Blog · Self-Management

Planning for a New Year

The end of each year is a good time for reflecting.  I think it is.  And, as I look back over the years, I think about the many hours I spent as a teenager, preparing schedules before the start of a new school year.  I would create a wake up schedule, bathroom schedule, a getting-ready to-do list, breakfast schedule, etc.

I remember my sister playing along with my attempt to plan… probably not to the extent I did.  We [I] would spend numerous Sunday afternoons leading up to a new school year practicing what the mornings would look like and how they could flow… rehearsing the timing from the alarm to sharing bathroom entrances and exits to putting on shoes before heading out the door.  I anticipated any surprises or unexpected tasks that may come up and re-adjusting the schedule to allow for them.  I’m not sure how many lists or pieces of paper I used working through this annual process.

Now, as an adult, I find myself doing much the same thing, but the beginning of each year.  I don’t repeatedly rehearse it like a stage production anymore, but I do find myself using the NEW START as an opportunity to think about who I am, who I want to be, organize priorities, think about the various commitments an adult has and anticipating new schedules – in much the same way as I did then.

Going into a new year, I typically find myself creating lists that are introspective and I begin the process by reflecting on my personal goals and aspirations.  But, the process is much the same as I start by writing lists like these:

  • I brainstorm any ACCOMPLISHMENTS I can think of for the new year.  I write down as many words as I can think of first, then prioritize to top for the new year.
  • Looking back at through the PREVIOUS YEAR at things I didn’t accomplished and try to think about why they didn’t happen – if they just become insignificant because they were [relative to other things] or because I just didn’t give them the time they deserved.
  • Sometimes I COMPARE the two lists, especially as I find myself struggling to achieve the same thing from year to year and think of ways to prioritize the things that are the most important to me.
  • A THEME for a new year.  After thinking about who and what I want to be moving forward, I think of ONE word that I want to achieve and live by and WRITE it down.

After my New Year’s resolutions and thoughts have been put to paper, then I buy my planner.  I work my prioritized actions into my schedule and I repeat my “word of the year” often.

SIDENOTE:  I have spent a lot of time over the years looking part for the perfect planner.  I know what I like [and what I don’t like] in a store planner and make myself abide by those rules when purchasing.  However, I’m rarely satisfied.  I even spent the last several years studying bullet journaling, thinking that may be a solution.  But, since I typically don’t like writing with a pen and I don’t like the time required, so this obviously is not the right option for me.  This may be the year I create my own planner.  We’ll see.

If you’d like to try this process with me CLICK HERE for a FREE PRINTABLE DOWNLOAD  brainstorming sheet of your own.

Happy planning and HAPPY NEW YEAR,


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