I love the energy of new beginnings which is why I love a solid new year plan!
I love early mornings, I love Sundays, I love the first of the month and I love the new moon. So of course, you know I love all this new year energy that we’re currently in – it fills me with so much hope, optimism, and possibilities for the new year.
In the past, I would do the new year’s resolutions thing but I changed things up a few years ago.
After a lot of research regarding life planning and goal setting, and reading quite a number of books, including Atomic Habits and 12-Week Year, I now, instead of new year’s resolutions, create a system for how I plan my business and personal life. I hope this blog will inspire you to create a plan for an amazing year – yes, I know it might be a tough year economically, but I think, this is an even greater reason, why you need to have a plan.
For the purposes of this blog, I will focus on my personal life.
I start my new year planning by looking at the various categories of my life, and while this will be different for everyone, here are my categories:
- Health and Well-being
- Learning and Growth
- Friends and Family
- Fun and Recreation.
I have 7 categories and yes, I even have a category called Fun and Recreation!
Every year, in advance of the winter solstice, I set aside time to review the current year and create a plan for the new year. I usually set aside a day or a weekend. Some years, if my budget allows for it, I might book a room in a hotel. If not, I do it from home. If it’s the latter, I usually clear my calendar of everything, especially mundane tasks – I make this day about me and my plan for the future I want. I recently talked about this on a podcast by Sherrilynne Starkie 50 Women Over 50 podcast
I start the day by making a list of all the things I’m grateful for, for the current year. I then reflect on the following:
- What went right
- What goals were achieved
- What goals were not met and why
- What tweaks were made
- What lessons I learnt
- How could I do things differently
Learning from the previous year, I then set about 2-3 goals for each category and create a system to accomplish those goals. I will use my Fun and Recreation category as an example to demonstrate how I do this.
I would like to stress that I believe the system that supports the goals is as important as the goal itself. To quote James Clear from Atomic Habits “Winners and losers have the same goal, it’s the system that sets them apart”
FUN AND RECREATION:
I enjoy reading and it is one of the most fun things I can think of. There are only a few things more enjoyable than sitting under a blanket with a good book on a cold winter’s day.
GOAL: Read 12 books by December 31st, 2023
- Create a list of the 12 books that I want to read. I usually add a few extras in case some books are unavailable.
- I will go to my library’s website and place holds to borrow as much as I can.
- For those that are not available at my library, I will purchase from my local bookstore. I would usually let my friends and family know what’s on my list so, should they choose, they can get it for me. They know me so well though, that they usually just give me a gift card to my favourite bookstore.
- At the beginning of every month, I choose which book I want to read and this might depend on what is available at the library or it might mean me choosing a book that was recently gifted to me.
- I also set aside time to read every day – I usually set aside about an hour a day for fun reading, which works out to about 30 hours of reading a month, which is what I need to finish a book. This is a perfect example of how I make time for fun.
- At the end of the month, I reflect on the book and what I may have learned or enjoyed about it. I find this reflection quite pleasant. I also usually try and find a favourite quote or two.
- If it was an actual book (as opposed to an eBook), I would decide if I want to keep it and add it to my current bookshelf or if I want to gift/donate it so someone else can enjoy it. Or maybe I need to drop it off at the library. Whatever it is, I give myself a deadline to get this done. This avoids me from having to pay late fees at the library or having more books than I care to have on my very curated bookshelf. The same applies if it was an eBook or an audiobook, except I can’t gift or donate those books I’ve bought.
So, there you have it, my plan (goal and system) to read 12 twelve in 2023. I should point out that these are not the only books I will read in 2023 – in my Learning and Growth category, I usually have about four books a year. One of those books for 2023 is The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate.
Here’s my list of “fun” books to read in 2023:
- Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman
- Witch way out by Cate Conte
- The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
- Force of Nature by Jane Harper
- The Secrets we Keep by Krystal Sital
- Things Fall Apart by Chinwaa Achibe
- Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
- 10 minutes by Elif Shafak
- The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
- Blake Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
- Moon of the Crusted Snow by W. Rice
- This Time will be Different by Misa Sagiura
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
What books would you suggest I add to my list, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next month, happy intentional living!