As I write this post, the New Year is just two weeks away! (insert Home Alone face) My mom used to say that how we start our new year is how the rest of the year will unfold, but that superstition has clearly been debunked. Look at the last several years; no one can predict what life has in store for us. But I’m a goal setter, a planner, and a reflector, and I believe a little planning never hurts anybody, so I’m sharing how I’m getting ready for 2023.
Taking some quiet time to focus on the past year is essential in planning for the new year. I like to grab a pen and my journal and jot down any thoughts about my achievements, the moments I was proud of, things that brought me joy, and the goals or tasks I accomplished. Sometimes it helps to have some questions to guide your reflection. I’ve included some to help you get started.
- What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
- What brings you the most joy, and how will you do more of that?
- What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
- What was the best way you used your time this past year?
- What was your most enjoyable moment of 2022?
Honor the past year by celebrating your joys, mourning your losses, and reflecting on the privilege of celebrating another year.
Do an Audit
After you’ve reflected now, you are ready to do an audit on the past year. Conducting a life audit is a step in living intentionally. Assessing your current situation allows you to determine realistic next steps for creating the life you want.
To do a simple audit, consider the following areas in your life.
- Daily life (habits, routines, overall lifestyle)
- Physical Health & Wellness
- Mental & Emotional Health
Examine each area and determine which brings you the most joy, what is causing you the most stress, and how satisfied you are with each area. Determine the most critical areas for the coming year and pick two you’d like to address.
List New Goals
Now that you’ve completed these activities, you can begin to take concrete steps toward building the life you want by writing down some goals for 2023. Writing down your goals is essential because when you write them down, you are more likely to accomplish them; it helps you get clear on what you want to achieve, and it helps you stay focused and motivated throughout the year. If you aren’t into journaling, I’ve included other fun alternatives to writing goals.
- Make a vision board
- Create a personal mantra; mine is ,Wear the Damn Boots
- Create a video of you talking to yourself to watch at the end of the year
- Create a Pinterest board of your goals
Plan a Schedule
Now that you have the vision and goals, you need to plan your year. Start with a basic schedule and routine that you can tweak each month. This sounds like a no-brainer, but if you don’t make time for the priorities in your life, time will slip away before you realize it. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said,
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Break your big goals down into smaller ones that you can accomplish quarterly. Sometimes it’s helpful to set a deadline and work towards it but: Be flexible with yourself and celebrate your achievements!
Remember to give yourself time and grace to accomplish what you can. Not all goals will be achieved quickly, and not everything will be easy. Remember: You have all year! With thoughtful reflection and a purposeful schedule, you’ll be off to a great start for 2023.