We’re coming to the end of another whirlwind year, with the new year just around the corner. And it’s about this time, as we’re wrapping up tasks before a little festive break, that we like to start thinking about how we’re going to prepare for the new year.
And that looks like a lot of different things.
We reflect, take stock, and debrief. We clean up and clear out. And, of course, we do a little future planning.
We find that these types of strategies really serve us so well as we head into another year. So if you’re looking to get prepared for the new year, we can definitely share what we’ve learned!
Let’s look at some ways we’re preparing for the new year.
How To Prepare the New Year
1. Take stock of where you are now
We start our new year preparation by first taking stock of where we are now. We want to know what our previous year looked like, the successes and challenges we faced, and how we’ve grown. Rather than focusing on the future first, it’s important to understand where you currently are before taking a few steps into the unknown.
Then, when do start planning, you’re starting from the most realistic place.
Spend some time thinking about all that’s happened this past year. What did you achieve in the past year? What didn’t go as planned? This will help you set realistic goals for the new year.
Take a moment to pause and reflect on all of the good things that have happened in your life this past year. This can include successes, lessons learned, memories made and connections forged.
Really take stock of all that transpired in the year. This is especially beneficial if you’re feeling a little deflated when you look at all that didn’t quite get done.
And this brings us nicely to our next strategy…
2. Focus on your wins
Once you’ve processed all that’s taken place over the year — the good and the bad — we then like to shift our attention to all our wins.
We start to write down everything we consider a win. And the best part about this exercise is how full the list is by the end of the exercise! It’s so easy to forget about what was actually achieved when there’s this mad rush to “finish the year strong.”
Without this time of reflecting on the wins, it can feel like you barely make it over the finish line. But in fact, you’ve already won this year’s race!
Amazing, right?!! So that’s why we like to focus on the wins.
The ones we planned and worked really hard for. And the ones that happened unexpectedly. All of them.
Besides boosting our serotonin (a massive plus come the end of the year!), we find this activity really puts us in the right frame of mind to begin planning and strategizing for the new year.
3. Set new goals for the new year
And now, in our happy frame of mind, with all that serotonin coursing through our system, and feeling super proud of all we accomplished this past year, we start to plan for the new year.
We plan the new goals we wish to pursue, the milestones we want to achieve, and the steps towards our “big goals” that we want to take in the new year.
In addition, we also internalize this planning by thinking about the personal goals we want to achieve, both in a work capacity, as well as in our personal lives. This even includes some positive habits we would like to form.
4. Develop an action plan
We then look at how we’re going to achieve all our ambitions as we prepare for the new year.
We make sure that our goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based). Doing this helps us create a roadmap for the upcoming year and gives us direction as we move into the next phase of our strategies.
This is a super important set! Because, as I’m sure you’re aware, setting goals that you want to achieve is the easy part. It’s actually making a plan of action and taking the necessary steps to reach them which can be difficult.
Which is why we set those SMART goals.
As a brief overview:
• Specific: Define your goals in a clear and concise manner.
• Measurable: List concrete ways to measure your progress.
• Attainable: Make sure that the goals you set are actually achievable.
• Relevant: Be sure that your goals align with your overall values and objectives.
• Time-based: Set realistic deadlines for when you will achieve your goals.
For us, setting SMART goals is really what allows us to celebrate plenty of wins when December rolls around again.
5. Clean up and clear out
Next, we do some cleaning up, clearing out, and some serious decluttering. It’s time to clear out anything that doesn’t serve you well. First up, we clear up our workspaces, but to really prepare well for the new year, apply this to your personal space as well.
It’s a great time to clear out all that doesn’t serve you, the clutter you’ve collected over the course of the year, and the things that no longer spark any joy.
Besides practically breathing new life into your space, and letting you start the new year on a clear state, there is also a symbolic benefit to cleaning out the year’s clutter. Removing what isn’t useful anymore symbolizes letting go of the past to make space for new, exciting things for the future.
So put in the effort to get rid of the clutter, and you will give yourself the opportunity to start the new year with more clarity and purpose!
6. Rest and recharge for the new year
And finally, our last strategy when it comes to preparing for the new year, is to prioritize time to rest and recharge.
If you want to start the new year fresh, you need to take some time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate before the new year begins.
Making time for yourself will create a sense of balance and mental clarity so you can feel confident and excited about what’s ahead in 2023. Even though it’s the holidays, aim to get some good rest, so that your body has the chance to destress and recharge.
Amongst family time and all the festive activities, make time for the things that rejuvenate you. Cook, read, go for walks, meditate, watch a Christmas movie marathon (or listen to some festive podcasts!) or just spend that quality time with your loved ones. Just be sure to do these things so that you start the new year rested, rejuvenated, and ready for all that lies ahead.
These are the tried and tested strategies we use to help us prepare for the new year. Preparing for the new year is far more than taking stock of your perceived shortcomings and then setting new goals for the new year!
You have to spend that time reflecting, but don’t neglect celebrating everything you did achieve! Then you can dream up all those big goals you want to achieve in 2023. Clear out, declutter, and take stock, but don’t forget to rest and recharge!
Put our strategies into practice, and you’ll be sure to start the new year off on the right foot!