Ep 91. Executing Your Personal Plan for the Year

I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

hey there

Free Productivity + Timeblocking Masterclass

sign me up

Motherhood mindset shifts, parenting hacks, marriage
tips + more

TOp categories

Learn where to start with self-care + how to make time for what matters most to you


Take a look behind the scenes in my photography business 

Tips + strategies for growing a profitable and sustainable photography business

coming soon

Get ready for part two of the “Planning Your Most Epic Year Ever” series!

You’ve created your personal plan – now what? Grab your workbook and let’s get to it!

((If you haven’t downloaded the workbook yet, you can grab it over at And make sure you’ve completed Ep 90. Part One so you have a full understanding of your personal goals before we go any further!))

First of all, those goals you listed out in your personal plan during Ep 90. Part One? Forget about ‘goals’. Yes, that’s funny, because I just told you in part one to make a focused plan all around goals. But the reason why I called them goals is because I knew that the word ‘goals’ resonates with you. Goals aren’t enough.

Instead of focusing on goals, I want you to now shift your mindset into focusing on systems.

Goals are all about the results you want to achieve, but systems are about the process that leads you to those results. Goals are really good for setting a direction, but systems are the best for making progress. Now the purpose of setting a goal is to win the game, but the purpose of building a system is to continue playing the game. So start thinking about your habits and the things that you do on a daily or regular basis.

I recommend that you read the book ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear. It’s one of those books that can be applied to your personal life just as much as it can be applied to your business. In his book, James Clear says there are no good or bad habits, only effective habits that solve problems. I have a great complimentary episode, Episode 25, that you can listen to after this if you are having a hard time identifying ineffective habits.

One way to draw awareness around your behavior is to ask yourself this question:

Does this behavior or habit help me become the type of person I wish to be?

Sometimes hearing your ineffective habits out loud can actually make the consequences seem more real. Another way to put that question is, am I becoming closer to who I want to be or farther away? It’s the same question, but when you put it in another perspective, you want to be closer to your goal or new habit and not revert to your previous bad habits. So I want to share with you a couple of strategies that James Clear shares in his book.

Implementation Intention

This is basically a plan that you make beforehand for when and where you are going to act. Most people think they lack motivation when it comes to forming and keeping new habits .But what they truly lack is clarity. So if you can be very specific about what you want, and how you will achieve it, it helps you say no to things that will derail your progress.

One practical tip for how you can use this implementation intention is to set a repeating alarm on your phone until it becomes an automatic habit. If your alarm allows for a phrase, you can put that phrase. When the timer goes off, you do that new habit you are trying to create.

Now, as I mentioned in part one of this series about creating your monthly focus areas within your personal plan, using the action steps that you wrote down for each focus area for the month, you are going to create implementation intentions that go with it. You have this goal, now think about how you are gong to make that goal a habit.

Habit Stacking

You often decide what to do based on what you just finished doing. In other words, each action becomes a cue that triggers your next behavior. The best way to build a new habit is to stack it on top of one you already have. For instance, if you want to create that new habit, let’s say you’re going to work out at 6:30, for 30 minutes in your bedroom, where’s the best place to put that? You’re probably going to put that on your bathroom mirror, so that you’re reminded of that every single day.

Whatever your step by step process is going to be, stack that new habit onto a habit that you already have. I want you to start thinking about those goals that you have set within your personal plan. Think about those new habits that you have decided to focus on for January, February and March of next year. Even if you’re reading this series when it’s not a new year, it’s fine. Just pick the next three months or the next quarter that you’re going to be working on and decide what habit stacking you can implement for those action steps. Create those implementation intentions, post them and then work towards the new habit instead of the end goal. Here are some tangible strategies of how you can start to implement these and how you can stay accountable.

Habit Tracker

I think that it’s so cool to be able to post this where you can see it and mark down each day of the week, each week of the month. You can even do a habit tracker on your phone. Whatever you need to do to make it easy for you to follow up on and hold you accountable. So those action steps that are going to go with each of your monthly focus areas from your personal plan, that should be your habit tracker and those are going to be the habits that you focus on first.

Keeping your Goal Posted

I think it’s important to have your goal habit posted in multiple places around your house, not just in the location that you’re going to do that new habit, but it will just help draw awareness around that new habit.


It’s super important that you get accountability. If you truly want to make a difference, and you want to make a change, you want to prioritize yourself, your family, and your relationship with your children, you can’t do it by yourself. If you want to see a change, you have to get uncomfortable. You have to tell other people about it and get an accountability partner outside of your home. Really think about who you want this to be and how they can help drive you towards your personal plan.

Daily Affirmation Alarms

I already mentioned setting a daily alarm until that habit becomes automatic. But I also think it’s really important to set Daily Affirmation alarms. These little boosts of encouragement will cheer you on throughout the day and remind you why you’re doing this. This is huge if you want to create a new habit and have it carry on month after month. You have to be encouraged along the way and these daily affirmations can really help that.


It doesn’t have to be a long form journal. It could be a few points every day; a few sentences:

  • How I felt today
  • What I accomplished
  • This is where I struggled

Perform a checkup every single day where you’re being intentional about checking in with your habit.

Weekly Check-Ins & Personal CEO Days

In addition to checking in every day, I think it’s important that you do a regular weekly check in. I call this your personal CEO day. Small daily changes are going to create habits that will produce lasting change. However, if you are not setting aside a bigger chunk of time throughout the week, to actually plan these things, it’s going to be really hard for you to be able to keep up with it and be able to execute your personal plan.

You have to have time in your schedule to plan.

You need to have margin in your schedule to be able to have those hiccups, to be able to have those unexpected interruptions and distractions.

If you’re wondering what the heck a personal CEO day is, I have a whole episode, Episode 83, which speaks about the importance of it and how you can set up your own CEO day and exactly what to focus on. It keeps you accountable and it helps you think about where you’re going and to map out a plan of how to get there. It allows you to course correct so much sooner so you don’t get off track from your personal plan.

Heart Check

Now it’s time to pull out your workbook and work through this next section called Heart Check. You’re going to do this heart check for every single month and you need to think about whatever month you’re focusing on right now. Remind yourself what your main focus for the month is, why it is important, and journal your thoughts.

Next, you’re going to journal through what potential roadblocks might keep you from your desired results. As you journal your thoughts, think about what can you do to make sure that you stay on track. I’m not asking you, as I mentioned, to attack all of these at once and try to create a system and a process for them all at once. All I’m asking you to do is really decide when and where you are going to focus your energy and your attention.

  • How are you going to create sustainable habits that are going to support that?
  • How are you going to execute that?
  • What strategies that I’ve shared are you going to actually use to make sure that you are sticking to the plan?

I hope that you have found this second phase of the series so helpful. I can’t wait to share with you next week’s episode, part three, which is going to be how to create a plan for your business. After that, part four is going to be all about executing that business plan.


If you’re enjoying this series, I would love for you to take a screenshot of it, share it out on Instagram, tag me @thepurposegathering and also send me a DM. It would seriously make my day if you reach out to me and let me know who you are and what you have enjoyed so far about this series.

If you are interested in more support and needing a step by step system for how to create a firm foundation in your photography business, I would love to hop on a clarity call with you. I can help you understand where you’re at and figure out a plan for how to get where you’re going. If you’re interested in that head on over to

As always, Mama I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.


+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

Learn more

free productivity masterclass

Productivity with Purpose

Learn how to create a master task list, establish and protect time blocks, and eliminate distractions so you can actually stick to your schedule and maximize your productivity. 


Surround yourself
with like-minded mom photographers

Life was not meant to be lived alone. Join us inside the Purpose Gathering Mamas community where you can connect, engage and grow in both your motherhood and your business.