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

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:

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