A Plan For A New Year
Well well, look what time of the year it is. Holiday parties are already starting. I kid you not, I saw at least 3 Facebook posts already about ugly sweater parties. I mean, the holidays are just weeks away. And of course I have yet to start my shopping. Don’t snicker at me, you haven’t started yours either. Don’t lie, I know you haven’t. You know what else you haven’t thought much about yet? Next year. Other than the oh my GAWD, it’s almost 2019!! Look dude, if you want to make next year better than this year you need a plan. A plan for a new year. And away we go.
Time Is Slippery
This is a a not uncommon concept and one I am quite fond of. Time is slippery. You blink and the holidays are here. Or your kids already don’t like spending time with you. Unless you stay conscious enough to stay aware of what is happening around you then time gets away from us all far too quickly. And it is the most precious of all commodities.
Here’s what’s going to happen. You are going to be too busy thinking about all the holiday things coming up to even think about next year. And that’s going to make sure that next year is exactly the same as this year. You have holiday parties. And shopping to take care of. Not to mention that crap at work you have to take of within the next several weeks. Then you have to prepare for the actual holiday, the family, the food, the overspending. You are going to tell yourself you’re too busy to thing about next year. And that’s going to keep you stuck in the same place. Which means 2019 is going to look a whole lot like 2018 in your life. Let’s talk about a plan for a new year.
We Want It Now
I can order something from Amazon and get it delivered within 48 hours. In the same spirit I can order food and a company like DoorDash will have it on my doorstep in 30 minutes. I have the ability to order virtually any movie and watch it right now. And so on and so on. And this is one of the reasons why you find the more youthful of us feeling so unsatisfied. This also leads into why the big box gym clubs make the majority of their money in January. So many people say “this is the year I’m actually going to get in shape” and join a gym. Then they go 3 times in the first week and feel good about themselves. Week 2 sees them visit twice. Week 3 and 4 they probably make it in once. And then they get too busy. And so it goes for another year of “getting in shape”.
We are so wired to get our needs met now that it makes it harder than ever to think about actually planning something for the longer term. The things that truly are rewarding to us take time and patience to grow into something that really moves the needle in our lives. Cue next section.
Good Things Take Time To Grow
I started a new job 2 weeks ago. To say I am excited is an understatement. I can see so much opportunity it’s hard for me to keep my focus on one day at a time. I know if I do what I am capable of I will be able to deliver some great value to the company and help create something awesome. The realist in me knows I need to take my time and that it will grow over time.
The things in our life that are really meaningful take time to grow and develop. This is a fantastic reason why it’s such a great idea to make a plan for a new year. Besides having a successful career other meaningful things take time. Any longer term fulfilling relationship takes effort and nurturing. Whether it’s a marriage or a great friendship. Trust takes time to develop and be earned. All good things take time to grow. Making a well thought out plan and executing on that plan will go a long way towards making these meaningful aspects to our lives a reality and not just a wish.
Make the Plan – NOW
To continue along the lines of good things take time to grow, let’s talk about when to make a plan. When you want to be successful in anything, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan of sorts. I am not advocating being super specific in all of your plans. For instance, if you want a healthy strong marriage I don’t think you have to type up a 50 page “how to” plan and then execute on it. I do however believe you need to have at least a blue print in your head of what you need to do to have a strong marriage. Things like “have date night at least once a month, remember your anniversary, actively listen when your spouse is upset, surprise her from time to time” and things like that. In my mind that’s a plan. Of course then you have to actually do it.
When you want to create success in your life it’s a good idea to make a plan. I’ll let you in on a secret I’ve done the last several years. During the last few weeks of December I make a plan for a new year. My plan is for the upcoming year. I make it simple, just a one page overview with the categories that are important to me. I’ll review my plan for the year I’m about to finish and measure how I did. I’ll then write up a one page summary of what I want to accomplish in the coming year. I usually have marriage goals, career aspirations, what I want to earn, my mental and physical health, family and friend relationships, etc. Besides simply having the goals I have a general idea on paper and a more specific idea in my head of HOW I AM GOING TO ACTUALLY ACHIEVE MY GOALS.
When To Plant The Seeds
Having a body you like and that serves you well doesn’t happen in a month. It happens when you put in hard, consistent work over the course of years. Again, meaningful things take time. Any long term goal needs to take ongoing and sustained effort to achieve. So if you have a goal of making twice as much money next year as you did this year, you’d better have already done a lot of the ground work before the end of this year. If you start on this goal sometime in January, you’re already way behind. You have to plan the seeds way before you want to actually achieve it. Want to have that rocking beach body by June? Go join the gym now and start working out……before January.
My point is this. So many people don’t really appreciate how long things take to truly come to fruition. So many of us see someone having success and it seems to magically happen overnight. That’s almost always not the case. The vast majority of the time that person has put in a lot of blood, sweat, and tears FOR YEARS before they seem to have “instant success”. Plant your seeds now!
Here is my suggestion. Carve out 2-3 hours sometime before the upcoming holiday or definitely by the end of the year. Tell yourself this is a “must do” in order to make 2019 a great year. So many of us say we are simply too busy to take a few hours out of our lives to make a plan for success. I assure you that if you make a plan for a new year and then take action on that plan, next year will rock for you. Here it is in 4 easy steps. Like most things that are worth achieving it’s actually a simple process. Note I didn’t say it was easy, just simple.
Step 1: Block out 2-3 hours before the holidays to grab some quiet time and create your plan for 2019.
Step 2: During your blocked planning time write down at least 3 things you want to accomplish in 2019. Don’t overwhelm yourself and put 18. 3-5 items is perfect.
Step 3. Type up (or write on paper if you want to) your plan and keep in a place you have access to everyday. Review it on a regular basis.
Step 4: Take action on the things in your plan starting January 1, 2019.
Here are a few resources that can help you create a successful plan for next year.
2019 Planner with Pen Holder – by Lemome
Life Planning: How to Make a Plan For Your Own Future For Your Own Life – by Young Bamboo
Designing Your Life: How To Build A Well Lived, Joyful Life – by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
What Color Is Your Parachute – by Richard N. Bolles
Go Get It!
Hopefully I’ve provided a little inspiration for you to make a plan for a new year. I assure you that if you do this it will go a long way towards achieving the things in your life that are important to you.
Make the plan + add the action required = A Great 2019.
Rock & roll,