How to Start Planning for the New Year

How to Start Planning for the New Year

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Last week, we talked about reflecting on your year, and this week we’ll focus on preparing for the next one! 

Planning for 2020 starts with some foundational work to help you figure out exactly what you want to accomplish. We all know what we should do—there’s no shortage of social media connections and advertisements telling us that—but what about the intentions and goals that are based upon the person that you know you want to be, not what you think you should do?

We believe that we all need to plan our lives (and design our year!) around ourselves and around the authentic lives that we want to lead.

Today, we’re sharing our simple four-part strategy to help you set that foundation and start planning for a successful new year! Let’s get started…

1. Reflect on your past

A lot can happen in a year! It’s important to take some time to pause and reflect on the year that you’ve had. What stands out to you the most? Which areas were difficult? Which ones rewarding? What did you learn from the challenges? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What were some of your best moments? Your worst ones? What worked—and what didn’t?

In a way, much of what happens throughout the year helps to shape what will happen in the next—and it’s important to be able to accept the year for what it was. Learning when there are lessons to be learned, being able to forgive and move forward, and celebrating those achievements and things that you’re especially proud of will give you a chance to fully assess the year that’s passed—and start the new one out the right way.

2. Identify what matters

Next, it’s time to outline your values, strengths, and passions to solidify what is most truly important to you as you develop personally meaningful goals for your new year.

  • Values
    • Your values motivate you to prioritize based on what is most important to you.
    • Ask yourself: What matters most to me? What will I choose to value or prioritize in 2020?
  • Passions
    • Your passions inspire you to stay excited and engaged in your life.
    • Ask yourself: What do I really love doing?
  • Strengths
    • Your strengths empower you to create relationships, achieve goals, and build your career.
    • Ask yourself: What are my gifts?

3. Brainstorm your goals

You are now ready to set your 2020 goals! Start by assessing where you want to be a year from now. Think through the following five life segments, in this order:

  • Self Care
    • Prioritize your health and happiness.
  • Relationships
    • Friend and family matter!
  • Personal Development
    • Never stop growing.
  • Resources
    • Time and money.
  • Vocation
    • Your job, career, community.

Identify the progress that you’d like to see in each of the areas above and then map it out for your year (either in your Day Designer Planner or on this free printable).

In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about breaking your goals down into manageable pieces through a simple formula that works: Yearly Goals + Monthly Actions + Weekly Routines + Daily Habits = Well-Designed Life.

4. Choose your word for the year

Finally, set a theme for your year by picking one word that encapsulates who you want to be, what you want to accomplish, and how you want to feel. It might be “Freedom,” “Confidence,” “Love,” “Fearless” or something else entirely. It doesn’t really matter what the word is, so long as it resonates with you. Look back on the notes you’ve made so far in this planning session. Is there a theme that stands out—one word that captures the essence of your plans?

Give yourself time to brainstorm the one word that brings it all together. Then, write that word down and keep it where you can see it (in your Day Designer, on your computer desktop, on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror, on all of the above). Let it serve as a reminder of how you want to live your best year yet!

Have you started planning for 2020? It’s not too late to set aside some time in your planner before the new year begins!

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