Planning for the year doesn’t need to be done on January 1

Photo of my bullet journal.

The beginning of January is typically when people feel like making goals and starting fresh, but that has not been the case for me in recent years. One, because the holidays extend into January in our house, and, two, because I decided hibernating is a better use of the month. That being said, I do spend time slowly throughout this month thinking about the previous year and the year coming up.

Looking back

As I look back, I make notes in my bullet journal about how I am feeling overall; where I am at in terms of relationships and health; what didn’t work over the past year; what did work, and any other thoughts that stick out. It doesn’t usually take me all that long, but it helps to give me an idea of what I want to focus on for next year. 

Looking forward

Looking forward, I chose a focus for the year. For 2017, my focus is gratitude. It is something that has come up repeatedly over the last few months during my readings. Knowing the areas I struggle with personality-wise, I feel like gratitude is something that has the ability to keep me grounded and focused.

At the beginning of each month, I have a page in my bullet journal where I keep track of my goals for the month. I try hard to always include something tangible that helps me remain focused on gratitude. Right now that includes studying and implementing mindfulness into my everyday routine. Maybe next month will be reading a specific book — anything to keep it at the forefront of my mind. 

Slow is OK

If you are a goal-oriented, January 1st planner, that is awesome. If you are not, don’t be discouraged. It is OK to take the time to sit with thoughts and approach the year a little slower. It took me a long time to figure out this is what works best for me. I encourage you to figure out what works best for you, and where you are right now.

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