How to stay on track!

May 5, 2021

 Quarterly Planner


I have recently discovered that writing down my plans helps me to stay on track and follow through on my dreams. But I am not talking about writing down your to-do list or your weekly schedule (although, that most definitely helps too). I will explain. 

I used to write down all the thing that I had to do. All of them, big and small all together. And I ended up with an overwhelming list of things and I couldn't get myself to do much because there was too much to do, to learn, to figure out... So, I would stare at my list and freeze. 

But then I started to reorganize the list. I made two lists: one with smaller things or short term projects and one with bigger things or dreams that would be long term. The long term projects would require a little bit of time every day or every week and wouldn't be done for few months, like for example, learning to use Illustrator or create a website. But, then I realized I still had another problem. There were some things that would remain on my list forever! I would NEVER tackle them. Why? I knew, why? Because I was afraid. For me, there has been two of those things in my list for a long time, one was to create a functioning website, the other one was to reach to companies to show them my portfolio. 

Regarding the first one, I just had no idea how to create a website. Everytime, I went online to try to figure something out I would let lost with so much information or not even understand a word of it. My head would just spin and I would look at my list and think 'oh, I can always do some sewing'. Sooooo, my website would seat there unfinished. Sometimes in worse shape than it was the day before because I messed up somehow and I couldn't figure it out. My second unaddressed 'task' was emailing a company to show them my portfolio. The reason I procrastinated about this, is that it terrified me to get rejected and I kept telling myself I wasn't ready! 

So, even though I was following the rule of doing at least one thing a day in order to accomplish my dream, I knew I wasn't always doing the most important thing. The reason for this is that some tasks in our lists are more fun and some are scary or boring. But one day I decided to start looking at the big picture. Not at the little tasks.

So I asked: 
 Where would I like to be by the end of the year? 
What would make me feel proud of myself when I look back at 2021? 

For me it included things like having a functioning website, learning to create textures, creating 3-4 fabric collections, and pitching my work to companies! I decided not worry about the consequences that were out of my control and only look at myself. The things I wanted to do, regardless of the external responses of my actions (always easier said than done, right?). 

So I divided the year in four quarters (mostly because months go by too quickly!). Then I started to think. 
1.- First, I identified my 'top priority' the one thing that would help me the most to move forward. 
2.- Then I thought about what was holding me back. The one thing I am putting off because I am scared. 
3.- Finally, the one thing I would like to learn. 
4.- Then I filled every quarter with a few other tasks that I would like to accomplish. 

Creating this quarterly planner has been huge for me. It gives me perspective and it helps me not to get lost with unimportant things. And, maybe, because I wrote it down I make sure I follow through on my dreams. It really helps me to stay on track. 

I am happy to report that I have a somewhat working website (as you can see) and I have pitch my work already! 

Here it is a copy of my Quarterly Planner. I hope it really helps you stay on track and accomplish all your dreams! I know you can do it! 

Ana

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