Planning for the new year & honouring a slow start

As with every new start, I have a keen instinct to sit down and make a ‘plan’. This year has been no different in many ways. Teeming with lists, goals and to-dos as long as my arm. But at the same time, I am also trying to take a step back.

I am of course, still an avid planner – I can’t help it, it’s an inbuilt reflex! So, I wanted to share with you a few of the ways in which I have begun to organise my business in 2019.

12 Week Planner by Josephine Brooks– This has to be my favourite tool that I have used when planning so far. At first, I felt a little overwhelmed to have to select only 3 goals to focus on for the next 12 weeks. I have since realised that by honing my attention and focusing on just 3 things, I would actually be more likely to achieve some of my goals opposed to diluting all of them. I began the plan from this week (Monday 7thJanuary) and have really found myself regularly referring to it. I have popped it behind the door in our spare room – unfortunately I don’t have a dedicated desk space in our flat – but I am still loving the fact that I have it up nice and big somewhere I can easily look at. My top tip is to also take a photo of your planner on your phone, that way, when you are working in a café or elsewhere you can still look back at what you have planned for that week or the weeks ahead.

Bullet Journal Method– I know that this one has been around for some time now but with the new year ahead I thought I would give it a try. So far, I am really enjoying it. You can watch a tutorial here if you’re not quite sure what it is. I chose the recommended Leuchtturm 1917 dotted notebook as it already had the page numbers in and a ready-made contents page. Initially I got a little bogged down in whether it had to look a certain way or crafted into some kind of art piece. But now that I have broken it in, I am using it as easily as a regular notebook. The difference is that I can now find all of the lists I am making by using the contents page feature. If you’re a regular list maker like me I really recommend it. It is also encouraging me to journal a little more which is something I haven’t explored for a good few years. You can watch Lily Pebbles’ YouTube video here for more inspiration – I found her breakdown and how she uses her bullet journal to be the most helpful guide.

The January Book by Hannah Bullivant & Unravel Your Year 2019 by Susannah Conway – Both of these online resources have been so beneficial but in slightly different ways. The January Book by Hannah Bullivant has been an incredibly useful tool for myself and my husband to discuss the life we would like together. It has acted as a brilliant platform to start conversations on certain topics and has actually made us action quite a few of our goals already. We worked through it on our trip to Lulworth Cove and I think it really helped being away from our flat so that we could focus on our January book. Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year 2019 has been helpful from the perspective of marrying up personal and business goals for the coming year. I am only part way through but already it is making me ask myself lots of thoughtful questions which are giving me clarity on the year to come. As with The January Book, you will want plenty of time to think about your answers for Unravel Your Year 2019 so I am working through this one a little bit at a time.

Courses & Memberships

Then going into 2019 I have also signed myself up for a few programmes to really maintain levels of accountability and keep me on track with my word of the year; nurture.The first one is the Fearless Beginnings Members Club run by Anna Dunleavy. I have been a fan of Anna’s podcast; Fearless Hustle Collective, for quite some time – especially whilst I was commuting an hour each way when I worked at the office. The membership focuses on gaining clarity, visibility and accountability and includes 90 days of group coaching, Facebook Lives with experts and a supportive online community.

The other big one I have signed up for is The Insta Retreatrun by Sara Tasker. This has been a course on my list for the longest time, so I am very excited to have the opportunity to join in as a way to start the year off. Once again, I would like to bring some accountability into how I use Instagram as well as a way of connecting with more likeminded creatives. Both The Insta Retreatand the Fearless Beginnings Members Club are investments for this year but it is all part of my goal to nurture both my skills and confidence.

So, although all of that might not seem like a slow start, I feel that now I have my goals and aims clearly thought through I can put my focus into actioning them with gentle energy and ease. As I spoke about in my Seasonal working in the midwinter months post, even when things get busy you can still have a sense of calm and simplicity as a matter of perspective. Not something that comes naturally to me but an outlook that I am hoping to take into the new year with me.

So what tools are you using for planning this year? Have you decided not to make a specific plan for 2019? I would love to learn more about how you are organising your business for the coming year.

Author: Johanna Charlton

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  • So happy to be in the Fearless Beginnings Club with you and find your blog 🙂 Our way to start the year in an intentional way looks pretty similar really! I have been bullet journaling for three years now, but I am currently reading the book which has inspired me to use it in new ways, to journal more, and to prioritise better. I have also been inspired by Josephine’s 12 week planner system. So far I really like the quarterly planning. It gives me the feeling I am more on top of things and actually getting things done on the right projects, instead of feeling all over the place. This year I have deliberately freed up time in the first quarter to spend more time with planning and prioritising. I am more of a doer than a planner, and often I just throw myself into way too many fin projects and end up feeling totally overwhelmed and overworked. So really taking the time this year to focus my attention and time on the things that matter most to me 🙂
    I hope you have a productive and fulfilling year!!!

    • Hi Isis, thank you for your lovely comment 🙂 Hopefully, great minds think alike and we are onto a winning method with the bullet journals and Josephine’s 12 week planner! So interesting that you’re reading the book, I wasn’t sure whether to get stuck into it or not. Maybe for next year when I have got into the swing of bullet journalling and just need that next phase to keep it all structured! Such a good idea to carve out time for planning, I really feel like it helps me stay organised and on track with anything I am hoping to achieve. I hope you have a very productive year too, see you in the Fearless Beginnings Club lovely! x