Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Finally, one of my most favorite weeks of the ENTIRE year, the week between Christmas and New Years, is here! The perfect time to slow things down, get lost in the concept of time, relax, stay cozy and comfortable and look ahead at all that is to come. This time of the year is so good for reflection on the things of the past, as well as looking ahead for what is to come in the future. Truly, this time is the perfect time to plan ahead for the New Year.
In order to help you make the most of these next few days before we head into 2023, I am going to share with you the 5 Things You Need to Be Doing right now before we end 2022 and head into 2023. And trust me this is NOT one of those lists that is going to completely freak you out and overwhelm you. No, this list is meant to empower you and encourage you and help you move forward in the steps to becoming the person you dream of and desire to be in the new year!
We are in the final run of 2022, ready and eager for the start of a brand new year. The week between Christmas and New Years is a good one. One of my most favorites, to be exact. Full of so many core moments to encourage rest, and to allow a more intentional mindset. Moments to tackle organization, to feel inspired, and to just be cozy and comfy. And all of these moments lead up to the start of a brand new year.
I love new beginnings. The start to a new season. Even if it just the start of another week, I truly love the concept of starting fresh and starting new. And the New Year is exactly that. The start of a fresh, new season full of hope and excitement for all the potential to come.
Throughout most of my life, I would associate the start of a New Year with the expectation for perfection. I would find joy in believing that the New Year would bring a perfect type of living. Full of hope of excelling in all my goals and dreams for that new calendar year.
Well, if you ever find yourself clinging to the standard of perfection, then you know very well just how misleading and disappointing that mindset can be. It is so important, as we head into a New Year to really give ourselves permission to accept who we are in every single way, shape, and form. That we unapologetically love all of us, individually. No matter what kind of day we are having.
My hope through this message is to provide you with 5 little ideas on how to spend your time the week between Christmas and New Years, slowing down, in order to speed up. Resting, in order to grow. To spend quality and intentional time, working to get your mindset right, as well as your heart, as we move ahead into a brand new year! As we work through this list, please be sure that you remove the expectation of perfection from it! With every single thing on this to-do list, understand it and accept it with grace. An unconditional grace, to be understanding and accepting of all that you are, and all who you are in any given moment. Sharing strategies and tactical tips to help you plan out your next year, in order to set the intention for how things are going to be!
The very first step to plan ahead for the New Year is to take a moment for reflection and self-assessment. In order to move ahead, it is necessary to take the time to slow things down! Take a look at where you have been, what has been going on and think about how you are actually doing. Truly reflect on your journey over the past year and come to a conclusion on where you hope to go in the next year. As you do this, extend ample amounts of grace. Remove the pressure from all of this. Remove the expectation.
Additionally, give a self-assessment on your own being in a method to figure out what truly is going well. As well as what areas of your life aren’t working for you and what needs to be changed. This doesn’t have to look in any particular way, instead, just a simple mindset adjustment of reflection and self-assessment to help you gain clarity as you move ahead to the New Year!
Simply have this conversation, and be open and honest with yourself! What are areas where you can improve? What are the areas in your life that can be better? In what areas can you give more of yourself, in order to reach a better outcome! Take time to reflect and self-assess before moving to the new year! Through taking the time to do this reflection and self-assessment, you have the things you need, to develop your own action plan, for the very person you hope to become in the New Year!
The second step to plan ahead for the New Year is to set an intention for the first quarter of the year. There is incredible power in setting an intention. I always love thinking of a word of the year to help clarify my heart on the new year. As well as setting goals and thoughts on the actual things I hope to achieve in the New Year. However, it is necessary to be a little more specific and give ourselves a little bit more grace and freedom as we think about our year as a whole. Instead, focus on little sections of a time. Break down the year into quarters, and focus on three months at a time.
Therefore, in order to plan ahead for the New Year, set an intention for the first quarter of the year. Based on your reflection and self-assessment, what is ONE area you hope to improve upon. Or maybe it is an intention that impacts multiple areas. For our family, our intention for the first quarter is to be more minimal. We are shifting our mindset to all areas of our life, to be more focused on a minimalist approach and lifestyle. In order to consume less.
Think through your own heart and decide what is an intention YOU want to focus on. When you create an intention, it is simply a shift in your mindset. It is telling your mind to start thinking about this. There is room for error, and room for days where things just don’t happen. And plenty of room for grace.
Next on your list of things to do before the New Year is to declutter & clear off your workspace. Now is a great time to take one little corner of your room, your home, or your home office and completely declutter it and clear it off. This is golden. You have the time between Christmas and New Years and you are feeling motivated to start the New Year off more organized. Take that motivation and run with it. Don’t get overwhelmed or feel the need to declutter everything, unless your mindset is determined to do so. Start small, find one little area to declutter.
There is so much power working from a clean workspace. There is so much freedom that comes creatively and magic of the mind when you can work from a clean space. I get it, things can stay cluttered and chaotic, and I usually can survive from that state of existence. However, there is a whole new level of productivity and confidence that can be reached when spaces are decluttered and organized. So even if you are convinced that you can thrive in the messy, challenge yourself to take one little small space within your home, declutter it, clear it off and organize it, and be amazed at what can happen as a result!
Another great task to complete as you plan ahead for the New Year is to set up your planner. This is something I have been doing since I was very little with my monthly wall calendar. My mom and I would sit together at the kitchen table and as my mom would plan out her year with all the pens and color-coding, I would put all the family birthdays on my own calendar. Take the time to set up your planner. Think through how you want to use your planner this year. Write down the fun dates, the birthdays, any trips you have planned, or appointments. This simple task brings so much joy to my heart!
Take the time to set up your planner for the New Year. You can also write down any big projects or events and block those out so you know ahead of time what your year is going to look like! Make this fun! Use your favorite color of pens. Most importantly, operate from freedom, give yourself complete and total freedom in doing this. If things change that’s fine. If plans change that is absolutely okay. Just use this as an opportunity to let your mind run as you plan ahead for the New Year!
Finally, the fifth thing to be sure to do as you plan ahead for the New Year, complete your end of the year, start of a new year brain dump! If you are like me, then you have all the thoughts and feelings and ideas in your head of how you want to be and the things you dream of, want to happen, achieve in the New Year. That can be overwhelming. Instead, sort all those thoughts out. Get them out. Put them on paper, off from your brain and keep it there to work with later.
There is power that happens when your thoughts leave your head and land on paper. The actual act of writing them down frees your mind to give you more room to think and to THRIVE. Jot down your hopes, your dreams, your visions for the things to come in the brand new year! Release the pressure and the stress that you might not even realize you have been carrying, and allow it to live on the paper. And keep it there to work with later to use for your goal planning and vision casting for the New Year!
Other things that are not on this list for you to focus on this week between Christmas and New Years. Allow yourself to rest, sleep in. Don’t worry about having to keep everything together. Spend less time on your phone, more time with your people. Delete apps if you need to for the week. Allow yourself to focus on what is happening within your own home and your own household, and less on everything and everybody else. Spend time reading a book or two, or writing in your journal. Go outside, take a hike. Do things that truly allow you to rest in preparation for a brand new year!
There you have it, five things for you to to do to plan ahead for the New Year! Five ways for you to prepare your heart and mind to experience all the good things in the New Year. So that you can live each day as your best day! Quick recap for you:
I truly hope this week between Christmas and New Years is everything you need it to be and more! I am fully believing that this New Year will bring so many good things for you and your entire family. Believing big things for you and cheering you on every single step of the way! You are worth feeling joy and so much more this New Year. Until next time friends, have the BEST day!