I’m not even kidding!! You can do it. Keep reading. Have you been asked to do something or have a meeting but can’t remember what you have planned? You know you have something but it’s nowhere on your calendar? You’re about to loooose your mind???? I’ve been there! Way too many times, haha. I’m going to teach you why you need to plan your year out in advance and how it will help you solve this problem.
This is month two in our Best Year Ever blog series. Last month I introduced this series. You learned that making a few goals and trying to turn them into habits will help you work towards your goals.
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What Do I Have Planned For Today? 🤷♀️
Have you asked yourself that question? You have so much to do. You are busy. There may be times when you double booked, forget something, or waited too long and now you don’t have enough time. Am I right???
This is WHY you need to take a few hours and plan out as much of your year as you can. It is easier than it sounds. And it makes so much sense. I first heard about this from Jordan Page. You should have less stress in your life. I’ve taken my own spin on planning your year out. Let’s get to it! Whooopppp!
Why We Double Book?
But first let’s take a minute and see why this happens. K? If you’re like me, then you have a calendar on your phone, a calendar on your wall, a work/school calendar, and maybe more? There are too many places for things to not be written down. This is how we double book or just completely forget about something.
After planning our year out I now have; a calendar on my phone, a wall calendar, and a work calendar. Not much changed. Sure, on the outside. But let’s take a closer look.
At the beginning of the new year I sit down and take my wall calendar and some different color sharpies. I follow the steps I outline below on my phone, wall calendar, and my work calendar/planner.
8 Best Steps to Plan Your Year Out
Get ready to have your mind blown and your year nicely planned out!
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
The total list of supplies will depend on you and your family. For me, these are the things that we used in the past. Some we use each year, and others we don’t need anymore. You’ll understand as you read on. 🙂
- Wall Calendar
- Pens, markers, etc
- Work Schedule
- School Schedule
- Vacation Ideas
Step 2: Fill in the Things That Stay the Same Each Year
Once you have all of your supplies you’re ready to get started. You want to fill in the things that don’t change each year: birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. The best way to do this is to make a Google calendar.
When using a Google Calendar you can sync with your phone and family members. SWEEETTT! This will save you a bunch of time of just having to do it one time. The only thing you will need to do is update it each year with new birthdays.
After you have all birthdays, anniversaires, and holidays in your Google calendar you’re ready to put them on your paper calendar, if you use one.
You can either write down everyone’s birthdays throughout the whole year, include their age. Then move onto anniversaires, and lastly holidays. Or you can go month by month to fill in these three things in each month.
Use the same color for birthdays, one for anniversaries, and a different one for holidays. It makes your calendar look awesome.
Step 3: Add All Work Related Things
Now it’s time to add work related topics. When Eddy had a two week rotating work schedule we wrote down his working days. It was easy to see what days he had off and what days he was working.
The game changer?? When I added the two weeks into Google Calendar and then had it repeat the correct way. It was AMAZING!! No more counting and double counting so I had the correct work/non work days.
Add things like:
- working days
- work trips
- big projects
Make sure to add these both electronically and on your paper calendar.
Step 4: Add All School Related Things
It’s time to pull out the not one but TWO school calendars. Rememebr we’re planning a calendar year, not a school year. I usually look at January to June and add anything that I need to know to my paper calendar first then onto my phone. Not sure why, just do. 🙂
Things to add:
- no school days/holidays
- early out days (escpially irregular ones)
- last day of school
- first day of school
- any deadlines or testing dates
- parent teacher conferences
- term or quarters ending
- teacher apprication week (Normally in May. As a former teacher, your current teachers would love extra love that week.)
Step 5: Vacations Anyone?
One of my FAVORITE things to plan! I love to travel and experience new places. Now that I have kids, I’m super excited to show them the world. Or at least as much as we can.
A few weeks ago I asked my family if there are any places that they would like to visit this year. We got some of the usual ones. Then my son said some random ones that made me laugh and I can’t even remember what he said.
I like asking because it’s fun to see what they would like to do and it might give us some ideas. One idea that wasn’t random from my son was Moab and Arches. So now that’s on our list. It’s a magical place that my kids have only driven through.
Now that we have work and school schedules in place it will be much easier to look at best times to go on vacation. This year we have a family reunion planned for June, so that’s written down in the calendars.
This is not set in stone, so go with the flow and see what happens. There are two trips we have been taking for years each year. One is Park City with Eddy’s family. They have been going since BEFORE Eddy was born. Our kids LOVE it, and so do Eddy and I.
The other trip is a mini vacation to Logan, Utah during the fall. It’s just been the last two years that we stayed overnight. And we hope to keep that going.
Some reasons why I like to preplan or prethought out vacations. (and prethought is totally going to be a new word. ☺):
- Start budgeting for your trip now! You don’t have to go into debt. Put some money away each month. You’ll stress less when it’s time for your vacation.
- You can use it as an incentive for you or your kiddos.
- Gives you plenty of time to book in case it’s busy.
- At the same time you can put off booking and look for great deals.
- It’s something to look foreward to.
I may have gotten a little off topic… So to recap. 🙂 Look at your calendar to see good dates that make sense to take a trip. Make a list of places you’d like to visit. Maybe plug some in there and get saving. Vacations may or may not make sense to plan your year out in advance. Maybe it will help you take more vacations?
Step 6: Doctor, Dentist, Oh My!
This one may be better to do before vacations. But, it’s just not as much fun. My kiddos’ pediatrician gets booked really fast. Most of the time I have appintments almost a year out for their well checks.
If you don’t have appointments set up for well checks, yearly checkups, dentists visits, eye exams then this is the time to get calling and booking your appointments. Make sure to put the dates in all calendars.
Step 7: Date Night!
This is another fun one! Who doesn’t love date nights? Sometimes we are better at having planned dates and other times we are better at being last minute. So, do as I say and not as I do. Okay? 🙂
We try to have date night once a week. Lately that has not been happening. We take them as we get them. If you’re like us here are some tips.
- Get memberships to a play and prepick out the show dates.
- Plan a time you can swap kids with a couple friend, hello free babysitting.
- Plan a month at a time. Do a home date (make it a bit different than a moive).
- If your hubby has a day off when the kids are in school, plan a date during that time when you have less kids or all your kiddos are in school.
- For a date you each write down 25 date ideas to use for the rest of the year. Duplicates are great!
What suggestions do you have for date nights? Do you have dates planned out for the year?
Step 8: Celebrate, You’re Finished!
You are done! It’s time to do a celebration dance, eat a treat, high five your love, and get ready for an awesome year.
Random Tips to Make You Successful
- Remember that things will come up. You may still over book or forget something. BUT, it should be better because you have a lot more planned. And just take a breath and move on.
- Since I use both my phone and wall calendar I now check both just in case I forgot to add something to either one. And I’m in a better habit of every once in a while checking to make sure the month is the same on both calendars.
- Work Calendar- I have a planner that I use just for work. I write my work goals, monthly to-do’s, weekly and daily to-do’s. I only added my little family’s birthdays and holidays on the monthly calendar. Each week when I take a few minutes to look at my week I will add in things that are happening, then plan my work time and hope it acuatlly will be work time. (#lifeofamom) Want to learn more of how I do this? This post will take you step by step.
There you have it folks! Haha! Plan your year out in 8 easy steps!
Now you know the steps in planning out your year in a few hours or less. Remember to get your supplies all ready, open a Google Calendar, and do it with your speical someone. If your children are old enough they can join you.
Start with adding birthdays, anniversaires, and holidays. Then move to work and school scehdules. Last add vacations, medical appointments, and follow up with date nights. Don’t forget to celebrate when you are done.
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