Planning Tips For the New Year
Using this year's results to plan next year's performance
The Christmas Season brings great joy to most people, sadness to some and trepidation about the New Year to many.
I hope you are in the first group, share your pain if you are in the second – I have been there for too many Christmases in the past. And assure you that if you are in the third group, you are not alone.
Why should some of us be sad at this supposedly happy time of the year? Why do many face the New Year with anxiety?
Sadness can have many sources, mine was the murder of my father by terrorists between Christmas and New Year many years ago. The sadness intensified by the loss of my home, destruction of my homeland and the forced move to a new country.
After living in the Southern Hemisphere for most of my life where Christmas is celebrated in mid summer, the cold, white Christmases of Canada are both strange and magical, certainly different.
Our First Canadian Christmas
I can't do much to help you be happy or stop you being sad in one short article. However I can share my ideas for reducing anxiety for the New Year.
The celebrations of Christmas, both religious and social are followed for most people by a quiet week of recovery from over indulgent, eating, drinking and spending, catching up with family and friends. Then the New Year festivities, another day or two of rest, recovery and the reality of a new year ahead.
It's that yawning chasm of a whole year of uncertainty in front of us and for many the realisation that in the year just gone, we didn't get as much done as we should have, that causes the anxiety, the trepidation, the niggling uncertainty in our core.
The Review, Learn and Archive system
One of the ways I prepare for the New Year is to use the quiet week between Christmas and New Year to review the year just finished. I go through my diary, my journal where I write each day's action plan, my journal of daily entries of 5 things I am grateful for and 10 things that were right the previous day. I look at what I did, what I achieved, people I met, what I didn't do. I make notes.
Then I review the notes and write down what I learned about what I did right, what I didn't get done, what I could have done better. Those lessons help me create my plan for the new year.
Once I have finished the exercise, I literally and figuratively put the old year behind me, the notes go into a folder. This year it will be marked “archives for 2016”, the folder goes into my filing cabinet and the failures, regrets and disappointments of the year are wrapped up and archived in that folder, not my head.
Then I get on with the plan for the New Year, some simple goals, action plans, 3 words to live by for the year. That will be the subject of another article.
One of the major reasons we don't get enough done in any given year, is procrastination. It's becoming an increasingly serious challenge in our electronically connected world.
Here's a link to an excellent article by James Clear on how to beat procrastination.