I love the beginning of a new year. It is like a clean slate, a new box of crayons, or a brand new notebook. Clean. New. The failures of the past year are behind me, and I can make plans to spend this year to be more productive and to make improvements on the past.
For the past few years, my hubby and I have scheduled intentional time, twice a year, to plan. This has been so helpful as we look to the new stages in our lives, new stages of development in our children, and new growing seasons at our farm. Life is so busy at home, that we need this time to think, reflect and recharge. Below are some ways we have found to make the year more productive.
PLANNING FOR A MORE PRODUCTIVE, INTENTIONAL YEAR
1. Schedule time to get away from the daily grind to plan. For us, it is two days away in a hotel room with good food nearby. We also use the time away to celebrate our mutual birthdays or anniversary:). I know that is not possible for everyone, but even an afternoon at the library or quiet coffee shop can also give you time to think and plan.
2. Think through your personal goals for the year. What do you hope to accomplish this year? Planning is very individualized but ideas for goals can include personal health, finances, spiritual, business growth, friendships, marriage, new skills or education.
3. If you are a parent, plan goals for your children and family. What are the strengths you would to encourage in them? What are their weaknesses you would like to help them with? Can you help them learn to be more diligent cheerful workers, or more patient with their siblings?What will we do to promote family relationships?
4. Plan household organization and chores. Every year is different and sometimes we need to re-think the way we do things. or who does those things, in order to stay on top of life’s craziness.
5. Rethink weekly activities and involvements. Are your activities and commitments helping you reach your goals? Is your involvement in these things hindering your goals? I was recently asked to be a part of two different committees. I asked if they would wait for an answer until after this planning weekend. I want to make sure that the commitments I make to others are for the good of our family and our goals, and the best use of the time and talents God has given me. There are many great activities out there, but are they right for you? Think and pray through these things before you say, “Yes.”
6. Plan your calendar. Go ahead and decide vacations, long weekends, garden planting, celebrations, family workdays, and your next planning session now. You can get better deals on hotels etc. in advance and important dates will be less likely to sneak up on you and cause stress. We even think through this years’ Christmas plans NOW.
That saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, is true. It’s also true that we don’t always reach all our goals perfectly, but we are much better off than if we had done no planning at all.
How are you planning to be more productive and intentional this year?