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I am very happy to feature Monica on StartaMomBlog as she discusses her 90 Day Plan for Bloggers. The systems she uses are very dear to my heart and resonate with me! I met her in person at the Type-A Conference and had a wonderful time learning from her as she manages motherhood and a successful online business.
90-Day Planning Challenge for Bloggers
I started blogging over at Redefining Mom in 2013 as a hobby and an outlet to share my frustrations as a corporate working mom. Slowly, by being authentic with my audience, I started to gain a loyal audience and gradually I realized that I could turn my blog into a business. In February 2016, I decided it was time to get strategic about my blog so that I could sustain an income from it. Yet I continued to spin my wheels for another six months because I didn’t have a plan.
In August, I wanted to take on a 90-day planning challenge. I committed to thinking about my future goals and writing down the path I would take to succeed at meeting those goals.
I decided to try creating a 90-day plan that would incorporate my business goals and objectives with the needs of my family.
I learned about a new way of goal planning using post-it notes. I call it my 90-day post-it note life plan and it has been a game changer!
Why You NEED a Plan
How often do you sit down at your desk and end up multi-tasking on 3-5 different projects? How often do you end the day feeling like you didn’t get much on your to-do list accomplished?
This was happening to me almost every single day. I would sit down at my desk and think I had a plan on what to work on and yet I would rarely feel accomplished at the end of the day.
Treating my blog as a business started interrupting family time and taking over my life. I would tell my husband constantly that there is so much to do and not enough time to do it all!
I set out on a mission to find a way to become more focused and intentional with my time. I knew that I needed to incorporate my family life into my business planning because that would encourage the correct work/life balance I was seeking.
In my 90-day plan I have two main objectives:
- To understand the end goal so I can structure each day to bring me closer to where I want to be.
- Organization in both business and life.
How to Create a 90-Day Life Plan
Before I started mapping out my 90-day plan on post-its, I knew that I needed to centralize all my information. I committed to using a few tools to keep everything together: Google Calendar, Google Drive, and a business tracking spreadsheet I created called the Busy Moms Building Business Tracking Spreadsheet.
Step 1: Organize
- Make sure that all of your appointments and childcare arrangements are logged in your Google Calendar.
- Make folders in Google Drive to separate business and family files into a logical folder system.
- Organize all of your business information in one central place.
Step 2: Buy Supplies
Below is a list of the supplies I used. You can get creative and display your plan in many different ways.
- White banner paper
- Colored masking tape
- Colored sharpies
- Super sticky post-it notes
Step 3: Brain Dump on Post-Its
I used different colors of post-it notes and brain dumped everything I wanted to get done in three major categories:
In this stage I wrote down everything I could think of, here are a few examples:
- Business goals
- Projects I wanted to work on
- Dates my daughter would be home from school
- Vacation plans
- Crafts I wanted to complete
Step 4: Organize Your Post-Its
After I finished brain dumping everything, I organized the post-it notes by color on the table and started finding common themes. I grouped common themes together and then decided how I wanted to lay them out on the banner paper that I would tape to the wall.
I settled on these categories:
- Main goal for the next 90 days
- Goals that support my main goal
- To-do items
- Upcoming business travel
- Financial and home tasks
- To-do items
- Events and days off
- Personal goals
- Personal to-do items
- Work in progress section
Step 5: Slot Your Post-Its
Now it is time to go over each post-it note, determine where each note fits on the master board (banner paper) and eliminate items that did not work towards your one main business goal.
This is the time where you think critically about each item you are going to place on your 90-day plan. This is the plan you will reference every single morning to make sure you are making progress towards your goals.
If you are looking at a post-it note that does not align with what you are trying to accomplish, put it off to the side and save it. You can always reevaluate your plan in 30 or 60 days.
How to Use Your 90-Day Plan
Now that you’ve laid out your main priorities and goals for the next 90 days, you will want to post the banner paper somewhere near your work area. Mine is posted right over my desk.
I plan my weeks out on Sunday nights. I open my Google Calendar and start time blocking where I will spend my time each week. I constantly reference the 90-day plan to make sure I am using my time to work towards my goals and accomplishing the important to-do items I have listed.
At days 30 and 60, schedule an hour to sit down and reevaluate your current plan and determine if you are headed in the right direction. While 90 days is not a ton of time, it will certainly seem like a lot of time if you are working on the wrong projects.
As moms and entrepreneurs, it’s important to stay flexible as things change and new priorities emerge. This is why I love post-it note planning. It’s super easy to remove items that are no longer working for you and add new items that emerge throughout the 90 days.
If you want to get started right away, get the free goal planning workbook for mom entrepreneurs.
Plan Projects Using Post-Its
Post-it note planning is not just effective for 90-day plans. It’s also a great way to map out projects. It gives a visual understanding of all the tasks that need to be completed. For example, I used post-it notes to map out my upcoming course launch based on my eBook, Busy Moms Building. I could visually see all of the module titles and topics underneath each. This made it easy to see where there was a gap, when I needed to move topics around, and I felt accomplished as I removed each module as they were completed.
There are so many ways you can use this system to plan. I’ve considered using it to plan my daughter’s birthday party, Thanksgiving dinner, and craft ideas. The possibilities are endless!
I’ve learned so much from this system that my business coach, Megan Flatt taught me!
Tell me: are you up to the 90-day challenge?
Monica Froese is a mom, wife, author, and entrepreneur. She has an MBA degree in finance and marketing and blogs at Redefining Mom, a site for empowering working moms. In 2015, she traveled to the White House to discuss family-friendly workplace policies with the President’s senior advisors and has been featured on several media outlets including Fox News, Scary Mommy, Healthline, and Mom Talk Radio. Her passion is to help other moms find their version of balance through time management tips, flexible work options, and by helping women build online businesses to escape the 9-5 through her book, Busy Moms Building.