Monday, December 5, 2022

Planning for a Spectacular 2023

December is the month most people start thinking about the next year. You could say I’m a bit of a planner. I’ve already planned out the BIG race I’m going to run in January 2027! But next year is 2023. As I think about planning a spectacular year, there are a few things I do to get in the right mindset.

Make a List of Your Goals

Writers and runners are driven by personal goals. Finish the novel. Revise the novel. Again. Create a book of poetry. Get your short story included in an anthology. Get an agent. Run your first 5k (or 10k). Find a running partner. Get faster. Join a gym. Run a new PR.

Start with the biggest plans first. For me, that’s the Writers Who Run Retreat in July. Everything I plan revolves around that. And of course, it includes a 5k and 10k race!

Identify whether your goals are habit goals or achievement goals. A good rule of thumb is to set one big goal per month or three per quarter. Having a list of your goals for the year will help you stay focused from month to month.

Use a Planner

Whether you use a physical planner, a digital calendar, or both, you need to set aside a couple hours this month to plan out your year. Block the time off and put it on your calendar to ensure you create a plan for next year beforehand.

Personally, I love shopping for planners and calendars and looking at all the fun new designs. Elements that would make the perfect planner for me:
  • Spiral-bound 
  • Monthly planning pages (Sunday to Saturday) 
  • Weekly planning pages 
  •  Monthly tabs 
  • Time slots for each day’s activities 
  • The days go from 7 am to 9 pm vertically down the page 
  • Days of the week are listed horizontally across a page spread 
  • Place to list yearly and monthly goals 
  • Pockets and stickers can be fun bonuses, but totally not necessary 

I’ve used lots of planners in the past and these four are ones that I’ve tried or want to try. 
They each check off several of my wishlist bullet points, but none of them have all. 
  1. Full Focus Planner (quarterly) by Michael Hyatt (sold online only, $50) 2020-2021 
  2. PlanAhead Planner (CVS, Walmart, and 9 more, $10-$15) 2022 
  3. Gallery Leather (B&N and online, $27) 2023 
  4. Legend Planner (Target and online, $33) 2024

Imagine Yourself Living Your Best Life

The people who end up living the life of their dreams don’t accidentally get there. They plan, work hard, and visualize it. I recently participated in a 7-day visualization challenge. As I was driving to work one busy Saturday afternoon, I visualized a parking spot opening up and as soon as I turned down an aisle, TWO spots opened up close to the front door!

The power of the imagination is powerful. Writers make a living from imagining whole new worlds! Imagine yourself living your best life, reaching your goals, and fulfilling your dreams. Imagine yourself finishing that novel. Winning first place in a local 5k race. Getting shortlisted with a writing award! The possibilities are endless.

It all begins with deciding what you want. So make a list of your goals and start visualizing. Then PLAN to make it happen in 2023! And maybe do what I did and put the Writers Who Run Retreat on your calendar for next July. I’d love to meet you in person!

Keep writing, keep running.

Christie :)


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