Intentional Planning Cycle in Tana to Make Massive Progress.

Change the course of your life with an Intentional Planning Process in Tana.

Ready to learn how to plan?

Intentional planning is life changing.


When you take time to plan, you have a shot at greatness. When you plan intentionally, you are among the few people who can change the world.

5 years ago, I was in the passenger's seat of my own life.

I would just watch life happen, take any opportunity that came my way, and just go with the flow.

I was passive.

And this attitude is catastrophic.

Luckily, I woke up from this disease quite early, at age 24.

Ever since, I have been living 5 deliberate years. Every single one of them were mapped out with deep contemplation, and as a consequence, they were all deeply transformative.

Today, I will teach you the art of Intentional Planning.

And relate it to Tana, whenever applicable.


Quote 1

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

– Jim Rohn

First of all, read this (↑) again.

Do you want to accomplish anything meaningful in your life?

Simple, don't fall into someone else's plan.

The only way to avoid this, is to design your own plan. This means reflecting on your life, making your decisions, following your curiosity.

Your boss, coworkers, parents, friends, and neighbors ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DESIGN YOUR LIFE.

You are.

(If you're married, your spouse is the only person who has an influence here.)

Quote 2

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stop copying your colleague’s homework.

Step 1 to design your life:

  • Create your path.

No one has your unique intersection of experiences and skills. No single human being fits your shoes.

This is why you must create YOUR own path.

Find your unique intersection of interests, study your strengths, reflect on your experiences, define your priorities.

Quote 3

Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre.

The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming. It’s easier to raise $1,000,000 than it is $100,000.

– Tim Ferris

Keep this in mind every time a year starts.

"SMART" goals are a disservice to humanity.

Every time you set a "SMART" goal, a part of you dies.


You are giving up on life… before even trying.

Realistic goal leads you to a boring future.

You are too powerful to be Realistic. Why give up on your dreams, and limit yourself to a small and mediocre goal?

Why not risk going for that $1.000.000?

Goals are not meant to be Realistic.

Goals are just a direction.

Realistic doesn't inspire you to do bold moves, realistic doesn’t help you get out of bed every morning, realistic doesn't lead you to an epic fulfilling life.

Do you really think being realistic will lead to the most progress?

If great entrepreneurs were realistic, true progress would never happen.

Are you aiming for mediocre?

If so, STOP.

Don't take yourself for granted and believe in yourself.

Quote 4

Plans are nothing; planning is everything.

– Dwight D. Eisenhower

This quote explains why realistic goals are really bad.

Goals are not a fixed destination you arrive at.

Rather, a goal represents the direction you want to go.

  • Goals are a direction.
  • Plans are guidance.

Plans are nothing.

Goals are not meant to be achieved.

Goals and plans are supposed to bring you clarity.

The ONLY thing that matters is the progress you make.

  • Planning helps you make more progress.
  • Rigid Plans (or goals) stop you from making progress.

Sometimes a better option will appear.

This is why planning is worth more than a plan.

Planning is about reflection, inspiration, self knowledge, courage, thinking big. It's about the state of consciousness you find yourself during planning.

Planning is about believing in a better future, and starting to move in that direction.

The actual plan is supposed to change as you go.

Remember: Life is unpredictable.

📄 3 Notes

1. Holistic Second Brain - The Cycles of Time

The stage is set. Let's plan your 2024.

First of all, it's important to understand that life happens in Cycles of Time.

Cycles of Time: From Year → Day

Second, remember that the act of planning is more important than the plan.

When you bring these together, this means that planning your 2024 is a continuous process.

The 2024 Plan is not a blueprint of everything you'll achieve in 2024.

Rather, the 2024 Plan is a commitment.

It's not only a commitment to stop, reflect, and plan the Year of 2024

MOST IMPORTANTLY, it's a commitment to stop, reflect, and plan the intermediary cycles of QuartersMonths and Weeks of 2024.

Planning is an ongoing process:

You can't just plan the entire year in one go, and never look at it again…

P.S. This is exactly why people abandon their yearly plans…

They are not committed to the process. They don't view planning as an ongoing process, but rather as a one-time thing.

The secret to keep up with your plan is this:

  • Swap the perfect plan for intentional cycles.
Intentional Planning Cycle

The Intentional Planning Cycle is composed of 4 stages:

  1. 🔭 Vision
  2. 📘 Plan
  3. ⚔️ Execute
  4. 🧭 Review

Every Year, Quarter, Month and Week, I go through this cycle.

Begin the cycle with a 1. Vision, a clear direction, then 2. take time to reflect and Plan your priorities for the cycle. The most important thing is to 3. Execute what needs to be done, and finally 4. Review your progress.

It's worth noting that each periodicity has a different planning cycle.

And also super important to mention that you don't need 100% success rate to benefit from this… It's normal to skip a week, and sometimes even a month.

But here's the catch..!

Things get interesting when you connect everything.

When you bring in elements of a Second Brain, such as 🏡Areas, 🎨Projects, 🥣Tasks, and 📝Notes, into the Intentional Planning Cycle…

It become the Holistic Second Brain Cycle.

Holistic Second Brain Cycle

Now, your entire Second Brain is connected through the cycles of planning.

And each stage has a digital home inside your Second Brain.

Keep reading until Note 3. to see how to connect a periodic plan with other parts of your Second Brain in Tana.

2. How to Start Planning 2024

Before we talk about the intermediary cycles, let's talk about the year of 2024.

Even though planning is more important than the plan, you should still have a Plan for 2024.

After all, you arrive at a plan through the process of planning.

Meanwhile, the process of planning revolves around deep reflection.

A solid reflection will encompass your Past, your Present and specially, a connection to your Future Self.

Here are the guiding questions for this process:

  1. What progress have you made in the past?
  2. How can you 10X your life in the next 3 years?
  3. What are your priorities now?
  4. What will you achieve in 2024?

These questions translate to the following steps:

  1. Measure the Gain: List all your wins for 2023.
  2. Visualize your Future Self 3 years from now.
  3. Reflect on your top 3 Priorities in life.
  4. Set 3 Big Goals for 2024.

Step 1. Measure the Gain: List all your wins for 2023.

What progress have you made in the past?

List out all of your wins in 2023: accomplishments, challenges you've overcome, important people you've met, lessons you've learned, milestones, ways in which you have evolved, etc.

This will put you into a state of confidence, motivation and courage to strive for big accomplishments.

Step 2. Visualize your Future Self 3 years from now.

People underestimate what they can achieve in 3 years time. You can radically change your life in 3 years, but most people don't even try.

This is the moment you stop aiming for mediocre.

How can you 10X your life in the next 3 years?

Write out (in details) exactly how your 3 years Future Self is 10X better than you today.

Step 3. Reflect on your top 3 Priorities in life.

Given the Future Self you're picturing, what are your priorities right now?

Prioritize where you will focus your attention on for this year.

"If you have more than 3 priorities, you have none”

– Jim Collins

Pick the top 3 priorities to take you from today to the level of your Future Self.

What are the 3 most important Areas in your life?

Step 4. Set 3 Big Goals for 2024.

From the top 3 priorities, it's time to set goals for 2024.

Remember: Goals are supposed to give you a direction. Go Big.

It's never a problem to fall short from a Goal. Life is to short to care about adding a ✅ inside a checkbox.

What matters is progress.

And Big Goals EXCITE you, inspire you, and motivate you towards progress.

Use them wisely.

3. Don't Stop! Keep Planning your 2024

This is just the beginning of the journey.

After you kick-off the planning process for 2024, it's time to keep going. Planning 2024 will keep on happening along the entire year.

Luckily, now you are familiar with the process.

Repeat the Intentional Planning Cycle for the 4 Quarters, 12 Months and 52 Weeks of 2024.

This seems like a lot, but you only have to deal with 1 quarter, 1 month and 1 week at a time.

Life Overview with Active Cycles

Best of all: The process is super simple.

You only have 2 tasks for each cycle:

  1. Set 3 Big 🎯 Goals.
  2. List all your 🏆 Wins.

This is the 80/20 of planning and reviewing.

Set 3 Big Goals at the start of every quarter, month and week. Then look back and measure the gain for every week, month and quarter.

This way you are striving for big goals, but you're focused on how much progress you're making instead of how much is left until you reach your goal.


And it's not over yet!!

Now we arrive at the biggest opportunity with the planning cycles.

Since planning happens in cycles, you can connect to other places in your Second Brain.

You can use these connections to reliably prepare for Execution.

This is where Tana becomes really useful.

You can add references to searches that bring up other important parts of your Second Brain.

The process of planning is a moment when you can review Active Projects, check on Client material, update your Tasks, and add Meetings.

Use the #month plan and #week plan to access other parts of your Second Brain, and always be in control of your life.

🔗 Further Reading

Holistic AI Brain

Tana Holistic AI Brain is my super complete Tana Template!

It’s almost available for purchase, and comes with the Holistic Second Brain Cycle to plan your years, quarters, months, and weeks.

The template is based on a Second Brain methodology adapted to Tana.

It's the Ultimate Second Brain in Tana, with a deep, and meaningful collection of Hubs to manage your entire life, all in one place.

The Template supports 📝Notes, 🎨Projects, 🏡Areas, 🕺Clients, 🍄Content Creation, 📞Meetings, 🥣Tasks, 📘Planning, 🔭Life Vision, 🎤Audio Notes, and more...

And most importantly:
Everything is 🕸️ Connected.

The Tana way.

Thank you for reading!

Fis Fraga, M.Sc. is a Tana Ambassador and digital writer. He helps people develop a productive and fulfilling life using a mix of Knowledge Management and Artificial Intelligence.

You can read more at:

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