I hope you took my advice and started the year with a much deserved day of self-care and serenity—I hope you spent every last cent on your gift cards and indulged yourself in whatever makes you feel most nurtured, energized, and fabulous.
Now that you’ve taken some time off and filled up your tank—now it’s time. Now it’s time for you (and for me!) to think about 2017—and what we want to do.
And I don’t want to use the word “resolution”—once you use that word there’s like such an impact that you have to make whereas if you make it more like a lifestyle—then it’s not such an overwhelming word. So let’s scratch “resolution”.
The key word here is “planning”. Now, I know, I know—it’s so easy to tip into overwhelm thinking about planning an entire year. But here’s what I think:
Planning and getting your thoughts and desires for the year can be such a powerful way to zap that fear of the unknown. That fear of not knowing what the future may bring, holds a lot of people back. It’s something I’ve struggled with too. What I’ve found is that while I know that I can’t predict the unexpected, putting together a plan for what I can predict, makes me feel empowered and ready to take on anything.
So take a deep breath, say the Serenity Prayer and let me walk you through it.
Here’s what you do:
- Get yourself a nice big calendar that you can put on the wall—this is what I do, and get ready to write everything in. It’s really important that you write it down—there is so much research that confirms that handwriting makes a big difference in our brains. Check this out:
“Researcher Dr. Jordan Peterson says, ‘It appears possible that writing, which is a formalized form of thinking, helps people derive information from their experiences that help them guide their perceptions, actions, thoughts and emotions in the present… Clarifying purpose and meaning into the future helps improve positive emotion, which is associated with movement towards important goals and reduces threat, which is associated with uncertainty and doubt, and which may be experienced as hopelessness, despair, and lack of meaning.’”
You can always put it in your Google Calendar or whatever you use on the computer later, but the writing it down and making it visual in a big way, really works.
And now it’s time for a breakdown. One step at a time: month, week, day.
Put YOU first. What are the things you know you do each month? Make the time, write it down.
- Do you have one specific day you pay your bills? Mark it down on each page.
- See your hairdresser every 4, 6 or 8 weeks? Make those appointments now and save yourself an entire year of stress worrying that you won’t get in when your roots start showing.
- Health is so important. My birthday is coming up and I always make all my yearly doctor appointments around that time. I like to think of it as giving myself the gift of health! I also am a firm believer in alternative health modalities—reflexology is one of the ways I care for myself—this is not just a foot massage ladies, it is a system that cleanses all of your organs. Ame Salon and Spa has incredibly skilled therapists that I trust—it’s done wonders for my body. Talk about serenity! Try it!
- Now, go through that social calendar. Events on my social calendar this year are things like Feastival, Alex’s Lemonade Stand’s Lemon Ball and Best of Philly. Plus, birthdays of friends and family, weddings and graduations in the family, etc.
- Quarterly or monthly meetings for your business? Get them on the calendar.
Repeat the process for your bi-weekly and weekly to-dos, tasks and events. What do you want your week to feel like consistently? Make sure at least one day in your week is a rest day—for me, that’s Monday—NO WORK. So I go through and cross out every Monday all year long on my calendar. Try it. It’s pretty liberating.
Now this is really important: remember—everything that you’re putting in your calendar should feel good—I mean, really good.
Part of this exercise is realizing that everything you write down is a choice that you get to make. Sure, there are some things that you have to do to keep life for you and your loved ones intact, but if you start writing something in and feel resistance—that is a sure sign that it’s time to take a deep breath and a step back and really consider whether this thing on your to-do is essential to who you want to be this year. The beauty of saying no to something is that it makes room for you to yes to something else!
The key here is: if you have a plan and you have a calendar and it’s set up and it’s something you can visually see—you’re more likely to be cognizant of your time and of what’s possible. In my experience, it will take away that fear of “Oooh! What’s this month gonna be?” and that dreaded, “I’m never have time for anything!” This exercise gives you clarity! Now you know!
OK! Give yourself a big pat on the back once you get this done! Now for the fun part! Now that you know all the certainties of your schedule for the year—now it’s time to put in your soul goals. By that I mean your time to play, time to relax, time with your girlfriends—all the things that really nurture your essence and keep you inspired and energized—these should go into your calendar too! I’d love to help you and your girlfriends celebrate each other with a custom tour—whether it’s indulging in “Dessert First,” taking a Custom Vegetarian Tour (Just ask me!) to kick-start your commitment to a healthier lifestyle this year, or getting your “Galentine’s Day” on with a Progressive Dinner Tour— this is a fun, fabulous and delicious way to continue the habit of self-care through the new year.
I’d love to hear from you about how you’re filling in your calendar for 2017! If you found this helpful or have other amazing tips for organizing the year in a way that feels good, let me know in our Facebook community!
And that’s that. Happy planning!