Plan Your Year to Make Room for What Matters Most

The new year helps me make a fresh start. No matter what happened the previous year, good or bad, the new year is like a big reset. This is the time I take inventory of what I did or didn’t do the year before, personally and professionally. 

Some people don’t like the word “resolution.” I mean, some people really don’t like it. To me, it doesn’t matter if you create new resolutions or not. I focus on setting goals. I ask myself two questions. 

1) What do I want to do this year that I didn’t do last year? 

2) What did I do last year that I want to do more of? 

When I sit down and brainstorm the answers to these questions, it becomes more clear what is important to me. 

The problem? If I don’t plan things, they don’t happen. Even the important things. 

So many of us – including me – are guilty of getting caught up in the day-to-day busyness of jobs, families, etc. We go through the motions and then look back and wonder why we didn’t make time to do the things we really wanted to do. 

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Make time for what matters before life gets in the way.

For me, the answer to that first question always includes travel. I love traveling. I travel for work often, but also love taking trips with my family. 

However, if I don’t get personal travel on my calendar at the beginning of the year, it doesn’t happen. Life gets in the way and it’s easy to find every excuse as to why I’m too busy to go in the moment.

Sarah Yearly Planning Framed by Sarah

Set goals for the new year.

Next, I think about my goals for the new year. My goals cover all the parts of my life. I make financial goals, time/work goals, personal goals, and family goals. This is also when I decide if there is something new I’d like to start or try. 

Take a few minutes to think about each area of your life. Consider setting goals based on what you’ve determined is important to you.

Start with the “big rocks.”

When I look at my calendar for the year, I start by adding my “big rocks.” This includes travel, of course, whether for work or pleasure. I build those trips into my calendar first knowing everything else will then be planned around them. 

Think about the commitments you already have for the new year and get those on your calendar before you plan anything else. 

Next, ask yourself what other big rocks you have? For me, that includes my business. Launching new products or courses, or even writing a book. 

Wait, did I just say that out loud?! Yes, writing a book is one of my big rocks for this year.

Yearly Planning Framed by Sarah

Look beyond the “big rocks.”

After you get those big rocks on the calendar, it’s time to build in some of your other goals. 

I always have a weight loss goal in the new year. I mean, doesn’t everyone? 🤣 I can’t just say I want to lose 30 pounds and put that on the calendar somewhere. Wouldn’t it be nice if it worked like that? 

Instead, I break that goal down into smaller goals along the way. How about 10 pounds every two months? That feels manageable. 

But how do I get there? I know myself well enough to say I can’t just stop eating and drinking all the things and start jogging daily… I mean, let’s be real. 

What I can do is set some goals for myself. In January, I’ll stop drinking sodas and start walking nightly. February means cutting out the late-night snacks and fast food. Each month gets its own goal that helps me work toward that big goal. 

No matter what your goals are, don’t wait until the end of the year to work on them. Break them down into 90 day, six month, and one-year plans. Get them on your calendar and keep working toward them.

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