2023 IS JUST 53 WEEKS – Plan the year ahead to be one that really delivers for you (whatever those plans are!)

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter to receive our 2023 Calendar. It is set out in 53 weeks broken down into the 4 quarters for easy life planning.

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Looking for some written instructions?

Here’s how I do it. And remember that there’s no one right way to plan.

Before you start on the calendar – reflect. Get clear on where you are and where you want to get to. Some prompt questions to start with a reflection;

  • What period have we just closed? How did that go?
  • Compared to what I planned to achieve where am I?
  • What are you looking to shift?
  • Where do you want to develop and grow?

A few quick exercises to try: you don’t have to do all of these but they’ve all been useful at different points for me in planning

  • Write down everything you’ve achieved (scrolling back through files and emails sometimes yields surprising results).
  • Write down everything you regret. What type of regret is there? How will you use this to propel action for the next stage.
  • Draw up the next 10 years and put the people in your family on the timeline – what significant events are on the horizon?
  • Divide a page into 4 quarters; business, financial, loved ones, personal, or make up your own interpretation of this and pop into each part on the page something you would love to achieve by the end of the year
  • Use the ‘stop, start, continue’ model – ask everyone in your family or team to nominate something they would like to stop doing, start doing and continue doing. I like to start with continue doing because it’s often the hardest.

Now you should have a few bits of paper and some thoughts about what you want to achieve. You can start to look at the year on a page.

I use pencil! Not because I am in primary school but because things change and I want to be able to re-work the plan as it evolves.

First, add the “immovable stuff” of life 🙂 

I start with the immovable stuff of life; things that are already there, the holidays that apply in our area for example. I mark Christmas, Lunar New Year and Easter, and the first two weeks of January as time on as that is time that we always take for recharge and reset.

I add in public holidays and if school children are part of your life, then add in the school holidays.

I look at the big family milestones, this is where the 10 years exercise comes in handy; significant birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and I put those milestones in the week that applies. Knowing that there will be some acknowledgement or celebration for the ‘big’ birthdays and life events helps us allow time for family.

Once I’ve added in ‘immovable stuff’ things, there’s a lot less time now than there was. It’s a good perspective adjustment.

Many of the things that are part of the calendar are not negotiable.

This is where a lot of planning comes unstuck, we look at a clean sheet of paper and assume that all the time there belongs to us, but it’s not usually the case.

Now add your objectives

I try to put the most important things that I want to achieve in a quarter and mark the month that I want to get that done. For me, a quarter is a good amount of time to allow for a big achievement but stay focused enough to get it done. 

Big objectives don’t happen in a day so working back from the dealine gives you the opportunity to sanity check whether you’ve allowed enough time to complete your mission.

When big things move, or change get out that rubber (eraser) and pencil in the next version/ iteration.

Review end of month

I align the review of the plan at the end of the financial month because that makes sense for my team and business.

Reviewing the bigger objectives at the end of 3 or 6 months and refocusing on the next 3 to 6 months and beyond I find lifts me out of the day to day delivery (which can feel enormous at times) and into the big picture part of my mind.