I don’t know about anyone else but for me, when one side of my head is deep in Christmas chaos the other side of my head starts longing to get on with next year’s planning.
So since my brain is searching for things to help me procrastinate I figured I might as well make the most of it, and start thinking about my planner and layouts for next year. After all layouts and planning does relax me which is what I need a good dose of too!
I’m not ready to get in to the nitty gritty of next year quite yet, but I can start to channel that new year energy and think slightly bigger picture and consider my goals for the year.
‘Goals for the year’ seems very broad and I’m absolutely not suggesting that in December I can plan exactly what I want to achieve next year, or know that I’ll stick to it. But giving myself a bit of a framework for splitting it in to month chunks does help me visualise things a bit better, and gives me a good dose of realism too.
There’s a few different ways of splitting your year up though, and I thought I’d go through a few to maybe give you a few ideas. Obviously what might work for one person won’t be suitable for another - which is the joy of being able to adapt a bullet journal or planner - but the structures are pretty simple but effective and will hopefully kick-start some creativity on your part.
The Spread for when you have lots of areas to keep tabs on
Being a small business owner and a mam to two kids with full schedules, means I need a planner which generally covers both so I can keep an eye on both. If you do have a few areas you want to keep note of, but don’t need anything too detailed, then this monthly grid might be just what you’re after! Each month has a row and spaces for key dates to remember, goals for home and goals for work. There isn’t lots of space for each month, so this isn’t about complex planning but more for headlines at a glance which you can then break down a little more when you reach that month.
The Spread for juggling project planning
If you’re more of a project planner - whether that’s work or home projects (maybe like decorating or renovations) - then having something a little more detailed might really help. If I am doing more in depth planning then I tend to do it in 6 month blocks as if I plan to this level too far in advance the only guarantee is that it’ll happen differently (in my experience at least!). For this spread I’ve got an area for a monthly goal, as well as three points or tasks within it that need completing to achieve it. When you get to each month you’ll possibly need an even more detailed list of to-dos in order to reach your goal, but giving yourself two or three key markers can be a great first step to breaking it down to be more manageable.
The Spread for someone who likes to break things down
My final layout idea takes the monthly project style of set-up and helps break it down for the month. As I haven’t got to this level of planning yet the image for this is a mock-up but I always think it helps having a visual reference for things like this so hopefully you’ll forgive me! One of my key business tasks for February is going to be getting things in place for the spring collection release and a layout like this helps me get things out of my head and down on paper at the start of the month.
Having got my main task for the month, and it’s key markers, identified, I’ve then broken it down week by week into smaller tasks. I can then break this down further in to my weekly spreads, adjusting as the months progresses, but I can always refer back to this to keep me on track and help me refocus if something else does crop up.
The great thing about making your own planner spreads is the versatility of them and how you can adapt as you go.
With this in mind you might want to keep your goal setting spreads to headlines only, and give yourself some flexibility to drill down a bit more each quarter, or halfway through the year. One thing I cannot stress enough though is to remember why you’re doing the spread in the first place - it should be something to help motivate you and help bring you some focus if you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or sidetracked. What it absolutely shouldn’t be is something to make you feel crappy or as if you’ve underachieved so pace yourself and be kind to yourself. And don’t ever be afraid to start again with something that might work better for you using what you’ll have just learned about yourself.
I hope your 2022 ends in a gentle, cosy and positive way and that 2023 gets off to a cracking start - see you in January!