Changing a Habit – Where to Start

The habits we form are based on these three parts: knowledge, desire, and skill. Knowledge is what to do and the why to do it. Skill is the how to do it and desire is the motivation and the want to do it. In order to remove a habit or to create one, we have to utilize all three of these components to our advantage.

If you want to change a habit, here is a great place to start. Take a closer look at the following diagram and ask yourself these questions:

Knowledge – What do I need to learn? What resources do I have available to me? Why do I want this change – is it for me or for someone else?

Desire – Why do I want this change? What can I do to strengthen my motivation? Who can I enroll in my cause? Who can I ask to support me?

Skills – What is my plan to overcome/change? What skills do I need to gain? Who can teach me what I don’t already know?

TV Binge Watching to Reading More Books

Watching TV and reading books are both sedentary activities, but reading engages your mind, awakes your imagination, and broadens your vocabulary. If you’re unhappy with how much time you spend in front of a screen—whether it’s a television, computer monitor, tablet, or smart phone—replacing a portion of that time with a good book will be highly rewarding. The world is loaded with interesting books.

Make a list of the books you want to read on your Monthly Index pages and start checking them off. If your list is too long for one page, use a set of alphabetized address phone tabs to keep your list organized. Or, pick up a set of customizable tabs and create a section in your planner for your book list. As you finish each book, note how well you enjoyed it with a rating system.

Workaholic to Work/Life Balance

It’s true—you can have too much of a good thing. There is a certain high that comes with a job well done. Accomplishments can be addicting. Of course, for many of us the reason we work late has more to do with our workload than our egos. Either way, your planner can help you replace those late hours at the office with family time, time enjoying hobbies, or simply more rest.

Often the best way to reduce the time you spend at work is by sharpening the saw. Planning time to practice a skill, read up on the latest trends, or study your trade can greatly improve your productivity when you are at work. Taking time to exercise, eat healthy, rest, and regenerate can go a long way as well. If you feel like you are able to make time for you, it’s easier to give your all while you’re at work—and then get out.

Add a personal improvement task to your Prioritized Daily Task List each day, and make it an ‘A’ priority, so you’ll be sure to get to it. Schedule time with your spouse, children, and friends in your appointment column each week, and be sure you’re out of your office in time to enjoy them. See if doing these things doesn’t bring a spring back into your step.

Unproductive Chaos to Focused Daily Progress

Life comes at us surprisingly fast. Sometimes big events in the distance seem far away—until they aren’t. When life charges at us, we have little choice but to react. We jump, run, and grab whatever we can. That’s an exhausting way to get through the day.

Planning for a few quiet minutes each day will put you in the driver’s seat of your day. You will determine what matters most to you and set your focus there. Your Franklin Planner is deigned to encourage your long-term visions by giving them a place to grow—a place that you’ll see often and reflect on them. It is also designed to ensure you don’t forget your short-term goals and the daily actions that will keep you moving forward.

Sitting All Day to Exercise and Movement

Do you sit at a desk all day? Do you have a commute on top of that? Chances are, you’ve felt some of the effects. Low back pain, sore wrists, and a stiff neck are only the beginning. Sitting for extended periods of time can damage your nerves, tendons, and ligaments.

Taking regular breaks from sitting can relieve the short-term aches, and reduce the long-term damage. Set an alarm on your phone or on your computer to remind you to get up and walk. (Drinking more water can help encourage walking as well.) Take a break to stretch your back, legs, and arms, and set aside time each day outside of work to walk and do resistance training.

Schedule walk breaks and exercises on your appointment column in your daily planner, so you don’t forget to get up and move. Our Health and Fitness Tracker is an ideal way to manage the nutrition you eat and the type of activities you do each week.

Eating Out Regularly to Bringing Food From Home

We all know that eating out is expensive. The average fast food lunch costs around $7.00 and is usually less than ideal in terms of nutritional value. If you buy your lunch five days per week, you’ll spend $35.00 weekly. The average person works about 50 weeks per year, bringing your total lunch expenses to $1,750.00 annually. Imagine what you could do with that money!

It costs far less to prepare your food at home. The average homemade lunch costs about $1.50, or $7.50 per week, for a total of $375.00 annually. If your goal is to save money by eating out less, you can start by preparing larger meals on the weekend and packing leftovers two or three days per week. Or you could store sandwich supplies in your office. Each week you could try a new, creative dish. After a few months, eating out will be the exception rather than the rule.

Plan your lunches into your grocery shopping and menu preparation. Our Menu/Shopping forms are ideal for this. They give you a convenient place to plan your meals on one side, while the other side is divided into sections you’ll find at your grocery store, so you can write your shopping list and keep like items together. It will streamline your shopping, which can also save money and time.

21-Day Planner Challenge: Replacing Old Habits with New Ones

The desire for change and growth seems to be hardwired in each of us. It’s part of the human condition. We can’t remain stagnant without feeling stuck. Instead, we look ahead and determine where we want to be and what it will take to get there.

Yet, some changes can be tough. It’s true that old habits are hard to break. So how do we overcome unwanted behaviors that are holding us back? Sometimes the best solution is to fight a habit with a habit.

Join us throughout the month of March for our 21-Day Planner Challenge, where we’ll offer tips and encouragement to help you get closer to your goals. By now you know that the little things make the biggest difference. Taking a few quiet moments each day to plan will enable you to start each day in the right direction. And just moving in the right direction feels great.

This month, focus on a habit you’d like to change, write it in your planner, and let’s work together to change it.

Use the 21-Day Planner
The 21-Day Planner is a great catalyst for change. It fits perfectly in your planner binder or your bag, and it includes great reminders such as the Productivity Pyramid and the Time Matrix to help you determine the most effective use of your time. It also offers a weekly and daily format so you can decide which works best for you.

It takes at least 21 days to form a habit, certainly longer than that to solidify positive behavior. But you’ll be surprised at what you can do in just three short weeks. The 21-Day planner is a great supplement to your yearly planner because you can use it to focus on one specific area. It’s the ideal way to replace unwanted behaviors with better habits.

Stay accountable
Keep yourself accountable by tracking your progress. Mark your planner each time you successfully act on your plan. Taking note of your success will motivate you to do more. Most Franklin Planners have a Daily Tracker designed specifically to help you follow your progress toward your goals. It feels great to see your successful efforts noted in ink in your planner.

Don’t just stop—replace.
Even little habits are strong. It can be intimidating to stop them cold turkey. Instead, try replacing unwanted behaviors with better ones. Erasmus of Rotterdam has said, “A nail is driven out by another nail; habit is overcome by habit.”

He’s right. Here are a few common examples.

Unhealthy Snacking -> Healthy Snacking

If you have a habit of visiting the vending machine halfway through the day, place an apple next to your car keys at night so you’ll have a healthier alternative on hand when the cravings come. Replacing unhealthy snacks with healthy snacks is far easier than replacing unhealthy snacks with no snacks. Add the Health and Fitness Tracker to your planner, and keep track of all the healthy nutrition you’re adding to your life each week.

Eating Out Regularly -> Bringing Food From Home

We all know that eating out is expensive. The average fast food lunch costs around $7.00 and is usually less than ideal in terms of nutritional value. If you buy your lunch five days per week, you’ll spend $35.00 weekly. The average person works about 50 weeks per year, bringing your total lunch expenses to $1,750.00 annually. Imagine what you could do with that money! Read More >

TV Binge Watching -> Reading More Books

Watching TV and reading books are both sedentary activities, but reading engages your mind, awakes your imagination, and broadens your vocabulary. If you’re unhappy with how much time you spend in front of a screen—whether it’s a television, computer monitor, tablet, or smart phone—replacing a portion of that time with a good book will be highly rewarding. The world is loaded with interesting books. Read More >

Sitting All Day -> Exercise/Movement

Do you sit at a desk all day? Do you have a commute on top of that? Chances are, you’ve felt some of the effects. Low back pain, sore wrists, and a stiff neck are only the beginning. Sitting for extended periods of time can damage your nerves, tendons, and ligaments. Read More >

Drinking Soda -> Drinking More Water

We all know that sugar isn’t good for us. As it turns out, diet soda isn’t any better. A 2014 study found that consuming too much added sugar increases your risk of dying from heard disease, even if you aren’t overweight. Also, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that older adults who drank diet soda daily for nearly a decade experienced almost triple the increase in waist size compared to those who never drank it. Read More >

Workaholic -> Work/Life Balance

It’s true—you can have too much of a good thing. There is a certain high that comes with a job well done. Accomplishments can be addicting. Of course, for many of us the reason we work late has more to do with our workload than our egos. Either way, your planner can help you replace those late hours at the office with family time, time enjoying hobbies, or simply more rest. Read More >

Staying Up Late -> Healthy Sleep

Does it feel like you’re always running behind? Chances are you aren’t getting enough healthy sleep. The best way to start fresh in the morning is to get to bed at a decent hour each night. If you’re in the habit of staying up with the owls, this may take a while to correct. You can do it. Read More >

Unproductive Chaos -> Focused Daily Progress

Life comes at us surprisingly fast. Sometimes big events in the distance seem far away—until they aren’t. When life charges at us, we have little choice but to react. We jump, run, and grab whatever we can. That’s an exhausting way to get through the day. Read More >

If you don’t have a planner, pick up a 21-Day planner and see what daily focused effort can do for you.

You can do this!
As you take a few quiet minutes each day to plan your activities, you’ll begin to take control of the chaos in your life. You’ll plan for the big events while they’re still far off, and be prepared when they arrive. You’ll discover that you have more control over your life than you thought. And you’ll realize that your Franklin Planner is the perfect tool to help you make the most of it. Good luck with our 21-Day Challenge. Plan on making the next 21 days amazing.

21-Day Planner Challenge

It takes at least 21 days to form a habit, and this specialized tool makes it easier than ever to develop the habit of planning.

WHAT: The 21-Day Planner Challenge – This planner contains 21 days (3 weeks) of planning pages in both weekly and daily format, a Master Task List, Monthly Index, and a Monthly Calendar—along with explanations of how to use them. Plus, it teaches why and how to use your Prioritized Task List, reveals the secret of the Time Matrix, and gives a brief explanation of the Productivity Pyramid.

HOW: Click here to get yours today! 

WHY: There are lots of reasons to try it out! Here are a few:

  • If you’ve ever said a paper planner is not for you, try it out before you turn it down.
  • Do you have a friend that you think would like using a planner? Give them one!
  • Maybe you’re already an avid planner user, but would like to try a different format – this 21-day planner has 21 days worth of BOTH weekly and daily formats.
  • Perfect your system before you commit to a certain format! Learn the FranklinPlanner system (all the details are included in this 21-Day Planner) and practice it for 21 days!
  • Turn a goal a habit – try it out, track your progress, and hold yourself accountable – 21 days is a good place to start.

THE CHALLENGE: Try it for 21 days, and see how your life begins to change! Once you’ve done that and had an experience you’d like to share, send us a video, pictures, or a simply a story to 21days@franklinplanner.com.

WATCH: COMING SOON! Meet Becca and James! They are two new users that have never tried a FranklinPlanner before. Watch their experience with a planner and check back for updates on their planner journey.

Week 1: Meet Becca and James

Week 2: Using the FranklinPlanner

Week 3: Making a Difference with the FranklinPlanner