As a year comes to a close, I find two things to be super important:
Looking Back – What are some of my fondest memories of the year? What were my biggest successes? What worked and what didn’t?
Looking Ahead – What are some can’t-miss events/activities? What are my goals for the year ahead? What are some smaller steps I can take to get there?
For me, one of the most vital tools in achieving my goals is my planner (surprise, surprise!). Every year in the late fall/early winter, I sit down for a few days of planner prep.
Over the years, my list of things to remember for this prep time has grown, and while I don’t dare say it’s complete, here are a few things you might want to make a note of as you begin to set up your 2019 planner.
(1) School Dates
I don’t know about your school district, but ours has a lot of off days – holidays, teacher planning days, half days, and more! It’s so important for me to write all those dates in my planner, as sometimes my plans have to be made around them. Whether it’s for planning bigger family vacations, knowing when I might need to take time off for field trips or shows, or booking doctor’s appointments, making note of school closures is a vital early planning step.
(2) Doctors Appointments
And speaking of doctors… All too often, our health gets pushed to the back burner, squeezed in only if possible, or even worse, out of emergency. Make a list of all the doctors you know you should be seeing, and make all the appointments now. That includes an annual check-up, an annual visit to the gyno for the ladies, two visits to the dentist, and any specialists you need, if any. Make yourself and your health a priority this year!
(3) Goals and Benchmarks
While it’s important to set goals for yourself, it’s equally important to think through the steps to achieve them. Rather that making a note in the back of your planner that says, “Lose 20 pounds,” maybe make a note every Wednesday to take a long walk or another to take part in Meatless Mondays. Breaking things down into smaller, more manageable steps make the bigger goals a lot easier to get to.
In addition to these bigger ones, I personally also make a note of several other things. When movies I want to see come out. When my favorite TV shows comes back on. Big events at work like Move-In Day and Commencement. Any deadlines I already know about. Plus, I always include reminders for people’s birthdays and any related gifts or cards I need to get.
Whatever you choose to include in your planner, better too much than not enough. Really take the time to think about what you want to achieve and plan in a way that helps you get there!
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