Knowing what you want will create your why and your inspired actions towards your becoming ~ Hannah Marcotti
[This is part 2 of my previous post “How to Plan Your Year]
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What do you do when a new year is upon you?
Do you scramble?
Do you take your time and ease into it?
Do you plan everything and are so scheduled you can no longer move?
What about if you create from inspired actions instead (like the quote above from Hannah). I know right!!!
I usually do all of these steps I’ve outlined for my business starting in October of the previous year. Most of it is just thoughts at first meandering through my mind as I read or journal or watch others do their thing.
The 5 steps below will help you plan your year. These are the same steps I’ve used to design the shape of my own years that you can use as well to help move the needle forward in whatever way you choose.
What if, right?
First things first though. You’ll need to….
1. Do some reflection
In order to know what the new year needs to look like you first have to figure out what went on in the previous year, that is, you need to know what worked and what didn’t. Below are 10 questions to start you off.
Who were you?
How did you show up?
What did you truly enjoy and not enjoy doing this past year?
What do you want bring into this year that worked well for you?
What do you need to leave behind, to let go of?
What didn’t happen last year? Why not?
What were some of your accomplishments?
What most surprised you about yourself? Your accomplishments?
Where (and what) were your energy leaks?
What were your energy boosters?
Be realistic and truthful with your answers. Your experiences last year will greatly influence and direct what you do this year.
As you ponder the answer to these questions, your new year and what it will contain will become clearer (I suggest using a journal to jot them down). This is not to say that you will now miraculously know for sure what it will entail, not all all. But you will have a better understanding of what needs to happen for you, around you, within you in this new year.
Spend as much time as you need in this space. The more you know about what you need to show up for you and how you need to show up, the better you’ll be able to define your plans for your new year.
Now that you have a better understanding of what you want to include and exclude, time to do something more.
2. Choose a Word of the Year (WOTY)
(If you’ve already chosen your word skip to step 3)
What does a WOTY do? Choosing a word, your word, helps solidify your intention for the year, helping you to move through the year with more purpose and direction, more clarity and vision. I know this (I’m now in my 9th year!!!).
Your word’s sole purpose is to help shape how you greet the next days, weeks and months. It not only helps you strategically plan the whats and hows, of the work you want to do and the way you will live life, your word will act as your guide to help you be more aware, more mindful, more present.
I remember the first year I chose a word. I was eager to wear this mantle I had chosen but, thing is, I hadn’t really understood what it meant to have a word. I treated it like one of my resolutions…quick to jump on but soon forgotten. It’s only when the 6th month rolled around that I remembered :oh yeh, I have this thing I’m supposed to be doing.
That first year is when I started doing my 6 month check-in, a reflection of how I incorporated my word into those things I wanted to accomplish.
3. Get clear on your vision
With your newly chosen word in mind, now is the time to find a quiet space to hone in on your 3-5 priorities for the year. Think large umbrella rather than small and specific. That’ll comes later.
This step was the hardest for me. I love reflecting….that’s a journaler’s delight, our comfy spot. Sitting in and writing down #allthethings, recording what came before, I’m an old hand at that.
The hardest part was coming up with what I know deep down I wanted, but hadn’t tapped in to that space yet. It took some coaxing and cajoling and even some pleading wit my soul self to get to the heart of the matter…..my vision for my year.
I looked specifically at my vision for my business but you can add other areas to vision about as well like:
your relationships / your health / your finances / your career / your personal-spiritual development / service or how you give back / what “play” will look like / self -care
Remember also that you can vision in any way that feels good to you. As a journaler I love to write so I work on finding words and quotes that represent the vision I have for the year.
There are other myriad ways you can use to document your vision for your year. …… using actual photographs you take, cutting out pictures (& words) from magazines and glueing in journal or maybe even using a whole slew of post-it note that you move around a board. However you need to vision what you want your year to look like, do it.
And, once that’s done…… take a break.
No, really. Let your vision have time to percolate. Let the Universe work on your behalf in this transition period between getting clear on your vision and the next step……
4. Define your goals
I don’t define my goals till the new year (what can I say, it’s a thing with me). After the holidays are over, just after the the new year bursts onto the scene I sit down to vision and define goals.
My goals are in response to the vision I have for the year, in conjunction with my WOTY. These 2 help me be more definitive about the goals I outline.
One of my three goals this year is to grow my audience (remember mine is about my business). There are projects and tasks on my desires list (most people call them to-do’s) that I will directly impact how I achieve this one goal.
Remember, this step is about breaking things down to manageable chunks then down-leveling later to end up with the smaller, individual tasks that will make up your day to day activities.
(psst….. if you are entrepreneur just starting out, or even if you’re already an established business, I highly encourage you to use The 2019 Annual Business + Blueprint Planner* offered by Caroline Leon. It’s already helps me see much more clearly what I want my year in business to be about)
After defining your goals, you’ll want to get more clear on what you have to do to achieve them. So the last step in how to plan your year is to….
5. Outline the Hows
What this means is putting systems in place, those monthly, weekly and daily tasks that makes sure you move the needle forward bit by bit throughout the year.
This step is invaluable. Please do not skip it.
Because we all know, creating a plan is good. Outlining what you want to achieve and writing down your goals is an important part of the process.
planning out how you’ll carry out your goals is sooooo much more important and conducive to your year being successful.
Now don’t get me wrong, there will be small and BIG blips along the way, but knowing how you will bypass or work through them is key to making the things you want to have happen….well, happen.
In the last few years I thought the systems I had to use, whether for personal or business goals, had to be elaborate costly schemes that used software I could hardly afford nor take the time to learn.
But now I finally understood what systems are about.
A system is just the how of a thing.
How will you implement the goals you’ve outlined and perform the tasks you’ve written down?
Two of the tools I used for this step are creating tasks blocks in Google Calendar and using a planner that I carry everywhere with me. My planner not only contains my desires list, schedule and appointments but is also a catchall for jotting down all manner of thoughts and ideas that like to spring up wherever (my notes-on-a-napkin writing days are over).
psst…..a blog post about how I choose my planner is upcoming, stay tuned.
Plus if you’re interested in how I created my calendar blocking for my days let me know and I can do a quick video to show you.
As you’re reading you might be asking what does the all the above have to do with being a Mindset Coach?
E V E R Y T H I N G .
In my coaching sessions I always assign homework for my clients. Whether that’s just jotting down thoughts in a journal or reading a particular book. There is always a plan.
And, in order to shift how my client thinks about a thing, talking about it and going deep into the why is definitely something we do in session. But, we also need to come up with a tangible plan to help us do that.
So what better way to get you jump started into your year than by helping you plan for it’s best outcome. Right?
Each of the steps outlined above (apart from #2) is a part of the process I go through with all my clients. They happen in a different order but the outcome remains the same.
We get clear on their vision for our coaching sessions. We define the goals, start some reflective work then get to work on setting up the systems they will use to keep their mindset shift front and center.
With my help clients get to ground into the principles they come up with. Not only will we have a successful coaching relationship but my clients now leave with a plan to implement their own desires and goals.
Each step building one upon the other to help you not only frame out your year but to give you clarity and insight and a meaningful way forward.
Let me know how it’s going for you as you plan your year. You do know you can do this right? Well, you can.
(and don’t forget to share these steps with your peeps!).
p.s. the link to the Annual Planner is an affiliate link. Click to learn more about my Affiliate Policy.