Project Scheduling and Project Calendar Printable

Use my project scheduling method to realistically plan your entire year on a FREE project calendar printable PDF download.

Use my project scheduling method to realistically plan your entire year on a FREE project calendar printable PDF download.

The Importance of Project Scheduling

After formulating my life plan, setting concrete goals and working on detailed project plans – it’s time to dive into project scheduling to see what I can realistically accomplish.

I prefer to start with the ideal and that’s why I haven’t talked about time constraints up to this point. Whatever you desire in your life plan, it’s a nice exercise to work through all your goals and how you can achieve them. However, after creating your project plans, even if they are partial and incomplete, you’ll still have an estimate of time required at the bottom of the worksheet.

Obviously, these are all rough estimates and there’s no way to know if you are estimating correctly or if changes will occur in the future. Actually, it’s inevitable that something will change, so you just have to make educated estimates and plan with the information you have right now. The idea is to be able to outline your schedule on a high-level, so you aren’t fooling yourself into working on 10 projects when you only have the hours to complete two.

How Much Time Do You Have?

So the first thing you need to do is to find out how much time you actually have to work on projects. We often overestimate how much time we will spend working on our goals, because there’s the rest of life and responsibilities going on that take up a lot of time.

When you consider the everyday things you have to do, your job and just resting times, there’s an obvious limitation to how many hours you can devote to projects. The process I go through to figure out the time I have available, is to print out a year-at-a-glance calendar. I have a freebie you can download on my my gumroad but any yearly calendar will do, so that you can mark it up. It’s not something you need to keep forever.

On the yearly calendar, use a black pen or marker to black out the dates that you will NOT be working on projects. These are days you literally are not going to take into account like holidays, birthdays and vacation days. We often put way too much on our plate, so be realistic. For example, once my kids are out of school for the Christmas holidays, there’s no way I’m going to be spending hours on projects. I block out whole weeks, because all the holiday stuff is going on and I will already be super busy.

Maybe you have a day job and you focus on personal projects on the weekends only. Or maybe you want to devote a certain number of hours only on weekends and never count weekdays. First thing is to simply block out all the days that aren’t available.

Then I go through month by month and consider how many hours I have available on the non-blacked out days. We are estimating here, but this will give you a good idea of what is possible for the whole year. After your normal responsibilities and life schedule, how many hours do you actually have per day to work on personal projects? It might be 1 hour day before or after work. Or maybe it’s a half-day on Tuesdays when you don’t work. It’s probably a combination of hours throughout the week, but it is limited.

I use the calendar and do some quick math to make totals for each month. How many hours do I really have each month to work on projects? It’s a lot of scribbling and estimating, but it’s still valuable information on the ideal. So yes, this is ideal, because we often want ourselves to work more than maybe is even possible. When you have an estimate of hours for each month, you should probably go back and knock off 10%-20% of the time you to account for unplanned events, sick days and just downtime.

I realize it might be difficult to make these decisions and everything might feel like a guess, but that is okay. Again, we can only make decisions based on the information we have on hand. So make your best guess and go from there. You will still be much more informed without having done this exercise. And as the year unfolds itself, you can always do this exercise again. Your work schedule might change or a major life change happens, so you just have to re-evaluate and re-plan!

Scheduling Projects on Your Project Calendar

Once I have my available hours and my list of projects with time estimates, then I can start scheduling in my projects for the entire year. When I first completed this exercise, I realized that I had a lot less time than I thought. We often think, whoa, it’s a whole year, I should be able to complete all kinds of projects.

But when you really break it down, you’ll realize there is limited time and it’s better to set a realistic schedule than to always feel behind on a million projects. Honestly, if you literally finish all your projects and have loads of time left, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find something else to work on… so I think that is the last of our worries.

It’s much better to complete what you say you will complete, building up your self-confidence year after year. And even if you fall short, each time you are going learn what your limits are and make better more realistic plans.

Ongoing Versus One-Time Projects

We are all unique individuals and have different goals, so you might have projects that seem ongoing versus projects that are a one-time, get it done and it’s finished kind of thing. Fitness and health goals are often more like building habits that should be ongoing. Whereas planning your wedding or building a website is more or less a one-time project that finishes on a set date.

I think the process can still be similar when it comes to planning and scheduling. You still want to make a list of tasks and prepare yourself to take action. And when it comes to scheduling, you just need to estimate the time required every single day or week or month. You have to account for meal planning or exercise time within your schedule. Ultimately, you have a set amount of hours to use, so schedule things in as you see fit and make sure you aren’t overloading yourself.

For one-time projects, I think of them very linearly. If the project takes 20 hours and in a month I have 25 hours, then I’m probably only going to get that one project done. If you like working on multiple things in parallel, you just have to split the hours and see what fits in your available time. That’s sort of what you are doing with ongoing projects – basically allotting the hours needed each week for that project.

Digital Calendaring

One tool you can use to visually see your schedule before it’s set in stone is Google Calendar or any digital calendaring system. You can create a new calendar that is separate from whatever you might already be using and just block out time to see how things fit. With digital calendars you can shift and move things easily and set reoccurring events for ongoing projects. You aren’t actually scheduling exact times for projects, it’s more just to see how things can fit in the time you have available.

Once you have a rough overview to look at, you can see if what you have documented looks realistic. And this is when you need to set challenging, yet achievable plans. One of the biggest issues I hit upon when planning is not allowing down-time and rest times in between tasks and projects. We sort of think if we have 4 hours that we would be working those entire 4 hours. But honestly, we know that is unrealistic! Literally, you have to go to the bathroom at some point, right? It’s easy to get distracted and switching tasks means you have to switch your frame of mind and it’s not easy to jump from one thing to another.

There’s also the time to decompress when you finish a big project, before starting the next one. It can’t possibly be the very next day!

So build in buffer time and try to be brutally honest of when you can get things done and if the expectations you have are realistic with your life.

Finally…

I know this process might seem overwhelming at first. I certainly felt a bit of dread at the beginning, mostly because I realized that I really didn’t have enough time to work on all my projects. Ugh! When I blocked out my calendar and estimated the hours per day, my totals per month didn’t really allow for 5 projects a month – hah!

We all have limits and I think it’s important to admit them and force ourselves to be more realistic. Even though you have project plans written out, it doesn’t mean you have to act on them immediately. Maybe order things in priority and see how much you can get through to truly understand your pace from month to month.

And remember that the plan and schedule you come up with will morph and change over time. We can’t predict everything that is going to happen in the coming year, so something is bound to change and shift. That is life!

Ultimately, we just want to be as prepared as we can and have a high-level overview of the direction we are heading in. It helps to calm my nerves and makes me feel less anxious about what I can accomplish in the coming year. I think knowing that really helps with your personal satisfaction at the end of the day.

Year-at-a-Glance Project Calendar

So once you have a general understanding of what projects you have time to work on, use this year-at-a-glance project calendar to write down where each project falls. This gives you a really nice year-long overview of what is happening throughout your year.

Preview of project calendar printable boxes format month to month.

I have a box version where you can simply bullet point the projects ongoing for each month. This works well also because each row is one quarter of the year. However, I also created a landscape version where you are meant to write, draw or washi tape in each project in timeline fashion. For projects that are year-long or don’t fit well into being listed month by month, the timeline view might be better.

Preview of project calendar in timeline format.

Use whichever version works for you or both if you want a written version versus a more visual bar graphic version. Turns out perhaps we are creating fancy Gantt charts for our projects!

Free Project Calendar Printable PDF Downloads

Download Project Calendar boxes PDF

Download Project Calendar timeline PDF

What’s next?

I hope this project scheduling process has been helpful for you and at the end of your planning session, you’ll have a nice overview of your projects for the year. I love seeing all my projects on the project calendar printables, giving me a neat and tidy way to see it all at-a-glance.

This free printable is part of a series shared on this blog to help reset your life. Here are the other related posts:

Keep checking this blog for upcoming posts and if you don’t want to miss out on free printables – Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>

Project Planning Template Printable

This project planning template will transform your dream into an action plan, so you can follow the steps forward toward success!

This project planning template will transform your dream into an action plan, so you can follow the steps forward toward success!

Goals without Plans are Just Dreams

We all want to accomplish things, but even after you take the time to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals, if you don’t have a plan, you might still struggle to execute and succeed. Project planning is simply the process of defining what you want to do and how you are going to do it – in detail – so that you can get it done by simply following your plan, step-by-step.

In the professional project management world, project planning is a huge undertaking that maps out large-scale projects. There might be multiple teams of people involved and many moving parts and dependencies. It makes sense that they need to document and organize everything in order to keep an eye on the big picture.

You might think that your personal goals should be straightforward, so you don’t need a written out plan. And I agree that from a personal perspective, our goals probably don’t need super fancy Gantt charts or 100 pages of documentation. But you still need to have a plan of action and writing it all down gives you a lot of clarity.

The only way to get yourself results is to actually take the actions to complete your goal. I know it sounds simple and obvious, but I think we have all been there before – completely overwhelmed and not getting anything done at the end of the day.

Project Planning

To set yourself up for success, take your goals and create a project plan for each goal.  I’ve created a project planning template printable to help with the process. All you have to do is print out multiple copies and fill them out. If you have a particular challenging goal, you can even split it up into multiple phases to make it easier for you to take action. The more you can break something down, the easier it will be to approach.

Although I’m talking specifically about goals developed from the life categories we’ve explored previously, you can develop a plan for any project you have in mind. Anything that requires multiple steps and considerations needs a project plan.

Now, if you already know what to do, it might literally be as simple as a list that you go through to complete. It CAN be very simple, but simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. How many times have we set goals and intentions, but not acted upon them, right? I really challenge you to write it all down. As you go through the process, often new ideas and parts will come up and you can keep adding to your project plan to keep track of everything.

The beauty of a project plan is that it forces you to consider all parts of a project and possible problems. It’s time to take a good hard look at the project details and the idea is that you end up with all the information needed to get started.

Download the Project Planning Template Printable

Preview of project planning template printable on tortagialla.com

Project Planning Template PDF

Sometimes when you tackle a new project, you might not know all the steps required to complete the whole project. That’s totally okay. The idea is to put down all the information you DO know and importantly, the very next action you need to take. Maybe it’s research, so you find out what to do next.

Think of the project plan as a living breathing document, because as you go along, you might add tasks or rearrange the order of tasks. You can tweak the plan along the way. Make your best estimates on the time required, just so you have an idea on how long the project might take. Again, you can edit as necessary along the way.

A project plan is not set in stone, so that you have to follow it through, no matter what. It’s can morph along the way because the point is that it’s a tool to help you take action. You just need to know what the next step is.

Also, remember that you can add documents, informational bits and any other related material with your project plan. Think of it as creating an all encompassing “file” for the project. Having everything in one place will make it easier for you to execute and that is the key. I use all these printables to help with my productivity and organize everything in a big binder with page protectors to hold extra materials.

What’s next?

Print out the project planning template for all the goals you have set from the last blog post and start planning! This process can be really fun and there’s nothing like making beautiful plans for the future. If you find things getting a bit messy, no worries. Print another copy and rewrite your plans in a more organized fashion, if you want to reorder tasks or edit some of your answers to be more concise. It’s a process that can actually help you “work out” the project details, until you end up with something you understand and can take action on.

This free printable is part of a series shared on this blog to help reset your life. Here are the other related posts:

Keep checking this blog for upcoming posts and if you don’t want to miss out on free printables – Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>

Goal Setting Worksheet Printable to Reset Your Life

Don’t just drift through your life. Use this goal setting worksheet printable to set smart goals and move forward with intention.

FREE Goal Setting Worksheet Printable - Don't just drift through your life. Use this goal setting worksheet printable to set smart goals and move forward with intention by taking action!

Need direction or working hard without the satisfaction?

When it comes to achieving our best intentions, I find myself feeling one of two ways. Either I feel lost and adrift in all the busyness of the world or I work hard and do lots of things, but still don’t get the satisfaction of having done the right things to achieve my goals.

Those feelings mean that I need to take a moment to clarify my goals and set S.M.A.R.T goals to work towards. Learning about this process has not only improved my productivity but also level of satisfaction at the end of the day.

This blog post is a continuation of my Reset Your Life series. I previously talked about drafting my life plan here. However, the life plan document is a general mission statement type of plan. You outline your major goals and dreams for the various categories of your life – from health to career to family, etc.

Whatever your life plan contains is perfectly fine and suited for you. We all start somewhere and we all want different things. The problem is that we usually set goals that are very high-level and vague. It’s similar to setting New Year’s resolutions. For example, goals like losing weight or feeling happier or making more money – those are all valid goals and wants on your life plan.

However, you need to take the next step in using that information to set concrete goals that you can achieve.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

That’s why we need to focus on S.M.A.R.T. goals which is a mnemonic from the project management world that helps us set an objective that we can actually follow through on. The letters stand for different attributes we need for every goal.

S for specific

M for measurable

A for achievable

R for relevant

T for time-bound

Some of these might be self-explanatory, but going through an example will help to clarify each attribute. So let’s take losing weight and formulate a goal that is actually S.M.A.R.T.

If we set a general goal of losing weight, it’s extremely difficult to know how much weight is enough to consider yourself successful. That’s why sometimes you work hard and get results, yet still don’t feel satisfied. It’s because you didn’t define what success truly is for the particular goal. We need to go through the five letters to refine the goal into a clear objective that we can tackle and finish successfully.

Be Specific

First, we need to be specific, so for losing weight you need to put a specific number of pounds to truly understand what you are shooting for. Is it 10 pounds lighter or 50 pounds? Or is it getting down to a particular dress size?

Measureable

Second, we need it to be measurable. So this is easy for losing weight, because you simply have to track your current weight and over time, keep weighing in to see how much weight you have lost. That’s why it makes sense to have a number of pounds or number or sizes to lose. Often specific and measurable go together. In the past, you might have just wanted to lose weight generally, but dropping 5 pounds doesn’t feel like an accomplishment anymore, if you didn’t define that as success. You have to be able to measure your progress and know where the finish line is.

Achievable

Third, we have achievable and this is something you need to decide on yourself, depending on the situation and perhaps your past performance. Giving yourself the goal of losing 80 pounds in one month might be too much of a stretch, right? So consider a goal that challenges you, yet still feels within reach.

Relevant

Fourth, we have relevant and I tie this back to my life plan to help evaluate if a goal is actually helping me to get closer to my life plan objectives or not. Is it worth it and does it actually align with your ultimate goals. In my process of resetting my life, I use the items listed in my life plan to come up with my goals, so they are definitely relevant.

But this is an important aspect to consider whenever you take on a new project or idea, because often we get lured into doing something exciting that ultimately doesn’t even align with our life plan.

Time-Bound

Finally, we have time-bound which is to give yourself a deadline to help schedule this goal out. Depending on how much time you have, you might have to adjust your specific goal as well.

Let’s go back to our losing weight example. Maybe we need to lose 20 pounds before our wedding date in one year or whenever the final dress fitting might be. Or maybe this is a long term goal to fit into a size 10 by 2025. So it might actually make more sense to simply pick the next milestone, so a certain number of pounds by a date or certain size by a closer date. It’s a lot more approachable than plopping down a giant goal that goes way too far into the future.

Whatever goal you have, make sure to go back through the S.M.A.R.T. goal attributes to finalize the details. It’s best to be able to write your goal in one sentence, so that you can motivate yourself by re-writing and re-reading it often. Once you have a goal to shoot for, then you just need to plan your project and start one step at a time!

Goal Setting Tips

I have found that having a goal setting worksheet really helps to work through a goal that I’m considering. Seeing it all on paper helps with clarity, finalizing the details and even determining if the goal is worth shooting for at the end of the day.

If you have your life plan template complete, it should be fairly easy to go down the list and write does all the goals you have chosen for yourself, following the S.M.A.R.T. guidelines. The process of goal setting helps you set your life direction with intention, so you achieve precisely what you want. As you continue with this process over and over again, you will raise your self-confidence as well.

Of course, remember that it’s easy to get carried away in this process. We all have big dreams and we want to get there as fast as possible. But we have to be realistic to our life situation and resources available. So just take some moments to evaluate if your goals are exciting and challenging enough, but also attainable. Remember that you can always break up goals into different milestones, so start with phase 1 or part 1 first. Smaller chunks are always more approachable and easier to accomplish.

Finally, I wanted to mention also this idea of performance goals rather than outcome goals. Although sometimes we need to be specific with outcome goals – like if you really need to lose those 10 pounds to fit into a wedding dress. But other times, the specific outcome might actually not be in your control – or even be exactly what you ultimately care about.

With more experience you might have enough information to know that if you take certain actions you will certainly achieve certain outcomes. But often this is not the case, so when it comes to a list of goals, I think it’s good to mix them up so you have some outcome goals as well as some performance ones.

Performance Goal Setting Example

Let’s go through an example of what I mean by performance goals. Going back to losing weight, maybe you don’t actually care about your weight number or dress size. Maybe you wanted to lose weight because you know you need to eat healthier and feel better about yourself. So a performance goal is based on things you can do and control, rather than what might or might not happen as a result of taking those actions.

Here’s what I mean – consider someone who has a lot of trouble losing weight. They might not know if it’s even possible to shed those 50 pounds by a certain date. It’s all new territory. And of course maybe they just want to be healthier and a specific weight number might really be arbitrary. So think about what can you change or do that would certainly contribute to losing weight. Maybe like switching to a vegetarian diet, meal planning at least the weekdays and stick to it for 3 months before reassessing.

The idea is that the goal is really a serious of actions you can definitely achieve, it’s all in your control. You don’t really know how much weight you might lose at the end of that time, but you do know that you can meal plan 5 days a week, switching to vegetarian healthy meals for 3 months.

Performance goals are especially important if you are new to goal setting or you have little experience in what you are doing, so you can be sure on outcomes. A lot of people have income goals. But you will never know if you can sell enough or get enough clients to hit an income number without more experience. So you can switch it to a performance goal of things you can control. Like making 5 sales call every day. Or adding 5 products to your shop every day. Those are specific, measurable things you can do that would contribute to your income. You don’t know if someone will be your client or buy your product at the end of the day, but ultimately you can only concentrate on what is in your control.

So that is basically the difference of performance goals versus outcome goals. I think there is a place for both kind of goals, it really depends on your situation, your experience and many other factors.

Goal Setting Worksheet

Preview of free goal setting worksheet printable on tortagialla.com

Goal Setting Worksheet PDF

To make the process more straightforward, I’ve created a goal setting worksheet printable that you can download to use for evaluating your goals. Whatever dream you have in mind can be evaluated using this free worksheet. Afterwards, you will have much more clarity on what you want, if it’s possible and be on your way to the next step of translating your goal into an actual project plan.

Think of this worksheet as a way to brainstorm and work out any thoughts you might have in relation to the specific goal. Don’t worry about getting all the steps or information exactly right though, because your project plan will actually have those details. This worksheet is for formulating your goals. Afterwards, if you decide to go for it, then you can create your project plan of tasks to work on.

What’s next?

I hope this goal setting worksheet printable will help you with your planning and remember to print as many copies as you need. If you are anything like me, there are so many goals and dreams to evaluate and it makes sense to consider them all and then pick the most exciting high priority ones. Here’s to taking action with intention and moving forward with more clarity.

This free printable is part of a series shared on this blog to help reset your life. Here are the other related posts:

Keep checking this blog for upcoming posts and if you don’t want to miss out on free printables – Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>

Reset Your Life: Life Planning Template

Want to reset your life and get guidance on how to propel yourself forward with intention? Check out this life planning template and create your own!

Free life planning template printables on tortagialla.com

So after completing multiple deep journaling sessions, the first step to reset your life, I ended up writing 8 full pages! It was fantastic to have that feeling of weight lifted from my shoulders. And in writing my thoughts out, it helped to clarify a lot of my goals and aspirations as well.

If you still feel that there is anything in your heart that needs to get out, please write it out. From fears to doubts and worries to dreams, goals, and bucket list items. Again, it’s to get everything out and let go of the past to enable you to move forward.

Brainstorming to create a life planning template…

Now we must move on to the next step and set yourself up for an amazing year and decade. Personally, I find it difficult to just list out goals. I really like the idea of categorizing my efforts, so I did some research in the arena of life planning. I found that there are categories that people usually go through to check-in on their life and progress.

I know that not all categories apply to each and every person though. We have different seasons in life and there might be a year when you put little to no emphasis on certain categories. So my thought is to just have a master list and each year go through to pick and choose what will guide my goals for the year.

If you have read Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning (Amazon affiliate link), you will know that he describes his Level 10 Life method, where you basically try to meet satisfaction in the 10 areas of life he has defined. Some other life coaching websites and associations have 7 areas up to 12 areas. Here’s a more comprehensive list that I found from my research.

Examples of Life Planning Categories…

  • Personal Development
  • Health/Fitness
  • Well-Being/Self-Care/Mental Health
  • Spirituality/Character/Values
  • Family/Parenting/Quality of Life
  • Friends/Social Life
  • Love/Romance/Emotional
  • Finances/Wealth
  • Career/Business
  • Entertainment/Fun/Recreation
  • Charity/Volunteer/Giving/Life Vision
  • Physical Environment

Notice there are lots of slashes, because there’s more than one way to describe an area of life. Honestly, we all can personally establish our own categories, because we define things uniquely and lead unique lives. What might be a category for us, might not be for another person. Pick the words that resonant with you personally. You might be in a season of life that health is actually just all about mental health, so it would make sense to make that it’s own category heading, right?

Preview of life planning template pdf with 12 rows to fill in.

Preview of life planning template pdf with 12 boxes to fill in.

Printable Life Planning Template Idea

So I decided to create some printables to write out my life plan, which is just an overview of where I feel I’m at in each category of importance to me and what I want to accomplish. It would be like my guiding principles that would affect what projects and actions I take throughout the year.

The printables come in either boxes or rows and 6 or 12 spaces. I think that accommodates most people and you should fill them in order of priority with your personal categories.  For example, instead of “love” or “romance” you might actually have the name of your significant other. It’s so much more personal in that way!

For this process, I read through my journaling brain dump and pulled out main points that helped me to shape my life categories. I actually rewrote things several times, because the act of writing it out helped me to organize and sort things in my head. In the end, I printed a fresh page to write down concise bullet points.

Personally, I ended up with six categories and decided to use the rows format to try and be as concrete as possible with specific milestones. Use whatever works best with your categories and goals.

Preview of life planning template pdf with 6 rows to fill in.

Preview of life planning template pdf with 6 boxes to fill in.

Download Boxes or Rows Life Planning Template Printables…

Life Planning Template 6 boxes PDF
Life Planning Template 6 rows PDF
Life Planning Template 12 boxes PDF
Life Planning Template 12 rows PDF

For each category you rate your current state – 1 being not good versus 10 meaning perfect. Then you list the goals you want to achieve that would contribute positively to that category that would help your rating go up.

The box version lets you just list bullet point goals, whereas the row version has short-term, mid-term and long-term columns for each category. Alternatively, you can list the low, middle and high end goals for certain areas. For example, some people have income goals and they like to put in a range, such as lowest benchmark to middle and then dream sky high amount. It’s a way to give yourself a range and generally milestones make a goal much more approachable.

Also remember to order your life categories as you see fit. Whatever is priority for you should be first. I would love to work on everything but I have to face the truth. Some things will take priority over others – at least this year as the focus. Give yourself that visual cue of the hierarchy, in case life gets busy (because it will) and you can make better decisions on what to focus on.

What’s next?

So, happy life planning to you! And remember that you can download and print as many copies as you need to refine your categories and really work it all out on paper. Then you will have a life plan that is a high-level guide that will help you make plans and drive your actions and efforts in the coming years.

These free design printables are part of a series shared on this blog to help reset your life for the new year. Here are the other related posts:

Keep checking this blog for upcoming posts and if you don’t want to miss out on free printables – Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>

The First Step To Reset Your Life

The first step to reset your life is to do a braindump of everything, anything and all of it. It’s important to get all the thoughts out of your head and onto paper.

The first step to reset your life is to do a braindump of everything, anything and all of it. It's important to get all the thoughts out of your head. Use this free printable brain dump lined paper to write out all your thoughts. Print multiple copies as needed.

I know first hand that life can feel so overwhelming.

As we head into a new year, I always find myself filled with anxiety. A new year gives us the perfect opportunity for an obvious fresh start, so it can be exciting, invigorating and motivational. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular.

But I have a big melting pot of feelings and often I find myself frozen in fear and overwhelmed by all the great possibilities of the future, coupled with fearing a crushing disappointment of repeating my inadequacies of the past. Whew. Whoa. I said it.

Feeling like I’m unable to change old patterns and living the same’ ole same ‘ole life – that is scary to me. But I also know that it’s normal to have fears and doubts. We all have them. We simply have to believe in the possibility of change and move forward confidently. That’s why I created the progress not perfection printable mantra.

As we head into 2020, it’s a whole new decade starting up, bringing an even greater emphasis on new beginnings. I feel the need to pivot and really try to feel more on top of my life so that I don’t have these anxious feelings at the end of every year.

There has got to be a way to move forward bravely with confidence. Even if I feel the pressure and anxiety eating away at me…  I also feel the hunger of wanting more and truly believing that change is possible. And don’t get me wrong… there are many good things in life. But that doesn’t mean I can’t want more… to improve… to optimize and progress!

Let’s reset life for 2020 together.

It’s not about getting more tasks done or checking off lists. It’s about re-aligning my efforts towards the things that actually matter to me personally and contribute to my life positively. The goal is feeling good about time spent, good times and projects accomplished. Rather than feeling crushed by the busyness of modern lifestyles.

Who’s with me?

Now, the very first step when it comes to fresh starts is journaling. Actually, it’s really a pre-step. The idea is to get everything out of your head.

Call it a braindump, morning pages, writing stream of consciousness or journaling to specific prompts – whatever you want. But the point is to write it all out. It’s always helpful to get thoughts out of my head and onto paper. The act of thinking and physically writing thoughts down activates both sides of our brain, almost like every cell in your body will be sent the message!

I know there can be resistance to writing, if you don’t feel like you are a writer or your hand cramps up or you happen to hate your handwriting. But you have to put that all aside and know that these are not grand plans that have to be written beautifully or neatly. On the contrary, let yourself have free reign and just let it flow. In fact, at points, I might just be scribbling something, before some more words come out and I keep on writing…

Brain Dumping

Although it’s great to have a journaling practice, so that you are constantly brain dumping. Just like there’s periods of spring cleaning and deep cleaning for houses… the end of year is a great time to do a deep journaling session or sessions. I think you can braindump in list format, free journaling or following writing prompts – perhaps all three methods – to ensure that you explore ALL thoughts.

I will be treating this as an exercise to literally EMPTY my mind of EVERYTHING. I recommend doing this in multiple sessions during the course of a week, to help yourself truly let it all out. If you are familiar with David Allen’s Getting Things Done book and method… he often talks about how our brains are meant to process, but not necessarily to remember every little detail.

In sharing this process, I know that some people like to see examples or see what other people journal about – but I would suggest NOT sharing your journaling with anyone. I believe that it goes down to the subconscious level, even if you happen to be a very open book type of person. If you keep your writing private, it will give you the freedom to truly let your feelings and thoughts flow out onto the paper with no filters whatsoever.

Download the free printable Brain Dump PDF…

Preview of Brain Dump lined paper printable for writing.

Download Braindump PDF

I’ve designed a lined printable page that has the Brain Dump heading for those who want to follow this process and keep all the pages in the same style. I’m putting all my pages in a binder, so that is why I’m creating these printables. But you can just as well use blank sheets of paper or a notebook of your choice. It doesn’t really matter what you use, rather it’s more important that you actually go through the process.

Keep writing until you truly feel there’s nothing else to write out and you feel a bit at peace that it’s all out on paper. Again – it’s all your thoughts, feelings, worries, aspirations, lists, projects, wishes, dreams… EVERYTHING. No filter need apply. Trust me… you will feel SO GOOD after these types of sessions…

If you are having trouble journaling, here are some prompts that help me:

  • To practice writing, you can write your own biography, as if you had to explain to someone brand new your life story. How would you describe yourself? How would you highlight your past milestones? What is your current state of affairs?
  • Think about the past year and happy moments. What has brought you joy, so that you want to keep them in your life? People? Events? Projects?
  • What accomplishments are you proud of? What do you need to celebrate and remember?
  • Evaluate the various pillars of life planning: personal health/development, love/social/friends/family, career, finances, entertainment/hobbies, spiritual or whatever fits with your life as a major component. Think about each pillar and how you would rank yourself – are you happy with the situation or do you find something lacking? What do you want to improve?
  • What disappointments from the last year come to mind? What has bothered you, been a pain point or something you truly would like to change?
  • Can you pull out understanding, lessons learned and thoughts from writing about disappointments or mistakes from the past?
  • What are your greatest fears? What doubts do you have that really take up space in your mind?
  • Have you ever told yourself, oh, I can’t do that – or related limiting beliefs? List them out and journal about why you feel that way about yourself.
  • Turn things around and explore your strengths. Things you are good at and proud of. You might consider taking the VIA character strengths survey to find out what your core characters strengths are and list them out to elaborate on them and journal to know yourself better.
  • What are you grateful for, thankful for and why? Elaborate.
  • Journal your dreams, goals and aspirations do you have for the future.
  • What is your definition of success? How do you want to feel at the end of each day. Physical items you want in life? People you want in life? Accomplishments you want in life? Write what you want, but also think about the past and what has ACTUALLY brought you joy.

What’s next?

This free design printable is part of a series shared on this blog to help reset my life for the new year. You can download the 2020 printable binder cover I shared here and check the blog for upcoming posts.

I will be taking multiple days and sessions to journal and write all my thoughts out before trying to organize or come up with goals or resolutions. At this point, it’s just about writing it ALL out.

Don’t want to miss out on free printables? Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>

Progress Not Perfection – Free Printable

I believe in progress not perfection. It’s easier to get things done, when you have the right mindset. Download this free printable as a daily reminder!

I Believe in Progress Not Perfection - FREE PRINTABLE PDF DOWNLOAD on tortagialla.com

No matter where you are at in your life, there’s no doubt that you can always improve something. We all have aspects we want to work on and more often than not, we have lots of dreams and goals that just seem out of reach.

Lately, I’ve been feeling that end-of-the-year anxiety. Whenever a new year rolls around, I often find my mind filled with so many thoughts, aspirations and fears… so many feelings that it just seems overwhelming.

So it’s time to reset and guide myself out of this anxious space.

Reset your life!

We have all accomplished things in life and we have all failed at things in life. But I think it’s the most important that we truly believe in a growth mindset, allowing ourselves the possibility of learning and ultimately changing for the better, no matter what happens.

As a first step, I wanted to create this printable quote art that serves as a mantra. It’s a proclamation – I Believe in Progress Not Perfection –  that reinforces the idea of moving forward. To me, it ultimately means that you take responsibility for your own life and know that only you can make the changes required. Nothing good will come from grasping for perfection (a total illusion), so simply believe in progress instead.

I designed this printable as a beautiful printable piece of art that you can sign and date – to make it official – and post up so that you can read it to yourself daily. The repetition will truly help to solidify the idea and I really need it for myself as well. This is the first step in creating a reset for yourself.

Download I Believe in Progress Not Perfection Free Printable PDF below…

I Believe in Progress Not Perfection PDF

What’s next?

This free design printable is part of a series I am working on, related to resetting my life so I can start fresh and enter the new year with intention. You can download the 2020 printable binder cover I shared here and check the blog for upcoming posts.

Don’t want to miss out on free printables? Sign-up for my email newsletter to get all the updates >>

2020 Free Printable Cover for Binder Planners

Start the new decade with this chic 2020 free printable cover for binder planners. Just download the PDF and print right at home!

Free Printable - 2020 new year new goals printable pdf download preview.

What’s a cover or dashboard?

When you first open up your planner, bullet journal or home binder, it’s nice to see an encouraging quote or beautiful design. A pretty design can really get your excited and pumped up for planning and productivity. For the upcoming year, I wanted to design a series of printables in black and white, so that anyone can easily print at home. This design is definitely sleek and chic and can be used as-is or dressed up for those who want more personalization.

The beauty of planner dashboards is that they can be anything you need them to be. From a purely decorative page to something that holds more meaning or important information. I like to write down my main goals on the back side of this dashboard design, so I always have my ultimate goals and milestones to review on a regular basis.

This design also makes a great divider for a section of your planner all about high-level goals or specific project oriented tasks. From inspirational to functional, printable covers are super versatile for anyone who loves to keep organized and plan their way to success. This 2020 printable cover for binder planners can be used in a variety of ways… what makes sense for you and your planner?

Embellishment Tips

I love the streamlined minimalist look of this design, but you can definitely use this printable as a starting point for your own customizations. I strongly believe that our productivity tools can be useful and pretty at the same time!

  • Add washi tape, patterned paper, stickers or tags to spice up the look of this full page printable
  • Trim out the text of this printable and attached them onto another colored cardstock
  • Use glitter, sewing, paint or other art media to add color to this design

Truly the only limit is your own creativity, so consider what fits with the aesthetic of your binder or planner and create something unique for yourself.

Get your free printable download below…

2020 new year new goals printable

2020 new year new goals PDF

For more digital printables…

If you like printable artwork, you might also enjoy these free printable wall art downloads on the blog.

Check out my Etsy shop for poster-sized, premium wall art printables and sign-up for my email newsletter here to get all the updates >>

December Daily Paper Designs

Ready to document the holidays? Here’s my December Daily Paper Designs that I used to make my own handmade December Daily Album.

Printable December Daily papers by tortagialla.com

Handmade December Daily This Year!

This year, I took the leap and just designed my own December Daily album. It’s a mix of papers, sort of eclectic and dark… but I like it! Are you ready for December Daily?

Here’s a whole kit of paper designs that you can use to make your own album right at home with printables – just like I did!  I printed all the papers with my inkjet printer and with a little bit of trimming, glue, sewing plus a dash of glitter… my foundation pages were ready to go!

Honestly, i’m proud that I was able to do create it all from materials I already have at home. Handmade, all the way. I’m definitely trying to bust the stash and decrease the amount of space needed for supplies. Plus, I can just design what I need – the beauty of printables!

December Daily Paper Designs on Patreon

So if you love digital printables, you can download all the December Daily papers you seen above on my Patreon! For just $1 a month, you can get access to my exclusive Patreon feed and not only are the December Daily papers are there… hundreds of other printables are already posted.

Of course, whether you can support me on Patreon or not, please feel free to download the bauble tree with “life is good” saying below. It’s a freebie that I would love to share with everyone… because that is definitely the why for my December Daily this year. To realize all the good around me and to savor it.

Free Download

Life is Good Design JPG

Finally, please support me on Patreon for more digital printables and keep in touch through my email newsletter here >> Thank you and happy holidays!

This website uses cookies and other tracking technologies. By using this website, you are accepting the terms and conditions of use, cookie policy and privacy policy.