Today I am going to share some tips for planning an entire year in advance. Wait? What?? I mean it. I try to plan my year, as much as I can, as far in advance as I can. And today I am telling you HOW I do that.
And one of the ways I do this is by planning my year in advance. I know that probably sounds completely overwhelming, but I promise it’s not. It actually makes life much more simple.
Whether it be pen and paper or digital. It doesn’t matter what you use, if it’s Google calendar, or a fancy customizable one, or something from the Dollar Tree. It just needs to have a CALENDAR.
Anything you know about in advance get it written down.
I know that one of my kids is turning 10 this year and will want to take a trip. So I go ahead and write down when. And I create a brief list of things we want to do. And then I set up a budget and create a sinking fund for that trip.
This year we are working on rebuilding our savings so we have 12 months of cash in the bank. And I am paying college tuition.
We obviously can’t do all of that in one month. We are cash-flowing so we have to schedule it out throughout the year.
Just like the first time you made a budget, it wasn’t perfect, your schedule won’t be perfect either.
Your life has to have flexibility. So any rigidity in your planning is counterproductive.
You have to be realistic about who you are. (And honestly, that’s probably the best piece of advice I could ever give you. It applies to everything.)
There is less confusion
You can look at your calendar and see what you have going on when. You can glance at your calendar and see key dates that aren’t going to be changed.
That way when you need to plan other appointments you know what conflicts you might have.
Here’s a scenario. You have a three-day weekend and lots of goals, but when you go back to work on Tuesday you realize you didn’t really do anything.
By having some things preplanned, you can optimize and maximize your time. I’m not saying you have to spend every weekend working your tail off. But when you’re strategic about how you spend your time you have time to get things done and you have time to REST.
Just like a budget tells you where your money is going to go, having a plan for your time tells you where your time is going to go.
Planning turns your what if’s into let’s do. Let’s say you have dreamed about going to Hawaii. What if instead of just daydreaming you did it. Did you estimate the costs, figure out the time frame for saving and schedule a date to go?
Fill in Hawaii with whatever goal you have. Setting a date and a budget allows you the freedom to actually do these things.
You’re not having big projects sneaking up without knowing the cost. You have done the groundwork so you can get these projects up and moving.
Taking time to plan gives you control. It gives you the power to make good decisions. To focus on the things you want to focus on. To give yourself rest and daydream. It allows you time to focus on family and money.
It gives you the room to focus on things you maybe felt like needed more focus on last year.