This has to be my favourite day of the year. It’s the day that I do a big Brain Dump of hopes and dreams and plans and schemes for the year ahead.
I have to tell you though that sometimes the sight of an empty planner makes my heart race. I start to let it overwhelm me. I mean, it’s a WHOLE YEAR.
What if I screw it up?
What if I write things down in my planner and don’t accomplish them?
What if I let the year pass and get filled up with the mundane and focus on the wrong things?
SO MUCH PRESSURE!!!
Over the years, I’ve tweaked the process and found what works for me. Your approach may vary but whatever you do, don’t let yourself slide into the New Year without a plan of action to go after your dreams.
- Start with a brain dump. Let yourself go crazy here. In a perfect world, where all of the stars are aligned, what would you accomplish? What dreams would you chase? Write them all down, even the crazy ones, especially the crazy ones!
- Walk away from your notes. Yes, you read that right. Leave them be. Go back to them an hour later or a day later but let them percolate for a bit. Maybe say a little prayer or an affirmation over them and leave them be.
- When you go back to them, look at them as if your child or your favourite person in the world just handed you this note of her dreams. Savour it. Honour it. This is your soul work. Tread gently. Don’t dismiss things because they cost too much or because you’re not smart enough or because they’re ridiculous or because your friends and family will think you’ve lost your grip on reality. Treasure this list.
- Go back to your dump and go through it again. Do you need to add anything?
- Now comes the fun. Start researching the costs of each item on your list. I don’t just mean the monetary cost, I’m talking blood, sweat, tears, hassles from your loved ones, extra hours on the road or elsewhere, ALL of the cost.
- Narrow your list down to your top 3. My guess is that while you were researching and writing costs, you were already selling yourself on the things you loved most, weren’t you? We do that you know. That’s the soul telling us “I’d like to experience this” or “It’s time, pick this one” You know it in your heart.
- Get out your planner. I suggest buying the most functional planner that you can find for YOU. That may be a pretty planner that combines journaling, it may be super simple, or technical, whatever you will use and love using. I like a planner that gives me the hours listed from 7am-8pm so that I can get super specific. I carry it with me always.
- Plan all of the things that make up your regular life. Write them in your planner – work hours, kids extra-curricular activities, clubs, sports, yoga classes, gym time, groceries, meal planning, everything that you feel you must do in your regular life
- Time Block. This is where it gets interesting. Once you get all of your “must-do’s” into your planner, you’ll see some holes. These holes are little gifts from the Gods of Time. You can spend these gifts in the “scroll hole” on Social Media or you can use them to better your life. It’s up to you.
- Highlight these holes in your favourite colour. This is your magical GSD (get shit done) time. This is where you’ll take the online course, do your homework, schedule the sales appointments, read the book, plan the trip, start the business, work on your goals and dreams. Chances are, you’ll be amazed at how much time is actually up for grabs.
- Now…. Ready? Take action. Register for the course. Register the business name. Buy the starter kit. Hire the travel agent. Buy the book. You get the idea.
- Once you’ve booked something, get it right into your planner. Decide ahead of time what help you’re going to need to accomplish this task. If you need a housekeeper, hire one. If you need to order meals in for a time period, do so. If you need your family to help with getting groceries or walking the dog, book it now. Don’t wait until the day the program starts to figure out that you don’t have your ducks in a row – do it now.
That’s it. Now you’re ready for 2018. Doesn’t it feel good to know that you will accomplish something for you with your year? To have put yourself and your dreams on the list and to have scheduled time for them?
I know. I’m all warm and fuzzy inside too.