5 secrets to project planning start with a simple question. Dig deep into the answer and your plan will come together.

Why Isn’t My Plan Working?

I am working on a bathroom makeover. Not a “rip out the fixtures” type of makeover, just a “this bathroom looks tired and needs new makeup” type of makeover. The problem is its just not coming together. I don’t like my ideas. Several of the gardens need a makeover as well. I couldn’t get those ideas to come together either.

So in a brainstorming discussion, Cam asked a simple question “What do you want?”. He is really good at that question. It is the first question he asks when he talks to people about their custom woodworking orders and it is the step I skipped when I made my plan.

What Do I Want? The First of 5 Secrets to Project Planning

Montana Bowl of Cherries-5 Secrets to Project Planning
Once we figured out what we wanted in this room, the project plan came together easily. Then we worked the rest of the steps to complete the project.

When I am planning a project this is the root question I usually start with. Skipping that essential step is what threw my plan off. It’s really important to be specific when defining the root goal to any project. When changes have to be made in the schedule or the budget or the pace of the project, the root goal helps to make those changes possible and decisions easier.

This same principle applies to everything I do. When I am in the middle of really difficult things as a caregiver, a gardener, a business owner or a good citizen, I often wonder what I was thinking when I got myself into this. My “reason” grounds my thinking and allows me to make changes and do certain things that will allow us to move forward without getting stuck even if the plan has to evolve.

If we are using my bathroom project as an example, I have chosen a theme and an overall look I want so everything that I do in that project points to that look. As a caregiver, many times I get overwhelmed with life in general. Remembering the root goal each week helps me to prioritize and calm the overwhelm. “What do I want out of this project?” is a great place to start getting specific with a goal.

Write Out the Plan

While the first secret to project planning and goal setting is getting specific with the root goal, writing out the rest of the plan will keep the project moving. Plans stall out or never get finished because life gets in the way and when we get back to the plan, we can’t remember what comes next.

Having something down on paper will keep it in the forefront of your mind as well. Keeping track of the progress even if it is small will further ensure your success.

Steps to Success

Remember to be just as specific with the rest of the steps as you are with the root goal of the project. A well-thought out plan makes every project or goal more successful. So maybe another secret to project planning and goal setting is to plan well.

  1. Specify the root goal of the project. What do I want?
  2. Define the roadblocks.  Is there a learning curve? Is the goal outside your budget right now? Overcoming the roadblocks are part of the steps (and the fun) to completing your project. Part of the plan is listing the ways you will overcome your roadblocks so you can move forward.
  3. Do the research. There is always research. How are you going to overcome the roadblocks? How do you know what you want exactly? Who knows these answers and how to do you access that information?
  4. Map out ALL the steps to the project. Take all the information you gathered and write it out step by step. Overcoming the roadblocks is part of the steps.
  5. Track the progress of the project. Choose a day of the week to regularly check in on the progress of all projects. Keep track of what has been done and what still needs to happen as well as new ideas. Without regular progress tracking the project becomes less important and will NOT happen.

The Goal Slayer Planner

Planner; Goal Slayer-Montana Bowl of Cherries
How do you keep all this information at your fingertips? Take a look at the Goal Slayer Planner in our shop.

The Goal Slayer Planner is designed to help you keep your goals and projects on track. There are project planning pages and a page for regularly tracking those projects and goals. The Planner also contains monthly calendars and a weekly wizard for helping with the prioritizing of tasks, menu planning, and taking time to breathe. With everything to manage your life at your fingertips, you will be amazed at how much project slaying you can get done!

Sign up for the emails at the same time to receive some tips and tricks for making this planner fit your life. Since it is a downloadable product, you can be enjoying your planner the same day as you purchase.


Rhonda Brown lives in rural eastern Montana, surrounded by her family, chickens, gardens and dog. When she isn't writing or weeding, she loves spending time with her family, baking, and all things CHOCOLATE.


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