The Importance of Plans for the New Year
At the end of December and at the start of January as we enter a brand new year, we see lots of people making New Year resolutions with changes they want to make and goals they want to reach.
They are often things that are a bit extreme and things that require a lot of work, like losing a large amount of weight, exercising nearly everyday, giving up all treats, stopping drinking or smoking, etc. All with good intentions, and of course it’s great to want to do things to improve your health. The thing with setting goals like these, goals that involve large lifestyle changes, is that they are often unrealistic and therefore rarely reached. That in turn will cause the person who set the goal to feel disappointed in themselves.
Instead of setting goals for big lifestyle changes to happen immediately as we enter the new year, I highly recommend looking at it all in a different way. Instead of goals, make plans. Get a piece of paper and a pen, or the notes app on your phone, and start thinking about what you want to do next year.
Think about your life in general and what you would like to change, things you would like to do, new things you would like to learn, and places you would like to visit.
For me, this includes things like reading more books, visiting new places in the UK for family camping adventures, going on at least one guided full day or multi-day hike, going wild swimming and trying SUP (stand up paddle boarding).
In 2023, I got interested in fitness more – mainly to be strong for hiking, and I would like to keep that up as well. I’m not putting pressure on myself to do a certain amount of workouts per week or anything. My goals are to be stronger and to keep my fitness levels and I want to do this while keeping things fun and working exercise into my life in a way that works for me. My main ways to exercise are walking, running, spinning and at-home kettlebell workouts and I do whatever I can fit in comfortably into my week. This can vary a lot from one week to the next.
To motivate yourself and remind yourself of your wishes for the year, create something visual that you can look at or revisit regularly. We have a letterboard hung up in our house and at the start of each year, I empty it and start adding our plans for the year. I include big and small adventures, trips, days out, and places we would like to visit. The list includes things that are already booked in and things that I want to make happen too. It’s a great way to help everyone in the family get excited about our plans and also to ensure that the ideas turn into plans.
I also love to visualise my personal plans and wishes like the ones mentioned further up in this article. For this, I like to use Pinterest and Instagram to find inspiring images to save to a board or a folder. When my new home office is fully set up, I plan to include a noticeboard where I can pin up postcards and photos to inspire me even more.
Making plans for the new year is very important to me. Not only does it give me and my family things to look forward to but it also provides me with the ability to see what I need to do to achieve certain things, the steps I need to take to make some of the things on my list happen. That is of course the ideal result, to achieve and do all the things that you hope for in the new year. With a list, a plan, and visualising, you can make it all happen.