How often do you wake up and feel a bit overwhelmed before you’re even able to get out of bed? Whether it’s your hectic schedule or a big project or all the things that need to get done running through your mind, you can forget these early stressful thoughts by learning to gain control of your day.

While you might already schedule things weekly as we discussed in our last post, what about daily planning? Each day is another step toward achieving your goals.

By being more intentional about your time each day and prioritizing what’s most important, you’ll be amazed at how much more you accomplish and how much better you feel as a result.

Here’s how to get started!

Support Your Overall Goals

The first step is to always glance at your goals before a daily planning session. You want your daily tasks to support your overall goals in some way. Be intentional with your planning so at least one task is dedicated to getting you closer to the life you want and the goals you’ve set.

Set Aside Dedicated Planning Time

In order to gain control of your day, set aside a dedicated planning time each day. We love taking care of it during the late afternoon or early evening of the day prior. But, first thing in the morning works well too! Nighttime can also be effective to ensure that you go to bed with the next day fully planned and written out, so that you won’t be thinking about your schedule and priorities while trying to fall asleep. As we always say, get it out of your head and onto paper!

Most importantly, each morning when you wake up, make it a daily habit to touch your planner before your phone. It’s way too easy to get off track by diving into social media, emails and other apps before reviewing what you want out of your day.

Create Good Daily Habits

We talked about the importance of creating weekly routines last week. However, daily planning helps you create good daily habits. For instance, if you want to eat a healthier and more filling breakfast than a packaged granola bar or just a cup of coffee, then a new daily habit could be making time to prep breakfast before you go to bed. Then, you wake up, heat up what you prepped, and enjoy.

We do get it, habits are hard to stick to. This is why you need to schedule a time for them each and every day. Prioritize the good habits you want to ensure they stick.

If you’re not sure what types of good habits to start with, try our daytime and evening routines for living your best life.

Daily Steps Make A Difference

What difference does a day make? How much closer can you really get to your goals? Every day matters. Days make up weeks, which make up months. To achieve goals, you have to take daily steps.

While long-term planning and goals are important, the real change happens daily with small steps. All those small steps add up. Daily tasks support those big dreams while getting you closer to weekly, monthly and yearly goals. A well-designed life starts with a single step and that’s what each day is.

Learn From The Day Before

Every day won’t go as planned. This doesn’t mean you can’t gain control of your day tomorrow. Unexpected things happen. You might just have felt a little under the weather and didn’t get to everything.

Whatever happened, it’s okay! This is why daily planning matters. You get to start over. End your day by looking back at what went right and wrong. Congratulate yourself for what went well and learn from what didn’t. Plan your next day to avoid the obstacles from the day before.

Most importantly, go easy on yourself. Every tomorrow is a second chance!

Prioritize What’s Most Important

Planning is critical to living your best life, but prioritization is just as vital. Daily planning does help you gain control of your day, but only if you prioritize what’s most important.

Everyone has obligations. Sometimes, your day is going to have quite a few things that you don’t particularly enjoy. However, if you prioritize what’s most important, you always have something to look forward to. Plus, you’ll be getting closer to living the life of your dreams.

Make yourself a priority. Every day, do something just for yourself. Even if you just schedule 30 minutes to meditate, self-care is important and makes a major difference. Also, make time for family and friends. Having great relationships makes you happier, which also makes it easier to stick to your goals and live the life you want!

Gain control of your day once and for all with Day Designer’s signature planning page, which is the heart of our Flagship Daily Planner. This page guides you through mapping out your day, helping you align your schedule alongside your to-dos with additional prompts for dinner, daily gratitude and more. Try it free today!