Super-Simple Planning for Your Year

Another year is coming to an end, and a new beginning awaits us. Everywhere we look, the conversation centers around new year goals and year-end-reviews. Even Facebook was kind enough (ahem) to put together a slideshow of the year for us.

There’s a lot of pressure at the new year to have your shit together by January 1st – and there’s a good chance you’re already stressing out about it.

It doesn’t have to be so hard

Really, it doesn’t. Planning your future should be exciting and fun, not torturous and stressful.

So let’s start gently.

How did the last 12 months go for you? Did you reach the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? Or are you looking back at the last 12 months, wondering where all the time went?

Setting up a plan can be exciting, but following through and making things happen is another matter entirely. And frankly, I don’t buy into the “build it and they will come” mindset. Making things happen takes work, patience and perseverance.

Still, no matter how solid your plan is at any given time, visions shift, energy levels fluctuate, unexpected challenges come up, and we make the conscious (or not-so-conscious) choice to let other things take priority.

Seeing something through from idea to fruition takes time, focus, and regular practice. It’s a matter of turning the big ideas into smaller projects that can then be broken down to manageable tasks. It’s the day-to-day actions and choices that we make that determine whether or not our dreams become reality. Your success comes from every single choice you make, day after day – and it’s always your choice.

It’s important to look back – briefly.

When I’m doing my new year planning, I start with a review of the previous 12 months. I take a hard look at things like:

  • the money that came in and went out
  • where did I spend most of my time?
  • what were the most profitable activities?
  • what were the most joyful activities?
  • how did I feel over the past year?
  • where did I get stuck, and how did I get unstuck?
  • who did I call on to support me when I needed it?
  • what daily practices helped me the most?
  • what do I want more of?

The answers to those questions provide the foundation for my plan.

I make sure to acknowledge and celebrate what went right
– no matter how big or how small the victories. We can get so focused on what didn’t work that we forget to high-five ourselves for what did – and that doesn’t help us at all.

I write everything down, then I go back and highlight and circle the things that jump off the page at me. Those are the things that I want to bring forward with me into the new year.

Other than that, I don’t look back, because I want to move forward. I make note of what worked and what didn’t – and what I wanted then vs. what I want now, and I move on.

Moving forward into the unknown

Then I set a few goals – an income goal, a self care goal, a goal for my company, clients and team, a professional development goal, etc… I imagine it’s a year from now, and I look at my business (and my life) from this perspective. What have I done over the past year that got me to this point? What changes did I make to the structure of my business, my team, my services, my time? I look at everything objectively – and those are the things that I need to focus on in the coming year.

After that, it’s a matter of fine-tuning the plan as things shift throughout the year. Sometimes things go as planned, sometimes they don’t. Flexibility is so important, because if you’re not, it’s too easy to feel like a failure and throw in the towel. Don’t do that, ok? No matter how your plans shift, it’s all for good reason, even if we can’t see it at the time.

And the key to making things happen is to commit to your dream 100%. Pay attention and go all in. Carve out time every single week to working on these things that you said you wanted so badly. It’s the only way it’s going to happen.

Back to you

What will you be focusing on in the upcoming year, and what will you be doing to make this your reality? I want to hear all about it. Comment here or share on Facebook.