Every December I plan for the New Year, to have everything planned and organized. For me, this is a great way to reflect, learn and think about what I want.
But in 2022 I learned that life happens.
Yes, going abroad was a 3-year plan.
Yes, we started dreaming about it (and then we started creating the right opportunities) in 2020.
But, yes, some things were unplanned.
Even if life happens, I still need the urge to plan my 2023 without having the ambition of having to achieve who-knows-what-goals but trying to get small monthly victories. I plan my habits and the steps I want to take to achieve a dream. As it was for the goal of “living abroad” that I had in 2020. And now this is becoming true.
I use a very personal and subjective method that I’m sharing here. Let me know what you think about it and what’s your method in the comments!
I categorize the goals into: finances, emotions, work/study and health + I add a random category for the extras (such as “things I would like to try”).
And I follow 4 steps to create habits.
I know, I’m obsessed. Or maybe not. I think that yes, it’s too much. But it makes me feel well, so let’s dive into the process!
PS this also lets me reflect on the things I want to build but am not able to. This process helps me understand what situations I need to create and what opportunities my future self will need, remaining true to my present self. Studying in Colombia was an 8 months goal, and India was a 12 months goal. Some things don’t happen by night. But for others (as The Unplanned Project) I want to see what life is going to give me. Learning how to knit was not a goal. It happened that I was interested in it, and it was great, for example.
I always take my time to reflect on the past year. I ask myself what I have learned during the past year (and I also wrote an article about it), which are the aspects I didn’t focus on,and what are the victories I achieved.
2022 has been intense for me.
I had the chance to pay more attention to my inner balance, slowing down and learning new things about myself.
I’ve been pretty focused on my job (I started the year as a new Head of Communications) and I achieved my goals (that I’m not going to share here, because they are related to other people).
I should have had a more balanced diet and I would have liked to move my body more. But I’ve been able to create an easy routine to move my body.
I saved what I wanted and I started investing with more awareness.
And I tried the new things I wanted to, such as riding a horse!
2. Don’t plan resolutions, plan actions.
It is estimated that 93% of people who have New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve them. Because the resolutions are not SMART. We need Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Related resolutions to achieve them for real.
That’s why I don’t like imagining only the “resolutions” for 2023, rather I try to make them real activities that will impact my daily life. That’s why I try to create good habits during the year.
And I do the same thing, I categorize all the goals and write down the habits I want to implement.
I would like to find the right inner balance I need, continuing to learn new things about my deep self.
Habits: listening to “personal growth” podcasts on a weekly basis and reading at least 3 books about it in 1 year.
(the Resolution is quite generic, but the habits are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Related)
This category is the hardest one because the resolution could sound like “finding a job” (I’m moving to the US and I don’t have a job at the moment).
That’s why this category is going to be empty, 1 year is too much time for the resolution I have.
I want to have a balanced diet and a workout routine.
Habits: cooking at home 80% of my meals, going to the farm market at least 2 times every month and working out at least 3 times every week.
I would like to learn how to save money in a completely different culture and how to invest in the US
Habits: learn something new at least 1 time per month and study that field
I would like to take a dance class.
I would like to start a pottery class.
I would like to travel around the US.
I want to keep in contact with the people I love that are in Italy. Habit: having the habit of video calling who’s at home.
I would like to make friends in the US.
(this is the most generic category and that’s ok for me, I don’t need to plan super clear habits for this task).
But I won’t stop here.
Every month I check my yearly resolutions and I implement all the habits in my routine. I check if they’re ok for me, if I need to adjust them or if I need to delete something.
My long-term goals (12 months) are divided into short-term victories that are reasoned by quarters (in particular the work-related ones).
That’s what’s going to happen with the “work” resolutions: I’ll try to have small goals every 3 or 4 months, and see what the process is going to teach me. Also because starting a new career is a long process, that’s going to take years.
So, every month, I check the past one and I plan the next one. I just need some silence, a smelly candle and a cup of tea….kidding. I try to do it every month, but as said life happens and sometimes I find myself doing this check-up in my mind while commuting, showering or cooking. And sometimes I forget. And that’s ok.
Writing these few pages I had an idea: creating a column where I share how it’s going with yearly resolutions monthly. And, if you want you can share your process by emailing me or in the comments.
Let’s keep this as an idea. As you know, I don’t want to plan here.
In the meantime you can find the Jan 2023 plan here 😉 I’ll try to update it at the end of the month, or I’ll probably forget!
Ps: if you want to try Notion, that’s the tool that I use, you can log in here.