Planning For a New Year: Are We Doing It Right?

Over the December holiday, I had a thought. While my family and I were spending time with extended family and loved ones over the Christmas break, I was also thinking about what’s to come in 2023.

I wondered for a moment if anyone else was doing the same. 

After all, we tend to want to plan for the new year early. We try to take breaks in December to figure out what goals, resolutions, and plans we have for the coming year.

The end of the year, we say, is a time to relax and recharge. Time to plan. Still, we end up feeling stressed with all the gatherings and family outings. Christmas isn’t fun for everyone – there’s the stress of travelling, buying gifts, and preparing meals for many people. Might I also add that family time isn’t always a good time for a lot of people? It comes with baggage that affects our mental health.

So how is a person supposed to plan for the new year with all this chaos?

How can team leaders set up meetings with team members just as we approach the holidays when everyone possibly already has so much on their minds? 

The more common planning approach I tend to see? People holding off the planning until early January. When everyone is “returning” to the office, we cram planning meetings and brainstorming sessions. So much so that by the time the end of January comes around, we’re all exhausted from the planning and have no energy for execution.

Does this sound like something you have gone through? I know I have.

And I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s a better alternative.

Planning for the New Year – What Works Best?

While I want to share a solution to planning a whole year’s worth of ideas with you, there is unfortunately no one-size-fits-all solution.

When it comes to running my business, I’m ALWAYS planning. But specifically towards the end of the year – in October / November – I do like to sit down and reflect on the past months. It also helps me identify what worked, what didn’t, and what I need to do for the coming year. I then take time over the winter break to define my ideas and objectives in more detail. And I work with a coach. With two coaches. Actually, I would work on my goals even more if I could get more time on my hands. Nothing is better than dedicating a fixed amount of time to work through your true motivation, your new ideas, and what needs to be done to make them become reality with a coach.

But, in reality, this cannot be the case for everyone.

I was talking to a content writer contact of mine, and she was sharing how her team initially wanted to have a year-end review but everyone got so caught up, they decided to do it the day after everyone returned to the office. On the third of January, everyone was fresh and ready to tackle the new year. 

The real question to ask before starting your planning session is when is the BEST time to do so. What works for yourself – if you’re a freelancer, say, or for your team? Is there a deadline that your company sets for you? 

If you find it hard to plan or execute goals, let’s chat. I’d love to help you manage your action plan for your career better.