Start the New Year out right with one of these tools (Day 4)

Make the most of the year ahead by taking time to choose how you want your year to look, whether that’s a list of things you want to accomplish at some point or a detailed plan throughout the year.

This is the fourth in a series of posts with different ideas of how to set your coming year up for success. Here are some ideas to plan for the year ahead of us.

Planning for the year ahead

You could just choose a theme. You could do a happiness project. Another option, also from Gretchen Rubin on the Happier podcast, is 18 for 2018 or now 19 for 2019. That is just a list of 19 things you want to do in the coming year. They can be really small or bigger, but they have to be a thing that you will know when it is done. Lose weight or save money do not count here. They are not specific enough.

This year I did something even broader based on a review process written about by Chris Guillebeau. For this, you write out 3-5 goals you want to accomplish in each area you care about. His categories are: Writing, Business, Friends & Family, Service, Travel, Spiritual, Health, Learning, Financial (Earning), Financial (Giving), Financial (Saving). Then you can take it a step further and schedule how and when you will accomplish these goals through the year. For example, let’s say you want to write a book in 2019. What has to get done for that to happen? Do you need to find an agent? Write a book proposal? Write out each step, in order if there is an obvious order, and figure out estimated timelines for each, and write it all out.

I should say that I have started this, but am continuing to think of new things and I haven’t fully gone through each item to look at a schedule. I recommend giving yourself time to think through any project you try; not as an excuse not to finish, but set a schedule that allows you to work on it slowly over a weekend or a week.


For something totally different (but also similar because you will still make lists), try out this guided visualization from meditation teacher Emily Fletcher. You will walk through both the past year and the year ahead. It’s fun. Her voice is phenomenally relaxing.

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