Grab Your Pen! How to Start Planning Your Academic Year

Grab Your Pen! How to Start Planning Your Academic Year

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As we move into the second half of the year and prepare for a new school year, it's the perfect time to reflect on the past and get excited about what's ahead! Feeling unsure about how to start planning your academic year? Don't worry – we've got you covered.

How to Start Planning Your Academic Year

1. Reflect on Your Wins (and Losses)

An entire year brings a whirlwind of experiences, and taking a moment to reflect on them sets the stage for a successful, new school year ahead. 

Consider the following areas of life: Self-Care, Relationships, Personal Growth, Time and Financial Management, and Professional Development.

Ask yourself:

  • What stands out to you the most?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of your best moments?
  • Which areas were difficult? What did you learn from the challenges?
  • Which areas were most rewarding?
  • What worked – and what didn’t?

Much of what you've experienced will shape your plans for the future!

2. Outline What’s Most Important to You in Life

Take a pause to identify what truly matters to you by defining your core values, passions, and strengths. This forms the foundation for setting meaningful goals in the coming year.


What matters most? What will you prioritize next year?


What activities make you feel most alive?


Identify and leverage your unique gifts.

Need a little guidance? The Day Designer Flagship Planner includes a worksheet to help you outline these core components – or you can download our FREE Core Values Printable!

3. Envision Your Ideal Year Ahead

To reach your goals, you must first define them. Answer these three questions to shape a clear vision of your ideal year:

What do you want?

Dream big and envision what you hope for in the future. Identify what you want your life to communicate and contribute. Where do you want to be by this time next year?

What is missing?

Consider what is missing that might add more joy, peace, and presence to your life.

What can help you get there?

Determine what intentions you can set to get there. Set goals that align with what you want to happen. (More on this below!)

4. Brainstorm Your Goals

Now you're ready to set your goals for the year ahead. (No pressure – you can adjust them as time goes on!) Start by envisioning where you want to be a year from now.

For a balanced approach, consider the life segments mentioned above: Self-Care, Relationships, Personal Growth, Time and Financial Management, and Professional Development.

Identify the progress that you’d like to see in each of these areas and then map it out for your year (either in your Flagship Planner or on this FREE Goal Setting Printable.

5. Create an Action Plan!

Now that you've set your goals, let's break them down into manageable pieces! This is a key step that will bring you closer to a life that is aligned with your values and priorities.

Monthly Actions

What can you do every month?

Weekly Routines

Identify recurring steps for each week.

Daily Habits

What small steps can you take every day?

The Day Designer Flagship Planner will guide you to break down your goals and turn them into actionable plans.

There you have it! With this comprehensive guide for planning your academic year, you're well-equipped to kick off the new school year with clarity, purpose, and a roadmap to success. Cheers to a fantastic year ahead! 🎉

Best Planning Tools for Academic Year Planning

Day Designer Daily Academic Year Planners
Day Designer Weekly Academic Year Planners
Free Planning Printables

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