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Planning is one of the many things that comes to the fore at this time of year for me. 

With the festive period looming and all the planning that goes into that and the turning of the year shortly after it is only natural, I suppose, that we begin to think about the  coming year and what we hope it will be. 

This isn’t just about planning for work, although I do that too, it is also about the plans I want to make for my family for the coming year. 

Of course there will always be events which occur and change our plans, if the last two years has taught us anything, it is that literally anything can happen and derail us if we aren’t careful. For me that is all the more reason to make plans though. 

In the past, as I mentioned in this blog, I have always done most of my planning in September, but this year I am going to try a calendar year approach again, to see whether I can make it work yet? I suspect I will always be an academic year person, but I tend to do a mini-plan for the new year anyway, so I can always plan again come September if I feel inclined.

Next year I have some big changes both in my business and personal life which I need to start planning for and mentally preparing myself for too. I am making some big shifts in my business which I am really excited about, but I am also preparing for some of the biggest changes I have ever experienced in my family life too. Over the next twelve months we have concerts and theatre trips planned, some which have been postponed for more than two years already (my husband will be seeing The War of the Worlds, which was his 49th birthday present, just after his 51st birthday!). We have charity balls and weddings which have been delayed due to the pandemic which we will hopefully be able to attend this year and I will have to acclimatise myself to my daughter going to university and all the adjustments that go along with that, practical and emotional. 

If you know me, you know that I am a planner.

I love planning!
I plan everything. I love nothing more than grabbing a handful of pens and a pile of dotted paper and getting all my ideas out on paper.
How can we possibly plan for the coming year when we have no idea what it will look like?
Well, I encourage you to plan for things you have some control over; fitness goals, home improvements, hobbies you would like to revisit or take up, changes to the garden, recipes you want to try… It might sound like playing it small, but these are the things that can change your life immeasurably.

 

Journaling

There are do many ways that we can take time to process the year we have just experienced. Journaling is a great tool for this. Just take a piece of paper and either a pen or pencil and write. Maybe set a timer for 10 or even 20 minutes and write. Don’t filter anything. Just keep writing until everything has spilled out onto the page. 

So often things come out that you hadn’t even realised you were feeling or thinking. it really is a powerful tool.

 

Meditate

Setting the intention that you will have a greater understanding of the experiences you have had in 2020 when you meditate can be a wonderful exercise. You may see people, places or memories, you may receive messages in the form of images or words to help you make sense of things or you may just feel more relaxed, which is never a bad thing.

Create a vision board

A great way to collect all the ambitions and dreams you have for the coming year it to create a vision board. Cut images and phrases out of magazines and arrange them on a board on piece of card or foam. Or create a Pinterest board and then create a digital collage. However you create it make sure you put it someone you will see it every day. (I have mine set as my screen saver). Keeping focused on what you want your life to look like is so important. (watch this video for more information)

Have an attitude of gratitude

Starting your new year with a gratitude practise is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Whether it is starting a gratitude journal where you write 3/5/10/20 things you are grateful for every evening, or waking up every morning and listing three things you are thankful for before you start your day, gratitude is a powerful tool. When you focus on the positives, your brain learns to focus on all the good things in your life and everything feels more positive. 

After two years filled with uncertainty it may feel a little foolish to be making big plans for a year filled with potential disruption again, but in reality, every year is uncertain. We never know what might come up and catch up unaware. We can’t allow that uncertainty to prevent us from fulfilling out dreams and making exciting plans. So whether it is a big business dream or something indulgent and fabulous, make those big plans and dream those big dreams, no-one else can do it for you and you deserve a life filled with excitement and adventure – whatever that means to you.

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