WDYDT – What did you do today?

This is a repost from December 2017…

I don’t want you to freak out when I ask you this, but, what did you do today to move yourself closer to your goals?
A WDYDT notebook is something I’ve used for years and it has tremendous benefits for accomplishing goals of all sizes. Do you want to write the next great American novel or just get your laundry done? A WDYDT notebook can help with either goal. It’s a simple way to help with focus and discipline. If you’re setting goals for 2018 and you’ve had trouble following through in the past, creating a WDYDT notebook might be the perfect addition to your goal setting routine.

WDYDT notebook, goal setting, Totally-Tiffany

What is a WDYDT notebook?

At different times in my life it’s been something from pretty complex to just a few sheets of paper stuck to the refrigerator with a strong magnet.  

In a nutshell your WDYDT notebook needs to be something easily accessible and very positive.  Try not to think of it as a goal tracker – that’s not what it is.  It should be motivating and inspiring as opposed to daunting or overwhelming.

Each page or section should be titled with your major goal.

For 2018 I’ve set 5 Big Goals:

  1. Plan an AMAZING trip
  2. Exercise
  3. Learn something
  4. Grown my business
  5. Release 6 new products

Each of these goals has it’s own plan for execution with lots of details, checklists and steps to take. Those plans are not part of the WDYDT notebook.

Create your WDYDT notebook

I’m a 2 planner girl. My large planner is used for things that require more notes/writing – like WDYDT. I added a section to the planner using a plastic divider to make it EASY to flip to. The divider is decorated with a few planner stickers. (See the top image in this post.)

Bright colored cardstock was used to create a “cover” for each goal. The covers are staggered so I see all 5 goals every time I open that section of my planner. Using the plethora of craft supplies that are hoarded in my craft room, I decorated each cover. Finally, adding a few sheets of paper to each section.

As I mentioned above, your WDYDT notebook doesn’t have to be special or fancy.  If you’re motivated and inspired by fancy make it that way.  If you’re not, grab a few sheets of paper, title them with your goals and stick them up on the fridge.

How to use your WDYDT notebook

At the end of each day, grab a cup of coffee, can of coke or glass of wine and sit down with your WDYDT notebook. Under each of your goals make a quick note – I mean a QUICK note about what you did that day to move yourself closer to your goals. If you haven’t done anything, ask yourself “What CAN I do today?” Then do it!

There is no requirement for the complexity of the thing you do, it can be huge or tiny.   In the example below, all I did was get online and order a travel book.  It took a total of 5 minutes, but it moved me closer to my goal of planning an amazing trip.

Small Task notes in goal planning WDYDT

Don’t freak out if you haven’t done anything – there is something you can do before you go to bed.

If your goal is to eat better and you had lunch at McD’s, and now it’s bed time, go into the kitchen and throw away that bag of chips that’s been haunting you – there, you’ve done something, write it down!

If you’re working on a huge project at work and you didn’t get anything done on it today, create a checklist of the top 2 things you need to address in the morning – there, you’ve done something, write it down!

Large or small is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is action!

Why am I so crazy about WDYDT?

If you’ve been following a long with me for any length of time, you know that I spend a lot of my time learning about how our brains work and why we do or don’t get things done.  One of the things I’ve learned in that process; if you can convince your brain (which isn’t difficult to do) you’re accomplishing things on a daily basis, your brain will “Go OFF!!” Rewarding you with all kinds of feel good stuff that keeps you motivated and inspired.

Completing small tasks everyday sets you up for completing big things in your lifetime.  If you’ve not seen Admiral McRaven’s video about the benefits of making your bed, you should watch it now.  It’s just a 2 minute clip, but it will inspire you to do the small stuff everyday.

The Get Organized Challenge is starting again in just a couple of weeks.  If you’re planning on joining us for the challenge, consider setting up a small WDYDT notebook to help keep you focused and inspired during the challenge.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s weekend!

If you do decide to create your own WDYDT notebook, I hope you’ll share it with me here or on our Facebook page.

Totally-Tiffany signature T.

52 Responses to WDYDT – What did you do today?

  1. Oh my, what a timely post! I’m not a big “Resolutions” maker but I do take the last couple of days of the year to look back and reflect as well as forward and set goals. One of my decisions for next year is to use my Planner more effectively and this is the perfect addition to it to move those goals forward. Tiffany, you’re a genius!

  2. I LOVE this idea. I went out today and bought the supplies to make my WDYDT book! Thank you ❤️ I Would love to see more of your book. Do you track each goal in a different section and enter a line in each section once a day? Love Love Love this idea.

    • Hi Karen –
      Thanks so much for taking the time to ask. Yes, I do track goals separately from the WDYDT section in my planner. I use the WDYDT as a way to keep my top 5 goals at the front of my brain so I’ll stay focused on them. Each of the 5 goals has smaller components. For example, one of my goals is to release 6 new products this year. Each of those products has a notebook or file (depending on the complexity) with details, plans, checklists etc. I find that sitting down with the WDYDT not only keeps me focused but keeps me motivated. When I do “something” each day to move myself toward my goals, it seems that I’m always making progress and that keeps me progressing. 🙂

  3. My WDYDT is incorported into my Passion Planner. The GOC fits perfectly into my RECLAIMING MY SPACE goal. Gathering and purging just the little I’ve done, has already given me FREEDOM! And its helped others in my church family as I’ve passed on craft supplies I no longer delve in!

  4. For each of your goals you have a title page that has been cut down so you can see them. Have you cut down the pages that follow each title page with your goal or set up a section for each after the title pages?

    • Yes, Lorna, the pages also need to be trimmed or they’d block what’s behind. It’s a little bit of work, but it’s a nice look. When I did it, I kept the trimmed-off pieces to use as small notes I can input in my daily pages. If you wanted to keep your WDYDT pages full-size, you can just make the divider tabs stick out the top or side.

  5. Dr. Oz also had this idea on his show a few years ago, so I started a notebook,entering what I did each day. At the end of the month, I used to say, what did I do all month? This lets me look back and see that I did get alot done during the month, things big and small. I didn’t just fritter my time away. It gives me a more positive attitude. Plus it’s a record of things that happen in my life. I love the idea of subdividing my notebook into goals! Just got a ScrapRack and I’m on my way to get one of my goals done!

    • Thanks Nancy –
      I love the Idea of summing up the month. I’m going to incorporate this idea into my WDYDT notebook. Thanks for sharing this with me. I’ll spread the word.

  6. OK…I have had “Clean & Organize Scrap Room” on my new year’s list for several years now, but today I am hopeful. I have my WDYDT section of my notebook in place, my Clean & Organize Scrap Room in hot pink cardstock in place & a container for my PURGE items. I am ready! (and tomorrow morning I am making my bed!).

  7. For as big an organization and productivity junkie as I am, I had never heard of the WDYDT – TFS! I like the emphasis on the positive: what you *did* do v. what you *didn’t*. I added a WDYDT page to most of my planner tabs. I also set up a small WDYDT notebook for DH — I can just remind him to write in his notebook and sneak a peek at it here and there, rather than nag him.

    Your staggered sheets reminded me of the ScanCard and ScanPlan systems…the former, I used to use to manage projects when I worked at GE years ago, & it still exists; the latter, I never successfully used + I don’t think they’re in business anymore…I thought about buying the ScanCard system again, but ended up creating my own mini-spin-off that so far is working very well. If I could figure out how to post pics here, I would. So a BIG THANKS for that, Tiffany!

  8. HI Tiffany-
    just found you recently and I am super hooked! I see how this method can truly be applied to many areas of my life, at work, at home and with weight loss. Do you have a blog on goal setting where you break it down and talk about the plans of execution? I would really love to learn more about your goal setting methods. thanks!

    • Hi Bernie –
      So glad you found me!!! I haven’t really shared much in the past about how I set personal goals, but this post has generated a lot of conversation and interest, so doing a follow might be a good idea. I’ll put some thought into and see what I can do. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment on this post. Tif

  9. When it comes to setting goals I’m really at a loss. I have heard about breaking the goal down but really need a bit more guidance. Love the WDYDT idea thanks so much.

  10. What type of planner is that? I’ve read over this post a few times and may have missed it; but would like to know.

    • Hi Katherine –
      It’s the large Create 365 Happy Planner. You can get them at Joann’s or Hobby Lobby, or online.

  11. It is already the middle of March and I feel like I’m a little late for starting a WDYDT planner, but I am going to do it anyway! I plan to start with a small book. I tend to be hard on myself when I don’t complete my goals. However, prayer has gotten me thru all of the challenges in my life. I really need to get my scraproom in order, so I can produce books and cards like I used to. Thanks for the inspiration Tiffany!

  12. Some of my friends have found you and now I am here. I use the Happy Planner and now will incorporate my WDYDT into it. I really use a planner daily and I love to write. I am going to need to do the purge part especially because I don’t throw things out, I say they need shredding. They just accumulate and don’t get shredded so time to change that into action now.

  13. I have used planners for a while (10 yrs) now and have never thought to write what I did – always wrote what I wanted to do. This is finally getting my craft room organized (can actually see the floor now). Thank you.

  14. I’ve just recently found your site and now trying to read all your posts as well as watch you videos. I have some questions about the WDYDT notebook. 1. If you have multiple goals, must you do something for each goal each day or just however many goals you can manage that day? I work full time, have a family etc just like everyone else and there are only so many hours in a day. 2. what happens on days that you travel and can’t do anything towards your goals? Or when you are sick? 3. How many goals are too many? 4. I’ve never used a planner because I don’t need to track appointments which is what I thought a planner was for. Where can I get more information on using a planner? Thanks.

    • Hi Joanne –
      Thanks so much for taking the time to explore our website. The WDYDT notebook has brought up a lot of questions about implementation and use. You’ve asked some great questions and I think others would benefit from the answer so I’m going to do a blog post where I cover them in more detail. I’m also considering setting up a WDYDT group so we can all work together through the process of goal setting and execution. I’ll try to come back here when the post is ready and add a link. Did you sign up for our email list? I’ll send out a notification via email when the post is up as well. Thanks again for taking the time to write and ask. I’m so glad you found our site. Tiffany

  15. I spent two hours working on my mess ,, calmly taking steps to accomplish clearing the livingroom of scraping stuff so as to not ruin the holiday coming for my husband..it helped ..not done…battled this for the last couple years cause im ‘too much’ and i was just starting to journel again today before i read this ..hmmmm, somebody upstairs talking?.i have taken the plunge to start doing organizing the tiffany system way…ifthis doesnt work i will have to take a shovel and a dumpster and quit…its my sanity to create.. but i cant take the mess anymore and my husband is even worse about it…i hope to decrease my stuff by half….but i dont know how so im on face book now….ive been watching for this past six months and my hubby says r u learning anything? Im scared to try another..thing and fail but this really makes sense. So can i decrease by half?

    • Absolutely!!! You’ve set a goal, and it’s a good one. Write it down, make it public. Every night before you go to bed write down what you did to move yourself closer to your goal. If you didn’t do anything, get up and pack up a large zip lock bag of stuff to donate, sell or throw away. If throw away is the option, give it to your husband and ask him to walk it out to the garbage can. It’s all focus and discipline from now on. Don’t watch TV – get an audible account and listen to books on tape if you want to be entertained while you work. Take a picture of the room you’re cleaning up each day and a picture of the pile you’ve sorted, organized and purged. Everyone in the GOC is on your side, so share with the group – but don’t get sucked into FB – remember you have a goal to accomplish. I’m cheering for you!

  16. Hi Tif,
    I just saw a post that you’re going to Europe with your family so I’ll bet your goal for taking an amazing trip is happening now! Congratulations!
    I’ve been doing the GOC for several years and it’s made a quite a difference in my craft room. Although I’m still not finished, I’ve got a grip now. Thank you!
    The most important project I want to accomplish is finishing a redo of my Mom’s scrapbook that she started when she met my Dad. It Is daunting. 90 pages, falling apart but loaded with photos and memorabilia spanning years.
    I’ve lost my steam but I want to finish while she can still enjoy it.
    The WDYDT planner might be just the thing I need to help me get this project done. There are so many distractions.
    Thanks always for sharing your insights and positivity. It definitely helps!

    • This is now the new start and i had a huge delay in getting rid of stuff. My hubbys mom was gravely ill and i went to her place and nursed her for over a month so only this past week was able to start again..so im excited about the challenge and im following every step on the planner sheet..was discouraged not to get it done..but life happens and Tiffany, u said even something little..so what i did while i was away and couldnt do it…is continued to stay positive..i can get rid of half my stuff..what else can i let go of in my head…came home..walked in the door and said…i stil have way too much…so i didnt loose my motivation:) paula good

  17. A 5-subject notebook would make a great WDYDT book. I’m buying one tomorrow to enter my goals. Also, if needed, I’ll use SYF stickys to separate each goal. Thank you, Tiffany for this idea!

  18. For one of your six new products (or would this be #7?!), one could be a WDYDT notebook, complete with “stair step” plastic dividers and paper like you have. Maybe a disc system, maybe a ringed binder. Of course we’re crafters; we could make our own but what fun is that? 😉 But if we have to, what did you make the plastic dividers from? Thanks!

  19. I have begun using ur wdydt and I really love it. It is rewarding to see what I have accomplished. I also date my entries. I incorporated my wdydt into my very extended covey planner.

  20. I am signed up for the Sept. 2019 GOC and so looking forward to it. I have been spending tonight going over the materials sent out in advance to get ready for class tomorrow.

    There was a link to Admiral McRaven’s UT Commencement Speach. A 2 minute section of that speech. I can not tell you how inspiring that clip was. So much so that I also watched the full 20 minute speech. UNBLIEVABLE!!! I encourage everyone to at least take the 2 minutes to watch and if so inspired, the full 20 minutes. I am so pumped for the GOC Class tomorrow it may take a little extra time to wind down and go to sleep later. Thank you for the inspiration from Admiral McRaven!

    • Tiffany uses Xyron to adhere blocks of color to the pages, but the colored tab dividers are just punched to fit onto the discs. She uses the Happy Planner (Create 365) classic punch for this planner.

      • Thanks for all the information on the planner and WDYDT Notebook. I’ve been trying to decide which one to order. Now I KNOW!!!

    • Hi Tammy, sorry for the late reply! We just saw that a bunch of comments did not get automatically approved on our website.

      Our Get Organized Challenge (GOC) has been moved to March because it will be our Birthday month and the anniversary of the GOC! Plus, we will have more products in stock.

  21. I consider myself a very organized individual however this is just amazing. I did not think I would learn anything however I am going to totally try this challenge. Thank you!

  22. Love this! Such a clever idea to stay on track for whatever larger goals we have. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome ideas and resources with us! <3

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.