Make a plan for the best year yet

“I never dreamed of success, I worked for it”

That quote from cosmetics giant Estee Lauder has stuck with me since the first time I read it. I think because it appeals to that part of me who wants to be more organised, who aspires to go through life with her crap together at least for most of the time. I understand that sometimes life gets in the way and even the best-laid plans can go out the door in a second. While we can’t plan every second of our lives, and we can’t expect the unexpected, I think there’s still value in having some sort of plan especially for our lives.

What better way to approach the new decade than to plan for it? To deliberately choose situations that propel you forward. To make a plan for it to be your best year yet. Because in the end, only you are responsible for your life and your happiness, and there is no more time to waste. 

Don’t lose sight of it – I like to be reminded of my goals and plan for the year by plastering it everywhere. I have a vision board filled with my goals, a wall display of quotes that keep me motivated, I’ve even changed the lockscreen on my phone and the desktop background on my laptop to reflect this. Having it somewhere you can see it often means you’ll always have a reminder of what your vision and plan for the year is. The more you’re aware of it, the more you’ll be able to consciously work towards achieving it!

Keep an open mind – especially when things don’t go to plan. Try your best to see setbacks as stepping stones instead of failures.  Remember there are so many different paths and route to get to where you want to be and it’s easier to bounce back from rough patches if we keep an open mind and just keep moving forward.

Make your goals SMART – there’s a reason why so many people swear by setting SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. It’s a great guiding principle for setting goals because it forces you to get crystal clear on what you want while also giving you tools to make it happen. Here’s an example of one of my SMART goals for the year:

To pay off my student loan by the end of December 2020. It’s specific, the outcome is measurable (to be student loan debt free), it’s achievable and realistic because I’ve set a time frame that takes into account that I still need to be able to pay the bills and have enough to cover the fun stuff while I pay off the student loan, and it’s timely. 

Find an accountability buddy – find someone you trust, someone who has your back, someone who is not afraid to be honest with you, someone who ultimately wants the best for you and who will push you to be the best version of yourself. It could be a family member, a trusted friend, a workmate – anyone you feel comfortable with! Tell them about the plan and what you want to achieve. Ask them to keep you accountable, to check in every once in a while (don’t be afraid to give them specific timeframes of when you want them too as well – one of my friends recently told me they wanted to have a draft of their book done by the end of the year and I put specific dates in my calendar to remind me to check in with them then), and to remind you of what you’re working towards.

 Stuck with planning ideas? Here are some reflection points to get started on to help you get clear on what you’re planning for: