Planners and Goal Setting for Authors

In our quest as authors to be more productive and to meet our goals, we search the internet for the perfect planner. We believe with the “perfect” one, it will help us be more productive and achieve our goals. And often, we are left with a bitter taste in our mouths as the latest, greatest planner or system doesn’t work for us.

I’ve tried many types of planners, most I’ll keep for maybe a week, if that. So far, the one I’ve found that is working for me is Trello.

I recently learned what were my Clifton Strengths. My number 5 strength is Achiever, and my number 3 is Input. This means I like making lists and checking things off it.

Trello allows me to make lots of lists where I can check off things I’ve done. Even the process of making the list helps me focus my energy. My Achiever side is very happy with this system!

Until recently, I believed goals didn’t mean anything to me, especially my own. I could make a goal, and it didn’t affect me if I didn’t meet it. But upon reflection, and learning my strengths, I realized I DO achieve my goals. It’s the internally set deadlines I don’t meet. I reach my goals, but not in my predetermined time frame.

I believe I can finish things faster than I can, and I put too many things on my lists. It’s better for me to make the lists but NOT add a deadline to it. When I don’t meet the deadline, I beat myself up for failing and believe I didn’t achieve my goal. I usually do what I set out to do, just not in the time frame I originally set.

Learning my Human Design has helped immensely too. As a Projector, I don’t have consistent energy. I’m not designed for long, sustained work. However, I’m so conditioned by society, which is 70% Generators with consistent energy, that I try to work as a Generator. My long lists of things I want to do reflects this. I’m learning to pare them down and focus on what feels right for me to work on in the moment.

When we learn our design and our strengths, we can stop doing things that we’re not designed to do. We can start making our goals and working toward them in a way that works for us. It helps us stop beating ourselves up for doing something others say works that don’t fit our energy, design, and strengths.

Below are links* where you can obtain your Human Design body graph or take the Clifton Strengths Assessment.

Get your Free body graph from Human Design Hive Listen to Dana’s podcast (Human Design Hive) to learn more about this fascinating system.

You will need your birth date, time, and place.

Take the Clifton Strengths test to discover your strengths. This  testrequires a fee. At the time of posting, to receive your top 5, it’s $20, and to receive your full 34 strengths, it’s about $60.

*These links are NOT affiliate links. I don’t get anything if you choose to get your Human Design body graph or take the Clifton Strengths test. I simply believe these are amazing tools we can use to understand ourselves and our writing better and want to share them with you.

Another good resource to learn about Human Design is Becca Syme’s Quitcast YouTube channel.

I first learned about the Clifton Strengths and how authors can use them from Becca Syme. She has written several books in her “Dear Writer” series I highly recommend. 

Becca has a video about planners and one on productivity I recommend authors watch.

I invite you to stop trying all the planners to find the “perfect” one. Instead, learn your Human Design and Clifton Strengths, then lean into your design and strengths to work on achieving your goals.

How you plan may—most likely will!—be completely different from what you’ve been doing that hasn’t worked for you.

Once you learn your strengths and Human Design, you’ll be better able to select the planner or planning system that works for your personality and design.

If you’d like to learn how your Human Design can help you in your writing, book a Human Design for Authors reading with me.

I use both Human Design and your Clifton Strengths as part of individualizing your Book Doula program to fit YOU! Do you need help, encouragement, or guidance in planning, writing, and publishing your book? I work with both nonfiction and fiction writers to make their dream of becoming an author a reality!

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