Year In Review: 4 Ways I Prepared for 2017
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When the holidays start getting closer the talk of the new year seems to ring louder from the mouths of everyone. The whole “new year, new me” term always seems to get saturated months away from the big day. I’m super goal driven. I don’t believe in waiting to start working on my goals. I hate to sound cliche but there is, in fact, no time like the present to make good changes or updates.
I knew that based on how 2016 went for me I wanted to make sure that I was prepared for 2017 mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially. 2016, if you must know, didn’t go as planned. The non-plans actually started in Quarter 4 of 2015. I felt like I got set back so much last year and yet, in the end, it was all for a much bigger, amazing, and needed plan that God had in store.
I understand what it’s like better than anyone to need a break, to feel discouraged, and to feel like progress isn’t being made. 2016 was that year for me. Some amazing things happened - like I hosted my first in-person meetup - and some bad stuff happened - my aunt died unexpectedly and my father was diagnosed with a severe case of congestive heart failure. 2016 was a rollercoaster that I learned to navigate with what felt like closed eyes. Even still the year was beautiful in its own way and I’m thankful to have made it to 2017.
What did 2016 look like for you? Did you spend time reflecting and reviewing your year before starting a new one? After having a year full of odd emotions and no plan, that was going my way at least, I wanted to start this year refreshed, recharged, and encouraged.
1 | I Took A Vacation
(more like my boyfriend surprised me with the vacation).
Even if he hadn’t of surprised me I would’ve taken time off - a few days - or even a week to reflect on my year, how I felt, what happened, and what didn’t work for me to ensure I was mentally prepared for the year. So on our trip, we both disconnected from all devices - including cell phones - for 4 days. I simply brought a few books and my journal to keep me company. Being away from technology and social media for that timeframe was the best thing that I have ever done for myself by far.
Action Step: Book a small trip - a few days or a week if you can - towards the middle and end of each year to give yourself time to recharge.
2 | I Took A Break
Outside of that time away on my vacation when I disconnected, I also decided that I would not accept clients for a month nor would I blog. I don’t think everyone is able to do this but for me, I could and it worked out great. I used this timeframe to focus on revamping my services, making sure that my operations (backend of my business) was working efficiently, and I brainstormed new ideas. After the vacation, my creative juices were flowing and I had clarity like never before.
Action Step: Use at least 1 hour per week to disconnect from your devices and social media.
3 | I Journaled
For whatever reason, journaling has become another what I like to call trendy activity nowadays. I have been journaling since I was about 15 years old or younger and it’s been a vital part of my life. Journaling has always been my coping mechanism to deal with life. I absolutely love documenting my days, how I feel, and what happens. Journaling is a big - me time - activity that I can do whenever and I recommend it to everyone.
Action step: Grab a journal and schedule time to reflect for at least 15 to 30 minutes per day or week so that you can review it later.
4 | I Created My Plan
I knew that to be successful in 2017 I wanted to be sure that as always I created goals for the year. This year I wanted to take a different approach. I wanted to set fewer goals, work less, and work smarter. This meant to me that I needed to be sure each goal had a purpose. I usually do this by simply brainstorming in my notebook, listing out what I need to accomplish, and then what I’d like to accomplish this year (there is a difference). I set maybe 3 to 6 goals for the year and break those down by quarter so I can have a focus. This method is my go-to for staying organized.
Action Step: review your goals for 2017 and make sure that each one has a purpose. If it doesn’t then you know you need to go back to the drawing board and get clear.
5 | I Prayed
Simple. To the point. A must. And Something new. In 2016 and previous years I don’t recall bringing my plans and goals before God. Being the OCD planner and organization junky that I am I would plan for days, months, years and not ask for God’s guidance, blessing or grace as I work toward these goals. I believe the saying, “tell god your plans and watch him laugh”, this was my year in 2016. So I knew that my intentional decision-making started with him first. I prayed hard for so long and he blessed me through the storms at the end of 2016 with everything I needed (most important) and what I wanted.
I prayed over my efforts, my goals, my “ideal” plans and laid them at his feet. I feel more at ease than ever before about “my” plans and he is showing me what that should feel and look like in my day to day. I believe that we can all make better, smarter, and intentional decisions.
Action Step: Pray, Meditate, Be Grateful, and/or just do what's best for you and fits your beliefs.
Do you feel like you had the resources to prepare for 2017? Have you created your intentional plan for this year yet? I’d love to know the answer. I’d love to support you in any way that you think you may need. Use the worksheet to reflect on 2016 and brainstorm what you’d like 2017 to feel, look, and be like for you. Click the graphic to download!