As a Gen Xer who was born in the 70s but came of age in the 80s, preparing for year 2020 has me shook. Shook I tell you!
Seriously, how many pop culture moments were based on life in futuristic 2020? We had such high hopes for this year; flying cars, recreational space travel, teleportation and so much more. To be honest, we have actually achieved quite a bit through the latest technological advances. Holograms are a thing. Virtual reality is real. And we are well on our way to destroying the planet forcing us to migrate to Mars.
But all jokes aside, the year 2020 is truly special. For starters, it is the beginning of a new decade. You have a fresh 10 years to do some amazing things. It is also this sort of magical combination of numbers that we use to represent perfect vision. When you bring those two components together, you are working with a powerful combination and anything is possible! Even the impossible!!
The best way to take advantage of this moment in time is to plan. The end of the year lends itself to planning. It is a great time to pause and reflect on all that has happened in the previous 365 days. This will help you with visioning what you want 2020 to look and feel like.
Because I’ve been doing this as a practice for a while now, I’m going to share a few of the things I do to plan for my new year. Hopefully, it will help you plan for an amazing 2020!
REFLECT: Create space in your day to reflect on the current year. Give yourself at least an hour to look back at the previous 365 days. The important thing to remember with this exercise is to be honest with yourself. You need to tell yourself the truth about where you are so you can plan for what you want in 2020. This is a judgement free zone. If you missed the mark on anything this year, that’s ok. You have a brand new year to course correct! So, grab a notebook and jot down your answers to the following questions:
- What were you able to accomplish?
- What did you plan to accomplish but didn’t complete?
- What new habits did you adopt?
- What practices did you abandon?
- What did you pursue that set your soul on fire?
- What are you 100% leaving behind in 2019?
- What do you want to be different in 2020?
You might have your own questions that help you do a deep dive, but once you’ve completed the reflection exercise, you’re ready to plan for the future.
REVIEW: Read through your answers to the previous reflection questions. What are the most common themes you see in your answers? Overall, are you happy with how 2019 went? If not, use that knowledge to drive your plans for 2020. If you are, use that knowledge to drive your plans for 2020. You see how that works? Everything that happens in your life for better or worse is part of your story and part of your journey. Use all of it to fuel your future. If you’re unhappy with things, that can help you think about what changes you need to make next year. If you are happy, it can help you think about how you can take that to the next level in the new year. Whatever you need to leave behind, give yourself permission to kiss it GOOD-BYE! And then free yourself to receive more of what you need and desire to thrive and experience true joy in 2020.
RENEW: Now it’s time to renew your commitment to yourself to be the best you in the most consistent way possible for 2020. No self-sabotage allowed. To do this, you need to identify your intentions or goals for the new year. Grab that notebook again and give yourself 1 minute to write down your top 3 intentions or goals for 2020. Even if you have more than 3, I want you to focus on 3 solid things you can commit to achieving in the next 12 months. Be specific because the goal is to actually accomplish what you put on the list. Once you have that list of 3 intentions or goals, it’s time to start making a plan!
MAP IT OUT: I am a visual person who loves words, so my favorite thing to do is make mind maps. For this exercise, you are going to map out the steps to accomplish your three intentions or goals. You don’t have to do a mind map if that’s not your cup of tea. The point here is to identify and write out what you need to do to be successful in your 2020 plans. Some goals might have 5 steps, others might only have 3. Give yourself a few minutes to focus on each goal. What are the milestones you need to reach in order to be successful? Jot those down under each intention or goal. This step helps you to fully see what is necessary to make it happen. For example, one of my 2020 goals is to purchase a home. There are a few milestones I need to hit in order to make that happen. My list might include the following: save for downpayment, secure a lender, find a realtor, make a list of what I want in a house, etc. After you complete your map, you want to give yourself some realistic deadlines to make sure you are able to make progress on your intentions and goals.
PUT IT IN ACTION: The last step in the planning process is to actually take action. You have identified what you want to accomplish in 2020. You have committed to working toward those intentions and goals. You identified what steps you need to take to be successful. You gave yourself some deadlines to help guide your progress. Now it’s time to get to work! In order to sustain your progress throughout the year, you’re going to need a few tools to keep you on track. Here are a few things I keep in my toolkit that might be useful to you.
- Planner – I use the Passion Planner because I love the combination of mindmapping, calendaring and journaling all in one. I also really love the story of how the company was started. I supported the kickstarter and have continued to purchase a Passion Planner every year. I personally use washi tape, stickers and really cool markers to decorate and fill out my planner. Making it a creative process keeps me faithful to weekly planning.
- Project Management Apps – I am a super organized and detail-oriented person by nature so project management tools are my jam. These apps can be as robust or as basic as you want. Some to check out are Trello, Planner, or Asana. You can also achieve the same thing using your Google Calendar or iCalendar and tasks list. Find a system that works for you, but the benefit of using an app of some kind is that you get reminders and updates of important deadlines to better help you track your progress to goal.
- Accountability partner – It is always a good thing to invite someone you trust into your process to help hold you accountable. This person can check in with you regularly to see how you’re doing, encourage you to keep going, and even help you redirect if you find that things aren’t working. An important thing to remember is that even our best plans can be altered by life’s circumstance. You might need to make adjustments or even revisions to your 2020 plans, but a good accountability partner will help you to see when that is necessary and how to best do it.
Now that I have shared my planning wisdom with you, I can’t wait to hear how you have planned for 2020 and all the awesome things you’re going to accomplish in the next 12 months. Do check in and let me know how it’s going. I want to cheer you on as you knock it out the park in 2020!