How to Set Your Intentions for the New Year

Have you ever thought at the end of each year, where did my time go? You had all these big plans to get stuff done or achieve that next big thing on your goal list.  You reflect on your year and all you can recall is a blur of being overscheduled, exhausted and wishing you had more days left to make the most of it?  You’re not alone!

Each year my husband and I always take time aside to set goals for the coming New Year. We’ve been doing this since we’ve been together 16 years now. In setting our goals for each year we’ve been able to accomplish every single one of them, but we’d still feel the overwhelm of work schedules, kids schedules, everyone of us over-scheduled or often times double booked.  Last time I checked there’s only one of me and one of him.

We would reflect on the past year in terms of our goals, but never looked into our calendar and where our time was actually being spent. We talked excessively about the need to schedule less and become more intentional with our time. I wanted quality family time and travel more with the kids but felt we were failing miserably at it. We talked so much about the need to schedule less that our youngest often refers to his schedule as “having too much on his plate”. I think I should listen to him more often. I now do this when defining our goals to set our intention for the New Year: A Calendar Review.

How to Set Your Intentions for the New Year with a Calendar Review

Start with your Calendar

Take a look at the past 12 months. I do this by looking at what’s been logged into my calendar on my computer and our our budget for the year. That’ll let me know about all the miscellaneous things that may have not been entered into my calendar. For example: movies, kid outings or events, any day trips or even time spent on home or car maintenance.

The goal of this is to get a realistic view of where your time was spent.  I even take a look into my daily routine. Are you showing up in the way you want to or your spending your time binge watching Netflix? Guilty here! Plus, falling into the rabbit hole of social media. Take a look at it all, the good and the bad.

Decide on your Non-Negotiables 

Deciding your non-negotiable is an important step to planning your year. What are the things that you’ve done this year or you don’t want to do anymore? What are the things you want to experience more of or maybe didn’t get to? You’ve taken a look into your past 12 months. You have a realistic view of where your time was being spent. Now you need to decide how you’ll spend your time, what will you do and what are your non- negotiables for the coming year.

Here are some of ideas to inspire you:

  • I’m no longer binge watching shows or spending the day on social media.
  • I am going to workout daily
  • I refuse to quit on myself . Once I begin something, I will finish it.
  • I’m planning weekly family day trips
  • Date night with my husband twice a month
  • I will say no to solicitations on my time that do not align with my goals and intention for the year.
  • I’ll meal plan each week
  • I will journal daily my goals and intentions for the day

Decide what you want for the year

You’ve set your non-negotiables, now it’s time to create your vision for the coming year. This is your time to dream. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? How are you going to claim back your time? Ask yourself, “How do I need to show up each day?  How do I need to think? What does my end year look like when I’ve committed to my non-negotiables and intentions I’ve set for myself? How do I feel? Am I excited?”

Define what success for the coming year will look like to you. What thoughts will keep you moving forward to your most successful and intentional year? Decide who do I need to be for all this to work? Accept that some things may be difficult or scary to tackle, but make a vow to yourself to move forward anyways. Show up for yourself everyday and refuse to quit.

Time to get into action

Looking back at your past 12 months has geared you up to lay out the foundation for what you want the New Year to look like for you. You’ve written down your non-negotiables and decided how you want to show up each day to have your most intentional year yet.  Now it’s time to get into action, do the work and make things happen for you!

  1. Take time to plan. Really work through your calendar. Be honest with yourself and answer the questions above. Write out your non-negotiables. You need the time to think, free from distractions. I like to head to to nearest bookstore, sit in their coffee shop and plan away.
  1. Focus on the next three months. If you feel you can tackle more try six months. I’ve done both, even the whole year where I’ve mapped out an idea of what I want my  time/schedule to look like. I then go back to it every three months to detail everything in. I find with myself that I am more successful when I can break down my schedule into smaller chunks of time, evaluate what was/wasn’t working and then prepare for the next three months. I’m always planning 3 to 6 months in advance.
  1. Plan with a friend or your partner.  It’s definitely more fun planning with a friend. We’ve labeled these as our “brain dump sessions”. I plan with my husband first talking about what our goals for the coming year and intentions we’d like to set. Then putting it all into action, which means getting it on the calendar, I head out with a friend for the day. We sip lattes and eat sweet treats while scheduling our year. It becomes something I look forward to and I have the accountability to get it all written out before our time has ended.

Lastly, don’t forget to Celebrate!

Completing  a calendar review is a lofty project. It takes time to go through everything, really think, create and visualize your intentions for the New Year. Celebrate yourself!  This year my husband and I took a weekend getaway to plan our 2019 year. We mapped what we wanted for ourselves, our work goals, our non-negotiables, what our family plans are plus vacation time. We then celebrated with bloody mary’s and the most delicious peach cobbler.  

How will you celebrate when you’ve completed your calendar year in review and set your intentions for the New year?

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