After the Problogger Training Event I got really inspired to kick it up a notch and get serious about what I wanted for this blog and for my business. This got me thinking about 2014 in September, like the slightly crazy person that I am, and I decided that I would slowly start focusing on what I want for next year, in the hope that what I do between now and then will mostly be on the right track. And I think, like with Christmas, it’s so much less stressful to think about when it’s still a while away and there’s still plenty of time to prepare.
So, today I’m sharing ways that we can get ready for 2014 before the crazy season starts and it all gets lost in that never ending December to-do list.
What you’ll need:
- A To-Do List Note Pad I got mine from Kikki-K for $9.95
- A Big Month to a Page Calendar I got mine from Officeworks for $7.99 – I chose this one because the mini post-it’s fit in each day perfectly and there is room for notes on the side
- Mini-Post-it Notes I got mine from Officeworks for $4.99 for the fluoro 4 pack
- Notebook I was gifted the ideas notebook at Problogger from Kelly at Oz Blog Hosting
- Coloured Pens, Ball Point (or favourite pen) and a Pencil Mine were picked up on overseas trips and one is a promotional pen from my old university/alma mata
Grab your to-do list first and write down your goals for your business/blog/work/etc for the 2014. Don’t worry about how big or crazy it seems. Little steps lead to big goals. I like to plan out my blog posts in advance so I’ll be writing down blog post ideas on one sheet and business goals on another.
Once you’ve done that, and had a glass of water (or drink of some kind), get out your post-it notes and choose what colour means what. You could do one colour per family member – if it’s for more than just business, or one for each part of your business or even different types of posts for your blog. Using the ballpoint pen (or favourite pen) write your plans down on the post-its.
One idea/post/business opportunity per post-it and fix them to the day that works for you. The beauty of using post-it’s instead of writing directly on the calendar is that if you need to move something to another date, you can just pull it off and shift it around, no white-out required. Because I post here on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I will always have something on those days. I know not everyone blogs in this way, so you might use you calendar differently.
Once you’ve got the items down that have due dates, grab your notebook and jot down any ideas you have that don’t yet have a fixed date, or are things you’d like to pitch. Once you start thinking a little further ahead, often lots of ideas flood into your head that you can’t really place on a calendar just yet. Take the opportunity, if you can, to let your mind wander about where you’d like your business to be or what projects you might be able to do at work or how you’d like your blog to progress.
If you’re feeling brave, set yourself some goals for this time next year. Where would you like your business/blog/work/etc to be then? What would you like to achieve? If that’s all too much for right now, leave it and let it stew. Maybe it will come to you when you’re cooking dinner or reading a book. If you’re not ready, don’t push it, it’ll come when it’s ready.
I love having it all there in front of me to see. I’m one of those people who works best with a goal in mind, so I can’t wait to get January down on paper so I can shuffle it around so it works best for me. For the last couple of years I have chosen a word for the year. I like that it’s open and isn’t so rigid as a list of resolutions can be.
Whilst I’m talking about making lists and putting stuff on paper the best thing about this is that you can ditch those post-its should they not work for you any more. Not set in stone, just something to keep you focused for now. When it comes to words for the year, I dreamt recently that I told someone my word for 2014 was ‘kick-ass’. I really have no idea where this came from, but maybe it’s telling me something, so for now, I’m keeping it! I have to finish 2013’s year of ‘adventure’ first, though. ;)
Do you like planning in advance? Do you like to write it all out or do you prefer to keep it electronically? Tell me in the comments!