It looks like we all made it…. We are five days into the new year and I hope everyone is feeling refreshed, revived and ready to take on the world!!!

What have I been doing? Well I’m glad you asked!

2017 was a year of constant change for me.  I experienced some highs, such as publishing my first Priority Planner and a book collaboration “Sorry for Your Loss”.  Then I experienced some lows, financial ones and I dealt with depression from the loss of my daughter. But as Bigmama says… I made it through!

There is no sense in dwelling on the past, it is over and there is nothing we can do about it but learn from it and keep moving. In true Danielle LaVon fashion, I have been taking some time to get my priorities in order, with my NEW 2018 Priority Planner.  (Order yours now if you haven’t already done so) I have redesigned the planner a little, and if you need a little direction on how to start I am here to help!

Priority:  a thing that is regarded as more important than another, the right to take precedence or to proceed before others.

Step One:  How do I start?

You will start each month and/or week with monthly/weekly planning. In order to be most productive, you need to determine what day and time is best for you to sit down and map out your top priorities for the week. 

I usually take Sunday evenings, after I have finished my after church nap, to figure out what I need to do for the week.  I turn on Erykah Badu, put on my pyramid sweats and try to get my life together.  But you have to figure out what’s best for you.  Here are just a few suggestions:

Where do you feel most productive? Is this at home? Your dining room table? Your desk?

Unplug!!! Our biggest distraction is our phone. So set your phone to Do Not Disturb (I don’t know what Android users have), and unplug for a designated amount of time sufficient for you to get your life together.  Afterwards you can go back to scrolling.

Figure out what you need to accomplish by the end of your work week.

Step Two:  Manage Priorities NOT time!!!

The purpose of the Priority Planner is to make sure you prioritize in order to be productive and organized.  We can’t stop time but we can make sure we are using the time we have to benefit us.  Identifying your top priority for the month/week/day will allow you to feel accomplished even if things take an unforeseen turn.

Step Three:  Be realistic and intentional!

 The key to being productive and accomplishing your goals is to be realistic and intentional.  For instance, I wouldn’t make my top priority “Create Planner”, instead I would make “find quotes for planner” a priority.  Make sure you aren’t skipping steps!  This is why it is important to understand what it takes to accomplish your goals.

Ask yourself these questions when you are making your priority lists:

1)        Is this a task or an accomplishment? Instead of thinking about the finished product, think of the things you need to do to complete the project. That is what you need to list as a priority.

2)        If I do nothing but this ONE task, will it put me a step closer to completing my overall goal?

3)        Will I feel accomplished if this is the only task I complete?

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Step Four:  COMMIT

I have a confession; I have commitment issues (covers face in shame).  Sometimes if things seem too far into the distance it scares me a little and I think to myself, “I don’t know what I will be doing then, I’m not going to plan that right now.”  So instead of focusing on the long term, I take things one day (or 5 days) at a time.  Make small commitments that will eventually lead to your BIGGER goal.  As my favorite fitness trainer always says, TRUST THE PROCESS!

You are not going to become an overnight success. There are small, tedious steps that no one sees that lead to what you are trying to become. If you make the commitment and prioritize your steps, you will make the process look easy and effortless.

Step Five: Evaluate

You may be able to fool people, but you can’t fool yourself.  Each day you have the opportunity to evaluate yourself.  How did you feel? Were you productive? Do you need to do more?  Then at the end of the week, you should evaluate your overall productivity level.  Do you need to recommit? What did you learn from this week? Do you need a different strategy?  Evaluation is a VERY important part of the process. DON’T SKIP STEPS!!!

After the evaluation, recommit and start over the next day/week.  Each day/week is a fresh start, don’t get down or frustrated.  And if you ever get tired, learn to rest, DON’T QUIT!!!

Step Six: Happy Hour

I know, according to the wealthy, they never sleep (side eyes).  However, I need rest in order to be productive.  This is not to say I don’t work some late nights, but rest and relaxation is very important.  You need it to stay sane. 

Happy Hour should also be a priority, this is the time to do things that make you happy, such as spending time with your family, friends, bae, or binge watching shows on Netflix.  You can’t be all work no play; you have to take time to free your mind.  Although your business and financial goals are important, it’s just as important to make time for the things that are priceless. 

Step Seven: START!!!

We can go on and on about what to do and how to do it, but the most important thing to do in order to accomplish your goals is to simply START!!! You’ve made it this far! You’ve bought the planner (and I don’t give refunds), so all you have to do now is START!!!

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