7 Ways To Start Off Your Year With The Best Plan Possible

If you didn't take much time during the New Year for reflection and goal-setting, it's not too late.

This doesn't have to be a major event. Simply take some time out of your regular daily tasks to set yourself up to for your best year yet.

You might want to spread the below activities out over the course of a week, so you can be sure to tackle a few different areas of your life: health, spiritual, finances, career-planning, gratitude, and more.

Of course things are going to happen this year that will throw you off track. However, planning your life will help you to get back up, dust yourself off, and move forward powerfully and joyfully.

Here are 7 ways to start off your year with the best plan possible:

1. Take time for reflection.

When planning for the year ahead, it is important to take a look back at the year you've completed. Not to dwell, but to celebrate what you've actually accomplished, and learn from the things that were not so fun at the time.

Here are some questions to guide you:

  • Where did I spend most of my time, money, and energy this past year?
  • What surprising thing happened this year?
  • When did I make or save most of my money this year?
  • What did I accomplish this year?
  • What did I do that was courageous?
  • Where were my time and energy leaks?
  • What habits from this past year do I want to let go of, and which do I want to take into the New Year?

2. Clear out clutter.

Before you move on to the planning activities, you want to do something physical to shake yourself out of the reflecting you've just done (you don't want to get stuck, remember?). This is where it's a great idea to clean or clear out clutter. You might want to vacuum your entire home, dust, and mop. Or go through every single one of your closets and purge the items that no longer bring you joy. You can take out all of your makeup, get rid of old tubes of lipstick, clean out the cases, and wash all of your makeup brushes. Do all of your laundry, including pillow cases, pillows, and bedding. Or go through your spice cabinet and throw out old spices, and note which spices you need to add to your inventory.

The point isn't for you to sit at your computer, at least not yet. I want you to move your body and declutter the physical surroundings of your world.

3. Choose a New Year theme.

The first thing you will do is pick a theme. The theme is the most important focus of the year, and all other goals sit under the umbrella of this theme. What makes people fail to achieve their goals is by trying to do everything with equal importance. For example, by wanting to get 9 hours of sleep a night, start a spiritual practice, lose 20 pounds, and aggressively grow your business by $50K - it's not going to work. Instead, mentally gather some of your goals, and pick a dominant theme.

Some ideas for themes include:

  • Business Building
  • Homemaking and Motherhood
  • Dating and Love
  • Weight Loss/Health
  • Spirituality
  • Wealth Building

4. Write down your goals.

Start by writing out your goals in a brainstorming session. Get everything on paper that you want to accomplish this year.

Then, look at which goals relate the most to your theme, and which goals are your biggest priority. I want you to choose no more than 5 goals to focus on for the year.

Next, write down each goals on a separate piece of paper. Under each goal, break it down into bite-sized pieces that need to get done in order to actually accomplish the goal.

5. Create your ideal day and week.

What would your ideal day consist of? Is it starting your morning with a gratitude and meditation practice, working tirelessly towards a goal, or spending time with those you love?

Create a snapshot of what your ideal average work day would look like.

Now, think about how you would like your week to flow. What would this ideal week consist of? How would you like to chunk out days and tasks? For example Sundays could be for grocery shopping and house chores, Mondays for weekly planning, Friday's for social time, and so forth.

6. Schedule it.

Tony Robbins says that if you don't schedule it, don't expect it to happen.

In other words, it's not enough to brainstorm these things, you have to turn them into reality.

I enjoy buying a new weekly planning calendar each year and committing to writing out my ideal day and weekly schedule, including any upcoming appointments. Use whatever system works best for you. Personally, I like to use a mix of my iPhone and paper calendar. I use my phone for recurring reminders and client appointments. I use my paper calendar for daily tasks and goals.

7. Go over current work and plan for the future.

I take time to go over all current work that I have on my desk. I write down a list of my current clients, review where they are in the process, reach out to them, and pass along things I think they'd be inspired by.

I then make dedicated time slots for new clients. These days, my appointments fill up quickly and I am typically booked 4 weeks out, but I create time slots over the next 3 months for any new clients to come in. I have Welcome Packets ready for them, and I make sure not to schedule over these appointment times.

Depending on what you do for work (being a stay at home mom totally counts!), use this time to go over anything that you currently have going on or need to get done. Be on top of it. Then, plan out the next few months of work-oriented tasks that need time, space, and attention.

Use these seven steps to focus, review, and shine your light this year.

You can do it.

Your turn

In the comments below we'd love to hear from you! Which above step would you like to use to plan your year, and why?

Like this post? Sign up to receive your FREE copy of my 5-step guide to greater self-love, happiness, and balance.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS