We’re starting this post by dropping a major truth bomb…you may want to sit down for this…I warned you…
2022 is just over two weeks away!
I’ll let that sink in for a moment…
I don’t know about you, but I still feel like I’m processing 2020 and 2021! But here we are, on the threshold of a new year.
Now, it’s easy to let this realization overwhelm you. Or, you can face the new year head-on because you’re armed with a plan.
Keep reading for the top ten ways we plan for the new year. With a plan in place, you can do just about anything!
1. Start Early
Ok, so Step Number 1 in any successful plan is to start early! I realize there is still work to be done before the big ball drops in Times Square on December 31st, but take some time – now if it’s convenient! – to put your new year planning into motion.
Don’t wait until the end to start (although even that is better than not starting at all!) but a huge amount of stress can be avoided if you start your New Year Planning early.
You’ve got two weeks before 2022 rolls around, so start scheduling in the following tasks, and by the time the New Year rolls around, you’ll be able to enter 2022 with far less stress!
2. Reflect on the Past Year
Your preparation for a new year should start by reflecting on the last. Think about your accomplishments, the moments you were proud of, things that made you laugh out loud, and the goals or tasks you accomplished. Remembering all the positives that happened in a year is a great way to appreciate all you were able to accomplish in the last 365 and help you realize how far you’ve come in a year.
But don’t be afraid to also reflect on your missteps. Years are full of highs and lows, and it’s often reflecting on the lows that help us appreciate the highs and triumphs even more.
Not only that, reflecting on missteps or perceived failures can help you learn and grow for the following year. If you learn from a misstep, part of the experience is positively redeemed, as it now serves to help you take a more positive course of action in the future.
3. Create Gratitude List
And while you’re reflecting on everything that happened the past year, start creating a gratitude list. This is just a simple exercise where you list everything you’re grateful for from the year.
Practicing gratitude has been proved to significantly increase our level of life satisfaction as well as positively influence our well-being. It’s even been proven to be good for our bodies, our minds, and our relationships! Now doesn’t that sound like something we all need!
Practicing gratitude by listing everything you are grateful for can help you feel more positive about the past year, and it can even help build the excitement for the upcoming year, as you have so much to be thankful for, being the year has even begun!
To read up more on the topic of practicing gratitude, we recommend this post by Happify Daily: The Science Behind Gratitude (and How It Can Change Your Life)
4. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Marie Kondo, Queen of Decluttering, will be very pleased with this step! Before you can really get to planning for a new year, it’s first time to get rid of some of the old. It’s time to declutter!
I’m talking your wardrobe, your desk, and even your pantry and your refridgerator. Everywhere where you’ve accumulated ‘stuff’ over the course of the year.
Recycle unnecessary paperwork, donate clothing you’re not going to wear, and all other nick nacks and bits and bobs that you’ve somehow acquired. Clear these out and enter the new year lighter! And don’t forget about that electronic declutter! Go through your unread emails, clear out your trash, and purge your music library for everything you no longer want. While you’re at it, go through your podcast playlist, and clear that up a bit. Doing this not only feels really good, but you also create the space for new things to come along your path.
5. List New Goals
Now that you’ve got rid of the old and you’re in a good headspace, it’s time to take concrete steps towards planning for the new year. It’s time to write down your goals.
We all know the jokes about the likelihood of sticking to New Years Resolutions, but part of the failure of retaining these come February is that we fail to write these goals down. Goals that are written down are far more likely to be achieved. And writing down your goals is a great way to stay focused on all of your planned changes over the next twelve months.
You can even go so detailed as to break up your goals into small, manageable chunks and plan out how you will achieve them over the course of the year. This is just an extra step that will tip the odds even more in your favor when it comes to achieving everything you set out to accomplish.
6. Make a Schedule
And just how are you going to accomplish all you want to in 2022? You’re going to make a schedule! While the word “schedule” in itself does not sound like a ton of fun, it’s one of the most successful ways for you to manage your time and make sure you’re able to achieve all you’ve planned for the new year. Start by creating a general schedule as you prepare for the year, which you can then tweak depending on the month, the week, or even on a daily basis, depending on your career, family, or other responsibilities.
And while the act of scheduling may not sound like fun, it’s your schedule that can give you the time you need for actual fun! So be sure to schedule in fun activities, time with friends and family, and even just time to relax. This way, you’ll keep a healthy balance in your life, which can even help you maintain your motivation year long and prevent feelings of burnout from creeping in!
7. Create a Budget
Finances are an important part of life. We need money for all the essentials and necessities, but we also want enough for the fun things, like gadgets, holidays, or whatever fills you with joy. But often we’re faced with a situation where there is too much month and not enough paycheck!
And that’s exactly why, as you prepare for the new year, you should create a workable budget that you can use to help you use your money wisely each month. A budget can greatly reduce any stress and anxiety you feel towards your financial matters as it helps you to see all that you need to cover from month to month. This visual can then give peace of mind as you’re not worried about missing payments or overextending yourself financially.
8. Draw Up a Savings Plan
Once you’ve drawn up a budget for the new year, you should then consider drawing up a savings plan for the new year. While your budget is for using your money wisely on your necessities and other expenses, a savings plan is for those big buys! You know that vacation you want to take? That new bike you want? Or even that gorgeous sofa you’ve had your eye on for a while now? Make those dreams a reality in 2022 but taking saving seriously.
And you can even make it fun by joining a savings challenge! Pinterest is full of colorful printouts designed to help you build up your savings, but the Internet also has plenty to offer in the way of savings challenges.
Check out this post for some fun challenge ideas: 21 Money-Saving Challenges to Try in 2022.
9. Create a Reading List
Another aspect to plan if you want a productive new year is a reading list. We all have a list of books that we’re always wanting to read. It might be a list of all the classics, the infamous “100 books you should read” list, or your own ever-growing list of entrepreneur, business, or other self-help books you keep meaning to read but never find the time.
But not in 2022! Because you’re going to have a plan! Remember, whatever goals you’re hoping to achieve need to be S.M.A.R.T, so don’t plan to ready 50 books next year if you didn’t manage five this year! But perhaps a book a month is more doable! Write that goal down, incorporate the habit into your weekly schedule and get ready to tick those books off your list!
10. Draft a Dreams List
And lastly, you should draft a dreams list for the new year! We’re not taking about career goals here, we’re talking about those things you say you want to do…you just haven’t found the time for them yet. We think having a dreams list is so important because have dreams to strive for is a wonderful source of motivation for all the other tasks in our life. If we’re making strides towards some big dreams, the day-to-day tasks don’t seem so bad.
So draw up a list of all of those dreams. It could be learning a new language, learning to play a musical instrument, developing some other skill you’ve always wanted to try. Write them all down! Then pick one or two to tackle in the upcoming year. As we have already said, putting a plan into action means it’s far more likely to be achieved. And who knows what you’ll be able to do or create by the time December 2022 is upon us if you just start planning today!
As the year draws to a close, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with everything you didn’t do or achieve this year and begin to dread the beginning of a new year. But that line of thinking is not going to get you anywhere!
Instead of embarking on our next trip around the sun with apprehension, start the new year with confidence! And that can be achieved if you have a plan! As ‘they’ always say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Not if we can help it!
Follow our top ten pointers for preparing for a new year, and you’ll be well on your way to making 2022 one of your best yet!
Related read: 10 Habit Building Strategies That ACTUALLY Work