan

Goals are great but it takes action to make them happen.  This is usually a missing piece for many and if that’s the case for you, then your goal is just a dream.  If you’ve clearly laid out your calendar as mentioned above, then it’s much easier to know when you can make the moves needed to move you towards your goal.

While none of this is scientific necessarily and may not work for everyone, creating some kind of plan is important to be successful.  Above all, you have to do what works for you. I’ll leave you with this simple thought, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

With love,

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Holly EdwardsComment