I’m a sucker for a plan. Even if it comes out sideways or a tinge outlandish, even if it never comes to be, I love the process of planning. I love going into a quiet, reflective, creative space and bringing forward onto paper what might be. And what I want to be.
It’s so fun.
It’s open play at the mind and imagination jungle gym.
And it’s powerful. It’s where the alchemy of actualization begins.
So every year, like a child at Christmas, I anticipate all the planning goodies for annual planning that spring up around the web. Sometimes, I toy with the idea of making my own. Then I see the beauty and utility of everything that other creatives have created and I lose the idea altogether. Once you explore these options, you’ll see what I mean.
If this is your first time diving into end-of-the-year reflection and forward-thinking annual planning, welcome to the tribe.
There is no particular way to do it but the way that your gut guides you. Some people draw. Some don’t. Some treat it like a messy art projects. Others make neat lists. Your way is your way. Learning that way is part of the process.
Likewise, there is no particular workbook or set of questions that is better than any other. Here again, listen to your gut.
I started off with a simple set of questions on a Word document. This served me for a few years. I like the clean, simple nature of it.
Then I discovered Leonie Dawson’s wild, colorful workbooks and I tried her out for a year. This opened the dam now I use a variety of resources and planners. Each year is different from the next.
This year I’m using:
> A beautifully straightforward business planning workbook made by Illana Burk of Makeness Media, called My Year In Review. I pretty much love everything she does – equal parts snarky, whip smart and beautifully designed. She’s my girl.
> Last year a friend clued me into Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead and I instantly fell in love. It’s sacred geometry-inspired design and gorgeous colors are what initially drew me in. It’s that and the concise but reflective way the workbook walks you through reflecting backward and planning forward that keeps me coming back. The beauty and utility here are magic.
> And just because I like a steady rhythm, I’ll be answering these questions – 5th year running:
- 10 greatest things that happened in the past year:
- I’m most proud of these three accomplishments from last year:
- Three lessons I’ve learned from last year are:
- Three personal developments I’ve made in the past year are:
- If I could do things again, I would do these three things differently last year:
- Three things I need to do less of in the next year are:
- Three things I need to do more of in the next year are:
- Three things I need to stop completely doing in the next year are:
- Three reasons I didn’t achieve some goals from this past year are:
- Smartest decision I made last year:
- Biggest risk I took this past year:
- Three goals I want to achieve in the next year:
- What will prevent me from achieving my goals for next year:
- One sentence that sums up this past year:
- One year from right now, I want to describe my year like this:
Maybe this is way too much planning for you. That’s cool. Do it your way. Do you.
I just encourage you to do something.
And, because everybody’s a unique snowflake, here are a few others I’ve used and loved over the years:
Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year workbooks
Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map
Chris Guillebeau’s Annual Review
I've loved and used the Fascination Advantage for some time now - and even taught an entire workshop that leveraged each participant's unique advantage in their business.
It's really great stuff.
And because I'm a member of their Project Fascinate, they sent me 100 free assessments to give away so naturally I'm giving them to you. Follow the link below and use the code. This is only good until Jan 14th! So don't delay dear heart.
Use the code: JOY-iamfascinating
(only the first 100 people get to take the assessment for free)
Keep dreaming. Keep planning. Keep knowing that everything is possible and you are impossibly powerful to make it real. I believe in you.