If you have ever wondered how to plan your year ahead: this article is for you.
There’s no need to just make New Year’s Day resolutions. Setting goals and planning for the year can be done any time. It may seem daunting, but by identifying what it’s you want to attain and the steps needed to get there, you can use a wide range of tools and techniques to make your aspirations come true.
How To Plan Your Year In Advance:
1. Make a list of important goals that you want to attain in the current year.
Picture yourself in the next year and consider everything you want to occur. Let your imagination visualize the future and write down everything that comes to your mind that you want to attain.
This will provide you with a starting point as you work to set your goals. Remember to challenge yourself with ambitious goals, but ensure they’re achievable.
For example, “I want to be an astronaut in a year” might be a bit unrealistic, but “I want to write a draft of a novel” can be a sensible goal. Having fun with it, for example “I want to study photography this year” can be an incredible place to start setting your goals. You can use traditional pen and paper or type your vision in a word processor or note-taking app to stay organized.
2. Divide the goals on your list into related categories.
Organize lists into specific categories such as finance, career, health, and artistic. Group together all the things you want to accomplish this year with similar or related goals.
For example, you could have a group of fitness goals that include running a 5K, having the ability to do 10 pullups, and losing 10 pounds. Keeping your goals organized can help you manage them better and also help structure your year.
For example, if your goal is to get a promotion at work, you could start by arriving at work on time each day, completing a big project, and then asking for more responsibility. As you progress, you’ll get closer to your bigger goal.
3. Make a to-do list for each goal you want to attain.
Write one goal on a blank page, then list all the tasks you need to complete to attain that goal. Focus on one goal at a time and take time to consider everything you need to do to make that goal occur. Once you have a solid to-do list for one goal, move on to the next goal and repeat the process.
For example, if your goal is to get fit and lose weight, you could create a to-do list that could include things like, “Join a gym, set aside time each day to exercise, create a meal plan to eat healthier, buy trainers. “, etc. It may also be helpful to do an online search to see what is required to achieve a particular goal.
For example, if you’ve never run a marathon before, you can see what it takes to make it happen.
4. Set a specific time frame for each of your tasks.
Plan and schedule specific dates to complete each task and smaller steps. Giving yourself a deadline will help you stay focused on the bigger goal.
For example, if your goal is to run a 10K next year, you could set a date to run 30 minutes straight a few weeks, then run a 5K a few months from now. This way you will be ready to take on your ultimate goal of 10K. Sometimes, the unexpected happens and you may need to adjust your deadlines. It’s okay, just allow yourself to make adjustments and don’t let that discourage you.
5. Start each day by listing 3 things you want to achieve.
Every morning take time to write down at least 3 tasks that are your priority for the day. Even if you don’t complete them, the process of prioritizing and focusing on your bigger goals each day can help keep you on track. Your 3 priorities can be linked to one goal, or 3 tasks related to separate goals.
For example, you could aim to run, view hotel rates for an upcoming trip you have planned, and read a chapter of a book if your goal is to read more. For example, if you have a goal of losing 15 kg, you could write down daily tasks like: “Go for a walk after lunch”, “Eat a piece of fruit for an afternoon snack”, “Avoid eating cookies in the break room”
6. Evaluate your goals every week to assess your progress.
Reflect on how you are doing in relation to your goals on a regular basis. Review the progress you’ve made in the past week, evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
Develop actionable steps that you can take in the coming weeks and months to keep moving toward your ultimate goal. Set aside a certain time each week that is comfortable for you. For example, you could schedule about an hour every Sunday morning to review your progress.
7. Share your plans and goals with your partner to keep you motivated.
They don’t have to have the same goals as you, but having a partner can give you support and motivation to reach your goals. Communicate with them when you’re making progress or when you’re having trouble with something, and ask about their own progress. This can help you stay focused on your goals.
Research shows that something as simple as letting a friend know when you’re making progress toward your goal (1) can increase the success rate by up to three times.
8. Visualize yourself achieving a goal to make it feel more achievable.
Imagine that you have made a change or achieved the goal you set. If you can picture yourself doing something, it can make your brain believe it is possible. Psychologists call this process “coding prospective memories.”
For example, if your goal is to learn to play the guitar, instead of focusing on all the exercises and lessons you need to do, imagine yourself playing on stage or performing a song for a friend. This can make it feel more attainable, because it is!
9. Keep working towards your goal even if you face obstacles.
Change often involves failure, challenges, and setbacks. It takes effort to achieve a goal, especially if it is ambitious. Anticipating that you’re going to fail can help you stay motivated and make adjustments that will help you keep pushing your goals.
For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, but you accidentally indulge in a double cheeseburger, that’s not the end of the world. Think of it as a setback from which you can learn from and find ways to avoid similar situations in the future. Research shows that successful people have no fewer obstacles than others, the main difference is that they don’t give up when faced with challenges.
10. Recognize and reward yourself when you achieve a goal.
Treat yourself to a fancy meal or buy new clothes every time you reach one of your goals. You have worked hard and deserve it! Use the prospect of celebration as motivation to keep working towards your goals. Just think how satisfying it will be when you achieve it.
Avoid celebrating in a way that could negatively impact your goals. For example, if you’re trying to save money on a trip, don’t spend too much and use the money you saved for your trip.
11. Change your goals if necessary as the year progresses.
If you no longer want to achieve a certain goal, want to change it a bit, or need to adjust it for some other reason, then go ahead and do it. If something isn’t working, make adjustments that benefit you and your life.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t achieve the goals you set for yourself, it could just be that it wasn’t the right time or something came up that made it impossible. You can always try again in the future. Being flexible can be beneficial for your goals and well-being.
For example, if you’re planning to visit Spain in the summer but it’s not possible, you can plan a winter trip and work towards making it happen.
12. Make use of a traditional planner to manage your tasks and schedule.
Traditional planners are valuable tools that can help you set deadlines, organize tasks, and schedule your day, week, and month. Choose a single planner to keep all your information in one place for easy access and updating.
Using a planner can improve your time management and increase productivity. Most planners come with weekly and monthly calendars that you can use to schedule your days and set deadlines for yourself.
13. Use organizational apps for digital alternatives.
If you prefer to use digital calendars and organizational tools like Trello (2) , that’s fine too. Download the organization app from your smartphone or tablet app store. Use it to manage your schedule, store information, and set deadlines for yourself.
Organization apps can be useful if you need to jot down tasks while on the go. Some apps, such as the Note iPhone app, can sync across multiple devices, allowing you to add them from your phone and computer. Many apps can even provide you with reminders or notify you when you have an upcoming appointment on your schedule.
14. Take advantage of time blocks to manage your schedule.
Time blocking is an organizational strategy that can help you stay more organized and focused on completing certain tasks. Rather than dedicating lots of time to one task or putting it off, schedule 2-3 hours of time where you focus on completing one task.
For example, if your goal is to grow your social media following, you might schedule one block of time to create content, another to write blog posts, and another to schedule posts. It does not must be a full 2-3 hours, some tasks can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. The key is to focus on one task at a time and avoid spending too much time on anybody task.
15. Create a budget to manage your finances.
Create a budget spreadsheet and enter your income. Add up all of your expenses, including variable expenses like groceries and gas.
If you are saving for something, set aside more money towards that goal. Keeping your finances in order can make your goals possible and reduce money-related stress, whatever your goals may be.
16. Organize your documents by creating folders on your computer.
To increase productivity, create folders on your computer that align with how you organize your business and store related documents in them, making them easy to access when needed.
For example, you could have folders for expense reports and internal memos to maintain an organized workflow. You can even have folders for specific purposes, such as learning a new language, where you can store documents and materials related to achieving those goals.
Thank you for reading this article on how to plan your year ahead and I actually hope you take my advice into action.
I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.