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How to plan for the New Year

How to plan for the New Year

by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun

Hi wonderful people, this is the last post for the year 2020 and I am super excited that you are reading my blog alive and well. God has been merciful to me, my family, my friends and of course you an avid reader of this blog. 2021 is going to be great for you. Wanna know why? Because you’re in Christ and your standpoint is Christ! Therefore, 2021 has no choice but to be great for you. 

So let's delve into the gist of today, how do you normally plan for the new year? Do you have goals and dreams in your heart? Is there stuff you'd like to achieve in 2021? 

A while back I always went through the motion and never really had a vision for the new year. Don’t be like old Bibi when you can be more awesome! Visions are great but visions with goals are amazing! My friends and I did a vision board planning party in November and it was amazing. You don’t have to create a vision board. You can create a list that has sub-bullets or a mind map. It doesn’t matter, just write it down! Remember what God told Habakkuk? 

Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV) And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

How to create a vision for 2021

Create a vision with SMART goals

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Basically, let your vision be realistic. How many goals are you setting? Don’t set too many that you overwhelm yourself and forget about them at the end of January. Let it span across the whole year. It is super helpful when you break down your goals into bite sizes.

For example; one of my goals for 2021 is to sustainably lose 10 to 20 pounds by December 2021. In the past, I’d leave it like that on my list which made it hard for me to run with it. But I’ve recently learned to break it down into minute goals. Some of them include 

  • Meal prep weekly, 
  • take long walks or exercise at least 3 times a week, 
  • say positive affirmations to me daily about my body etc.
 These minute goals make it easier for me to focus on the bigger goal, I hope you get the gist.

If you don’t have a realistic way to achieve your vision, failure is inevitable. Ask yourself questions such as “How will this work”? “What do I need to do to make this a reality”? As you ponder on these things, attached deadlines to them as much as you can. When your plan is laid out with timelines and minute details as previously discussed the chances of success increase. 

Rather than saying "Save $5,000 in 2021", Add timelines like "save $1500 by March 2021 through *insert source of income*."

To add, don’t set the goals once and walk away. Review and meditate on them as often as you can. This makes it achievable when you consistently ponder on it. That Maserati you want to buy will not be a priority if it doesn’t have space in the front of your mind. Keep on goals on stand by.

Get a planner 

Whether you like a book or use online notes like google keep or both, it's not important. The most important thing is that you have a central place where your plans are written for the year. Remember, a goal without action plans is nothing but a wish. Write out your vision and run with it. With a planner, you can easily reference your ideas, adjust when needed, and run with them.

Review your past year's goals

If you’ve never had a goal in the past, I don’t judge you. You’re here to learn and that’s all that matters. If you did, open that plan and go through it. What was a hit? What was a miss? Where did you struggle? Don’t be sad when you see your past goals, it’s not the time for a pity party. Learn from what worked and what didn’t work, keep it moving. 

Be gracious to yourself

Many times, we are so hard on ourselves and we forget that life itself is hard. The world is already hard on us and we must be like Christ to ourselves. Be as gracious as Christ has been gracious to you. Sometimes we perfect the art of being kind to others and forget ourselves in the process. But you DESERVE KINDNESS too. You will most likely mess up, you’re only human. Choose to be kind to yourself. 

Ephesians 4:2 (TLB)2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

Pray and trust God

As you have written out all your plans, take time to commit them to God’s hands. Let Him direct you and lead you. When you invite God into your plan for the new year, you may have to delete some of your plans that do not align with His plan over your life. That is completely fine, as a believer it is important to be led by God in all things. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Find an accountability partner

Your goals might overwhelm you especially if you are a big dreamer! Please, find loved ones you can share it with. You may also be able to connect with other vision-driven people who will cheer you on and keep you accountable in your journey. You may be able to rub minds together and learn a thing or two. No man is designed to do life alone.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Now that we’re done talking about how to plan for the new year, it’s time to get started. Pull out that book or paper (pending the time you buy a planner) and jot things down. When you’re done, follow the rest of the steps I shared and begin to do as you’ve written. This plan is not set in stone, you can change your mind as much as you like. Make sure you have priorities and be true to achieving them.

Also, don’t be so vision focus that you forget to enjoy love with your loved ones. At the end of the day, we are working for the benefit of our loved ones. Don’t miss out on important things that won’t matter 50 years down the line. Make out time for your loved ones.

Your goals will be achieved, you have God on your side!

With love, 

Bibi

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