It’s so easy to get caught up in the plod of everyday life. To put aside your big dreams and goals for the future, then to a later future, then to an even later one. I’ve been guilty of it sometimes. Maybe you have too?
This is why I created the LH Planner.
This is not just another planner to keep track of the everyday. It’s a planner to help you craft the future you desire, and reach for it one day at a time by taking organised and inspired action.
I’ve designed the planner with flexibility in mind, so you can use it in any way that suits you, your lifestyle and the way you work. But in case you’re stuck on where to start, here are my tips for getting the most out of your planner!
We’d also love to hear how YOU use your planner – tag us on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LHAgendaSetter with your photos or videos, so we can share your ideas with others! We’ve also created a Facebook group where you can share your goals and plans, your own tips for using our planners, or ask any questions. We’d love to make this an independent, community-driven group, so if you love what we create and would like to be a moderator, let us know!
With all that said, it’s time to help you get the most out of your LH Planner!
Step 1: DREAM – passions, ambitions, desires…
The first step toward your dream starts with getting clarity around your passions and desires. That’s why you will find the beginning of the planner focuses on digging deeper into your dreams, goals and ambitions, as well as a current review of every area of your life. This is explained in great detail within the pages, but here are some tips on how to go about using these sections.
Self-discovery, Legacy, Core Values
The Self-Discovery exercises will help you discover where your talents and interests meet, and the things that may be holding you back. Think about your core values, what’s important to you and the beliefs that make you, you. Then move on to the “My Legacy” section, where you will define how you want to be remembered and what achievements you want to leave behind. This entire section is designed to help you get clear on what you truly want so that once you get into action and organisation within the pages of your planner, you’re focused and aligned to get where you want to go.
The responses to these exercises will influence other sections of the planner such as your dream day, goals and projects, so don’t skip them!
One of the most effective exercises I’ve done is visualising and recording who I want to be and how I want to live. It gives me a clear picture of the master plan I’m striving towards. Once you imagine your dream day, it becomes real in your head, and when it is real it becomes achievable. Even if you decide to stop here, without defining plans, projects or goals, your mind will subconsciously navigate you towards that dream. This is why I believe this is one of the most important exercises in your planner. It worked for me, and it will work for you. Dream big and believe anything is possible!
Annual Life Review
To know where you’re going you’ve got to know where you are. An annual life review is great for helping you identify exactly where you are right now and the things that may need attention. This exercise is like a blueprint that shows the gaps, areas for improvement, and important things to continue doing. Feel free to rename any of the areas in the review to make them more relevant to you.
Step 2: DEFINE – goals, routines, self-care
How to set a schedule using your planner
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. – John C.Maxwell
In order to intentionally design your life and achieve your goals, it’s important to establish good habits and create routines that will help you stay on track. Design a schedule to set yourself up for success. Your routines could relate to your projects, such as setting weekly priorities or revising tasks at the end of the week. They could also relate to your everyday life such as fitness commitments, diet and supplements, or activities to support your mindset such as gratitude journaling at bedtime or listening to podcasts on your commute.
This is a bird’s-eye view of your year, and everything you plan to achieve. Use these pages to lay out your key activities, milestones, projects & goals for the year ahead, one box per month. This page becomes a visual of your big-picture to look back on over the year, and adjust as necessary.
Daily reminders – Summary of your intentions and goals
When you have finished the Self-Discovery and Goal-Setting tasks above, go back to the front of the planner and fill in the overview of your intentions and goals. Summarise them with a theme word that will be your guide/focus for the year! It should be a meaningful word that’s a reminder of how you want to feel, act and live. Some of my recent theme words have been “create” and “joy” but other ideas could be words such as Shine, Roar, Perseverance, or Trust. Read this article for more inspiration on how to choose a theme word for the new year.
In the bottom section of that page, remind yourself of how you want to feel during the journey, and the core values you will live by. We have put this page right at the front of your planner as an instant and constant reminder of your big vision for your life, and the year ahead in particular.
Step 3: DO
Plan your week – the weekly layout explained
Numbering your days (undated planners only)
If you’ve chosen an undated LH Planner then you can start at any time and pause at any time such as when you’re in holiday mode, or simply forget to use your planner – we’ve all been there! Our planner has 52 weeks divided into 4 quarters with each quarter having 13 weeks. You also have monthly review pages as a regular check-in is incredibly important to keep you focused and energised. As each month of the year is different in length and we cannot divide 13 weeks into 3 even sections for your monthly review, we place monthly review pages after Week 5 and Week 9 of each quarter. We’ve also added a 53rd week at the end of the year so you won’t miss any days before you start your next planner!
It is very important that you don’t skip days when numbering your days and weeks. If January 31st is a Wednesday on page 90-91 then Thursday February 1st needs to be on this same weekly layout (i.e. page 90-91) otherwise you will run out of weeks in your planner by the end of the quarter! This is consistent with how our LH dated planners are designed.
How to use the vertical weekly layout to organise work and family life
The weekly layout has no specific time slots to divide the day, instead we’ve left it open to give you the flexibility you need especially as many people now use digital calendars across their devices to keep track and remind them of appointments. I personally use my daily sections to keep a list of tasks or to-dos for each day to keep me organised.
When I was still in a corporate job and running LH Agenda on the side, I’d split the section in two to keep track of each job separately. You could also split the daily sections into work and family life, time slots such as AM/PM, or by specific projects. There’s also additional space down the bottom for anything else you want to record.
How to use the horizontal weekly layout to organise work and family life
LH Planners in the horizontal weekly layout have a right-hand page of daily rows which you can divide into multiple columns for extra organising. The medium-sized planners can be split into three columns, while the large-sized planners can be split into four columns (the first column is already marked on each size).
I use the first column of my daily row to list my non-negotiable to-do’s. The second column is my schedule including meetings, phone calls, and commitments. The third column I used as my self-care tracker to record how I felt on that day and the things I did for myself such as fitness, quiet time or massage.
Week in Review
At the bottom of each weekly page in your LH Planner you’ll find a Week in Review section which gives you space to record your highlights & wins, challenges & lessons, and things you’re grateful for. We find this regular reflection helps keep you motivated and aligned, while building a growth mindset as you process any obstacles or insights along the way.
Plan your day – the daily layout explained
The daily layout has a page per day with space for your daily priorities, gratitude and half-hourly time slots from 5:30am-9pm to time block tasks, note appointments, or assign to-dos to a specific place. You can even schedule in your down time, breaks, time off emails/devices, and self-care activities.
Monthly Planner and Month In Review
The Monthly Planner pages are great for keeping you aligned to your big picture vision by planning incremental actions toward it each month. Use the planner page to choose a particular goal or focus for the month and to capture how you’d like to feel, show up, and challenge yourself. You also have a full blank page for notes and reminders related to that month. This regular mini-planning session will help set you up for a productive month and make sure you continue learning and growing through the process.
Like the Week In Review section, your Month In Review section gives you a space to reflect. Looking back on the month that was not only helps you see the progress you have made, but also cultivates a growth mindset as you intentionally examine what worked, what didn’t and what you can learn from your experiences for next time. I like to use the free space at the bottom of the Month In Review to capture any insights or patterns in my emotions, moods, and behaviours, or even to free journal about how I felt the month was overall.
Quarterly Check-In and Personal Growth Plan
The Quarterly Check-In sections of your LH Planner give you a chance for a more in-depth review of your progress. Use the guided questions and look back on your monthly review pages to observe how far you’ve come and what might be getting in the way. An important part of the Quarterly Check-In is the opportunity to review and adjust your goals as needed. There is no need to hold yourself to a goal that is no longer relevant or no longer feels right so you have the power to revise your direction based on what you’ve learnt along the way.
Personal Growth Plan
We recommend setting aside some dedicated time to complete your Quarterly Personal Growth Plan pages as this is a valuable deep dive into your mindset and vision. We often lose progress on our goals by getting in our own way due to fear, lack of confidence, or lack of clarity so these guided questions will help you come back to your strengths and vision so you can start the next quarter inspired and aligned!
Task dump – Master to-do lists
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all our ideas and the things we need to do so that’s where the Master-To-Do list comes in. Get your to-dos out of your head, and onto paper.
Use the Master To-Do list pages for all the ideas and thoughts that pop up during the day. Your brain can relax knowing that you have captured them somewhere easy to find for when you’re ready to take action on them.
If you look closely at the layout, you will notice that there are spaces that split the page into thirds. You can ignore these spaces or you can use them the way I do by adding headings to categorise your to-dos. This helps me organise my lists, and because I have a visual memory, the headings help me remember and plan my tasks.
I typically add my headings first (e.g. planner launch, home, baby, website). Next, I do a brain-dump of all the tasks I remember at that point in time. I’ll add new tasks and ideas later, as they come to mind. Finally, I highlight my tasks in different colours, to categorise them by the action that needs to be taken (eg. pink: focus on this ASAP, purple: ask my assistant to work on it, yellow: can only be done at home).
This is the planner I’ve always wanted, and I’m so excited to share it with you. I hope these tips will help you get the most out of it, so you can spend less mental overhead on the day-to-day, and focus on kicking those big goals.
Of course, these tips are based on how I use the planner–don’t forget that you can share your own tips with us by posting photos or videos of how you use your LH products, with the hashtag #LHAgendaSetter.
I can’t wait to see the impact each of you will make on the world as you strive for more than the everyday. Strive for the extraordinary, in whatever form that takes for you.
Share and Win
If you love this planner, please share it with all the people in your life who also have big dreams!
Help them to dream, define and DO. If you share any of our products, tag @LHAgenda and use the #LHAgendaSetter hashtag, and you’ll go into a monthly draw to win another of the inspiring items in the LH stationery line!
Thank you for all your support. Together, we can gently shake the world.