THINGS TO DO AT THE END OF THE YEAR TO PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR
The close of the year is a wonderful time to reflect on the past 12 months and plan ahead for the coming year. Here are some easy and simple ideas and things to do at the end of the year to prepare for next year.
PLAN AND ORGANISE FOR A MEANINGFUL YEAR
It’s amazing how quickly the year comes to a close. It seems like yesterday that I was looking forward to Christmas and setting some goals for the coming year. Now that year has ended, I’m looking back at what went well, what I’d like to repeat for the year ahead and how I can build on and make this year even better.
The end of the year is a great time to be thinking ahead to the coming year:
- What would you like to achieve or do?
- What special memories do you want to create or occasions would you like to celebrate?
- Is there anything that you don’t want to repeat from last year, or would do differently?
In this article I’d like to suggest some things to do at the end of the year to prepare for next year and make it a meaningful and special one, no matter what life throws at us.
THINGS TO DO AT THE END OF THE YEAR TO PREPARE FOR NEXT YEAR
Here are some tips to create memories, celebrate the good things and plan and prepare for the coming 12 months, the simple, meaningful and intentional way.
1. Capture memories
Take a moment to reflect on your memories from the past year, the good and the bad. Have a look through your phone to jog your mind. Capture the meaningful memories by creating a scrapbook, photo album or photo book of your favourite memories. This can be digital and saved to your computer, or a physical copy that you flick through when you want to reminisce. I love photobooks and I create one every year to remind me of special times. I also give an extra copy to my mum as a keepsake for Christmas. Take the opportunity to declutter your phone of any photos that you don’t want to keep!
2. Look over your finances
Possibly not the most exciting of jobs but a very worthwhile one if you’re keeping an eye on your spending. Make a simple spreadsheet or chart of your income and outgoings, by week or month. Create a budget for your spending for food, car, utilities and other aspects of your life and make a pact with yourself to stick to it. Put a date in your diary to review your finances each month, check receipts against bank statements, pay bills and track your spending.
3. Note all events and special occasions
Use a printable calendar and make a note of special events and dates, including birthdays and anniversaries, so you don’t forget any. Check the calendar regularly or pop the important dates into the calendar on your phone and set up an alert to remind you. Keep a box of emergency gifts, such as notebooks, bath/beauty products or candles, including gift wrap and cards in case you forget a birthday and need a last-minute gift!
4. Set meaningful goals
Now is a good time to set goals that align with what you want out of life. Sometimes our circumstances and priorities change during the year, so revisiting your goals to make sure they’re still current is really important. Use this free Goal-Setting Toolkit to help you set goals that count.
6. Declutter your home
Start the year with a clean slate. Clear the old clutter from your home and get rid of things you no longer need, use or add value to your life in some way. Donate them to those who could get more benefit from you. Here are some tips on deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, plus 100 things to get rid of today to get you started!
6. Prepare your diary
Get your diary for the coming year all set up and ready to go. As well as the birthdays etc that we looked at earlier, make sure you include any other important dates including school holidays for your children, or annual leave that you’ve booked off from work. Check with your partner if there’s anything you need to add or be aware of. Look up when your last visits to the dentist and opticians were and note to make a new appointment if you’re due for a check-up.
7. Plan holidays
Don’t leave booking your holidays until the last minute (unless you have the flexibility to take advantage of special deals!). Get things booked in advance, pop them in your diary above and set up a savings scheme to pay for your holiday if your budget is a little tight. Make sure you arrange for your pets to be looked after, passports renewed and the car is serviced if needed beforehand.
So often we leave ourselves to the bottom of the pile. We put everything and everyone else first. Let’s change things for you this year and decide to prioritise doing things for ourselves. This could be date night with our partner, a pamper night during the mid-week, taking up a new hobby, taking out a magazine subscription, enrolling on an online study course or taking up running.
Decide what you’d like to do for you and decide what you need to do or have in order for that to happen. It could be some equipment, a spare couple of hours a week or childcare so you can leave the house.
When we consciously plan for self-care and invest in it, it’s much more likely to happen. If you’re struggling to factor in time for you, you’ll find my Ultimate Self-Care Toolkit really helpful!
9. Establish daily routines
We can make big plans to do big things, but often it’s the small things we do consistently every day that make the biggest difference. Set up some daily routines and habits to look after your home, your time and yourself and notice how these impact your life, day in, day out. Read these tips on how to be more consistent if this is something you struggle with.
10. Commit to a monthly checklist
Planning for the next 12 months might seem a bit daunting so what about reviewing your year, month by month? At the start of each month, find some quiet time and sit down with your pen and notebook and plan the month ahead.
You can use my monthly checklist template to help you plan and prepare for the month ahead. Make it a habit to do this monthly, on the 1st of each month, for example, so you can stay on top of what needs to be done and when, avoid stress and create a little more ease in your day and in your schedule.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU GET ORGANISED AND PRODUCTIVE
Here are some articles and resources to help you plan and prepare for the year ahead:
- 7 things to do on Sunday for a productive week ahead
- 15 ways to be more productive
- How to refresh your goals and why it matters
- Mid-week check in: 10 mindful questions to ask yourself
- 25 ways to be more organised
A FREE DOWNLOAD
If you’d like to use my monthly checklist to organise and plan for the month ahead, pop your details in the box below so I know where to send it!