2020 Goal Planning for Disorganized People

To be honest, I’m not good at planning or setting goals.  I determined/resolved at the beginning of 2019 to be better about this goals thing and failed by February like the majority of the population.  In the chaos of this year though, I have learned a few things about getting things done and I’m proud of myself for being just a tad less disorganized.  So even though it sounds like I’m the last person who should be sharing tips, I’m going to share them with you anyway.  At the bottom I’ve added some links to additional resources from people I respect if you want more than I have to offer!

I should also note that I am very much a paper girl.  Most of my lists and brain dumps are all on paper and my planner is too.  I usually forget that my phone has a calendar because I just don’t use it, much to my husband’s chagrin.  He started putting his rather erratic work schedule into a shared calendar but I still ask him every day what time he works until and what location he is working out of.  Oops.

Write things down.

Seriously.  this is step 1.  I have a planner and a big empty lined notebook that I jot stuff down on.  It’s pretty disorganized, just like the rest of me, but I did make the first page into an index.  I number the pages as I go and when I fill a page, I jot down the topic in the “index” so that I know where to find it!  Tames the chaos a bit, but not too much!  Whether it’s an awesome blog post idea, notes from a client meeting, my to dos, or the grocery list, it all goes in that notebook. As soon as I write things down, I find that my brain feels so much free-er all of a sudden!  It can also help you sleep better – who would have thunked?!

Use Pencils.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fun pens as much as the next girl.  I have a collection of the finest Le Pens you every did see and I almost never use them.  Instead I pull out a trusty Bic mechanical pencil and go to town.  The temporary nature of a pencil mark is SO freeing to this recovering perfectionist!

Be intentional and schedule out the things you want to prioritize.

Things will not just happen automatically.  This applies to both life and business.  Having systems in place will set you up for success.   Once I made a calendar to schedule content for instagram and wrote a few captions in advance, I became much more likely to actually post said content.  In 2020, I want to be more intentional about keeping up with content creation and website updates for my church so I’ll be adding specific dates to my calendar (shoots, website update days, etc).  I also want to make attending the Midwest Horse Fair in April a priority so instead of saying, “Oh I hope it works out for me to go to that this year” I marked it on my calendar, said no to anything else that would interfere, and plan to purchase my tickets for the event with my Christmas money.

Schedule every moment of your day.

Ok, I personally would lose my mind if I did this always so take it with a grain of salt.  HOWEVER.  When I have a single day (especially a rare saturday when I don’t have to go anywhere)  and I need to get a LOT done, making a schedule is dynamite.  Lots of people who are far smarter than I am have written about this technique but here’s what I do!  Start by brain dumping every single little thing you need to get done that day. Grab your notebook (and pencil) and set a start time.  Then assign time slots for each to do, based on approximately how fast you think you can realistically accomplish that task. For example:

7:30 eat breakfast and change into daytime sweats

8:00 schedule out February content topics

8:15 write a blog post about writing a blog post

8:45 put a load of laundry in


I always write this out in pencil in case I get off track but having specific time goals keeps me on track and focused! It also feels less stressful when I have lots to do because it assures me that if I stick to this schedule, I will get everything done and have time for a netflix show at the end! (I schedule in snack breaks too because…know thyself lol) Again, I don’t do this every day because I would go crazy but it’s great for when I need to get a lot done in a short time.

No new tool will solely guarantee your success.

That pretty planner, that pen set, that shiny thing.  It will not magically change your life.  You a have to be intentional, disciplined, and determined.  (Which is exactly why I’m terrible at this!  I am the POSTER CHILD for shiny things syndrome.)  Do as I say, not as I do. 😛

You will fail.  And it’s ok.

Lara Casey talks a lot about progress over perfection and this mindset really helped me because she made me understand that it is ok to fail!  What matters is seeing forward progress in one area or another.  Honestly, too much structure really stresses me out!  This year I’m working on finding systems that have a more flexible framework so that I don’t feel trapped…which probably sounds weird.

Additional resources

 If my lack of Type A-ness is bugging you, these fantastic resources might help:

Natalie Franke – Recall Rubric


Click to be added to her email list and get the recall rubric freebie if you want help taking a look back at what did or didn’t work in 2019!

Lara Casey – Cultivate your Life


Enter your email to get Lara Casey’s 2020 goal setting series when you’re ready to look ahead!  She also puts out the Cultivate Planner (Powersheets), linked below.

Ashlyn Carter – Breaks down how she uses the Cultivate Planner (PowerSheets) and the Simplified Planner (both linked in the next section)



Honeybook and the Rising Tide Society has a number of great blog post resources for goal planning as it relates to your business: https://www.honeybook.com/risingtide/?s=goals


My personal fave?  A $10 planner from Home Goods and that full page sized notebook for jotting random stuff that I talked about.  I did also purchase a Cultivate goal planner last year (linked below) and I love it but as mentioned I’m not good at following through so I’m not purchasing it again this year.

If you’re looking for a more customized option I have heard great things about these planners:

Simplify by Emily Ley (bright and happy and has daily or weekly versions!)

Get To Work Book by Elise Joy (minimalistic, lots of doodle space, great for creatives!)


Queen of Content planner by Michelle Gifford (6 month, undated, focused on content creation)


Cultivate by Lara Casey (a goals planner to be used in conjunction with a regular one) https://cultivatewhatmatters.com/collections/2020-powersheets/products/2020-one-year-powersheets-intentional-goal-planner

There are so many other amazing planners out there but these are the ones i’ve personally heard great things about! I hope this helped!  Have a wonderful New Year, regardless of your level of planning. 😉 <3 Amy

For Small Businesses


2020 Goal Planning for Disorganized People