Can you believe we are at the end of another year? We’re also at the end of a decade!
It seems hard to believe how quickly the last 10 years have flown by. At the end of 2009, my kids were 10 and 7. We lived in a different home in a different town. I was finishing up a year of working part-time at my church as the interim children’s minister.
Fast forward to now and my kids are 20 and 17. One is in college and the other is on her way next year. I’m still working at my church part-time but in a different capacity. I’ve also had the opportunity to write and speak in various ways over the last 10 years.
Now looking ahead to the new decade I know I’m facing a lot of life changes, just as everyone else is. In the coming decade, I’ll be an empty nester, turn 50, and will possibly become a mother-in-law and grandmother. It’s crazy to think about some of the things that could happen in the next 10 years.
Before we get too far into the new year and decade, I want us to talk about how we can get set for what is ahead of us. While we can make all the plans in the world, the reality is we are not totally in charge of what will happen. The Lord may allow some challenges to occur, our friends and family may make decisions that affect us in negative ways, and most likely we’ll make choices that will have some difficult consequences.
So, while we can plan, we’ve got to remember to hold those plans loosely and let God lead us. When our plans go off track, we need to be ready to seek God and His direction during those times.
With that in mind, though, I do believe that God wants us to be prepared in life. I don’t think He expects us to sit around and wait on Him to act in every single area of our lives. We must be about doing what we know to do.
Four Ways to Get Set for the New Year
Set Your Intentions
You can do this in a couple of ways. First, you can set actual goals that will help you make measurable progress in important areas of your life.
A second way is just by figuring out what you want life to look like in the new year. Maybe your life this year has been hectic, chaotic, and busier than you’d like it to be. If that’s the case, your intention for 2020 could be to slow down where you can and find peace instead of letting chaos reign.
Set your home
You can work to get your Christmas decor taken down and put away and do a mini deep cleaning of your home. If you have some extra time, and I know a lot of you may not even have time to take down your Christmas decor, but if you do have time, you could pick one or two areas to declutter and organize.
Having your home set for the new year will help you start 2020 with a greater sense of peace and accomplishment. I know when I make the effort to get all the Christmas decor put away before January 1, I feel so much better.
If you’re like me and will have older kids at home and a spouse who will be off work a few days, you can take advantage of being able to have them help you. Our family can make quick work of putting away Christmas. Then I am able to do a deeper cleaning of our home.
I don’t always take time to work on decluttering and organizing areas of my home at this time of year. However, there are a couple of places that have been bothering me for the last couple of months that I want to tackle. Now in the interest of honesty and transparency, I’ll have to admit these projects may not get done by January 1. But I do plan to have them done before my kids start back to school in mid-January.
Set your planner
It doesn’t matter whether you prefer a paper planner, a digital solution, or a combination of both. You need to have some kind of planner.
If you don’t have a specific place where you keep track of your work and commitments, now is the best time to figure that out. You need to decide if you want to use a paper planner, a digital method, or some kind of combination of paper and digital. I personally use a combination. Once you figure out what kind of system you want to use, then you can set your planner for the year.
One way I set my planner for the year is to write down all the important dates that I know about. I use a paper planner to plan my time, work, and to-dos. However, I use my iPhone calendar app to keep up with dated and timed obligations. So really as new appointments come up, I put them in the calendar app on my phone. And birthdays roll over from year to year so I don’t worry about having to put them in each year.
But for my paper planner, I’ll go ahead and put important dates in there. I use an undated planner. It’s actually a planner I’ve had created that I sell in my shop on The Planning Woman website. You can check it out here.
I normally don’t fill out each month until a few days before the month begins. Because it is a paper planner and because plans can change, I have found it best to use the calendar app on my phone to know for sure when I have appointments and obligations and then I’ll add them to my paper planner as it gets closer to the month.
At the beginning of each month in my planner, I have a page called “Brain Dump.” This is where I list out all the tasks I can think of that I need to do in a particular month. While I normally fill this page out when I’m getting ready for that month, I will go ahead before the year starts and fill in some tasks that I know need to happen in certain months.
For instance, maybe you like to keep track of routine maintenance in your home. This brain dump page is a great place to write down the maintenance tasks you want to take care of that month.
I also use this page to help me remember when I need to make certain appointments. Or when I need to follow up with someone about a task. It helps me so much to get down what I can before the year begins so I’ll be reminded at the right time to do important tasks.
Another way you can set your planner is to figure out how you are going to manage your time. Maybe you feel like time gets away from you every day. You’re not sure where the time went and you don’t know how to make the best use of your time.
I’ve mentioned in previous episodes that I love to use a time blocking system. This system allows me to plan my day out ahead of time while still giving me some flexibility for unexpected interruptions or tasks that take longer than planned.
I have gone into more detail about this system in the past. So I won’t do that again today. However, I do want to share something new I’m going to be doing in 2020. In The Planning Woman Community Facebook Group, I’m going to be hosting a live monthly planning session.
I’ll be your planning partner and will help you learn how to make time blocking work for you. Even though the sessions will be hosted live, you’ll always be able to view the replay at a later time. So I invite you to join The Planning Woman Community group so you can join in on these planning sessions. Click here to join the group.
Set your attitude
This kind of goes along with setting your intentions. However, you can set your intentions and have great ideas, plans, and goals, but if you don’t have a good attitude, chances are you won’t achieve your goals and you may be miserable in the process.
2019 was a hard year for me. With my dad passing away in January, I feel like there has been this cloud hanging over me. While not a thick cloud, everything I’ve done or tried to do this year has been clouded by his passing. It’s still over a month before we make it through a full year of firsts without him.
So I’m setting my attitude for 2020 as one that will be more positive and uplifting. I’ll be pursuing ways that will help me work through the grief and funk I’ve experienced this year. I know that my dad would not want me to be down all the time. So I’m going to work at having a good attitude as best as I can.
What about you? What is your attitude going to be like in 2020? I’m sure none of us would say we plan to be grumpy or grouchy. However, if we don’t intentionally try to pursue a positive attitude, then we’re more susceptible to having a negative attitude. Especially when things don’t go as planned.
I think attitude makes all the difference in anything we try to do. It makes success that much sweeter if we have a positive attitude. It can make failures more devastating if we have a negative attitude.
So I encourage and challenge you to be intentional about the kind of attitude you will pursue in 2020.
Well, are you ready for the new year and new decade? I’m super excited about the possibilities!
I’ve already mentioned the new monthly planning sessions I’m going to have in The Planning Woman Community Facebook group. I also want to share another new thing I’m doing in the group.
In January, I’m launching the Live It Out Coaching Program hosted in the community group. Once a month I’m going to have a live coaching session in the group. Each month’s coaching will be based around a different theme.
You’ll also notice a lot of the episodes each month will be based on the theme I’m teaching about that month. In January we will be focusing on wellness. There will be printable worksheets available in the group for each coaching session. You are definitely going to want to be a part of this coaching opportunity.
Did I mention that the group is free? I’m a part of some paid Facebook groups where I receive the kind of coaching and training that I’m offering The Planning Woman Community group for free. Click here to join the group.