Top Tips for Planning and Developing Good Routines and Habits.

Top Tips for Planning and Developing Good Routines and Habits.

  1. Stop being driven by your goals, but instead, start being system focussed. 
  2. If all you do is focus on the end goal, it will create anxiety and problems for you, and this takes the attention away from the things that you need to put into place in order to achieve these goals. For example, instead of dreaming about having the ideal learning environment for pupils and staff, focus instead on the systems that you will need to put into place in order to achieve this. What will that look like? What steps do you need to introduce? Who will need to be involved with this? How will you share this information to make sure that it is effective? Break your target down into small steps. What do you need to put in place in order for you to achieve your end goal? 
  3. Come up with a plan. 
  4. Share it with colleagues, write it in your planner so that you refer back to it time and time again. The planner has been designed specifically to support you with this. All planners have space for you to do this. Remind yourself constantly about what is an important priority, and why. 

One way you can do this, is to break the task down into things that you need to do everyday, every week, every month and every term. The HeadteacherChat Planners have plenty of space for actions and notes and also on the diary and calendar page, allowing you to see short term actions, as well as long term goals.

Also - focus on breaking down one goal at a time. Once you’ve started on your journey to achieve that goal, you can then introduce the next one. 

Take small steps, frequently. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to achieve that goal you had which you initially thought would be unachievable. 

  1. Set good habits. There are four stages of forming a habit:
  2. Noticing. 
  3. Make it obvious. Make it part of your routine. State your intention. Write your implementation plan in your planner on the day that you wish to do something. For example,  ‘On this day I will do this small thing.’ Give your goals space in your calendar. Make sure that they are small enough to be achievable. 

Think about your end goal. How would you feel if you didn’t achieve it in 6 months time? How would you tell someone that you didn’t achieve it? Which steps would you have missed along the way? Make sure that you write these steps in your planner.  


Make it attractive to reach your goals. Look at your environment. Make your new habit tempting to do, e.g. use nice stationary to write your goals. Create a comfortable area in your office for you to write these things down. Buy the pens, the stickers, everything you need to create a space that you love. 

It is easier to stick to good habits if you have taken away the barriers that would prevent you from doing this. Fill your pen pots with pens with ink in!


Make the response easy. Only focus on ONE thing at a time. Make it easy by removing the barriers for you to not do this. Introduce this into your routine. Repetition will help you to achieve a new habit. For example, lay out your gym clothes/shoes/keys etc the night before. reduce the expectation, e.g. only set the goal low so that you succeed.

Repetition is important, so you need to know how to start! Learning how to start is very important. Tag your new habit into something that you already do, e.g., check your emails as soon as you have finished assembly, everyday. 


Rewards are delayed - it’s hard to keep focussed as you will have to wait until you have achieved your goal. The best way to change long term behaviour is with short term feedback, such as keep track of your achievements in the planner. It sounds simple, but it’s highly effective! For those of you who have a bullet journal, you will understand the power of keeping a tracker of your achievements. Basically, tick the steps off as you go, and you will feel great achievement. The weekly and daily planner has this function for this reason, as do the other pages in the planner.  

  1. Reflect on your achievements for the day
  2. Use your planner to jot down how your day went, the good, the bad and the ugly! What could you have done to make it even better? Focus on what went well, and if you don’t achieve your goal for the day, try the next day. Try not to break the routine. 
  3. Always plan for your wellbeing  Pack your gym bag / lunch / water/ book time for you each day
  4. Plan your tasks to manage your workload.  Visualise your day/week/month/year!. Decide when is the best time to do the tasks you have. EG - Who could help you to achieve your goals? How are you going to communicate that?
  5. Change is ok. Gradually, with consistency, and repetition, you can change what you do / achieve if you do it often enough. The more times  you write a note of your achievements, the more that you can share this with your pupils/staff/Governors/Inspectors. You will feel far more confident by just taking these small steps each day. You will feel more empowered, more in control, and will be more effective as a result. 
  6. Your thoughts control your actions, and your actions control your results. 

If you can make small changes to your habits, you have the power to change not only your life, your workload and your wellbeing, but also the lives of the pupils, staff and families around you. 


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